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aarondmiller

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Posts posted by aarondmiller


  1. Sure you know these classic jams, but did you know Prince wrote them?

    prince-mttm


    So you bought Prince's entire discography on iTunes and you still want more?



    Well, good luck finding it online because Prince was adamant about the exclusivity of his nearly 40 years of musical output. Late last year, Prince removed his entire discography from all streaming services except for Tidal. Over the Summer he tweeted:

    In an interview with Ebony he made clear a part of this move was his admiration of Jay Z's swag:
    [Beyoncé and Jay Z] have taken a lot of abuse, their family has. A historic amount of abuse between the two of ‘em. And when we win on this, none of us’ll gloat. He’s not the gloating type anyway. He’s slick with his. He says to brush the dirt off your shoulder. “Y’all just need to stop. Just calm down! Everybody calm down! There ya go.”

    Tidal still remains the only place you stream his entire catalog, but that free trial month you got to listen to The Life of Pablo has probably run out so maybe we just give in and subscribe? No, no that's crazy, there must be plenty random uploads on YouTube right?

    Wrong. Prince was incredibly vigilant towards making sure his songs never found their way to YouTube, so forget about searching for that OfficialPrinceVEVO channel. There are, however, a few great live performances including an entire concert in 1982, his live performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison as well this very Prince-esque cover of "Creep" he performed at Coachella in 2008 which Radiohead allowed to be re-uploaded on YouTube in the wake of his death. The NFL also reposted his Super Bowl halftime performance from 2007.

    So where do we turn? It's 2016. You're telling me we have to actually BUY it? 39 studio albums, 5 soundtrack albums, 4 live albums, 5 compilation albums, 17 video albums, 12 EP's, and 104 singles and you can't even find a decent Daily Motion upload. How do we mourn for free?! But wait! Don't fret, there is something you can do. Prince was generous enough to offer his genius to a number of other artists by writing, producing, and performing on songs for their albums. Once you find out he had something to do with the track you're bound to adjust your thinking and call it "basically a Prince song."

    Here's a collection of some of his greatest collaborations with others.


    Sinead O’Connor | “Nothing Compares 2 U”





    "Nothing Compares 2 U" was originally written and composed in 1985 by Prince for The Family, a side project composed of musicians from The Time after Morris Day went solo. In 1990, Sinead O'Connor found mainstream success covering the song, topping charts around the world. In an interview with Norwegian station NRK in November 2014 O'Connor said:

    "He summoned me to his house after 'Nothing Compares 2 U.' I made it without him. I'd never met him. He summoned me to his house—and it's foolish to do this to an Irish woman—he said he didn't like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to fuck off ... He got quite violent. I had to escape out of his house at five in the morning. He packed a bigger punch than mine."




    The Bangles | "Manic Monday"





    Originally intended for the Prince-created girl group Apollonia 6 in 1984, Prince offered the song to The Bangles in 1986 using the pseudonym "Christopher," a character he played in the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon. Bangles guitarist Susanna Hoffs was quoted saying:

    "I knew it was a Prince song and I wanted to do a great job on it ... (He) came to our rehearsal after the record was done, and he was really thrilled with how it came out. I think he might have said something like, 'Oh, I was surprised you guys didn't use my track,' or something. But he was very happy with it."


    If you listen closely, you'll hear the similar melody of Prince's "1999" which in turn has a similar melody to The Mama's and the Papa's "Monday, Monday."



    Stevie Nicks | "Stand Back"



    On January 29, 1983 Fleetwood Mac singer/witch Stevie Nicks got married and that night in the honeymoon suite she wrote "Stand Back." Nicks was inspired after hearing "Little Red Corvette" and set out to make a song with the same vibe.

    "I phoned Prince out of the blue, hummed a melody, and he listened ... I hung up, and he came over within the hour. He listened again, and I said, 'Do you hate it?' He said, 'No,' and walked over to the synthesizers that were set up, was absolutely brilliant for about twenty five minutes, and then left. He was so uncanny, so wild, he spoiled me for every band I've ever had because nobody can exactly re-create - not even with two piano players - what Prince did all by his little self."


    Prince didn't ask for a dime and received no official credit on the track.



    Vanity 6 | Nasty Girl



    Obviously.

    Vanity 6 was the original girl group Prince created before lead singer Vanity left and Prince transformed the group into the aforementioned Apollonia 6. Prince gave the songwriting credit to Vanity, although he was the writer and composer. "Nasty Girl" shot up to #1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart where it remained for four weeks in November 1982 until was knocked off by Prince's "1999."


  2. Married to the Music is a weekly section where we take a closer look at 4 songs

    lance-bass

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old
    Something Borrowed: A covered, sampled, or remixed song
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad


    March 25, 2016




    Something Old:
    A Tribe Called Quest | "Electric Relaxation"


    Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, founding member of the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, tragically died at just 45 years old this week and the mourning was palpable throughout the blogosphere. Obituaries flooded feeds detailing how influential Phife's contributions were to hip hop almost always including a personal note on how it affected the writer. Many had a pivotal experience upon first discovering Tribe's music. They pushed the genre further with bass heavy, jazzy beats and a plethora of samples from all types of music mashed together to form a cohesive cultural statement. The best way to commemorate an artist's passing is to re-examine their art. "Electric Relaxation" is one of Tribe's greatest jams and how can you not want to throw out offhand Phife quotes whenever the opportunity presents itself. This guy knows what I'm talking about.

    Something New:
    Margo Price | "Hands of Time"


    Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price is the signed to Jack White's Third Man Records and her new album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter has all the elements of an indie pop song without abandoning the earnestness of the country world's lyrical themes or instrumentation. There's something about the album's opener "Hands of Time." It pushes away from your standard country song as the verses build over a sparse high-hat and snare rim until the chorus floats in with a sweeping string section. The lyrics are beautiful and heartbreaking:

    When I hit the city I joined the band
    Started singing in the bars and running with the men
    But the men they brought me problems
    And the drinking caused me grief
    I thought I'd found a friend but I only found a thief



    Something Borrowed:
    Sturgill Simpson | "In Bloom" (Nirvana cover)


    Covering Nirvana is daunting. If you're going to try to cover one of music's most audacious, raucous, cultural shifting forces you better have a gameplan because you have no hopes in making a better version than the original, you can only hope to give it a twist. Country weirdo Sturgill Simpson took on the task with a cover of "In Bloom" that is somber but eerie as hell and the video adds an extra level of creepiness with a man in a boat with a cannon for a head floating above a circling sea creature. It is something completely different than the original video where Kurt, Dave, and Krist parody early 1960s variety shows. A subtle difference in Sturgill's version changes "He don't know what it means when I say (yeahhhh)" to "He don't know what it means to love someone."

    Something Blue:
    Mark Pritchard | "Beautiful People" (feat. Thom Yorke)


    UK electronic artist Mark Pritchard teamed up with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke to create "Beautiful People." The steady beat and flute loop repeat as Yorke's angelic vocals are pitch-shifted, warped, and filtered in different ways throughout the song. "The original instrumental to 'Beautiful People' is a personal song about loss, hopelessness and chaos, but the message is love and hope," Pritchard said in a statement. Pritchard previously remixed Radiohead's track "Bloom" for TKOL RMX 1234567, their remix album of songs from 2011's The King of Limbs.


  3. Married to the Music is a weekly section where we take a closer look at 4 songs

    legend-chrissy-mttm

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old
    Something Borrowed: A covered, sampled, or remixed song
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad


    ? March 18, 2016 ?




    Something Old:
    Soul for Real | "Candy Rain"


    One of the greatest scenes in modern music is mid-90's R&B. We're talking baggy shirts never quite buttoned, a plethora of leather, always crouching, adventurous hair dos. Soul for Real was a band of brothers harmonizing behind their youngest sibling whose amazing pre-pubescent pipes could really belt out hits. A recipe for success if you know how to cook it up.

    Something New:
    Cullen Omori | “Cinnamon”


    Smith Westerns' frontman Cullen Omori released his debut solo album New Misery today and one of the standout tracks is "Cinnamon." On making a departure from his indie rock sound in pursuit of a more pop record he said, "I can’t sit down and say I'm going to write a Sam Smith or an Adele song or whatever. The closest I can get to that is making like this weird hybrid of what I think is a pop song." And hey, aren't hybrids are great?

    Something Borrowed:
    Blood Orange | "Hold On, We're Going Home" (Drake Cover)


    Only Dev Hynes could cover Drake's funked up "Hold On, We're Going Home" and do it justice. Nothing truly compares to Hynes' slappin da bass while he croons "Just hold on we're going home" calming our nerves without losing the intensity of a wild night out that needs to end in just the right way.

