Ty Listens to Charles Bradley's "Black Velvet"

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Today Charles Bradley, or his estate, or his record label, I’m not quite sure, released his final record, “Black Velvet”. This record is a great send off to an under appreciated star of the soul music scene.

I’ve loved Bradley since I first heard his entire life story about 5 years ago. If you don’t know about him, check it out, it’s amazing. He didn’t get his first record deal until he was 62. From there on out, he released many records, all of them great. He also was touring constantly and putting on some great, great shows. Unfortunately I never got to see him live, but from what I’ve seen on the internet, and heard from people who saw him, they all said the same. He was a flash of lightening and we now have his music for the rest of our lives.

Charles Bradley died about a year ago from stomach cancer. When diagnosed, he hammered out as much music as he could, until he couldn’t anymore. Today we got to hear some of his last songs, and they’re wonderful.

From what I’ve read, the songs on “Black Velvet” were from recording sessions from his last record, and some covers he wanted to do. The covers are wonderful. He does “Heart Of Gold”, a Neil Young song, and he does it great justice. It’s beautiful. He also does Nirvana’s “Slip Away”, and it’s so different, but so awesome. He takes a Nirvana song and makes it a soul song. It is a truly remarkable feat.

The 8 other songs are just as good. There’s an electric version of “Victim of Love”, from one of his earlier records, and I love it. The 2 singles, “I Feel a Change” and “Stay Away” are classic Bradley. “I Feel a Change” is so heart felt and sung beautifully. “ Stay Away” is a funky, rock and roll esque soul song. It’s my favorite on the record so far. “Luv Jones” is a cool old school song where Bradley lets his band do some singing, then he comes in and crushes it, as usual. The title track is an instrumental, and it feels like the band made it as an an ode to him. It’s their gift to Bradley. The opening track, “Can’t Fight the Feeling” is a great way to kick it all off. It really gets you wanting to hear more and more. These are the standouts to me.

This is a record I’m going to be listening to a lot for the next couple weeks. I was saddened when I heard that Bradley passed, but at least now I have “Black Velvet” to listen to and remember him. I adore this album. I cannot recommend it enough.

Charles Bradley was a star and he will be greatly missed. Do yourselves a favor and listen to his music, and enjoy how great he was. “Black Velvet” is a triumph.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.

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A Newbie Goes to a Sam Smith Concert

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I've been so consumed by football lately, I need to catch up on some things that I have wanted to write about the last 2 weeks.

One of those things was seeing Sam Smith live in Saint Louis on August 18th. I know that was 10 days ago, but the great thing about the show, I am still thinking about how wonderful it was. I didn't really know too much about Smith before seeing him live. I knew of his big songs, "I'm Not the Only One" and "Stay With Me". I was also kind of familiar with the new single off his newest record, "Too Good at Goodbyes". So, I knew three hits, but that was it.

I had mentioned offhand one day that he was playing Chafeitz Arena here in Saint Louis to my mom, and she was thrilled. She loves Sam Smith. She is a tried and true fan. She knew all his songs, not just the singles. She said she wanted to go see him, but she didn't know anyone that would go with her. Well, I love a good live show. I have been more into seeing "pop stars" lately, and she did sit through Run the Jewels with me when I took her to see Lorde. So, I offered to go with her. I figured it would be fun, I had time to get more familiar with his music and it is always fun to hang out with my mom.

Well, sitting down for the show, I didn't know what to expect. I saw this very cool stage, we had great seats and after we sat down, he was coming on stage. So, among all these diehard fans, among people who live and breath his music, there I sat, waiting to see what he could do, and he did not disappoint.

Sam Smith is truly amazing. He has one of the absolute best voices I have ever heard live. The notes he can hit are truly remarkable. I don't understand how singers can do what he did, but he did it better than any other person, in his genre, that I have watched perform live. He was really amazing. He also has this very humble way about him. He talked to the crowd about pretty much everything that was going on in his life. He told us about the tour. He spent individual time with each band member. By the way, his band is great as well. He has some real pros backing him up. He kept calling Saint Louis, Saint Louie, and I appreciated that. He has the look and attitude of someone that realizes they are living their dream. He is a humble, respectable dude. And, as I have mentioned multiple times, that dude can "sang". When someone is a great singer, my wife and I say they can "sang", because "singing" doesn't do them justice. 

Smith started out by singing multiple songs off his newest record, which I appreciated since that was what I was listening to on repeat. The live versions of songs like "One Last Song", "Baby You Make Me Crazy" and "One Day at a Time" were wonderfully uplifting and beautifully sung. He also did stuff off his first couple records, which I am not that familiar with. But they were, in turn, slower paced and beautifully melancholy. He also did a different version of "I Know I'm not the Only One", with tons of crowd participation, and it was awesome. I liked that he mentioned how depressing his songs were, but you would never have known by the mood on stage and the way they played the songs. Even a slower song off his new record like "Say it First", which is very stripped down, they turned it into something lively and almost danceable. During the show I kept looking over at my mom and just simply saying, "wow". I was absolutely astonished at how great this show was.

I don't truly know what I expected, but Sam Smith and his band surpassed any expectations I had. They were great. I highly, highly recommend going to see him live, especially if it is in a smaller arena like Chafeitz here in Saint Louis. He is so god damn impressive at what he does. He appreciates his craft, and you can tell he works hard at it. Sam Smith is a wonder and someone I will most definitely go see live again. I love that my mom shared this experience with me. I'm glad she needed someone to go with and that someone just happened to be me. This will be a show that I will always remember, and it will be a show that will most likely be in my top 10 shows of all time. Sam Smith is remarkable talent. Go see him live. You will love every single second of the show.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is available to go see a concert with any moms out there. Nothing sexual, Ty just likes rocking out with women twice his age. 

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Childish Gambino Has Two New Songs for Our Summer Pleasure

 Relax in a pool chair and take in the new tunes from Childish Gambino

Relax in a pool chair and take in the new tunes from Childish Gambino

Last night I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed that Donald Glover’s page had some new, very non interpretive pictures on it. The pictures were a colorful mish mash of neon, and they simply said, “Summertime” and “Summertime 2”. Needless to say, I was intrigued. Last time he did something like this, he dropped “This is America” under his rap pseudonym, Childish Gambino. You all know how much I adore, and how much that song and, more importantly, that video, affected me. So, I was hoping this would be some new songs.

Well, when I clicked the URL, much to my enjoyment, it was 2 brand new Childish Gambino songs. I was stoked. I had just gotten home from working out, cleaned up, and was greeted by this wonderful news while playing on my phone. I immediately listened to both songs at full volume. And, once again, Glover absolutely nailed it. I mean, this dude is so talented, it is almost unfair. He can pretty much do it all.

