Nude Pop

For all of you who were hoping “Nude Pop” would bring about something along the lines of the ever enticing albeit sordid pictures of the latest Miley Cyrus picture scandal, you’re shit out of luck.  Instead, you can thank me for some of the best music to come out of Spokane since opera singer Patrice Munsel (I hope that plug makes me sound sophisticated and not like a douche).  I can honestly say that the first time I heard their song Lurker it hit me like a “wrecking ball.”  Unfortunately this post comes a little too late as the band has decided to call it quits so the lead singer can pursue his love of sustainable agriculture…?  Fear not though young gents, the rest of the band has stated that “We Can’t Stop” and will soon be venturing out with a new lead singer and name.  Here’s to hoping they put on a tour that allows them to “Party in the U.S.A.”

 

KEXP Presents Nude Pop

Nude Pop-  Lurker

photo cred goes to culturemob.com

Because the Internet

Childish Gambino revealed an interesting strategy when revealing his much anticipated sophomore album, he released two singles at a time, twice, before the album dropped. He organized his album into a few mini-EP’s using roman numerals, a possible reflection on the way he used the internet to jumpstart his rap career and a definite shout-out to the Worldstar internet society that he challenges and embraces at different points during his album (most notable on II. Worldstar). This album is as fantastic as it is diverse, a must pick up in my opinion. I found picking a favorite among the singles impossible, so I went with the most popular at the moment, enjoy:

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Austin City Limits Review: Friday

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Each October tens of thousands of festival goers pour into Austin, Texas to experience one of the oldest and most impressive music festivals in the world, Austin City Limits. ACL, as it’s known, usually has something for everyone with its eclectic array of artists spanning nearly every genre and level of popularity. This years lineup was no exception, featuring everything from Kaskade to Lionel Richie, from Caspar Babypants to the Kings of Leon. 

ACL isn’t just about the music, the food and art on display are fantastic as well. The food selection is phenomenal, made up of about thirty popular local spots. The Gentleman grubbed on Freebirds burritos, Torchys tacos, and P.Terrys burgers and snagged dessert at Amy’s ice cream or Tiff’s Treats. Food quality and number of porta-potties are often overlooked, yet crucial, factors in how good a music festival ends up being.

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FUN.

In between eating The Gentleman actually found time to catch a few shows, starting with the tail end of Fun’s set. I think it’s safe to say we all remember the time, about four months ago, when radio stations made it clear they felt we should be listening exclusively to We Are Young (They just finished doing the same thing to Radioactive). Fun though was surprisingly good live, especially when considering the length to which they rely on frontman Nate Ruess’ aggressively poppy vocals. I personally didn’t think he would sound the same in person but I was wrong, he delivered and the only two songs we saw (We Are Young and Some Nights) were awesome and had the crowd of about 20k singing along.

I can’t believe I’m putting up a link to We Are Young, but to the one guy who was studying abroad in Antarctica studying penguins or something and missed this, here you go. As far as catchiness and get-stuck-in-your-headability (not a word I know) this song is up there with Day Man, with the only difference being that We Are Young only has 211,000,000 more views.

Here’s the slightly less abused Some Nights, boasting a measly 83,000,000 views.

Local Natives

Mumford & Sons. Explosions in the Sky. The XX. These are just some of the bands I can think of that at one point or another were infected with the “indie virus”. There are people out there who really value their music and are proud of the bands they’ve found on their own, I happen to be one of those people, and I’ll admit I’ve been known to douche it up about my music from time to time. There is, however, a segment of the population who seem to find self-worth in finding a band before YOU did, and they desperately want to remind you of that every time a song from “their” band comes on. These people seem fine at the beginning, but after about the tenth time they’ve reminded you that they started listening to Kings of Leon in, like, fifth grade or that they were “totally raping the replay button” on Levels years before you were, they begin to border on insufferable. The Local Natives, for whatever reason, attract these kinds of people like moths to light. There’s a reason for that though, these guys are fantastic. When I hear songs like Wide Eyes I can completely understand why people want to be associated with these guys, their sound is unique and they’re really talented. The bottom line is the Local Natives are just plain old fashioned cool. They make the perfect kind of music to relax to with a cigar and beer in hand, preferably next to some body of water. When I heard they were playing at ACL I was pumped to see them and so right after Fun played I pretty much jogged my way over to the other end of the park to catch them in the middle of the set. Here are a few of their jams I recommend for anybody who hasn’t given them a listen:

Wide Eyes is just a laid back introspective awesome jam, I dare you to not download this.

They mix up the pace to great results on Breakers

Vampire Weekend

In my experience people tend to underestimate Vampire Weekend, they probably have a lot more songs you’ve heard than you realize. These guys have an interesting sound, kind of an alternative take on pop. They’re versatile too, they have the ability to stretch across several genres on a given album. I noticed the audience seemed to warm to Vampire Weekend more and more as their set went on, which is one of the supporting factors to my statement above, if you see these guys live you might be surprised by how many songs you know. Honestly these guys are simply a real solid festival band, I can’t think of much more to cover in my write up. Go see these guys, you’ll be glad you did.

