26 March 2023

26 March 2023 - Tommy Genesis - 100 Bad

Tommy Genesis is the type of artist that plays the Pornhub Awards.

That's true.  She absolutely did that.  

No, they weren't held in Canada.  She had to cross a border to attend.  

Yes, she's Canadian.  Vancouver.  

Tommy Genesis is a literal walking embodiment of a Wicked Guilty Pleasure, and "100 Bad" is her supporting evidence. This song is like a car crash: you know it's bad, but you just can't look away. It's a mesmerizing, hypnotic track that sucks you in from the very first beat.

The song is built around a sparse, bass-heavy beat that throbs throughout the track. Over this beat, Tommy Genesis lays down a series of blunt, confrontational verses that are delivered with an unapologetic swagger. The production is minimalistic, but it's incredibly effective in creating a menacing, almost eerie atmosphere that perfectly matches the song's dark themes.

Lyrically, "100 Bad" is a celebration of bad behavior. It's all about living life on the edge, taking risks, and doing whatever you want, consequences be damned. The chorus is catchy as hell, with Tommy Genesis repeating the refrain "I'm 100 bad, bad, bad" over and over again. It's a simple, effective hook that will get stuck in your head for hours on end.

Of course, the subject matter of "100 Bad" is not for everyone. The song is full of explicit lyrics and graphic descriptions of sex, drugs, and violence. It's not a song you'd want to play for your grandmother, unless your grandmother happens to be a badass who loves a good bassline.

Despite its controversial content, there's no denying that "100 Bad" is a great example of Tommy Genesis' unique sound and style. She's a boundary-pushing artist who's not afraid to take risks and challenge the norms of the music industry. Love it or hate it, "100 Bad" is a track that demands your attention and refuses to be ignored. So go ahead and indulge in this guilty pleasure – just be sure to turn down the volume if your boss walks by.

25 March 2023

25 March 2023 - Les Louanges - Qu'est-ce que tu m'fais

Les Louanges is a Canadian band that has been making waves in the music industry with their unique sound and undeniable talent. One of their most popular songs is."Qu'est-ce que tu m'fais".

Les Louanges is a band from Quebec, Canada, and they have been creating music that is both innovative and captivating since their inception. The band consists of lead singer and guitarist Vincent Roberge, bassist and keyboardist Philippe Fleury, drummer and percussionist William Côté, and saxophonist and keyboardist Mathieu Leclerc.  You know we love a band with a saxophonist.

Their music is characterized by a blend of genres, including jazz, rock, and pop. They use a variety of instruments to create their unique sound, and their lyrics are often introspective and thoughtful.

It's easy to see why this song is so well-received. The song begins with a simple beat and a catchy guitar riff, but it quickly evolves into a complex and layered composition. The lyrics are in French, and they explore themes of love, desire, and the ups and downs of relationships.

The song has a distinct Canadian flavor, with lyrics that are both poetic and introspective. The band's use of multiple instruments and intricate arrangements adds depth to the song, and it is a perfect example of their unique style.

Les Louanges is a truly special band.  Check them out!

24 March 2023

24 March 2023 - The East Pointers - Save Your Lonely

For those who haven't been here for a while, you might not have heard of The East Pointers, 2017 Juno Award winners and 2023 nominees, and Canadian treasures.  

We last posted about this great folk group in 2021, during our first #MapleLeafMarch.  Since then, there has been huge changes for the greatest folk group to ever come out of Prince Edward Island - and unfortunately, the biggest one isn't positive.  

Founding member Koady Chaisson passed away in January 2022, while the group was working on their latest EP, House of Dreams.  Koady did work on all seven songs on the EP before he passed, which means his music and his image live on in this song and video.  

As of this writing, we have heard that the band is going to continue as a duo, and we hope they do for years to come - because they're making wonderful, award-worthy music. 

23 March 2023

23 March 2023 - Alessia Cara - Scars To Your Beautiful

During Maple Leaf March, I recognize that I feature a lot of artists that haven't really been heard outside of Canada.  They SHOULD be guilty pleasures everywhere, but in a lot of cases, they just aren't.

Today's artist is not one of those.

Alessia Cara of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has three top 10 hits in the US. This is one of them, hitting #8 on the pop chart in 2015.  It is a huge body positivity anthem.  It is, however, not your typical "you're beautiful just the way you are" anthem.  It discusses cutting, depression, and eating disorders - all real things that affect so many people.  

The video features real people struggling with all of these things - and if you look closely, you'll see another pop star - JoJo - among the real people, because being somewhat famous doesn't make these issues go away.

We found a pretty cool performance of this song, from the 2017 VMA awards.  We love how Cara starts all made up and ends up without makeup or a fancy dress.  It's quite neat.

22 March 2023

22 March 2023 - Banx & Ranx ft. Rêve - Headphones

Banx & Ranx are from Montreal.  They are a producing/music-making duo who won the 2023 Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist - which is wild, because they aren't a new act, having created music for the better part of the last decade.  They are multiple Grammy nominees.

Their music is modern and innovative, injecting Caribbean rhythms and music into a unique electronic sound.  Their services are in high demand, with artists outside of Canada clamoring to work with them.  Their music is catchy.  This song is going to be your latest earworm.  

But let's be honest.  We used this post to feature Rêve again.  

By the way, they really did shoot this video in all the locations listed here.  

A second version of this song exists, featuring not only Rêve, but also Vancouver rap artist Tommy Genesis.  It's pretty good, too.

Rêve does a pretty dirty solo version of this song herself.  I guess we should say dirrty.

21 March 2023

21 March 2023 - Simple Plan - Jet Lag ft. Natasha Beddingfield, Marie-Mai (and more)

Simple Plan are a power-pop-rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  

Which means they are bilingual.  

So, that means they do multiple versions of some songs.

Take this fun little song about travelling a lot and missing the one you love.  This version, in English, was recorded with British singer Natasha Beddingfield - and was an international hit.  The video was filmed largely at YYZ - Toronto Pearson Airport - and Toronto Sheridan Gateway Hotel.... but they want you to think it's a hotel in Chicago, despite the Westjet and AirCanada planes and Canadian flags everywhere.   Anyway, it's a fun song. 

True story - I've flown in and out of YYZ a lot.  Great airport and I instantly recognized it.

This version is just like that version, except the female version is almost completely in French and sung by Quebec singer Marie-Mai.  Also, Simple Plan sings some stuff in French, too - although not all the lyrics. I wonder if Natasha and Marie-Mai hung out together at all in that hotel room.

It is essentially the same song and same video.

