In Defense of… Music

Vinyl Cut Prose

It’s dead, right? That’s the tone. “Music is dead wrong right now.” No. Never. Not, ever. Somewhere in the midst, art lingers, latent but everlasting. Immortality rests in the rhythm. No matter how broke, bullied, abandoned, starved, outcast, paralyzed, apparently descended… you can always muse. The language of the gods from the stars exudes. Those lyrics and harmonies will sustain the seemingly los culture. From the mouths of babes, from the medley of blues, from the birth of tragedy, sagas continue.

MaM

Fifteen Minute Transcription: Cheek to Cheek – Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett

Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Mind Flow

Cheek to Cheek is an aural alloy of the most masterful. Elements converge in a record album of jazz standards and one-take suzies, tears and tempos, fine-tuned fibres of the greatest art form to emerge from this American soil… classical and contemporary pillars found a musical canon of the most necessary, that which maintains the known order between high art and popular culture by collaboration and hybrid creation… in its pairing of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, the immense everything of said reality (think about it, think harder) Cheek to Cheek is ARTPOP, Vol. II.

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If, IF I were to blinkk this I’d probably say… don’t rush it, let it linger and waft along those invisible currents only the audible architects can manage to manipulate with their coursing lyrics and lifted crescendos…

For a girl who doesn’t wear pants, who dons only the holiest of stockings… and for a gentleman who watches an industry of beat-backed four-letter woes, where he once wailed infinite rhythms of legendary prose – anything goes. What’s old is new, and what’s new is never lost, just hidden beneath the aura of pop culture:

Ms. Education – Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:LA

mlh-ns-cm

neurotic-society

We’re living in a joke time, metaphorical coke time
Commerce and guru men, run the whole world man
Broke world and debauchery, old world brutality
Cold world kills softly
Whole world works savagely
Greedy men and pride fiends program TV screens
Quick-scam and drag queens
Real life blast fiends
Think twice this past dream

Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – Music 4 TNGRS

Soundtrek

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever  conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

Music 4 TNGRS – Chester French

CFIT

Beyond the prominent production, the ever-enveloping electronic environment, it is the enduring lyrics that take us back to the playground. Some songs are like long-lost love notes, retrieved from a time capsule beneath the sandbox, or somewhere under a tree in the quad. Other songs take it back to the cyber sandbox of whichever social network was your shelter, reading along like a comment your present-day self would leave your former self. That’s what I dig most about the album. It doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. It is a 2012 LP of the mixtape you would have made for your Post-9/11-But-Pre-Katrina-So-There’s-Still-Hope self, about yourself, now. I also like it because … I’m a TNGR and it’s my kind of music.

Five Takes on Dave (1920-2012)

Soundtrek

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Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012

For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me … Frankly, labels bore me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legendary beyond compare, brilliant beyond boundaries… five takes on the many shades of Brubeck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Rondo a la Turk” – Time Out, 1959

Brubeck heard this unusual rhythm performed by Turkish musicians on the street. Upon asking the musicians where they got the rhythm, one replied This rhythm is to us, what the blues is to you.” Hence the title Blue Rondo à la Turk.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castilian Drums” featuring Joe Morello (Live) – Live at Carnegie Hall, 1963

Beautiful, Dirty, Wi-Fi: YouTube/MySpace Celebrity Playlist

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

The YouTube/MySpace Star of the 2000s: ringtone rappers, polyphonic popsters, internet indie rockers, and hard-driven hipsters… you basement dwelling vlogophiles are the most beautiful dirty richest of all.

We do the dance right; we have got it made like ice cream topped with honey – but we got no money…

You do the dance right (to the bank), you’ve got it made like ice cream topped with honey (or just iced-out chains), but you got no money (debatable). To the handful of you who are making something out of nothing and generating wealth riches from webcam stardom: kudos – this playlist is for you

Soulja Boy – Superman that HEAUX OH! (The “Won’t Someone Please Think of The Children?!” Remix)

Ad Attack: Diplo x Blackberry – Torches of Freedom

TK:NYC, Uncategorized

Riding tandem with the unveiling of their Playbook tablet, RIM launched their newest Blackberry Torch ad campaign featuring one half of Major Lazer, and M.I.A.’s former better half, Mr. Diplo – all to the feisty sounds of his furious fingers; Feist – I Feel It All (Diplo Remix) because Diplo remixes how you all feel it.

