News & Humor
In the eight years since we last listened to a Daft Punk LP, electronic dance music has gone from a casual, foot tapping interest to a full-blown, fist pumping darling in American culture and mass appeal.
Think about it. Human After All came out in 2005. Let me take you back to that time. Dubstep (and not even how we Americans define it) was still just beginning to bud in the UK. There was no trap, no brostep, no Skrillex and no Avicii. George W. Bush was still POTUS. Candy Shop, Hollerback Girl and Gold Digger were some of the year’s Billboard chart toppers (not to mention that Mariah Carey was super radio relevant). And, YouTube JUST became a thing (seriously, look it up).
Now, let’s come back to 2013. The world is quite a different place. EDM isn’t just some marginal genre that only Europeans or your weird-ass cousin listen to anymore. It’s on the radio. It’s in commercials. Your mom loves loves it. Your little brother loves it. EDM has become (dare I say?) mainstream.
And why? The simple answer is that dance music is easy to make. No, I’m not saying that you’re not talented, Bedroom Producer (you can sit back down). I’m saying that what it takes to make EDM has become extremely accessible. If you have a laptop, some software and the rare ability to hear sounds, you’re pretty much a fully-equipped, fours-to-the-floor, hit-making machine as far as dance musicians go.
And that’s an incredible thing for music. I mean, a person who can’t even read traditional sheet music can go out there and produce something that touches millions of people, inspiring them to dance, love and forget.
But it can also be a super fucking terrible thing, too. The EDM market is becoming horribly saturated. You ever get the feeling that every dance song, remix, and mashup you stumble across sounds identical to the last? You’re not alone. Even Diplo has ragged on how huff the state of dance music currently is.
Enter Random Access Memories, the latest love child of electronic duo Daft Punk (which officially came out today, by the way). Listen to it. Now, listen to it again. What did you hear? That’s the sound of something different. That’s the sound of innovation (even if retro-ly inspired). That’s the sound of two artists not trying to tap into a fad or appeal to anything remotely mainstream. That’s Daft Punk.
You see, we’ve become desensitized. Every wobble, every drop, every synth, every anthem-shaking, face-melting record that roars through our bass-heavy speakers has hardened our faces to become not so meltable anymore.
It’s funny. American dubstep’s sounds are often compared to the noises that a dial-up modem makes. It’s mechanical. It’s heartless. But, of course it’s the French robots that have given us a dance album that sounds strangely real. It’s alive. It’s human.
Daft Punk just threw everything we’ve become accustomed to about them (and the genre they’ve influenced for the past 20 years) out the window. There’s less samples, synths, and drum triggers on the album than there are orchestra, human vocals and live instrumentation. Some of it might not even make you want to get out your seat and jump around, but it makes you listen. I mean, really listen to everything that’s happening in the music. And that’s a beautiful thang.
I’m not really here to review RAM. I’m not even really here to tell you that Daft Punk did all those things intentionally because, they too, were frustrated at dance music. I’m here to say that the world needs more artists like Daft Punk right now.
The world needs more musicians that don’t buy into trends, that don’t try to make “hits”, that don’t make the same album twice or thrice over just because “it’s their style”. In the hyperactive, Internet-laced virtual reality we live in right now, there’s a new artist, a new song, a new “genre” that surfaces every cot damn day. And, guess what? Lately, today sounds like yesterday and the day before it and so on.
Fuck that. Innovate. Shake things up. Try things that don’t sound right. Make real, authentic music, no matter the genre. Inspire wonder and amazement and always push the boundaries, even simply for the sake of not doing the same thing twice.
Channel your inner Daft Punk and breath life back into your music. Because at the end of the day, even electronic music can be human (after all).
Yesterday, Zach Sobiech passed away from osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. In the months before he died, SoulPancake created this documentary about his final days. The piece sheds light on the kind of person Zach was and gives him a sort of life after death along with his music, which you can purchase below. It also really puts things in perspective and shows just how fickle life can be. We usually do not share these types of videos on the site, but every once in a while something extraordinary like this comes along. I hope you watch it and have a box of tissues nearby.
