In case you wanted to know how to jazz.
“Holy pop album Batman!” said Robin. SMACK! Batman smacks across the face and says, “You’re right Robin, holy pop album indeed.” Alex Winston’s debut LP is full of radio friendly, upbeat, indie pop songs. This a straight sugar kick to the ears that is sure to raise that blood sugar. This is a super accessible, chorus heavy, album without a whole lot of surprises. Catchy catchy, so crank it up!
Favorite tracks: Medicine, Sister Wife, The Fold
A Good Cover
Youtube is saturated with over emotional performances of every song. Weekly strumming a guitar and breaking hearts with every note. I hate those covers. Where is the originality.
This is such a good cover of ‘You Can Call Me Al’ by Paul Simon. This was recorded on the windiest day ever.
Dan Deacon’s When I Was Done Dying.
Great Song. Great video by Adult Swim
Punk is not dead. Jeff Rosenstock’s second solo record is as good as they come. Few songs, let alone 17 track albums, have such honest and relatable lyrics. Who doesn’t like a song about judgmental neighbors? For those who like, let’s say Weezer, but wish they were a bit more genuine and hard rockin’. Jeff Rosenstock is your man. Plus Rosenstock is on his own independent label, so make sure to buy his stuff. No money going round and round.
Favorite Tracks: We Begged 2 Explode, Pash Rash, I Did Something Weird Last Night, Perfect Sound Whatever
Music on Screen
Scrubs: Season 8, Episode 19
Scrubs not only was visually an awesome TV show, but the series had a killer soundtrack. Tons of great music is packed into the 8 seasons (I do not count season 9). The best use of music in Scrubs, and quite possibly TV in general, was in the final scene of Season 8 when JD has one final vision. While this is awesome piece of filming in it’s own right (if you watch it you know), Peter Gabriel’s performance of The Book of Love by The Magnetic Fields really sets it apart. Never has a series finale wrapped up so perfectly. I fully recommend watching the clip HERE. However to get the full impact, you might as well watch seasons 1-7 and all the episodes in season 8 leading up to it. It’s worth it.
They Used To Be Better
I first listened to Fun. in Winter of 2010. Sitting in my college dorm room, I came across the music video for All The Pretty Girls, and was hooked. This track was awesome: The strings, the backing vocals, that part with the single minor chord. It honestly felt like a poppy, new ELO. I was able to get my hands on the rest of the album (Aim and Ignite) and it didn’t disappoint. Nothing did it for me like All The Pretty Girls, but hey solid pop album though and through. Not a song I actively skip.
Less then a year later on September 20, 2011, Fun. released a new song. We Are Young.
Excited. Yes. Headphones on. Check. Disappointment. Forthcoming. This track was brutal. I never warmed up to it. This song basically took away everything I liked about Fun. Instead, it opted for a boring (musically) sing-a-long anthem. For about a year this is all we had of Fun. All was quiet.
In 2012, Some Nights was released. We Are Young was the single. Terrible. I will say Some Nights, is not a terrible album. It’s a decent listen, however there is no lasting power. Each song is what it is. There is nothing to listen to or listen for. It is vanilla. A listenable pop album.
So while I have listened to Some Nights a few times, it doesn’t hold a (Roman) candle to Aim and Ignite. Two albums may seem a little rushed to make a claim that they aren’t as good (sad) as they used to be. I have one more piece of evidence.
Exhibit B – Harsh Lights. In the summer of 2014, Fun. released a new track. Everything I hated about We Are Young was now rewrote into a new song – Harsh Lights. That is when I knew, the Fun. I enjoyed was no more. Harsh Lights was eventually placed on Nate Ruess’ solo album (also not a fan of this album) as Fun. went on hiatus. May it’s for the best.
I have since explored the other projects of Nate Ruess (The Format) and Jake Antonoff (Bleachers, Steel Train). All more favorable then what Fun. has become. At least I have Aim and Ignite.