America’s band is back, with their first new album in 16 years. That’s Why God Made The Radio marks the return of Brian Wilson; Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks work together to build a sea of close knit harmonies, layered over finely crafted pop tunes, with an undeniable SoCal aesthetic. The nostalgia works surprisingly well, and comes off as endearing, not corny. While there are plenty of references to hot-rods and turtle-wax, most have been replaced with retrospective themes, looking back on life. The album will never be able to compete with the seminal 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds, but it will serve as a nice book end to a glorious run as America’s greatest band. Enjoy your ride into the sunset boys, you’ve got our attention.
The current line-up of Guns N’ Roses will take the stage later tonight at London’s O2 Arena, finishing up a string of drama-filled UK tour dates. Just make sure you don’t show up in your classic Slash Tee.
NME caught up with a Guns N’ Roses fan who attended last nights show at the O2 Arena, shirtless. That’s right, when 18-year-old James Revell showed up, ticket-in-hand and shirt-on-back, security requested that he remove the offending shirt or he would not be allowed to attend the concert. NME quotes a venue worker at last night’s show as saying, “We were told by the management not to allow anyone into the O2 Arena who is wearing a Slash T-shirt and we are asking anyone who is to remove it and if they refuse they will be turned away.”
Wow. We knew Axl‘s beef with Slash cut pretty deep, just not to the point of enforcing a reverse dress code.
In the words of the surprisingly mature James Revell, “…I think that Axl Rose doesn’t appreciate his fans or anyone for that matter, he needs to grow up and stop acting like a child.”
If there has been one unifying theme between all of our SoundTrax posts, we hope it is that every playlist is put together with careful thought and features music with a little more soul than your average radio hit. We’re firm believers that music should be an extension of your personality; quirky, syncopated and with a couple rough edges, which is what makes this week’s post so special for us. While there is no unifying genre for this playlist, every song is sung with emotion and style. Some feature the aesthetic of vibrant ’20s big bands, others are stuck in the sweaty gumbo swamps of Louisiana, but they all feature one unifying force; soul. Every artist understands just how much emotional power music can have, and they demonstrate their sheer prowess at manipulating these emotions in this week’s playlist.
Fitz & the Tantrums kick us off with an infectious neo soul/indie pop song crossover that would feel just as at home on your mom’s oldies station as it would on your iPod. Next up, Parov Stelar and co. are back with an upbeat, punchy, jazz-pop tune featuring intricate bass lines and playful horn riffs. The late Amy Winehouse slows things down with her sultry tone and impeccable restraint. OurStage newcomer Ernest Rose has a voice that would make any woman buckle as well as the songwriting chops to back it up. The Crystal Method and Martha Reeves revive R&B and the spirit of Detroit in their track with a modern, bass-blistering level of synth work”definitely the heaviest and most funky track on the list. A quick change of pace as Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings fill your ears with Rhodes keys, shuffled jazz rhythms and gospel choirs. Mark Ronson and Erykah Badu team up on a tune soaked in southern whiskey and filled with New Orleans jubilation. And closing out this week, one of my new favorite OurStage acts, Smokey Robotic provide a slow, dubstep-influenced tune that defies classification, so let’s just chalk it up to awesome music.
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.
Earlier this morning, Eminem called DJ Peter Rosenberg at Hot 97 NY to officially announce that his supergroup Slaughterhouse, whose Shady Records debut is due out June 12th, would be performing at Summer Jam on June 3rd at MetLife Stadium. Em also revealed he’s been working on a new solo album, his first since 2010’s Recovery. “I’m kinda getting into my next record a little bit,” the MC spilled.
Slaughterhouse, made up of Royce da 5’9″, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I, have been hard at work in the studio for months, and with Eminem listed as executive producer, we’re excited to hear the sophomore effort from the group that Shady claims “hip hop needs.”
Check out the first Slaughterhouse single below, off their new album Welcome To: Our House.
At OurStage, we believe that music does not always need to fall in a key, or have explicit rhythms to be “good”. Music that offers listeners a soundscape of textures and gestures can make for an incredibly relaxing and thought-provoking experience. This week at SoundTrax, we’ve dug deep into the Ambient/Chill Channel to cultivate a playlist of some of the best sound collages, atonal masterpieces and spooky-horror-film-soundtracks for your listening pleasure.