    Something Blue:
    Japanese Breakfast | "The Woman That Loves You"


    "You're embarrassing meeee" starts Michelle Zauner's new solo project's beautiful track on her upcoming debut solo album Psychopomp. Submerged in synths and pads, her voice floats up and down, singing about the dregs of a breaking relationship. She's vulnerable, hurt, and heartbreakingly honest. It's that moment at the crossroads of a toxic relationship where you've just had enough and finally found the courage to walk away.


  4. Married to the Music is a weekly section where we take a closer look at 4 songs

    feat-riri-leo-mttm

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    March 11, 2016




    Everyone loves/hates a good pun. It's one of life's few treasures that can make us grin while we groan. When you're young and in a band it might sound like a fun idea to name your band something ridiculous because hey, why not. It's not like it will define your musical identity or anything. It's not like your taste will change or your level of fame will increase. Nah, go ahead and get that tattoo that says "TATTOO" it's a good idea and you won't regret it.

    So go ahead and call your band Salvia Plath or Bleeding Rainbow or Ringo Deathstarr or Joy Orbison or Truman Peyote or Harmonica Lewinsky because it's fun! Wordplay is great!

    Something Old:
    The Beatles | "A Day in the Life"


    George Martin passed away this week at the tender age of 90 and no eulogy I've seen so far has been able to overstate how important his work was for popular music as we know it. He was often referred to as the Fifth Beatle as he worked as their producer for nearly the entirety of their professional career (excluding Phil Spector's misfire putting a needless glossy sheen all over Let It Be). Martin hired a 40-piece orchestra to play over the final 24 bars of "A Day In The Life" to produce a certain grandiose crescendo that John Lennon believed necessary to cap off the song and the Sgt. Pepper's album. Martin's 1979 memoir All You Need Is Ears recounts that request:

    "He said, 'What I'd like to hear is a tremendous build-up, from nothing up to something absolutely like the end of the world."


    Martin was integral in changing the landscape for pop music and the possibilities of a studio acting as an instrument. His legacy is also an important reason that the actual spelling of "beetles" is somehow more jarring to the eye than the band's punny version.

    Something New:
    The Dandy Warhols | “STYGGO”


    Looking back on the late 90's alternative rock music scene can be at times nostalgic other times cringe-worthy and ultimately a bizarre time. It was the dawn of the internet and music piracy, which paved the way for nearly-free nearly-instant everything as far as music goes, leaving behind the dinosaur bones of the music recording industry as we knew it. The Dandy Warhols jettisoned from being a respected American Brit-pop band into a commercially successful pop-rock outfit eventually opening for David Bowie on his 2003 A Reality Tour. Their 2000 song "Bohemian Like You" was used in a commercial for Vodafone (lol, wut) in 2001 and was re-released hitting number 5 on the UK Singles.

    The Dandy's are back with a disco-pop jam called "STYGGO" (an acronym for Some Things You Gotta Get Over) and they do not seem worse for the wear. Their next album Distortland will be released this year and hopefully choc-full of more tasty licks.

    Something Borrowed:
    Rihanna | "Pour it Up" (R.L. Grime Remix)


    R.L. Grime (a play on children horror fiction author of Goosebumps and master creator of pre-teen nightmares R.L. Stine) remixed Rihanna's strip club anthem "Pour It Up" three years ago, giving it an extra level of darkness we didn't think possible adding heavy bass and wall to wall synths. The drops are out of control and blend perfectly with Bad Girl RiRi's chant "Strip clubs and dollar biiiiiiiiiills."

    Something Blue:
    Elvis Depressedly | "N.M.S.S."


    Singer/songwriter Mat Cothran and multi-instrumentalist Delaney Mills are two halves of lo-fi pop duo Elvis Depressedly, an appropriate name for a band that sings sad songs with all the sentimentality of a lovable goofball. Cothran has desribed their most recent album as "like crying watching Looney Tunes or something." It's another song with an acronym (No More Sad Songs) but an entirely different mood. "N.M.S.S." captures the earnestness of a lonely heart with its catchy albeit somber melody and light string section within the rhythm.

    No more sad songs
    I owe the world nothing
    I've been strung alone too long to really care
    "Someday" never came so I keep waiting
    I will go to sleep still believing



  5. Married to the Music is a weekly section where we take a closer look at 4 songs

    Cobain_Love_Wedding

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    ☀️??February 26, 2016??☀️



    OK, sure, we may be in the throes of Winter, but February is just about over, March is around the corner, and Spring is within sight! Until we can all walk outside without wearing layers on layers on layers let's all just pretend we're laying out in beach chairs with our feet in the sand and our hands gripping piña coladas. This week we're going to dive deep into the fantasy and soon-to-be reality of Summer and listen to some tracks that send our souls to sunny beaches far, far away from the icy doldrums we're dealing with IRL.

    Something Old:
    Len | "Steal My Sunshine"


    It does not get more summery than this. Len's one-hit wonder from 1995 is all about having fun in the sun and not letting life getting you down. We're talkin' lying on the grass with big fat Slurpee treats, y'all. Ah, the simple pleasures of lazy dog days are sometimes the best cures for the overpowering melancholy we bathe in during these Hellish frigid Winters. Plus, the video's got motor scooters, go carts, and jet skis! If this song does not brighten your day you need may need to up your Lexapro.

    Something New:
    Charli XCX | "Paradise"


    Charli XCX has been very busy lately starting her record lable Vroom Vroom Recordings and dropping its first release, the Vroom Vroom EP which began streaming today. In a press release, she described her new label as "experimental pop label and it will combine my love for bubblegum pop with mystery and darkness" and the song "Paradise," one of four tracks on the EP produced by electronic musician SOPHIE, definitely fits that mold. "Paradise" is a banger; the beat bops up and down until musician/visual artist Hannah Diamond harmonizes with Charli during the breakdown to gently croon a verse before SOPHIE's synth-heavy beat drops back with a vengeance.


    Something Borrowed:
    Miguel | "Waves" (Tame Impala Remix)



    Today R&B star Miguel released a remix EP for his 2015 hit song "Waves." The EP includes contributions from rapper Travis $cott, country-pop songstress Kacey Musgraves, and Portuguese dance producer RAC but the remix by psych-pop titans Tame Impala is the clear standout track. As the first song on the EP, it is immediately captivating as soon as you hear the band's signature sweeping filtered voices remarkably clean live drumming. Kevin Parker's style perfectly compliments Miguel's and if we're lucky we'll see this pair of artists who were responsible for two of 2015's best albums hit 2016 just as hard. They're already off to a great start.

    Something Blue:
    Lana Del Rey | “High By The Beach”


    We could have gone with "Summertime Sadness" or "Dark Paradise" or "West Coast" or a number of other dark Lana songs that contrast her recurring tragic themes with the beautiful backdrop of California beach life. No one does LA noir-pop quite like Ms. Del Rey and this past Summer's "High By The Beach" is one of her most chilling songs to date. Set to a rumbling trap beat and echoing organ chords, the bleak vocals on "High By The Beach" are the perfect haunting blend of sweet and sad.


  6. Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    andre3000

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    February 19, 2016



    Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance of "Formation" a few weeks ago riled a lot of white feathers which lead to the declaration of anti-Bey rallies and the Miami Police Union planning to protest her concert as they believed she "used this year's Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her anti-police message shows how she does not support law enforcement." Grammy winner Lauryn Hill was noticeably absent from the Grammy's despite her being scheduled to perform with The Weeknd (who went full MJ in his solo performance) but we would've loved to see a duet of "Everything is Everything," her song about the injustice and struggles of inner city youths. Kendrick Lamar picked up the slack with the performance of the night with songs about Black American struggle and fighting for hope against despair. This week we take a look at a few of hip hop's most powerful voices for social change and revolution.

    Something Old:
    2Pac | "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto"


    Rap legend Tupac Amaru Shakur died twenty years ago this year but his songs and influence have permeated the culture so deeply that artists continue to be inspired by his legacy. Born to a pair of Black Panthers in 1971, Shakur always had very strong ties to the revolutionary movements of black America and his magnetic personality was just as vital for his eventual entertainment career as it was to get his messages of social injustice heard. "I Wonder If Heaven Gotta Ghetto" is a classic example of Shakur's ability to merge his two worlds of activism and music and several verses were lifted to help create his posthumous classic "Changes":

    And though it seems heaven-sent
    We ain't ready, to have a black President, huh
    It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
    The penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
    I wake up in the morning and I ask myself
    Is life worth living should I blast myself
    I'm tired of being poor and even worse I'm black
    My stomach hurts so I'm looking for a purse to snatch


    Shakur's entire output all came by the young age of 25 when he was tragically murdered in a drive-by shooting but not before influencing an entire generation of rappers and solidifying his beatification as a saint in the rap world.

