Fresh Bop Friday 9/15/2017

Look up the songs yourself


OK well New Music Friday might have blew its load last week because this week was LIGHT when it came to releases I cared about. I decided to start a series and apparently my brain won’t let me stop it after one week…my adoring fans are so lucky. Here is the new stuff I cared about listened to today:

Niall Horan-“Too Much To Ask”

This song is boring. I’m trying to give the 1D boys a chance to be on their own but I think I’ve liked one song from the stuff I’ve heard. This song is clearly about a break up but the lyrics are nothing special. Sure one line in the chorus pulled on a string that I didn’t want it too and I think I got mad at it for eliciting any emotion at all (I have a problem). Niall’s voice is fine but like I said it’s boring.

Bjork-“the gate”

So like, I think I like Bjork. I saw that she put out a new song and figured I’d give it a shot. Oh, it’s six minutes and the title is all lowercase. *groan* The first half is singing and woodwinds ambiently doing stuff. The second half is full of swelling sounds and words that I can now understand. There is still no beat which is fine but it seems like there is no direction either. She cares for you because she says it over and over again. This seems half-hearted from me so I’m not gonna just bash it because I didn’t like it. Song just seemed unnecessary.

Post Malone-“Rockstar”

This is very laid back and trappy. Post’s voice is great and works over this kind of instrumental so well. He speaks about being a rockstar and it’s not game breaking lyricism but I really like this track. There’s a 21 Savage feature that has some fun lines. “Ask me Savage why you got a 12 car garage and you only got 6 cars” and “Your wifey say I’m looking like whole snack” are just hilarious to me. The song is called “Rockstar” and 21’s first line mentions that he’s doing something that makes him feel like popstar. Purposeful or not, I love it. For Post, the chorus is cool with rhymes that I wouldn’t even think of. Rockstar, rasta, shottas and mouthed gun sounds (ala Big T) that he makes rhyme too. I do actually hate gun sounds being spoken but it rhymes so…no wait, I still hate it. Anyway, the vocal performance overall is nice and makes for a really solid song.

Lorde-“Homemade Dynamite(Remix)”

Not gonna lie I didn’t look at the name of track before I played it. Just saw Lorde’s name and played it. It’s a remix featuring Khalid, Post Malone (double tapping this list) and SZA (squeals) of a song from Melodrama. I’m pretty sure they kept the instrumental pretty much the same and just added the features. Khalid and Posty sound good but don’t add too much to the song. The male voices on the chorus honestly do fill it out quite nicely similarly to Tove Lo on Years & Years “Desire” but that’s it. What I like about this track the most is hearing the two distinct styles between the two ladies and how they approach rhythms in their melodies. Lorde and SZA both have rhythms they are clearly comfy with and I love it over the same instrumental.

Angus & Julia Stone-“Sleep Alone”

These two released an album today! It’s called Snow and upon first listen, it is pleasantly pleasant. Well made indie folk music that was great to have on while I did work this morning. One song that really stood out to me was “Sleep Alone.” I love the drums and the trading between Angus and Julia during the verses. There are some production affects to Julia’s voice throughout the chorus and the bridge that add some flair. Angus kind of sounds like Mac Miller here? This is quite nice.

Randomly, I remember listening to “Big Jet Plane” over and over and over again a bunch of years ago. I was entranced by it.

Nick Jonas-Find You

Not really a super fan of Nick Jonas’ stuff.  Joe is doing better with D.N.C.E. That being said, I didn’t absolutely hate this.

 

Ok that’s enough. Other notable releases:

Gucci Mane-“Curve ft The Weeknd” Meh

The Killers-“Some Kind of Love” It’s slow

 

Foo Fighters-Concrete and Gold Will probably listen to this later

Rebecca Black-RE/BL Yes, that Rebecca Black. Will be listening to this EP because the first song was cool. Don’t sleep

Bye. Enjoy your weekend. I love most of you.

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Fresh Bop Friday 9/8/17

Every Friday I get to work and check Spotify. There’s usually a ton of new music by artists I don’t know and some that I do. I try to listen to it all just to see what’s happening and maybe discover someone new. In any case, I look forward to Fridays. Today (9/8/2017) there were a bunch of songs that I actually cared about. Let’s talk about them, whether I liked it or not. It’s not all the new music but just the ones I took interest in.

