Monday, January 24, 2011

Titus Jones - Culture Shock

On 2/28/2011, Titus will be releasing an album of mashups on his site. I can't wait to hear it because if this first track is any indication, he's created something pretty damn cool. So here is the preview: Hold Your Sexy Arms Against Me

Hold Your Sexy Arms Against Me - Britney + Cutting Crew + P!nk + David Guetta & Akon + Taylor Swift by titusjones

.:: EDIT ::.
Here is the Panos TV Video Remix of this track. It's super Brill if I do say so myself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shawn Brashear

In my experience, local unsigned music is hit or miss (unfortunately on the miss side more times than not); however, when you find an artist - and I mean an artist, it is important that you support them and help raise them up anyway you can. Last night, I was taken to the locally owned coffee shop, The Creme, to hear a friend of a friend play. Normally this is not my scene and I shouldn't be bothered but I decided to go. What I experienced was well worth my trip and I can't thank my friends enough.

Shawn Brashear is something of amazement to me because he has a sound that is not only bigger than this town but it is bigger than himself. I am always enamored with people that have so much inside of them that the only thing they can do is express it in an artistic manner either via song or painting or some outlet that gives a means of expression. I think that with Shawn, you have just that. You have someone that has something that needs to be said and he does just that and moreover there are people that need to hear what he has to say. So getting to his music. The show I attended was just him, his guitar and an intimate group of 30 or so of his closest friends. It is a mix of original work and covers that is thoughtful and measured.

During his set, he bears a little of who his is a song at a time until by the end, you feel like you've been hanging out with a friend for an hour or so. The music would be classified as Indie Rock and possibly could be set on the shelf between Radiohead, David Gray and Damien Rice. If you are a fan of singer/songwriters or if you are a fan of music in general then I can't recommend him enough.

His vocals have a raw edginess to them that bring more depth to the tracks than I think other vocalists could do. They also are more honest and help to bring you in closer and build a rapport with him.

He has a self released demo that I managed to snag a copy of last night and I have been spending a great deal of time with it today. If you want to hear the demo, you can go to his Facebook page and listen to the tracks there. In a small Midwestern town, we are honored to have someone of his talent and magnitude here. I, for one, and gracious and grateful enough to be able to say I knew him when. I want to write a track by track but I think I need to wait and come back when I've lived with the demo for a minute or two.

Facebook -

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Colton Ford - Innocent

Innocent (Taylor Swift Cover)

Push aside the distinguished salt and pepper hair. Nevermind the perfect pec and body chiseled out of marble. What is deceptively amazing about our friend Mr. Ford is that beneath all of the polished gorgeousness is a set of vocal cords that can do amazing things. He has released 2 albums, Tug of War and Under the Covers and both cater heavily to the circuit crowd. There's nothing wrong with that but when you actually have the talent to pull off vocals that don't need all the retooling and editing, I don't see why you do it. Now before we get too deep, realize that Colton is a man with a past. A past he'll talk about openly, but a past none the less. You see our friend was an adult film star and made well over 20 films before hanging up his jock strap and lube to follow his passion and become a recording artist. Now this is tricky because his past is going to follow him no matter where he goes so instead of ditching his stage name for a new one, he embraces it and pushes forward. I am a fan of Colton. Hands down. I dig his music, his image and everything that goes with it. What I like the most about him is his unprocessed vocals like you find all over the majority of the 2 studio albums. The single above is on neither album and I dig the hell out of it. It showcases his vocals and proves that he is more than just a pretty, well defined and chiseled face. It is a cover of a Taylor Swift song (I've never heard it so it's new to me) and I am damn pleased with it.

Most people find him to be hit or miss because of how over processed some of his tracks are but give these 2 a listen. Ashes to Ashes is my favorite off of the Under the Covers album and I think he is more than someone to create the soundtrack for the White Party.

Ashes to Ashes (Faith No More Cover)

Beth Ditto - Open Heart Surgery

You should know by now that I am a HUGE Gossip fan. I think Beth Ditto is gorgeous and her vocals are bar none. She has released an EP without the other members of The Gossip and I don't really understand why. I actually never really understand that because when the lead singer releases a solo project isn't it really still just them. Brandon Flowers, Rob Thomas, Gwen Stefani....they are all still pretty much the same as their band incarnations. And for the most part, I think I am gonna have to agree with that sentiment with this as well. It's still Beth on vocals without Brace and Hannah. This track is a collaboration with Simian Mobile Disco and it does a bang up job of showcasing her talents and I want to have high hopes for the EP. I hope that I can pop it in and be blown away by her vocals.