Official version #3 of this song is filmed by the band in English at YYZ still, but Chinese pop star Kelly Cha is somewhere in China singing almost entirely in Mandarin.

Other than the Kelly Cha footage, it is essentially the same song and same video.

Official version #4 is..... completely in English, but this time, the woman is in Jakarta, Indonesia, because she is Tantri Syalindri, vocalist for the band KOTAK - who all seem to be hanging out in the room with her.  

It is essentially the same video.

That's it for the official versions, but there is this French demo version we found floating around..... Vocals for the female part were provided by some obscure Canadian artist who seems to go by some French name with an œ in it.... something something Pirate.  

Apparently, when Simple Plan performs the song live, they just find whatever female pop-rock vocalists happens to be standing closest to the stage.  Here, they get Sierra Key, vocalist for the band VERSA (who at the time were VersaEmerge, standing in for Natasha Beddingfield.

For this Australian appearance, they partnered with Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive on an acoustic version of the song. The two bands happened to be on an Australian tour together, so it made sense. 

The band is still together.  Most of these performances above are from 2011, when the song was new.  This one is from 2022, in Montreal, and yes, it's the French version, and yes, that's Marie-Mai.

20 March 2023

20 March 2023 - Jayli Wolf - Lead Me

If you read what I wrote on Saturday, you know I think Jayli Wolf released one of the most important songs of the last decade.  

This song is a little less important - but no less about indigenous and female empowerment.  The song and video are both super dark.

But we're not going to talk about that.  

We're going to talk about why Jayli Wolf is one of my most listened to artists on Spotify.  It's not because I want to feel pseudo-Canadian guilt, or that I only listen to First Nations protest music.  No, it's because this strongly emotionally-charged music slaps, and it slaps hard.  She's a fantastic musician and a fantastic songwriter, and she paints a picture with her music and lyrics like no other artists is doing today.

19 March 2023

19 March 2023 - Rare Americans - Moving On

"But they're Canadian!"

The rarest of Americans.  Of course, technically, they are - because they live in the Americas.  We in the United States seem to think we have dominion over the term "American", but we really don't. 

Anyway, this young bunch of punks formed in 2018 in Vancouver, and are gaining traction.  This song is a truly a sad song - about a probable breakup.  We've all been there.

But c'mon.  You came here for the animated video.  

18 March 2023

18 March 2023 - Jayli Wolf - Child Of The Government (stripped down)

A year ago, I posted the most important thing I've ever posted on this blog. It's less about a great song (and it is GREAT) and more about the Sixties Scoop, a shameful period in Canadian history.

Go read it.

Done?  Good.  Welcome back.  

Now here's a stripped down version of the same song.  For literally any other song, I'd probably have just updated that original post with an extra video.  Not this time.  That post was too perfect and this song is too raw.  

17 March 2023

17 March 2023 - Metric - False Dichotomy

The Juno Awards were on Monday.

Canadian band Metric were nominated for a couple of them, including Group of the Year, based in large part on their 2022 album, Formentera, their first in four years (back to that in a second). This was one of the singles off that album, and it's something of a banger in its own right.   While they didn't win, it's still an honour to be nominated.

Just because it took them four years to release anything new does not mean they didn't do anything.  In 2021, they did this thing.  That brought the band to an international spotlight once again, so it made a lot of sense for them to follow it up with something more than a limited pressing vinyl only greatest hits album (they did that, too).  

Back to this song and not anything from a Michael Cera movie.  This continues Metric's history of flashy, modern synth-rock, bringing a unique sound that actually works post-pandemic.

16 March 2023

16 March 2023 - Babygirl - Always

Last year, we featured a lot of new music.  One of the most popular posts we featured was by a band called Babygirl.   

We figured we'd check and see if they have any new music, and indeed, they do.  And their sound has gotten deeper and richer - a more mature Babygirl, if you will.  

This song was released a few months ago, and it is a pop-rock cool jam about breaking up and those conflicted feeling that still linger afterwards.  It's mournful and beautiful and bass-heavy, all at the same time.  The video was filmed in your mom's house a vacant house that was owned by a 100-year old woman who probably bought it for $40 in the 1970s (not my joke - it's from the behind the scenes video).  

By the way, the band has a new EP coming in April - you can pre-save it on your favorite streaming service and I'm willing to bet the band would appreciate it.  

15 March 2023

15 March 2023 - Lindi Ortega - Tin Star

So this was like five years ago. One of my favorite country singers, Lindi Ortega, was playing my local 250 seat venue.

I was beyond stoked. At the time I was running a country site (after I left WGP and TC) where the writers were more concerned with the comings and goings of Florida Georgia Line or Sam Hunt as opposed to country music of substance like the Turnpike Troubadours or Elizabeth Cook. Needless to say the teaching of new writers was fun, the content, not so much.

That night it was nice to not only see a favorite artist of mine, but to write about her performance which was amazing. And maybe turn someone on to a great country artist...from Canada.

I was fortunate to chat with her after the show. She signed her Tin Star CD for me and we took a picture (which I told her I wanted to use for the review...well and again years later for this blog).

Anyway, Lindi is awesome. She hasn't put out a record in years and I for one would love another one. But until that time comes I'll enjoy her previously released records.

14 March 2023

14 March 2023 - Avril Lavigne - Bite Me

You probably know we write this articles in advance.  So, we are writing this not knowing how the Juno Awards went last night - but we are pulling for this song to be Single of the Year as we write this. 

So, if it won, congratulations to Avril.  If it didn't win, SHE WAS ROBBED.

(Update: It did not win.  This did.) (She did win the Fan Choice Award, so that's good)

Let's talk about this song.  Released in late 2021 on Travis Barker's new label (he's drumming on the song as well), it's a throwback to Paramore Lavigne's earlier work - that pop-punk that defined her career for so long.  Clearly, it's an endearing love song that isn't at all angry.

It's also the best thing she's done in a decade. 

The video for the acoustic version of this song is kind of hilarious - with Avril doing dental work with a giant pair of boltcutters.  More interestingly, this extremely angry song works really well as a melancholy ballad.  

The "Tonight Show" live version of this song falls somewhere in the middle of the two versions - keeping both the anger and melancholy.

13 March 2023

13 March 2023 - The Weeknd - Sacrifice

The 2023 Juno Award nominations were announced at the end of January.  The Weeknd led all nominations with six. 

The awards are tonight, in Edmonton, hosted by Simu Liu.  The Weeknd, and specifically this song, are predicted to win big. If the predictions are right, we look like geniuses right now.  If they aren't, we're probably going to be posting some Avril Lavigne tomorrow.

