You Me At Six Cover Avicii

BBC Radio 1 has become a hub of unique pop covers, and this morning we have another entry to their growing collection of stellar reinterpretations, thanks to UK pop-rock favorites You Me At Six.

BBC Radio 1 bucks expectations by challenging every artist who walks through their doors to tackle a popular song from genres with which those artists might not otherwise be associated. You Me At Six recently accepted this challenge during an appearance at the legendary broadcast network, and now fans everywhere can hear a near-country take on Avicii‘s dance floor hit, “Wake Me Up.” You can view the performance below.

As far as covers go, you could do a lot worse than this. EDM has a tendency to make even the most lyrically powerful songs feel hollow, but presented in this stripped-down setting, Avicii’s words take on a new weight. The sense of fun has been replaced by melancholy, but it plays so well you’ll find it hard to complain.

You Me At Six’s new album, Cavalier Youth, is due in stores this fall. (more…)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

EDM's Nouveau Riche And Hip-Hop's Old Money: Comparing The Top Earners

A lot has been made about EDM’s rise to prominence in the U.S., especially by us. Assertions about the genre’s popularity were previously observations of the cultural zeitgeist. Beiber going over a “dubstep” beat. Paris Hilton tryingand failing, in spectacular fashion”to DJ. The return of rave culture and all of the wonderful, sweaty gyrations that accompany the scene. In early June, however, there was another metric by which we could measure the success of many of EDM’s finest: Cash money.

CelebrityNetWorth.com came out with a list of the Top 30 richest DJs in the world earlier in June (seen right). Now, there are a couple of surprises on this list. For example, despite having a hand in producing two of 2011’s biggest hits in “Look At Me Now” and “Give Me Everything,” Afrojack somehow finds himself at the bottom of this list with a purported net worth of $2 million. Also, the list is lopsided in terms of seniority. The top fifteen earners, from The Chemical Brothers down to Tií«sto at number 1, have mostly been in the game since the ’90s, with the arguable exception of David Guetta. The rest, however, are almost all young upstarts like Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, and Skrillex.

This list isn’t the full story either. No list of unfeeling numbers can capture the extent of the sweet life that many DJs live. Sure, always being on tour can be tough on one’s personal relationships. But these guys (and the list is all male, as it happens) are playing music for a living! The women, drugs, relative fame, and parties aren’t bad either.

But with this new information comes new comparisons. Fresh comparisons. Dope comparisons. Swag comparisons. You know where we’re going with this.

Forbes releases a number of music-earning lists annually and none carry the same weight as their installments covering the richest and top earning in Hip-Hop. There are two lists reflecting the amount of paper that the biggest in the rap game can throw around; Cash Kings: Hip-Hop’s Top Earners and The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artists.

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Paris Hilton Attempts To DJ

Earlier this month, Paris Hilton made headlines by announcing plans to launch a career as a house music DJ. Saturday night, America’s favorite most famous heiress took to the decks at the Pop Music Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil to play her first-ever DJ set. What resulted was a Top-40-heavy set filled with plenty of arm-flailing and off-beat hip-shaking… but not much mixing.

Hilton seemed to have put more effort into her wardrobe (featuring a pair of bedazzled headphones) than she did practicing for the gig. Approximately 11 seconds into the video, Paris accidentally speeds up the track before catching her mistake and awkwardly playing it off by waving a Brazilian flag. Every DJ can relate to accidentally nudging the most important control on the CD player (which happens to be located on the opposite side of the device as the rest of the controls)… but happening twice in one minute? For shame, Paris.

 

Perhaps the best point of the night came when Paris attempted to drop her new single “Last Night” (courtesy of producer and ex-boyfriend Afrojack.) It seems as though the plan was to play the song in full, before transitioning to “We Found Love” by Rihanna. Somehow Paris jumbled up her ‘Play’ buttons and the crowd was treated to an unintentional mash-up. Instead of attempting to fix the mistake, Paris just tossed her diamond-crusted headphones off and sang over the mess. Needless to say, the sound tech had to come on stage and fix her mistake before the all important drop. Really, really good stuff.

Computer Geeks Turned Rock Stars

The music industry is undergoing one of the largest shifts in recent history. For the first time ever, the folks behind the mixing board are getting just as much recognition as the pop starlets singing over their beats. In a sense, hip hop was the first genre to bring the producer/writer to the forefront with the likes of Dr. Dre, Primo, and Kanye, but even still the MC was the focal point as lyrical content was the most important aspect of the style.

Now, it is the button-pushers, knob-twisters, and fader-flickers that have taken the reigns of the music industry. As EDM continues to rise in popularity, a new breed of rock star seems to be emerging. These are mostly guys who spent their childhoods taking apart computers instead of learning power chords. Gathering production techniques from dark corners of Internet music production forums, instead of making out with groupies in dark corners of the club. Up until a couple years ago, electronic music production was very much a bedroom hobby for most of the community. Occasionally, if you had some real talent and the right connections, one or two of your singles might be picked up by some obscure European label, and a stream of royalty checks may start showing up in your mailbox, but only if DJs decided your track was worth the purchase. But even this model still kept the DJ relegated to a booth hidden from the crowd, the maestro of the party, not the focal point. As EDM shifts and takes on a new identity in America, a country so deeply invested in our celebrities, it makes sense that the DJ/Producer has moved out of the booth and onto the stage. Because of this, producers who often never intended to leave the confines of their bedroom are being thrust on stage and asked to develop some sort of live performance for a genre that is largely dominated by playing pre-recorded songs over a PA system. While we’re sure Kaskade and Avicii would not claim any reluctance to their newfound stardom; it certainly comes with some bumps in the road.

Take Deadmau5, arguably the biggest star EDM has seen since Tiesto, for example. Deadmau5, a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman, kicked off the electro-progressive-house revolution long before every frat boy in America was womping to Skrillex.

But he got his start as a computer programmer and sound designer. Always having an attraction to EDM after attending some of the illegal ’90s era warehouse raves, he spent much of his free time on music production forums, adopting the handle DEADMAU5 after finding a dead mouse (literally) behind the fan of his computer tower (the ‘5’ was a necessary reduction to stay within the 8 character limit imposed on many early forums). His infamous mau5head has given him and his music an instantly recognizable brand; rabid fan base not withheld, making him the wealthiest of the “new generation” of EDM stars.

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Are DJs Buying Facebook Fans?

When dance-music-titan Mixmag posted a story last night that supposedly outed many of the worlds top DJs for buying Facebook fans, they legitimized what was originally an ill-researched but rapidly spreading internet meme. The user generated picture points out that it is quite strange for David Guetta, Excision, Steve Aoki, Skrillex, Deadmau5, Avicii to be wildly popular in Mexico City and yet according to Mixmag, “at the time of writing, none [of the DJs] have events listed in the area.”

While the stats did seem a little off; fast forward a few hours and Excision has published an open note to his Facebook page in response. We think Excision does a pretty good job of clearing the air, but we’ll let you decide for yourself. Read on for his full response to the image and the Mixmag article.

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