Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s the Deal with EDM?

Standard

Follow WTF on Twitter @WTFMusicReview for everyday thoughts.

Like WTF Music Review on Facebook and make it look cool.

Every single time I listen to EDM music, from house to trance, my dad declares, “That’s not music.” And every single time he says that, I wonder how people can consider EDM to not be real music. Trust me, I’ve tried to play DJ with those free downloads you can get on the Internet and by watching YouTube videos of people who think they can DJ, and it’s hard. Maybe it was because I was using free downloads and amateur YouTube videos, but it was hard, and it goes to show that not everyone can do it. EDM is not new, but its recent impact and following is huge.

Here’s a few things that I could see may affect people’s misunderstanding of EDM:

1. The teenagers who don’t know what EDM is and just see it as a reason to try illicit drugs and jump up and down. On October 12, 2013, I went to see Kaskade for the second time, the first being at Lollapalooza in 2012. I love seeing Kaskade live – the energy he gives off while performing just shows that he really wants to be there, that if he could, he would perform forever. However, I went into the concert knowing that I wanted to see him, but that it was all ages and I would have to deal with a lot of people who weren’t really there to see that energy in play. When the show started, my sister and I, 20 years old and 23 years old respectively, were both sober and found ourselves behind a group of 20 or so preteens. I kid you not these kids had not even hit puberty. At no point during Kaskade’s show were these kids paying attention to Kaskade. I witnessed them as they passed around a full bottle of Bacardi that had clearly been stolen from the venue bar, whip out a bag of Molly and wave it around to show everyone they were “cool enough” to take it, and make out with every person of the opposite sex in their group. They had NO IDEA who Kaskade even was; I know this because when the opening act started to perform, they all argued whether or not he was “Cascada” and had to whip out their smartphones to find a picture of Kaskade’s face. I get it – you’re fourteen years old and this music and atmosphere is the new trend, but maybe that’s why older generations can’t understand what EDM means to us. There’s so many people that are just jumping on the bandwagon and not understanding the true meaning of EDM. EDM is not just some fad that’s going in and out; EDM is to my generation what MTV was to my parent’s generation – it’s our passion.

2. There’s a lot of popular remixes.  A lot of the reason that I first started listening to EDM was because I liked the remixes of the songs I already listened to. I liked that I was getting a way to listen to the same song, but still have it be different. I liked that it was bringing back older songs in a new way. A lot of people argue that DJs take music that isn’t theirs and just remix it. But how come we accept Flo Rida as an artist, but not DJs? When was the last time Flo Rida released a song that didn’t have some hint of someone else’s material in it? He’s “sampled” Etta James, Infinity Ink, Bingo Players, Dead or Alive, Eiffel 65, and so much more; he doesn’t even give credit where credit is due. When you buy a DJs remix on iTunes (I can only speak for legal practices of purchasing music), the “artist” listed is the artist that originally created the song. The best way to sum up why remixes are OK is with a quote from Kaskade (have we figured out that he’s my favorite EDM artist yet?): “Music is not disposable, people. We can twist it, sample it, mash it and experience it in endless ways. Open up.”

But here’s why I love EDM, why and how EDM is making an impact, and why you should jump on the bandwagon (for the right reasons):

1. Dance music has always been around; we’re just morphing it into our dance music. I remember when I was living in Texas (so keep in mind I’m like 7-10 years old), my mom and I would always listen to the “gay radio station” whenever we were in the car. That’s how I learned who Daft Punk was, who Basement Jaxx was, who Benny Benassi was, and who Who Da Funk was. I’ve been listening to EDM since I was seven years old and I embrace the way it’s changed. All music changes – our minds are only capable of deciphering so many different sounds so why not explore all those sounds?

2. Anyone can become a DJ… just like anyone can become a journalist. In the age of Internet, the line between professional journalism and amateur journalism has been blurred, but we still get to choose which source we like, which source we trust. Why can’t the same be said of music? Anyone can become a rockstar, a singer, a dancer – but we choose to only point out that anyone can be a DJ because it’s “so easy”? I’ve tried. It’s not easy… not that I ever wanted to be a touring DJ artist – I’ll stick to my dream of owning a restaurant. The only reason people are choosing to point out that anyone can be a DJ is because they want to find reasons to shut down the EDM movement. The only reason you hear about more up and coming DJs than other types of musicians is because they are more passionate about their music – because they want their music to be heard by everyone. And so what if it’s easier for a DJ to make it than other types of musicians – we still get to choose who we like, who we trust.