Released as a single in January 2022, it reached #11 on the US pop charts, and was a hit all over the world.  Written by the artist and a score of others, including hitmaker Max Martin, the song has a funky sound that evokes memories of Michael Jackson and his style - which clearly influences The Weeknd. Lyrically, it's a typical club banger, talking about the hedonistic nature of the narrator's life. 

12 March 2023

12 March 2023 - Lights - Banner

This is the 18th post we've made about Lights on this blog.  That is more than any #WGPHOF member.  That is more than my previous overposting of Charli XCX (17, by the way - 16 by me - if you include this post that totally featured her). 17 of these posts about Lights have been written by me.  

So why so much attention to a shapeshifting, namechanging artist?

Those who have known me for decades could tell you not only what my favorite album was (House Tornado, by Throwing Muses) but my SECOND favorite (Surfer Rosa, by the Pixies).  Since the late 1980s.  No album came close to those two for me.  Perfect albums.  I continually come back to them, for decades.  

Scott Colvin (who I will for this very last time give credit for scooping me on this one and who it's really killing not to post Britney Spears today) knows this. So when he reads the next paragraph he might be floored.

I can't say that anymore. Because over the past two years, I keep coming back to two other not-new albums: Roses by Cœur de Pirate, (by the way, also someone we've posted about no less than 18 times) and Siberia by Lights.  And the latter more than the former. 

(and, by the way, also Little Machines. Two albums now among my favorites)

Is Lights the new Kristin Hersh?  That may be an exaggeration, but the lyrical structure that Lights comes back to, song after song after song, is one that is flexible and hits hard.  This perhaps doesn't resonate more than it does with "Banner" - an uplifting, hopeful, but still dark song.  

I mention flexible.  I chose "Banner" here for a reason.  It was the first acoustic song of hers that I had heard (and I didn't know at the time it was Lights, because had I known, my blind spot would have told me to turn it off).  As of this writing, this version - the acoustic one - is her most played song on Spotify, by far.  

11 March 2023

11 March 2023 - Drake - God's Plan

Canadian rap artist Drake has released a LOT of singles.  Literally, more than 140 in his 14-year-so-far career.

His biggest worldwide hit by far is this one, from 2018.  Written by Aubrey Drake Graham and a bunch of other people, the bigger story here is the video, where Drake really gave away almost $200,000 to random Miami residents (the video implies almost $1 million, but I assume not everything was done on camera).

But videos don't get to be the #1 song of the year as determined by Billboard, as this song was in 2018. This song was - it also spent 11 weeks atop the weekly charts - and was only knocked down by another of his own songs.  In total, Drake spent 29 of the 52 weeks of 2018 topping the Billboard pop charts - which is absolutely gigantic. 

By the way, in total, Drake has spent 54 weeks topping the Hot 100 - which is 5th most all time - Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley, Rhianna and Beatles are the only artists with more,  He's also got the most #1 debuts on the chart, with 7 - including both this single and the one that replaced it ("Nice For What"), the first time that a #1 debut replaced a #1 debut at #1.  

It's pretty standard Drake-brand hip-hop, but also, it's got some real feeling behind it, so there's that. 

10 March 2023

10 March 2023 - Rêve - Tongue

I figured, why let œ have all the clipboard fun?  Let ê get some play!

Seriously, the artist known legally as Briannah Donolo grew up in Montreal, Quebec... and started with music at a very early age.  A cunning linguist herself, she speaks both English and French, and yes, her music is in English, even with the non-standard English-language letter in her name.

Rêve brings an electronic sound that does not feel out of place in the club - a sexually-charged club that serves tongues at mealtime, but still.  The song is definitely not safe for work, as it is pretty overt in its sexuality - it's not talking about lengua tacos, unless that's some kind of euphemism, in which case, it IS talking about lengua tacos, if you know what I mean, winky-face emoji.  

This fresh new Canadian artist is nominated for THREE Juno Awards this year, which will be awarded Monday, and I'm not gonna lie - I'm rooting for her.

If you prefer your music without body parts on a platter, but with the same entendre-filled lyrics, but also, you aren't prone to seizures, go ahead and check out Rêve's performance below.  

09 March 2023

9 March 2023 - Corb Lund ft. Hayes Carll - Bible on the Dash

When most people in the U.S. think Canadian country the first thought likely is Shania Twain. And while that’s a pretty picture it’s akin to putting ketchup on fries.

Canadian country to me starts, but nowhere stops with Corb Lund.

Corb’s been doing his thing for almost 30 years. His sound is definitely western. The dude can write straight-up sentimental classic country, but he’s actually at his best when he lets his freak flag fly.

“Bible on the Dash” with Hayes Carll (who is American, but we’ll forgive him) is one of his freakiest…and best. In fact, I’d say this may be grooviest song ever. And it’s funny. Dig.

08 March 2023

8 March 2023 - Korea Town Acid - Telepathic Communications

I looked at the date I first discovered Korea Town Acid.

March 8, 2022.  It was a candidate for last year's #MapleLeafMarch.  Probably because Korea Town Acid was a 2022 Juno Award nominee for Best Underground Dance Single of the Year (not for this song).

In this video, we see a woman looking at times disinterested and bored as she explores what appears to be Toronto at night.  That woman has a name.  Her name is Jessica Cho - born in Seoul, Canadian since a very young age, and based in Toronto.  Jessica Cho is Korea Town Acid.  Korea Town Acid is Jessica Cho.  

Musically, the song is 100% electronic, with what sounds like lasers punctuating an ambient beat.  An ominous voiceover accompanies the captivating music.  

07 March 2023

7 March 2023 - Cœur de Pirate - Adieu

You know, we write these posts of English-language QWERTY keyboards.  There's no œ key.  It takes some effort for us to CONTINUALLY write about Cœur de Pirate.

And yet, here we are.  Writing about Cœur de Pirate again.

Ms. de Pirate (You know I know her real name, people.  Issa joke) has released eight album.  Seven of them are really really good, and a couple of them are among my personal favorites of all time.  The eighth is her sophomore album, Blonde.   

But, to be fair, I didn't love all of the other seven right away (Roses and Perséides, absolutely I did from first listen), and that's what's happening with Blonde as well.  It's growing on me.  It's songs like this one - a clever pop song with a double bassline and a wicked video with a Bewitched theme (Cœur de Pirate as Serena) - that are selling me on this album.

If you don't know French, you don't know that this is a sad breakup song - and a raw one at that, early in the process, when you don't want to see the person.  On her native instrument, the piano, Cœur de Pirate really drives the true underlying sadness of the song home.  

