Michael Calfan

Michael is really making a name for himself with his dance style music production.

I like him because he reminds me of Tiesto, having similar sounds, yet using them in different ways and not to mention he is also a DJ. He has be getting recognition from some of the best in the game. Such as Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, and more. Dance music star Bob Sinclar says “It was long since I had felt such good vibes with a young artist”, Michael Calfan has had several releases on Bob Sinclar’s Yellow Productions. Bob Sinclar’s Label, Yellow Productions signed Michael Calfan as their artist last year.






Michael-Calfan

 

Krewella- Sup Ladies?? and Dude

Krewella is an electronic pop music group made up of two girls and one dude from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2007 and over the last year have really been making a name for themselves in the electronic music scene. The girls are really attractive, but don’t let that distract you from the actual music which is really good. I heard about them and watched their newest video Alive. After watching the video for Alive I thought that they were okay, but that track seemed a little too generic, like it was following a formula that sounded like a lot of electronic dance song from the last few years. I was going to leave it at that and not write about Krewella, but instead I decided to check out some of their other stuff from the last few months.

So I put on a video from last August titled, Feel Me, and I was surprised to hear a different sound. It was a unique blend of dubstep and pop that had a fresh feel to it and it changed my opinion. It might be a personal preference, but one of the things that I really like is when artists pull from different genres to create unique sounds. For me, Feel Me, does that and now I’m excited to hear more from them when their album comes out, scheduled for a summer 2013 release.

Maybe you’ve heard them and maybe you haven’t. Below I’ve posted the video for Feel Me and also for Alive. Let me know in the comments if you agree that Feel Me is the better track or if you like the sound of Alive and disagree with my opinion that it sounds too much like other songs and artists.


 

Olly Murs- Dance with Me Tonight (2011)

You might recognize the name Olly Murs. Maybe you’ve been enjoying this British singers work over the last couple years or maybe you’ve just recently heard him on the radio singing his track Troublemaker featuring Flo Rider. I’m not a huge fan of the song Troublemaker because Olly and the music sound WAY TOO MUCH like Maroon 5. particularly the Maroon 5 song, This Love. I’ll post a link to both tracks below so you can compare and then you can tell me I’m not crazy for hearing a striking  resemblance between the two tracks.

Anyway, that’s not a huge deal breaker. Many songs sound the same and often people don’t notice. The track I want to talk about for music-you-might-of-missed Monday this week is Dance with Me Tonight by Olly Murs. The song was the 2nd single off of his album, In Case You Didn’t Know, from 2011. The song is unique because it has this great Motown throw back sound that really is hard not to like. Olly made this track after being frustrated with the way guys and girls might meet at a club and then communicate via text or facebook. Olly wanted to do a track that recalled the times when a guy would ask a girl on an actual date and they could have a nice night, even possibly going out dancing.

To give some more backround on Olly Murs, he rose to fame after being the runner up on the X-Factor in 2009. That was the British X-Factor, not the American X-Factor with the many faces of Britney Spears. I think Olly Murs is pretty good, but this specific song is really the special track for me that can be put on at any time and can bring up all those great memories of Motown music with a modern twist. I also am a big fan of Chiddy Bang so I really like there collaboration on the track, Heart Skips a Beat.

The video for Dance with Me Tonight is below. Leave a comment if you’ve heard this track or are hearing it for the first time. Also as promised the new Olly Murs track and below that the Maroon 5 song for you to compare and tell me I’m not completely crazy for thinking these tracks are way too similar.



 

TIMES ARE CHANGING- The YouTube Effect

So I’ve been keeping an eye on the Billboard Hot 100 to see how many weeks Macklemore could stay at #1 and I was surprised to see a new #1 song this week. Before I go into the new #1 I have to explain a change that was made this last week that impacts how they determine the Billboard rankings. The Billboard charts have been around for over 50 years and many factors go into determining which song ranks where (sales, airplay, etc.) This last week, however, a new factor was added to the criteria, YouTube streaming data. It just so happens that this new addition had a huge role in the fate of the #1 spot this week. Macklemore  and Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop was bumped to #2 by none other than Baauer with the viral sensation, “Harlem Shake”.

You would be living under a rock if you haven’t seen one of these Harlem Shake videos and maybe you’ve even participated in one. Since every one of those home-made videos uses Baauer’s track, all of those millions of video plays count toward his Billboard ranking. The thing you need to know about the song by Baauer is that the track was released last June and didn’t crack the top 100 ever until this week, from nowhere to #1.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that, I think, it signals a huge shift in how we get our music and how we separate the good from the bad. For new and up-coming artists this is a very good thing. We saw in the last few weeks that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis could have the #1 song for 4 straight weeks and they made it happen without a record label, by producing their album, The Heist, independently and shooting all of their music videos on their own dime. What I see is that all of the walls are coming down and anybody who wants to be heard can be heard. We live in an amazing time where you can make your own music and share it on the internet and reach millions of people without jumping through the hoops you used to have to just to make your music available.

