12 March 2011

Music Video of the Day: Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child

Back in my middle school days I loved Beyonce and her little cohorts, particularly the husky, sexy sound of Michelle Williams, but the other day I realized that I hadn't paid attention to them in years. I've grown into appreciating a different type of music by this point in my life but that doesn't mean there still isn't room for some old fashioned fun courtesy of a truly talented R&B group. This song, "Lose My Breath", particularly stood out to me because of the lyrics. Unfortunately.

There's always a song for every mood, whether good or bad, and suddenly this song just spoke to me at the right time. The beat is great and very dancy but honestly, some of the lyrics really speak to frustration. It's very rare to hear women singing about not getting enough action. I think a group like Destiny's Child gets a bad reputation for becoming so commercialized but this is really them doing what they do best. There really aren't that many groups that could get away this subject matter while still catering to a very young audience - and specifically females. There are many more rap and R&B men discussing sexual themes than ladies. And although the lyrics definitely get the point across, Destiny's Child still manages to be a little discreet in this song. It's just the right amount of metaphors.


Lose My Breath lyrics - Destiny's Child

Can you keep up?

Baby boy, make me lose my breath
Bring the noise, make me lose my breath
Hit me Hard, make me lose my (Hah Hah)
Can you keep up?
Baby boy, make me lose my breath
Bring the noise, make me lose my breath
Hit me Hard, make me lose my (Hah Hah)

I put it right there, made it easy for you to get to
Now you wanna act like ya don't know what to do
After I done everything that you asked me
Grabbed you, grind you, liked you, tried you
Moved so fast baby now I can't find you

I'm startin' to believe that I'm way too much for you
All that talk but it seems like it can't come through
All them lies like you could satisfy me,
Now I see where believing you got me
Gave you the wheel, but you can't drive me


Two things I don't like when I tryin' to get my groove
Is a partna that meets me only half way and just can't prove
Take me out so deep when you know you can't swim
Need a lifeguard and I need protection
So put it on me deep in the right direction

You understand the facts that I'm tryin' to give to you
You movin' so slow like you just don't have a clue
Didn't mama teach you to give affection?
You're the difference of a man and an adolescent
It ain you boo, so get tha steppin'
[Chorus x2]

If you can't make me say OOO
Like the beat of this drum
Why you ask for some and you really want none
If you can't make me say OOO
Like the beat of this groove

You don't have no business in this here's your papers
Baby you are dismissed, dismissed, dismissed, dismissed, dismissed, dismissed, dismissed

04 March 2011

Somebody to Love: Paul McDonald and The Grand Magnolias

I had so many things I was planning to write about through my travels today but when I finally made my way home and to this computer the only thing left on my mind to write about was Alabama native Mr. Paul McDonald, the best American Idol contestant since Michael Johns. He is one of those rare musicians American Idol lets slip through that has actual artistry, not just in the way he tweaks a well known tune to make Randy happy but the kind that is so natural it flows through his veins. His rendition of "Maggie May" was actually a bit of a Rod Stewart sound-alike during the Top 24 performances but it was his performance style that instantly captured my attention. McDonald, unlike the others this season, has a very fluent interaction with the audience that seems to be authentic. He is simply himself and that's enough. With his kitschy flowered jackets (that are pretty phenomenal) and beat-up cowboy boots, he stumbles around the overdone stage with the grace of a drunken southerner on a Saturday night on Beale Street. I was impressed to find that he's only 26 and has been touring the country opening for acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Augustana. He's an interesting concoction of folk, R&B, and certainly a large dash of southern/vintage rock mixed with a singer/songwriter sensibility. He's great on guitar and his voice is just the right amount of raspy and sweet.

As lead singer of The Grand Magnolias, McDonald is also the current holder of a top 10 spot on the iTunes rock charts, currently leading bands like Guns 'N Roses and Bon Jovi. It's pretty ridiculous. McDonald and company are an instant sensation. I'm not even sure if another Idol contestant in the history of the show has managed to sell as many copies of a pre-Idol album as McDonald has. As a few have mentioned, I didn't even know it was possible for someone with a record deal to be on the show let alone make such a mark with their band while still vying for the Idol crown. If ever an exception should be made though, it's for Paul McDonald. Take a listen, he's pretty extraordinary.