It needs to be said, both these songs don’t have the same political and of the moment feel of “This is America”. That song is its own thing, as it should be. These 2 new songs are breezy and cool and mellow. The first version, “Summertime”, is a cool, faster paced R&B song. It is such a fitting summer song. It has mellow, yet sped up instrumentals. Glover goes a bit lower with his voice on this track too. He also does, a very little bit, of rapping on this song. I was immediately on board. I love the change he has taken with his music. When he started out, he was straight forward rap. But now, he seems to be a full fledged R&B dude. He really showed that he could do this music on the incredible “Awaken My Love”, and he seems to have really found his groove.

Needless to say, after listening to the first song, I had high hopes for the second track. It did not disappoint. Glover slows things down on this song, and I love that about this song. It is an R&B song through and through. From the opening bar to the final noise of an instrument, it is like listening to old Earth Wind and Fire or, dare I say, Barry White. I like the first new song, I LOVE the second version. It is so wonderful. I immediately played them both for my wife, and even she was impressed. She’s not a big Gambino fan, but she does like the newer stuff he is doing. She likes R&B, so she was on board. I just get more and more impressed with all the stuff he does. He cannot do wrong right now. He is on an incredible hot streak, and he is striking while the iron is burning.

I highly recommend checking out these 2 new songs. They will be, or at least should be, played endlessly for the rest of summer on the radio. Childish Gambino, you’ve done it again. Maybe this means you aren’t giving up music just yet. One can hope. 

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He usually does not click on the links in Facebook. He wants Zuckerberg to have to guess what Ty likes.

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Ty Listens to the Gorillaz New Album "The Now Now"

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About 2 weeks ago The Gorillaz put out a new record, "The Now Now". I had heard rumors that they were going to put out one, and by they I obviously mean Damon Albarn and his collaborator, but I didn't know when it was exactly coming out. I then saw on Facebook or some other site that they were putting it out on June 29th. And, like they promised, it was released then.

I have been listening to "The Now Now" pretty much every day since I bought it. I find at least one time a day, be it a car ride, a run or shooting baskets, to listen to the record. I love it. I was a big time fan of their last record, "Humanz", but, dare I say, I like "The Now Now" even more. It feels a bit more accessible to all fans. There were parts of "Humanz" and "Demon Days" and even their first record that seemed odd or out of place. I personally love all three of those records, especially "Demon Days", which I think is one of their most underrated records. But, "The Now Now" is better than all three. In fact, it, for the time being, it is my favorite record of theirs to date. I love the simplicity of this new record. I read an interview with Albarn where he said that he wrote most of it while on tour last year. Last year was one of their first fully American tours, and by all accounts, it was a big time success. But, in the down time that they had, Albarn decided he was going to write a new record. What I appreciate most about "The Now Now" is how mellow and simple it is. Also, even though I love all the guest appearance they usually have, and sometimes the guests make the record or song, I was pleasantly surprised that they only have 3 songs with guests on the record. It was a nice change of pace to hear Albarn as the characters in the band singing most of the songs. I love his voice, so of course I was going to be on board with this decision.

In fact, one of the songs that features a guest, the first track, which is amazing, "Humility", doesn't include the guest vocals. I believe George Benson is on the song for his guitar alone. By the way, "Humility" is a great way to start this record off. The song is bouncy and fun. It has an upbeat guitar riff and Albarn's vocals are top notch. They released a video for this song prior to the record coming out as well, and I highly suggest checking it out. It is so cool and exactly what you would expect out of a Gorillaz video. It is dope. The next track, "Tranz" is another upbeat, fast paced tune. I really enjoy this song as well. It goes a little harder than "Humanity", which is more like a beach song. "Tranz" is more of a club track, or just a straight forward electronic song with vocals. It is pretty awesome. Some other tracks on the record I really enjoy are "Kansas", "Idaho", "Sorcererz", "Lake Zurich" and "Magic City". "Kansas" is a slower tune, made all the better with Albarn almost crooning the lyrics. He clearly wrote this track while in Kansas, and listening to this song makes so much sense when you see it through that lens. "Idaho", another state name song, is another slow song, but it is more of an instrumental, electronic song. I know that may sound oxymoronic, but it is the truth. It actually reminds me of a Ratatat song, and I love that about it. I love Ratatat as you all know. "Sorcerez" goes hard and strong. It is a rock song mixed with electronic elements. It really sounds like a song off their first record, and that makes it so accessible to old school fans. It is a great follow up to "Kansas". "Lake Zurich" is another song that is more instrumental than anything else. I remember the first time listening to it, I was watering my plants and I just, without even knowing, found myself dancing and grooving along with the music. My neighbor almost snapped me out of my trance by asking what I was listening to. I let him check it out, he is an older gentleman, and even he enjoyed the song. It is so cool and so groovy. I love "Lake Zurich". And "Magic City" is like a culmination of everything that makes this album so wonderful. It has the great instrumental electronic stuff, but it also has great vocals and it is just a perfect song. It rules.

I adore this record. I know that I will be listening to it for the next couple weeks, no question. I highly suggest everyone go check out this record, even if you are not a Gorillaz fan. I truly feel like everyone that listens to this record will like it. It has a little something for everyone. Well done Mr. Albarn, as usual.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. His pop culture the last few weeks has been all about animation. Today he had the Gorillaz, last week he had The Incredibles.

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"This is America" is What America Needs to See

 Take a long look

Take a long look

Before I start, watch "This is America" by Childish Gambino.

I have now watched Donald Glover's, AKA Childish Gambino's, newest video, "This is America" about 2 dozen times. I'm not here to critique it, say what I think it is about, or anything like that. I'm here to praise Donald Glover as an artist, and talk about how I think this video is going to go down as one of the most important pieces of art to ever be made. I feel like my kids will be taught things from, and about, this video when they are in high school and college.

For those that don't know, Glover put this video out last Saturday night, when he was hosting "SNL" in fact, and it has been all over social media since then. Many people have given their own thoughts and takes on the video. I have done multiple deep dives on YouTube and other sites just to see all the things I missed, or didn't understand. I am officially obsessed with the music video. Now, the song is just as important, but this video is a masterpiece. The song calls out other rappers for bragging about all the guns and material things that they have acquired due to their fame. But, when put to a music video, it speaks volumes. I do have to say, for the faint of heart, this is a disturbing video. Some horrific things happen, but in this day in age, when it is so hard to shock anyone, this video does just that.

I know I said I wasn't going to interpret anything, but I do have to say, my biggest takeaway from the video is that the U.S. is way, way too obsessed with guns. And Glover puts that front and center. The video opens with Glover dancing, an older gentleman sitting down to play acoustic guitar, then Glover pulls a pistol out of his pocket and shoots this man in the back of the head. It is so unexpected, they show the blood and it hooks you. I couldn't look away after seeing this gruesome act because I wanted to see where he and his director, the awesome, and very underrated Hiro Murai, went from there.