06 March 2023

6 March 2023 - Isabella Lovestory - Sexo Amor Dinero

Wait a minute.

That's not French OR English!

That's right, gentle reader.  Isabella Lovestory is a Latina artist based in Montreal.  Her edgy music is definitely performed tongue-in-cheek, primarily in her native language of Spanish (she was born in Honduras, but Canadian since her mid-teens), Reggaton with a strong women's empowerment undertone might be unexpected in Canadian music, but here we are.  

Of course, "Lovestory" isn't a traditional Honduran last name.  Her last name is Rodriguez.  This is a persona - she is both a musician and performance artist, and she has fun with it.  Music is meant to be enjoyed, even if she is singing about "amor hardcore".  

She is certainly an artist to watch.

05 March 2023

5 March 2023 - DVSN - Don't Take Your Love

Most of the year, we are a five-day-a-week blog, at most.

In #MapleLeafMarch, there's too much content for five days.  So, we step it up to all seven.  This is why we're posting on a Sunday.

Today, we're going back to the 1990s.  No, wait, this song was released in 2022.  I'm sorry.  I just heard the song and I thought for sure that it must have been from the 1990s, given the sound I was hearing.   

No, DVSN (formerly dvsn - not a joke) are a modern duo, active since 2016 and signed to Drake's label.  Drake wasn't even on DeGrassi in the 90's yet.  The sound sure does bring back memories of 90's R&B, but the freestyle feel points more to modern hip-hop, so I guess it's a fusion piece.

The duo themselves are pretty renowned in their own right, with one half of them being the producer behind some of Drake's biggest hits, which is probably why Nineteen85 has a few Grammy nominations (and a win, for Best Rap Song - "Hotline Bling", which he co-wrote and produced- in 2017) in the past on top of the Juno nomination for DVSN this year.  

Also, they're Canadian.  I feel like I have to say that.  This video was clearly filmed in Toronto, their hometown.  

04 March 2023

4 March 2023 - Harm & Ease - Steady Roll

I don't know a lot about Harm & Ease - or, I didn't when I went searching for information about this great band from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, who happen to also be nominated for a Juno Award this year.  

SO I did a Google search.  The first result was their official website and here was the description given:

"causes of plagiarism essay using spatial order do essay writing websites work what to write my college essay about local business plan writer."


Luckily, that was just some wacky preview text and there's a lot more information at their official website.  Turns out this breakthrough band has been around since 2010 but spent some time kicking around Argentina before returning to Toronto.  But they're in Canada now, and their music rocks - and you should take notice.

03 March 2023

3 March 2023 - Lisa LeBlanc - Pourquoi faire aujourd'hui

Those outside of Canada probably think Quebec is an outlier, but New Brunswick - the province where Lisa LeBlanc hails from - is bilingual, and the only officially bilingual province in Canada.  French is pretty widely spoken there. 34% of residents could conduct a conversation in English or French. But do you hear about Bloc Brunsycois?  No, no you don't.  

Actually, there was a Parti Acadiaen in the 70's and 80's, which was trying to separate the francophone portion of New Brunswick into a new province, but that's not really the same thing - they still wanted to be Canadian.  

You've learned your Canadian cultural fact of the day, Americans.  And probably a few Canadians.

But let's talk about Lisa LeBlanc.  She describes her music as "trash-folk" and yes, she does sing songs in both English and French (although primarily French).  A 2023 Juno Award nominee for best francophone album, Chiac Disco.  1) it's damn good 2) this song, which is very much NOT folk, closes that album.  It is, in fact, a disco romp with a lot of roller skating in the video.  

For those who don't know French, the song title literally translates to "Why Do Today".... as in, what you could do tomorrow.   It's more about living in the moment and less about procrastination.  It's also super fun.  By the way, if you listen closely, she DOES give a couple of little English-language clues (which is a hallmark of Chiac, a dialect of French that borrows some words from English).

I was thinking - what would this song look like live?  I got my answer.  Boy, doesn't she look like she's having fun here?

02 March 2023

2 March 2023 - Flower Face - Sugar Water

Flower Face is the stage name of Ontario artist Ruby Mckinnon.  

This is the third single off her SIXTH album, The Shark In Your Water, released in 2022 after a four-year wait. She tends to do a fair bit of her recordings in her bedroom.  I don't know if this one was recorded there (the video implies that it was not), but I do know she wrote the song and performed all the instruments and vocals.  

Before you go there....  I wasn't one of those people waiting for her alt-pop gem of an album for four years. I *just* discovered her, and think she's fantastic.  The reason I keep coming back to #MapleLeafMarch is because I keep discovering artists I love that I would not have otherwise heard.  Canadian independent music doesn't get play in the States like it should.  

The self-deprecating video plays like a game of Rock Band and shows Flower Face's multiinstrumental talents.

01 March 2023

1 March 2023 - The Stellas - Gravy

I have been waiting a YEAR to post this.

Last year, we went hog wild on The Stellas and their daughters.  And, as I was writing these posts last year, I wondered out loud - didn't mom and dad ever exploit the acting talents of their daughters.

Yes.  They did.  And at about 2:05 of this video, it looks like Maisy is providing vocals, too (she at least knows the words).  

To be fair, this 2014 single was after the debut of the ABC show Nashville.  

That's right.  It's #MapleLeafMarch #3.  Get ready for another month of Canadian content.

28 February 2023

28 February 2023 - Imani Coppola - Legend of a Cowgirl

So, here we are, at the end of another month, and getting ready to start something big.

So, let's talk about someone's biggest hit, and how it doesn't define them.

I am, of course, talking about "Legend of a Cowgirl", the only song by Imani Coppola to ever hit the charts.  Described by Wikipedia as living "in Bedford-Stuyvesant with her cat", which of course was the most important fact of the day, Coppola released this song in 1997 to commercial and critical success.  

And no, you aren't imagining.  "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan is absolutely sampled here.

The song is great.  Absolute pop perfection.  But it doesn't define Imani Coppola.

Just because this is her biggest chart hit does NOT mean she hasn't been successful.  Quite the contrary - the multi-instrumentalist has written many of your favorite commercial jingles - brands like Chase, Target, Revlon.  She's also an accomplished violinist.

By the way, she hated this song.  Which, well, I don't understand, but artists have their own opinions about their own work.

Here she is, performing it live.  Donovan was unavailable for this live performance.

21 February 2023

21 February 2023 - M.I.A. - Bad Girls

It's said that your musical taste is formulated in your teens.  The music you like for the rest of your life is the music you are exposed to during the years 13-19.

