All posts by Jonathan

Brother To Brother – How Far We’ve Come

On the 9th Episode of the Brother to Brother podcast we discuss how far we’ve come in this nation. We live in what seems to be dark times and often it’s easy to get bogged down in the misery of today. However, when we take a step back to consider where we are it’s hard not to be encouraged at how far we’ve come. We take this episode to celebrate the progress made in our time.

Hiddanas aka Reggie and I aka Tempiwmf discuss just how far we’ve come as a nation. We, using our 30 some years of experience on this earth ,discuss the many ways our nation has changed for the better and for the worst. We look at the changes in cinema, the arts, politics, and so many other areas of interest.

We also nominate our next candidate for Asshat of the Year and catch up on our Hero of the Year nominees. Enjoy a lively rant on a certain politician who needs to go away & a learn about a new cinematic project from Get Out director Jordan Peele.

No need to wait or delay for there is something for everyone on the latest Brother To Brother podcast.

Brother To Brother – White Washing & The Importance Of Diversity

On the 8th episode of the Brother to Brother podcast we discuss the ever present topic of White Washing in cinema and the importance of Diversity.

 

But first we discuss how our weeks went and debate the failure that is Alien Covenant. We also compete to nominate our second contender for Asshole of the Year and Reggie aka Hiddanas delivers a whopper while John aka Tempiwmf delivers an annual competitor. From there we get right into the main topic of White Washing.

We discuss the history behind the white washing, we discuss the importance of those who speak out against it, and we debate why it continues to happen. We also discuss the social importance of diversity, the impact it has on us personally, and success of franchises which make diversity a priority versus those who don’t.

We end the show with our lighthearted segment “Whatcha You Talkin About Willis” where we discuss the #WhereWasObama phenomenon. All of this and more on the latest episode of the Brother To Brother Podcast.

Brother To Brother – Charlottesville

On the 7th episode of Brother to Brother we return from an unexpected break, we discuss how the end of our summer is going, and we nominate our first contender for “Asshole Of The Year”.

We also gather to discuss the events of Charlottesville, the national response, and where it may lead us in the future.  We examine the response by other cities and the roots that created the violence in Virginia.

Lastly we end the show with our new segment “Ask A Black Guy” where we field questions from you the audience, family, and friends.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of this and more on the newest episode of The Brother To Brother Podcast.

Brother To Brother – Brothers In Space

On the fifth episode of the Brother to Brother podcast we discuss Brothers In Space!!! In this episode we springboard into the pool of greatness that is Sci Fi to discuss Star Wars, Star Trek, and a myriad of other amazing pieces of art.

Both Reggie aka Hiddanas and I are long time fanatics of the genre of Science Fiction. From books to television and film we have feasted upon the genre our entire life. We take our lifelong passion, we discuss the figures that inspired our love for the category, and the ways it’s involved into one of the most diverse genres in society.

We explore how Science Fiction approaches the issue of race, how it still struggles in some ways but also how it allows for the depiction of a more beautiful future. So take a step into the future with us, travel around the universe, and sign on board to the SS Brother to Brother as we become Brothers In Space.

Brother To Brother – The Black Card

On our fifth episode of the Brother to Brother podcast we discuss the Black Card. That mythical and mystical piece of property sacred to so many and a burden to so many others. It’s a thing born of shared customs, experiences, and cultural norms. Is it good? Is it bad? Only time will tell.

Join us as we discuss the Black Card

Brother To Brother – When Racism Works For You

On the fourth episode of the Brother to Brother podcast we discuss when Racism works for you. As Dave Chapelle said it best. “Racism doesn’t always work for you but when it does it’s fucking sweet.” So with that in mind we discuss when racism helps a brother out. Take a peek behind the curtain to see what it’s like when good things come from racial beliefs and stereotypes.

 

 

Tempi’s World – Episode 17 – Parallel Universes

On the 17th episode of Tempi’s World we dive deep into Parallel Universes. Universes where up is down, night is day, and Trump isn’t President.