After Glover does the unspeakable act of shooting someone, he begins to dance more and starts rapping the song. The lyrics are simplistic, but they speak volumes. The main gist is, "this is America/don't catch you slippin/ look what I'm whippin". He also says certain things that have stuck with me like, "I got the strap/I've got to carry", or the chorus that is a group of people singing, "tell somebody/you gonna tell somebody/get your money/black man". I mean, that is poetry, and speaks to the culture we live in right now.

Back to the video. After the crazy opening, if all you look at is Glover, you see him and some younger kids doing popular dances. It is almost fun, until you realize they are mocking modern rappers. It then takes on a whole new meaning when you look at it through that lens. But, after the many deep dives I took, you start to see some crazy things going on in the background. Death is represented as a white horse being ridden by a man with a black hood, and everyone scatters when they see it, except the police. There is also a person that commits suicide by jumping off a high rise in the background. We also see some random people wearing eerie masks in the background, all on their phones for some unknown reason. Glover, once again, pulls a machine gun on a choir singing with him, then hands the gun off to someone else to dust it for prints. All while this is going on, Glover and the young dancers remained unharmed. Then, in a silent moment of the song and video, Glover pulls out a joint, lights it up and takes a few puffs. He then jumps on a very old, beat up car and starts to groove again. That was another thing I found out, if you look at all the cars in the video, none of them are new. Apparently he did this on purpose, once again to mock these newer rappers who think all that matters is shiny, new expensive cars. After the dancing on the cars stops, the video cuts to black, and only now do we see Glover finally being chased, presumably by the police. The reason he is being chased you may ask? He was smoking a joint. The guns, the suicide, the dusting of prints, none of that mattered. It was marijuana that finally catches up to him. It is insane.

This video is a work of art. As I said at the top, this needs to be shown in schools as to how dangerous we have become as a society. We are gun obsessed, and it is a real big problem. This video and song also makes Glover the most influential and important rapper out there right now. No one else comes close. Jay Z isn't rapping anymore. Kanye West is certifiably insane. Chance the Rapper is sticking up for West for some reason. Drake only raps about girls. And these new guys, the Post Malone's of the world, are a joke. They give rap music a bad name. Glover, or Gambino, is doing everything right and he deserves all the accolades he is getting for putting this video out. It will go down in history as a very important piece as to what we were like in the early 21st century. I will never forget this video. I will also continue to watch it. I will tell more people to watch it. I will do even deeper internet dives. This is masterful work.

Donald Glover is a genius, and "This is America" only further hammers that point home. Go watch the video now, then watch it a second, third, fourth and fifth time. Then, watch it 10 more times after that. It is disturbing, gory, important, provocative and amazing. What a gem.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.

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Ty Listens to Leon Bridge's "Good Thing"

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Last Friday Leon Bridges put out his much anticipated second album, "Good Thing". I have been waiting a long time for this record. As you all know, I am a big, big fan of Bridges. I have written many things about him, seen him live, praised his style and just overall love what he does as a musician. So, needles to say, I was pumped.

Last Friday, as soon as I got up, the first thing I did was go to Spotify and immediately listen to the record. It was much different from what I expected. His first record, "Coming Home", was a throwback to 60's R&B music. It was stunning to hear such a young guy sing music like that in the 21st century. I was blown away. "Good Thing" is not a throwback. It is something new and unique and good. I definitely like "Coming Home" more, but "Good Thing" is really starting to grow on me.

At first listen, if I am being honest, I was a bit disappointed. Then, I read some stuff as to why he did what he did on this record, and then I listened through that lens. He goes more modern on "Good Thing". He uses newer equipment. He brought in song writers and newer staff people. He really explored his options of up to date instrumentation and gear that is out now. And, when you think and listen to the record that way, it works.

The first track, "Bet Ain't Worth the Hand", is a newer R&B song. It sounds like something that should be played on the radio. It has big sound and it sounds good. "Bad Bad News" is more of the same. It may e a bit more jazzy than the first song, but still, it has that newer R&B feel that Bridges is going for on this album. His voice is amazing on this song, and every song on the record for that matter. Bridges is a wonderful singer, no matter what style music he is singing. The dude has pipes. "Shy" is a bit more up tempo, with a super cool guitar riff. He goes back to his more throaty singing that I enjoy on this song too. The groove is almost like a hip hop song, which is cool to hear from a guy like Bridges. "Beyond" is the single from this record, and it is a beautiful song. The acoustic guitar is delightful. Bridges voice is amazing. I can easily see why they chose this song as the single. It is a perfect song. "Forgive You" has a neat little drum groove at the top, then it melds into a synthy R&B song. It sounds like Prince, except with Bridges on vocals. I feel like this is his homage to Prince. I like the hand claps in the song too. "Lions" goes back to the nifty electric guitar his band uses on the record, then the song moves to an almost improvised jazz tune. At first listen I wasn't crazy about the song, but it definitely has a place in my heart now. He really takes a swing, and if you give it a fair chance, the song will grow on you, I promise. "If It Feels Good" has more of that Prince vibe, with a modern pop sound to it. I'm not crazy about the song, it sounds too much like a pop song. But, its saving grace is Bridges vocals. I just wish it wasn't top 40 sounding. "You Don't Know" has the upbeat drums at the top, but this time, Bridges sings it like he recorded it during his time on "Coming Home". The song is newer and fresh, but his vocals hearken back to his first record, especially during the chorus. The chorus is a ton of fun. "Mrs." is a very good song. They slow things down and really let Bridges shine. The electric guitar has this slow but distorted sound that I really love. But, it is all Bridges vocals. This song really lets him show everyone how great of a singer he is. We all know that, those of us that listen to him, but "Mrs." just reminds us of that fact. He is awesome. "Georgia to Texas", the album closer, has a cool bass riff at the beginning, and then Bridges gets to shine again. At first it is just him and the bass and he really belts out the song. Then, as the song picks up, Bridges only gets better and better, and I really like the song. The last 2 tracks remind me the most of his first record, and that is why they are my 2 favorites. I like when artists take chances, and Bridges definitely does that on "Good Thing".

I like this album, but like I said, I needed a few listens before I fully bought in. I hope he comes to Saint Louis while touring this record because I'd love to see how he does these songs live. Leon Bridges is one of the better younger singers out there, and people need to be listening to him right now. And while I like "Coming Home" more, "Good Thing" is a solid follow up. If you are hesitant to buy it at all, just buy it for his vocals. The guy is an amazing singer.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is eagerly waiting to stand in a line, and deal with a bunch of  drunk idiots, just to hear Leon Bridges live once again. That dude can sing.