This song, one of my favorites, was released on my 40th birthday, so I reject that thinking.  So, I reject that thinking.  This song, co-written by M.I.A., incorporates a lot of Middle Eastern-influenced beats that didn't exist broadly in popular music when I was 13-19.  

I encourage you to grow with me and enjoy this song, mid-tempo and in your face from the Moroccan dessert.  

20 February 2023

20 February 2023 - k-os - The Love Song

Next week, we begin our third annual #MapleLeafMarch.  You know, that one month of the year that I fill with Canadians, for absolutely no reason other than I am the world's biggest fan of poutine.

But today is k-os's birthday.  He turns 51 today.  So, rather than wait a week, we feature his 2005 hit from NEW ZEALAND - where it was featured in a commercial for Vodafone.  

It's not a love song.  

17 February 2023

17 February 2023 - Weezer - Island In The Sun

I cannot believe we've never, ever posted Weezer here.  

Well, let's fix that with their best known song.  

Wait, you mean it wasn't a hit in the US?  Well, it was OUTSIDE the United States, which is amazing for a song that shouldn't have even existed.   Producer of their (second) self-titled album and Cars frontman Ric Ocasek pushed for its inclusion, and it ended up being the single released after the much darker "Hash Pipe".  

So, about that video.  It's got a Mexican wedding theme.  But, say you don't want a Mexican wedding.  Say, for example, you want to see Rivers Cuomo sing at a baby bear, but you didn't want Mikey Welsh in the video.  Wouldn't it be great if there was a video like that?

Thanks to Spike Jonze, there is.

16 February 2023

16 February 2023 - Miley Cyrus - Flowers

It's hard to believe that Miley Cyrus is 30.  Her first trip(s!) to the pop charts happened when she was 15 - and still playing Hannah Montana. 

Fifteen years later, she's still releasing hits.

She's been to the top of the pop charts before, but "Flowers" is setting up to be her biggest hit by far - debuting at #1 in the US and all around the world, and staying there for three weeks in the States as of this writing.  The song, a breakup song that is more of a profession of self-love, is funky and poppy and instantly singable and danceable.   More to the point, it is a breakup song that is likely about Liam Hemsworth, her ex - the song was released on his birthday.  

The video caused a run on black lingerie thanks to the outfit Miley wears starting at the 1:00 mark of this video.  

15 February 2023

15 February 2023 - Curve - Chinese Burn

We seem to come back to Curve an awful lot.  For good reason - they are a band that had real forward-sounding music, continually.  They reinvented themselves, continually.

And they broke up way too soon.  

This song, the lead single from their third album, Come Clean, waste no time getting right into the high-energy music.  It is so high energy it was featured in the TV series La Femme Nikita, and also Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Is it the theme song for all shows adapted from better movies?  It is angry and powerful throughout, and I'd bet they loved it in the clubs.

Buffy loved it in the club.

14 February 2023

14 February 2023 - Eagle-Eye Cherry - Save Tonight

Today, we feature Eagle-Eye Cherry, one hit wonder half-brother of a one-hit wonder (Neneh Cherry) (at least from a US standpoint - he did have more hits in Europe).  This is his one US hit.  

This video for this song was filmed in Stockholm, Sweden - Eagle-Eye Cherry is 1/2 Swedish, so this was his home country.  The song itself, released in 1997 but not a North American hit until 1999, is a soulful journey through the impending loss of love - and relishing the moments you have, tonight.  

So, on this Valentine's Day, please, enjoy your night, no matter how you spend it.  Don't worry about tomorrow.

13 February 2023

13 February 2023 - Rebbie Jackson - Centipede

Growing up, I was a big fan of music videos.  Thankfully, I didn't just digest these videos from MTV (although this particular one got a little airplay there).  I watched a lot of BET, which, back then, was openly calling itself Black Entertainment Television.  They had a lot of shows that played R&B and hip hop videos.  

Thus, I discovered what was a minor pop hit - but a huge R&B hit that didn't cross over hard.  

Rebbie is the oldest of the Jackson siblings. She has not had as many hits as her brothers or even her sister Janet, and she doesn't have the psychic network of LaToya - but she had "Centipede", her 1984 hit and best known song - a top 30 pop hit that reached the top 5 on the R&B charts.  Written and produced by her kid brother Michael - yes, that's him on background vocals, along with Izora Rhodes and Martha Wash (who are better known as the Weather Girls).  

For Rebbie, family came first - the album of the same name and this single were not released until her children were old enough and she had spent time with them while they were young.   Despite that focus on family, she didn't initially want to use her maiden name (Jackson) as an artist - but relented because, well, it's her name and it carries power.  If you look at the album and single for this song, you'll notice "Rebbie" is big and "Jackson" is small.

I don't make these things up.

 Anyway, it was BET that introduced me to this song, and I am grateful.  I hope you enjoy it.

10 February 2023

10 February 2023 - Fishbone - Sunless Saturday

This 1991 song isn't likely Fishbone's best known song - "Ma and Pa" comes to mind - but it is their biggest hit to date.

The song is pretty blatant lyrically - the narrator hates his life and everything around him. The song is probably straight-up about depression.  The high-speed ska-funk-punk-rock fusion masks the sad nature of the song, 

I did say it was their biggest hit to date.  They're still together and they still perform.

09 February 2023

9 February 2023 - Bad Brains - I Against I

Little known fact: Bad Brains started off life as a jazz fusion band. 

Sure.  I hear it.  

The title of this song, the title song from their 1986 album, is actually a reggae reference - "I and I" is a phrase used in reggae to signify one's relationship with God.  Although Bad Brains was - is - clearly a punk band that I first learned about on the pages of Thrasher magazine in my days as skate punk in the 1980's (yes, I still have my board), their influences include reggae, jazz, and funk.  

Anyway, if this is the first time you're hearing Bad Brains, enjoy.

08 February 2023

8 February 2023 - Tina Turner - We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)

In 1985, Tina Turner was well into her musical comeback, already having the record for oldest person to ever score a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 ("What's Love Got To Do With It").  Other opportunities were falling into her lap.

One of those was to star in a movie - Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - the sequel to Mad Max and The Road Warrior (if you aren't reading this from the United States or Canada, that second movie was Mad Max 2, and I apologize for the confusion). The film did modestly at the box office, but sparked a #2 hit that would be one of Turner's biggest hits.

The song, a power ballad, referenced the movie and the post-apocalyptic future of 1997 directly.  (That's right.  This futuristic look in the video is what 1985 filmmakers thought 1997 would look like). It would be a bigger hit than the movie, and received a lot more critical acclaim, too, including several award nominations.

