“Jungle” is one of those tracks that knocks you right on the jab and you keep coming back for more. By far my favorite song on Professor Green’s album, the True Tiger produced heat opens up with a haunting melody by Maverick Sabre that still gives me the chills every time it comes up on the speakers. The music video, directed by Henry Scholfield (who directed four of Professor Green videos), is visually tense and a very literal illustration of a [hard] life in the [concrete] jungle. I’ve been pretty hooked on this track and realized it is mostly because of Maverick Sabre. Make sure to grab his mixtape here and, needless to say, keep an eye out for this kid! Below, catch the videos for Professor Green “Jungle” and Maverick Sabre “Sometimes.”
This is one of those songs that just won’t leave your head. I first discovered Fenech-Soler on the Groove Armada single “Paper Romance” earlier this year. The band has been around since 2006, but their first album just dropped this past September. I’m sure a feature on one of the best records of the year didn’t hurt getting things off the ground, but “Lies” has all that makes an electropop tune contagious. The production is a mix of Digitalism and Miike Snow with some occasional hints of Daft Punk, and the vocals have that Chris Martin quality to it… I dig it all around! Check out the video below:
“Now I’m in your house… now I’m in your souls…”
Staying on topic and not intentionally. But I woke up to an email from Ethan Lader, who directed B.o.B.’s video for “Nothing On You” and just finished the music video for B.o.B.’s latest single, “Don’t Let Me Fall.” Just the other day I was surfing channels and came across an acoustic performance of this song on Palladia. It’s hypnotizing, I couldn’t switch until it was over. His delivery fuels me in such a way that it awakens all the butterflies inside and makes my whole body warm up. I just love this feeling and love it more when music does that. Check out below Bobby Ray’s latest single “Don’t Let Me Fall.”
“What goes up, must come down, but don’t let me fall” … can you feel it?!!
B.o.B. aka Bobby Ray is a musical genius. At only 19, the Atlanta-native began his path to world take-over. From his lyrics, to his flow, to his production styles, B.o.B. is one of the few new artists that has true substance with a natural gift to entertain. His debut album features hit singles “Nothing On You” and “Airplanes,” and was pretty hard to miss, no matter where you were in the world. The album also highlighted the artist’s pop sensibility and quickly established it’s singles in the mainstream. Side note: That also brought out the haters and those who challenged him as a hip-hop act. Well, crazy. Hip-hop is a fusion of sounds & cultures… a musical manifestation of souls, and B.o.B. is capable of doing just that. So, if you have been hungry for some new material (treats!) or if you still have doubts about his hip-hop excellence (insane!), be on the lookout for B.o.B.’s No Genre Mixtape, unleashing December 7. Below, check out the video for the properly titled track “Beast Mode.”
I was lucky to catch Adele doing an intimate performance of her new songs in LA a few weeks ago. Like many of you, I’m a big fan of “Chasing Pavements,” you can’t help but love her voice and way with words. I was surprised to find out she was only 19 when the first album came out. This was my first live experience, and girl just blew me out of the water. Her presence in enchanting, her voice sooo powerful and the new music is totally infectious. “Rolling In The Deep” rang in my head for the rest of the night and weeks. Now I can play this over and over again until the new album, 21, comes out on February 22. Enjoy!
Just before we went on a little hiatus, I had the opportunity to hear the new Mark Ronson record. It was 2006, when Ronson’s version of “Just” was included in a Radiohead tribute album, and the soul of the record grabbed me even more than the original (crazy to admit!). A year later he followed with an instrumentally rich and elegantly fun collection of covers, or re-imaginations, or: Version. In 2010, the award-winning artist/producer is getting ready to unleash Record Collection, original and loaded with special guest from Q-Tip to D’angelo to Wiley and Simon LeBon (both on the title track which is also my favorite cut) the album is the one collection you will want to get this fall.
Check out the video for the first track to hit the net, “Circuit Breaker” (I love Zelda too!), and hear the first single “Bang Bang Bang” featuring Q-Tip and MNDR (Santigold?).
