I’ve mentioned before that my friends have the wonderful (or horribly annoying, depending on how you look at it) habit of filling our weekends together with a 3-song long playlist. Last weekend was no different.

1.) You Are Not a Robot by Hoodie Allen (featuring Marina and the Diamonds)

This was my contribution to the weekend. The original is also incredible and always cheers me up, but this remix was just hip enough to make everyone happy.

2.) Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalfia

This song was not my favorite. But since I’m usually too lazy to change the Ipod, I ended up hearing it a whole lot. It’s so repetetive that if I don’t hear it again until the next time we all see each other, it will still be too soon. Also I don’t know what black and yellow is supposed to mean. I didn’t want to ask, less my inquiry come across as an endorsement of the song.

3.) Tonight I’m F*cking You by Enrique Iglesias

Guilty pleasure alert. I think Enrique has yet to write something I don’t swoon to. Plus Luda pops in, and gives the whole thing the street cred it deserves.

 

To me, beatboxing can be categorized alongside jeggings and bacon flavored vodka; just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I think of it as a party trick since it so rarely adds anything to a song that a drum set (or even a drum machine) couldn’t handle. There are those rare times, however, when an artist really uses it appropriately. Here are three of those times!

1.) Helen by Nizlopi

This song makes me wish I was named Helen. It’s that good.

2.) Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Lauryn Hill

I guess if you’re going to cover a standard like this, you’d better introduce something new. A great song from a really, really great album.

3.) Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake

Is it officially uncool post a JT song? Or has it been recent enough since he was in NSYNC and recent enough that he was in The Social Network that it’s cool again? I don’t know. It just felt like it would be wrong to omit this song, since it includes mainstream, respectable use of beatbox.

I cannot believe that I know enough songs to do a Music Monday on “hip hop dance crazes,” but here we are. After a New Years Eve spent in New Orleans, I’ve got dancing on the mind. And after enough beers (and hurricanes, and hand grenades, and who knows what else) the only kind of dancing I can be expected to do is the kind that is accompanied with lyrics describing those very dance moves.

 

1.) Crank That by Soulja Boy

I think this song was my gateway hip-hop dance craze. Annoying? Yes. Mind numbingly repetitve? Yes. But guess what else? It exclusively contains dance moves that I’m capable of, and it was popular. The End. As with all of these songs, there were several great versions that got popular on YouTube. The ballet kids were my personal favorite. Also, I like that he anticipated that he was going to be a one hit wonder, so he snuck his name into the title of the song, too.

 

2.) Teach Me How to Dougie by Cali Swag District

This song seems to be popular right now. And why not? It’s so easy that even Wolf Blitzer can do it. If you need instructions, check out this video. Just don’t watch the guy on the right.

 

3.) Move it Like Bernie by ??

I did not believe this was real until seeing this video, and then hearing this song played at a bar. It’s based on the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, hence the zombie-like movements. I was moving it like Bernie left and right this weekend, and encourage y’all to do the same.

 

 

Hope everyone who has been trapped by the blizzard is enjoying it! I’m stuck in snowy NJ, but I plan on making a break for it in an hour or so to go see “The Black Swan” with a couple of friends. Today’s post features a bunch of cover songs. As someone who used to preform musically (I played the guitar and sang) but was incapable of writing her own music, I have a great appreciation for the art of a good cover song. If you’re going to re-record something that’s already been done before, you’d better offer up something new while doing it. As always, I look forward to some new discoveries in the comment section!

1.) Rave On by M. Ward (original by Buddy Holly)

For one reason or another, I just can’t seem to get into the band “She & Him.” It’s especially weird since I really love M. Ward, and I enjoy Zooey Deschanel’s voice. Luckily, he has plenty of solo projects for me to appreciate, many of which (like this song) feature Zooey’s voice. I love how he slows this song down and makes it sound a little more full of longing than the original encapsulated.

2.) I’m On Fire by Sara Bareilles (originally by Bruce Springsteen)

Being the Jersey girl that I am, it is not easy to impress me with a Bruce cover song. She seems to fight against the temptation to over-sing this song, and lets the repetitive piano chords and powerful lyrics speak for themselves.

3.) A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall by Jason Mraz (originally by Bob Dylan)

Covering Bob Dylan is no easy task. Jason Mraz’s easy-to-listen-to voice really lets the listener focus on these vivid lyrics. Finding this version really helped me re-discover this Dylan classic.