    Something New:
    Kendrick Lamar - "Untitled 3"


    Grammy performances are always a crapshoot and the award show has never acknowledged rap music with the respect and admiration it truly deserves. No wonder Kendrick Lamar, despite being nominated and winning a slew of the awards that night, decided to use his performance to match the intensity and fervor of his beautifully heartbreaking album To Pimp A Butterfly. The title itself was originally going to be To Pimp A Caterpillar, which was a homage to Tupac (the acronym being Tu-P-A-C). Kendrick told MTV why he decided to rename it:

    Me changing it to Butterfly, I just really wanted to show the brightness of life and the word 'pimp' has so much aggression and that represents several things. For me, it represents using my celebrity for good. Another reason is, not being pimped by the industry through my celebrity.


    His performance at the Grammy's this year was something to behold. It began in a jail cell set with "Blacker The Berry" then moved its way to Africa for the album's most hopeful track "Alright." Finally, Kendrick ended the performance with a new untitled song (as he has been known to do for television performances) that stuck to the themes of police brutality with implied references to Travon Martin and Jordan Davis.

    I got to prove, on February 26 I lost my life too.
    It’s like I’m here in a dark dream, nightmare, hearing screams recorded.
    Saying they sound distorted but I know who it was.
    That was me yelling for help when he drowned in his blood…
    And for our community do you know what this does?
    Add to a trail of hatred,
    2012 was taken,
    for the world to see,
    set us back another 400 years,
    this is modern-day slavery


    Kendrick has said he has a "a chamber of material from the album" that did not make the cut whether due to samples not being cleared, deadlines, or the sequencing not fitting right. Let's hope we hear every last bar.

    Something Borrowed:
    Yasiin Bey | "Niggas in Poorest" (Jay Z & Kanye West revision)


    Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) has been living in South Africa for the last few years. In January he was ordered to leave South Africa and not return for five years, having outstayed a tourist visa granted in May 2013. A few weeks later he was charged with using an "unrecognized" World Passport and having lived illegally in South Africa since 2014. The latter issue was documented in real time with his freestyle and declaration of impending retirement from rap on Kanye West's website.

    In 2012 he released "Niggas in Poorest," his response to Jay Z & Kanye West's mega-hit about materialist success and conspicuous consumption "Niggas in Paris." Bey's version is has a play on each line of Jay & Ye's verses:

    Poor so hard, my clean clothes look grimy, pretty women don't mind me
    So what's fifty grand to a young nigga like me? More than my annual salary
    Poor so hard, this shit crazy, walk outside the whole world hate me
    Nervous stares at the thoroughfare, surveillance cameras, police tracing


    Mos Def also re-imagined Jay Z's Yeezy-produced classic "The Takeover" changing the name to "The Rape Over" as he replaced verses dissing Nas with themes of social injustice, racism, and corporate greed. These underground revisions are a dark reminder that hip hop lost its way and, to quote The Roots' drummer and band leader Questlove, failed Black America.

    Something Blue:
    The Roots | “Welcome To Heartbreak” (feat. Amiri Baraka)


    The Roots' 2002 album Phrenology is one of their finest and their track with controversial poet Amiri Baraka is one of the clear standouts. Baraka's speaks plainly and clearly about social inequality while The Roots back him up with a jazzy instrumental.

    Me talking across people into the houses
    And not seeing the beings crowding around me with ice picks
    You could see them
    But they looked like important Negroes on the way to your funeral
    Looked like important jiggaboos on the way to your auction
    And let them chant the number and use an ivory pointer to count your teeth
    Remember Steppen Fetchit
    Remember Steppen Fetchit how we laughed
    An all your Sunday school images giving flesh and giggling
    With the ice pick high off his head
    Made ya laugh anyway


    The inflections of his voice bounce up and down as he reflects on a town where things just don't fit right. They aren't right. They're hard to name exactly, and not because we don't know what they are but because it's hard to say. These truths are ominous and unsavory and the sights and sounds of a world full of hate and buried beauty is a terrifying reality but the sooner we call it by its name the sooner we can work together to fix it.


  7. Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    mttm-feb12


    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    February 12, 2016




    Something Old:
    Grav | "Line for Line" (feat. Kanye West)


    The song that started it all.

    Underground Chicago rapper Grav is credited with being the first person to put Kanye on an official album back in 1996 when Kayne was just 18 years old.

    In a recent interview, Grav recalls being approached by Kanye after a Fugees concert and being relentless about playing beats for him:

    "This young kid runs up to me like, 'Yo, I heard you got a record deal. Yo, you should let me get some beats on your album. You should just come to the car and let me play some beats for you.' ... That cat is -- I know what they be sayin' on the news -- but I'm telling you, the boy was a child prodigy way back then."


    Grav's debut album Down To Earth featured Kanye's production on 9 of his songs with "Line for Line" being the sole track where Kanye actually rapped. His beat and flow show hints of his early backpack rapper signature style.

    20 years and multiple reincarnations later much has changed about Ye, but his boastful lyrics and witty wordplay remain an essential part of any Kanye persona.

    Something New:
    Kanye West | "30 Hours"


    On and off the last several weeks, Kanye instituted G.O.O.D. Fridays, a series where he would release a new song on a Friday without any warning or hype, but that slowed down and eventually stopped altogether once the massive Yeezy hype machine focused on the release of his new album. After yesterday's Yeezy Season 3 joint album and fashion release party at Madison Square Garden, the world thought that Kanye finally pinned down a tracklist but, nope, think again.

    Today Kanye announced there would be a new tracklist featuring additional songs he did not play at the album release party. The one that happened literally less than 24 hours ago. Without the restraints of major label interference, the instant possibilities of the internet, and Kanye's flare for spontaneity and perfectionism he is able to drastically change his art overnight however he deems fit.

    "30 Hours" has a beautiful sample of Arthur Russell's "Answers Me" and some hilarious, incredibly Kanye-esque rhymes covering his favorite subjects as of late including current thoughts on his exes, his fashion launches, and late night sexual exploits.

    Something Borrowed:
    Kanye West | "Blood On The Leaves" (Nina Simone and TNGHT samples)


    Craig Werner, author and professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described "Blood On The Leaves" perfectly as "that apparent dichotomy that makes the song a powerful example of West’s signature melding of the Sacred and the Profane."

    Yeezus's most haunting track and probably the darkest song Kanye ever created blends Nina Simone's 1965 rendition of Billie Holiday's jazz classic “Strange Fruit” with TNGHT's ultra-aggressive instrumental "R U Ready" and a shout out to C-Murder's 2000 song "Down for My N's."

    This song encapsulates what is so special about Kanye West: a seemingly crude cocktail of the melancholic song synonymous with social injustice and lynching has its context transformed from quiet, hopeless despair to unbridled rage by adding the fury of TNGHT's beat as Kanye venomously raps about his own personal pain and never-ending quest for vengeance and acknowledgement.

    Something Blue:
    Kanye West | “Welcome To Heartbreak” (feat. Kid Cudi)


    Kanye's relationship with fame has been documented on many of his songs throughout his career but may be at his most self-aware on the 808s & Heartbreak standout "Welcome To Heartbreak."

    My friend showed me pictures of his kids
    And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs
    He said his daughter got a brand new report card
    And all I got was a brand new sports car


    One of Kanye's constant themes is how he understands his hypocrisies and his public perception as he gets more and more famous. He is not exactly one to let his art simply speak for itself. His over-the-top ambitions may be what skyrocketed him to his perch high on top of the mountain that is pop culture, but the times he steps back to examine his vulnerabilities and what he values most reminds his audience that he is not oblivious to how his actions affect his life, but that he is addicted to confidence, competition, and his lavish lifestyle.


  8. We have a few guesses as to what Kanye's album title is.kanye-new-untitled-album

    Looks like Kanye has finally picked an album title!



    On Twitter late Monday night Kanye West sent a snapshot of his studio and a follow up tweet challenging the entire world to figure out the title of his new album coming out this Friday. The winner will receive tickets to Yeezy Season 3 at Madison Square Garden and free Yeezy shoes.


    There's no way we're going to pass this up so below are our best guesses (which include several titles not following the TLOP suit because, let's face it, he'll probably change the name tomorrow anyway).

    1. So Help Me God

    kanye-album01


    2. SWISH

    kanye-album02


    3. Waves

    kanye-album03


    4. The Last One Playing

    A Bigger Splash 1967 David Hockney born 1937 Purchased 1981 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T03254


    5. To Love Or Pretend

    kanye-album08


    6. The Last Orchestra Played

    kanye-album05


    7. The Laws Of Power

    kanye-album06


    8. The Liquid Of Poison

    kanye-album09


    9. Gods of Calabasas

    kanye-album10


    10. The Todd Craines Project

    kanye-album04


    11. Wolves

    kanye-album12


    12. The Land Of Pussy

    kanye-album11


    What do you think Kanye's album title is? Let us know in Exhale!




  9. Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    mttm-feb4


    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.



    We all have personal, intimate relationships with music. Certain artists, songs, or albums can mean many different things to many different people. Sometimes you fall in love and want to run away and elope with a song, despite the opinions of your friends and family. Other times you thumb through old records and reminisce about the first time you heard that song and how right everything felt all those years ago.

