Lists, Music

The 12 Best Songs For A Mini Dance Party

Do you know what it’s like to uncontrollably tap your foot to that pop hit on the radio? Can you visualize the sweet dance routine you’d totally come up with and show of at gatherings if only you had a partner? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here, my friends, is a list of past and present songs – killer dance tunes, if you will – during which I cannot control my feet.

Ode To The Bouncer // Studio Killers

This Head That I Hold // Electric Guest

Let Me Clear My Throat (Live) // DJ Kool

Rather Be // Clean Bandit Ft Jess Glynne

Jealous (I Ain’t With It) // Chromeo

I Look To You // Miami Horror Ft. Kimbra

The Hood Internet // Genesis VS Justice

Don’t Stop // Junior Senior

Hush Boy // Basement Jaxx

Hands Are Clever // Alex Clare

Last Time // Gnarls Barkley

Music, Sunday Sixah, Updates

Sunday Sixah: Pitch-Off

For a few years in college, I worked for WMEB 91.9 FM. I started out on Sunday evenings with a show called Staring At Sound (a Flaming Lips reference) and an intermittent cohost. When he stopped joining me in the studio, I had to face my on-air fears and evolve into a one-woman show.

I switched to Tuesdays and changed my show name to Aerin in the Afternoon. Every Tuesday I brought listeners an eclectic mix of current and not-so-current music from the bins and beyond. This is where I really began to discover how much awesome music existed, and I may have over done it. I spent hours in the WMEB CD library and on my computer at home researching and listening to all the bands that sounded interesting. My music library grew to an obscene size. Loved. Every. Minute. Of. It.

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After graduating and thus losing my easy access to days and days of music I’d never heard of, I sort of lost touch with the music scene. I listened to the same music over and over, and though there was a lot of it, it wasn’t the same. Every once in a while I’d surf a music blog or go to Bull Moose to pick up a new CD or two, but at the end of the day, I’d lost my musical mojo. It was like that for a long, long time.

Enter Spotify! Somehow it feels like I’m back in the game. I’ve discovered a lot of great music through this nifty little application in the last year or so, and I’ll share some of it with you now. Enjoy!

1) By now you’ve probably heard Gangnam Style by PSY. He’s an enthusiastic South Korean pop star that dances like nobody I’ve ever seen. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out the video. It’s silly-awesome.

Thanks to Andy, I discovered an incredible deviation from the original: Oppa Spacejam Style. That’s right, Space Jam.

Oppa Spacejam Style by jhlodin

2) Miike Snow. Here’s a band worth knowing about. They’re like Fun. if Fun. was less poppy and more electronic. I can’t get him out of my head most days, and I’d love to share some of his songs with you. Please check out the below (my favorite) as well as Paddling Out, Pretender, The Wave and Mark Ronson’s awesome cover of Animal.

3) Mayer Hawthorne. If we’ve talked in the last 6 months about music, I’ve probably mentioned this guy. Nerdy white dude from Michigan with the soul of a Motown singer. He swears a little more than most Motown legends do, but he’s got the genre down pretty well. Here are two of my favorites (one even feat. Snoop Dogg Lion).

4) Jake Bugg // Trouble Town. Here’s a song that reminds me of the old west or perhaps a modern day Tarantino soundtrack. Knee slappin’ good.

Trouble Town by Jake Bugg

5) Gotye. I’m sure I don’t need to post his most famous song, especially since I’ve already kinda gushed about him on my blog once. (Three days until the concert!) But I did discover him back in February thanks to Spotify. So, here’s one of his lesser known tunes that I really love. The whole album is worth listening to, though.

6) Since I mentioned Gotye, I’ve got to mention Kimbra. She’s the bombshell that’s featured and standing next to painted Gotye on Somebody That I Used To Know. I happened to get a sweet deal on her EP during Record Store Day this year, and I fell in love. Her album finally came out in August, and it definitely lived up to expectations. Here’s Something in the Way You Are.

Happy listening! Leave comments if you got ‘em!

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Articles & Opinions, Music

Blast from the Past: A Lesson in the Ancient Art of Karaoke

March, 2010

I’m going to periodically add posts from blogs I’ve previously written for. Here’s a favorite of mine.

Despite the nasty rumor that’s been circulating around for years, ‘Karaoke’ does not mean “tone deaf.” It actually translates to “empty orchestra,” which, unfortunately, doesn’t describe the phenomenon as well as the rumor.
Recently I’ve volunteered my time to a local non-profit that holds a Karaoke contest every year. There are many qualifiers at local establishments, a semi-finals where they whittle down to the final 12 contestants, and a finals where they’ll pick two honorable mentions and a grand prize winner. It’s actually not a bad gig to win – cash prize contests never are. But I’ve noticed a trend, having been involved in the event the last few years. Once as a judge, once as a guest judge and now as the photographer. Hear me out.
I’m a bit of a self-taught music nerd. I’ve taken a class or two on general music history, but I don’t have extensive training in the subject by any means. I am able to pick at a couple instruments and play a recognizable song or two, and Iam very good at ‘Name That Tune.’ And being a little obsessed with all things music doesn’t hurt either. What I mean to say is, I’m no authority, but I still think you should read my do’s and don’ts of Karaoke.
(Keep in mind, these are suggestions for competition Karaoke only. I’m not trying to step on the toes of drunken-bar-for-funsies-’oke.)

Do’s & Don’ts of Karaoke.

DO sing a song you’re passionate about. Something you can put a little feeling into.

DO pick an artist you respect, identify with, or even idolize.

DO practice your song at least once before going on stage. In the car or the shower counts.

DO dress the part. I’m not saying you need glitter & stilettos or a fedora and a bolo tie, I’m just saying don’t wear your friggin’ pajamas.

DO make eye contact, and if at all possible, memorize the lyrics so you’re not staring at the teleprompter the whole time.

DO perform your song in front of HONEST friends before hopping on stage, if you can get them to listen. It’s hard when your friends lie to you and tell you you’re great, only to get on stage and realize they were being way too kind. But at the same time, DON’T ask for an opinion you’re not ready to hear.

DON’T pick a song just because you love it. Loving it does not mean it’s in your vocal range, it does not mean it will go over well with the crowd and it definitely does not mean you can do it any justice.

DON’T pick a diva song unless you’ve got the balls to carry it out. This means no Mariah, no Whitney, no Celine, no Adele and no Aretha.

DON’T stand there like a fence post while you sing. This is your moment, dude.

DON’T pick something too obscure, too heavy, too vulgar or too long. The point is to get people to enjoy and remember your performance.

DON’T pick the same damn song every time. If I have to see you in a qualifier, the semi finals and the finals doing the same song the same way every single time, it makes me want to punch you in your hoo-hoo.

Lastly folks, I want to point out that it takes a TON of courage to get up there and do a number. More courage than I’ve managed to muster. Especially all by yourself, and especially in front of judges. I just want you to do your absolute best, so I give you these tips, lovingly and free of charge.

Seacrest out.

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