Sam Smith-“Too Good at Goodbyes”

Oh snap, new Sam Smith! His last project was in 2014 and he released a banger with Disclosure soon after. Was everywhere and then kinda faded. He’s back with this track and I was excited….*Sigh* It’s fine. Slow start then beat kicks in. A comment I saw that perfectly described the song was “It’s a Sam Smith song.” “Too Good at Goodbyes” could have been on his last album. It’s good to be reminded that Sam can still sing his butt off but the song itself is just more of the same. Where is the growth? It’s a good song but I’m a little disappointed. It’s probably gonna be everywhere soon though.

SZA-“Quicksand”

My new wife is back with “Quicksand” off the Insecure album. I might end up reviewing that entire project but no promises, it’s like 23 songs. Anywho, “Quicksand” is so good. SZA has such a modern and hip sound that is relatable to my age group. The instrumental is a hi hat heavy, synthy hip hop groove that switches to a straight forward R&B feel with deeper, open snares for the chorus. It works and SZA rides the beat with her vocal melody so well. I love it and I’m here for SZA’s wave.

Demi Lovato-“You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore”

“I see the future without you…” Oh, so that’s what we’re doing? Demi dropped a new single like a week ago but I guess we needed a ballad. This song has to be about Wilmer, right? I would hate to breakup with a girl who will then write a song about me that will be heard by millions. This particular song would make me feel super bad because basically Demi was just over the dude. That first line is rough. In news you already knew, Demi can flat out sing. She is giving it to us here, hitting those notes and pouring the emotion into the words. The instrumental isn’t groundbreaking and kind of reminded me of The Weeknd’s “Earned It” but it serves its purpose. Looking forward to her album.

Tove Lo-“Disco Tits” 

I can’t really discern how the general public or even more critical popheads feel about Tove Lo but I’m a fan. She’s makes really good music, had dope features in the past, has a voice that I love over electronic music…and also flashes her tits at shows. This ridiculously titled song is such a bop though. Driven by a muted bass line, steady kick and claps (+1) this song is a perfect representation of Tove Lo’s clubby, sexy, drugged fueled fun. There’s randomly pitched down vocal parts and the chanty chorus is super catchy and easy to sing along. Yes yes yes.

Syd-Always Never Home 

Syd is dope. The end. Go home.

OK fine, I’ll talk about it. Syd is taking time from her band The Internet (they’re dope) to focus on her own music. She released Fin in February aannd I don’t remember listening to it. How did that even happen? I love Syd! Well, she released a short three song EP today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the production and she has a great voice. Also, it’s always interesting hearing songs about women from a woman’s perspective.

Syd is dope. The end.

Yung Thug-“Homie” ft Meek Mill

This is aggressive. I’m not super certain of Jeffery’s mental state…really at any point but “Homie” is hard. I thought the grunting, guttural rap for the chorus was funny but he’s definitely flowing during the verses. I swear I could also understand most of his words. The beat knocks with its organ sample and banger trap drums. I love Meek’s feature as well because it just sounds great. Plain and simple. Same flow and stays on the same rhyme scheme but he’s SPAZZING and it’s awesome. This is great and I will bump it at home with proper speakers. I’m still scared to listen to Beautiful Thugger Girls for whatever reason.

There was also a TOKiMONSTA song released today with Isaiah Rashad but I didn’t feel like writing about it. It’s good, she’s great. So yeah, those are the new tracks I cared about today.   Maybe I’ll do this every Friday but we’ll see, I’m lazy. Check these out and enjoy your weekend.

Finite

You just gotta get to the end of the day. The hours you work are a finite amount of time. You plop into your chair at 7:54 and smack the spacebar. Your computer whirs to life from its nightly nap and you start retrieving all the work that came in. Open all the necessary programs with the stacks of paper neatly organized in three piles around you. Browse Spotify before settling on your carefully curated playlist.

8:09

Stamp. Staple. Record. Distribute. Fingers flying across the keyboard while Disclosure thumps in your headphones.