The Torch: past and present

Music Monday Preview: 40 Reasons to Be Excited About Music

Soundtrek, TK:ATL

In light of Rolling Stone’s new revamped site

and heightened sense of irony… oh wait, they’re not kidding about Will.I.Am being a reason to get excited…

I’ve decided now is as good a time as any to compile a bit of an ongoing column of 40 (likely more – or less) reasons why I’m excited about music – the good, the bad, the ugly and some niches in between.

2010 looking like a supersonic renaissance. Where 2000-2009 saw the death of artistry in the face of superficial artifice, 2010 sees the release of vapidity and a return to verity. Supersonic in the sense of music transcending – and/or adding immense depth and layers within – just sound unlike anything we have seen before.

We live in an age of unparalleled resources that enable musicians to become true artists – those who

create music that transcends sound and builds entire atmospheres, worlds to the point of sight and tangibility; given the modern resources, it’s only natural to equally focus on expanding that experience to reality: actual visuals and mixed media.

Performance artists can make their multimedia visions a reality, and traditional musicians can enhance their songs to whole sonic landscapes of limitless sound.

Before the forty reason foray – reason the first and foremost… the brass tacks as to why music is always reason to get excited: it makes the people come together – the bourgeoisie and the rebel

Watch this space: I… can’t count on Rolling Stone – killer concept, but they killed said concept (read: “You hear it all the time… ‘Rock is dead,’ and well, mea culpa”). As Andy Warhol said, though, “You have to be willing to get happy about nothing,” but I’m a Gen-Yer and in world 2.0 I’m more than willing and able to get excited about everything – after all, Pop goes the culture.

Follow Friday: Freshest of the Fourth Estate

Soundtrek

It’s Good Friday, so let’s make it great and take it to Follow Friday – today: the freshest of the fourth estate. Follow these tweeps because you, yes you Lost Generation, need a cultural barometer

Q Magazine

The pre-eminent music/culture magazine – period. Hailing from across the pond, Q Magazine delivers any and everything any worldly (wannabe or otherwise) Gen-Y audiophile needs, fiends, and desires on print and via twit.

Why follow: I’ve been a Benedict Arnold since 2003, and I really don’t feel badly about it – because Q feeds me more than apple pie ever could. Besides, Rolling Stone’s gathering moss and Spin needs a British twin.

New Music Tuesday: Bad Rabbits

Soundtrek

Bad Rabbits: These boys from Boston boast the self-proclaimed “swagger of Prince with the intensity of Bad Brains.” I don’t like setting additional biases before a first listen so wait until after the jump for my two cents.

“Can’t Back Down”

“Stick Up Kids (Full Demo Version)”

On first listen it felt like Kenna and Prince’s lovechild was moonwalking over my eardrums (my good one and my busted left one – so you know it’s nice). One of the things I adored about GTA: Vice City was the soundtrack; I remember driving along the coast listening to Fever 105… Oliver Cheatham’s “Get Down Saturday Night,” Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness,” and the Pointer Sisters’ “Automatic,” … great times… Anyway the point is Bad Rabbits brings a mix of Fever 105, Bad Brains’ “Banned in DC” intensity, Boston “because we’re banned in DC” bravado, Prince’s swagger and uncanny cacophony of synth and soul, more than a touch of Kenna, a splash of D’Angelo’s pre-prosti-not-so-much vocal stylings, and the Faneuil Hall funk of a rabbit who left his bad on the dance-floor. Bad Rabbits sounds like what neo-new-wave-funk with soul should sound like. So if they want to bring the eighties back; it’s okay with me, that’s where they made me at.

Watch this space: Who knew Beantown knew how to get down?

DOWNLOAD: Bad Rabbit 2 Song EP

Alex Ludovico: The Reawakening

Soundtrek

So many “MCs” on the hustle nowadays … it’s a daunting task to filter through the riffraff and find the diamonds in the rough worth following. Rest assured though, that those diamonds do indeed exist: enter Alex Ludovico.

