Friday, February 22, 2008

Sam Sparro: Electro "Gold"

I never thought I would say this, but apparently, I like dance music. This might have been obvious to those who have been forced to listen to my party playlists, but not I'm not referring to danceable rap music by Timbaland, Flo Rida, and others. Since returning from Acapulco Spring Break last March, and frequenting Palladium and Mandara, names like Girl Talk, Bob Sinclair, Million Dollar Mano, and Armand Van Helden have been showing up on my i-Pod. Whether it reminds me of how amazing that trip was or its just mindless fun sound, the synthesizers and thumping bass have struck a chord recently.

While Sam Sparro probably wouldn't classify himself with those listed above, he does make dance music that is more than enjoyable. After being co-signed by one of the best blogs in the Midwest, My Old Kentucky Blog, Sparro's sound has been described by some as "electrosoul" and similar to artists like Goldfrapp. I was quickly hooked on Sparro's latest single, "Black and Gold" in late 2007. Its synth driven beat, psychedelic lyrics, and catchy hook makes for head nodding fun. While I can't say I understand how the colors black and gold relate to the evolution vs. creationism debate, the track's pulsing sound makes you quickly cast aside any need for debate. Look for Sam Sparro to make an impact across the globe with his debut album this summer.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rothbury: A Music Michigan?!?!?

While I was going through my daily routine of scouring music sites for the latest news, I was not very shocked to see another 3-day music festival scheduled for this summer. From Woodstock to South By Southwest, fans have paid their savings ($100-$500) to check out mile-long lists of "it" bands on a long weekend. While Lollapalooza has been the only way for Mid-westerners to join in the fun, without having to drive 8 hours or more, I never thought there would be a festival closer than Chicago.

So imagine my surprise when I ran across an article on stating Rothbury, MI would be hosting "Rothbury - A Sustainable Camping Festival Celebrating Music and Art". What?!?!?! I was sure this was actually a misprint for the rumored Vineland Music Festival supposedly happening in New Jersey, in August, but wrongo bongo my friend. Rothbury Festival will most definitely be taking place about 3 1/2 hours Northwest of Detroit on the coast of Lake Michigan.

So far, the lineup looks like this: Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, 311, Snoop Dogg, Modest Mouse, The Black Keys, Citizen Cope, Ray Lamontagne, Drive-By Truckers, Of Montreal, Gomez, Diplo, and more. I can't say I would be too excited to pay $250 to see that list, but if this year was a success, can you imagine what this could turn into? This wouldn't be too bad, would it? Or how about this?

On another note, Rothbury brands itself as "a music festival revolution". It might also be a hippie's dream with a very cool, "green initiative". Hoping to minimize the damage past Woodstock and other gatherings have caused the environment, Rothbury wants to create a "zero-waste" event. Their mission is "committed to harnessing the spirit of the music festival community into a durable social movement." To make this happen, there are volunteer opportunities, such as "Work Exchange - Green Team" where concert goers volunteer for 5 hour shifts during the show, where they will be reimbursed for their concert ticket. Of course, you have to purchase a ticket at regular price as a "deposit", but not a bad way to give back and listen to great live music at the same time.

While I think I am still going to hold out hope that I'll have the funds and an opportunity to hit Lollapalooza this year, I am ecstatic at the idea of a major music fest in Michigan. It wasn't very long ago when Ms. Waters and I were hoping we could start a festival of our own (never say never). If Rothbury succeeds this summer, it could be the next Coachella? Early bird tickets go on sale February 27th.

The Black Keys - Your Touch

MIA ft Bun B & Rich Boy - Paper Planes (Diplo Remix)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Vampire Weekend: Off the "Wall"

I was late to jump on the Vampire Weekend bandwagon, mostly due to the incessant onslaught of blurbs I read. But believe the hype. They have been labeled as a "blog band" and received some backlash after reaching the mainstream, but Vampire Weekend makes great indie pop.

Their self titled, debut album was released last week, after much delay and emits a sound that infuses African("Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"), Punk ("A-Punk"), and Classical music ("M79"). Most of their fare isn't especially lyrically ground breaking, but is more than intricate when crafting a brilliant musical landscape. How can you not love a band that manages to slip in a Lil' Jon lyric without sounding ridiculous?

Vampire Weekend will be at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor tonight.

Vampire Weekend - Campus

Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma

Friday, February 1, 2008

Showstopper: Girl Talk @ Metro, Chicago 1/26/08

My first concert in Chicago and another great Girl Talk show. Metro was filled from top to bottom with hipsters and dance party enthusiasts galore.

-Everyone in our group made into the venue, despite only 3/8 of us having tickets at 11:00 pm.
-Viewing hundreds of dudes screaming "Since You've Been Gone".
-Falling on my face and being lifted from the ground by a stranger.
-With the help of Journey's "Faithfully", Soulja Boy managed to sound epic.
-Surviving with only a few bruises and slight dehydration.

What more can I say? Sign me up for Round 3.