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Ty Finally Listens to the Music of Weird Al

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Recently I was given some gift cards to iTunes and I decided that it was time I finally started to really dive into Weird Al's music catalog. Now, before I get raked over the coals by the music snobs, I bought 2 "Best Of" albums and "Mandatory Fun". I wanted to hear all his hits, and the newer stuff he has put out. I always liked what I heard from Weird Al as a kid, but I never owned one of his CD's or tapes or anything. I either saw him on MTV, heard him through friends and family, or heard him on the radio.

For years I tried to distance myself from Weird Al, especially when I was, myself, a very big music snob. I am still snobby, but about 10 years ago, I was ruthless. I didn't listen to anyone that didn't write their own music or play their own instruments, so Weird Al was out of the question. But, as I got older, the snobbery started to go away. I have allowed myself to like things that are considered "popular" by society now. Hell, I just saw Lorde and the Run the Jewels on tour, and Lorde is one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now, rightfully so. So, as I was looking thought the iTunes store the other day, I decided that now was as good a time as ever to start listening to Weird Al. I was also talking with a friend of mine about him the other day, and he was singing his praises, which only furthered my want for his music.

With the 30 bucks I had, I bought the three albums I already listed. And, they are wonderful. He is extremely talented. The way he takes famous songs and turns them on their heads is amazing. I know this may be old news for some, but for me, this is all fairly new and wonderful. I chose "Mandatory Fun" to start with, and the parody songs he does on that record are amazing. A song like "Tacky", which is a parody of "Happy" is so much better than the hit song he parodies. I would so much rather listen to "Tacky". He does a parody of Lorde's "Royals" called "Foil", about conspiracy theorists, and it cracks me up every time I listen. "Handy" is another great parody. Taking on that Australian lady's mega hit rap song and turning it into a song about fixing up homes works so much better than I thought it would. "Word Crimes", which is his cover of "Blurred Lines", is one thousand times better than any song that Robin Thicke has had written for him. "Mandatory Fun" is a really, really good record.

The "Best Of" records I got are so much better though. The songs on these records are just one hit after another. Songs that litter these records include, "Gump", his parody of "Lump", "Canadian Idiot"("American Idiot"), "Eat It"("Beat It), "Yoda"(Lola), "Fat"(Bad), "Smells Like Nirvana"(Smells Like Teen Spirit), "Amish Paradise"(Gangsters Paradise), "It's All About the Pentiums"(It's All About the Benjamin's), "Ebay"(I Want it That Way) and "White and Nerdy"(Ridin Dirty). That is an amazing list of his best songs. The records also include some originals, but honestly, if I'm going to listen to Weird Al, I want to hear his parody songs. "Eat It" and "Fat" brought me back to being a kid and hearing him for the first time. And, those are such well written parody songs. He makes them almost more fun than the originals. When I was a kid I used to like the band Presidents of the United States of America, and one of their hit songs was "Lump". Well, "Gump", listening with adults ears, is a much, much better song. "Amish Paradise" might be the best parody song ever written. The song actually made Coolio so upset, that when he won a Grammy for "Gangster's Paradise", someone asked him about Weird Al's version, and he angrily polished the Grammy while saying he didn't care for it. It is a wonderful video to watch. I was big into the whole Puff Daddy, Mase and Biggie stuff as a kid, so to hear him parody one of their biggest hits, "It's All About the Benjamin's", was an absolute delight. My wife and I both love, and think "White and Nerdy" is one of the funniest songs ever written. The music video rules too. "Yoda" is great because he covers one of the greatest bands of the 60's, The Kinks, but he doesn't make fun of them. He just wrote a funny tune using their music. "Ebay" is a great song for people from my generation because of how big the Backstreet Boys were. To hear someone make fun of one of their songs was awesome. I mean, he even did a proper job of making a Nirvana song a parody. That is , in and of itself, a major accomplishment.

I'm so glad that I have opened my mind to music like Weird Al's now. He is truly a genius, and his song writing skill, even if he is a parody song writer, is second to none. He is funny, and he has made quite a career for himself doing this. I know he is on tour now, but he isn't doing the parody songs. He is doing something totally different, and I respect the hell out of that. I'm not going to see this tour, but if he goes on another world tour and does what he is famous for doing, you best believe I am going to see him.

Weird Al is a genius, and I love that I have endless hours of his music to listen to now. What a gem.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He forgot to mention modern classics like "Hamilton Polka", and the incredible "Trapped in the Drive Thru". Truly a gem

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Ty Listens to Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats New Album "Tearing at the Seams"

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Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats released their much anticipated second album about a week ago, and I'm here to tell you today that it was totally worth the wait.

I loved their first record. I love Rateliff's gruff voice. I love the way his band plays the music. They sound tight, and they can play that bluesy folk music almost as good as The Black Keys. Granted, I was very late to them the first time around, I am glad that I decided to give this band a try. I had kind of cooled on them after hearing their first record, and the song "Son of a Bitch" over and over again. Their record came out over a week ago, but I was still late to this one as well. I hadn't bought it yet because, to be quite frank, I had forgotten they were making a second one. But, a buddy of mine texted me the other day and said that their record was his favorite record right now. I trust this guy's opinion because he is a good friend, and we have very similar music tastes. So, that night after receiving his message, I bought the record. Now I am going to tell you all about it.

The new album is called "Tearing at the Seams" by the way. I decided that I would wait until the following day to give it a listen. I figured if my buddy said it was good, it would be, but I could wait. Well, since I bought it this past Saturday, I have been listening to it on repeat. This record, from top to bottom is truly wonderful. They sound so, so good. From the opening track to the closer, every song is perfect. I knew from the first note of the opening track, "Shoe Boot", that I was fully in on this record. When those horns come in, and the band plays with them, it is so uniquely Rateliff and his band. Then, after the almost 2 minute instrumental intro, Rateliff breaks into song, and the rest of the song rules. It is the PERFECT opener to a record like this, with a band that sounds like this. From there on out it is stunning. Immediately following "Shoe Boot", we get a great throwback R&B song that could have easily been recorded at Stax. The song is called "Be There", and it is amazing. Rateliff channels his inner 70's soul singer voice and crushes the vocals. The band plays a simple 4/4 rhythm, but it wonderful attached to the lyrics. A few songs later we get "Say It Louder", which sounds like one of the sweeter songs on the record. It is a great, but sad song, put to upbeat music. It is kind of fun to dance to I might add. "Say it Louder" is then followed by a very, very sweet song, "Hey Mama". I love this tune so much. It has excellent vocals and great piano playing attached to the rest of the instruments. And when the horns come in, I get chills every time I hear it. There are 2 songs featuring Lucius, "Babe I Know" and "Coolin Out". They couldn't be more different, but in all the right ways. "Babe I know" is one of the more tender songs on the record. It is played slowly and sweetly. "Coolin Out" has that Stax feel again, equipped with background singers doo the "shoo shoo" stuff. It is awesome. The title track, "Tearing at the Seams" is a thing of beauty. It is perfectly sung by Rateliff. Only he could pull off the vocals needed for a song like this. In fact, this song reminds me so much of something that The Band would have recorded back in the 70's, and I adore The Band. That is a very, very big compliment. I cannot understate enough how beautiful and classic this song sounds. "I'll Be Damned" is a great way to follow up the epic "Tearing at the Seams". It is more upbeat, faster paced and fun. This might be my favorite song to dance to on the record. My daughter also loves to jump up and down when this track plays. This also sounds most like stuff off his first record, in a good way. And closing the record out is the excellent "Boiled Over". It is such a good closer. It is slower and lets the band shine with how they play ballads. But, this track is a showcase for Rateliff's awesome and different singing style. He sings the hell out of this song. It is so god damn good. In fact, this whole record rules.