In his own words:

Hey. I’m Alex Ludovico, a MC from Chicago (by way of Gary, IN).  I’m submitting my newest album. It’s entitled The Reawakening. It’s a 10 song sprint through my psyche, with production from Blurry Drones (Douglas Martin of Fresh Cherries From Yakima/5 O’Clock Shadowboxers), D, Wildlife Production, and JD (relative younger producers all from Chicago), along with a few stolen tracks I kicked verses over. I hope that you get the chance to take a listen and notice something you like about it.

Manners matter to me, but mad flow matters a bit more in the game – Mr. Ludovico doesn’t disappoint with The Reawakening.

reawakening

In my words: The intro, I’m Here Droogs, doesn’t get Ludovico’s foot in the door – it kicks down the door down; his rhymes kill any character confusion over an equally relentless White Stripes’ Icky Thump beat. The newcomer is “back from sabbatical/here to change the station, all the whack sh*tcha listenin’ to; New name so I’m feelin’ invincible.” (Mid-post pretense: if you know me you know I love dwelling in the contradictory; if you don’t know me, at least now you know that bit.) A self-proclaimed rookie coming back from hiatus – to kill the counterfeit constants in the game no less – comes out the cannon with a battle cry boasting invincibility; needless to say, nuff said. But wait; there’s more! If you’re – somehow – still unsure about the album’s directon or Ludovico’s demeanor after the first 30 seconds, wait 2 more and he’ll “explain it all like Clarissa.”

The Reawakening is a classic clash between titans: “Alex is the dark side, personified evil/Ludovico is the good, uplift the people.” Like yin and yang, the dark and good are distinct but dabble in one another’s tracks; like right and wrong, the dark and good walk a fine line and the black and white become grey; but like true “dark” and “good,” both inevitably balance each other out and it makes for a dead-on debut for this man from the Midwest.

Sonically, the album starts off banging (personally, my mind jumped straight to Baltimore club scene) then switches gears and eases into a more classic downtempo vibe. Sequencing is often overlooked, but when it isn’t the product is rarely sub-par: The Reawakening is proof. I’m Here Droogs to The Asphalt Jungle is prime time percolating club music. Right Cross is just that, the bridge from the club to the couch. Roaring 20s starts off the steady post-game music – you know the kind that has you rhythm-riding and head-bobbing the second the beat drops. The album eases on down the reawakened road, as Ludovico rhymes – at times showcasing a more toned-down flow – between vintage beats and vinyl overtones from 20s through the last track, 100 Milligrams.

Lyrically, the boy is banana sandwiches. His vocal mode is drenched in battle rap and freestyle; his emphasis is remnant of  the Slim Shady LP/Marshall Mathers LP – literally spitting lines. Continuing in the Eminem vein, Alex and Ludovico go “back and forth all day like Red and Meth” (and though he may or may not concur, he jokes when he says the best, “in the booth/but a lot of truth is said in jest”). In my humble opinion, the lyrical dark side is the first half (sans the intro): fun, witty, tongue-in-cheek, heavy on the club commentary, very “night out”-esque. I’d argue the lyrical “Alex” persona is the dark side because – even though the timbre is hard – the content is lighter. The post-Right Cross tracks are where Ludovico comes in to lyrically uplift the people. His tone may mellow out at times, but what he says resonates louder when not drowned out by how loudly he says it. I could be wrong though, after all Kanye said “They say I speak with so much emphasis/oooh they so sensitive;” either way, A. Ludo’s definitely got the Midwest on lock.

All this is to say: check out The Reawakening; it’s worth the listen – and he’s “by way of Gary, IN,” which means he’s practically the Jackson 6th.

Massive shout to the one and only Douglas Martin for pretty-much-amazing production on A Round of Anger: per usual

Watch this space: The Battle – some may call the rookie’s flow unseasoned and unprepared, I call it raw.

