Friday, May 29, 2015

2 Old + 2 New Tracks

It's tough to keep up with new music these days simply because there's so much of it coming out each week.

I have the luxury of being privy to lots of new music as it comes out - and am afforded the insight as to what's going on surrounding and artist.  It's a great position to be in because it's the social currency required to survive.  It's definitely not rocket science - but you need to keep up and listen to the right people that know there stuff.  You always need to be listening for new music and learning about music from the past at the same time.

My first new recommendation this week is from a Canadian girl named Alessia Cara.  She samples Portishead's smash 'Glory Box' with her new track 'Here' with perfection.  The video is beautiful and the lyrics are spot on for an 18 year old.

My first old track comes to us from LL Cool J.  I listened to him on my way to work today because my wife was watching his lip sync show on television last night.  I can't ever hate on for doing all these shows because he truly is one of the greatest rappers of all time IMHO. His catalogue speaks for itself.  Check out this classic cut!

My second new pick is from Jamie XX.  Maybe one of my favourite side projects ever.  This side project is better than most people actual projects.  The album comes out next week and I can't wait to hear the rest of it.  

My second pick is from my favourite band of all time Oasis.  I know that some of you may have just rolled your eyes - but I could care less.  These guys embodied everything I love about music and the rock n roll lifestyle.  Here's a track off their album 'Don't Believe The Truth'  which came out almost 10 years ago to the day.

Thanks for reading/listening.


Friday, May 22, 2015

2 Old + 2 New

I've decided I want to make my posts more frequent.  In an attempt to do so I'll need to keep it quick and to the point.  Here goes...

I'm going to aim for a weekly post suggesting 2 NEW tracks that I think people need to hear and a couple OLD tracks that may have been missed - or require another listen. 

I selfishly write this with hopes my nieces, nephew and own children will one day click and learn a bit about the music that make me tick.

I recently went down a worm hole of Led Zeppelin's music - so the 1st of this week's Older selections has to be 'Ramble On'.  It embodies rock n roll and reminds me of my youth.  I want to go on a long road trip with the windows down when I hear this song.

I still listen to radio shows to learn about new music.  It's different these days in that you can stream on demand - but it's still a voice on the other end telling tales of how songs came to be and tidbits of information about a song to give it context.  They keep it exciting and I continue to learn daily. Here's one I heard for the first time a couple week's ago on The Strombo radio show.

The 1st New track I'd like to suggest is something from Hot Chip.  The track is called 'Huarache Lights' and it's fucking amazing (pardon my language relatives).

This Wednesday David Letterman signed off for last time and I was among the many that shed a tear.  That show had some of the finest musical guests perform through the years.  I was actually at a taping one day but cannot remember the musical guest for the life of me.  I do however remember that Bill Cosby was the other guest :(

Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, was the musical guest on Monday's show and he performed the song 'Betterman' with Paul Shaver and CBS orchestra.  It was insane and solidified Eddie, once again, as a rock God.  

Suffice it to say I've been listening to the Pearl Jam ever since and would like to recommend something from their Vitalogy album that still gives me chills. 

The 2nd new track I've selected this week is something from a BC Rapper that goes by the name of SonReal.  His latest EP is called 'For The Town' and the title track is just perfect.  This is an artist my team's been watching for ages - and he just keeps getting better.  I truly hope he gets the big break he deserves and soon.  Take notes kids - Production is EVERYTHING.

I hope you check enjoyed my picks and I look forward to suggesting more next week.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I Love Led Zeppelin

It's been a very long time since I went camping over the Victoria Day weekend.  If I had to guess it's gotta be 20 years since my friends and I loaded up the car with beers, sleeping bags and not much else to head up highway 115.   It's also been a while since I'd seen the movie 'Almost Famous'.  This movie reminds me of those days because its soundtrack was very similar to what my friends and I listened to at that time in our lives.

Almost Famous was on AMC this morning and so I had to watch it.  The Almost Famous soundtrack has become synonymous with Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer', which is an amazing song, but watching it again today made me thirst for the mighty Led Zeppelin.

I was introduced to Led Zeppelin when I first met my good buddy Wes van der Valk.  It was the tail end of grade 9 as we headed into summer break.  I remember the night vividly as Tim Holley and I were headed to the Hub Mall to see what was going on that Friday night.  The town of Pickering all ascended on that mall's parking lot to see where everyone was going - then cram into cars to head to bush parties or the beach.  On route we ran into these 2 dudes named Chris and Wes who invited us to a house party just around the corner.  It was Wes' house and his Mom had gone out of town for the weekend.

Wes had an older brother named Will and his hippy uncle Charlie lived in the basement.  The house was packed and could very well have doubled for a John Hughes house party from any of his movies. Every room was packed and the hallways lined with senior high school girls smoking cigarettes and drinking Durango coolers.  The music was cranked and from each of the massive speakers came the sweet sound of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham.  It was perfect.  It was rock n roll and it was dripping from the walls.  The older guys were passing around joints and air guitaring while the girls sang each and every lyric from the top of their lungs.  Wes snagged us a couple beers and we did our best to blend in.

Wes' uncle Charlie - aka Big C. - strummed along to the stereo on his 12 string guitar while smoke filled beer bottles got passed around the room.  This night was also my introduction to hash.

It was 1990 and we did an about face with what we'd been listening to and quickly fell in love with music from the 60s and 70s.  We had to make up for lost time and quickly entrenched ourselves with all things Led Zeppelin.  Tim bought the 4 album box set, we made copies of mixed tapes, bought posters and more.  I even went to the flea market and bought all 4 Zeppelin logos for the back of my jean jacket.

That was 25 years ago when the Billboard Hot 100 was comprised of Technotronic, Wilson Philips, Bell Biv Devoe and Sinead O'Connor to name a few.  Led Zeppelin was a welcome change for us and brought with it a culture that we wanted to be a part of.  This was our tribe.

I had to put their music on the back burner for a while simply because I'd listened to too much for too long.  We needed a break.

In recent months I've bought Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin IV on vinyl. Listening to it this way truly is like listening to it all for the first time.  The break is over - we're back.

I may not have seen them live - but I can say that I love Led Zeppelin.  It's magical, mythical, mysterious and oozes sex drugs and rock n roll.  Every grade 9 kid should have their own Zeppelin experience.

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