22 April 2024

22 April 2024 - Fine, It's Pink - Did It All for You

I've been following Romanian band Fine, It's Pink since 2013.  That's when I heard their amazing cover of Phantogram's "When I'm Small".   Now, the original of that is one of my favorite song, and I'll probably fire it up on the turntable pretty soon.  

I've written about them a few times on this blog, too, most recently in 2021.  

I write this blog to tell you about the music that I enjoy, and, well, I have discovered music thanks to this blog.  It was purely accidental that I discovered this Romanian band, over here in the States, and yet I did.  

Watching Fine, It's Pink mature as musicians - watching their original songs get more adult and more beautiful - is one of the best things I have ever experienced in writing this little blog.  Their new single, out last week, is perhaps their most mature and beautiful work to date.  The song was written by Fine, It's Pink, with Ioana Lefter writing the lyrics she is singing herself.  

I hope this is the song that breaks them out of Romania and onto the world stage, because few musicians deserve it more.  

19 April 2024

19 April 2024 - Coi Leray - Players

It's like a jungle sometimes.

It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.

No, I'm not talking about my personal struggles.   I'm talking about the Grandmaster Flash sample that the outstanding Coi Leray employs prominently through this song.

This 2022 single ended up in the Top 10, her first and at this point only trip there. It absolutely an explicit and empowering song, and I love it a lot. 

It is unusual to see a new video for a REMIX of a song, but in the case, it is appropriate, as DJ Smallz put a new spin on the song.

This remix by DJ Saige replaces the Grandmaster Flash sample with a Busta Rhymes sample.... and Mr. Rhymes himself guest stars.

18 April 2024

18 April 2024 - Sigur Rós - Hoppípolla

You know when we feature bands with non-English characters in their names, when we have to figure out the ASCII codes for writing these non-English characters, that they must be special.

Icelandic superstars Sigur Rós, described as a post-rock band (accurately) are that kind of special.  Their best known song is this one, a song with some Icelandic and some nonsense words, about childlike fun and holding onto that spirit....

,,,which is probably why the video prominently features several elderly people pulling pranks on people, including members of the band.

The song, like a lot of their music, is beautiful and different and thought-provoking.  

Of course it's a live favorite.  Why wouldn't it be?!

17 April 2024

17 April 2024 - Beyoncé - Texas Hold 'Em

For those who do not know, the former Beyoncé Knowles was raised in Houston, TX.  She was raised on country music.  She performed four times at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, an event she attended many times as a child.   She's performed COUNTRY MUSIC in the past, with the (former Dixie) Chicks and Sugarland.  Her songs have been covered by Reba and others.

So explain to me: why would anyone have any issue with her "going country" when she's performing (and she co-wrote) a really catchy country album?

I sure don't.  This song, released during the Super Bowl this year, is damn catchy.  She didn't even send the song to country radio, but it is getting significant airplay.  It's also getting significant airplay on pop radio, making it one of the more significant crossover songs of the last several years (miss me with that Jason Aldean and Morgan Wallen talk, kids).  

And yes, we hear it.  It sounds a lot like the Franklin theme song.  

16 April 2024

16 April 2024 - DRAMAS - Coma Call

Sometime soon, we are going to have a week of nothing but non-English songs.  

It was a search for those songs that led me to DRAMAS, an Austrian band that is making some of the most interesting music on the planet.  And thank Courtney for this one - she found it and introduced it to me.

Formed in 2016, they made a splash in Europe right from the get go. Viktoria Winter and Mario Wienerroither are the whole band, and they bring a lot of noise and emotion.  This song, their latest single, was inspired by old French music.... and yeah, I can hear it.  

"Coma Call" isn't going to win awards for lyrical complexity, but that's precisely the beauty of it.  It's a track that revels in pure sonic pleasure.  It's the kind of song you crank up while cruising down a nighttime highway, windows down, feeling the wind whip through your hair.

So please, enjoy my family's current earworm.

15 April 2024

15 April 2024 - Labi Siffre - I Got The...

Labi Siffre built himself a long and illustrious soul career with classic songs and great beats that live on.

This was the opening track of Siffre's 1975 album, Remember My Song.  It is probably the song for which he is best known.

However, it was never a hit song on his own.  

Nope, it was a hit because Emimen sampled it as a singificant part of his song, "My Name Is", in 1999.  Siffre was initially not allowing this song, which he wrote and performed, to be sampled, as the original Eminem track contained a lot of derrogatory language againsts women and gay people (Siffre is openly gay).  Eminem changed his lyrics and submitted a clean version, and the sample was approved.  (Eminem DID release the other version as well, as a dirty version).  

The song, however, was pretty great as is, even if it was a bit obscure.  Here.  Enjoy it.

Since then, the song is no longer obscure, even getting use in an episode of Better Call Saul.

15 April 2024 - Eminem - My Name Is

This 1999 single is likely the first thing you heard by Eminem unless you saw him as a freestyle rapper in Detroit as a kid.  

It earned Eminem his first Grammy, for best Rap Solo Performance.  Cowritten by Marshall Mathers (Eminem), Andre Young (Dr. Dre) and Labi Siffre (Labi Siffre,who was credited because of the significant sample of his song "I Got The..."), the song was meant to be humorous and light-hearted, but ended up being also pretty groundbreaking.  

That was the version that Labi Siffre approved.

He expressly did NOT approve this version, which contains some homophobic slurs - calling it "lazy writing".  But we'll talk more about that another day.

Eminem released it anyway.

Yes, of course, he did perform ths song live, like in this performance at the legendary Whisky A Go Go on the fabulous Sunset Strip.