The songs I singled out today are the ones I really, really like. But, I like the whole record. This is a triumph. This record has me excited to see them live, and to see where they go from here. "Tearing at the Seams" is pretty much the perfect record for this genre of music. Seriously people, if you like Rateliff, want to check him out, or are just looking for some bluesy/folksy/old school R&B music to check out, buy this record now. It is totally worth it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He one time asked the Head Editor if he wanted to play some blues. The Head Editor declined, something about that music depresses him.

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Nothing Can Stop Lorde and Run the Jewels in an Epic Live Show

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This past Friday I had the pleasure of seeing Lorde on her Melodrama tour. What made it even better was the fact that my favorite group, Run the Jewels, was the opener. The only problem, I had a terrible stomach virus all weekend, and it started that evening. But, no virus was going to keep me from going to this show. My mom was excited for it too, so again, I had no real excuse to miss it. Try as I might, I just couldn’t bring myself to miss it.

When we got to the venue, RTJ was already on stage. I could hear them crushing “Legend Has It”, and my mom and I rushed to our seats. The moment we sat down, it was like my stomach told me that I had a couple hours to enjoy this before it crushed me. My stomach ache was gone and I was immediately vibing out to RTJ. I had just seen them a year earlier in Kansas City, and while their set wasn’t much different, a bit shorter is all, they were still amazing. It was real cool to see them in a bigger venue playing to a totally different crowd. The people in attendance ranged anywhere from 12-70. So, I’m sure some people were slightly taken off guard when RTJ was rapping their songs, but soon, it seemed the entire crowd was vibing with them. They ripped through a great 45 minute set. They did all their big songs and they crushed them all. They had light conversation in between songs. They made jokes at each other’s expense. It was El-P’s birthday, so the entire crowd gave him a hearty “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”. He seemed to enjoy that. As I said, they were amazing and I hope this tour will really help them explode. They deserve it, and more and more people need to hear RTJ. They rocked.

Then, right on schedule at 9pm, Lorde took the stage. I did not know what to expect. I have never seen a true pop show with a big time pop star. I expected many costume changes and a wild stage show. While she had a costume change, it was only one and it only took about 30 seconds. As far as the on stage show, it was tame compared to my expectations. She had about 6 dancers that were doing interpretive type dancing and a screen behind her showing video. Even the 2 big projection screens on each side of the stage were strictly showing Lorde perform. It was refreshing. But the most refreshing thing, Lorde is a hell of a performer and a wonderful singer. She was dancing on stage and owned the crowd all set long. She talked in between most songs, but it never felt unnecessary or boring. It was insightful. In fact, she might be one of the most mature 21 year olds I’ve ever heard speak. Also, she would mention how she wrote some of her songs when she was only 16. That’s amazing. When I was 16 I was too busy playing baseball and trying to get cheerleaders to go on dates. Meanwhile, Lorde is writing beautiful and touching music. And the music, my goodness is she incredibly talented. She sang all the hits, and they were all spectacular. Hearing “Team” live only made me like that song more. “400 Lux” was incredible. “The Louvre” was beautiful. “Homemade Dynamite” was outstanding. Even her cover of the wonderful Frank Ocean song “Solo” sounded glorious. Every song she sang was an absolute home run. The highlight of the show for me was when she sang “Writer in the Dark”. The stage was completely stripped down and she sat on a set piece. She told a story and then absolutely crushed the performance. Dare I say, it was moving to watch her sing that song live.

Lorde is a wunderkind. She is one of a kind. There is no other pop star like her out there right now. She is unique and different in all the right ways. I’m so glad I didn’t let some virus keep me from going to this show. She is an amazing talent, and I got to see RTJ for a second time. Saint Louis was only the second stop on their nation wide tour. So, if you get the chance, I highly recommend going to this show. It is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, in a good way. It was a wonderful evening and I’m glad I was able to share it with my mom. What an excellent live show. I still get chills thinking about it over 3 days later.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is still looking for a few hours of relief before he has to run off to the bathroom. Ty needs some industrial grade bismuth-subsalicylate.

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Ty Listens to "American Teen"

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I just recently bought the album "American Teen" by Khalid, and I know that I'm late to the party, but this record is very good. I saw his name on some best of lists for 2017, but at the time, I was heavily into hip hop. I had an iTunes gift card that my wife gave me for Valentines Day this year and I decided that now was the time to buy this record that I had heard so much about. I have to tell you, I wished I bought it sooner.

"American Teen" is a wonderful R&B album by an 18 year old. That is the first thing that stunned me the most when I heard his record for the first time, his age. He is so young, but he sings with the grace of a seasoned pro and his lyrics, while they are about high school, being young, being broke and silly teenage stuff, he makes them sound so much more important. I was on board right away with the first song, "American Teen". It has a very nice R&B sound and, like I said, his voice is amazing. I was still in shock while listening because of how young he is. I like when young kids do things that are old school, just look at all the things I have written about Leon Bridges, but Khalid is so much younger than most people I listen to. Hell, he is younger than most people that are full fledged pop stars. He's younger than Justin Bieber, Lorde, anyone from Migos, Selena Gomez, and he is so much better than them, with Lorde being the exception.