We leave no stone unturned as we discuss the Multiverse, Bubble Universes, and even Time Travel. We examine if it’s possible that multiple universes exist, what that would mean for individuals, and what role god would play in creating such a universal setup.

Lastly we discuss our top 5 Parallel Universe things. This includes how some shows get it right (Star Trek), how some forms get it perfect (Sliders), and how we may all be part of colliding universes melding together to become one (aka the Mandela Effect).

So join me @Tempiwmf and frequent guest @Hiddanas as we discuss all the possibilities that exist in a Parallel Universe. Discover if you’re from Earth 1 or 2. Answer our listener question (see below) and open your mind to the many possibilities that lie within Tempi’s World.

Listener Question – If you could travel to parallel universes knowing that you only had a 40% chance of survival would you take the risk?

Brother To Brother: No Justice No Peace (Policing In America)

Welcome to the 3rd episode of the Brother to Brother podcast. A podcast where two brothers @Tempiwmf & @Hiddanas join together to vent, discuss, and debate the topics that shape our world. Part therapy part tongue in cheek and all real talk.

On this episode we discuss American justice and the issues that exist within policing. Using recent stories we examine the myth of bad apples, we discuss the historic issues surrounding injustice in policing, and debate positive solutions for the future. Are we being too critical or did we pull punches. You all will have to be the judges of that.

Other show highlights include:

  • @Hiddanas believes there is progress in policing.
  • We discuss the terrible Obamacare repeal bill passed by the GOP in the House of Representatives
  • @Hiddanas gets another hosting job on another podcast (how many is too many)

Truly there is something for everyone and make sure you stick around for the episodic rant We Shall Overcome and another Brother to Brother shout out. Listen Up & Stay Woke

Project 25 – Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

Me First & The Gimme Gimmes:

This Project 25 list is made up of my favorite musical covers from a cover band….nah the cover band. Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. These aren’t necessarily their best covers but they are My favorite ones. Am I Right? Am I Wrong? Only time and you the readers/listeners can determine that. Want to add your own list feel free to email me  tempiwmf@gmail.com, hit me up on twitter @tempiwmf, or comment below.

Without further ado here is MY list:

 

