#MusicMonday: Get Pumped Up for Blue & White Weekend
Blue & White Weekend is this weekend, and that means you’re going to need some sweet tunes to jam out to while you’re out grilling, daylonging and eating your funnel cake. So we’ve set up this short playlist to get you ready for the fun. This week’s selections are brought to you by Meghin Moore, Sam Cooper, Melanie Versaw, Zach Berger and Matthew D’Ippolito.
The Spring 2012 Glamour Kills tour is almost over, coming to a conclusion on Friday at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philly. Even though I didn’t get a chance to catch this awesome tour (featuring The Wonder Years, Into It. Over It., Polar Bear Club, Transit, A Loss For Words and The Story So Far), I still managed to listen to the compilation it put out. On this comp is Into It. Over It.’s lo-fi cover of The Wonder Years’ “Don’t Let Me Cave In.” The cover is a little less upbeat than its original on Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing. It gives a little more emotion to the song than the original. This melancholy version is much more raw, and even grittier than the original. What’s also interesting about this cover is the small change of lyrics. In the original, Dan “Soupy” Campbell wrote: “I spent last night getting Mexican/Outside a Logan Square basement show with Evan/Chicago looked desperate/But maybe that was me/I couldn’t help thinking of watching the Sears Tower collapse as a kid.” The Evan mentioned is Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It., and in this version he paid homage to Soupy by replacing that verse with a mini-story of his own: “I spent last night singing sad songs with Daniel/On a New Year’s Eve in Philly/The city looked filthy/Just how I used to be/I couldn’t help thinking of watching city hall collapse as a kid.” Sometimes, when bands make a cover their own by changing certain parts of the song, they give it a more personal feel. Soupy struggled with some issues of his own, and Evan was the one to help him out when he needed it most. And that’s what friends are for.
Guster is playing an acoustic show at The State Theatre tonight! If you won’t be at the State Theatre, “Bury Me” is a sample of what you’ll be missing. The song, from their 1997 album Goldfly features incredible work on the congas (and other hand percussion) from drummer Brian Rosenworcel (aka Thundergod). While Thundergod and the band have stepped away from hand percussion to feature more traditional drum sounds on their recent releases, “Bury Me” is a glimpse into the sound that Guster became known for.
For those of you who do not know, Casey Crescenzo of the Dear Hunter is a musical God. His first three concept albums (Act I, II, and III), as well as his newer compilation entitled The Color Spectrum (an EP for each song of the color spectrum) display Casey’s range of talent through powerful lyrics and diverse music styles. My favorite EP off of The Color Spectrum is Yellow. It’s sure to get you moving on a Monday morning! “Misplaced Devotion” remains my favorite song on the whole album. Its bright and happy beat is paired with simple lyrics about the classic love triangle (“Hey girl let’s lose ourselves today/We can go anywhere we need to get away”) and is very different from any other song the Dear Hunter has ever released. Check out the rest of The Color Spectrum if you don’t mind spending your whole day soaking in the best album you will hear in a while.
Tommy Trash is without a doubt my favorite DJ, or producer, or whatever you want to call him right now. He has an innate ability to transform a seemingly innocent, soft, laid-back house song, in this case John Dahlback’s “One Last Ride”, into a hard-hitting, dark track. It’s almost as if the lyrics take on new meaning when they are taken from Dahlback’s slow, trancey synths and laid over some grimy basslines and upbeat drums. This is just classic Tommy Trash, and it’s remixes like this that allowed him to have huge success in 2011 that I can only hope will continue in the future, as he’s one of the most promising young producers out there.
This song certainly isn’t the usual hard-hitting bass-heavy dubstep production we’ve come to expect from Lorin Ashton, aka Bassnectar. In fact, most of the Vava Voom album, which dropped Tuesday, is pretty light on bass compared to his past albums (which is kind of funny considering his DJ name). The album has an interesting mix of sounds while sticking to Ashton’s signature style. The title track, which opens the album, has more of a hip hop feel to it and features Lupe Fiasco. “Ugly,” on the other hand, is one of only a few tracks that return to the heavy bass sound that will pump you up. But if you’re looking for something to relax to in the warm spring weather that should be returning this week, the new version of Laughter Crescendo is what you want. The bubbly highs are fun and sound reminiscent of those in Owl City’s “Firefly.” That, along with the ebbing and flowing, helicopter-rotor-esque bass and edited female laughter gives the whole thing more of an electronica feel. And it’s much more full and better produced than the original from 2004’s Diverse Systems of Throb. It feels like spring. But heck, give the whole album a listen. There’s something for everyone on it.