A-Punk was the first song I caught from Vampire Weekend and it’s a jam

Giving Up the Gun really exposes the pop influence in their music

 

Kaskade

Here ladies and gentleman, we have the first entry into The Gentlemans coveted Top Five Sets of the Weekend! I’m sure Kaskade will be ecstatic to hear of his inclusion. I was absolutely looking forward to seeing this guy but he still surpassed my expectations by a vast margin. I’ve always felt that electronic concerts have a certain edge to them that other genres don’t, the upbeat nature and pounding bass help keep the crowd pumped up the whole time, if you haven’t been to a proper one you’re missing out. When it comes to Kaskade specifically, this guy gets it. He knows how to work a crowd, surprising everyone by leading off with his latest hit single, Atmosphere (off the album by the same name). He did a great job of keeping the energy level through the roof the entire set. What set him apart though was the way he finished, he rattled off three absolute heaters in a row, people were getting pretty weird out there. I actually took a few videos of the drops in between losing my mind, I’ll post those along with a few links to the songs he played.

He led off with this.

Second to last song was this incredible remix to Lana Del Rey’s Young & Beautiful

He finished with a classic jam of his that has to be one of my favorite electronic songs of all time.

Here are a couple of videos I took of his set.

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Muse

I’m gonna come clean here gentlemen, I was not a Muse fan before seeing them at ACL. I only went and saw them because my friends wanted to and because I had no one better to see at the time. I’m not saying they’ve magically converted me into a lifelong fan or anything after just one show but I will say this: they are all kinds of incredible live. I can only imagine how good that concert would have been had I been a fan prior to having seen them. They played all their hits but even the songs I didn’t know (I only know about five) were really enjoyable because the effort level they brought was through the roof. Leaving the concert I couldn’t stop thinking about how unbelievably talented Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy is. The guy plays four different instruments during their set and sings like a borderline opera singer. Their performance just missed making it in to The Gentleman’s Top Five Sets of the Weekend (only Kaskade from Friday made it) but I would still highly recommend seeing them if you’re lucky enough to get the chance.

Some classic Muse:

The Muse song I loved before I saw them:

Jam Session: The Grand Theft Auto 5 Soundtrack

The evil geniuses over at Rockstar Games are notorious for making the biggest, baddest video games, whether we’re talking about their Grand Theft Auto series or their one-off projects like L.A. Noire. Like them or not, and there are plenty of moral crusaders who HATE Rockstar, they’re at the top of their industry right now. GTA V is setting sales records and raising the bar for video game developers everywhere, and part of what makes it such a great game is it’s soundtrack.  The Grand Theft Auto series is well known for putting out phenomenal soundtracks but Rockstar really outdid themselves this time, the game is chock full of absolute jams from nearly every genre.

Looking for one of those indie-electronic-pop songs that are all the rage these days? Look no further than Sleepwalking from The Chain Gang of 1974.

How about the gangster rap one most closely associates with GTA? They’ve got that in spades.

Alternative Rock? Yup. (For whatever reason this video is quieter)

These three are just a sample of the dozens of great songs from the newly released GTA 5. Check out the soundtrack on iTunes or play the game for yourself to find the rest.

Diplo- Revolution (feat. Imanos, Faustix, and Kai)

Gents, if this absolute heater from Diplo doesn’t have get you pumped you don’t have a pulse. Diplo’s been on fire the past year, releasing a wide variety of jams from the relaxed About That Life to the face melting Boy Oh Boy (check out both of those as well). Revolution will have your next pre-game feeling like it’s a post game, and that’s a good thing right?

 

Grouplove – Ways to Go

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Having been a fan since they first dropped the song “Colours”, Grouplove’s new album Spreading Rumours has been much anticipated.  Finally the day has come for their sophomore release and needless to say, the Aristocrat is very pleased.  The album features simple yet catchy lyrics over a mix of rock, pop, and electronic music samples.  All in all, though it might not live up to its predecessor, Spreading Rumours is a definite gem.  Here is the first single from the album, “Ways to Go.”

Chance The Rapper

We have a double feature for you Gents today.  Chance The Rapper is an up and comer out of Chicago that has really been turning heads with his old school flows.  We are showing two songs of his new mixtape “Acid Rap” which can be downloaded for free off his site chanceraps.com.  Pay close attention to the second track, it features someone who might sound familiar.  Beware of some choice language.

 

Photo credit liveforthefunk.com

Volcano Choir- Bygone

Volcano Choir is led by front man Justin Vernon, if that name sounds familiar that might be because he’s the genius behind the critically acclaimed Bon Iver. Justin has taken a break from churning out classics with Bon Iver to partner with Collections of Colonies of Bees to drop this gem upon you. Bygone is a slow building indie tune that inspires the listener to turn introspective. Justin lends his patented haunting vocals to a track that is powerful in its simplicity.

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Arcade Fire returns to the scene from a slight recording hiatus to bring forth a track with a much different vibe than we are accustomed to seeing from the customarily rock oriented band.  ”Reflektor” features a dark, discoesque feel that immediately caused this listener to want to dance about the room.  There are a few different listening experiences provided with this song.  Initially released as an interactive video, by going to justareflektor.com you can singularly control different aspects of the video.  If you prefer the simpler forms of media, feel free to enjoy the video below.

 

P.S. Did I mention that David Bowie is featured in the song?!

 

credit musiclipse.com for the photo

The Dodos- Confidence

We’re back with the indie sound gents! This track comes from the Dodos, a group out of of San Francisco that has been on our collective radar here at DYG for a while, notably from their 2009 hit “Fables”. They’ve undergone a recent change in their sound, and no where is that made more clear than in their new single “Confidence”. “Confidence” is a song that increases in intensity, it builds slowly, climbing towards a fantastic and frenzied climax. If you like the single, check out the rest of their album “Carrier” on iTunes.