Penguin Prison - Something I'm Not

It appears that I am late to the game with this artist but I can damn sure tell you that I'd rather be late than not be there at all. This track is good. It's not just good it's GOOD. It has a beat that seeps into you and makes your head bob and your ass bounce a little. I dig that and the vocals are solid. Again, when you take an electronic type song and throw male vocals on tends to be hit or miss and for one, this is a hit. Rock solid, dead on. I am going to do some more digging around and learn more about this group and I will get back with everyone on what I find.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tiësto vs. Diplo ft. Busta Rhymes - C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise)

You want something sick to get you hyped up and ready to take on the world? This will do it. I have been a fan of Busta since the Tribe days and his flow on this does not let me down. Add the sickest beats possible by Tiesto and Diplo and you have a bangin ass track that will get you movin. The video is off the chain and the dancers are blowin that shit up. Those finger tuts are CAH-RAZY!!!

Wow that was really tough to write that review in that manner. It's an awesome song and it shows you that there is more to hip hop than your standard tracks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Robyn - Hyperballad

This is one of my most fabvorite songs of all time. When I heard it for the first time, I was so moved by Bjork's lyrics that I just sat with the track for hours on end. Now to run across this version of the song...I find that those emotions are still there but they are more refined now. Robyn does amazing things with the track but treats it with the respect it deserves. I'm glad that this cover exists and I will make it part of my life now, as well. Much respect to you Robyn.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Casey Spooner featuring Jake Shears - Spanish Teenager

Jake Shears can do no wrong in my eyes and for him to lend his vocals to this song is a-ok with me. The song is a grower and not a shower. Just let it roll around in your brain for a while and the syrupy dreaminess of it will creep up on you and make you a fan. I think there is a lot to this song that make it amazing and you can't deny the absolute sex appeal of the video. I think that Casey and Jake should be proud.

Magnetic Man - The Bug

05-magnetic man - the bug by Spa_Water

Anytime you have someone whisper in a song, it's fucking creepy. This song as a whole makes me nervous starting from the first beat all the way through to the end. The whispering part, however is the creepiest part and it's exciting at the same time.

Hunt in the garden of false opportunity
I am the bug in this global community
Ravage your conscience with total impunity
I am the bug in this global community
Seek and provoke degradation and lunacy
I am the bug in this global community
Go tell your new God to beware of my heresy
I am the bug in this global community

Ke$ha - Blow

Massive Airplay and club domination is in the future for the next single of Ke$ha's sophomore release, Cannibal. I don't care if you don't like her rep or her attitude or her image you can not deny her pop credibility. I think Ke$ha is a fucking genius and sits around her New York penthouse and rolls around in piles of her money.

Set Fire Run - I Don't Mind At All

I Don't Mind At All by setfirerun

OMG I NEED an album from Set Fire Run. How can you not listen to this and be excited!! That bass line is sick and the vocals are so tight. Set Fire Run was known as Dyno but they chose a new name and have released a ton of tracks without actually creating an album and their body of work is so incredible they could release 2 or 3 albums with so much amazing work on them. They have a Soundcloud (as shown above) and a Facebook (Link) and you need to rush over to both of them and follow, stalk, subscribe or whatever it takes to get them to release an album.

Kendall - Darker Than Black

The pace isn't breakneck but there's something that isn't trustworthy about the tempo. It has a general uneasiness to it that makes this song just a little bit dangerous. The beat throbs and pulses and takes you about as far as you can get from Deeper Than Blue. It almost seems as if this song is dragging you forward, pulling you by the hand as you both run from some unseen terror but it still maintains the thoughtfulness and raw power that the previous track from 11 had. You have to get away but there are things that can never be unseen or unheard. It seems if regardless of how much you need to be heard you fall upon deaf ears or perhaps your ears are those that aren't going to hear what is being forced upon you to hear. It's not that you don't want to hear it but maybe you've heard it one too many times or maybe what's being said is more than you can bear to hear. You run from it, if only in your mind. You try to get as far away as you can so that you are able to protect yourself from getting hurt again. Or it could be about Safeway being out of Gatorade.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Graffiti6 - Stare into the Sun & Annie You Save Me

Mix a little of everything together musically and package it together behind the very attractive face of Jamie Scott and you get Graffiti6. You don't know this Europop duo yet, but I hope they are massive in 2011. Stare into the Sun was the first track I heard from them and I was sold. They have other tracks and singles and they are all as easily accessible as this one. Here is the video for Annie You Save Me

Again, another track that is effortless and easy and just makes you feel good. Like I said, I look forward to big things from these guys.