3. EDM is making a huge economic impact. As Pasquale Rotella, Insomniac CEO responsible for Electric Daisy Carnival, stated this past month, EDC Chicago brought in an estimated $26.1 million in to the Chicago area economy. I don’t know about you, but having money brought into our economy right now sounds pretty good. Big cities and states embrace the festivals: Chicago has Perry’s Stage at Lollapalooza, Spring Awakening Music Festival, Wavefront Music Festival, and North Coast Music Festival; Miami has Ultra Music Festival; Michigan has Electric Forest; New York has Electric Zoo; California originally had Electric Daisy Carnival, but it has since expanded nationally; Texas has plenty; Georgia has plenty. These massive festivals bring tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people together… and in the process, bring money to the local and state governments.

So, yes, EDM has seen a huge increase in popularity within the past couple of years, picking up a huge following. The thing that people who are anti-EDM don’t understand is that EDM is more than the commercialized market they see thrown in their face everyday – in advertisements, in political campaigns, etc. – it’s a movement that a lot of us are proud to be a part of. I love that for the past two hours I’ve been sitting at my desk listening to Kaskade, Calvin Harris, Krewella, Alesso, Nervo, and more without getting bored. I love that on my calendar I have listed four different concerts in Chicago that I know I won’t get to go to (because there’s a little thing called school and “poor college kid”) but that I still pretend I get to be a part of. I think the reason I most love EDM is because the artists love their fans – they’re most dedicated to their fans. Don’t get me wrong … I’ll always love Katy Perry … but I don’t think she’ll ever interact with her fans as much as EDM artists. I don’t see her playing hangman in the middle of the day on Twitter, putting up truth or dare videos on YouTube, or giving away free music just in the hopes that fans will spread the word in exchange.

Don’t judge the movement, join the movement. And if you still can’t agree with that – Nicki Minaj exists, so why can’t EDM?

Advertisements

Dance Party Friday: DJs From Mars

Standard

For the first couple months of listening to this mash-up, I could only find the version on YouTube from a Spanish YouTube channel that only referred to the artist as “Amazing” and something about “vogliamo auguravi” but my 5 years of sitting in Spanish class and only participating when I was forced to isn’t really helping me translate anything. So, today when I finally put some effort into discovering the real artist of the song, I decided it should also get some more exposure. 

Anyway, the mash-up sums up 2012 in music and it’s like… really good. It covers all the genres, it covers all the hits (good and bad). It mashes them in a way that you can’t even tell that it would ever be 26 different songs. Drink to it. Dance to it. Just listen.

Songs:

0:13 Calvin Harris – Feel So Close 0:25 Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe 0:29 Zedd Ft Foxes – Clarity 0:34 Calvin Harris Ft. Neyo – Let’s Go 0:38 Flo Rida Ft Sia – Wild Ones 0:44 David Guetta Ft Sia – She Wolf 0:52 Maroon 5 Ft Wiz Kalifa – Payphone 1:02 Flo Rida – Whistle 1:11 Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl Ft. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Remix) 1:26 Coldplay & Rihanna – Princess Of China 1:32 David Guetta & Chris Brown – I Can Only Imagine 1:37 Will I Am & Britney Spears – Scream And Shout 1:40 Skrillex – Bangarang 1:41 Martin Solveig – Night Out 1:46 No Doubt – Sittle Down 1:54 Sean Paul – She Doesn’t Mine 2:01 : The Wanted – I’m Glad You 2:04 Skrillex Ft Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem 2:08 Madonna – Give Me All Your Lovin(Ft Mia & Nicki Minaj) 2:16 Dada Life – Feed The Dada 2:25 Psy – Gangnam Style 2:27 LMFAO – Party Rockin 2:31 Quilinez – Troll 2:34 Deadmau5 & Gerard Way – Personal Griefers 2:42 Nicky Romero – Toulouse 2:55 Alicia Keys – This Girl’s On Fire

#TBT Music: 2003

Standard

Alright, round 2 of Throwback Thursday music edition. I’ve chosen 2003 this time. Why? Honestly, I chose a really random year and called it a day. Let me tell you, though, there is no easy way to YouTube the songs you’re about to read about in the library without someone noticing.

1. Released: Beyonce – Dangerously in Love

And then in 2013, everyone wondered why she didn’t bring Jay-Z on stage at the Superbowl to perform this song. The album, Dangerously in Love, reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and featured the singles “Crazy in Love,” “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy,” and “Me, Myself & I.” This is when I liked Beyonce. Now all the entertainment I get from her is YouTube videos of some girl dressed as a clown trying to do the Single Ladies dance and smacking her head on the edge of a TV.