For Baauer it was about a video trend helping his song to be at the right place at the right time. Does that make Baauer an amazing artist? I don’t think so. Music isn’t always about just being good, it’s about being good at the right time. Will Baauer have another hit? I’m pretty confident in saying no. The same can be said for Psy’s Gangnam Style. It was just the right time for that specific song and the odds of another hit are not very likely. To think of it another way, let’s imagine that Skrillex was born in the 1960s and put out Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites in the 1980s, Can you imagine what the reaction would have been to that kind of sound at that time. If you can’t imagine it all you need to do is play it for a parent or grandparent and watch their face. Music has to be good and it has to fit the time.

With YouTube, iTunes, and the internet in general anybody can do it. If you are a musician, or want to be a musician, hopefully you realize how lucky you are and take advantage of all the opportunities available to put yourself out there. If it doesn’t happen right away just keep working on getting better and building a fan-base. People like us are listening and waiting to tell as many people as possible about you. Baauer might have felt discouraged after he released a song last June that wasn’t a hit. Now that song is the #1 song in the country and the whole world is dancing to it. It could happen to you or it could happen to someone you know so keep working hard and supporting artists who put themselves out there.

Please comment with your thoughts on this post and the future of music. Below is a compilation of some of the best Harlem Shake videos and also the video for the full Baauer track if you want to hear more than just the 30 seconds that made it popular.


 

Deep House Music Equals Tube & Berger

 
 
 
 
I don’t know about you but there is nothing better than listening to chill Deep house music windows down just cruising in the car.
Tube&

Tube & Berger, aka Arndt Roerig and Marko Vidovic started doing music at sixteen together. After 8 years of hard work and the deep kicks leading the way in production, Tube and Berger finally got the chance to release a studio album June 2012 called Introlution.

Introlution is a original approach to the club sound. The overall feeling is a clubby album be chill enough to cruise in the car.

 

See Website
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Hoodie Allen- WATCH THIS KID BLOW UP!!!

I had been meaning to write about Hoodie after having his track, No Interruption, on repeat and then I heard his new track with Chiddy Bang called Fame is for Assholes and figured I better write something before this kid really blows up.

Let me start by saying that this guy is a white rapper. That raises a red flag for some and rightfully so. It’s a thin line that white guys who want to rap have to walk. They have to straddle a line of  not being corny white without pretending to be black. The secret to doing this is ultimately being talented and being yourself. Eminem is a great example of how to do it right, but more recently Macklemore has shown how to succeed by being real and working hard.

Hoodie Allen is someone that needs to be watched. The music is a mix of hip hop and pop that I think I’m going to have to start calling hip-pop. It’s fun, it’s catchy, and the rhymes are clever. If you love hard-core gangsta rap then you probably won’t enjoy Hoodie, but if you like artists like Drake or Macklemore that do a combination also do a combination of hip-hop and pop you will probably enjoy Hoodie Allen.

The track that I like best is “No Interruption” mostly because it has a sick beat, he references Workaholics, and it’s just super catchy.Check out the video below. I also posted the new video that came out this last week for Fame is For Assholes by Hoodie Allen featuring Chiddy Bang.

Let me know in the comments section if you like Hoodie Allen or if you just aren’t feeling his music.


 

Twenty One Pilots- The Next Big Artist from Fueled By Ramen?

Twenty One Pilots is a band that was signed last year to the label, Fueled By Ramen. If I was in a young band getting signed to Fueled By Ramen it would be a feeling of great opportunity and great pressure. Fueled by Ramen, which is a subdivision of Atlantic records, has a history of choosing bands that transition alternative music into new directions. They did it with Fall Out Boy, they did it with Panic! at the Disco, and more recently they did it with Grammy winner for Best New Artist, Fun. I can’t talk about Fueled By Ramen without also mentioning Paramore, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, and the under-rated group The Cab.

The band is made up of 2 young guys out of Columbus, Ohio. The inspiration for the name of the band is pretty interesting. The idea for the name came after one of the band members read the play, All My Sons by Henry Miller. The play is about a man who commits suicide after his business knowingly sends faulty parts that get used to build airplanes during WWII and the faulty parts end up killing twenty one pilots. The impact of the story’s moral dilemma led to naming the band after the twenty one pilots from the story. With a big trend in naming bands with words and numbers, Blink 182, Sum 41, Maroon 5 etc. I originally thought the band was named to keep up with that trend, but the fact that the name of the band has meaning and is a reference to classic literature makes it pretty cool.