FrankMusik - The Fear Inside

People all over Youtube want to yell and complain and say that this single screams of wanting American acceptance for his music and while the sound is a bit different than what we've had from Vince in the past but I think it's still good and still has a new wave sound to it. But then again, I am also American so it may be pandering to my musical tastes. I don't think so but I can't say I'm not totally biased. Regardless, I am excited for a new album and I can't wait to hear what else he has in store for us.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kendall - Deeper Than Blue

I've been threatening myself with writing reviews of Kendall's albums, I just seem to never get around to it. I love Kendall, I think not only is he a talented artist - damn talented at that, I think he is gorgeous and a damn fine showman. I've been a fan of his since I saw the video for Hip Hop Dykes years ago on youtube and haven't stopped internet stalking him since. I've read his Livejournal, his myspace, his facebook and his youtube channel because of how impressed I am with him. I will get around to writing those reviews of Ain't Love Queer/Plain White Rapper, Making Love to the Radio and Truth Changes but for now I need to talk about this new single.

I will say this, I love his tracks like Hip Hop Dykes and Heterosexual Sex and Skip on the Record but the tracks that leave me speechless like Spiders, Truth Changes and God in Two Persons are the ones that I always come back to. So back to the new single, Deeper than Blue. I don't really know where to start. I think it's with the minimalist concept for the video. Not only is Kendall baring his soul in the lyrics, he's baring his body as well. Strip away everything that gives him protection and all you have is a man. I think that each of us can find the place that Kendall is talking about and we all have some experience with the feelings he is sharing. How can you love someone that won't love themselves? How can you expect someone to be willing to accept your heart when they freeze you out in the heat or burn you in the cold.

This song is going to be with me for months to come because it has touched me so deeply. I think it takes a special person to be able to do that as well. Give it a listen and see how it makes you feel.

Titus Jones + Panos TV = Mashup Perfection

If you've followed this blog at all, you know I love Mash ups but I love them more when they are amazing. I ran across a YouTube link to this video and thought I'd check it out. When I did, I spent the next 2 hours on YouTube watching the videos over and over again and wanted more. Creating a mash up is so much more than taking two songs and sticking them together. You have to know what is gonna work well and you have to have the artistry it takes to pull it off and make it believable otherwise it's just gonna be a big ole mess (Singing in the Rain/Umbrella from Glee). This artist knows what he's doing and does it well.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cadillac Sky, no more.....

Several years ago, I was introduced to a group called Cadillac Sky. They are a bluegrass group that people have classified as "New Grass". They are a younger group of guys with more modern sound to traditional bluegrass. I first saw them at Romp (River of Music Party) back in 2007 or 2008, I believe and became a fan. And just got to see them again in November while on tour with Mumford and Sons. With innovative takes on songs like Basket Case by Green Day to I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie, the boys in C-Sky never failed to impress. With a heavy heart today, they announced they would be going on indefinite hiatus.

Here's the official announcement from their Facebook page (Link)

Goodbye friends. I wish you well on all your future endeavors

Invisible Light - Scissor Sisters

Possibly one of my most favorite songs by the Sisters. This video captures everything the song embodies with such elegance and grace it's hard to see it any other way. I want to see the whole movie these clips were taken from because the story is sure to blow you away. The creativity and innovation in this video are so amazing I can't say enough good about it. As a bonus, I'll throw in this video from a live Google Session they did of the song Lights.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Breathe Life - Brian Kent

House Music is a tricky thing. If either the production value or the vocals are off in the slightest, the entire sound is done for. Throw in the curve ball of a male vocalist in house music and the potential for disaster is increased 10 fold. I'm a fan of New Now Next Pop Music on Logo and I watch it as often as I can so that I can get introduced to dance music I might not have been introduced to otherwise. So I was watching the other day and found the following video:

Normally, I'm not a fan of the uplifting,feel good song but something about this one grabbed me and made me take notice. I don't know if it was the video itself or if it was Brian but the song quickly grew on me. Enough so that I ran to youtube and started looking for other videos. I found the videos for Whatcha Doin to Me, I'm Not Crazy and Breathe Life. Still impressed with the quality of the writing and the overall music, I bought his CD from Once I have gotten a full opportunity to actually spend time with the tracks, I'll do a Track by Track but right now I don't think I can fully do that justice. I can tell you that Everything Changes is shaping up to be my favorite track on the album. More than anything, though, I think it's necessary to support independent artists like Brian because they are what music is about. Not the mega stars that are so over processed you can't really hear a real note in their whole discography. So I leave you with the title track, Breathe Life and see how you like it.