Music Monday: Bjork … ft. Basketball via Nike and Barkley

Soundtrek

In the midst of this extraordinarily mundane Monday my iPod shuffled upon Bjork’s “In the Musicals;” quite a brilliant track actually …

which reminded me of an equally innovative Nike commercial

Not surprisingly, Bjork and basketball go together like … Bjork and Barkley — astoundingly well, but mind ravaging if given too much thought as to why exactly

The Michael Post

Soundtrek, Uncategorized

Michael Jackson was an icon and today is a deity. Everyone has their two cents on this, so below are just a few of mine …

mjmtv

Pop: Michael Jackson embodied pop from head to toe, Michael was and is pop — period. VH1 opened their tribute with statements like “on the brink of his biggest comeback to date, Michael died,” and “the King has died.” When one man can singlehandedly make all music video television stations play music videos again, when the 4 hours of radio broadcast directly following his death are more diverse — and universally better — than the 4 years leading to his death, when every media outlet — from ABC to TMZ and everywhere in between — becomes an amplified epitaph, when the internet gets shut down, when one man can singlehandedly take the world from ripping him one day to R.I.P.-ing him the next, when that man’s death sparks an unspoken public guilt for allowing pop to descend to its present state … this is not “the brink of his biggest comeback to date,” it is his biggest comeback, this is not the “death of a King,” it is the ascent of a deity. Michael Jackson as pop, in and of itself, resurrected more than a concept — he resurrected a culture.

I would go on about all of the celebrity vs. artistry themes and nuances interwoven through the icon’s tale, but that’s for a coffee discussion or roundtable forum (open invitation)

Personal: Keith Olbermann said it best when he said this is bigger than the fame and controversy, that this transcends the trials — at its core this is the tragic death of a human gone too soon. The footage of Michael’s body being transported to the coroner brought his death to the human level. Regardless of everything else surrounding the event, Michael Jackson is a human being — a friend, a brother, a father, and another son to be buried by his parents.

Political-esque: BBC World asked what the death of Michael Jackson means for the African-American community; someone replied “What did Elvis’ death mean to the white community?” Michael’s death is bigger than that because Michael’s death, life, and impact transcend race: he was the first black artist on MTV, but he is also the greatest pop artist of all-time — race with and notwithstanding Michael’s death means everything to everyone within pop culture.

Everyone has their favorite Michael songs, videos, etc. Many are classics like Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It, Black or White, etc. but below are my understated favorites.

First, the first Michael Jackson song I remember buying …

the man made a song about a rat … a ballad that remains heads and shoulders above the bulk of modern pop love songs today

Next, the first Michael song that made me buy a pack of Orbit to clean myself up

so raw … so gritty … so epic

Finally, what remains my first favorite Michael video

words … can’t … just … yeah.

The Re-Branding of America: Real World Cancun

TK:LA

MTV is at it again like Timbaland & Magoo with “The Real World: Cancun”

To me, this is the perfect locale for The Real World right now. Cancun brings the fun, sun, drama, flash, pizzaz, fantasy island-esque feel that “The MTV Generation” is notorious for gobbling up with an insatiable greed.

I still remember being a young ladette entranced by the tropical glow of MTV’s Springer Break — y’know to get back to the true meaning of Easter, being on holiday break and all … bearing witness to the fact that even today after death (blackouts, reputation-killing escapades broadcast nationwide, etc.) anyone could arise three days later — albeit to their respective homes or college campuses where a probation citation would await any Spring Breaking student …

MdM: May Sera, Sera

Soundtrek

Indie alter-ego post from the Motel

mdmmsstop

Music imitates life: the riches works are those with subtle progressions, elevating you to the finale without losing the foundation.

Playlist/Link

mdmmslow

Ello again motel dwellers. I’ve been away for awhile, balancing on the proverbial precipice – graduating and celebrating the climactic-in-its-own-way 22nd birthday. Now I’m back – to basics. There’s no definitive theme here, just a quick list of what this May Baby hears when her month in ’09 comes to mind.

Sidenote: Y’know, you try to build a decent list – then Johnny Law and Lily come through, and the result is removal “by request.” “I thought this was America people,” where’s the intellectual property focus on the public interest – digress. Copyright law is about individual profit from original works so I’ll bow out of this debate.