Stamp. Staple. Record. Distribute.

9:17

Finished the overnight work. Now wait for new stuff to trickle in. Answer calls. Reddit, WordPress, YouTube. Off-season NBA posts, Word of the day is cotton, trending video is a Jimmy Fallon clips. Wait for specific company to send me a buttload of stuff at once.

11:00

Handle late morning rush. One hour until lunch. Perusing new tab of r/AskReddit tryharding for karma. Watch CinemaSins episodes.

12:00

Lunch time. There’s a finite amount of time and money; those limits are small. 4.5 hours until you get to go home. Salad, ranch dressing, no crutons. Water. $4. Eating at desk and getting annoyed every time the phone rings when you’re mid chew. Sure you could eat elsewhere but this is where the computer is and you can essentially take a break for as long as you want….

1:00

3.5 hours left. Take care of lunch build up and post lunch rush.

2:30

Daily poop. Tinder on the toilet. Grab the mail. Back to desk to slowly finish out the day.

4:30

Gone. 8.5 hours at work everyday. A finite time strictly adhered to by you. Work stays at work and no need to stay overtime. This block of the day is spent at this location while the rest of the time is up to you.

Just make sure this finite state isn’t infinite.

 

via Daily Prompt: Finite

I Got a Fetish For This Song…

Googling this one could’ve been dangerous…


I don’t know what it is but currently I’m very invested in the music of young white women whose experience vary greatly from mine.

But here were are.

Again.

Not sure when I first heard  “Fetish” by Selena Gomez but I remember finding it catchy and then moving on with my life. A couple weeks later (two days ago) I remember coming across it and falling in love with it. Added to the playlist. Restarted several times before the second chorus. Real addiction hours. It’s sexy, groovy and wavy. In my short but deep dive into Selena’s more recent music I haven’t found anything quite like it from her.

It is not a perfect song but in my opinion, its faults are personal gripes and do not ruin the track. The worst part is the beginning of the song with Gomez’ “Take it or leave it. Baby, take it or leave it etc… The choppy, over-enunciated intro doesn’t last long before an 808 drops. Yeah it’s like two hits but now I’m interested.

Decided again easy Leo gif from Django

Swelling synths and airy vocals before an incredible chorus. The mid tempo beat drops and it’s like driving on a summer night…possibly in a corvette, light traffic in a town, not a city (IdkIDontDrive). It’s everything Katy Perry wanted to do on Witness. There are high pitched words at the end of some lines that work well to break up the mostly darker tones throughout the song. I wouldn’t say Selena’s voice is low but she’s definitely not sitting in a higher register so the “you‘s” and “too’s” are welcome.

Second verse has claps at its beginning (+1 for Justin).

The other issue I have with “Fetish” is the rap verse from Gucci Mane. It’s *sigh* it’s fine. He’s on topic and they don’t change the beat or overload it with hi hats just because a rapper has arrived (see “Bon Appétit” by Katy Perry). I guess I just didn’t need it or maybe would have preferred another rapper over this instrumental. I don’t know, it ain’t bad.

The song just works together so well. The rhythms of the vocals over top the instrumental complement each other and I would be interested in hearing Ms. Gomez over other electronic music. Gimme something like “I Remember” by Deadmau5 & Kaskade or honestly anything Kaskade produces. (HOL’UP: Just went back and listened to a bunch of Kaskade stuff that I used to listen to all the time…the man is a genius.) Anyway, the song is great. I love you all.

 

Rhymes with Critical. Bad Bars

I really can’t write poetry or rap but ya know…here we are


You know what rhymes with critical?

Elliptical

Come running through your house with both arms like an elliptical

Physical

I pull up to the sleepover faster than greased lighting,

Got ya girl singing before and after the race, that’s typical

Big tits, thick thighs, hair kinda sandy,

Call her Olivia Newton-John cuz she begging to get physical.

Biblical

I swear my punch game is mystical.

Right hand up to God and the left will be biblical.

(ok this one was truly awful, I apologize)

Critical

Stop talking about action and do something visible.

Despite what the media wants, you’re definitely not a criminal.

Ignore the stupid haters, yes it may be difficult.

