Rites of Spring was in many ways a kick-off for the summer season of music festivals. For many students, the time to go to music festivals in a hot, showerless, frenzy of music, beach balls, and girls on the shoulders of some poor soul won’t begin until a few weeks when we are done with the stresses of finals and school work. To get ready for this wonderful time of year, I have compiled a list of 10 songs that really get us into the mood for these festivals. These songs are not necessarily the most intricate or creative songs that these artists have made, but I think they really capture the carefree, no-consequences kind of attitude most people are looking for during the middle of a summer festival.
I’ve come across a lot of new music through a few friends of mine. “New” of course is quite relative, since for the most part the songs I’ve discovered were released months or years ago. The genres vary greatly, artists have little in common, but all give off excellent vibes and are all tunes that I would highly recommend to others. Without further ado, here are the top five artists I’ve been enjoying the past couple weeks.
Most people are familiar that Johnny Cash’s famous “Hurt” is actually a Nine Inch Nails song, that Led Zeppelin took much of their catalog from early blues recording, or that all of the various recordings of “Hallelujah” owe themselves to Leonard Cohen’s original. But what about those song’s that we associate with one artist entirely when they are actually the creative genesis of another artist entirely? These five songs fall in that category; that a listen to the original versions.
So, my friend Lucas did a post on this same subject a while ago; I liked the idea so much, I wanted to create my own spin on the subject of hauntingly beautiful music. Many sources define “haunting” as “remaining in the consciousness” or “not quickly forgotten;” however, the significance of this term surpasses its somewhat shallow definition. Music that is haunting doesn’t just remain in the consciousness for a long time, it transforms it. The moment this music enters our ears, it lifts us to a higher plane of existence. We begin to contemplate, as The Shins put it in one of the songs I will reference, “the bitter mechanics of life.” We forget how and why we exist. The only thing that matters, in that moment, is the music that is filling us, and we are forever changed by it.
Doing a cover of song can be risky business. There is the constant threat for comparison, and if the cover does not live up to a certain standard in comparison to the original, most people do not even give it a second thought. With that being said, here are some covers/remixes/arrangements that I find do a great job of updating an old idea into a new product. These new renditions are not necessarily better than the original, but they do seamlessly incorporate another person’s work into the new artist’s own style to make an interpretation of the song that is worth our attention.
Alright, so maybe Bonnaroo and Coachella are a bit far off in the future, but it’s never too late to get excited about their imminent arrivals! With Elton John, Kanye West, and Jack White headlining Bonnaroo; Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire headlining Coachella, and many more amazing musicians/bands showcasing their talents at the two festivals, there is much about which to be excited. Bonnaroo is a little more than 100 days away; Coachella is just 40 days away; and spring break 2014 is happening right now. As many people are parading off to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the beach for a week of relaxation and wild festivities, I’m sure they would appreciate a playlist to get them to where they’re going and make their trips more enjoyable. So, wherever you’re going for spring break, whether flying out or road tripping, or simply going home for some much-needed R&R after a stressful week of midterms, here is a playlist of catchy tunes by some of the artists who will be performing at this year’s Bonnaroo and Coachella to spice up your spring break!
It’s no secret that Aphex Twin (AKA Richard D. James) is one of my favorite artists, but I can see how someone who’s yet to give him a listen might be intimidated by his scattered discography. Following are my picks for the top 10 Aphex Twin productions.
Legendary hip-hop group De La Soul made their entire discography available for download this Valentine’s day. Here are eight love tracks to help you sift through the epic collection of beats and rhymes. [Read more...]