For the sake of a complete list though …

 

Playlist:

The Mars Volta – “Tira Me A Las Aranas” (De-Loused in the Comatorium, 2003)

Daedelus – “Soulful of Child” (Invention, 2002)

Radiohead – “15 Step” (In Rainbows, 2007)

Björk – “In the Musicals” (Selmasongs, 2002)

AIR – “Cherry Blossom Girl” (Talkie Walkie, 2004)

Lily Allen – “Why” (Not Fair – Single, Vinyl; 2009)

Distriction: Memorial Day ’09 Mix

Soundtrek

Quick and dirty lunchtime/BBQ mix for the holiday. Literal mix of older, new-ish, pop, hip-hop, this and that. It’s a general smattering: a bit random, not particularly thematic, but a universally decent mix for a mid-day holiday meal.

Start off mellow for the swelter. Pre-interlude: less local, a bit bossa nova and ska over funk, try it on for size …

The Re-Branding of America: Ride the Maverick – From BK, to AZ, to AK, and back again

TK:LA

Pop culture and politics continue to make for an intriguing set of bedfellows.

I was watching Living Single and Max “The Maverick” Shaw made 1996 sound an awful lot like Fall 2008.

Whether from Brooklyn, Arizona, or Alaska, a maverick is a maverick is a maverick; and they all speak the same language.

Music Monday: Recap BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend

Soundtrek

Sun shining, birds chirping, bees buzzing, squirrels scampering about, further nature-centric noun-verb tandems … means one thing: summer music festival season. I haven’t skipped across the pond in a bit, so what better time than now to check in on how our neighbors across the Atlantic are faring these days …

Swindon hosted this year’s BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend on May 9th and 10th. Here’s this year’s tandem, and a recap of last year’s troupe … featuring some mighty familiar faces from this year’s show and last:

2009’s reigning royalty

Sir Dizzee, with the help of Calvin Harris

and his Lady Fair

Left Right Left Right Left

Soundtrek

Quick commie post — sharing = caring … Free music — free legal music.

cplrlr

Coldplay today released their highly anticipated free live album Left Right Left Right Left … so, have at it.

Playlist:

1. Glass of Water
2. 42
3. Clocks
4. Strawberry Swing
5. Hardest Part/Postcards from Far Away
6. Viva la Vida
7. Death Will Never Conquer
8. Fix You
9. Death And All His Friends

Fresh.

Watch This Space: Free music — a la In Rainbows — usually means the artists are bank enough to give away greatness … thanks philanthropy

Distriction: Metro Mix May 13

Soundtrek

In the midst of a massive blogger’s block. When in doubt: recap. So here’s a quick commuter’s playlist a la whatever the iPod shuffled up — with a twist.

I’ll go with the first song shuffle picked and do a six degrees of separation to muster a Metro Mix … I don’t know. Let’s just see what comes up.

On the Circulator headed to Gallery Place and the first track was …

Fiona Apple – To Your Love

Throwback Thursday: May 7th

Soundtrek

So I’m spring cleaning in prep for graduation/22nd bday weekend, and iTunes/iPod compiled quite a brilliant playlist I must say – although it’s not too tough a task with my exceptionally brilliant library, but that’s neither here nor there.

Point is: in the midst of the final days of my undergrad career, I’m throwing back to my music mode from the first days of my high school career.

Hands down the soundtrack of my Summer/Fall 2001 was Aaliyah‘s Aaliyah. Timbaland and Static integrated electronic, r&b, industrial, jazz, pop, latin, and hip-hop to produce a futuristic urban pop album – easily one of the best of the era.

It was apparent from the jump, “We Need a Resolution,” that Timbaland went hard for his muse as always…

Distriction: LDN meets DC at 930

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Missed out on the Circus, but still want to see a fly Brit? Lucky you, DC …

Rhymes with Silly‘ Allen is in town for her sold-out performance tonight at the 930 Club

liltweetdc1

Her shows sell-out so she doesn’t have to

liltv2

In related news: We can’t say the same for Hot97 and Cipha

dk97

drakecipha

Drake aka “Don’t Call Me Jimmy” —

drake shots_jimmy

Watch this space: Music makes the people come together — the bourgoise and the rebel

From Bentleys to Burger King

Soundtrek, TK:DC

From flippin’ bricks to flippin’ tracks to flippin’ burgers … rappers are the new face of french fries — but hey, a mic is a mic

It’s like fast-forwarding to the last page of Soulja Boy’s autobiography

Father of the Year … maybe; Employee of the Month: definitely

Sometimes the hustle starts from behind the counter

Watch this space: Burger King and McDonald’s are looking like the new Death Row and Bad BoyRonald is a Boss and Hamburgular, well, let’s just say he turns beef to patties.