2. The Cheetah Girls debuted.

Uh, hello? ‘Cuz we are sisters, every color. Those definitely aren’t the words, but no sane girl of my generation can deny that they were super excited when Raven of That’s So Raven was advertised in The Cheetah Girls movie. But actually, did the books or the movies come first?

3. Johnny Cash passed away.

To be honest, I didn’t even know about Johnny Cash until Walk the Line was released in 2005, and even more honest, I don’t think I even knew what that movie was until it was playing for free in a hotel room on a vacation one year and I became addicted. So, I guess you could say I didn’t really notice his passing in 2003. But now that I love Johnny Cash, I’m devastated.

4. S Club 7 split.

The worst decision this group could have possibly made because I was nowhere near done with my S Club Party. Anyway, they released “Say Goodbye” (how metaphoric of them) which jumped to #2 on the UK charts – apparently our charts didn’t care about them because I can’t seem to find how this song ranked on the US charts (however, I also only have 10 minutes left on my free WiFi so I can’t say I’m putting too much effort into it). 

5. 2003 MTV VMAs…

And sometimes you have to wonder if this is why the Grammys thought they finally needed to have a dress code at their event in 2013…

6. #1 Single of the Year: “In da Club” – 50 Cent

But actually, I fully remember dancing around to this song (at the age of 10) in my game room like the whitest girl you could possibly imagine. Also, I’m almost positive my mom has this song on her iPod which only makes it worse. To top it off, the best thing to come from this song is the catch phrase, “We gonna party like it’s yo birthday.”

 

Grammys Review

Standard

Disclaimer: So, it’s 1am and I’m attempting to write a review of the Grammys because my family asked me to multiple times. I only mention this because I want them to read this and recognize that I just spent approximately 10 hours doing homework today and if I become sleep deprived, I blame them. 

The Grammys… I think the best way to sum up the Grammys is to just go over a few highlights – both good and bad.

1. Taylor Swift

Here’s what was wrong with Taylor Swift at The Grammys: everything. First, her performance. When did Tim Burton sign on to direct her Grammy performance? Or was that some creepy take on Alice in Wonderland? Either way, no. And seriously, did I not say I never wanted to hear that god awful song again? I’ll be honest, I didn’t catch the supposed diss on Harry Styles because about 45 seconds into her performance, my twitter news feed of everyone wondering who in their right mind decided that Taylor Swift of all people should open the Grammys and wishing she would get off stage became much more entertaining. However, if the diss to the 19-year-old 1D singer did happen, can someone please remind T Swift that she’s 23 years old and just seems pathetic? Then we have to discuss her dancing during The Lumineers performance because that just made me want to barf and then throw my television out the window. 

I guess some actual comments regarding music could be made too… as in, Taylor Swift use to be original and she used to have talent, but in my opinion, she’s just as sold-out as the rest of the other musical artists nowadays. 

2. Ed Sheeran & Elton John

This truly made me die and go to Heaven for a bit. This is music in case anyone needed a refresher. It also put Taylor Swift to shame. As if Ed Sheeran’s voice wasn’t enough, the Grammys added Elton John, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Elton John (at least, until Juanes covers “Your Song” and translates it into Spanglish).

3. Carly Rae Jepsen

…didn’t win an award so I still have faith in the Grammys. 

4. LL Cool J’s closing performance

So after watching Taylor Swift’s opening act, I’m sure you were all thinking the same thing as me: “Well this can’t get any worse.” Wrong. False. WTF. Because then LL Cool J announced that he needed to do his part in the Grammys. Wrong. False. WTF. Hosting was your contribution to the Grammys – you did not need to perform too. Even bringing Travis Barker and Co. on the stage didn’t help this performance. Then I’m sure you were all thinking the same thing as me again: “Oh this can’t be the way the Grammys ends! Surely something better will come along!” Except all that came along were the credits…

5. Elton John, Mavis Staples, Zac Brown, Alabama Shakes, Mumford and Sons, and T Bone Burnett performed “The Weight”

For full video check out TheDailyBeast.

Hands down the best moment of the Grammys. If you can argue that, then you don’t know what real music is. I’m so happy this was the group that did a tribute piece – I’m so sick and tired of seeing untalented musicians honoring some of the best music talent in history. Also, if I see one more social media post about people not knowing who Mavis Staples is, I’m going to cut them off from music because they’re clearly listening to absolute sh*t (sorry, Mom).