  • Sloop John B – For my money this is one of Me First & Gimme Gimmes’ top three songs. Vocally it is one of their best, instrumentally it’s perfect punk, and overflowing with their unique polished brashness.
  • End Of The Road – Boyz To Men would be proud of this amazing cover. The spoken portion in the intro and during the middle makes this a special cover.
  • Nothing Compares To You – Covered by so many this is easily the best of them. Even though the song is well known this cover takes you on various twist and turns. You’ll leave knowing nothing compares to this cover.
  • Where Do Broken Hearts Go – This is a great cover of Whitney Houston love ballad.
  • Ghost Riders In The Sky –  A rocking version of this classic folk/country ballad by Johnny Cash. They do the man in black proud.
  • On The Road Again – Take Willie Nelson’s classic hit, add some heart thrashing guitars, and amazing vocals. This is the recipe for a perfect cover.
  • Hello – Lionel Richie wishes he could have put this much power and awesomeness in his hit Hello. The determination felt in the original is here in abundance in this amazing cover.
  • I Believe I Can Fly –  R Kelly hasn’t got anything on this cover. Use a ukulele to lull the audience into a feeling of security and then drop the hammer. If this doesn’t get your blood pumping you’re probably already dead.
  • Goodbye Earl – Even though I’m not a big fan of the Dixie Chicks it’s hard not to love this particular version of it. Short, sweet, and strong. It’s hard not to be a fan of this track
  • Who Put The Bop – Are you a fan of 50’s bop hop music then you’ll love this diddy. What begins as a tribute to the original evolves into a cover that shows the best of punk music. Grab a shake and fries while you twirl and thrash to this.
  • Over The Rainbow – Maybe you’re a lover of classic show tunes or you like to wander through Oz. If so you’ll be a big fan of this cover. It’s a simple cover with little variation from the original which makes it so special.
  • She Believes In Me – How do you make a country song about true love even better? You turn it into a punktastic ballad with great guitar riffs and vocal explosions.
  • Wild World – This song is already awesome in its original form. Add some punk guitar and sincere vocals to make this a perfect musical mix. Truly it’s a wild world that produced this diddy.
  • Stand By Your Man – This beautifully sung song about a woman’s struggle to love her man is pretty weird when sung by a bunch of punk maniacs. Don’t like the idea of standing by your man. Well at least stand by your band.
  • Rainbow Connection – Have you ever wondered what a punk Kermit the Frog would sound or be like. Well you no longer need to wonder. Just put on this cover and rock out punk muppet style.
  • Country Roads – If you’ve ever been in a West Virginia bar you’ve probably heard drunk folks blast out their state tune. Well Me First & The Gimme Gimmes added their own spice to this classic and made it better some how. West Virginian or not you’ll love this track.
  • Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – Take a classic showtune and give it some punk infused venom. It keeps the hopeful sound while giving it a bit of pace.
  • I’ll Be There – Take the most classic Jackson 5 song and let the greatest punk cover band ever cover it. The result is a song as delicious as the finest meal you’ve ever had. Enjoy this one.
  • Desperado – More proof that country style music is better when digested in a better musical form. This Eagles classic gets a Gimme Gimme makeover to add some pace and attitude to this amazing tune.
  • Caberet – This is cover of a Broadway hit makes you wish that there was a punk stage show for viewing (there’s a novel idea). This version keeps a lot of the original feel while giving it a modern punk sound.
  • Heart Of Glass – This 80’s classic is covered at a breakneck pace. It feels like you’re on a runaway train going downhill and loving every minute of it. The guitars take you on a roller coaster ride up throwing you in all directions. Vocally it’s easy on the ears and even better on the soul.  
  • Looking For Love – It’s hard not to love this ditty from their country music cover album. Infusing this song with punk power the Gimmes Gimmes are still able to keep the emotional undertones of the original hit. Only complaint is that it’s too short.
  • Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – This is a song about the desperation & a hopeful plea. This particular cover use punk guitar riffs to bleed that very emotion into every single note. Easily one of their best covers. Vocally and instrumentally it slays.
  • Hava Nagila/Hava Nagila(Christmas Arrangement) Off their live album these two particular pieces are amazing covers of a traditional Jewish song. True to their normal form their provide a traditional cover and then add their own twist to things. These songs, and this album, makes you wish you could have had them at one of your birthday parties as a kid.
  • Jolene – This Dolly Parton classic is easily one of the best songs on their country music album. This song, which is often covered, is best as a punk explosion (in my humble opinion) and the Gimme Gimmes don’t disappoint. If you love this song in its original form you’ll love it even more as a punk ballad.

Honorable Mention:

  • Annie’s Song – John Denver almost got two covers on this list. This one takes the country/folk fill that Denver mastered and tweaks it a bit with a punk feel. It could have easily slid into the top 24 but just missed out.
  • Linda Linda – For those of you who are historic fans of punk you’ll know how the art form influenced people worldwide in particular Japan. For those hoping for some Japanese Surf Punk covers don’t fear the Gimme Gimmes have a whole album for you. My favorite of it is easily Linda Linda. This proves you don’t need to understand the language to love a good song.
  • Crazy For You – This Madonna hit almost made the list as well. Normally the Gimme Gimmes hit you with loud intense punk sound. This time they go soft with a ukulele opening and soothing vocals. Maybe the slow pace is why it’s here and not in the top 25.

 

Project 25 – Cover Songs

Cover Songs:

This list is built of my favorite covers songs. These aren’t necessarily the best covers ever produced but instead is a combination of MY favorite covers.