Bang Bang Bang:
On a much lighter note than our previous post, this may be old news for some over in Europe, but hey, they are the “L-E-K-I-D the only thing your momma ever wanna see!!!” They are just FUN! I love everything about this video, the song is hella catchy and I just want to be there with them, please! Besides, what’s with Sweden?!! Everything I fall in love with musically is coming out of that place lately!
Well, in anticipation of the summer season that seems to be taking a little longer to hit LA this year, enjoy the video for Le Kid “Mercy Mercy” below:
When I heard MIA’s new track “Born Free,” the first thing to come to mind was Justice’s “Stress”… the song gave me the creeps and I guess I wasn’t alone. MIA recruited French director Romain Gavras (who also directed the disturbing visuals that accompanied Justice’s “Stress”) to orchestrate her latest video, a sort of short-film, for “Born Free.” You can’t help but put those two videos together. Both are disturbing, both add more tension to a song that was so freakin’ tense to begin with, both are bothersome and yet, you can’t look away till it’s over. Already an internet hit… or controversy, knock yourself out here!
Last day and we want to make the most of it. We drive so we can leave whenever and we also got there much earlier. Walking into B.o.B. singing “I’ll Be In The Sky” set the tone for the musical heaven ahead of us. B.o.B. also did what most hip-hop artists can’t do, he owned that main stage! Mayer Hawthorne had a great drawing and it was a nice surprise to see how diverse the crowd was too. We heard a few De La Soul tracks and went over to watch Brooklyn’s most adorable & bad ass duo, Matt & Kim. Those kids put on the most energy-fueled set of the festival, being the stand-out act for many concert-goers. Even the dance police showed up for it! Also caught the last song by Florence & The Machine, when drink time arrived.
Short break and it’s time for Jonsi. Loved watch him play as well as the outfit he was wearing. Extra points for pulling that off during day-time at Coachella. Charlotte Gainsbourg totally held her own at the Gobi tent and I got to hear my favorite tunes “Trick Pony” and “Heaven Can Wait.” Miike Snow delivered another top performance of the weekend and I could not leave until they played the last note. Off to Phoenix (after Sly Stone failed to appear), the French rockers too got us “grounded” until their set was completely over, so good. Pavement was kind of blah, so we went to sweat it off at the Sahara tent with Orbital. Enough of a work out, we peaked at Little Boots – over-rated – and head over to meet the crew for Tom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace. What an amazing show!
It was during their set that I witnessed my favorite non-music moment of Coachella: A girl walks-up to us and asks if we lost a camera, we say no and command her for her nice gesture. She walks away and we talk about how cool it is that she is looking for the owner, a girl a few heads ahead of us turns around at the sound of the world camera… “lost camera? you found a camera?”… wow! The other girl comes back and gives her the camera and it was like a spotlight descended from the skies over the two of them while they hugged. Applauses all around. And great karma too!
Now all there is left is the one and only reason I motivated so eagerly to spend the kind of money it takes for a weekend at Coachella. Gorillaz. There, between the two front speakers staring right at the middle of the stage, I had the most amazing time of the entire weekend! From the intro with Snoop on the big screens, to appearances by Little Dragon, Bobby Womack, Gi-Scott Heron, De La Soul and more, they played an impeccable live set, the real band right in front of our eyes, and full of visual stimulation. The only thing that could have made it better, was if they had played “Pirate Jet,” lol. Not complaining, perfect ending to another magical time in the desert!
After a nice day at the pool, we rolled into Coachella in a packed Suburban that took us through the “back door” helping avoid all the crazy car and people traffic. We walked into the venue as Tokyo Police Club played at the main stage. While I like the band, it wasn’t a very impressive set, so we jetted over to Gossip to witness Beth Ditto throw a major party (for major girls!!) at the Mojave tent. We walked by The Raveonettes who sounded pretty good as we got closer to The XX. Those guys were awesome and delivered a perfect soundtrack to another beautiful sunset in the desert.