I also find it rather interesting that The Grand Magnolias' website is surprisingly stylish and modern. Unlike a lot of local or supporting bands, this band has clearly taken pride in their aesthetic and managed to cultivate a really nice, cohesive appearance. They make it known right away that they're serious about their professionalism even if Paul referred to himself as a "starving artist" before making his way on to the show. This band knows who they are and have found  a perfectly shaped niche inside of their genre. The more I listen to them, the more they grow on me. There are very few bands these days that would impress me enough to buy an entire album after just one listen, particularly after finding their lead singer on American Idol, but I strongly believe this band has a future long after the show is over and their frontman loses to some guy we won't even recall come this time next year.

Perfect if you like: The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Drive-By Truckers.

24 February 2011

Video of the Day: Adele - Lovesong (cover)

I was just sampling the clips of Adele's new album on iTunes after hearing immense praise of the highest order for her. I didn't anticipate this cover though. This song has been done so many times and usually it ends up the same way, beautiful but average. This is an exception. It's equal parts sensual, touching, soft, and elegant. It was meant to be sung by such a gorgeous voice. I can't believe how beautiful the tone is.

22 February 2011

Music Video of the Day: Dilly - Band of Horses

While looking through live Band of Horses video for a post yesterday, I came across this video from 2010 for the song "Dilly" off Infinite Arms. I'm a little disappointed with myself that I hadn't noticed it earlier but am just thankful to have it now. It's one of the funniest/most brilliant clips I've ever seen. It's such a departure from the airy "Laredo" video that primarily showed the band on a stage and yet still keeps their Southern vibe alive in a more retro (yet very natural to them) sort of way. Not a lot of bands could get away with a video so kitschy without coming across as obnoxious or a copycat of the millions of other bands doing a vintage look right now but this has such substance. It reminds in a way of Muse's video for "Knights of Cydonia" in the same old fashioned cinematic Western way yet it's even more tongue in cheek and maybe even more original. It's also reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino.

I don't know. Take a look for yourself. It's definitely worth a few minutes.

Song to Love: 99 Problems - Hugo

I originally heard this song late one night on 101.9 RXP, the best radio station in the New York area, and it resonated with me instantly. I got out my phone, went to their website and immediately found out the artist so I could download it when I got home. It was the kind of moment when you know you're finding something completely different that you can't survive another minute without. Yes, that's dramatic but I know any music lover understands that second where you know you've struck gold. A lot of songs are just "okay" and that gets you by but it's such a great feeling to find one that is fantastic.

Although I don't know much about Hugo as a band, I know they have a couple albums out and their big break seemingly came when this song was featured on the soundtrack to the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher film "No Strings Attached". I only found this out while searching Youtube. I thought I was going to find some acoustic version of a single guy playing this at a cafe with a straw hat on and found that Hugo has their own Vevo channel already and this video has half a million views. And I thought I was finding something obscure. Ha! In any event, the video is pretty crazy and the production value is great. It's a short song and another that just leaves you wanting more.

It's a fun, quirky cover with a country twang and an urban vibe. I hope Jay-Z likes it.

21 February 2011

Picture of the Day: Matt Berninger

of The National.

Horses Tell the Sweetest Love Stories

Tyler Ramsey, Band of Horses guitarist
Band of Horses has some of the greatest love songs I have ever heard. So simple, so slow, so painful and slightly sad.

Not in time for Valentine's Day but still a good choice of music for a loved one.

I love the image of everything else in time getting older and love staying fresh. It's difficult, right?

The intertwining of country and rock is also perfect.

(and this band is kind of gorgeous too. oh my.)

Song to Love: The Forms Feat. Matt Berninger - Fire to the Ground

This is my current favorite song. I've listened to it probably 30 times in the past two weeks.

The Forms (whose style Wikipedia considers "math rock"), are a Brooklyn band that formed in the early 2000's and have since released two albums with a third on the way.

The song features The National's Matt Berninger and the combination could not be better.

At just under three minutes, the song goes on for just the right amount of time to leave you wanting more.