Am I Right? Am I Wrong? Only time and you the readers/listeners can determine that. Want to add your own list feel free to email me at tempiwmf@gmail.com, hit me up on twitter @tempiwmf, or comment below.

Without further ado here is MY list:

 

  • Hurt – Johnny Cash – Moving, dark, and dramatic. This nine inch nails cover speaks to the life Johnny led and you can hear the pain of those years in his vocals. A moving instrumental only adds to the power of his pain and the glory of his redemption. One of the best covers in the modern era.
  • Fuck The Police – Rage Against The Machine Live – A live cover of a protest ballad done by one of the best protest bands of all time (not on Spotify but you can find it here).
  • John The Revelator – Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds, Carlos Santana A different take on a gospel/religious song. When I hear other versions it makes me mad it’s not this one (not on spotify but you can find it here).
  • Shout – Otis Day & The Knights – Wedding favorite & best version of this song (not on spotify but you can find it here).
  • Gin & Juice – The Gourds A bluegrass cover of an all time rap song. Yes Please
  • Down With The Sickness – Richard Cheese – An amazing lounge cover of a classic 90’s metal song that was also featured in the movie Dawn Of The Dead.
  • Star Spangled Banner – Jimi Hendrix Made famous at Woodstock this is one of the most memorable covers of the National Anthem. It just beat out Boyz To Men cover from the 96 Atlanta Olympics.
  • Feeling Good – Muse – A great cover of a song that has been covered many of times but never as a rock opera.
  • Nothing Compares To You – Me First & The Gimme Gimmes – You could easily make a top 25 of just Me First & The Gimme Gimmes but this one always stands out. A punk cover of a classic Prince (RIP) that pays tribute to the original while adding just a bit of edge.
  • Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm – As a lover of all things Michael Jackson this song dropped out of the sky like manna from heaven. It was epic upon debut and still holds a place in my heart.
  • The Glory Of Love – New Found Glory – Take a classic from the Karate Kid, speed it up a bit, and add punk thrash to it. You’ll have birth this amazing classic and you’ll love it.
  • Paranoid Android – Easy Star All Stars – The Easy Star All Stars are known for their cover albums and Radiodread is one of if not their best. Easily could have selected Karma Police (with Citizen Cope), Lucky (with Frankie Paul), or Let Down (with Toots & the Maytals) but this particular song is a beautiful take on an already beautiful creation. 5 Stars
  • Boys Of The Summer – The Ataris – This is one of the rare cases where the cover is better than the original. This receives an uptick in speed, energy, and passion.
  • Royals – PentatonixThis is another case where the cover is better than the original. The royals took a song I despised and made me love it. Vocals that dance like falling stars mixed with tones wider than the Grand Canyon make this an amazing reproduction.
  • Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright – Discovered on the Shrek soundtrack I was in love from the first moment I heard it. Play it at my wedding, funeral, or just when I need to hear heavenly music.
  • The Man Who Sold The World – Nirvana – From their icon unplugged session this David Bowie cover is simply classic for anyone who grew up during the grunge days.
  • I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston – Sometimes a great song needs a greater singer to make it all time. Whitney did this and more to the Sinead O’Conner classic.
  • I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Creedence Clearwater Revival – An amazing classic rock cover of an amazing Motown ballad. I gave this 11 minute version the odd over the more famous cover done by Marvin Gaye.
  • Blinded By The Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – I could have also added Quinn the Eskimo to this list but Blinded by the light just beat it out. This is a colorful psychedelic cover that makes you imagine acid trips, colorful spinning wheels, and other 70’s fun.
  • Killing Them Softly – The Fugees – This classic cover is another case where the cover is better than the original (in my opinion). Lauren Hill’s voice makes this song feel personal, intimate, and happening to the listener.
  • All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix – This cover by Jimi Hendrix is one of if not the greatest cover of all time. Amazing guitar riffs, passion filled vocals, and classic lyrics that almost everyone can sing.
  • Respect – Aretha Franklin – Many don’t know that this is actually a cover originally done by Otis Redding. This version is more known because it’s better.
  • I Fought The Law – The Clash/Green Day – I am a fan of either version and consider them equal even though the Clash’s version is better known. A funny song with many elements of truth.
  • Love’s In Need – Blackstreet – A great song by Stevie Wonder is updated with a 90’s sound and the vocal strength of Blackstreet. This one hits you right in the feels.
  • Shame – System Of A Down Feat. Wu Tang Clan – This cover is a delightfully dangerous dance of rap and rock. System thrashes while Wu Tang provides some authentic flavor towards this rap classic. Rated R for language it’s rated amazing for performance.