Every since he tweeted “June Eighteen” there has been an excessive thirst for news on Kanye West‘s highly-anticipated sixth studio LP. Well, Rolling Stone has managed to snatch up some clues about the album, and I am going to try to connect some of the dots. Here is what we know:
- He has been in Paris, France since the beginning of the year, staying in the illustrious Hotel Meurice (also known as “The Hotel of Kings,” so you know it’s real).
- Hot 97′s Peter Rosenberg said that Kanye played the album for Def Jam and apparently it’s “dark but really good.”
- Kanye went to Brazil instead of The Grammys back in February. He was photographed in the studio with… Will Smith.
- He is playing SNL’s season closer on May 18th. This is three days before Daft Punk‘s album drops, and he has at least two songs with Daft Punk. Thomas Bangalter, half of the influential French duo, said that ‘Ye was “kind of screaming primally” during one of their recent sessions.
- Kanye tweeted “June Eighteen,” which I think is a single release date and not the album release date. Even though I would think he would release a single right after playing SNL in May, I do not think he would undercut label mate Pusha T‘s album My Name Is My Name (which is due out July 16th), with his own album. Oh also, June 18th could totally be Kim Kardashian’s due date.
- West has brought in Skrillex, Chief Keef, and members of Odd Future. The Odd Future feature is especially not surprising as he is a huge Tyler, The Creator fan. For a while Tyler’s legendary “IFHY” music video was the only item featured on Yeezy’s website.
- According to Pigeons & Planes, there may be a Kanye/Gunplay collaboration in the works as well.
UPDATE #1: Kanye took the Met Gala stage by storm last night performing some new material. One song, presumably called “I Am A God,” began with him yelling that. Another featured him telling Kim K that she is so awesome (watch here). Lastly, Hudson Mohawke, half of TNGHT and recent G.O.O.D. Music signee, played a new Yeezy song at one of his sets.
Also, it has been reported that Kanye bought the Hudson beat below. Hopefully, the final product sees the light of day because the instrumental is FIRE.
UPDATE #2: Hud Mo played another new ‘Ye song, this one probably called “New Slaves,” at a recent set.
Kanye said: “You see there’s leaders and there’s followers, but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower.”
Update #3: Kanye stopped by Roseland Ballroom in NYC and performed ANOTHER new track as well as the song we think is called “Awesome.” SNL this weekend is going to be insane.
Update #4: ’Ye took to 66 buildings around the globe to project his new song “New Slaves.”
NEW SONG AND VISUAL FROM MY NEW ALBUM BEING PROJECTED TONIGHT ACROSS THE GLOBE ON 66 BUILDINGS, LOCATIONS @ KANYEWEST.COM
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 18, 2013
Update #5: Ugh. I’ll just embed a #tweet about this “Kanye” character. We can probably expect the “New Slaves” CDQ, featuring Frank Ocean tonight after SNL. Kanye’s album (title still not confirmed) Yeezus will be everywhere on June 18th.
New Kanye album may be called Yeezus, and will be out June 18th (Amazon). “New Slaves” CDQ features Frank Ocean. twitter.com/THEArjunGrover…
— Arjun (@THEArjunGrover) May 18, 2013
The countdown is on for the inaugural Bottle Rock Music & Art Festival in Napa Valley, California. The festival begins tomorrow night, Wednesday May 8th, with a headlining performance by none other than Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Between Wednesday and Sunday, the show will feature over 60 bands on three different stages, top wineries from the region, the best of the local food, a slew of microbrews, and today’s top comedians (including my personal favorite, Rob Delaney).
The festival has made quite a splash in the Northern California social sphere, as thousands of people flocked to the website on the day tickets first went on sale. Since then, the buzz has built and the nascent festival has amassed over 50,000 fans on Facebook.
So what’s all the fuss about? Well, aside from the local flavor of the greatest vineyard-filled land in the country, the lineup is rather impressive. Here are my top three picks for each day of the festival:
Wednesday 5/8: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (there aren’t many other performers this day, so I stuck to one here)
Thursday 5/9: The Avett Brothers, Delta Spirit, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Friday 5/10: The Black Keys, The Shins, Blues Traveler
Saturday 5/11: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Iron & Wine, Sharon Van Etten
Sunday 5/12: Grouplove, Mavis Staples, Rogue Wave
If you’re going out to the festival (see you there!) and are concerned about how to get around the area, fear not! One of my personal favorite transportation companies, Uber, will be set up in Napa with easy ways to get from place to place. They’ll have a bunch of cars set up ready to take you to and from your destination.
