Summer Essentials – “Vampire Weekend”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by JD

vampire-weekendOkay, I know, I know….probably the most overplayed album of last summer, but get over it folks, this is truly an amazing album, especially for everything summer.  Whip this out at the BBQ and everyone will be jigging, except maybe the hipsters in the corner busy being frumpy because they knew about Vampire Weekend before the band was even formed and it’s not cool to like bands anybody else likes.

So which of numerous great songs on this album do you need to add to your summer playlist?  “A-Punk” is a must have, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” follows right after it and is another one to add.  I really like the simplicity of  “Campus“, a lot of stop – start, really basic beats and a good build up – slow down rhythm to it.  “Walcott” is the next and last song you should add to that playlist of of yours. I really love the piano and cello mix in this song, along with the vocal build up of each verse leading to the chorus.

Honestly, if you don’t have the time to put together a playlist because you are busy making mojitos and preparing the BBQ, just download this entire album and throw it on, there will not be a disappointed person at the party (except, like i said, the hipsters in the corner who are too cool to be there anyway and just came along for the free beer in the cooler, even though it’s a local microbrew, which is so not cool….microbrews are so 2005….cheap ghetto beer is the thing now dont’cha know?)

Hmmm…..what is it with white boys from the east coast? I just realized the last two summer essentials were from east coast whities playing music with a distinct island tinge to them. I guess Bedouin does have 1 member to make them “legit”, but these Ivy League boys are about as not-from-the-islands as you can get.

Make Summer Noise

Summer Essentials – “Sounding A Mosaic”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by JD

bedouin2One of the last places you might ever expect a summer essential album to come from would be Canada, no? Well these guys from Toronto definitely embody the sound of the islands…which islands? Who cares, just islands okay?!  Work with me here….

“Sounding a Mosaic” is Bedouin Soundclash’s second album, but the first one that really got them any notoriety outside of Canada. Imagine Toots with a bit of Marley kicked up a notch or two and written for us 21st century folks. It definitely has a bit of a hip edge to it, probably having worked with Darryl from the Bad Brains during the recording of the album. Hell there’s even electro DJ remixes as the last two songs on the album.

So the standouts to add to your summer playlist?

The title track, “When the Night Feels My Song” is surely an essential for any get together and “Living in Jungles” has a bit of a faster beat if the party needs a bit of a pick-me-up. Keep the people shakin’ it with “Gyasi Went Home” and give the party a bit of a Marley tune without the Marley (not that there is anything wrong with Marley, but everyone plays that at BBQ’s) by adding “Money Worries” to that playlist.

As a bonus:
If you like “Sounding A Mosaic”, go out and get their follow-up album, “Street Gospels”
Some standouts form that album are “Until We Burn In the Sun“, “Walls Fall Down“, “St Andrew’s“. I highly recommend downloading “St Andrews” right now if you need a happy little tune to give your day a pick-up.

Make Noise this summer!

Summer Essentials – “Beat This!”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by JD

English Beat The Best of English Beat – “Beat this” is the first of many essential summer albums I recommend picking up.  In case you think you don’t know English Beat (or The Beat), if you have ever seen any movie with Jon Cusack in it, you’ve heard them and you just didn’t know it. You have probably heard some of them in one of their many projects since leaving The Beat as well, such as Fine Young Cannibals, Big Audio Dynamite or General Public. Mixing reggae, ska, punk, soul and pop together into one great sound, these boys from England have the perfect sound for your summer parties.

“Beat This” is a greatest hits album, so there aren’t really any bad songs on it, but there are a few standouts for hanging out around the BBQ and playing badminton with friends.  “Hand Off She’s Mine” is a bouncy little tune with a bit more of a reggae influence, complete with the steel drums any good summer song needs in order to make your guests feel like they have been whisked away to a desert island.  “Rankin Full Stop” is another essential on your summer soundtrack; a perfect classic ska bouncer. But the one song on this album that you cannot forget to put on you ultimate summer soundtrack…….a cover of Smoky Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown”  If you don’t catch people shakin’ their butts to this one, then you really need a new group of friends.  In my opinion, this is one of the happiest damn tunes ever, despite what the lyrics actually say if you listen to them.  Somehow the English Beat has made crying clowns one of the happiest damn things ever!

There you go…..the first essential summer album and some primo songs from that album to add to your ultimate summmer playlist.

Make Noise this Summer!

Top Summer Albums

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by JD

summer cocktails Who doesn’t want to know what some of my favorite summer albums are? I know you have all probably been holding your breathe just hoping this post would eventually come up.  Well here it is!! Start breathing again and get ready to start putting together some of the best summer BBQ playlists you’ve ever had. You will gain new friends, impress the neighbors and probably even get it a little more often from the significant other (or even random strangers who wander into your yard just to listen to your sweet summer mix).