    Our relationship with music is not too different from the dysfunctional marriage(s) we anxiously anticipate. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. The point is: you should never have a lame wedding. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides often endure before they walk down the aisle.

    Each week we will feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    February 5, 2016




    Something Old:
    Red Hot Chili Peppers | "Circle Of The Noose"


    Dave Navarro played in Red Hot Chili Peppers from 1993 to 1998 and was only featured on one album, 1995's One Hot Minute. The band was riding high off the mega-success of the seminal Blood Sugar Sex Magik album released in 1991 and guitarist John Frusciante was riding high mostly off of heroin. That's not to say that Navarro was any cleaner, nor singer Anthony Kiedis for that matter. Lots of drugs with the Red Hots. When he disappeared into the nether realm of addiction in 1993, Navarro took time out from his duties in Jane's Addiction to play guitar for one of the most popular bands in the world. One Hot Minute was not nearly as successful as Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Navarro eventually left the band in 1998 due to the oft-cited blanket term "creative differences."

    This week an outtake from that era was leaked online to everyone's suprise, including the band members themselves.
    “Circle Of The Noose” was well known to die-hard Chili Peppers fans for years but never saw the light of day until now. Navarro went so far as to call it "the greatest pop song I’ve ever been a part of," though that honor is pretty subjective.

    Something New:
    Holy Ghost! | "Crime Cutz"



    Electro-pop duo Holy Ghost! are back with the first new music since their 2013 album Dynamics and boy oh boy was it worth the wait. They are dropping a new EP this April entitled Crime Cutz and they shared the title track via Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show this week. Their press release noted the song as "an attempt to do something that was sort of rhythm ear candy. Simple. Angular. Funky. Physical. Fun." I. Agree. Completely.

    Something Borrowed:
    Halsey | "Love Yourself" (Justin Bieber cover)


    Australia's Triple J radio station had Halsey on for an interview and a performance this week and she took the opportunity to cover Justin Bieber's smash hit "Love Yourself." The song has been covered by several people including Craig David and Alessia Cara, but Halsey's take changes the lyrics from "Love Yourself" to "Fuck Yourself" which really gives the song that extra snarl that the Bad Boy Biebs would probably have loved to incorporate. As she rocked a fresh Yeezus t-shirt to set the mood, Halsey sang the stripped down, more vulgar send-off so well the Triple J DJ could only respond, "Wow."

    Something Blue:
    Gallant | “Skipping Stones” (Feat. Jhené Aiko)


    Last we heard from LA soul and R&B rising star Gallant was his beautiful cover of Sufjan Stevens "Blue Bucket of Gold." Now he's back with a new song for Red Bull Sound Select and this time he's bringing vocalist Jhené Aiko along for the ride. "Skipping Stones” is a slow, sultry albeit heartbreaking jam that exhibits Gallant's signature falsetto over a funky bass line and live drums. Aiko harmonizes underneath for an interesting contrast before she takes off on her own verse. It's a song about loneliness, confusion, and the pain of the forlorn.


  10. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    jessica-simpson-nick-lachey-joe-simpson

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.

    We all have personal, intimate relationships with music. Certain artists, songs, or albums can mean many different things to many different people. Sometimes you fall in love and want to run away and elope with a song, despite the opinions of your friends and family. Other times you thumb through old records and reminisce about the first time you heard that song and how right everything felt all those years ago.

    Our relationship with music is not too different from the dysfunctional marriage(s) we anxiously anticipate. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. The point is: you should never have a lame wedding. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides often endure before they walk down the aisle.

    Each week we will feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    JANUARY 22, 2016




    Last week there was a record-breaking blizzard that hit New York and left many unfortunate souls such as myself to hole up in their apartment, not change out of pajamas for 48 hours, envelop themselves with an arsenal of snacks and wine, and begin binge watching a new show.

    Snowstorm Jonas severely limited New Yorkers' options to either suck down a coffee that's easily 80% Bailey's and/or Kahlua in order to brave the storm and witness the madness first hand or hop onto your preferred video streaming platform and watch the grains of sand sift through the hourglass until you have to trudge through sludge on your Monday morning commute. Maybe I did both. After the novelty of the Snow Day began to wear off and I realized just how cold and wet I was, it was high time to turn off all the lights and mindlessly scroll through Instagram while sort of half-watching a show for the remainder of the weekend.


    I started watching Empire which is not a very great show but it is a very watchable show if you need a different activity once you're done diving down the rabbit hole of Making a Murderer internet conspiracy theories.
    Empire
    Empire is more or less about a drug dealer turned musician turned business mogul (Jay Z meets Dee Jay from Hustle & Flow) who has to decide who will be the sole heir to his Empire (the incredibly subtle name for his company). His three sons are the candidates but each have, in the eyes of their awful father, a gift and a curse. Andre (Sean Combs discoverer Andre Harrell meets real life Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and manager to the stars Benny Medina) is a business savvy Ivy league grad but has no artistic talents. Jamal (Frank Ocean meets John Legend) is a thoughtful, wise R&B singer but, oh no, he is gay and his father believes there is no place for homosexuality in hip hop. Hakeem (Chingy meets Tyga) is an up and coming rapper but his short temper continues to destroy what he creates. What a mess! The show reinforces (ad infinitum) the hamfisted theme of the relationships between children and their famous parents as they try to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

    To live as the spawn of a famous artist is often wrought with baggage. How can someone escape the shadow of their parent's legacy? Sure, the talent can exist in the genes and the parent may even foster their child's career if they choose that path. They have all the connections in the world, the means and access to train their child, and the experience of achieving the limelight and managing within it. Those are the pros. All too often the cons weigh far greater: the jealousy and spite towards that privilege, the insurmountable expectations, the inevitable comparisons to style and talent and ability. Most fall short. Some children of famous parents are given a huge leg up, but if they dare follow in those footsteps they better be able to take the unrelenting lifetime of criticism and juxtaposition. It's nearly an impossible task for a second generation artist to achieve more success and critical acclaim than their celebrity parents let alone a unique identity, but several have been able to do just that.




    Something Old:
    Hank Williams, Jr. | "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down"


    I know that country music does not really have much of a presence on Breathe Heavy and truuuuuust me I'm honestly not trying to change that. Truth be told I actually prefer the off-hand live cover Elliott Smith played, but this song was a hit and this specific performance truly exhibits the bittersweet nature of the lyrics as the camera pans to the faces of a few of the men who Williams names in the lyrics. Despite being the son and namesake of country music legend Hank Williams, Hank Williams, Jr. is probably best known as the singer of the Monday Night Football opening theme song from 1989 to 2011 (until a ridiculous racist rant comparing President Obama to Hitler; though of course, why was Fox News interviewing him in the first place?) which was based on his song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight." The music video for the original song awarded him Grammy two nominations in 1985 and reached number 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.

    That song is actually a psuedo-sequel (maybe, more realistically, a prequel) to an exhausted and disillusioned Hank Williams, Jr. in 1981 with "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)." This song was his fifth number one on the Country chart and spent a total of ten weeks on the chart. Outlaw Country music contemporaries George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson are name-checked as his friends who no longer "want to get high on the town" or "get drunk and get loud," instead preferring to spend quiet nights at home. This version of Hank singing in the same room as some of those guys and improvising the lyrics slightly during a live performance for a TV special on TCM called The Door Is Always Open. We all get to that stage in life where you look around to see that your old partying friends have all gotten older, simmered down, and finally learned when to say when.

    Something New:
    Willow Smith | "TnGwee#3"


    This song feels like more of a raw sketch of song parts and ideas than a finished track, but those parts and ideas sound great. Lately, Willow Smith (daughter of ultra-famous actor/musicians Will and Jada) has been exhibiting an interesting left of center pop sensibility and “TnGwee#3” is a prime example. It begins with simple electric guitar plucking and a male verse before Willow drops in with her multi-layered harmonized vocals sounding like an entire choir of weeping Willows. Towards the end the guitar gets just as distorted as her caterwaul.

    Is it indie? Is it pop? #idk seems to be Willow's preferred answer to most of these questions, but it's becoming clear that she is truly interested in becoming an artist with a personal, independent sound. "I've been searching in the wind for a message / I've been trying to learn something different." It's refreshing to see this 15-year-old with all the access in the world making headlines with her music and not the typical celebrity garbage gossip.

    Something Borrowed:
    ARO | "I Can Change" (LCD Soundsystem cover)


    ARO is the moniker of Aimée Osbourne, the other daughter of Ozzy that you never saw on The Osbournes because she outright refused to be a part of the show telling MTV executives, "I’m not buying this. That’s great, works for you guys, but it’s not happening for me.” Her first EP is due to be released this Spring which will include this cover of LCD Soundsystem's melancholic disco-crooner "I Can Change." ARO's version slows down the rhythm into a somber, synth-pop ballad showing off her vocals as they harmonize through rises and falls echoing beautifully throughout the track. Her prescient decision to stay out of her family's reality TV show and staying the most anonymous member of your ridiculous family was wise and now we get to see the fruits of that choice.