Distriction: Wale on Tour …

Soundtrek, TK:DC

just not in DC — irony.

wale

So worth the tickets, Wale is amazing — DC’s finest.

Watch this space: He’s on Mark Ronson‘s label — Allido … if you still need convincing after Wale, Mark Ronson, and Stevie Wonder (Allido, think about it) maybe this isn’t for you.

Rolling Stone: Bringing you the hottest artist — of 2008 … finally

Soundtrek

Rolling Stone finally managed to get arguably the most fascinating figure – of last year – on their latest cover …

it only took Lil’ Wayne 3 Grammys, 1 million copies of Tha Carter III sold — in a week … in 2008’s music industry, and 10 years in the game to get the cover. It is difficult to live up to the Jonas “Clean Teen Machine” Brothers and Taylor “Very Pink, Very Perfect” Swift though — which is why they got their first covers months ago?

I must admit, the most disappointing part of the long-overdue cover is the lack of originality — per usual Rolling Stone-as-of-late. Print media is suffering, but it doesn’t take millions of dollars to portray an artist’s persona …

Watch this space: Rolling Stone: still gathering moss

iDaft.com: MCPD 1000 – Music Production 2.0 (Sampling Methods)

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Kanye University is hoping to rise through the U.S. News & World Report “Liberal Arts” college rankings by introducing an entree of innovative courses over the next few semesters. The first of which — Music Production 2.0 (Sampling Methods) — takes a hands-on approach to teaching its students the art of sampling, in a way only Kan the Louis Vuitton Don could.


Using iDaft, professors literally put the power of production right in the palms of their pupils.

Students mix, mash, chop, screw, smother, scatter, and cover vocal stems from Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. The end result could be something completely — kind of — original or just a tweak of Kanye’s stab at the electro-classic.

Word around the rumor mill is that the scholar assembling the best product gets contracted for an official remix on Ye’s next album: Twelfth of Nevuary. But wait there’s more! — Because the rumor mill never stops churning — some would-slash-have say-slash-said next semester’s course will be more streamlined, some might say … Aerodynamic?

The good news is you don’t have to be enrolled in KU to take advantage of the learning tools. You too can be a Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger uberproducer — which is the rough equivalent to “half-as-good-as-Kanye-thinks-he-is” or “twice-as-good-as-people-give-him-credit-for.”

Kanye University is accepting applications for the Fall 2009 semester on a rolling deadline. So take your time, prep your portfolio, and drive slow.

Oh those pesky boys and girls … always begging to seek amy

Soundtrek, TK:DC

At long last – for those who cared, namely: multifarious persons named amyangry radio producers, myself – Britney Spears’ new video for “If U Seek Amy” dropped today …

American Beauty + Britney Spears + Pies + Kate Trask + Funhouse/Madhouse + Mad Men + Justify My Love + June Cleaver = “If U Seek Amy”

Watch This Space: ThruYOU

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Just when you thought it was safe to come out again … Kutiman killed the lights


ThruYOU is a brilliant site that takes mixtapes to the tube. YouTube + DatPiff + Grit+ Girl Talk + je ne sais quoi + Kutiman = ThruYOU.

What you are about to see is a mix of unrelated YouTube videos/clips edited together to create ThruYou. In other words — what you see is what you hear.

For instance …

Watch This Space …

The British Sublet: Stem Cell Bans and Bands Selling Stems

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Again with the British-American tandem … Spring theme-du-jour: stems. While an American politician lifts the federal funding ban on stem cell research — to build a legion of South Park-esque Supermen no doubt — a British pop powerhouse builds a legion of super-producers. Thanks to stems you can be a superhero and a super producer … all in one!