Lastly, continue reading for a playlist I put together with the Best of Bottle Rock musical performers.
It’s official: Justin Timberlake will be releasing the 2nd half of The 20/20 Experience on September 30, 2013. Rumor had it this was going to happen (?uestlove tweeted about it back in March), but today Justin Timberlake confirmed the rumor via a photo on Instagram.
The release will come just six months after The 20/20 Experience as we know it today was released. Already, that album has sold more than 1.5 million copies. It’s the best-selling album of 2013 so far.
I’ve been listening to Chance the Rapper’s new mixtape, Acid Rap, nonstop since yesterday. I haven’t allowed myself to listen to anybody else’s music. I also haven’t allowed myself to listen to the tape out of order, because it tells a really good story when listened front to back, left to right, top to bottom, whatever you want to call it. That said, I’m still the type of person who wants to pick a favorite song, and as I listened over and over again, I kept coming back to the beautiful ballad that is the seventh track, “Interlude (That’s Love).” It’s a short track, coming in at 2:29, but every second of it is pure love. Chance takes a break from talking about the acid trips, the love of the fans, the money, the clubs to say that what’s better than all of that is falling in love and loving family. (Hit the jump for the full lyrics for “Interlude (That’s Love).) Take a second to listen to Interlude (That’s Love) and let yourself fall in love with Chance the Rapper.
Ladies, and gentleman,
On Friday night in Minnepolis, Danny Brown got head from some random fan (she was a female, I think) while on stage. While having this act performed on Danny Brown’s unit, he still managed to keep rapping, and as he tweeted (before he deleted it) to Kendrick Lamar saying he didn’t miss a bar.
Jacked from the Huffington Post:
Brown was playing the city’s Triple Rock Social Club as part of The Old & Reckless tour when he invited some female fans to get closer to him, according to AllHipHop. However, one fan took that offer far further as others looked on. This NSFW photo that various publications have been linking to should clarify what happened.
One concertgoer near the front row explained what transpired with female fans grabbing at Brown’s crotch before one lady flashed the musician before performing fellatio on him.
“Then I’m behind her and I start getting pushed against her by the crowd shifting,” the fan wrote. “It horrible and i hope you guys will be donating to my future therapy sessions but also i came back with a story. He rapped the entire time during too.”
Is this real life? Danny Brown is a weird dood, we all knew that, but apparently he can spit bars and game while on stage, however, I cannot say the same for the female. Too much? Too far? Have a nice day.
Honesty time: I don’t really listen to Prince. I’ve always been more of an MJ guy, and I guess I’ve just never committed the time to actually investigating into Prince’s material. Because I’m lazy. Which, if you know me, explains a lot of things, but that’s besides the point.
Still, I appreciate Prince for what he is: a pop icon, a legend of the music industry, and… something else. Everyone knows the famous Chappelle Show skit of the basketball game at Prince’s house (“Game… blouses), but that was made up, right? Wrong. That actually happened. I believe there are sources out there to confirm this which I cannot find right now, but when I first heard that I was like, “Holy shit, seriously? Nah. No way Prince of all people does this. What the hell happens with Prince that we don’t know about because Dave Chappelle went batshit?”
And then, about a month or so ago, I stumbled upon what could be my best discovery since sliced bread: Stories About Prince. Not sure who writes these, but they are absolutely genius. Chronicling his various interactions with Prince, the author has written about Prince Buys Tortillas, Prince
Taking the Subway Needs Cab Fare, and Prince Plays MiniGolf (see picture above, probably my favorite). Make sure you throw the site a Like on Facebook, too.
Are they true? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
BONUS: Watch Kevin Smith Talk About Making a Documentary For Prince
Firstly, shoutout to Jack Devine, a classmate of mine at Central Catholic in Pittsburgh (the greatest high school ever in the history of high schools [shoutout Dan Marino]) for bringing this to my attention. In 2011, Kevin Smith was at Kent State University giving a lecture or fielding questions or something. A student brought up an alleged documentary that Smith made for Prince, and Smith tells what could be the best story of all time. It’s a fairly long video (30 minutes), but definitely worth watching all the way through. It got to the point where I was hysterically laughing in the library probably causing someone to tweet about how annoying I was being.