    Something Blue:
    The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon) | "Britney Jean"


    Maybe a song about Britney will offset the old country song and return balance to the Breathe Heavy force.

    What would you do if you were the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono? Huh? Answer me. How do you even begin to Imagine? Your father was one of the most iconic figures in the history of pop culture, murdered in front of your home when you were just five years old, and several weeks before his last album which included a song about you. Your mother remains one of the most polarizing people on the planet, a conceptual modern artist loved and hated for things she did and did not do.

    Then there's you, Sean. You think you have a chance at normal life? You think if you were to be a musician you would ever escape the constant scrutiny of being unfairly compared to one of the greatest songwriters of a generation? Well maybe, just maybe, you would work hard and humbly put out amazing album after amazing album, evolve as an artist, and somewhere along the way you write a tragic ballad about "the sad tale / Of the girl in blond pigtails / From small town Mississippi / Her mother put her up for sale." Maybe you know all too well about the pitfalls of fame and fortune and empathize with someone who was thrown into the fray of stardom way before they are able to make their own decisions on just how that can affect the quality of your life.


  11. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    Gwyneth-Paltrow-Chris-Martin-Awards-Show

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.

    We all have personal, intimate relationships with music. Certain artists, songs, or albums can mean many different things to many different people. Sometimes you fall in love and want to run away and elope with a song, despite the opinions of your friends and family. Other times you thumb through old records and reminisce about the first time you heard that song and how right everything felt all those years ago.

    Our relationship with music is not too different from the dysfunctional marriage(s) we anxiously anticipate. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. The point is: you should never have a lame wedding. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides often endure before they walk down the aisle.

    Each week we will feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    JANUARY 22, 2016



    "Variation does not mean evolution. If an artist varies his mode of expression this only means that he has changed his manner of thinking, and in changing, it might be for the better or it might be for the worse." - Pablo Picasso


    The mark of a great Artist is their ability to evolve, to challenge themselves to create new art through different mediums and not succumb to trends or cocoon within their comfort zone. Refusing to be easily categorized or aesthetically pinned down is not always easy and the risk is not always recommended, but the Artist (capital A) is not solely interested in one medium. No, no. Pure artists strike when inspiration hits them and their means know no bounds. Sure, they may be identified with a certain medium by their audience. They may even have found fame and fortune in one form, but that does not quell another form's relentless call. The Artist is hungry. The Artist yearns to create and express. Their passions instruct their creations, not the other way around. Societal expectations be damned, the Artist will not be confined to what anyone else believes their mode of media should or can only be. Some may have honest intentions but lack the talent and no matter how their valiant efforts, they fly to close to the sun and miss the mark. And beware! Impostors lurk around every corner as feaux artists (lower case a) attempt to diversify merely as a savvy business venture. The few lucky ones, however, quietly release humble ventures to critical , sometimes even commercial, acclaim. In this week's Married to the Music we look at four artists who may be known for their work as actors, but have also released musical projects that are actually worth listening to.



    Something Old:
    Seona Dancing (Ricky Gervais) | "More To Lose"


    Long before he created The Office or hosted the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais and college friend Bill Macrae formed a New Wave pop group known as Seona Dancing. Though this single did not even crack the Top 100 UK Singles Chart when released in 1984, it did achieve mild success in the Philippines in 1985, despite the band already broken up by that point. A Manila radio station billed the song "Fade" by Medium in an attempt to confuse other radio DJ's from locating the song to play on their own stations. Eventually, a rival station figured out the song's true singer and title and the track became a giant hit throughout the country.

    Something New:
    Daddy (James Franco) | "Lime Green Dress"


    Actor/director/model/writer/painter/poet/student/teacher/essayist/Oscars host/musician James Franco has become notorious for his interdisciplinary methodology. Whether or not his art outside acting is well received or panned, Franco continues to create. On March 18 he will release an album for his band Daddy titled Let Me Get What I Want, which is not only inspired by indie gods The Smiths, but Franco was actually able to enlist Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke to play on every single song. According to Franco, "Lime Green Dress" is about "the terror and frisson of losing one's innocence to the bad boy."

    Something Borrowed:
    Michael Cera | "Clay Pigeons" (Blaze Foley cover)


    Though he has been closely tied to music through past projects like Juno, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, no one expected Michael Cera to quietly release an entire album of lo-fi indie folk music overnight. He did just that in August 2014 with his endearing album true that. The initial promotion came from his Superbad cohort Jonah Hill in a simple, thoughtful tweet. His cover of "Clay Pigeons" still features American country-folk singer Blaze Foley's actual vocal track with Cera harmonizing above. In an interview with Stereogum, Cera said, "One night I just started playing it and realized I couldn’t do the lead vocals. Blaze Foley’s original lead vocal in the song is this really low melody line. I sang a harmony line to it and kept the lead vocals, because I realized that was the only way I could sing the song. And then I was sitting up late one night and just recording it, and adding to it. It was just a song I really liked and spent a lot of time with one night. I think it’s beautiful."

    Something Blue:
    Dead Man's Bones (Ryan Gosling) | "Buried In Water"


    2009 saw the release of Dead Man's Bones, the self-titled concept album for Hollywood hunk and anthropomorphized internet meme Ryan Gosling's ghost-chamber pop (a genre I just coined but I can't think of a better descriptor) band alongside accomplice Zach Shields and the child choir of Los Angeles's Silverlake Conservatory of Music. The album was released just before Halloween and the music fits the vibe: morbid and haunting while still embracing the dark fun and campiness of a day that celebrates death, monsters, and ghouls with costumes, candy, and parties. Legend has it, when Gosling and Shields met in 2005 they soon realized they both had a strong admiration for ghosts and Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. They attempted to create a stage play about a monster-ghost-love-story. The play became costly and time consuming so the duo decided to shrink the project into just the conceived soundtrack, which became this standalone album. Several music videos were made and a few tour dates played, but lately Dead Man's Bones has returned to the grave it climbed out of several years ago. Who knows if and when we will see them rise again.


  12. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    Gavin-Rossdale-and-Gwen-Stefani

    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.

    We all have personal, intimate relationships with music. Certain artists, songs, or albums can mean many different things to many different people. Sometimes you fall in love and want to run away and elope with a song, despite the opinions of your friends and family. Other times you thumb through old records and reminisce about the first time you heard that song and how right everything felt all those years ago.

    Our relationship with music is not too different from the dysfunctional marriage(s) we anxiously anticipate. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. The point is: you should never have a lame wedding. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides often endure before they walk down the aisle.

    Each week we will feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    JANUARY 15, 2016



    Something Old:
    Cibo Matto | "Sugar Water"


    This song barely meets my own requirements for the Old song selection as the album Viva! La Woman was released January 16, 1996, so if you reading this after midnight tonight it makes the +20 year cut-off. Cibo Matto is an Italian name (translation "crazy food") for two Japanese women (Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori) in a band based out of New York City. Their lyrics are abstract and surreal: "I'm riding on a camel that has big eyes / The buildings are changing into coconut trees / Little by little / When a black cat crosses my path." Hatori's half-spoken/half-sung lyrics create a dreamlike atmosphere layered over a heavy trip-hop drum loop with a wailing voice sample in the background. The iconic split-screen music video was created by famed experimental director Michel Gondry. Gondry is known for his signature playful, illusory directing style in everything from advertisements (Levi's, Adidas, BMW) to music videos (Daft Punk, The White Stripes, Björk) to feature films (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, The Green Hornet). Honda and Hatori are each filmed in a single continuous shot with one moving forward while the other in reverse until their paths cross and their roles in time and space have interchanged.

    Something New:
    Amber Arcades | "Turning Light"


    Dutch musician Amber Arcades (aka Annelotte de Graaf) premiered "Turning Light" this week. The uptempo dream-pop song was recorded on a whim during an impromptu 5 AM restless and jetlagged studio session. Arcades channels the hypnagogia of the recording process through the sweeping synths and relentless, thin drum pattern. Her ethereal voice reminds me of the late Trish Keenan's from Broadcast (who tragically died 5 years ago yesterday) in the way her melodies effortlessly bounce up and around the music like a firefly in the dark. Arcades' album is due to be released through Heavenly Recordings this Spring.