On our coast this weekend, Barack Obama planned a much needed lift on the stem-cell research federal funding ban — per Peter Griffin’s inquiry of “Why aren’t we funding this?!” no doubt.


On the other side of the pond, lil’ Miss Lily Rose lifted the Oz/ProTools curtain and tucked an 80-track surprise in each hard copy and iTunes version of her album “It’s Not Me It’s You.” Anyone who uploads their legal copy of the album gets each track stem from the release.

I finally mustered up the civility to get my hands on a hard copy of INMIY – solely because of the stems – and it was worth every penny. Now, I’m finding it hard to break away from remixing Everyone’s At It, revamping the drums on Chinese, or seeing how Back to the Start would sound if I dropped the vocoder. But the fun doesn’t end with vanity listening sessions amongst you and your closest pal, remixers are encouraged to upload their exclusives for peer and label review … so get on the 1s & 2s, start scratching away, and you’ll be a Hollywood Kid in no time!

Stems are this girl’s new best friend.

Oh, and it’s not a British Invasion this time … it’s more of a sublet until things get back to normal

Watch this space

Dos and Don’ts of a Katie Couric Interview ft. Lil’ Wayne and Sarah Palin

TK:DC

Politics could learn a thing or two from Pop — like how to capitalize on a Katie Couric interview, and turn it into the pilot for “He Could Very Well Be Just That Into You.”

Lil’ Wayne says as a rapper he is like a journalist telling the news; obviously Wayne fared better than Palin with Katie because he too is a member of the “liberal elite media.”

If all else fails: manners matter. Palin might have gotten a bit more leeway if she just softened up a bit to “Miss Katie.”

The Re-Branding of America: So, how old does that make Snoopy?

TK:DC

So, we’re going to try this one more time. Woodstock: it could happen, right?


So after 40 years of wandering across the socio-political desert — polyester, Reaganomics, iLife — we end up in an oddly familiar stretch of promised land: Woodstock.

I’ll avoid — for now — the litany of parallels dawning America’s cultural re-renaissance. And let the theoretical minds explode with thematic narratives of young America’s recent treks and time travels.

In 1969 the youth faced war, injustice, and it’s own grim reflection for the first time; at Woodstock Jimi’s guitar gently weeped on behalf of a generation. 40 years later the youth face war, poverty, and another reunion with a falsified sense of self; I hope this Woodstock sees more than just a trail of tween tears at the base of a Jonas guitar.

We’ve been through so much as a country and as a generation, but at the end of the day have we learned anything? Music is the pulse and soul of a culture. I’m hoping some artists come out from behind the AutoTune and ProTools, because from the looks of it we’re running on a pacemaker — yeah it gets the job done, but it’s still no heart.

Hyping Hypem

TK:DC

Brilliant Music Blog Aggregate.

“The Hype Machine follows music blog discussions. Every day, thousands of people write about the music they love — and it all ends up here.”

Hypem is one of the cleanest, most user-friendly music sites on the internet. It is an aggregate/search engine for mp3s. Only tracks that have been posted by one of the site’s menu of music blogs — ranging from major pages like Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, and Pretty Much Amazing, to the litany of smaller niche-blogs (i.e. Motel de Moka) — are posted. Hypem is a mix of search engine, social network, music player, with a dash of ‘Sound of the Underground.’

Users can create accounts and track their ‘Favorites’ — blogs, songs, other users, etc. The site has a built-in music player that sits across the base of the screen and is user-generated running playlist. So you have the luxury of actually hearing a song before you fully commit to downloading it. The search results include the song, artist, date, summary of, and link to the original blog post.

Other user-friendly features/filters: the “all blogs/top 25 music blogs” search filter. It’s great to have options, but sometimes you just want to know what the kids are listening to, and what bubblegum they’re chewing; the ‘most blogged artists’ sidebar on the home page; the ‘most plays’/’most favorites’ tab which tracks the most popular hypem tracks, but drops songs over 3 days old to maintain freshness; built in ‘world live web radio’ feature: enough said.

It’s fun, fresh, and free — which is even more fiscally responsible than cheap.

Watch this space.