Oct 17 2012

In Honor of National Ass Day


Dec 19 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 200-151

There are quiet moments, but overall this year’s song countdown is crazy upbeat; you’ve gotta be an uptight jerk not to enjoy at least some of what’s here. For the most part, this collection of songs from 2011, while decidedly less diverse than in past years, still perfectly captures my mood and preference. I’ll be counting down until Friday – feel free to browse, listen, discover, disagree, etc. I’ll publish a Spotify playlist at the end with most of the tracks on there; the rest can be found via YouTube below and on subsequent posts.

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Dec 1 2011

Grammy Predictions: Bon Iver is No Arcade Fire

Grammy nominations are in, and Kanye’s been snubbed again. I mean, it’s nice and all that Yeezy leads the pack with seven nods, but no Album of the Year? No, instead that goes to….Bruno Mars? Oh, Grammys. Missing the mark….at least there’s something consistent in the music industry.

The aforementioned Mars earned six nominations, few of which he will win; Foo Fighters got the same amount, being deservedly recognized for their best album in years. But Adele, also in the six category, is the artist who will clean house this time around. She’s the perfect safe, AC-friendly, Grammy-loving, overrated nonsense the world rallies around. Like Taylor and Norah before her, Adele will bore us to tears with each tearful acceptance speech. God, please let Yeezy get up there and start yelling.

And then there’s Bon Iver, who scored some notable categories, including Alternative Music Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist (which in Grammy terms means “first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist”, so….yeah….can you say “arbitrary?”). So of course already he’s being hailed as the next Arcade Fire, who upset Grammy Nation last year by winning Album of the Year. Which was amazing and awesome. Unlike Bon Iver’s new, underwhelming, undeserving, overrated second album that’s ALREADY making everybody’s year-end list.

Here’s the straight poop: while Arcade Fire may have pulled the underdog bit last year, it’s not happening this year. I’d be surprised if Bon Iver walked away with anything at all. Alternative’s going to Radiohead. Record and Song are going to Adele, as is everything else. So who gets the BNA curse? It’s either the Band Perry (who I wouldn’t mark off right away, the Academy has shown in the past they love this lethargic style of country….remember Lady Antebellum?) or it’s going to Nicki Minaj, who has just blown up this year. So sorry Justin Vernon, you’re no Win Butler.

Radiohead, Skrillex, Lil Wayne, Foster the People, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Mumford and Sons round out the top nominees, and Daft Punk received recognition for their score to Tron. Also, I think I saw Fleet Foxes in the Folk category somewhere. So yeah, don’t let the nominations cloud your thinking….just because it seems like who they pick has been improving, who they actually award has not. Same as it ever was….I’m getting bored just typing this. February can’t get here sooner!


Jul 1 2011

Quarterly Review – April-June 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

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Jun 24 2011

Catching Up With the Kids 6/24/11

Occasionally I browse the pop music world/charts/blogs and see what the kids are listening to. Sometimes I am pleased with what I find, most of the time I am not. This is a journal of my discoveries.

In the late 90’s, when grunge, alternative, and gangsta rap were the genres of relevance and, thanks to superstars like Garth Brooks, country was crossing over like never before, the pop world was struggling for identity.  Take a look at charts from the decade and you’ll find a diverse, albeit inconsistent string of hits from an array of forgotten artists. Divas, R&B crooners, softcore rappers, watered-down post-grungers, and Lilith Fair types all battled for airplay and notoriety while the majority of the music listening public had their ears elsewhere.  One genre stuck around for the vast majority of the decade, from the time the kids turned to Nirvana to the resurgence of the “boy band” in 1998.  That genre was “dance pop,” a club-ready sound from Europe that peaked (and almost abruptly disappeared) with the release of A Night At the Roxbury.  We all remember groups like No Mercy, Real McCoy, Aqua, Haddaway, and La Bouche dominating our local Top 40 station.

As I do on most trips away from home, while traveling, I reacquainted myself with the current playlist of conventional pop radio, and it seems, increasingly, this “dance pop” style has resurfaced, not because pop music is having another identity crisis, but because, this time around, it seems the kids really do enjoy this stuff.  While 90’s dance pop had female belters crooning about passion and devotion alongside growling male “rapping,” the new tracks don’t have a trying-too-hard vibe.  In fact, quite the opposite; the beats are loud, the production is slick, the composition is lazy, and the theme? Partying.  Hard. All the fucking time.

Sure, there’s still plenty of hip hop and Avril-types, and a few crossover country tracks, as well as some harder rock tracks from mainstays like Seether and My Chemical Romance.  But the focus is thumping bass, getting wasted, hooking up, and throwing glitter.  Even pop stars from other eras, like Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears, have adopted the new sound in their recent singles.  Pop radio has always been about mindless, simple escapism, but it seems the past decade it wasn’t as fun….glad to see there’s a change in the tides.


May 14 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 5/14/11

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!

Tracklist:

Nicki Minaj feat. Ester Dean – Super Bass
Jacques Greene – Another Girl
Adele & Jamie XX vs Cecile, Mr Lexx & Timberlee – Rolling In the Heat (Heatwave Refix)
Wiz Khalifa – Roll Up


Apr 1 2011

Quarterly Review – January-March 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

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Feb 19 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 2/19/11

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!

Playlist:

tUnE-yArDs – Bizness
PS I Love You/Diamond Rings – Leftovers
Radiohead – Lotus Flower
The Hood Internet – Dutty Disagreements (Sean Kingston and Nicki Minaj vs. Stewrat)


Jan 17 2011

Five MP3s You Must Grab 1/17/10

      1. Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow

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      2. Millionyoung - Replicants

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      3. Nicki Minaj - Moment 4 Life (Star Slinger Remix)

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      4. Wavves - Mutant

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      5. M.I.A. - Internet Connection (Huoratron Rum Aid Rmx)

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Jan 7 2011

Top 200 Tracks of 2010 – The Top Twenty

20.

      1. The Hold Steady - Hurricane J

Craig Finn, while less belligerent, is still plenty drunk and emotional and frank on Heaven Is Whenever, and the group delivers one of their poppiest efforts thus far.  “Hurricane J” is a plea to a lost soul he may be care a little too much about, spoken plainly and perfectly alongside a perfect tropical storm metaphor.  We’ve all known someone like the person Finn describes, and we’ve all said the exact same things.

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