    Something Borrowed:
    Anika | "I Go To Sleep" (Ray Davies cover)


    "I Go To Sleep" was written and recorded in 1965 as a demo by The Kinks' singer/songwriter/guitar player/artistic geist Ray Davies. Instead of appearing on a Kinks album, Davies was willing to sell the song to whoever wanted to record it. Takers included British pop groupThe Applejacks, jazz songstress Peggy Lee with an orchestra, and Cher for her debut album All I Really Want to Do -- all in 1965! The song has since been covered by many other different artists, most notably The Pretenders in 1981 which rose to #7 on the UK Singles chart. British/German singer/songwriter Anika's 2010 self-titled debut album features her take on "I Go To Sleep." Her version utilizes the thud of a synth kick-drum pulsing to keep time while her Nico-esque breathy vocals float in the air like a cloud of smoke.

    Something Blue:
    Courtney Barnett | "Depreston"


    Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett released "Depreston" as a single off her fantastic debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit last year, landing her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. The simple two-chord riff came from Barnett learning the chords of Australian indie rock group The Go-Betweens' 1988 single "Streets of your Town" and transforming into a similar albeit more somber version. It's slow and repetitive, almost painting a gray-scale picture of a boring drive around a sleepy town where not much happens (hence the official music video's triplicated views of just that). While house-hunting in Preston, a small suburb outside Melbourne, Australia, Barnett viewed a home of a woman who recently passed away which sparked feelings of intrusion and curiosity. Barnett walked around the house observing the woman's personal possessions more than the property itself and began to build an idea of who this woman was and the type of life she lived. The house became a home. The hook that repeats, "If you've got a spare half a million / you could knock it down and start rebuilding" is the advice the realtor gave to Barnett during the open house. What a metaphor. The lyrics drift back and forth between Barnett imagining a quieter life outside a major city, her imagined memories of the former occupant, and the crossroads she stands at where her malaise of Suburbia contrasts with life priorities as she gets older.


  13. Our Married to the Music weekly feature borrows the tradition brides endure before getting married in 4 songs.

    david-bowie-married-to-music


    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.

    We all have personal, intimate relationships with music. Certain artists, songs, or albums can mean many different things to many different people. Sometimes you fall in love and want to run away and elope with a song, despite the opinions of your friends and family. Other times you thumb through old records and reminisce about the first time you heard that song and how right everything felt all those years ago.

    Our relationship with music is not too different from the dysfunctional marriage(s) we anxiously anticipate. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. The point is: you should never have a lame wedding. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides often endure before they walk down the aisle.

    Each week we will feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    ⚡DAVID BOWIE⚡




    Many, many people will be eulogizing the great David Bowie far more eloquently than I ever could so, honestly, pressure's off. I won't try too hard. I don't need to tell you that he was one of the most mercurial artists of all time, changing his persona and musical genre whenever inspired to do so, always 10 steps ahead of his audience. I don't need to tell you that he was an amalgam of gender and sexuality while conflating the human condition with other-worldliness. The makeup, the hair, the wardrobe, the legendary recording sessions, the nicknames, the drugs, the celebrity status, the movies. All of that was intrinsically tied to the most important part of David Bowie: his music. This special addition of Married to the Music reminds us why he was who we thought he was, albeit in only 4 songs. Do yourself a favor and just listen to his entire discography on shuffle for the rest of the week and be truly reminded of his half-century output of genius pop, rock, electronic and experimental music.

    "Let all the children boogie"


    Something Old:
    David Bowie | "Queen Bitch"


    "Queen Bitch" is on many levels Bowie's homage to the Velvet Underground and the first master work of Glam Rock he would release on 1971's Hunky Dory. Mick Ronson's guitar comes in thrashing a riff reminiscent of the Velvets' "Sweet Jane" though it was actually lifted from American Rockabilly musician Eddie Cochran's "Three Steps to Heaven," a song that became a number one hit in the UK just months after Cochran died in a car accident in 1960. Bowie employs very Lou Reed-esque lyrics about a transvestite prostitute sweet talkin' and night walkin', known in the darkest clubs and owning the streets like royalty. All attitude with no fear of consequences, Bowie's Velvets-inspired song would soon influence Lou Reed himself to go full Glam by 1972 with his seminal album Transformer.

    Something New:
    David Bowie | "Lazarus"


    It doesn't get much more prophetic than this. Blackstar turned out to be Bowie's final album released this past Friday on his 69th birthday. The video for "Lazarus" was released just a few days before the album and begins with the lyrics "Look up here, I'm in heaven." Bowie is shown laying in a hospital bed, blindfolded with buttons on his eyes, writhing in pain. Until he's not. Halfway through the video a different Bowie appears in all black, dancing, and singing and writing on a parchment before walking backwards into an armoire eerily reminiscent of a wooden coffin. It's harrowing given the context of his death last night, but it does give a sense of closure. Bowie's cancer took him 18 months after his diagnosis, but not before he could give a beautiful bon voyage to planet Earth. "Oh, I'll be free / Just like that bluebird / Oh, I'll be free / Ain't that just like me?"

    Something Borrowed:
    Nirvana | "The Man Who Sold The World"


    With countless Bowie covers spanning his more than 50 years as a recording artist, it is nearly an impossible task to pick one as "the best" or a "definitive" cover. Seu Jorge's acoustic covers recorded throughout Wes Anderson's 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and sung in his native Portuguese are magical. TV On The Radio recently released a cover of "Heroes" to promote HBO's Game of Thrones as did Janelle Monáe for Pepsi. Beck reimagined "Sound and Vision" with over 160 musicians for a 360° experience to promote Lincoln automobiles. In 2013, Canadian astronaut recorded a cover of "Space Oddity" where he truly is floating in space on board the International Space Station, garnering over 27 million views and counting. Nirvana's version of "The Man Who Sold The World" may be Bowie's highest profile cover. They performed the song for MTV's Unplugged series in November 1993 but the album was released the following November, 7 months after Kurt Cobain's suicide. Nirvana decided to only play several of their own songs that set, instead offering covers of the music that inspired them. These included songs by early blues singer Lead Belly, underground indie-punk band The Vaselines, psych-rockers The Meat Puppets (who accompanied during the live performance), and of course Bowie.

    Something Blue:
    David Bowie | "Life on Mars?"


    Bowie's ballad to escapism through the eyes of a young girl. She is surrounded and distraught by the pains of reality and dives into media for hope and relief. Many of the lyrics are collaged together in a surreal free association that span through American consumer culture, a pun connecting Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin with working class hero John Lennon, violent sailors, and the cyclical, redundant nature of media repeating itself ad nauseam, ad infinitum. Hopefully, Bowie returns as Lazarus did and finally answers this question.


  14. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married.

    married-to-music-january-8


    For better or worse, we’re all in this together.

    We all have personal, intimate relationships with music. Certain artists, songs, or albums can mean many different things to many different people. Sometimes you fall in love and want to run away and elope with a song, despite the opinions of your friends and family. Other times you thumb through old records and reminisce about the first time you heard that song and how right everything felt all those years ago.

    Our relationship with music is not too different from the dysfunctional marriage(s) we anxiously anticipate. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. The point is: you should never have a lame wedding. Married to the Music is a new weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides often endure before they walk down the aisle.

    Each week we will feature 4 selected songs:

    Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
    Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
    Something Borrowed: A cover song.
    Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.


    WEEK OF JANUARY 8, 2016



    Something Old:
    John Lennon | "Watching The Wheels (Acoustic)"


    "Watching The Wheels" was the third single off Double Fantasy, the album released just three weeks before John was murdered in December 1980. The song was released as an official single three months later with cover artwork that bore a photo of a smiling John and Yoko casually leaving their home in The Dakota. The photo was taken by Paul Goresh who also took the infamous photo of John signing an autograph for his killer Mark David Chapman. In 1998 the John Lennon Anthology was released which contained rarities, B-sides, demos, and all kinds of found recordings spanning from 1969 to 1980. The acoustic demo of "Watching The Wheels" swapped the sleek production of the album version with an earlier raw recording of John singing and playing acoustic guitar. It feels much more honest when he proclaims he no longer has the same egotistical drive he once had to be the most famous musician on the planet. "People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away/ Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me/ When I tell that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall/ Don't you miss the big time, boy, you're no longer on the ball?" could be seen as a callback to "People say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one." John continued to proclaim that he was not interested in what others thought of him or what he should do with his life. The difference here is that in this song he's not dreaming about world peace; he's just hanging out at home with his wife and young son playing the guitar, far more content in the shadows than the limelight.

    Something New:
    The Arcs | "Lake Superior"

    If you haven't been watching Netflix's Making a Murderer you are clearly out of touch with America's current obssession with serialized true crime documentaries. This docuseries joins the ranks of Serial and The Jinx with gripping the zeitgeist's attention and turning the national conversation to disturbing murders, police corruption, and miscarriages of justice. So much fun! So addicting! Anyways, Black Keys' singer Dan Auerbach's new side project The Arcs wrote a song about Making a Murderer's protagonist Steven Avery and how "Your alibi, will never do / When the whole town’s got it out for you."