Khalid hasn't experienced nearly as much as his elder pop stars, not yet at least, but you would never know it when you hear the first song on this album. Then he follows the title track with the best song on the record, "Young, Dumb and Broke". This song is a perfect blend of teenage drama, R&B, soul and even a little hint of hip hop. This is the song I go back to multiple times every time I put this album on. My daughter loves it to. She will dance and sing along to it. As the record goes on, each song is very solid. There isn't a clunker or a skippable song in the bunch. Some stand outs for me are, "Location", "Another Sad Love Song", "Hopeless" and ""Keep Me". All of the songs are perfect R&B, but made so much better by Khalid's tremendous voice. His band is incredible as well. They add a great texture to the sound that he is trying to get across. "Location" has a super groovy guitar riff at the start and it kind of flows through the whole tune. The keyboard is very cool as well. Khalid's singing is so effortless on a track like this, and I mean that in the best possible way. I also like the sped up sample of his voice that comes in from time to time on the song. "Another Sad Love Song" could easily be the single off this record. It is a great song about heartbreak and breaking up and all the rough sides of going through those rough times. But, he sings it, and the band plays it, upbeat, which I love. I adore when musicians take "sad" songs and flip them on their head. The music is so poppy and upbeat and fun, you forget that you are listening to a song about heartache. "Hopeless" is a slower tune, and you need something like this on a record like this. It also has a cool synthy piano riff that makes the song that much more fun. Khalid also crushes the vocals on this record, and I love when he hits the high notes right before the chorus. "Keep Me" goes back to the synth well, but the guitar adds that flange type R&B sound that I became accustomed to when listening to this record on repeat for a week. The drum groove, while simple, is a perfect fit for this track. It is also a great lyrical song about asking someone out on a date.

The entire record has 15 songs on it, and they are all great. But, the ones that I singled out are my absolute favorites. Again, I could listen to any song on the album and be happy, and also impressed by the talent that is Khalid. He is starting to blow up a bit too, which is great. He is featured on "the Black Panther" soundtrack, so it is only going to get better and better for him from here on out. I'm very excited to see what he does next, just like I am to see what Leon Bridges will do next. In fact, I would love to see the two of them get together and record some stuff. That would rule.

I love this record, I love Khalid and I wish that I would have checked him out sooner. I guess better late than never. Seriously though, if you dig R&B music, and you want to hear a prodigy, it gets no better than Khalid's "American Teen".

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is thinking of cutting a jazz standards record. At 35 years old, he would be half the age of his jazz contemporaries.  

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Ty Will Not Watch American Idol

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I was scrolling through Twitter and Facebook the other morning and I saw that the show "American Idol" was coming back to TV. I believe that it is coming back this summer on NBC. I have a few thoughts about this news.

First and foremost, why? Why is this show coming back on TV? Who is clamoring for this? Shows get cancelled for a reason, and "American Idol" was cancelled because no one was watching it or talking about it anymore. I am not a fan of any singing competition show. I personally think they are all garbage. Why do people like Paula Abdul, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars and the dude that used to be a bassist that always told people they were "a little pitchy dog", hold clout over others, and get to judge people? Simon Cowell, I get. He is a producer. He is a star maker. That is what he does for a living, and he has made a great life for himself doing this. But, the other "judges", we have many failed pop stars, a crappy country musician, a wannabe and a guy who's name I cannot even remember, just to name a few. So, I ask again, why are you bringing this show back?

Maybe I am just the wrong audience for this show. But, people who I think this may appeal to, kids in their early teens, or maybe 10, 11 and 12 year olds, they are all watching other shows, or constantly on their phones. I know my nieces personally like "The Voice", and when they found out about "American Idol" returning, their response was akin to, "why are they copying "The Voice"". They have never really known a world with "American Idol", and contrary to what they think, my nieces and their friends will not leave a show like "The Voice" to watch "American Idol". They have their one singing competition show, and they won't abandon it. That is one thing I like about the younger generation. They have so many options, maybe too much, on TV, but when they find something they like, they stick to it. Hell, my nieces still prefer "Impractical Jokers" to "America's Funniest Home Videos", no matter how many times myself and their parents show it to them. So, if the new people behind "American Idol" think they might appeal to a new generation of viewer, forget about it.

As far as who may be clamoring for this show, I cannot think of anyone outside of people that once loved the show and stuck it out through the end of the first run. To me, that is a problem. I remember when "American Idol" first premiered, I was still living at home with my folks, fairly fresh out of high school. That was over 15 years ago. If the producers behind this new "American Idol" show are clamoring for that 18-34 prime viewing audience, they have missed out by a year.

After seeing that this show was coming back, I did a little further research and I remembered that it was first on Fox. So, a show that the Fox Network cancelled is coming back on TV, and ABC is putting it on. What the hell? Why ABC? You used to have, and still do, some quality TV. I mean you had a show like "Lost", and you know have a great show like "Blackish"  So, why are you bringing back a crappy singing competition show? You don't need this, literally. You guys can find ratings with your own original programming. You do not need to take on an old singing show for the nostalgic audience. That is a complete waste of your time. This show will do nothing but cause you a headache. You should never have taken it on. 

Another thought, and maybe what made me most upset, I saw who the new judges were. Of course Ryan Seacrest is back because he has nothing better to do. He is never, ever going to be a famous host of any show. He had his chance, he blew it, and now, he is an afterthought. I had forgotten about him, and when I told my wife that "American Idol" was coming back, we both thought of Brian Dunkleman before Ryan Seacrest. Hell, I'd rather see Dunkleman hosting this show in its new format. Seacrest is a has been. And then we have the judges. First off, why are you doing this Lionel Ritchie? You were once a sought after musician. The song "Easy Like Sunday Morning" is a classic, and you sang the hell out of that song. Your solo stuff, while I'm not a fan, was pretty big. You are a well known, famous musician. You, much like ABC, do not need to do this. I wish you had said no. Katy Perry is like a lesser version of Paula Abdul. She is just about as good a singer, which is not a compliment, and I would be willing to bet a ton of money that she won't be nearly as funny without knowing it as Abdul was. Paula Abdul was a train wreck on TV, but it was a compelling train wreck to watch. You literally never knew what she was going to do next. It was, at times, exhilarating. Katy Perry is milquetoast. She is going to be boring and dull. I have no desire to watch a mediocre pop singer judge worse singers. The third new judge, some dude named Luke Bryan, I have no idea who he is. Doing some internet research revealed to me that he is a country singer. I cannot name one single song of his, and that makes me proud of myself.

Looking at these judges further made me realize that the new "American Idol" is kind of doing a "The Voice" rip off with the judges. Now, there is no one that has ever been on "the Voice" that will reach Lionel Ritchie fame. But, you have the female judge, a la Aguilera and Gwen Stefani from "The Voice", and "American Idol" has Perry. And both have mild to mediocre country musicians as judges. Like I said, they are stealing ideas from other singing competition shows. It is lazy.

One final thought about all of this. For all the "fame" that previous "American Idol" winners have achieved, are any of them really, truly famous besides Kelly Clarkson? You may throw out names like Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and that annoying dude that always yelled "soul patrol!". I say back, Underwood isn't as famous as you might think. She is actually kind of grating. My son, who is 6, heard her singing before the Super Bowl, and he asked why "this terrible song is on right now". So, I don't buy the hype around Underwood. While Studdard has made his name known on Gospel charts, more people know him as the guy that beat Clay Aiken. That is it. Fantasia has been on "The Simpsons", and she too has a kind of cult following, but again, people always seem to say, "oh yeah, I kind of remember her". The "soul patrol" guy, he is nowhere. The only person, outside of Clarkson, who is a bona fide star, that has achieved any success from "American Idol" is Jennifer Hudson. And, she came in 6th place on her season. She didn't even get to the finale. Also, she is more known for her acting than her signing.

