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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

While Ke$ha Sets Records, Uffie Actually Produces Music Worth Bumping

February 1, 2010

Recently I’ve been exposed to the creative juggernaut that is: Ke$ha. Before you say you’ve never heard of her, stop… you have. And if you haven’t you’re probably someone who still considers the Moody Blues a contemporary artist. In 2010, Ke$ha has already been busy breaking music industry records. I consider this about as impressive/telling as setting a new hi-score in Contra, Paperboy, or any other game on a long outdated medium, but it’s worth noting nonetheless. Just about a week ago, she set the record on Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart with a mind-numbing 11,224 plays inside of one week. What does this speak less highly of: commercial radio or mankind at large? Let’s pause to digest the magic that enabled the young, blonde artist to become the 12th woman in history to “…send her debut single and album to No. 1 on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, respectively” (Billboard.com):

Digest that? Let’s move on.

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Vampire Weekend’s ‘Contra’: A Triumph Of Fine Tuned Complacency

January 21, 2010

As of last week, Vampire Weekend released their follow up to 2008’s self-titled greatest hit. If you’re like me, you picked up the new “disc” just last week on the release date but most of the Western world have been listening to leaked tracks from it since at least a month after their first album was released. In the indie world, Vampire Weekend is as hyped as they come. For a band that has managed to garner a serious following in a few short years, their songs are often characteristically uncomplex; exercises in capturing the spirit of a Woody Allen film from the 1970s, a time when none of the members were born yet. If you can believe it, there was a time a few years ago when Vampire Weekend was nothing more than a whisper of Columbia University English majors, buzzing with an excitement not felt since word spread about whatever bullshit band came before them. But now, the band can boast several tours and two full length releases in the last three years. None can doubt their formidable presence in the collective consciousness of college frat bros and Brooklyn hipsters alike.

With Contra, Vampire Weekend has done the unthinkable: they made a sophomore album with only a tinge of sophomoric-ness. I would have said it was complete devoid of all sophomore release clichés until “Run” came on, horns a blaring. But the beauty of the band and their songs can be found in the drastically understated choice of album art this time around (see picture, right, click for bigger image). To me, this image captures the essence of the band and the album in many ways. The girl, young and beautiful, seen here in a moment of half-surprise. Her half-popped, yellow Polo an example of restrained high-class culture and leisure. The mildly bemused expression on her face seems to suggest a passive relationship with the rest of the world in love with her. This is Vampire Weekend: young, talented, brimming with irony and offering a whimsical music catalog to the world with a casual sense of self-awareness but not without an air of arrogance.

More?

Prisoners At Gitmo Testify To Being Forced To Rock

October 22, 2009

Bansky GitmoThrough new interviews with detainees, startling new techniques of interrogation have been discovered from the halls of Guantanamo Bay. In my long standing career as a Qualified Torturer of Sisters (QTS), I never realized the American government was utilizing the same tactics. New information reveals that prisoners were forced to listen to a range of American music at loud volumes, including the Sesame Street song!? BRUTAL. And here I am as a young lad thinking this kind of audio assault was only useful at detaining my sister in her room. Here is the list of music used, via CNN: Gitmo Playlist.

Judging by the tracklist, it’s clear that the songs were selected well before 2009, with possible evidence to suggest they were selected as far back as 2000. Who is this mysterious “Limp Bizkit” band? There is no evidence of their existence today. Also, judging by the range of genres used, it’s clear that it was created before the advent of the Genius Mix. The Bee Gees on the same mix as Saliva? iTunes wouldn’t stand for such injustice today. What’s even more shocking is that the government is clearly demonstrating use of illegal downloading procedures. In 2005, tell me what MP3 store you could find the following tracks:

  1. The Barney Theme Song
  2. “Meow Mix” Jingle
  3. The Sesame Street Theme Song

Uhhhhh, using LimeWire to speed up the interrogation process much, George W.? I’m with the rest of the bleeding heart liberals on this front: Guantanamo Bay needs to be closed, if only for introducing foreign nationals to some of the worst examples of American music EVER. Chalk this one up to “Why They Hate Us“, Fareed Zakaria; if I had to listen to (Hed) P.E. more than ten seconds a day, I’d start reevaluating my allegiances as well.

Guitar Hero Manages To Steal The Beatles’ Spotlight One Controversy At A Time

September 14, 2009

While millions of young kids across the country are being introduced to The Beatles for the first time thanks to Harmonix’s The Beatles: Rock Band, things in their number one competitor’s camp are unfolding far more dramatically. Sure, the joy of finally seeing your children play a video game that you can identify with is a heart-warming story… but the dramatic turn of events surrounding Guitar Hero 5 and the ill-executed Kurt Cobain avatar has been far more interesting. Read it and weep, Generation Y:


Right? More controversy after the jump.

Lifting Fog Live: Mew Enlightens LA

September 2, 2009
Mew brings the pain (and joy) in LA

Mew brings the pain (and joy) in LA

Depending on how old you are, your knowledge of Scandinavian pop music may or may not include Denmark’s hard rocking indie band called Mew. Having just released their new album on August 25th entitled [deep breath] No more stories Are told today I’m sorry They washed away No more stories The world is grey I’m tired Let’s wash away, the band is on a massive tour this Fall, opening for Nine Inch Nails on several dates including two this week in Los Angeles, before heading to Europe. As a long time fan of the Danish band since the release of their previous album And The Glass Handed Kites (a much less demanding title for the most part), the moment I saw tickets pop up for a headlining show at the famous Troubadour in West Hollywood, I jumped at the chance. Full review after the jump. (more…)

Supergroups Are Officially Cool Again

August 5, 2009
It sounded feasible at 4:45am...

