Tuesday, June 29, 2010

YMD Summer Jams 2010 #7

Robyn - "Dancehall Queen"

"Dancing On My Own" is still an official summer jam, but since this morning this has been dominating my brain so thoroughly that it must be declared one as well. It's the second song in a row in which Robyn is dancing by herself, but unlike the last one, in which she is specifically dancing on her own to highlight her loneliness and rejection, this one is more ambiguous and, I think, more interesting.

"I came to dance not to socialize" is a great line, an example of how the narrator of the song foregrounds her objectives (dancing superiority and the recognition thereof) and methods (solitude) but not her reasoning. Is being Dancehall Queen an end unto itself? Should we, especially in the context of an album that includes "Dancing on My Own", assume that there are other emotional factors in the narrator's choice of solitude? ("I'll go down low like she won't..." in the bridge suggests this might just be a completely different way of dealing with the "Dancing on My Own" situation) (A different way of dealing with it through dancing, of course).

It wouldn't be nearly as moving, though, without the chorus melody, which I have to admit has a pretty ridiculous effect on me. It legit almost made me tear up on the train no less than three times today, and I fear what it might to do me if I hear it out/drunk.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That big dirty stinking bass

In case this interests anyone, here's what I ended up playing at our fairly successful, last-minute-venue-changed party on the weekend. Perhaps I got a bit anxious and played more vocal and pop stuff than I had intended too, but hey it happens.

- Jean Claude Van Damme - "Troop-rallying Speech From Street Fighter"
- DJ Mujava - "Township Funk"
- Shystie - "Pull It (Ill Blu Remix)"
- Business Man - "Dubby Games"
- Aaliyah - "Rock the Boat (Ill Blu Remix)"
- Ame, Henrick Schwarz, and Dixon - "D.P.O.M.B. (version 2)"
- Noze - "Remember Love"
- Tatu - "All the Things She Said (Dave Aude Remix)"
- Outkast - "B.O.B."
- Kingdom - "Mind Reader"
- Ludacris - "How Low"
- Kyla - "Do You Mind (Crazy Cousinz Remix)"
- Ricky Martin - "La Copa de la Vida"
- Donae'o - "Party Hard"
- Public Enemy - "Bring the Noise"
- Whitney Houston - "It's Not Right But It's Okay (Thunderpuss Club Mix)"
- Vitalic - "La Rock 01"
- Big Country - "It's a Big Country (Pure Mix)"

Then the Tay-Tay and Gucci came out.

My big thing from the past few weeks dance wise has been rediscovering how hard Ricky Martin's 1998 World Cup Anthem bangs. I wasn't planning on a Ricky rediscovery but friend Balls suggested we put it on at HQ the other day and it exploded the speakers more or less.

If you enjoy me playing house music along with free drinks and photography, I will probably be playing stuff with a lot less vocals at this opening on Friday from 6 to 9. Come by and shake your ass in a way that suggests you're admiring art. More on that later.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

YMD Summer Jams 2010 #6

Robyn - "Dancing On My Own"

Initially, I kept wanting to see this in the same electro-pop tearjerker vein as Annie's "Heartbeat", but it's not really fair to compare every electro-pop tearjerker to one of the best songs of the last decade. It is quite good though, and if I was still frequenting Trash or whatever I would be very disappointed if this hadn't been added to the playlist.

And maybe it's instructive to compare Robin to Annie anyways. On "Heartbeat", Annie registers for me far more as a part of the track than as a distinct character (the thinness of her voice and ethereality of the vocal production might be a start as to why) She leaves a space in the song; this makes it easier for me to lose myself in it. Robyn, on the other hand, functions more like a traditional (post-Elvis, let's say) pop star. Her personality always comes through much stronger than Annie's, and that's not necessarily good or bad. On "Dancing On My Own", Robyn is clearly present as a well-defined character within the song, a character she's built throughout her career (this is even clearer in the video, where her dance moves become almost too distracting for me).