Throughout her career, Turner has continued to perform this song..... and dress up when she does.  Here she is in 2009, pushing 70, still belting this song hard and huge as she always did.  

07 February 2023

7 February 2023 - Prince & The New Power Generation - 7

So let's just go with what is arguably his most ambiguous song in his catalog.

7?  Seven of WHAT?  Seven names of God?  Seven deadly sins?  Is he just into numerology? Either way, it's clearly heavy on the religious undertones.  Also, in the video, he kills past versions of himself - even Purple Rain-era Prince, people.  Also, his wife dances with a sword on her head, which is pretty badass.

The song has middle Eastern and funk influences, with a heavy drum and bass.  This unusual song made it to #7 on the pop charts, mostly because of Prince's intellect and savoir-faire.  

(Yes, of course we chose to post this today.  Makes sense, right?)

06 February 2023

6 February 2023 - Ava Max - So Am I

I pretty much hated pop music in my teens and twenties…well with very few exceptions.

In 2009 I turned the corner so to speak and fell head over heels for the one and only Kelly Clarkson and her song “My Life Would Suck Without You.” I actually hid the fact that I owned All I Ever Wanted for longer than I would care to admit. It was a matter of punk rock pride. Like I, a huge Archers of Loaf and Quicksand fan, would dig the first American Idol???

(For the record, I have never watched that show…even if I have friends who have done well on it…I don’t watch The Voice…anymore either…but an old friend did well last season).

So that takes us to the somewhat present. XM Radio’s Hits 1 is always on in my wife’s car. I dig it. Especially when Albanian-American artist Ava Max comes on. Her tunes are so reminiscent of Clarkson’s “rockers” but not as wholesome. “Kings & Queens” and “Sweet But Psycho” are her two big songs off her first album, but there’s something about “So am I.” It has that Clarkson vibe but throw in the empowerment of Pink and Katy Perry (two artists we here have paid tribute to in the past) and we’re talking gold.

03 February 2023

3 February 2023 - Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day

I know we all think of "gangsta rap" as super angry and negative.... but Ice Cube, one of the godfathers of the genre, shows us that it doesn't have to be.  

This single peaked at #15 on the POP charts.  The POP charts, man.  It's his biggest hit to date...... which, given that he's also the godfather of Daddy Day Care, is likely to hold. 

The song was a reflection of Mr. Jackson's life in 1992 - it was pretty good.  He was well known, on top of the world, and not slinging constant disses back and forth with N.W.A. anymore.  Funny thing is, some people have tried to pin-point the exact "Good Day" in the song.  Note: there wasn't ONE.  It was a compilation of a lot of good days.  

02 February 2023

2 February 2023 - Living Colour - Glamour Boys

Why this New York City band used British spelling is no mystery to me - guitarist and principal songwriter Vernon Reid was from London.

This 1988 single - a top 30 hit - was a biting rebuke of those who were caught up in fashion and lifestyle. The best part?  Produced by Mick Jagger - from a little British band himself - who was instrumental in getting the band signed to a record deal.... a fact the band found bittersweet.  In the 1980s, there weren't all-black rock bands getting major label deals, but the fact that Mick Jagger happened to see them live and "endorsed" them got Living Colour signed.

Still, I'm grateful.  This unique, funky band got real MTV airplay and attention thanks to a chance meeting with a rock and roll legend.  

Let's get to this song.  The verses are clearly reggae-influenced, with an "island" feel.  The chorus, however, ramps up the heavy and rocks hard.

The band briefly broke up in the 1990's, but got back together.  Here they are in 2019, performing this song. Personally, I don't think Corey Glover has lost a bit of his vocal power.

01 February 2023

1 February 2023 - Aya Nakamura - Baby

Most of my readers are from the United States.  So, you've likely never heard of French/Malian singer Aya Nakamura.  In Europe, though - she's huge, without a doubt. Nakamura isn't her real last name (she lifted that from a character on the TV show Heroes, which I can't recommend enough unless you want to watch it past the first season.....).  Her fame grew out of, shockingly, her YouTube channel.

This is the lead single off her latest album, DNK, released on January 27th.  Written by Nakamura herself, it is a pretty standard R&B song both musically and thematically.  It just happens to be in French.  So, I encourage you to give it a listen, and I hope you like it as much as the last French-language artist I pushed down your throats.

31 January 2023

31 January 2023 - Rolling Quartz - Blaze

We went down a cover rabbit hole yesterday, but in doing so, we discovered a rockin' band.

Rolling Quartz formed in 2019 when Rose Quartz and Rolling Girlz, two different bands, merged into one, creating an indie rock band that demands your attention.  

That's right.  I said "demands."   They're that good.  Jayoung's huge vocals drive the band, all of whom are both technically strong and bring personality to their performances.

This, their debut single, was released in December 2020.  

The band formed just before the global pandemic, and released their first single DURING the pandemic, so they had to adapt to a new normal in performance, but they also came back to live performances hard as soon as they could. 

30 January 2023

30 January 2023 - Måneskin - Zitti e Buoni

It's not often we get to feature Eurovision-winning bands.  I'm happy to say that Italian band Måneskin fits that bill.

This song, written by the band, was Italian representative and winner of Eurovision 2021.  The song also won the Sanremo Music Festival the same year.  Notice how hard the song rocks.  It is an angry rebuke of an older generation who does not value the input of those younger than they - the title roughly translates to "Quiet and Good" i.e. shut up and be good kids.

The song actually started off as a ballad.  Strange to imagine that, so we'll just give you the song that won Eurovision.  Viva l'italia!

Yes, of course we're including their Eurovision performance.  C'mon now.

26 January 2023

26 January 2023 - Hall & Oates - Out Of Touch

Daryl Hall and John Oates may be the greatest duo of the 1980s.  At least, my friend Mark thought so.  

In 1984, this song went to #1 on the Billboard charts.  It would be the duo's last trip to the top of the charts - although they still had a few hits left in them.  Oates wrote the chorus off a synthesizer riff, and the duo wrote the verses the next day. 

 It's also one of my personal favorite songs by the duo.  Which is the real reason why we're talking today.

25 January 2023

25 January 2023 - Everlast - What it's Like

We're almost a month into 2023, and we're still writing 2022 on our checks.

Just kidding.  We haven't written a check in years.

But that's how we're getting you back to 1998, when bluesy guitarist Everlast broke onto the scene with his only solo hit (he previously had a hit with his group House of Pain) - a song that uses each verse to tell a story of someone who is figuratively drowning in their life (and literally drowning in the video).  