So, the question is, does Twenty One Pilots have the sound to make an impact like some of their label mates. My opinion after hearing a couple songs is that they are a good band, but will not be 2013’s big breakout artist like Fun was in 2012. I’ve noticed a backlash against Fun in the last couple months, which I don’t understand. I’m not sure if it was one of those things where a band starts to get really popular and people who consider themselves music lovers don’t want to be associated with pop music enjoyed by the masses. For me, Fun is my favorite band of the last year and after hearing Twenty One Pilots I can say that unfortunately they probably won’t create the same impact for me and other listeners. That’s not to count them out completely. A new song could pop for them or their sound could develop into the right music at the right time.

Check out their track if you haven’t already heard them and let me know your thoughts about Twenty One Pilots in the comments section. Also, if you are a Fun hater or lover let me know if you have seen or experienced any backlash towards the recent Grammy winners and what you think the cause of the backlash might be.

 

Black Kids- I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance (Twelves Remix) (2008)

It’s a very rare thing for a remix to surpass the original, but in my opinion the Twelves remix of “I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance” is the superior version of the song. The original version by the group Black Kids is more of an indie pop-rock track and the Twelves turn it into the kind of song you want to put on at a party and just jump around to.

The song is hopefully something you have heard in both the original and the remix. This one is hard for me to know how popular the track really is. I didn’t think it was much of a commercial success but one thing that makes me think otherwise is that I did see this remixed version of the track performed on the TV show Glee. Not that I have ever watched the show Glee, so I couldn’t tell you if the track was performed by Blaine at the dinosaur themed prom, but I heard it was on the show and that is usually a decent indicator of commercial success.

One of the most confusing things about the song is the first lyric sung by the male lead singer. “You are the girl that I’ve been dreaming of… ever since I was a little girl.” To shed some light on the confusion, my understanding is that one of the female members of the group wrote the lyrics to the song and she also happens to be a lesbian. Hopefully that makes some sense out of these lyrics that I know threw me off guard after the first listen.

Let me know if you like the remix or the original and let me know if you think my theory about songs being featured on Glee should be any kind of gauge for commercial success in the comment section below.

THE BEST “SAIL” BY AWOLNATION REMIXES

The song Sail by Awolnation is one of my top 5 all-time songs. I heard it for the first time last year and couldn’t stop replaying it. The sound is so unique and haunting. Haunting isn’t a word you can use to describe a lot of music but Lana Del Rey’s ,Video Games, also comes to mind.

I watched the song Sail gain steam on the Billboard charts last year and I was looking forward to it being a breakout hit and then it kind of fizzled out. I was surprised and excited when I checked the heatseeker chart last week and saw that Sail had bounced back to the #2 spot. To me that means that people are still discovering this song and getting hooked on it. I assume most visitors to this site already know the track and either love or hate it so I thought it would be great to talk about some of the great remixes of the track for a fresh take on a great song.

The 2 remixes I chose are the Bassmachine remix and the Unlimited Gravity remix. Both are down below and both give the song an infusion of electronic sounds. The Bassmachine remix is the less popular remix but it has this great heavy synth line and drop that you can’t help but move to. The Unlimited Gravity remix is the most popular remix of the track and stays closer to the original but infuses it with some dubstep sounds to give it new life and a different feel.

Please check them out and leave a comment about your feelings on the original or if you have a remix of Sail that you also like.



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Dispatch- The General (1998)

Hopefully you already know this band and song, but if you don’t, you gotta give it a listen. The song has a folk vibe and tells the story of a general that tells his soldiers to go home.

In the late 90s the band Dispatch, had no label, but gained popularity outside of the Boston area thanks to online peer-to-peer file sharing thanks to Napster and Limewire. The band developed a cult following and then in 2002 broke up only to reunite for a few show in the following years. As of recent they are back together and playing regular shows to big crowds mostly made up of young people who got hooked in the late 90s. I think the music holds up pretty well with the recent resurgence in a folk sound in popular music. Some of today’s bands that come to mind with a similar sound are Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers.

Give, The General, a listen and if you really like it one of my other favorites by them is a different sound, but still great. The other song I love by them is a cover of Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.  Check them both out and tell me if you know and like this music or are hearing them for the first time.

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes by Dispatch on Grooveshark

 

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