Oh….you thought I was going to just give you a list of albums to go download? What fun would that be? I think i’ll stretch this out for all it’s worth. It’ll get me several more posts on the old blog and keep you entertained for weeks instead of a simple quicky. Don’t worry I’ll sum it all up later….hell, I’ll even create my ultimate summer mega-mix for you to compile just in time for your big Fourth of July BBQ.

Starting tomorrow I’ll go over my choices for albums you NEED to listen to this summer (or any damn summer really) as well the highlight song on that album to be added to your megamix.  No, they aren’t all new albums you need to check out this summer, no summer mix can consist solely of shit no one has ever heard before, there needs to be classics, soon-to-be classics and those few weird songs which make everyone question your sanity and taste in music.

Make Noise!

Loomstate…..at Target?!?!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by JD

jacketIt finally happened, for the first time since the whole designers doing lines for discount retailers trend began a few years ago, I was actually excited about one of these collaborations.  My wife had been excited about many of these , but we were living in Vancouver for the past several years and so she was never able to get to any of the stores carrying the lines.  Now that we are back in the states, we get to partake of the sometimes sweet collabos.

So what am I so excited about? …Loomstate introduces their line for Target!!

I bought a pair of Loomstate jeans at Nordstrom’s about a year ago and fell in love; not only with the jeans themselves, but also for what the company stands for….high end quality denim/clothing, made with organic earth friendly cotton and made in green factories.  Essentially, high end designer clothes which are all green.  The line they created for Target doesn’t stray from these values and everything is equally as great as the stuff you will find in the boutiques and high-end department stores.

The nice thing about living in Utah is that if the local Target gets the line (not all stores usually carry them, only those in larger markets), there won’t be a line waiting to get in the store for the men’s line.  The women’s is another story, but the majority of Utah men think Old Navy polos and cargo shorts are uber hip.

When I arrived at the store the day they were putting out their Loomstate line (yes, I set a reminder in my calendar), I found quite the selection of amazing tops.  The shorts were not bad and the jeans were a bit disappointing (not the best color or cut).  There is a great jacket and hooded sweatshirt as part of the line as well. The best thing? Nothing in this line is over $50!!  So I walked away with 3 shirts, a sweatshirt and a jacket for under $200.  You cannot beat that, especially for great designer duds all made from 100% organic cotton and stylish as can be.

Go to Target guys, you need to get your hands on some of this stuff before it is gone.

Make Noise!!

Floyd’s “The Wall” – Remixed and Made Green

Posted in green, Raves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by JD

green-tv-the-wallBritish kids sneaking around town, breaking into people’s flats to turn off TV’s not being watched, installing CFL bulbs, putting bricks in their freezers and toilet tanks in order to make them more eco-friendly, is the concept of a video released by green.tv to launch their new music channel.

The song is a remix of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” done by DJ Eric Prydz and the actual title of the video is “Proper Education”. Give it a watch HERE

Make Noise!!!

Fantasizing About Metric

Posted in music, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by JD

metricAnyone who follows me on Twitter will probably just want to stop reading right now…as I have been tweeting my love for this new Metric album since the day I purchased it (yes, I paid $7.99 for this awesome peice of work).

I have been a metric fan for quite some time, but I wasn’t crazy excited about the last album they put out, so I wasn’t expecting much from this effort; however, I saw it on sale in the iTunes store and figured…why the hell not?!

I have to say that from the intro of the very first song “Help I’m Alive”, to the final beat of the last song “Stadium Love”, there is nothing about this album I did not enjoy.  Anyone who knows me and my relationship with music knows that an album is lucky to get more than a couple listens from me unless it is damn good.  I am not the type who buys a new album and listens to it for a month straight.  Well……it has been a week and I have listened to Fantasies at least once a day, sometimes twice.  I actually pushed that rarely used repeat button on the old iPod the first day I listened.

What makes this album so damn good? it might just be the time of year honestly….it is a bit more upbeat and “sunny” (so to speak) than past efforts, and for me it is the perfect soundtrack to life right now, the perfect soundtrack to the spring I wish would soon arrive.

The standouts?
“Help I’m Alive”, “Sick Muse”, “Gold Guns Girls” & “Stadium Love” (which also makes it onto my list of top 10 best songs so far this year)

* Anyone else hear hints of the chorus of “Everlasting Love” in Stadium Love, or is it just me?

Make Noise!!