It sounded feasible at 4:45am...

Have you ever sat up until 6AM, stoned out of your mind trying to come up with the greatest supergroup of all time? What if, like, Jimi Hendrix was, like, still alive and he was playing guitar with, like, John Bonham, who was just brought back to life, on drums and, like, Les CLAYPOOL WAS on BASS! More and more it seems like those hazy nights are turning into real life occurrences as rock and indie gods from all generations and locations are enlisting the help of one another in an effort to collectively blow peoples’ minds. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last three days, the news of the newest supergroup Them Crooked Vultures is just another example of a recently revitalized trend in the industry. It seems as if artists are saying, “Well, we can’t make money individually, but I bet if we formed one band we could make a TON!” TCV is perhaps the most exciting in recent memory, however, featuring Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and Foo Fighters) on drums, Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar, and the indelible John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin) on bass. Their 1st show, as told by Pitchfork, will be at the Metro in Chicago on Sunday night after the massive Lollapalooza wave breaks. (more…)

Hypothetical Scenarios in Which I Meet and then Marry Hayley Williams: #1 – Perfect Harmony

August 1, 2009

In honor of seeing Paramore open for No Doubt last night in Irvine at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, I figured now would be a good time to kick off a reoccurring post motif in which I imagine a hypothetical scenario resulting in the marriage of the lead singer of Paramore and myself. This should come as no surprise, as I took the time way back when to point out my deep appreciation for the band and my malicious desire to derail the band through the existence of my future relationship with her. Last night Paramore truly rocked it. Despite being so far away that one of my friends thought that Williams was a toddler dancing around on stage, the music came through strong enough, even if the visual delay of the musicians was nearing a full, mind-altering second. The new songs sounded great and I can’t wait to wait in line with the rest of the Tweens on September 29th to cop the new disc. So here goes, this is scenario number 1:

Five years from now I am playing in a band and back from a long North American tour. Williams and I cross paths in between my set at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. We exchange only a smile and a head nod. One year later we are both attending a concert and while backstage, we end up in a tightly packed hallway. Williams remarks to me, “Hey, I really dig your stuff!” at which point I respond by saying, “What a coincidence, I really dig your stuff too.” (Note: no exclamation point in my response. Even under the most titillating of circumstances it’s necessary to play it cool). We exchange phone numbers. Two days later I call her to invite her to my 2nd recording studio located in my house in the Hollywood Hills to collaborate. She agrees. We fall in love. We get married.

Passion Pit’s ‘Manners’ Delivers Fun For The Whole Family

May 26, 2009

The only reason a review of Passion Pit’s first and new LP is acceptable this late in May is because the Fog has never purported to be a music blog. It’s true that the official May 18th release of the Boston based synth-pop group has been greatly overshadowed by weeks of anticipation on music blogs around the web, but the tangible release of this album is still a call for celebration as the album is a celebration in itself. Not the kind of party your girlfriend promises will be more fun than the guys-night-out you just turned down… or the party  where you were the only one who dressed in business-casual instead of just business. Nope, this album is a celebration of the most primal and raw kind. It won’t take long upon listening to understand what I’m talking about. The challenge of not dancing is something few albums present these days. Even fewer albums present the challenge of not dancing upon listen after listen after listen. Manners will give you every reason to dance, sing, shout, and gyrate in a way that will make you stop and say, “Wait… who are these guys?” as you put “Little Secrets” on repeat wherever you are at the moment.

Try to stop moving your body and keep reading!

Lala.com Will Change How We Listen to Music

April 3, 2009
The future center of your music world.

The future center of your music world.

I’ve been known to jump on a few bandwagons before, I know, but this time I think I’m on to something. Or I shouldn’t say I – many people are on to something. Imagine the following Web 2.0 defining characteristics: mobility, community, based in Silicon Valley. Lala.com is all of these things but so much more. (NOTE: While this is certainly not a pay for play article, I will welcome any and all checks from the company if they should see fit.) I think this website is going to redefine how music is listened to in the future. I’m listening to it right now as I write this, in fact, indulging in “Oh La” by Ra Ra Riot after a friend reminded me of how much I love the song. This was the same friend who turned me on to the site (thanks Tim). So I guess you’re wondering why I think it’s going to change things as we know it.

Don’t be shy, read on!

Lifting Fog Live: Simian Mobile Disco Melts Minds in LA

March 18, 2009

Last night I was on ecstasy. NOW HOLD ON A MINUTE. I know what you’re thinking… what would McKay Hatch think about that? Well don’t worry, McKay, Mom, and Dad – I was high on MUSIC last night. Although the dazzling array of lights could have easily convinced me I was on Ecstasy, I’m quite sure I wasn’t. Simian Mobile Disco came to LA last night and played a high octane set at the notoriously indie scenester Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood. The sold out show was packed full of people of all races, creeds, religion, and varying Vans authentic shoes/girl jeans combinations. But despite the varying tastes and shapes, everyone was there for one collective purpose: TO DANCE! (If you keep reading… there’s video!)

So keep reading!