For those who haven’t seen:
And this too:
Mad e-props to anyone who knows where the post title comes from.
It wasn’t long ago that I saw a female singer as strange. My music library was decidedly masculine and contained very few, if any, bands fronted by women. That has long since changed, as my music tastes have found room for the occasional listen to a purely poppy album or two.
I’ve previously discussed my love for Chiddy Bang’s “Under the Sheets” remix of Ellie Goulding. Through that, I checked out her full album, and much to my surprise, I loved it. I’m not sure why I like it so much, but I found my self not being able to stop listening to it for about a week or so. I think it’s the English accent. It’s just so cute. English accent + Autotune = awesome. Have a listen to “Guns and Horses:”
La Roux’s “Bulletproof” has been gaining some radio play lately, and deservedly at that. Another UK export, La Roux is fronted by the “androgynous” Elanor Jackson, notable for her hair and intense looks. “La Roux” roughly means “red-haired-one” in French, with a male connotation. How fitting!
Looks aside, La Roux is perfectly electropoppy in all the right ways. The lyrics are nothing too awesome, but that doesn’t really matter. Here’s “In For the Kill:” (Look up The Twelves’ remix of this if you’re looking for a dance party)
Unless you have been deaf your whole life and have only recently regained your sense of hearing thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, I’m sure you’ve heard of Ke$ha and “Tik Tok.” I wouldn’t blame you if you’re sick of hearing it and are annoyed at Ke$ha and the ridiculous dollar sign in her name. You can think whatever you’d like, but Ke$ha’s Animal will always have a place in my heart. I guess I have a thing for females and their autotuned voices. Animal is maybe a bit long, and could benefit from removing some songs (especially Dinosaur), but if you frequent the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 322, you will probably see me speeding and shamelessly singing the majority of the songs on this album. I love her album, but there’s some things about Ke$ha I find hard to like. Her dollar sign, her wardrobe, and her whole image in general come to mind.
Good thing none of those things affect my enjoyment of her album. You’ve probably heard it already, but here’s “Your Love is My Drug:”
Lastly, we have a mix between The Rapture and a little bit of Karen O in the form of Australian band Cassette Kids. Their debut Nothing On TV was released in April, and is very awesome. It also helps that the lead singer is very attractive.
The album is delightfully energetic and solid all the way through. I guess this falls under ‘synthpop’ maybe. I never know. Either way, you need to listen, so here:
That’s all for this edition of Ayo, Females. Tune in next time for The Twelves, because posting about them this time made me want to do them justice with a full post.
A little bit ago, I was introduced to this video:
Pretty sweet right? A little while later I wanted to watch it again, and saw that the description stated that the video was cut from the La Blogotheque podcast. Having never heard of this strange french word, I did my best to become an internet sleuth, and used the great powers of google to find the La Blogotheque website. Which was completely in French, and contained no english button to press. I took french in high school, but I can’t live without the english button. Further sleuthing revealed that La Blogotheque had a youtube channel, complete with 211 videos. Thankfully, bands have english names, so perusing the list of videos made me very very happy. It turns out that La Blogotheque goes around Paris filming all kinds of impromptu concerts performed by recognizable artists, edits them quite fancily, and posts them to make everyone jealous that they weren’t there. Here’s another one of my favorites, Andrew Bird walking around Montmartre:
I think if I saw Andrew Bird walking around Montmartre my head would explode. Either that or I would pee my pants.
The Arcade Fire in an elevator:
Cold War Kids on a rolly cart thing:
I’m From Barcelona:
I could go on and on and on with all these videos, as there’s really a ton of stuff on there. Some notable bands include Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, The Dodos, Man Man, The Thermals, Castanets, Stephen Malkmus, Beirut, Yeasayer, Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Au Revoir Simone, Islands, Xiu Xiu, The Spinto Band, and tons more. Most have multiple videos, including more from the artists in the videos I posted.
