Monday, January 31, 2011

5 Reasons Glasvegas Rule

Hello Friends,

Last week Glasvegas offered a free download of their latest single 'The World Is Yours' on their site. The song is incredible so go there when you have a second.

In the last 2 years I've probably played their debut 50 times from start to finish. It had to go on the back-burner so that I could still enjoy it at a later date.

Since this track became available I've had to return to the debut and get my fill as we wait for the next album. It's also allowed me the chance to dig deeper and find some great rare cuts from the band and covers that are mind blowing.

The band are set to release their 2nd album sometime this spring and I for one am ecstatic. In the meantime here are 5 reasons Glasvegas rule.
Thanks for reading/listening.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Violent Femmes

Hello Friends,

I heard a DJ spin 'Blister in the Sun' by the Violent Femmes last night and it blew my mind. I don't think I'd heard this track in at least 10 years. The song instantly took me back to grade 7 when I was a mere 12 years of age.

They were a big band in the eyes of my elementary school friends. The grade 8 girls were really into the likes of Depeche Mode, Housemartins, Violent Femmes, Jesus & Mary Chain and The Cure to name a few. It was at a time when CFNY was a radio station that played the Violent Femmes bookended by De La Soul and Blue Rodeo. The CFNY Roadshow even did a few dances at our school at that time.

This was the same year I went to my first concert. Depeche Mode at the CNE stadium on their Violator tour. Violator is easily one of my Top 10 albums of all time. I digress...

Here a few Violent Femmes songs to jog your memory...
Here's a couple videos that also remind me of this great era that helped me to evolve and fall in love with music.
I love that these all still stand up today.

Thanks for reading/listening,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

J. Cole

Hello Friends,

I am hooked on J. Cole's 'Friday Night Lights' mix-tape. It reminds me very much of the first time I heard Common, The Roots or even Kanye's first album 'The College Drop-out' for that matter. It's not just another mix-tape - it's easily one of the finest.

I will never claim to be an expert in any genre of music - let alone Hip Hop. I just know what I like and when I really like something I can't talk enough about it - and will do so with whomever's willing to listen. This album is chalk full of cameos and guest appearances including Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Drake, Pusha T, Big Sean to name a few.

I had the pleasure of seeing J. Cole on stage with Drake at Radio City Music Hall in NYC this past September. It was a beautiful thing to see a homecoming for a local boy on such a massive stage. The crowd went nuts when he joined Drake for 'Who Dat?'

My colleague Scott told me about J. Cole this time last year. He introduced me to 'Who Dat?' by way of a link. It was a stellar song - but I thought that's all this guy had. I honestly thought it was another 1 hit wonder scenario. I'm now sold and think that this young artist is going to play a big role in changing the game and bringing it to the next chapter.

An album is always meant to be heard in the order it appears on the track-listing - and that's how I recommend you listen to this one. BUT since we live in an A.D.D. world I have also taken the liberty of selecting 5 tracks for you to check out J. Cole and see what you think.
RapCity recently returned to MuchMusic to what appears to be a very happy Hip Hop community. Along with it comes a new host in @Trexxx1LOVETO. The show premiered last Thursday at 10pm and will live at that time moving forward. I for one am excited to see how it transforms and brings Hip Hop's scene into the spotlight each week.
Enough work plugs - the reason I brought it up is because when I was listening to J. Cole's mix-tape at my desk the other day when Trexxx came over to throw in his two cents. He pointed out a few lyrics to me that I don't think I'd have appreciated had he not done so. Here's a quick one...
  • "Partially functional, Half of me is comfortable, The other half is close to the cliff, Like Mrs. Huxtable."
Thanks for reading/listening.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Exciting Tunes from 2010

Hello Friends,

Today is a good day because it's the day the courier dropped off my latest issue of Q Magazine. This magazine really is my Bible in terms of legit tunes and great in-depth looks at new and old artists alike. This month's cover story is of Canada's own Arcade Fire as they received the highest honours for #1 album of 2010.

2010 was indeed a great year for music with releases like Arcade Fire's 'Suburbs', Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', The Drums' self-titled debut, Brandon Flowers' 'Flamingo', Band of Horses, Grinderman, LCD Soundsytem, Foals, The Black Keys and many other albums.

Here are a few stand-out exciting tracks to reflect on 2010 and hopefully get you pumped about what 2011 has in store for us.

  1. Arcade Fire - 'Ready to Start'
  2. The Naked and Famous - 'Punching in a Dream'
  3. Cee Lo Green - 'Bright Lights, Bigger City'
  4. Temper Trap - 'Lost Love' *love this innocent video
  5. Darwin Deez - 'Radar Detector'
  6. James Blake - 'Limit To Your Love' *cover of Feist:)
  7. Foster The People - 'Pumped Up Kicks'
  8. Wilder - 'Skyful of Rainbows'
Thanks for reading/listening,


Monday, January 3, 2011

5 Forgotten Albums Revisited

Hello Friends,

I've got a new laptop, new headphones and a few gift cards to the iTunes music store. This means 2011 is already that much better for music from where I'm sitting.

The beauty of an iTunes gift card is that it forces you to explore music more. It would be too easy to go to the top rated and top download sections - but when you have a budget to work with in that space you always want to make sure you choose wisely.

It's kept me busy for at least 5 hours yesterday. It actually had me cross referencing CD collections and old mixed discs to see if I had things or not. It turns out you do need CDs to trigger the memory at times. The iTunes store is much like any other store in that real estate is everything. You really need to spend time and sift through the A-Z sections to find the depths of this store.

Here are 5 albums I dug up and think you should check out or reinvestigate when you have time.

The Cardigans - 'Long Gone Before Daylight'. This album was one of the first I had the pleasure of marketing in 2003. It's a truly beautiful album from start to finish. The video for 'For What it's Worth' is unreal and is so much cooler that the song 'Lovefool' that put this band's name on the map.

Common - 'Like Water for Chocolate'. Conscious Hip Hop meets Neo Soul. This was my introduction into something very cool. Common, Talib, The Roots, Jazzfatnastees and all things Okay Player came with this package and really gave me a better understanding of Hip Hop. Check out the classic video for 'The Light'.

Amy Winehouse - 'Frank'. When this album came out Amy was being marketed alongside 2 jazz artists, Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua. She did her first showcase at Top of the Senator here in Toronto and I, along with a roommate, sat front row to see this Gina Gershon looking soul singer perform. She was amazing and tiny back then. In recent years I witnessed a cracked out cockney twig of a woman mumble her way through an interview on MTV Live. I cannot believe what she has become. Here's a look at her first video for 'Stronger Than Me'. This album is still a classic regardless of how she turned out and worth another listen.

Scissor Sisters - 'Scissor Sisters'. The first single was a cover of Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' and I did not like it one bit. The second track I heard from this album was a very different story though. It had the power of a young Elton John and the depth of a Floyd track. 'Mary' is truly a great introduction to this amazing album and a start to exploring their full collection.

Beck - 'Sea Change'. I couldn't get into Beck when he first stepped on the scene. I don't know why - but his music just never left me wanting more. In 2002 he released Sea Change and it knocked me on my ass. This album is meant to be heard on a car as you drive off into the sunset. The lead track 'Golden Age' is the perfect track to unwind to and forget about your troubles. Not unlike 'Golden Age' the other stand-out track from this one is 'Guess I'm Doing Fine'.

Here's to another great year in music.

Thanks for reading/listening.