What's with the name?

What's with the name? In my mid-twenties, I had essentially gone through one kind of life and am starting to enter another. The people that are probably going to read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those who don't know, here's a brief rundown . Cheers to Chapter 2! A journey in health in many ways, and to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am also a blogger for GreenMommas.com. This is my blog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Jamz 2011 - Top Ten Dance-your-pants-off-sunny-day-bbq-open-field-festie Tunes

It was bound to happen. With the amount of fantasic tunes released in the last 6 months a summer jam playlist is definitely needed, but not that easily thrown together. While rotating favorites like MGMT "Kids", Banarama's "Cruel Summer" and Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor" will always make my summer soundtrack, there are some great new contenders for that classic summer dance sound. So, without further adieu, my countdown of the top 10 (new) Summer Jamz.

10. Adele - Set Fire to the Rain (Plastic Plates Remix)
 It's no secret, I am a raving fan of the remix - a GREAT remix. Adele has acheived noticable mainstream pop attention with hits like "Chasing Pavements" from her first album, 19, and more recently with "Rolling in the Deep" off 21 (which has also seen it's fair share of monster remixes). The powerful bluesy and sometimes raspy voice of Adele set to a road-trip-worthy summer dance beat, I can envision my self driving with the window down, 70mph, singing "but I'll set fiiireee, to the rainnn...." while the sun reflects off my fuschia mock Ray Bans. And while I know next to nothing about Plastic Plates - it's safe to say now the name will stick.

Adele - Set Fire To The Rain (Plastic Plates Remix) by PLASTiC PLATES

9. Future Islands - Tin Man
Baltimore's Future Islands have peaked my interest recently, most likely because they are not like anything I've heard before. Lead singer Sam Herring's voice is reminiscent of that always-in-pain vocalist of the 90's grunge scene, is somewhat rock opera like, but he is usually backed by more upbeat pop/rock synth beats which makes for an odd combination that, surprisingly, works extremely well together. "Tin Man" strikes me as a summer beat - with the steel drums and rolling bass, but perhaps with a darker undertone. I've heard they are fantastic live, and I'm terribly bummed I missed them at the Monkey House recently.

Future Islands - Tin Man

8. Caribou - Sun (Pyramid Remix)
I'll have to admit, I am not really into Caribou's orginal "Sun". But there is really something special about this remix. Pyramid is a young producer from France, I really couldn't find much information about him otherwise (try searching Pyramid on Google). This remix in particular shows bits and pieces chillwave with a little more of a dance beat. Either way, it screams summer - aviators, lightweight sundresses flouncing in the wind, sunkissed skin. It may even be a perfect track for a pool party.

Caribou - Sun (Pyramid Remix) by -Pyramid-

7. Wolf Gang - The King and All of His Men
If this countdown was based purely on the number of days the song was stuck in my head, this tune would without a doubt be #1. Alas, because there are many more factors than brain stickiness, Wolf Gang's "The King and All of His Men" lands at a respectable #7. It has all the elements of a fantastic pop song - catchy lyrics, back-up "oooo oooo ooooooh" vocals, great keys, drums and a chorus you just can't forget: "you took her soul, so incomplete, why don't you stop....fighting me. You're in control, so why should you beeeee....fighting me". They have been galavanting around Europe and opened up for The Killers, as well as headlining a good percentage of their own gigs. Here is the video for the track below - how much cooler can you get than filming in a cave while running after a cute girl with vintage suitcases? Here's to wishing they'll come stateside soon.

6. Fitz and the Tantrums - Don't Gotta Work it Out
There is nothing I like more than a throwback to Motown. Among the likes Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Mayer Hawthorne and Raphael Saadiq, Fitz and the Tantrums have literally exploded on to the 'modern motown' music scene. How? Take it from their website "In just a year or so, soulsters Fitz & the Tantrums went from the living room to the main stage. The recipe for meteoric success? Six killer musicians, five dapper suits, irresistible songs, some serendipity and one vintage organ." When I see a band come on stage wearing stylish, well fitting suits, black ties and swanky fedoras, I know it's going to be a great show. "Don't Gotta Work it Out" off Pickin' Up the Pieces is a track you can throw on at a BBQ and people of all ages can jam out to it. Or you can hang out in the air conditioning and imagine you're in a smoke-filled jazz club with high rollers, dirty martinis, and red carpets.

