Tag Archives: music

Work it out Wednesday > #62

Happy Hump Day! I heard this remix the other day on my Swedish House Mafia Pandora station and instantly loved it. Kind of reminds me of Burning Man and certainly makes me wanna dance.

Spencer & Hill – 303 (Bastian Van Shield Remix)

Live music, M83

One of the great aspects of going to see a favorite act perform live is that often after the show you fall in love with an album all over again and/or acquire even greater appreciation for it.

Last week I saw M83 (finally) at The Fillmore and it was arguably one of the best shows I’ve attended in a long time.

They sounded great and were at one of San Francisco’s best music venues, they played a pleasurable mix of old and new (all of which are good), and the crowd was attractive and enthusiastic. It probably didn’t hurt that they had just come off two weekends at Coachella, so their energy was high.

I’ve been listening to their last two albums, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and Saturdays = Youth (which also served as our Burning Man exodus soundtrack last year) pretty much on loop the last week.

Here’s a clip from the show and one of my favorite songs, Reunion.

Work it out Wednesday > #61

Happy Hump Day! In honor of scoring tickets yesterday to what will be my first Above and Beyond show in June at The Warfield (sold out in an hour)… here’s my friend GoMeg’s favorite track by the progressive trance trio. can’t wait to dance my face off!

Above & Beyond – Prelude

Work it out Wednesday > #60

Happy Hump Day! Brooklyn-based electronic pop trio-turned-duo Chairlift released their third album earlier this year and it’s full of great tracks including their first three singles Amanaemonesia, Sidewalk Safari and Met Before. (You might be more familiar with their song Bruises which was featured in a 2008 iPod Nano commercial.) My favorite track from the new album is the head bopping, love gushing I Belong In Your Arms.

CHAIRLIFT – I BELONG IN YOUR ARMS

Work it out Wednesday > #59

The last week has been full of ups and downs. Let’s celebrate making it to Hump Day with a slick Wolfgang Gartner remix of a brand new song by Miike Snow, from their highly anticipated upcoming album.

Miike Snow – Paddling Out  (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)

Florence, Gotye, Girls, The Black Keys

This weekend I returned from a 10 day trip to Hawai’i. I went mostly off the grid, solo, independent and ready to be resourceful. I got to know a handful of really interesting people and saw some beautiful sights. As inspiration for this post, I listened heavily (while driving more than 1,000 miles on the Big Island) to four albums released over the last few months. I picked these albums for a variety of reasons which I explain below and also because the artists are all slated to play at Coachella this year.

Here are my thoughts and favorite songs from my Hawai’i soundtrack:

Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials

Florence and the Machine, CeremonialsWhat’s great about this album? It’s better than their first album, which was pretty damn good. What’s cool about this album? It was recorded in Abbey Road Studios.

I saw Florence and the Machine perform live at the Greek Theater in Berkeley last summer (the day after I finished the AIDS Lifecycle). She is an amazing, powerful singer and her band is a very talented group of musicians. I think all of that becomes quite obvious on this new album. There isn’t a song on the album I don’t like, and knowing how great they were live, I would love to see them on tour this summer. I highly recommend this album.

Here’s my favorite song, Spectrum, being performed live (in dramatic Florence fashion) on an episode of the X Factor.

Florence and the Machine will be playing in Davis, CA at the Mondavi Center on Wednesday, April 18.

Gotye, Making Mirrors

Gotye, Making MirrorsI first heard Gotye from my friend Lukasz. He is obsessed with KCRW which I haven’t had a chance to listen to much, but he insists features a lot of great up-and-coming music acts. He shared a Gotye song with me, Somebody That I Used To Know, back in November, which was long before the video garnered 55 million views on YouTube. It’s a great song if you haven’t heard it.

As for the rest of the album, it’s good and it definitely features what I deduced to be three different sounding sets of songs. I loved songs #1-5 and thought these defined his style best. These songs sound the most current, are a tiny bit alternative, and feature meaningful lyrics. The second set of songs have an upbeat vibe but more to the tune of Michael McDonald or Taylor Hicks. The final set of songs are a bit darker and more electronic.

My favorite song from the album is called Eyes Wide Open (#4), which I must have listened to 50 times during my trip. Here’s a really great movie he released on YouTube with the song.

Gotye will be performing at The Independent in SF on Thursday, April 12.

Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Girls, Father, Son, Holy GhostYes I like Girls because they are a San Francisco group. And yes I have great respect for Girls because their lead singer speaks open and honestly about drug abuse. Their new album, which I chose based on a sky-high review from Pitchfork (they gave it a 9.3), is good, but made less of an impression on me than the other three albums. Music snobs would probably say I didn’t get it. Maybe not. I definitely think they’re original (albeit retro) but perhaps just not for me.

It’s not like they don’t have a rabid following. It’s already been highlighted on their Wikipedia page that they recently sold out Terminal 5 in New York City. (That’s a sign they’ve made it right?)

My favorite song is probably their second single from the album, Honey Bunny, because it’s light and fun, and because it takes me to the 1950s, when Buddy Holly might have been playing a concert in Santa Cruz.

Girls will be performing in Santa Cruz on March 1 at the Coconut Grove Ballroom.

The Black Keys, El Camino

The Black Keys, El CaminoI have to be honest, I’ve been pretty oblivious to The Black Keys. I picked this album because I knew nothing about it, yet it was on the top 10 most popular album list in iTunes before I left and because they’re headling Coachella, for crying out loud.

Boy have I been missing out. The Black Keys are a talented band and likely enjoy appeal from a wide variety of fans. I know plenty of friends with good music taste that have liked them for some time (but never pushed them on me apparently) and I know plenty of different people that would appreciate this album to. Like my dad, or my sister and her fiance, for example. (Congrats again Jaime!) It’s good music and it feels good to listen to it.

Stop Stop isn’t necessarily my favorite song from the album but it stands out most for me. I had it stuck in my head throughout several points on the trip and I think it gives a good sampling of the album’s overall sound.

The Black Keys will be performing big at Oracle Arena on May 5. I don’t doubt they will put on a great show leading the marquee on Friday night at Coachella.

Work it out Wednesday > #53

This year I had the pleasure of seeing one of (in my opinion) the world’s best DJs, deadmau5, twice. Deadmau5 recently received three Grammy nominations for his work this year including a nomination for Best Dance Recording for Raise Your Weapon. This was a pretty amazing remix of that track:

Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)