6. The Awards

Honestly, I think they did a great job awarding extremely talented musicians. By far and absolutely unarguably, Mumford & Sons’ Babel deserved Album of The Year more than any other nominee. The other nominees in that category were truly tremendous albums, but Babel was just so spectacular.

The award for Best New Artist was a little disappointing because in my opinion, I feel that The Lumineers are much more original than Fun., but regardless both bands have a certain degree of originality to them. However, real fans of Fun. would recognize that they are not a “new” artist since their first album came out in 2009 – catch up, Grammys.

Best Pop Vocal Album should have gone to Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials and not because that is my favorite band but because I’ve listened to both Ceremonials and Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger and, while Stronger is great, Ceremonials is just heavenly and a true forward progression in the music industry.

Taylor Swift won a Grammy, but it was for a song that included The Civil Wars so I’ll allow it – not that anything I disapprove of really matters to anyone but me.

7. Carrie Underwood’s … Dress …

So at first, you’re like “oh Carrie Underwood’s wearing another big dress so she doesn’t have to actually move on the stage” and then quickly you’re like…. “wait, why is her dress a projection screen?” Seriously, I love Carrie Underwood’s voice and I think she’s truly talented despite my hate for country music, but the dress. I want whoever planned this performance fired. I couldn’t even pay attention to the song because I couldn’t figure out what was going on or why.

8. Ellen

Image

 

Image

——-

Until next year, Grammys. Try to get some better openers and closers though.

Maroon 5’s “Payphone” Breaks Digital Sales Record

Standard

From Total Assault:

Grammy winning Maroon 5 are currently storming Billboard with their new single, “Payphone,” which debuted at #1 on the Digital Songs chart. With nearly 500,000 downloads, “Payphone” broke the Black Eyed Peas’ previous record for digital sales by a group. The infectious single, featuring rapper Wiz Khalifa, also landed at #3 on the overall Hot 100, behind only Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and fun.’s “We Are Young.”

The band, fronted by The Voice coach Adam Levine, unveiled the song live on the show early last week along with Wiz. “Payphone” (available now on iTunes) is the first single from Maroon 5’s highly anticipated fourth album, Overexposed, due out June 26th on A&M/Octone. The album is available for pre-order now on iTunes and will be released in multiple formats. Maroon 5 is also releasing a special Songs About Jane 10th Anniversary re-issue on June 5th, which will feature demos, unreleased material, videos and more.

For more on Maroon 5, visit their official website at www.Maroon5.com.

Official Sites:
www.maroon5.com
facebook.com/maroon5
twitter.com/#!/maroon5

HOT PROBLEMS USE “THE FORCE” IN NEW INTERGALACTIC PARTY ANTHEM

Standard
From Press Release:
“April 25, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – Hailing from a futuristic time in a galaxy not so far away, physicist Dr. Hot and his friend D.J. Problems have traveled back in time to form the PartyFunDance pop groupHot Problems. Today, they kick off an intergalactic celebration with a little help from some “Force” wielding buddies in their new video for “Party with My Friends.”

The lip-reading video is the mind-bogglingly unforeseeable follow-up to the duo’s mid-February YouTube offering, “People Say I’m the Man”: a rousing manthem, presented in a juggernaut video compilation of fails, wins, and alpha-masculinity.
Unbelievably, Hot Problems has even bigger plans for us. Using D.J. Problems’ futuristic beats and Dr. Hot’s previously unknown ability to spit rhymes and sing anthemic melodies, they have embarked on a journey to make a pop album–one that will get the parties started, the clubs bumping, and the peoples dancing.
“I’m excited about the album,” says Andrew Volpe, Dr. Hot’s grandfather and frontman for the rock band Ludo. “It’s truly going to be a collection of ten to twelve songs.”
In their noble quest to bring PartyFunDance from the future and to the masses around the world, Hot Problems has set up a Pledge Music campaign (http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/hotproblems/), where fans of partying and super awesomeness can help fund one of the greatest albums from a time-traveling tandem in recent memory.  The duo is currently offering special packages for pledgers, from private performances to trips to Six Flags with Dr. Hot.  Pledge now and receive a free download of 2012’s only 2060s anthem, “Party With My Friends.”
And so unto our time have they come: a pair of unlikely heroes from the future, fighting to keep the party going and the music bumping. A particle physicist who won’t back down. A club D.J. who just can’t seem to walk away. Two men on a mission: Dr. Hot and D.J. Problems. Welcome to PartyFunDance–just try not to spill your drink.”