This is a terrible, horrible idea and I wish that ABC had rejected it instead of bringing it back on. This is so stupid.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is known to hum a few bars, and rock out to, "Pants on the Ground".  

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Ty Watches "May it Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers"

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Yesterday I watched "May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers". This was a very good documentary. Now, it needs to be said, if you are not an Avett Brothers fan, this movie may not be for you. Luckily for me, I love the Avett Bros. I own all their music. I've paid to see them multiple times in concert. I enjoy their entire catalog. I love how they have turned the folk/bluegrass/alternative/country genre on its head. They are a band that cannot be put into one genre. They expand them all. They are an awesome band.

The main premise of "May It Last" focused on their time recording their last record, "True Sadness". But, it was about so much more. That is what I loved about this movie. It takes us to personal and deep places that I had no idea about with this band that I adore. I have always had enormous respect for this band because of their exceptional writing. I just figured that they were deep dudes that had a great talent. To hear the stories that they tell when writing specific songs, it was amazing. It was touching. It was, at times, heartbreaking. Just thinking back at the movie, hearing Seth Avett talk about writing "Divorce Separation Blues", it almost made me cry. To hear him and his brother talk about all the things they went through sounded very, very rough. I loved how open and honest Scott Avett, the older brother, was about the divorce. He talked about telling his brother to just get over it, and that he has broken up with girls before. But when Seth told him all that he was going through, he completely flipped the script. That was astonishing to see brothers be so open about a very horrible situation.

Another song writing and recording scene that will always stick with me is when they do "No Hard Feelings". Man, that was brutal and beautiful at the same time. To hear Seth Avett sing his heart out, and then watch him be so drained was spectacular. To see Scott just kind of paralyzed afterward, phenomenal. Then, to watch them talk about what they were going through while writing and recording, it was a beautiful piece of film making. Judd Apatow did a great, great job directing that scene, and this whole movie for that matter.

Some other things I really enjoyed about this movie was the closeness that, not only the brothers, but the band has with each other. Their bass player, Bob Crawford, is a great human being. Hearing his story of meeting the brothers and joining the band was awesome. The fact that they just had him play with them in a parking lot was so cool. Then, to hear all the stuff he has gone through with his daughter, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 2, she is okay now, made me cry. To hear all of the members talk about their feelings while going through this just further hammered home their closeness and how much they like playing music and just generally being with each other. Hearing Joe Kwon's story, their cellist, was awesome. Again, he was a guy they called based on a recommendation from a buddy, he joins the band, then does all this other stuff just so he can continue to play music with them was great. He literally does a ton of stuff for the band. He is their chef, computer guy, friend and cellist. Kwon is a cool dude, and he brings an added element to a band that already is hard to box in.

I absolutely loved hearing about the brothers as kids. Being a little brother myself, it was easy to relate. I have 3 older brothers where Seth Avett just has Scott. But, the stories are the same. As brothers you dislike one another as kids, then the older brother becomes the protector, then when you are adults, it is all respect. Again, it was so easy for me to understand and relate to. The fact that they have remained this close and played in a band together for so long is so cool. They have a crazy amount of respect for each other, and that is great. To see them as a young hard rock band was pretty cool. I had no idea that they did that, but it makes sense when you hear some of their early stuff. I'm glad they changed to acoustic guitars and banjos, but again, it was neat to see their path. The stuff with Rick Rubin was great. He is, without a doubt, the greatest producer that has ever lived. All the things he has done in music, the people he has worked with and the gold he has made with those people and bands is truly amazing. He is a genius and I will argue anyone that disagrees with me on this point. Rick Rubin is a legend. Seeing their families, their kids, their wives and girlfriends, it was all wonderful and so great to see them be so open with everything. They literally let HBO and Apatow film whatever they wanted. And never once did I think that they came off as pretentious or off putting.

The Avett Brothers seem to be down to earth, cool dudes that just happen to be wonderful musicians. I cannot recommend this movie enough, especially for Avett Bros fans. "May It Last" is well worth your time.

"May it Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers" is currently available on HBO Go and HBO Now

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Ty tried to start a band with his brothers. He wanted to play blues, the head editor wanted to play thrash metal, the other two brothers were advocating for jam band type music. The band never took off.

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Run the Jewels is the Best Band in World Right Now

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The older I get the more I enjoy hip hop. I do not know why, I just do. It is always good to dance, workout, run and play basketball to. When hip hop is buzzing in my ear, it just makes me want to move. I also enjoy listening to it in my car because I can vibe out when I go on long or short trips. Hip hop, at least good hip hop, is the best music out there.

The short preamble leads me to my point of my piece today. I was cleaning my home yesterday and listening to Run the Jewels on my Amazon Alexa. It made the cleaning go by so much faster. It seemed easier. I wasn't as stressed as normal. I was grooving to the music as I cleaned. And when I finished cleaning, I just let the music keep going. As I sat there and listened to more and more RTJ I came upon a realization that I thought was impossible. But, I can now say with a clear conscious that RTJ has supplanted The Black Keys as my favorite band. Now, this isn't to say that I don't like The Black Keys anymore. It is the opposite. I still love and adore their music. I will always listen to them. I will always be excited when new Black Keys music comes out. I'm hopeful that they will put out a new record this year. I like Auerbach's solo stuff, but he is so much better as one half of The Black Keys. So yes, I still love their music. They are just my second favorite band now. There are just so many special things about Run the Jewels.

First off, El-P is the best producer in hip hop, no ifs ands or buts about it. He makes the best beats. He is far and away better than anyone else doing it right now. I'm sure younger people will bash me with their favorites, and old hip hop heads will throw out people they think are better, but El-P is a genius. Hell, even Killer Mike says in a song of RTJ's that, "a producer gave me a beat, said it is the beat of the year, I said El-P didn't produce it, so get the fuck outta here". That is poetry, and the truth. He is a genius. Oh, and by the way, he happens to be an incredible rapper. He is amazing. He is smooth and his flow is stupendous. His lyrics are amazing. He is the perfect sidekick to Killer Mike.

And Killer Mike, my god is that dude a beast. He is fast climbing my list as favorite rappers. Biggie is still one, Jay Z two and Kendrick Lamar three, but Killer Mike is at fourth, right behind Lamar, and he may surpass him soon. He is so awesome. He is so fierce and fast and spits some of the best verses ever written in rap music. He is also a political leader. While not a politician, I believe and follow pretty much every word he says when it comes to politics. When he goes off on trolls on Twitter it is a thing of beauty. He is amazing.