“It’s 3 in the morning. In Minnesota. I really need a camel.” – Prince
Quality movie soundtracks are some of my favorite things in life. When I think of some of the best movie soundtracks I’ve ever heard, I immediately think of Garden State and 500 Days of Summer. Just based on the list of artists featured on the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby, this mobie might be up there with one of those fantastic soundtracks. My one concern is that a large number of the featured artists are already too mainstream to really fit within the same bucket as Garden State and 500 Days of Summer. What stood out for me on those albums was that the music supervisors found songs by little-known artists at the time. They then became prominent artists in my life simply because I fell in love with them during those movies. I will say, though, that the Sia and Lana Del Rey songs on this album sound as though they’re going to be spectacular. Sample some of the songs on the soundtrack below and hit the jump for the full tracklist.
The Internet was set ablaze Saturday night as mysterious English-producer Jai Paul’s debut album seemed to leak. Discovered by the folks over at Crack In The Road, the album was found on a brand new Bandcamp page, seemingly par-for-the-course for someone like Paul.
But, after further investigation, it became apparent that something was “up” regarding this whole album. The tracks did not seem clean cut enough to be final cuts for an album, and little things like volume-fluctuation were abound over the course of the album, making the whole thing feel a bit fishy.
That said, Jai Paul took to the internets last night (using his first tweet!) to address the matter: Seems that someone leaked the album from Jai’s stolen laptop. Not sure what this means in the long run, but don’t buy that album, folks.
(BTW I’m still listening to “Jasmine” on repeat.)
To confirm: demos on bandcamp were not uploaded by me, this is not my debut album. Please don’t buy. Statement to follow later. Thanks, Jai
— Jai Paul (@jai_paul) April 15, 2013
(s/o Pigs&Planes for the background info as I’m still confused as to who this guy is)
I don’t…. like…. I mean….. Who the hell is Dizzy Wright?
XXL Mag last night let loose their usually-mediocre, always-controversial Freshman Class, which seems to have just gotten progressively worse over the years. Half of these people I can’t name a single song from (Ab-Soul [who I actually believe is good, but that's besides the point], Logic [token white guy?], Travi$ Scott [the newest member of the Hip-Hop SEO All-Stars], Dizzy Wright, and Angel Haze), two more I can name a single song from (Kirko Bangz and Trinidad Jame$), and the other three I actually enjoy (Bronson, Joey Bad, and Schoolboy Q).
I don’t know, man. Just seems weird that a dude who I’ve only heard of because I skipped a song featuring him on Cruel Summer is on here and Chance The Rapper isn’t, but what do I know? Not a lot, probably. I’mma just let Bauce Sauce say it.
LOL Logic on the XXL Cover looking like Danny from the TMNT movie when he hops out his dad’s car on the way to work to join the Foot Clan.
— ＬＡＲＲＹ ＢＩＲＤＭＡＮ (@BauceSauce) March 27, 2013
Oh, and shoutout to Action Bronson’s Oakley M Frames.
Mr. Scott Mescudi was kind enough to unleash the track list and artwork for his latest studio album, Indicud, which is slated to be in stores on April 23rd.
Can we just keep in mind that we just got JT’s new album, Skizzy Mars debut mixtape, Chance The Rapper‘s #AcidRap, and CuDi in later April. IS THIS REAL LIFE? Pinch me. Ain’t NOBODY got time for all that good music. JK. I do.
Just some quick thoughts on the track list:
- Love the features
- Love the singles (so far)
- Will be a breathe of fresh air.
- Won’t be as good as MOTM…mostly because I’m convinced it’s a classic.
1. The Resurrection Of Scott Mescudi
3. Just What I Am f/ King Chip
4. Young Lady f/ Father John Misty
5. King Wizard
7. Solo Dolo Part II f/ Kendrick Lamar
8. Girls f/ Too Short
9. New York City Rage Fest
10. Red Eye f/ Haim
11. Mad Solar
12. Beez f/ RZA
13. Brothers f/ King Chip & A$AP Rocky
14. Burn Baby Burn
15. Lord Of The Sad And Lonely
16. Cold Blooded
17. Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends) f/ Michael Bolton & King Chip
18. The Flight Of The Moon Man