You achieving your goals? Nope, it’s not mythical.

And when you start to err, there will be someone that’ll care

To right that sinking ship because, for you, it’s mission critical.

 

 

This maybe my best work yet

 

via Daily Prompt: Critical

Memorize

Buckle up nerds, we got a long one


Do you remember when you memorized the alphabet? Or your mom’s phone number? Think of all the stuff you’ve permanently stored in your brain. Now think of all the stuff you would know if you remembered everything you learned. If I reflect back on all the things that I’ve memorized at some point and the time taken to do such a thing, it’s daunting…but also telling of how much time I wasted. I want to talk about several things that I will remember forever and their importance to my life thus far. This might get long so apologies in advanced.

First up, the beatings or spankings we got as kids. If you haven’t gathered, I am black and was raised in church. The Bible says “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” and my parents believed in punishing us when we did something wrong. There are two situations in particular that I will never forget. In our old house we had this deep fryer that sat on the counter. It was full of oil one day and one of us knocked it over onto the kitchen floor. Instead of us telling our parents, my brothers and I SKATED IN THE OIL WITH OUR SHOES ON. When our parents found out…they. wore. us. out. We deserved it, that’s ridiculous.

The second was when we were a bit older at our current house. We had borrowed a CD from someone and when our parents got home, it was broken. The only reason this was a big deal is because we were given explicit instructions to be careful. So parents get home, CD is broken. “Alright, who did it?” We all vehemently deny it. At this point the issue was less the broken CD but the fact that SOMEBODY was lying so boldly. So obviously, we all had to get it. Fair enough. What happened will go down as one of my proudest moments as a child. So like, I knew I didn’t do it. I was NOT about to get a beatin’ for either of my brothers.  I was pissed and said something like, “Well, I didn’t do it and I’m not getting beat for it.” Then walked away. Anybody with parents that value respect knows that I could’ve died right there. Later I found out that my dad, executioner at the time, was so surprised by my conviction and boldness that he concluded that I didn’t do it and let me leave. I hated getting beatings but my parents were very fair and we probably deserved everyone we got. I’ve memorized so many of those moments and learned that if I don’t act crazy, then I’ll be fine.

So the next huge amount of information that I have memorized is everything concerned with League of Legends. This game pretty much took over my life at the age of 18. I played so much and I still suck but I’ve memorized soooooooo much about the game. Names of champions, builds, strategies, mechanics, game history, the pro scene from its inception. Nearly eight years of consuming information. THAT’S NEARLY A THIRD OF MY LIFE. It actually makes no sense that I’m this bad at the game but whatever. Will all of this information help at any other point of my life? Probably not but it happened. I can only imagine what my life would be like if I had replaced that brain space and time with anything else.

Something that many of people never forget is their first time having sex.  Mine was interesting.  First of, there was a time in college that I was H A M M E R E D and almost/maybe did have sex with a friend of mines sister. I don’t think I could get it up but I don’t know, I’m not counting it. The first actual time was at a friend of mine’s wedding. Not at the ceremony but the hotel after the reception. It was Memorial Day weekend and I was in peak physical condition. I remember seeing this black girl sit in front of us at the wedding thinking 1. She’s definitely sitting on the wrong side because the bride’s people are on the other side and 2. She is stunning. Anyway, wedding is done and we travel to the other side of the world to the reception. She’s sitting nearby but ya know whatever I suck with girls. The newlyweds have a cute book for people to sign and decorate. Her and I get up to this thing at the same time and I make a quick joke about letting her go first. Get a smile and continue on. Food is being served buffet style, smiles exchanged again. Dancing starts (YO IF YOU DON’T DANCE AT A WEDDING I DON’T WANNA BE YOUR FRIEND) and she comes up and we start dancing together. She then whispers, “Are you coming to the hotel party afterward? I wanna fuck you.” I’m in shock but manage to say yes. “I’ll be in Room whatever(I don’t remember)” Fun time are had, things are winding down, people are heading over to the hotel and I ask my boy for a condom, he comes through. We are having fun at the party but I don’t see her. Fine, that was weird anyway. Out of nowhere she comes in, grabs me and leads me to her room. I remember that I’m wearing a brown wife beater (smh) because I was worried about losing any piece of clothing in this hotel as clothes start flying. We have sex, it was fine. She stops at some point and runs to the bathroom. She kicks me out because she wasn’t feeling well but makes me promise to text her the next day (LOL). I promise and leave. I remember that day/night so clearly. There are a ton of other sex things that I remember like specific locations, fear getting caught, anal for the first time but this is getting suuper long.