Time for a drink in the VIP area, while Coheed and Cambria rocked the main stage. A troop of friends got together for Hot Chip, although we lost half of them on the way there. Hot Chip’s dance-fueled performance made us miss (and not mind) most of Faith No More‘s set, even though the rockers brought their share of fun and nostalgia to the Coachella mix as we watched the end of their gig. Oh, important to note that Hot Chip live is better than any recorded material the band has released, win/win.
MGMT took over the outdoor stage and put on what was one of the best shows of the day. Muse followed with one of the biggest-sounding sets of the weekend, proving to be well-deserving of the co-headlining spot that evening. We skipped half-way into it to catch Major Lazer (major move!!) lead an insane dance-off at Mojave. Eventually, we find ourselves on stage with Flying Lotus. What a thrill to watch the crowd from up there, but I don’t get these guys (somehow all my friends do) so I went over to Z-Trip who never once fails to blow your mind!
Speaking of blowing minds, Jack White is one of the greatest music geniuses of our generation and continues to create side projects that take-on lives of their own. The Dead Weather headlined the outdoor theater and the chemistry between Jack and Alison (also in The Kills) spread through the crowd as they closed the stage’s strong line-up that day. It was then that our ride back home was ready to leave and I ended my second night on a bit of a short note, missing one of the acts I have been obsessing with all year, Die Antwoord. Still got to watch Tiesto for a few songs, leaving as they played the new tune featuring Tegan & Sara… my consolation prize.
REALLY rest for Day 3. Gorillaz!!!!!!
Bands I wanted to see but missed: Aterciopelados, Devo, Die Antwood, 2 Many DJ’s
This was my 5th Coachella and, as usual, it simply rocked. We got there on Friday and had to face major traffic to park, but at least we could hear Calle 13 play a few songs while waiting. As we walked up to the venue, Yeasayer “O.N.E” was blowing through the wind. Off to a great start! Caught a glimpse of Street Sweeper Social Club as we walked over to see Aeroplane‘s set, which was the best gig of the day. They not only kill on the remixes and live energy, but are also dropping an album of original songs soon. Keep an eye on these Belgian DJs.
I realized that AT&T was once again going to fail me, no freakin reception! So we keep on walking as Ra Ra Riot does an awesome job closing their set. She & Him played for a packed outdoor stage and I watched “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” completely captivated by Zooye’s charm. The Specials brought good vibes to a nice break from the sun over a drink at the VIP area, then we headed over to Passion Pit so I could hear “Moth’s Wings.” I couldn’t believe the size of the crowd there for those guys! Had to find a spot way back so we could actually hear something (they did an amazing job at spreading the speakers around though!) and watch the band’s set while the sun was going down.
Them Crooked Vultures took over the main stage right as they were over, but we were soon dragged to Grizzly Bear for some quieter times. I have to say I enjoyed their live set way more than the record, it sounded amazing. At that point, walking around began to be quite a task and I was never able to find a place where I could actually hear La Roux during my attempt to enjoy her show. With the crowd only growing, I worked my way back to the main stage area to get ready for LCD Soundsystem, whose set I was looking forward to the most but never really hit the high note. Vampire Weekend on the other hand rocked a solid and groovy set, paving the way for the big night’s headliner, Jay-Z.
This Coachella was the most packed I’ve ever seen… 15,000 more people a day than the previous year’s average to be exact. Crazy. I believe there was nearly 100 thousand people there by the time Jay-Z hit the stage. The endless sight of the crowd grounded me to VIP, but even there you couldn’t move around, so having seen Jay-Z in way better settings, I decided to beat the traffic and leave after just a few songs. Yes, I missed the epic duet of the weekend, but at that point I just didn’t have it in me anymore.
Rest for day 2.
Bands I missed and really wanted to see: Imogen Heap, Little Dragon, Ceu, deadmau5.