 

The Replacements:

These songs are included largely because I love them and because they act as replacement covers for the songs above that aren’t available on Spotify.

  • Sweet Dreams – Marylin Manson – Marylin Manson takes a sweeping 80’s hit and turns it into a dark menacing ballad of intrigue and foreboding. Hard not to appreciate how he changed the song so drastically without destroying it.
  • I Will Survive – Cake – A cover of a classic disco hit this one beat out other versions of this song including a spirited version by Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. This version is a loungy rock anthem that benefits from outstanding guitar riffs and swooning vocals.
  • Iko Iko – The Belle Sisters – A cover that isn’t too different from the original but different enough to feel special. With a faster pace this gives off a party feel to it which is nicer than the original.

Honorable Mention:

  • The Boxer – Mumford & Sons – An easy folksy cover of a Paul Simon classic. Beautiful vocals are mixed with sweep guitar riffs, and bluegrass echoes. It holds true to the original while giving it a unique feel.
  • We Can’t Stop – Bastille This is one of their many amazing covers (No Scrubs, Locked Out Of Heaven, What Would You Do, Rhythm Of The Night, etc). This cover, much like Pentatonix’s cover of Royals (see above), surpasses the original to make a better product. The homage he pays to Miley’s father Billy Ray in the middle of the song only makes this piece that much better (not available on spotify but you can hear it here)
  • Anything By Me First & The Gimme Gimmes – This punk cover band is the greatest cover band of all time. Each album they proof it over and over again.
  • From The Screen To Your Stereo Pt 1 & 2 – A New Found Glory – A collection of amazing songs from movies and television crafted in a punk style that gets your soul hopping and your feet popping.
  • The Entire Discography Of Easy Star All Stars – Reggae covers of such classic albums as Ok Computer (Radiodread), Dark Side of the Moon (Dub Side Of The Moon), Sergeant Pepper (Lonely Heart Dub Band), and Thriller (Thrillah). If you love any of these albums or if you just love to dance you’ll enjoy these.

Brother To Brother: Hypocrisy

Welcome to the 2nd episode of the Brother to Brother podcast. A podcast where two brothers @Hiddanas@Tempiwmf join together to vent, discuss, and debate the topics that shape our world. On this episode we speak about hypocrisy in America.

We hold back nothing as we dress down the parties on either side of the aisle for their rampant hypocrisy and the ability to use such tactics when it’s convenient. We examine the ability of the Republicans, Democrats, and their base to adopt the very actions or positions that they once protested.  From fiscal conservatives to fake progressives no side is left unscathed.

Truly there is something for everyone including the episodic rant We Shall Overcome and our first Brother to Brother shout out. So get ready because here we come!!!

Brother To Brother: Trump’s America

Welcome to the new listening experience that is the Brother To Brother Podcast.  A podcast where two brothers join together to vent, discuss, and debate the topics that shape our world. In this environment we’re able to  openly discuss the many struggles and successes of our lives.

On our first episode we quickly discuss why we’re doing this podcast and what it’s like to live in Trump’s America. We delve into the strangeness of his actions, the ignorance of his administration, and the general disbelief that follows his actions.