By the way, "his only solo hit" is by no means a measure of the success Everlast has had, as he has continued to create music that resonates, and has been nominated for several awards.  Here he is, performing his best known song just a couple of years ago.  His voice is raspier, which lends itself well to the bluesy tone of the song. 

24 January 2023

24 January 2023 - Double Take - Hot Problems

You had to know we'd get here eventually.  Today is the day.

Drew Garrett and Lauren Willey didn't have a lot of confidence in their singing abilities.  This is why they went with talk-singing on their viral hit that many have called "Worse than "Friday"".

These two young songwriters (that's right, they wrote this) also didn't actually think they're hot.  This song, from 2012, was the first of just a few singles by the singer-songwriting duo - all in a similar style, and all clear parody.  

But we know the real question: where are they now?

We did a #WickedGP deep dive to find out what the ladies were up to since their viral fame.  Drew Garrett is a holistic health coach with her own business.  Lauren Willey's Instagram bio clearly states that she is a "lifelong hoop earring advocate & beauty PR w/ @behrmanpr".  Both appear to be living successful, happy lives outside the music industry.  

23 January 2023

23 January 2023 - Glass Animals - Heat Waves

What was the biggest hit of 2022?

According to Billboard, it was "Heat Waves" by Oxford band Glass Animals.  Which is quite an achievement, since it was released in 2021 as a single (and ended up #16 on THAT year end chart) and took 59 weeks to get there.  It spent more than a YEAR on the pop chart before it hit #1, and spent a month there.  And that's just what it did in the US!  In Australia, it spent 85 weeks in their top 10, the longest run by far of any single.

It's not like Glass Animals is some big hitmaker overnight success of a band.  They've been around since 2010, and this was their first big hit. 

So what made this song a hit?

Well, weird Minecraft fan fiction that highlighted the song didn't hurt, but I'd like to think it's the simple lyrics and captivating electronic beat.  Anyone can sing along to this song.  Even me!  Hell, I'm singing along right now.  

It also may be the fact that they are a different band, with an accessible look.  They aren't overstyled.  They're a real band, writing real music.  And they perform it live, too.

20 January 2023

20 January 2023 - Christina Aguilera - Beautiful

"You know, people will actually read about Christina Aguilera.  Why not continue down that road?"

"Sure.  But I should go non-obvious and not the literal second single from Stripped, right?"

"What?  What is that single"

""Beautiful".  I literally mentioned it yesterday."

"Oh yeah.  You did.  But I kinda think you have to.  It's her biggest hit and her best known song."

"Ugh, fine.  Can I at least talk about new facts people might not know, like that it was written and produced by Linda Perry, who most people know from 4 Non Blondes?" 

"It's not like I can stop you."

"How about the fact that this video won a GLAAD award for the positive and normalized portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community, who have adopted it as kind of an anthem?"

"You really can't not mention that. Better mention the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance as well as its nomination for Song of the Year.  You love mentioning awards."

"How about the lack of assless chaps?"


"What else do I need to say about this song?"

"Did you mention the second video?"

"The what, now?"

"Yeah, Christina made a 2nd video for this song in 2022, with a focus on body acceptance and the issues of social media in regards to that."

"I did NOT know that existed."

"Yeah, she even put some mental health resources right on the front page of her website.  They're still there right now, as we write this."

"Yeah, I see that.  Looks like this was a 20th anniversary rerelease as well."

"I mean, yeah, but do you see the greater good she's trying to do here?"

"Well, what about the other version of the song/"

"What other version?"

""You Are What You Are (Beautiful)".  She rerecorded it in a different style for her greatest hits album."

"Oh, like "Genie 2.0"?"

"You DO read my blog! Yes, a lot like that.  Very electronic."

"I think it sounds like a funeral dirge."

"Can you be a little positive here?"

"Yeah.  I'm positive it sounds like a funeral dirge."

"Do you think there's video of her performing this song in assless chaps?"

"What is it with you and the assless chaps?"

"Ugh ok.  How about this 2016 video from Russian television?"

"Wow.  OK!"

"Yeah, it showcases her still-gigantic voice and her love of her fans"


19 January 2023

19 January 2023 - Christina Aguilera ft. Redman - Dirrty

The birth of Xtina happened in 2002, as Ms. Aguilera was looking to blast the virginal image that her record label was trying to push.

If the song didn't accomplish that, the video sure as hell did.  A dirrty, gritty affair, featuring mud wrestling, furries, and a relatively scantily clad Xtina ended up being an immediate hit and propelled the song to #5 on the pop charts.

The songwriting team included Redman, whose 2001 song "Let's Get Dirty" was a strong inspiration for this single, which Aguilera fought to be the first single from her Stripped album (over eventual megahit "Beautiful").

To go a little bit into how the sausage is made, I like to add a live performance in a lot of these posts.  In the case of this song, there are a lot of performances from 2002 and 2003 in which it is not clear whether or not Christina is singing or just lip-syncing (I believe she is singing but using a helper track).  Sure, there are a lot of assless chaps, but I like to give you, the reader, a different perspective of the song.

Then I found this full-band performance.  No doubt she's singing the hell out of this song here.

18 January 2023

18 January 2023 - Nicki Minaj - Super Freaky Girl

It was really only a matter of time before Nicki Minaj sampled Rick James, right?  

Released in August 2022, this song was an instant hit - and by instant, I mean huge Spotify debut, #1 Billboard Hot 100 debut, a spot on her Greatest Hits album (she's been around long enough to have one of those!).  

The bigger deal is that it was only her third #1 - and her first in a couple of years.  

16 January 2023

16 January 2023 - The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell

This may be the angriest song we've ever posted - and we have posted songs with the F word in their title.  

The All-American Rejects scored their biggest hit to date - #4 on the Hot 100 in addition to topping the US Rock charts - with this angry, angry song.  Of course, the band had someone in mind - some real asshole, in their words - but they're not saying - or telling the subject.

Anyway, it's a great straight-ahead rock song that was a refreshing take in 2008.

13 January 2023

13 January 2023 - The Arrows - I Love Rock N Roll

The Arrows wrote and performed this song in 1975.  This creepy, creepy song about picking up an underage girl ended up getting them a recurring TV gig on their own eponymous show.  Ah, the 70s.  It was on that TV show that Joan Jett saw the band perform the song - and her recordings became history.

The song is a classic because of what Joan Jett did, and despite the creepy, creepy subject matter, I have come to appreciate this version.  