 

 

A lovely commenter asked me to do a Christmas-themed Music Monday, and I couldn’t resist. Well, technically I could resist, since I’m writing it a whole day late,¬† but the point is, good suggestion! While I do love all the classics, I decided to post more off-beat selections to help everyone expand their repertoire. Because trust me, if your party plan is to put your “NOW! That’s What I Call Christmas” CD on repeat, yours ain’t the party of the season.

1.) Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC

A Christmas song. By Run DMC. Need I say more?

2.) We Wish You An Irie Christmas by Jacob Miller

Remember those childhoods spent ’round the tree, listening to this Jamaican classic? No? That’s just my brother, sister, and me? My dad used to play this CD around the holidays until we would beg him to turn it off, but we’ve since spent enough holidays without it that I care share it with y’all without suffering flashbacks. Enjoy!

3.) I WIsh It Was Christmas Today, by SNL castmembers

My love of Jimmy Fallon is well documented, and his smirks from¬† behind Horatio Sans are a big part of my love for this song. Combine that with Chris Kattan’s head nods and Tracy Jordan (I mean Morgan…)’s dance moves, and you have all the best parts of Christmas rolled into a 2 minute clip. The quality in this video isn’t great, but Hulu doesn’t let WordPress bloggers embed. So click here for higher quality of that same video. Or click here to hear Julian Casablanca of The Strokes sing it, because yea, this song is that epic.

 

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at speaking English. I am not, however, good at speaking any other language. I studied Dutch for a semester while living in Belgium, to disastrous results (I was convinced my professor spoke English fluently and was “faking” it. I was wrong). Italian is the best shot at a second language that I have, but take away my hand motions and you realize just how not proficient I am. None of this stops me from enjoying music in languages other than my own. Here are three favorites; as always please add your own in the comments!

 

1.) Fel Del Av Garden by Movits!

First off, let me give credit to Stephen Colbert for introducing me to this super fun band. Secondly, let me point out that when I don’t know the lyrics to songs, I often make them up. For instance, when I get caught singing this song in the car, I choose “Coming from Finland!” as the opening lyric. (The band is Swedish.)

 

2.) El Kilo by Orishas

I should be able to speak some Spanish, but I can’t. I dated someone from northern Spain for a little while, and his English wasn’t great. “Sorry me” was a common apology. None the less, I came away from the relationship with some wonderful Spanish music.

 

3.) Staralfur by Sigur Ros

According to Wikipedia, I’m not the only person who can’t comprehend what Icelandic lead singer Jonsi Birgisson is singing; apparently the language is made up. My good friend and follow blogger Gastronomiquelle refers to their sound as “whales mating.”

 

I’m back, y’all! Sorry for not getting back to this when I said I would, but I wanted to wait to begin blogging again until I felt I had enough material to start consistently writing, and it seems that time has come. Plus, I recently received this in an email from a dear friend: “Okay, so I don’t want to be a total bitch with this comment but now that you’ll be jobless pretty soon I think you should start blogging again.”

SO TRUE.

So, let’s get right down to it. If there are two things I’m pretty unabashedly snobby about, I’d say it’s beer and music. Chief among my music gripes has always been a real disdain for electronic music. In a music class I took during college, we had to create a techno song as an assignment, and it really made me hate the entire genre. The whole process of creating synthetic beats and melodies didn’t seem to lend itself to ingenuity or soul; it felt like it had about as much heart as an Excel document. Everything about it has always felt phony and manufactured to me, and I could never get into it. Whether this kind of music has gotten better in recent years or I have just loosened up is beyond me. Below are my picks of great songs that rely pretty heavily on electronic sounds. Enjoy! Since I’m a recent convert to this type of music, I would really love everyone to post some choices of their own in the comments.

1.) Sleepyhead by Passion Pit

I’ve featured another song by Passion Pit in the past; suffice to say that they alone are responsible for me giving electronic music another listen.

2.) Block After Block by Matt & Kim

I know, hipsters, this is the third album by this Brooklyn band. I’m behind. I get it. Still a catchy song.

3.) Swing Tree by Discovery

To steal a line from someone wittier than me who commented on this YouTube page, “I want to feel how this song sounds.”