I spent the entire week of SXSW, which lucky for me takes place in my home town, bouncing from venue to venue listening to some of the most amazing and inspiring musicians this country/world has to offer. As you all know (and if you didn’t know this then welcome!) I took a break from this blog over the past 6 months. A lot in my life has changed over the past 6 months, but I can tell you what has not changed, one single iota, is my passion for music and my desire to share this love of tunes with anyone who’ll take time to hear/read about my auditory interests.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be back in the saddle and this time around I will be working my tail feather off for TrackStar readers. Additionally, I am committed to seeing as much live music as possible this year and hopefully exposing my readers to what’s out there on the perimeter. I have also added a new feature to my site, MIXTAPES (See above header), to expose my readers to my vast portfolio of musical mixes, an underrated artistry in my opinion.
Creative magic happens when you combine the talents of two artists like Kid Cudi and Lady Gaga. Obviously, the Gag and Cudi stand alone in greatness, but together their sounds intermingle, play and build on one another. AND when you add Kanye and Common into the mix, forget it, musical synergy. This particular track, Make Her Say, doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but combines lyrical and melodic components that carry an unexpected swagger. I wouldn’t say I know much about Hip Hop, but I know what I like and as always I will continue to share it with my dedicated listeners. I do it for the love like Ray J.
The Givers should officially be on your radar, if they aren’t already. Releasing their first fill length album this past June, the Givers understand that just because music is a labor of love does not mean it can’t be f*cking fun too.
The Givers present both an airy and energetic sound. It’s hard to imagine to imagine this Louisiana crew not jumping and smiling and having the best time of their life while performing their songs, a breed I believe they refer to as “Dancey pants, indie pop love music.” How can you argue with that? Their sound throughout In Light is far from dull or static, the crowd favorite, Up Up Up, swells with a joyous confidence, while my personal go-to track, Ceiling of Plankton, is a little bit more reserved in its infectious wistfulness. I won’t do anyone a disservice today by posting one song over the other, so enjoy both!
TrackStar here, bringing you a little Friday jam to brighten your day, and I am not talking about raspberry preserves people. This tune by the Swedish (duh.) duo known as The Sound of Arrows might be a little too Justice or Disney for you, but I love it. M.A.G.I.C is fun and interactive, begging and pleading to get you to sing, even if it’s has to use those bouncing mouse ears. I think this particular track is repetitive in the best kind of way, like a reassuring friend trying to help you get through that last bad break up. “I’m here for you man, seriously though, I’m here for you.” That’s not annoying, that’s just being a good friend. Basically, what I am saying (in a nutshell) The Sound of Arrows are just good friends. Buona giornata!
Well I am almost 25. Yep, my birth day happens to fall in the 9th month of the year, I usually pay no mind to my birthday, but this year is different, quarter life crisis different. Because me turning 25 is starting to royally freak me out, I decided one way I will stay sane this month is to post some of my all time favorite songs. So here at lunch time, let’s enjoy some James Brown because who else would we share our turkey sandwich with?! Singing one of my all time favorite songs, James Brown presents “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” . Women rule.
“if your beauty is a fortress, then my love will be the moat”
I am always pleased when a song speaks to me. This particular diddly, “Love Lust” by King Charles, is one of my favorites because its message is such a powerful one, “love stays until the end”. Obviously, I can get on board with a song that embraces and encourages loving a woman with a whole and honest heart. I particularly enjoy the choral and vintage feel the of this song, its composition takes on a distinctly bluegrass/folk feel and peaks with a raucous punk bridge. King Charles admits that he has three main inspirations, “The First is Girls, The Second is God, The Third is The Passage of Time.” I think this song properly address all three. Love Women, God is Love, and Love Forever. Can’t argue with that.
Little Barrie is an English trio straight out of Nottingham, England, but to me they make music as though they’ve have been cruising through the streets of Laguna, watching the waves ebb and flow beneath the pink, sun soaked California skyline. King Of The Wavves, the title track from their new album, is the type of song that cruises through the soul and strokes the fire of the spirit. I know that sounds corny as all get out, but it’s true. This song just puts me at ease, rolling down the widows, feeling the warmth of the pavement tickle my cheeks, playing with the wind between my fingers…it’s that type of song. Please, do me a favor and don’t listen to this song in a dark room with no windows, I fear that if you do this, my analysis might really miss the mark.