12 January 2023

12 January 2023 - Kim Petras - Future Starts Now

Kim Petras has been releasing compelling alt-synth pop music for years that has been really really good.  This post is about one that didn't get a real release, though.

This song was supposed to be the big single from her third album, which would have been her major label debut, Problématique, That album, for unknown reasons, never got released and was scrapped by the Republic Records, supposedly due to the fact that many songs, including this one, were leaked ahead of time (some speculate there are other reasons related to Dr. Luke, who we have mentioned before in not-complimentary terms).

Anyway, Petras says it's OK to listen to the leaks, and she has released this song as a single - and it ended up being something of a club hit - so if she's OK with it, we are, too.  

11 January 2023

11 January 2023 - Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You

I grew up with country music loving parents.  

My mother's nickname was Dolly.  (Not a joke - a lot of people thought it was her real name)

So, naturally, I grew up listening to a lot of Dolly Parton.  That includes this song.  I used to not really like it.  I found it boring.  As I grew older, I see the beauty of it.  

The song was written for Porter Wagoner, on whose show Dolly Parton (not my mom) got her start.  She had been on his show for five years and was leaving for a solo career - and this song was her resignation letter.  

You thought it was a romantic breakup song, didn't you?  It wasn't.  

Anyway, the song topped the country charts twice.  The first time was in 1974, and this was what the song sounded like then.

In 1982, Dolly Parton (not my mom) did a movie with Burt Reynolds called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and she rerecorded and rereleased this song - and it topped the country charts AGAIN.

She would, of course, release the song AGAIN, as a duet with Vince Gill, in 1995.  This version didn't top the country charts - it only reached #15.  


This version started off as THIS live performance, and was picked up by country music radio, which pressured Dolly's label to release it as a single - and it became a hit again.  

As big a hit as this song was, it was an even bigger hit for another artist who shall remain nameless.

10 January 2023

10 January 2023 - Steve Winwood - Valerie

In 1982, Steve Winwood released an album - Talking Back to the Night - that featured this single, which ended up being a minor hit - hitting #70 on the Billboard charts, and getting the former Spencer Davis Group member some attention.  

The song is about a former lover that the narrator hopes will return to him someday.

In 1986, Steve Winwood had a huge enough year to warrant a greatest hits album - Chronicles - in 1987. Included on that album was a remix of "Valerie", which ended up being a much bigger hit (US Top 10) than the original.  

Both are among my favorite unsung songs by any artist.

09 January 2023

9 January 2023 - Megan Thee Stallion - Plan B

Megan Pete really knows how to write a really, really dirty song.  

More to the point, she knows how to write a great, strong breakup song - which she says was based on a lot of past relationships and had nothing to do with being shot by Tory Lanez.

Yes, she was shot by Tory Lanez, in 2020.  In both feet.  She was in bad shape.  

The song, with the title a reference to the popular post-coital birth control, is angry and bold and.... really really good.  I hope we have her as an artist for a long time to come. 

You know, I appreciate the need for a helper track, but Megan is raw and honest in this live performance, even with that.

06 January 2023

6 January 2023 - The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight

The first hip hop song to be a radio hit samples "Good Times" by Chic pretty heavily, so much so that Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards sued for songwriting credits.  The song, ironically, started when the Sugarhill Gang and Fab Five Freddy JOINED Chic on stage and came up with an impromptu rhyme to go along with the LIVE bassline of this song.

That wasn't the only sample they used.  "Here Comes That Sound Again" by Love De-Luxe was also sampled.  Did Alan Hankshaw get a songwriting credit?  Noooooooooo.

More importantly, this was the song that brought hip hop to a broad audience.  No, it wasn't the first, but it was the first hit.  It would go on to be one of the most influential one-hit wonders in history.

05 January 2023

5 January 2023 - Latto - Big Energy

No, Mariah Carey didn't get a songwriting credit here.

You know who did?

Tina Weymouth.  Chris Frantz.  Adrian Belew.  Steven Stanley.

This really dirty song reached #3 on the pop charts - and #8 on the year end chart - and was a worldwide starmaking hit for Latto.  The winner of the 2016 TV reality competition The Rap Game, she's come out strong with a bravado that Megan Three Stallion no one can match. 

Plus, lyrically, Latto does pay tribute to Mariah here, even if it's a Tom Tom Club sample.

Mariah DID get a songwriting credit on this remix (100% true)...... as well as a vocal one.  DJ Khaled gets his two cents in at the beginning and end of this as well.  

If you read this far, you know today is our 12th birthday.  Celebrate with us all year long as we bring the BDE and make this our biggest year yet.

04 January 2023

4 January 2023 - Mariah Carey - Fantasy

Two things you should learn from this post.

1) Not every week needs a theme.  This one, however, does.

2) Don't assume I hate a song just because it samples one of the greatest songs ever written.

I'm not a huge Mariah Carey fan.  I am really, really not.  I am especially sick of her right now, when we have all heard that goddamn Christmas song on repeat, everywhere.  Little known fact: this song was THAT song's follow up single.  

But this song - which she lyrically co-write with Dave Hall (musically and partially lyrically, it was written by Adrian Belew, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Steven Stanley) - really understands the song it sampled, and doesn't disrespect it.  It's not a ripoff.  It's an homage.  And it's probably the best thing Mariah Carey has ever done.

03 January 2023

3 January 2023 - Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn

If you listen to the lyrics, you know that the Beasties are talking about being on a long tour, as a lot of young musicians have to do, where you don't get to sleep much.  Their home base being Brooklyn, that would be when sleep would come.

Now you know.

This song, produced by Rick Rubin, fuses rock and hip hop, with a guitar riff straight out of "TNT" by AC/DC and a title that invokes Motörhead (No Sleep 'til Hammersmith),  However, the three part harmonies were boastful and bold, typical of late-1980's rap music.

The song was a band and crowd favorite at their shows, with the group frequently using this as their closing song. Who could resist the frantic, energetic feeling of this tune?

02 January 2023

2 January 2023 - Run-DMC - It's Tricky

Why yes, that is Penn and Teller playing the big baddies in this video.

This very quick-tongued song, co-produced by Run-DMC and Rick Rubin (best known for metal producing before this).  Utilizing samples from "My Sharona" by The Knack and "Mickey" by Toni Basil (the former sued the band over the sample), the combined forces of Run, DMC, JamMaster Jay, and Rick Rubin solidified the group's strength in fusing hip hop music with hard-edged rock.  They were, in essence, the gangsta rap of their time.

Shoutout to Penn Jillette, who does a "great" job with the tune at the end of the video.