Archive for April, 2014


Bangin’ out the iPhone speakers…

But I know so many people who listen to music out of their iPhone speakers. It becomes background noise, part of the wash. It makes music not special anymore. If you eat pizza all the time, it doesn’t taste like pizza anymore.


Nick Waterhouse doesn’t like your smartphone and its audio capabilities. In ‘Music Is More Mobile Than Ever, But Convenience Comes At a Price’ the Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot speaks of how empowered today’s music consumer is and how challenging being an artist in 2014 truly is because of music’s ubiquity and undervalued worth.

Now I can’t condone someone using their smartphone’s speakers to experience music, but ya know, as a last resort, sometimes it happens. The speaker is an essential piece of — can I say furniture — anyone’s bedroom. Mistakes happen though, and water can be a speaker killer.  One second you’re shaking it; then the next your loved one is flustered and flailing like a wet fish knocking over drinks on the audio furniture.

Like a sensual dance or a straight up striptease, music can seduce. It should be an essential component in your about to get down repertoire. And because my dance moves are only best performed in front of the mirror, alone, and the only striptease I have is by Hawksley Workman, the playlist has become an integral part of foreplay. Without it, I’ve hit a dry spell. So for the past few weeks, with the most essential bedroom piece since the mattress out of commission, it’s either a silent soundtrack to our last dance, or a crackled, faint bump wafting out of my smartphone’s tinny sounding speakers. Whatever, Waterhouse, the latter always equals some of the best tasting pizza.



Lorde’s ‘Team’ reimagined by Local H…

“I remember going down a Lorde rabbit hole on YouTube last summer, and the song that really stuck with me was ‘Team.’ The lyrics killed me. They were everything I’d been wanting to hear someone say in a pop song. I sorta teared up a little. I tried playing an acoustic version at a show in January, but quickly realized that the song was an anthem and should be rocked out. Besides, acoustic Lorde is the Boss’s territory now.”

We already know Local H is recreating others’ songs for their Awesome Mixtape #2. Today one of those renditions surfaces in the form of a studio video. Chicago’s duo chose ‘Team’ off Lorde’s 2013 Pure Heroine LP. Check the debut studio track from the newly reincarnated Local H…



Best Britpop Anthem?

The AV Club surveyed 30,000 BBC radio listeners and Pulp’s dance anthem ‘Common People’ came out on top. No surprises here — I would have said the same.


!!!’s take on Nate Dogg’s Get Up…

3.5 minutes is simply not enough time to find your groove. Who said doubling that length is the perfect formula? The ideal length, after much experimentation, seems to be nine minutes and 49 seconds or, the duration of Chk Chk Chk‘s rendition on Nate Dogg’s ‘Get Up’. The original is a mid-tempo party jam, one that invokes a raise of your glass, a synchronized head nod with the beat, and a pimp-like strut. But if you’ve witnessed a !!! live show, they don’t grace your stage to do something mid-tempo –they’re there to make you move. Really, lose yourself. Perhaps, dance yrself clean.

The fire begins immediately care of a blues riff on the keys; Nic’s gruff Nate Dogg impersonation layered on top of the groove, shimmer, and ass movin’ beat. But at the halfway point is where everything is flipped. Vocal effects, head spinning production, double time tempo and enough space in the track to give your best Nic impersonation. It’s Friday, GET UP….


Royksopp & Robyn back at it…

The Swedish songstress Robyn and Norway’s formidable duo Royksopp are back in the lab. Their chemistry seems to bring out the best in both: Royksopp lays down a hypnotic, club ready beat, while the party ready Robyn and her uplifting voice seamlessly meld into it.

Get excited because this Scandinavian trio is touring. Check the promo video for the “Do It Again” tour. A throbbing, guttural pulse bumps throughout — and I want to travel to catch this spectacle…



Goose still has the ability to electrify…

Sure music can be mood dependent — but is it time dependent too? Can I only listen to Blue Nile before bed? Justice‘s truly essential Essential mix is only listenable pre-step out on a weekend night, right? Is it kosher to put on Soulwax’s ‘Nite Versions’ upon a 5:30 AM wakeup? When’s the last time you got down with GT’s ‘Night Ripper’ while everyone else was still in a deep slumber? It’s never too early for that.

Goose’s “Bring It On” hit me hard way back in 2007. Friday morning rolled around, this would have been a go-to let’s start the weekend track. The pulses through the dirty synths raced through me as crust lay in my eyes and my vision was half blurred from a night’s sleep. But forget the slow wake. A banger like this was a week’s worth of caffeine.

Fast forward seven/eight years and Goose’s ‘Bring It On’ LP still bangs. When dark Vitalic meets a spastastic Dismemberment Plan and its only goal is to shake something — or piss off your neighbor, Goose’s 2006 ‘Check’ is what I’m still reaching for…



The frequency on ‘Black Gloves’ finds its way to more BPMs than I can shake to as the radioactive synths cause a deeply intense rhythmic beat. Why isn’t this being played at all major sporting events?

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April 2014