This all needs editing and expansion, I'm sure, but anyways, "Dancing On My Own" is a jam, and besides being yet another Valiant Heartbreak Anthem from Robyn (I'd imagine it will be balanced on the album by a song about how she'll kick your ass), proves yet again the unbeatable power of the wordless vocal hook.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

YMD Summer Jams 2010 #5

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "Bottled in Cork"

Who said we don't summer with guitars anymore? Ted Leo, who I've seen live more times as all but 2 or 3 other bands, put out a very good record earlier this year, and the most suitable song for summer jamming is this, his newest travelogue. Something about the acoustic guitar actually reminds me of frisbee-rock also-rans Guster, but I promise that I mean that in the least insulting way possible. The closing repetition of "tell the bartender I'm falling in love" doesn't seem like it could be any more perfect for summer daydrinking at bars that have backyards (and especially for those Saturdays on which you realize there's not gonna be a break between the daydrinking and the nightdrinking, is there?).

Random Ad Links and the wonderful LOLS to be had

Forgot to post this when I capped it last week, but anyways, is it just me that suspects that maybe authorities have caught a random senile old man, and the real Paul Clouston is hiding in plain sight, sticking out his tongue at the law and enjoying, I dunno, a fairly priced new life insurance policy?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Work the middle

"What better way to spend a day off," I thought, "than to make a little mix to practice for the party we're throwing soon?" So I recorded this mini-mix and figured it went well enough (barring one or two less-than-professional transitions) to post. It starts with a few seconds of the homie Neil and moves through some UK Funky updates of a few classics, some techno, a classic Chicago jam, and YMD fav Tensnake's new remix of Mano Le Tough. It's summer! Come party!

- Neil Young - "When You Dance You Can Really Love" (Reprise Records, 1970)
- Lil' Silva - "Perfussion" (Night Slugs. 2010)
- Matthias Meyer - "Tout Va Bien" (liebe*detail, 2008)
- Geeneus & Katy B - "Good Life (Remix)" (2010)
- Aaliyah - "Rock the Boat (Ill Blu Remix)" (2009)
- Wighnomy Bros. - "Exvola Stupp" (Kompakt Extra, 2009)
- Lucien-N-Luciano - "House Tool's House" (Cadenza, 2010)
- Pierre's Pfantasy Club - "Dream Girl" (Hot Mix 5, 1988)
- Mano Le Tough - "Eurodancer (Dances For Euros) (Tensnake Remix)" (Mirau, 2010)

Download that shit! (Mediafire)

Monday, June 7, 2010

YMD Summer Jams 2010 #4

Big Boi - "Shutterbug"

Obviously. Despite the fact that we're going to know the words to like half of Sir Luscious Left Foot's songs by the time it leaks, anticipation at YMD Headquarters and environs couldn't be higher. Big Boi has a very legit claim to the title of Best Rapper Alive right now, and he maneuvers this talking bassline with the ease and deftness we've come to expect ever since he was "catchin' buzz like a bumble bee" back in the 90s. The singing part of the chorus is maybe even more crucial than the raps though, as far as making this something to cruise summer streets to. "Baby baby" indeed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

YMD 2010 Summer Jams #3

Gyptian - "Hold Yuh (Remix ft. Nicki Minaj)"

It's not very often you hear a song on Hot 97 without a kick drum (for good reason), but Gyptian and Nicki have been getting a decent amount of play both on the radio and here at YMD headquarters. Entrancing summer jam, though I think it could be a decent sweaty dancefloor break too.

YMD 2010 Summer Jams #2

Terror Danjah - "Acid"

Yet more heat from both Hyperdub and Terror Danjah. The ravey build up in the first minute is hype as hell and the one-note synth riff is nothing if not insistent. Definitely a summer night jam, as much as these things can be controlled.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

YMD 2010 Summer Jams #1

jj - "Into the Light"

Maybe the only summer jam to ever feature audio commentary of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal, this is my favorite track of Swedish Balearic duo jj's new album. Their rap and R&B covers are for the most part decently fun novelties, but gorgeous stuff like this keeps makes them a legitimately interesting band (the fact that you can dance to this one sure doesn't hurt its summer jam status).

(PS, seeing if this embed ting works, will find a better way soon).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's my life, and I'm living it now

54. Armand Van Helden - "U Don't Know Me (ft. Duane Harden)" (Ffrr/Armed Records, 1999)

Starting a song with a sliver of a sample and then unraveling that sample after the intro isn't exactly an obscure technique, but I'm not sure I've ever heard it used to more ecstatic, glorious effect than it is on "U Don't Know Me", the Boston-born Van Helden's 1999 smash (#1 in the UK, don't you know). It's a song about how it feels to be misunderstood and judged harshly by folks who don't know you, and it sure is euphoric.