Archive | May, 2013

An Open Letter to Mariah Carey and Miguel’s #Hashtag

29 May

#Beautiful

I can’t exactly put my finger on why it is that typing the phrase “#Beautiful” into my Spotify search bar makes me feel like an asshole, but it does. I can say that the moment I hit enter, I looked back at it and just thought, Really, world? This is what it’s come to?

#Beautiful

Of course, they’re not the first to capitalize on the hashtag phenom…just take a look at #will.i.am.

And while I’m here, can we all just agree that the album art straight looks like a high school graphic design class project? What is that butterfly graphic on the bottom? You can’t try to be all 2013 on us with the hashtag thing, and then this is font you use. And what is Mimi even doing right there? Okay, done. Listen below:

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The New Kanye West and Lil Wayne Features No One Knows About

26 May

WestBam-Gotterstrasse

When talent as big as Kanye West or Lil Wayne lend their verses to a track, it’s pretty hard to miss. Many an artist has risen to fame with the endorsement of one of these rappers as a feature on a breakout song, and fans flock to any new rhymes from the moguls, even if over another MC’s tune.

That’s why I was shocked to see both Kanye and Weezy’s names appear amidst the track list of German producer WestBam’s latest effort, Götterstrasse.

Not only is the mashup of a techno legend with two contemporary rappers a little weird, but it’s even more weird that no one seems to know that it even exists.

WestBam’s career spans back to 1988, when he released his first of 11 full-lengths. While he’s found massive success overseas, his popularity stateside has been a little more minimal – so much so that Götterstrasse is near-impossible to find in American retail outlets (luckily, snippets are available to stream on WestBam’s Facebook page.)

Leave it to YouTubers to upload pieces of the record to the web for those of us who can’t get our hands on the real thing. Check out Wayne on “Kick it Like a Sensei” and Kanye on “Radio Siberia,” below:

UPDATE 6/12/13: The YouTube upload of “Radio Siberia” was removed by the user, so here’s a snippet from the official WestBam SoundCloud:

Why Commenting on the New Daft Punk is Best Left to the Adults

14 May

I remember being a freak as a teenager for listening to electronic music. Yet, the same kids who didn’t understand it then are the ones going to what we call “raves” now. In the era of David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Chromeo, it’s easy to call this a “comeback” of these industry legends and way-pavers, but it’s more about perspective than anything else and too few of the people chiming in on Random Access Memories actually have it.

Daft Punk

I’m not here to say I’m an expert on the genre, because I, too, am just a 21-year-old. I didn’t live through the birth of disco or ever see Kraftwerk live. I never got to watch the charts get taken over by new wave hits as electro and rock converged into the mainstream the 80s.

I am part of the generation that’s embracing whatever form the genre has taken in recent years with the rise of dubstep and electro-indie music. We only know Daft Punk because people tell us we should. We heard a cool hook on a Kanye West song once, that maybe we thought we recognized from a commercial or something. We went and saw Tron: Legacy because Pitchfork said the soundtrack would be something not to miss.

https://soundcloud.com/thewax/dft-punk

Now that Daft Punk is going all-in and finally releasing a full-length, we’re glomming on to that, too, in an effort to embrace what’s supposed to be cool at that moment. The hype surrounding this couldn’t be bigger.

While I am part of this generation, I like to think I have a little more perspective on it than they, with a few extra years of electronic music fandom under my belt that goes way further back than the great Rise of David Guetta in summer 2010 – what kind of kick-started the latest Top 40 electro trend (which, ironically, has even come to include Daft Punk’s latest single, “Get Lucky.”) But still, I won’t pretend I lived through the 70’s ’til now, let alone Daft Punk’s debut to their overdue comeback.

We’re a generation that talks big, backed by the ability to fact-check at our fingertips. We can go on Spotify and listen to Daft Punk’s entire discography in an afternoon. There. Up to speed. Right?

Not quite.

I’m happy that the band is finding a new audience in a younger generation. It guarantees them some semblance of staying-power. So Tweet, Facebook, Tumbl all you want – but please, kids, from one peer to another, let’s not put on this facade of having some high-horse perspective that we invented after reading the band’s Wikipedia page.

It almost strikes me as offensive the way I’m seeing my friends treat this as a viral phenom. It’s not about who listened to the leak first or how many “likes” you can get on the megaupload link you posted on Facebook. Take a second to slow down and try to genuinely understand why it is that so much value is being placed in this album.

And while you’re listening, leave the commenting to the critics, to the musicians, to your parents.

And if your first brush with the genre came two years ago at EDC, for the love of God, just keep your mouth shut.

I Take Back Anything I May Have Said About Ke$ha’s “New Look”

10 May

Damn, girl! Why are you doing this? Come on!

Kesha

(Ke$ha on the set of her upcoming “Crazy Kids” video.)