2014 was a big year for producers and artists switching roles with a lot of success. Ryan Adams and Beck both produced parts of Jenny Lewis’s wonderful The Voyager. The Black Keys continued to each produce plenty of work, with Auerbach almost single-handedly saving the Lana Del Rey record, and Patrick Carney making the Black Lips latest album bluesy and dirty. On the other hand, Pharrell, one half of legendary hip hop production team the Neptunes, released his second solo album in Girl, with huge summer hits in “Happy” and “Come Get it Bae”. Experimental hip hop and electronic producers Arca and Rustie both released great solo albums. Finally, the winter welcomed in the lead single of Mark Ronson, nostalgic English producer best known for his work with Amy Winehouse and Adele, the wonderful throwback jam of “Uptown Funk”. The bite-sized but largely talented Bruno Mars is used to full capacity, a swaggering tour-de-force vocal performance behind an electric funk band.
Continue reading “Mark Ronson Review: Uptown Special”
Like every first Sunday evening in February, most Americans were glued to their television two nights ago, transfixed on the most-watched event of the year: The Super Bowl. But what is normally a guaranteed night of non-stop entertainment, was quickly turned into a 4 hour snooze-fest after the Denver Broncos simply decided to sit this one out. An odd choice in games to not show up for given that it is, ya know, the Super Bowl, but everyone needs a break once and again I guess. So what could make TV’s biggest night even worse? The backup entertainment options, those being the commercials and the infamous Super Bowl halftime show, offered up almost zero entertainment value as well (aside from a surprisingly hilarious effort from Jimmy John’s and an incredible two part comeback performance featuring Stephen Colbert from the Pistachio company, after the horrendous attempt of comedic relevancy with the “Cracking Gangnam Style” disaster of of 2013). When it is all said and done however, I guess the least surprising of the three disasppointments was in fact the halftime show. I suppose that is what you get for booking whom fellow LxL’er Wes, has deemed “the modern day Frankie Valli” (Bruno Mars) with a band that hasn’t actually been relevant for almost eight years (Red Hot Chili Peppers).
Continue reading “2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show Recap”
The car that I have recently been driving these days unfortunately does not have a good way to play an iPod. Thus, I have gotten back in the routine of listening to the radio a bit more regularly. And I use the word routine very intentionally. Radio stations are nothing if not routine. They have simply just become a cesspool of the same stinking few songs with their insignificantly tiny and terrible playlists. It is hard to find any sort of real variety or anything of real substance on the air at all. Although this does come in handy when I am in my Ke$ha, T-Swift, Katy Perry moods (which let’s face it, I’m always in the mood for these ladies), the rest of my times on the radio seem to be confusing and frustrating. Even classic rock stations have such small playlists, that it makes them unbearable to listen too regularly. So, in an effort to rid us of these stale, repetitive tunes, I will now direct my frustrations into another segment of “This NOT That”.
Continue reading “This NOT That: Defeating Relentless Radio-play”
Yes, I realize this headline is probably a bit misleading and a bit offensive for the people of Michigan, but I don’t care.
Continue reading “The Real Reason for Detroit’s Recession”