    Something Borrowed:
    Bon Iver's Justin Vernon | "Inside Out" (Spoon cover)

    Indie rock band Spoon's "Inside Out" is the second track of their 2014 album They Want My Soul. About a year after the album was released, Grammy Award winner Justin Vernon of Bon Iver released a short, stripped down cover filmed in an empty amphitheater where the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival would take place later that year in Wisconsin. Vernon's version echoes through the night giving the song a more somber, haunting take.

    Something Blue:
    Gallant feat. Sufjan Stevens | "Blue Bucket of Gold"

    LA R&B singer Gallant toured with indie folk phenom Sufjan Stevens to promote Stevens' beautifully heartbreaking album Carrie & Lowell this past Fall. "Blue Bucket of Gold" is the final track on that album and sticks to the themes of loss, despair, and death. The sparse live version with Gallant singing Sufjan's words was created for Gallant's In The Room web series with Spotify. It's not as uplifting as Gallant and Sufjan's "Hotline Bling" live cover, but Sufjan solemnly playing the melancholy chords on piano combined with Gallant's soaring voice, this track really becomes something special.


  15. Here are 30 songs you could be listening to instead of "Hello" or "Hotline Bling."

    30-one-off-singles


    2015 was a year filled with inescapable mega-hits from pop phenomenons like Adele, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and Drake. The songs that dominated the airwaves always take the forefront of the music conversation. The songs become cultural touchstones. The artists become famous paparazzi-hounded icons. What often gets eclipsed are the diamonds in the rough. There is so much #Content on the interwebz that great songs can often be released to little or no attention, but that absolutely does not mean they do not deserve some recognition. Below is a list of 30 songs that were largely slept on but it's time to wake up and give credit where credit is due.

    30.
    The Weeknd | “Tell Your Friends”


    Abel Tesfaye’s lyrics are at their most blatantly obvious, comically ignorant, and familiarly debaucherous in “Tell Your Friends.” They hit critical mass with the final line of the chorus acting as a declaration of his notorious identity: “I'm that nigga with the hair / Singing 'bout popping pills, fucking bitches, living life so trill.” Kanye West helped produce this bleak soulful burner, the closest thing The Weeknd gets to a romantic ballad.



    29.
    Shamir | “Demon”


    Las Vegas native Shamir’s just-left-of-center pop debut “Ratchet” employs bouncy synths and 808 drum kicks while he gently sings about sins, mistakes, the fast lane, and late night young love. “Demon” bops around telling the story of Shamir and his partner in crime, “If I'm a demon, baby / You're the beast that made me.”



    28.
    Empress Of | “Make Up”


    Empress Of, aka Lorely Rodriguez, has been classified in every genre from indie rock to experimental pop to avant-R&B, which goes to show just how talented and versatile a songwriter she is. Her 2015 album simply titled “Me” highlights her ability to shift through styles while still creating a single cohesive piece. The alternating synths and grand piano keys lined up with the deep percussion on “Make Up” are only matched by the sexiness of her lyrics, “Nothing comes between us/ But a piece of latex/ When you tear my clothes off/ Like I was a paycheck."



    27.
    BEA1991 | “Filthy Believer”


    Dutch singer BEA1991’s single-shot video for “Filthy Believer” is nothing more than the young girl wearing a heavy pink sweater with pink cotton shorts awkwardly dancing in front of a pink backdrop. Over the course of the 3:45 minute video, the dancing feels less like awkwardness than unbridled joy. I think this is what people mean when they tell you to dance like no one is watching.



    26.
    Christine and the Queens | “Tilted”


    French singer and songwriter Héloïse Letissier promises that she’s “actually good” over and over throughout “Tilted” before launching into the original French version’s spoken word lyrics that translate to stanzas about broken arms, bizarre children, and scratching posts. My French is not great (non-existent) but these sparse phrases mixed with her English lyrics about trampling over beauty and mended souls seem to paint quite a picture.



    25.
    Youth Lagoon | “Highway Patrol Stun Gun”


    “Highway Patrol Stun Gun” begins with a steady synth bass, an elegant string section, and bright piano before Trevor Powers begins to sing, “Possessed by something in the wind / They watch me like I'm a threat to them.” In an interview with The Fader he has described the song as his way of dealing with police brutality, corrupt people in high places, and elements of loss.



    24.
    School of Seven Bells | “Open Your Eyes”


    In December of 2013, Benjamin Curtis, a founding member of the synth-pop duo School of Seven Bells, died at the young age of 35 after being diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a form of leukemia. Their final album “SVIIB,” which was still being recording when Curtis passed, is due to be released in early 2016 with “Open Your Eyes” as the first single. Singer Alejandra Deheza described it as “a love letter from start to finish.”



    23.
    Mac Demarco | “Another One”


    His self-proclaimed favorite song and off his mini-LP of just 8 songs also titled “Another One” is a bit of a departure from Mac Demarco’s signature twangy guitar sound. For this song Mac decided to pick up a synthesizer and sing about longing for a someone he is in love with but can never fully have because the object of his affection must have someone else he doesn't know about. A sad tale tried and true.



    22.
    Soko (feat. Ariel Pink) | “Lovetrap”


    Enfant terrible bedroom-pop weirdo Ariel Pink is featured on “Lovetrap” where does what he does best: mixing catchy hooks with bizarro lyrics. French singer and actress Soko is the ideal candidate for a Pink duet. “Lovetrap” describes Ariel as “a mermaid man not half a man” as Soko “bursts [his] heart with her laser eyes.” The video features Soko running around imitating Pink in a TMZ nightmare.



    21.
    SOPHIE | “Just Like We Never Said Goodbye”


    SOPHIE is the alias of London-based producer Samuel Long. SOPHIE songs tend to use heavy, powerful synths and a pitch-shifted vocal track sped up to dance up and down all over the place; the drums are an afterthought if even thought of at all. “Just Like We Never Said Goodbye” thuds along like an 80’s bubble-gum pop jam with lyrics that begin, “We were young and out of control / I hadn’t seen you since I was about, hmm, sixteen years old.”



    20. LCMDF | “Fooled”


    The Finnish group formerly known as Le Corps Mince de Françoise is comprised of sisters Emma and Mia Kemppainen. Their sound is a relentless collage of screaming high pitched synths, marching band snare drums, megalith bass kicks, and the sisters’ smiling harmonies.



    19.
    Blood Orange | “Sandra’s Song”


    Dev Hynes penned and released “Sandra’s Song” under his Blood Orange moniker as an ode to Sandra Bland, a woman who suspiciously died while in police custody in Texas this July spurring already fervent claims of police brutality though it was officially ruled a suicide. The bass, drums, and low end horns compliment the multi-tracks of Hyne’s harmonized chorus.



    18.
    Connan Mockasin & Devonté Hynes | “Feelin’ Lovely”


    Dev Hynes once again, ladies and gentlemen. This silky smooth jam features psych-pop singer Connan Mockasin and was recorded for a tiny little EP the two made together in just a few days this March. The aesthetic is when you are a few too many bourbons deep, dragging on a cigarette in a dimly lit lounge, when a beautiful stranger walks in from the outside and suddenly makes eye contact with you. Now what?



    17.
    Tame Impala | “Cause I’m a Man (Haim Remix)”


    For all intents and purposes, this is more of a cover than a remix of the Tame Impala song. Kevin Parker’s voice is nearly irreplaceable, but if anyone can take on the task it’s the sisters Haim. Context is flipped when we hear “Cause I'm a maaaaaan, womaaaaaan / Not often proud of what I choose.”



    16.
    Purity Ring | “heartsigh”


    The video for “heartsigh” is just as spectral and glimmering as the song itself. Amidst the infinite black void we see twinkling stars. Those stars are what hope looks like. This song is what hope sounds like.



    15.
    Mark Ronson (feat. Kevin Parker) | “Leaving Los Feliz”


    Kevin Parker from Tame Impala has been playing guitar with Mark Ronson for years, and even as Tame Impala became one of the biggest bands in the world, Parker still found time to sing and play on three different tracks on Ronson’s “Uptown Special” album. “Leaving Los Feliz” has Ronson’s signature drum sounds that match perfectly with Parker’s hooky guitars riffs and nasal melodies. “Uptown Funk” may be one of the biggest hits of 2015 but “Leaving Los Feliz” is the real hidden gem on the album.



    14.
    Jamie xx (ft. Romy) | “Loud Places”


    Jamie xx’s solo album “In Colour” has an electronic palette that is both similar and dissimilar to his work in his band The xx. “Loud Places” is one of the two songs that feature The xx’s wispy-sultry singer Romy and the resulting effect is all in the title. It’s louder than we are used to hearing from the pair but feels like an xx after-party where the mood has shifted from morose to celebratory.



    13.
    Kelela | “The High”


    L.A. singer Kelela walks the line between pop and R&B on this minimal track. The bass throbs like a heartbeat as she coos, “I’d do anything for the high / That’s what you said.” She told The Fader that the song is, “…about being enthralled. [The EP entitled Hallucinogen] is a cycle—starting on a somber note and going through all the phases of excitement and power and loss to come back around again.