So enjoy this beachy-heady serenade and just know that a secret desire of mine is to be the Queen of the waves (at least one day).
I have probably watched the trailer for “Run While You Can” a thousand times. RWYC is a documentary which will follow Sam Fox as he puts his physical body to the test, running the entire 2,650 mile Pacific Coast trail in 2 months. Sam is running as a means of raising money for Parkinson’s research, while simultaneously trying to express the emotions and gratitude he feels towards his mother, Lucy Fox, who was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Sam reminds us that sometimes words aren’t enough.
You might be asking yourself “Why? Why is she explaining this movie in such great detail when it has nothing to do with her usual subject matter?” Well firstly, it is being produced by my lovely friend and filmmaker, Marion Mauran, a woman whose passion for the arts inspires everyone she meets. Secondly, besides being a brilliant filmmaker, Marion also has a true love of music. I look back fondly on the nights we boogied down to MJ and Aretha in our kitchen, cooking and singing and being so grateful to live in Siena, Italy. Those are some of the best memories I have to date, and to be honest, Marion gave me the confidence to start this blog, and it’s clear that she hears what I hear. Marion’s poignant musical choices for the trailers of her movie remind me to stop and listen, and as usual I like what I hear. To say I’m excited to see the final product of Marion’s creative energy would be like Bieber saying he just sort of likes colored denim and hoodies. I am ECSTATIC.
Do me a favor, please take a second to watch the trailer, it would mean a lot to everyone involved with this project AND if you have the time or means please donate to Sam’s fundraiser for Parkinson’s research, even if it’s a dollar, every dollar counts. This is not a platitude people, Don’t hate – DONATE – here!
I am also posting a song which Marion uses in both her trailers of RWYC by Radical Face, Welcome Home is the perfect jaunty yet serene tune to follow Sam on his spiritual and physical journey from California to Mexico.
I am sure he isn’t too happy with me right now since I was asked to listen to his latest beats about a month ago, but better late than never, right? Hoodie Allen has come quite a long way since I heard “Words of Wisdom”, which was over a year ago, and I couldn’t be more impressed/pleased. His recent effort, Leap Year, shows his range, creativity and sense of humor. I can’t really decide on my favorite track because they really are ALL good, so I am picking the one the one that I find to be the most repeat worthy because it’s a) hilarious and b) incorporates T-Swift. #WhiteGirl Problems. If you aren’t familiar with the twitter feed WhiteGirlProblems, do yourself a favor and give a quick read. Just a sample: I really really really really really really really want a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. #whitegirlproblems.
Well Hoodie’s tune capatilizes on this clever little blog and creates a fun, catchy and downright smart song about all those people with white girl problems, and let me just say it’s not limited to girls (apparently Kanye and Michael Phelps are guilty of #wgp). BTW I broke a nail this morning writing this post.
I know that the Carter IV was released at 12am this morning BUT everyone and their mom will be posting about that SO I am going in a different direction today. What direction you might ask? Well, I would say roughly 180 degrees from the Weez. I heard this song awhile back, but I rediscovered it about 22 hours ago and I was moved by the spirit to share it with my readers.
Tallest Man On Earth is lead by Kristian Matsson, a man with a voice and a story, a story he tells along side an acoustic guitar, a guitar that keeps his sound earthy in the most grandiose of fashions. My absolute favorite TMOE song is the The Dreamer, a track from Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird album. In this particular song Matsson straps on an electric guitar (not standard of course), and stirs up a big, belty, beautiful ballad. This is the kind of song you might expect to hear during one of Joey’s self aware “Dawson, Pacey, Dawson, Pacey, No Dawson, No Pacey” moments, but you’d love it nonetheless. This tune is sometimes sad, but poignant and truthful and it spoke to me this weekend, so happy monday. Please do enjoy.