Other show highlights include:

  • @Hiddanas supporting a prom invite poster that had some historically troubling description
  • @Tempiwmf supports the police & actions they took against some neighborhood kids
  • The discussion of race related false accusations of rape.

We hope that this podcast provides something for all of our listeners and also hope that it’s as therapeutic as it is entertaining.

 

Tempi’s World – Episode 16 – If I Was President

On the 16th episode of Tempi’s World we discuss Leadership and trials and tribulations that comes with it. Leaders are the people we look to in times of trouble, strife, and challenge. These individuals can inspire greatness, courage, and bravery in others who might never find it within them. These leaders can also lead followers to their doom with bad decision making, poor character, and a lack of moral foundation.

On this episode I’m joined by Reggie aka Hiddanas who seeks to answer the tough questions surrounding leadership. We’ll examine what qualities makes a good versus a bad leader, what elements are necessary for a leader to succeed, and the habits we love or despise in leaders both real and fictional.

Additionally we examine the world if we were president or leaders of men. We dive into what changes we would make to our nation, what direction we would drive society, and we figure out who is better suited for leadership. So without further ado I give you Tempi’s World


Listener Question – If you were given the power to unite the people of Earth under your leadership what type of leader and government would you have?

Email us your responses here or leave us a comment below.

#MWE 2017 (Music Written Exercise) – Week 4 (2/21/17 – 2/28/17)

On February 1st, 2017 I was introduced to the phenomenon known as #MWE. Unfamiliar with the hashtag well so was I. However, the universe thought it best to introduce me to a world of musical exploration and to test my written skills. The project is the brainchild of @noyokono a music writer who ask individuals to listen to a new album each day in February and to write a few words about it. I, an avid listener and seeker of new music, took up this challenge immediately. Without further ado I give you my #MWE selections.

February 21, 2017

Artist: The Shins

Album: Port Of Morrow

Port of Morrow is the last full album by the Shins. Like most Shins albums it’s filled with songs of personal experiences that detail the love, heart break, and joys of life. Like past albums this work has a diverse array of styles ensuring that the listener will never get bored with this piece of art. Fast vs slow or folksy vs indie rock and everything else in between. Like a twisting roller coaster this album drags you in all different directions while bombarding you with clever lyrics. Highlights include Simple Song, No Way Down, and Bait & Switch.  If you loved their past works then you’ll surely love this one as well. Rating 7.7 out of 10.0 

February 22, 2017

Artist: Andy Suzuki & The Method

Album: The Glass Hour

Andy Suzuki & the Method’s The Glass Hour is an interesting album that falls outside of my normal listening choices. I would describe it as a lite Pop R&B album with some club appeal. The lead singer reminds me of a poor man’s Neyo. Someone with apparent vocal strength, rough soul sound, and a tendency towards romance influenced lyrics. Luckily Andy is a great singer so even though the lyrics are wanting the sound is great. Add in some simplistic club beats/pop sounds and you have an album that I assume has appeal to older teen and the young college age crowd. Again this isn’t normally my type of music but I survived the album from front to back.  Not sure I would recommend it to my friends but it’s not a terrible piece of work. Rating 5.3 out of 10.0

February 23, 2017

Artist: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Album: Skeleton Tree

For this day I listened to Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s album Skeleton Tree  which was a suggestion by my twitter buddy @Vampira666_. I think the distracted listener or the untrained ear shall only hear slow moody tracks. Yet, if they really listen and give it a few run throughs they’ll find a delicate dance of story & melody. While i’m not a big fan of darker sounds or slow paced music I was greatly impressed by the piece of work. Dark deep vocals reminiscent of singers of old like Johnny Cash. Slow sweeping ballads that transport listeners to different places and times. Highlights include I Need You, Distant Sky, and Girl in Amber. While not my normal band or style I shall be investing my time in listening to more of this. Rating 7.2 out of 10.0