Sadly, the video updates have slowed greatly, there being only a spattering of updates in the past year, the most recent about a month ago. Though as it stands, there are plenty of videos great for time wasting and mind blowing. Before you click, be prepared to waste lots of time:
In the haze of finals and other things keeping me busy, a ton of new albums have been released/leaked. Perhaps the one I’ve been most excited for is High Violet, The National’s follow-up to Boxer, which still stands as one of my favorite albums. I’m only a few listens deep, but my initial reaction is that it’s certainly a solid album. It would be greedy to ask for another Boxer, which High Violet isn’t. The new album certainly has some similarities to the old, sometimes sounding like the band has some sort of album formula that it enacts on its songs. There’s the upbeat-guitar-driven song, followed by the slow-sad-piano song, leading to the bass-driven-vocal track and on and on. Not that that’s a horrible thing. If you like The National’s sound, you’ll like this album, and I certainly do. I can’t imagine not liking anything that contains Matt Berninger’s voice. Listen to “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” because that’s all they’ll let me link to:
I was also very excited for the new Band of Horses album, Infinite Arms. As sometimes happens when hopes are high, I was very disappointed. As one comment I saw put it, the band has ventured further to the ‘beard side’ with this album.
Though I loved both of Band of Horses first albums, I found it hard to listen to their newest effort. After struggling through the first listen, I haven’t gone back for another. Perhaps it’ll grow on me, but for now I’ll stick to Cease to Begin and Everything All the Time. Up until now the band, replete with beards if you haven’t guessed, has balanced their bearded country roots with rock in a deliciously listenable way. Now, that balance is all gone, leaving Infinite Arms lacking the edge that made their previous albums great. When they seemingly try to regain that edge, the band comes off sounding like Rooney. Have a listen for yourself, and tell me that this isn’t a Rooney song.
Oh shit you can’t listen cause I got yelled at!
I like Rooney and everything, but this song doesn’t belong. I leave you with this download link, and a recommendation to approach with caution. Oh shit no I don’t cause I got yelled at! Don’t worry, it’s probably for the best.
Foals’ Antidotes was a recent discovery of mine that left me wondering how I had missed out on it for so long. Luckily for me, soon after my discovery, I learned that Total Life Forever, Foals’ sophomore effort, was due out soon. I put off listening to it for a while for reasons I’m not really sure of, but upon finally listening to it I was pleasantly satisfied. A perfect progression from Antidotes, the new album is very rewarding for the patient listener. There’s not really much to say other than download it already. It’s sure to be on many Album of the Year lists, unless the fall brings some kind of crazy musical apocalypse (in a good way). Here’s “Spanish Sahara:”
Broken Social Scene finally has released a proper album, after having their fun with the “Broken Social Scene Presents…” series. Entitled Forgiveness Rock Record, it’s not very different from the sound that everyone has come to expect from them. There’s nothing surprising about it, other than the fact that they have trimmed the list of official band members from over 15 to 7. I can’t say that I like it any better than their other studio efforts, which isn’t saying much because I love Broken Social Scene and You Forgot it in People a whole lot. At the very very least, Forgiveness Rock Record is very good, something that I’ve come to expect from BSS. They’ve certainly set a high standard with their previous work in the studio, including the “BSS Presents…” series, and this lives up to that standard. That being said, I don’t think it will be replacing any of their older efforts in my heart, but it’s very well-done and only adds to the great body of work that Broken Social Scene has created.
I’ve never understood the need for artists to create alter egos for themselves. Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce routine just seemed silly. Giving herself a porn star’s name and staying the same otherwise? OK, whatever you want. (When googling for the spelling of Sasha, I came across this which was a good laugh.) Anyway, In the case of B.o.B./Bobby Ray Simmons, the discrepancy actually makes sense. B.o.B. successfully bridges the gap between rap, pop, folk, and a number of other genres in The Adventures of Bobby Ray. My guess is B.o.B. is the rapper while Bobby Ray plays the pop songs. Bobby Ray just doesn’t seem like a name that would go over so well in the ‘hood. Be it B.o.B. or Bobby Ray singing, the album is very listenable, especially in a summer setting. T.I. is listed as a producer, which is certainly a good endorsement to have if you’re Bobby Ray. Although I get a little annoyed at lyrics that continually talk about B.o.B./Bobby Ray and the confusion at who is really singing, it’s impossible to be mad after hearing some of the hooks on the album. The discussion of B.oB./Bobby Ray is even more prevalent on one of his mixtapes, entitled B.o.B. vs. Bobby Ray. That’s not a joke. As for the music, I definitely can hear a little of John Legend in Bobby Ray’s voice on the first song, “Don’t Let Me Fall.” I’ve wanted to give the whole album a few more listens through, but I find myself never getting past the second track and putting it on repeat. Listen to “Nothin’ on You,” featuring Bruno Mars:
That’s all for now, until the next time I’m bombarded with highly-anticipated leaks during the busiest week of my year. Next up is a youtube treasure trove of impromptu performances by some awesome people.
P.S. Go Flyers!
Maybe I just like loop pedals