Fitz & The Tantrums - Don't Gotta Work It Out

5. Justice - Civilization (LAZRtag Remix)
It seems like the second Justice released the first single from it's forth-coming, still untitled sophomore album on the heels of the new Adidas commercial, everyone made a remix. There were some good, some bad, some ok, and some exceptional. LAZRtag's remix was one of the exceptional. While it still keeps the vibe and weight of the original track, it mixes and speeds it up a bit so this remix is sure to hit dance floors around the nation. Justice recently released the Romain Garvas-directed video for Civilization, which is as much and interpretive piece of art as it is a music video. Check out the video here, but also enjoy the remix.

Justice - Civilization (LAZRtag Bootleg Mix)

4. Starfucker - Julius
Ok, ok, so I know I blogged about this track before, but I just adore it. It's on it's way to being one of my summer classics. And because it was not released until last fall, it's still technically a new summer jam. I love how the vocals drown in the pop synth beats, so neither is more prominent than the other. Something about the beginning of it reminds me of an 80s cartoon theme song, though I can't put my finger on it. It's wonderful and fun in it's entirety, sure to be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Julius 7" version

3. Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise
Here we are at #3 - getting to the good stuff. One of these things is not like the other. Meaning, I normally don't post much hip hop. But it's the Beastie Boys. With the release of Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 they are still schooling everyone in the hip hop realm on how it's done. The first track off the album, also accompanied by a star studded video (Seth Rogan, Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Susan Sarandon and more) leads by example. It shows us that solid rhymes and a funky beat are still king.

Make Some Noise by Beastie Boys

2. Dillon Francis - HARD Summer 2011 Mix
Moombahton is taking over the world (yes spell check that is an actual word). Maybe it isn't yet, but it's made it's way in to our hearts just in time for summer with this epic mixtape from Mad Decent's Dillon Francis. It may have been "invented" by Dave Nada, but Mr. Francis is showing us what it's all about, and that it's made for gettin' down. A mix of sultry reggaeton and house music, I had not much interest in Moombahton until this mixtape. Now, I get it; it's quite honestly dance floor gold. If you're not convinced, get yourself about 3:05 in to this mixtape and you will understand. That's where it hooks me in and makes me wants to move. Also included in Hard Summer Mix - a throwback to some high school tunes with some Fat Joe/Big Pun and Missy Elliot. Somehow, Dillon Francis managed to sample CSS' newly released song "Hits Me Like a Rock" about two months before they actually realeased it. Not sure how that happened, but pretty sure this man is genious. Initially, he only allowed about 10 free downloads of this mix, then cut it off subsequently pissing off the masses. Now, once again, you can download for free (do it while you still can!).

Dillon Francis - HARD Summer 2011 Mix  by DILLONFRANCIS

1. Cut Copy - Pharaohs and Pyramids
I already knew what my #1 summer jam was before I decided to put this post together. Off their album Zonoscope, "Pharaohs and Pyramids" taps in to the 'drop the beat' mentality that mirrors LCD Soundsystems's "Dance Yrself Clean" (My #1 Summer Jam of 2010), although Cut Copy makes you wait for it less, and want it more (sorry J Murph I'm still upset you broke an incredible band up at it's peak). While "Dance Yrself Clean" is fairly lackluster for about 3 min and leaves you salivating for that beat drop, Cut Copy has an amazing track that just happens to have an impressive dance beat drop about 3 min in also - no doubt getting the party started and the crowd in a complete dance frenzy at one of the numerous summer festivals they are playing this year. I expect I will see nothing less at Camp Bisco, where they are expected to 'get the party started' opening up the stage on Thursday night. Add it to your summer playlist, you will not be disappointed in the least.

Cut Copy - Pharaohs and Pyramids