February 24, 2017

Artist: The Colourist 

Album: The Colourist 

Today’s selection was the self titled album by the Colourist. They are an indie rock group similar to sounds like St. Lucia, the Griswolds, and Hunter Hunted. Their albums is filled with joyful melodies, foot stomping tracks, and enough spirit to keep you dancing from start to finish. This album is filled with colorful lyrics and a beautiful blend of vocals that will keep you moving in your seat or on your feet (if you’re standing). Highlights include Put The Fire Out, Tonight (Young Hearts) and Wishing Wells. This album is good for all ages and is ear worm addictive. Rating 7.7 out of 10.0 

February 25, 2017

Artist: Foals

Album: What Went Down

What Went Down is the latest album by the British band Foals. I myself only recently discovered Foals due to their performance on Austin City Limits which is broadcast on PBS on weekends in America. This album has many of the common elements found in British neo alternative rock. Slow ballads with dark foreboding guitar rifts and deep throated vocals.  These are coupled with fast break neck paced rock anthems that call to the listener to get up, dance, and maybe break something. Highlights include A  Knife In The Ocean, Mountains At My Gates, and London Thunder. If you’re a fan of the White Lies, Bloc Party, or Arctic Monkeys you’ll probably find a track to love on this album. Rating 6.7 out of 10.0

February 26, 2017

Artist: Run The Jewels

Album: Run The Jewels Vol 3.

Vol 3 by the hip hop group Run The Jewels is another collection of solid hip hop tracks. Per usual the album is filled with intelligent raps covering subjects of social justice/politics, humor, and real life experiences. Whether you love rap/hip hop for beats or lyrics you’ll find something that will impress you. Like expert seamstress Run The Jewels weave  descriptive lyrics with world building beats to create a story that carries the listener throughout the album. Again Killer Mike and El-P produce a collection of amazing tracks great for parties, road trips, and everything in between. It’s hard to pick out which songs are the best but some highlights include Everybody Stay Calm, Stay Gold, and Legend Has It. Rating 7.0 out of 10.0

February 27, 2017

Artist: Dreamers

Album: This Album Does Not Exist

The Dreamers This Album Does Not Exist can be summed up simply as soul fuel. This trio hits you over the head with rock ballads, indie pop dance tunes, and ear worms lyrics that invade your mind. I got to witness their greatness first hand when they opened up for the Griswolds at the Sinclair on Sunday February 26, 2017. Much like their live set this album is filled with tons of energy that keeps your feet moving, your heart pumping, and dreams exploding. One second they are hitting you with a Strokes like vocal tone and the next they are cruising through a pop ballad with the expertise of a band like Walk the Moon. Highlights include Wolves, Last Night On Earth, Drugs, and Lucky Dog. This album has something for everyone especially those who love to dance. Rating 7.9 out of 10.0

February 28, 2017

Artist: Flaming Lips

Album: Oczy Mlody

Oczy Mlody is an interesting piece of work by the band Flaming Lips. Per usual it’s a mix of psychedelic sounds, experimental tones, and dreamy lyrics. This album has an weird flow like a river with drops, bends, and breaks in it. Sometimes you’re flowing quickly, sometimes you wonder if you’re moving at all, and at other times your being swept along by a beautiful swarm you can’t even feel. This is an album where your own personal experiences and willingness to let go will determine your ability to digest this weird tasting music.  My favorite track on the album was One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill. A song which felt like the love child of Pink Floyd and Radiohead. Other highlights include The Castle, Galaxy I Sink, and We A Family. Rating 7.1 out of 10 

#MWE 2017 (Music Written Exercise) – Week 3 (2/15/17 – 2/21/17)

On February 1st, 2017 I was introduced to the phenomenon known as #MWE. Unfamiliar with the hashtag well so was I. However, the universe thought it best to introduce me to a world of musical exploration and to test my written skills. The project is the brainchild of @noyokono a music writer who ask individuals to listen to a new album each day in February and to write a few words about it. I, an avid listener and seeker of new music, took up this challenge immediately. Without further ado I give you my #MWE selections.