Hang in there. I only got one more thing left.

As all my adoring fans of this blog may know, I love music. I’m a musician and I spend a great deal of time listening, finding and thinking about music. I cannot even begin to fathom how many songs that I have memorized at one point or another. Whether it is warm-ups for Wind Ensemble, Portrait of Clown in Concert Band, the hits that were added years later in the third chorus of Things Fall Apart or all the odd metered breaks in Flounder Warehouse. Add on playing songs in church for years. Knowing how your pastor liked you to play a certain song, shout bumps, Fred Hammond songs that your praise team ambitiously wanted to perform. There’s more! Just listening to music played over and over again on the radio or finding songs that I like then sleeping to them for months on end. I’ve memorized beat changes on ten minute prog rock songs, piano solos on jazz odysseys, intros of pop songs and random ad-libs from A$AP Ferg songs.

It’s a lot.

On the flipside, I cannot remember song lyrics. For the life of me, I can’t do it. Gun to my head, if the alphabet don’t count, I’m dead. I would probably mess up the national anthem. It’s sad, even songs that I love to death I would stumble. It’s sad.

 

Well holy moly. I wrote so much. Most of these are just memories but I’ve memorized details about them and the lessons and feelings gained from these experiences.

Tell me, what was the last thing you memorized? (I’m kidding, nobody talks to me)

 

via Daily Prompt: Memorize

Come on Taylor…

This song is bad. It’s so bad in fact that I decided to write about it at damn near midnight.


“Look What You Made Me Do” is the brand spanking new single by drama ridden, divisive pop star Taylor Swift. Personally, I don’t care at all about Taylor Swift. She seems to be this super nice girl that makes music about boys she once dated and people love it. For whatever reason there just ALWAYS some drama surrounding her though. The newish stuff with Katy Perry, obviously the seemingly endless thing with Kanye (apparently she really hates other famous people with K names) and the string of high profile relationships that end up turning into chart toppers. Something just seems a little shady and it rubs people the wrong way. On the flip side, 1989 was super good (“Style” is a banger, don’t @ me) and showed that once she finally shed her country skin, she can make really good mainstream pop music.

So much edge

I guess “Look What You Made Me Do” is her being done with her good girl image. The lyrics and production point to a more darker, attitudey, “I ain’t scared and you’re gonna get it” persona. Which is fine…but like…the song sucks. The track kicks off with some nice synths but quickly devolves into a uninteresting, 808 driven verse with dated snares and uninventive vocal melody. The prechorus brings in some piano that sounds like we’re going to build into a cool chorus and then…..

“Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me do
Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me do?

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Like come on yo. What is this? You reuse the boringness from the verse for the chorus which is a total let down. There is barely anything melodic anything in the song save the quick intro and the bridge. WHAT DID WE MAKE YOU DO? Oh we made you write another song about the people that wronged you? Surprise! This is basically same Taylor but now it’s not even interesting.

The first verse is clearly about Kanye and the issue that stemmed a line on his album The Life of Pablo. I’m not completely certain what the second verse is referencing but I don’t care enough to look it up.

“I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice, oh!”

Who are you Santa? Arya Stark? What are you gonna do with this list of names? Murder?

“The world goes on, another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma
And then the world moves on, but one thing’s for sure
Baby, I got mine, but you’ll all get yours”

Ugh, yeah we’ll see if you’re done with the drama. She’s naming her album Reputation, so I’m assuming it’ll do nothing but cause drama.

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now
Why? Oh!
‘Cause she’s dead!”

*Laughs maniacally* You know what. I’m ready for whatever new version of Taylor is coming with this release. Cannot wait for November. In the meantime, this song is booty and should be treated as such.

Can’t believe over 500 words about Taylor Swift at midnight. How salty am I?