    12.
    Hot Chip | “Huarache Lights”


    If you ask me, this song is ostensibly about Nike’s Air Huarache Light sneakers. These shoes have a trim of what’s known as 3M reflective material that allows them to bounce the night light off and “beam” in the dark. The video features a giant pulsating light installation dancing against a pitch black background.



    11.
    M.I.A. | “Borders”


    In late November, M.I.A. released the first song off her upcoming fifth album “Matahdatah.” “Borders” features an unrelenting trap beat with the ever-provocative politically conscious singer posing questions at a time when the fear-mongering news cycle is focusing on Mexican walls, Syrian refugees, and Muslim immigration policies. It focuses on the relationship between art and politics; what we decide to allow traveling through our borders (“50 million Taylor Swift records to people in Africa”) and what we strategically keep out (“migrants who believed in the aggressiveness of our sale of democracy”).



    10.
    Frankie Cosmos | “Young”


    “Young” is light, short, and full of hope despite perpetual melancholy. It sounds like singer Greta Kline is singing to herself, sliding her finger on the inside of her steamed up window, looking at the great big moon from little old Earth. The keyboards shimmer behind steady drum loop. “I just wanna be alive, that’s it.”



    9.
    Majical Cloudz | “Control”


    Majical Cloudz songs tend to be very bare bones and vulnerable and “Control” is a perfect example. They pack such an emotional punch with the sparse synths and simple snare essentially just keeping time as singer Devon Welsh sings about wanting to change to the dismay of the person he is singing to. Their fantastic 2015 album “Are You Alone” came out just as they finished a tour opening for Lorde.



    8.
    Chairlift | “Romeo”


    Last year, Chairlift contributed to Beyoncé’s self-titled album by producing the song “No Angel.” This year they came back strong with their own album “Moth” and their second single “Romeo” is one of the many dance floor highlights. In a press release, the synth-pop duo stated this song was from the perspective of Atalanta, a Greek mythological character who was a virgin huntress, unwilling to marry, and loved by many men.



    7.
    Lower Dens | “To Die in L.A.”


    This song just feels like you’re running away from something, anything, and heading West where the sun sets behind the infinite Pacific and the past can be washed away. The chorus is just a repeated mantra, “Time will turn the tide” like a meditative affirmation that everything will be just fine even if it won’t.



    6.
    Tobias Jesso, Jr. | “True Love”


    Tobias Jesso, Jr. seemingly appeared out of nowhere with this heartbreaking song aptly titled “True Love” about two real people trying to make ends meet and just barely getting by because they truly, truly love each other. Jesso’s self-recorded singles quickly garnered him Internet fame, a record deal, and the opportunity to co-write the ballad “When We Were Young” with Adele on one of the biggest albums of all time.



    5.
    Peaches | “Dumb Fuck”


    The most straightforward pop song on Peaches’ 2015 album “Rub” has a thumping bass and heavy synths that slowly build until the chanting chorus “You Dumb Fuck!” It has all the veracity of “sucking on my titties like you wanted me” without losing any of the provocative catchiness that can only be mastered by the one and only Peaches.



    4.
    Chromatics | “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” / “Girls Just Wanna Have Some”


    Ok, it might be cheating to throw two songs as a single entry on this list, but really these two very different covers of Cyndi Lauper’s legendary bratty pop masterpiece are companion pieces and really should never be too far apart. The cover art of the Chromatics’ single is has split photos of model icons Kate Moss & Cara Delevingne as the song was originally created for a Mango fashion ad. The ad features the upbeat version, which is true to the original, but the alternate version is a downbeat sultry cover that is throws the song into an entirely new context. I’d say the former is Cara’s and the latter’s is Kate, but hey, maybe that’s just me and my fantasies.


     



    3.
    Chvrches | “Leave a Trace”


    The lead single from their 2015 album “Every Open Eye” is evokes the power of many an anthemic Chvrches song. The bridge refrain’s only two words are “I Know” repeated as if singer Lauren Mayberry is shaking her head at herself in the mirror, angry but not hopeless. It’s freeing, it’s liberating, it’s leaving the past behind and leaning forward.



    2.
    Grimes | “California”


    Grime’s latest album “Art Angels” is being heralded as one of the best releases this year. For such a happy, upbeat song she sings about California only liking her when she looks sad. In an interview with siriusXM she explained that part of this song is about how indie music journalists will obscure her narratives and misinterpret her lyrics and write about how she has less control of her aesthetic and art than she really does… which is all of it.



    1.
    Tame Impala | “The Less I Know The Better”


    No song has better encapsulated the “ignorance is bliss” mantra better than this one. Psych-pop virtuoso Kevin Parker told Under The Radar earlier this year that “The Less I Know The Better” shouldn’t be on a Tame Impala album because it has this “dorky, white disco funk." That funk is exactly the sound that propelled his band’s latest album “Currents” to the number 4 spot on the Billboard 200.





  16. The Beatles' music will be available to stream tonight.

    the-beatles-streaming


    The Beatles have officially declared they will release their entire back catalogue through streaming services beginning at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve tonight.



    In an announcement on their official website, the entire Beatles' catalogue will begin streaming on all major streaming services.  Their long and sordid battle with music publishing ownership has been well documented, and this is a very exciting new chapter.

    The strange business debacles of The Beatles officially began in 1962 when Decca Records declined to offer a record deal after an audition by the best live band in England stating, "Guitar groups are on the way out."  The band then soon struck a deal with EMI's Parlophone label and they were off to the races.

    In 1963, on the precipice of full-blown Beatlemania, John Lennon and Paul McCartney alongside music publisher Dick James and Beatles manager Brian Epstein formed Northern Songs as a limited company that would publish the Lennon and McCartney songwriting.  It went public in 1965 so they could save on capital gains tax.  Epstein suddenly died from an accidental barbiturate overdose in 1967 and though the lads tried to renegotiate their deal with James, he sold his shares in Northern Songs to Britain's Associated Television (ATV) without informing any of the Beatles or their record label Apple Corps./Apple Records.  Litigation ensued for many years but The Beatles' catalogue became so obscenely expensive and exclusive no one was able to purchase it from ATV.

    After the tragic death of John Lennon in 1980, McCartney and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, attempted to team up to buy out the shares together and regain the Beatles catalogue.  Paul did not want to try on his own as he felt it would appear he was being "grabby" for "owning John Lennon's bit of the songs."  Paul and Yoko were unable to reconcile well enough to agree on the deal and it eventually fell through once again.

    McCartney explained these woes to Michael Jackson in 1982 and how he became far more business savvy through losing his songs' publishing. McCartney went on to acquire catalogues from everyone including Buddy Holly to mainstream Broadway hits.  In 1985 Michael Jackson took Paul's advice and infamously bought ATV Music Publishing including the Beatles' star-studded catalogue for $47.5 million.  Michael Jackson agreed to merge ATV with Sony Music for £59 million making Sony/ATV Music Publishing the largest music publishing company in the world with Jackson as owner of half of the company.

    Beatles' songs remained conspicuously absent from digital platforms until 2010.  Apple Records' long term chief executive Neil Aspinall retired in 2006 and was replaced by former Sony/BMG Executive Vice President Jeff Jones who came to the company with a plan to broker a deal to mend a long-lasting dispute with EMI over Beatles' royalties and work on a rerelease of their entire back catalogue on all platforms including iTunes by November 1, 2010 where they sold 450,000 albums and 2 million singles in the first week.

    The paradigm of modern music listening has significantly changed in the last several years.  The streaming wars are in full effect now that there are actual competing services with Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal as the front runners.  These Big 3 have been taking the lion's share of music listeners from purchasing and downloading individual songs on iTunes towards paying monthly subscriptions to listen to their libraries as much as they want.  This year, Warner Brothers CEO Stephen Cooper announced, "Streaming continues on a trajectory to become our largest revenue source" as digital streaming exceeded download revenue for the first time.  Powerhouse artists like Adele, Joanna Newsom, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, and Taylor Swift have been vocal about their frustrations with Spotify's royalty payment methods for artists and held out against the services.  However, as the 1%, they are so successful they do not need the streaming services' help to distribute their music, particularly evidenced with Adele's record smashing sales of her latest album 25.

    The Beatles have opted out of every streaming platform thus far but that's all going to change tonight.  The Beatles' catalogue has previously had two fashionably late shifts in music distribution: the first was from cassette to CD in 1987 even though audio CD's came out as early as 1981; the second was the aforementioned move to digital mp3's via the iTunes store in 2010 despite iTunes beginning to sell songs in 2003.  The Beatles' catalogue is the most coveted and best-selling in the history of recorded music and their decision to finally move to streaming platforms is a huge indicator of standard music listening in the present age.


    Happy Crimble!  WAR IS OVER!