February 15, 2017

Artist: Jurassic Five

Album: Quality Control

What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said about Jurassic Five. This album shows a mastery of vocal skills that often unseen in groups with multiple MCs. If you’re a fan of rap then Jurassic Five will be well known to you. If you’re looking for something amazing in the genre than be happy because you’ve found the rarest of treasures. Fast or slow, high or deep, or harmonic or acapella Jurassic Five has it all. There are too many highlights on this album to pick out just one. Much like their other albums this one is a collection of personal struggle, success, and introspection. No matter what you’re looking for you’ll find something worthwhile with Jurassic Five. Rating 8.7 out of 10.0 

February 16, 2017

Artist: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Album: Backlash

Backlash is an impressive combination of driving soul sounds, ruckus rock melodies, and impressive vocals. Black Joe Lewis is like a crazed driver shifting speeds and twisting all over the place. Your feet will be hopping, your soul popping, and your booty locking to his amazing tunes. Supported by a phenomenal band Black Joe Lewis takes you on a musical adventure all over the audio galaxy. Favorites include Freakin Out, Nature’s Natural, and Sexual Tension. His sound is one that just begs the listener to get up and move. I personally can’t wait to see him live because if he’s anything like he is on record he’ll be amazing. Rating 7.8 out of 10

February 17, 2017

Artist: Little Dragon

Album: Little Dragon

Little Dragon’s self titled album Little Dragon is a beautiful collection of mystic melodies, divine vocals, and sweeping ballads. One second you’re drawn like a sailor to the siren call of vocalist and the next you’re being drawn down like quicksand into the melodic sounds of each track.  This album has something for just about any listener. Something slow for your dinner party, beautiful background noise for your road trip, or beautiful ballads for a date night. Highlights include Stormy Weather, Wink, After The Rain, and No Love. Rating 7.3 out of 10.

February 18, 2017

Artist: The Lumineers

Album: Cleopatra 

Never been the biggest Lumineer fan but this album might change that opinion but only by a little bit. This album, in my opinion, is a combination of finely polished coffee house music and folksy sound. While the general pace of most songs is slow the expertise is felt in the weight of the lyrics and the lightness of the melodies. Highlights include the radio hit Ophelia, Gun Song, and My Eyes. If ever you need to fill empty silence or if you need something to pass the time on a road trip this album is it. In my opinion this album doesn’t wow but it is solid. Rating 6.7 out of 10.0

February 19, 2017

Artist: Frank Ocean

Album: Blonde

What is there to say about this album that hasn’t already been said. It is coupled with masterful lyrics, meaningful songs, and soul grasping beats. I’d say it’s damn near impossible to listen to this album without finding something you’ll like, love, and/or become addicted to. So many amazing songs including Solo, Pretty Sweet, and Godspeed. You also get amazing prose in the for of tracks like Facebook story. Frank Ocean’s Blonde is a reminder that there is greatness in an era of mediocrity. As a very selective and picky rap head this album gets a high marks for blowing pass my expectations Rating 9.0 out of 10.0

February 20, 2017

Artist: Archive

Album: Controlling Crowds

Archive’s album Controlling Crowds is an interesting combination of many diverse sounds and styles. So diverse and so plentiful it’s hard to put it into one category. One minute you’re moving at a break neck speed to roaring rock sounds and the next your smoothly dancing to a trance sound.

February 21, 2017

Artist: Nada Surf

Album: You Know Who You Are

Nada Surf’s album You Know Who You Are is a simplistic but beautiful album filled with indie pop sounds, neo folk rock tracks, and overall a joyous celebration of sound. Lyrically the album provides some dandy lines and melodically it is strong. Favorites include Victory’s Yours, Out Of The Dark, and the opener Cold To See. If you like new age indie music like the Shins then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this collection of tracks. Rating 7.2 out of 10.0