Put these two geniuses together and it is bliss. Every single RTJ song is perfect hip hop. It is the right blend of both of their talents. They know how to bounce off one another perfectly. They compliment each other the exact right way. They have fun while performing their songs. They work together better than any other hip hop duo that I have ever listened to. It was clear how much they like each other, and like working with each other when I saw them live last year. It is amazing to see two guys in the music industry that legitimately enjoy one another's company. They are wonderful.

Then their records. RTJ 1, 2 and 3 are the best hip hop records that I have ever listened to. RTJ 1 was like a bolt of lighting. It comes hard and it comes fast. It is like they each took one big breath and just busted out 10 phenomenal rap songs. RTJ 2 was when they started to get more political and attack corrupt politicians and it was awesome. The song with Zack de la Rocha on that record is, maybe, the best hip hop song ever. Then, as RTJ would say, on Christmas morning at midnight, like a "Christmas fucking miracle", they released RTJ 3. I cannot stop listening to this record to this day. I will listen to it all the way through at least once a week. It is a great blend of their first 2 records. Lately I have been blasting "Message to the Shareholders/Kill Your Masters" a ton. This is the perfect song, and RTJ 3 is the perfect protest record right now.

While I used to feel this same way about all Black Keys music, it just isn't the same anymore. As I said, I still love, and look forward to, new and old Black Keys stuff. But, I crave new RTJ music. It is an addiction for me now. Hell, even my daughter, who is 2, knows how much her father loves RTJ. She asked me the other day, "daddy, are we listening to RTJ?", and I couldn't have been happier. She has never said that about The Black Keys, and she has heard them just as much. My son is the same, although I try not to listen to them as much with him in the car because he is just about to turn 6 and I don't need him to get in trouble for quoting RTJ in school, even though that would be amazing. But, the rare times he does hear them he likes it. He told me he likes the beats. He also told me that, outside of the kids music we listen to, RTJ is his favorite. I still love The Black Keys, but Run the Jewels is now my favorite band.

It doesn't matter what genre, what people, what era, RTJ is the best of the best for me. Maybe this will change, when I was a teenager no one was better than Bob Marley until I heard The Black Keys, but I doubt it. I'm at an age now where when I put my hooks into something I stick with it. Run the Jewels is the best band making music and I will not hear otherwise. If you doubt this statement, go listen to them, preferably "Message to the Shareholders/Kill Your Masters", and let your mind be blown away by their awesomeness. RTJ rules.

P.S., sorry for the curse words mom and dad.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. When Ty was 10 years old, he made a detailed flow chart on how Puff Daddy passed up MC Hammer as the greatest rapper ever. The innocence of youth.

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Do Yourself a Favor and Listen to Some RL Burnside

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Earlier today, while driving in my car, I decided that I wanted to hear some grimy, gritty and dirty blues music. I had just recently listened to some old Black Keys, so they weren't an option. Same with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. I thought about Led Zeppelin, but I wasn't in the mood for 14 minute long blues jams. I then dug deep into my iPod and I found some RL Burnside. It had been a long while since I listened to him, so I decided that was what I going to go with for the day.

Boy was that the perfect choice for the music I was craving. RL Burnside does the gritty stuff great. He does the grimy stuff even better. But when you want dirty, muddy and greasy blues music, there is no better option. RL was ahead of his time even though he was in his late 60's and early 70's before he even recorded an album. 

The record I chose was "A Ass Pocket of Whiskey", and it was better than anything that Jon Spencer, The White Stripes and, and dare I even say it, early Black Keys have ever done. His voice is so perfect for this style of music. He has that old man growl that I adore when it comes to the blues. It is stupendous. You can feel his pain when he sings, but you can also tell that he is having a blast recording. When he is singing, you can tell he feels that he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. It is like he was put on Earth to sing grimy blues music. His version of the classic blues tune "Stop Breaking Down" is the best of any cover of that song. Bands like The White Stripes, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and The Black Keys have all covered this. They don't come close to Burnside's version. The growl and the groans are wonderful. The pain is awesome. The smoothness that his voice brings to this song is perfection. I love it so very much. This goes for all his songs, originals or covers. He knew exactly what he was doing when he was in the studio. One thing that will haunt me is the fact that I never got to see him live. I bet his shows were a blast. I bet he had so much fun on stage and I bet it showed. Man I wish I could have seen him live.

But, it isn't just himself that rules. His band, and his guitar was some of the best gritty and muddy blues ever recorded. The way he used reverb and distortion on every song, stupendous. When I play the blues I like to use the same stuff, but I am not 1/10 the player he was. And it wasn't like he was playing intricate or super hard music. He was playing standard 12 bar blues on his guitar, but the way he used the 2 main effects that he chose, it was masterful. I can see why he was such a big influence on Dan Auerbach. He uses reverb and distortion, especially in the early days, almost as good as Burnside used to. His backing band was great too. The drummer was awesome. I'm not a big fan of drums when it comes to the blues. When you use it like RL's backing band did, it works. To keep the beat for the band, but also use fills, make it sound just as dirty and to have fun with the drums, it was great. The bassist used reverb and distortion just like RL, and, again, it was perfectly simpatico. The way the bass bounced off the guitar was kismet. Again, I love it. Even the backing vocals were perfection. The guys that yell sing with RL, it just works so god damn well. On the song "Snake Drive", when the backup singer yells the words at the end, I don't want it to stop. They have another song where the backup singer is just straight up talking to RL and it is awesome. He is just asking RL random questions, RL answers him in his gruff voice, and it is oddly perfect.

RL lived a fast and hard life and it comes across in his music. He has a famous quote that sums up his music perfectly. When he was younger he spent some time in jail for shooting a guy. He was asked in court why he killed that man, and he said, "I didn't kill that man, the bullet from the gun I shot did". I know, that is crazy. But, when you listen to his music, it weirdly makes sense. Also, he shot and killed a guy, was released from jail and became a folk hero in the blues music scene. How crazy is that?!

RL Burnside died over a decade ago, but his music still lives on. If you like the grimy stuff, the gritty, the muddy and the dirty blues, filled with reverb and distortion, go listen to anything that RL Burnside recorded. He was an awesome blues musician, and I will forever listen to his music any time I want to get down and dirty with the blues. I suggest you do the same.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is only 1/10th the blues player that RL Burnside was, but Ty is 6/7 of acoustic guitar player of the random weirdo strumming at your local coffee shop.

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Ty Listens to "Goin' Platinum!"

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After the holidays is when I like to catch up on some music that I haven't heard yet, but have been looking forward to. I usually get some iTunes gift cards and use them on all the stuff I have wanted to hear, but just haven't gotten around to yet. This year I got some good stuff, but the cream of the crop was Robert Finley's newest record, "Goin' Platinum!".

Truth be told, I hadn't heard anything of Finley's until I saw that Dan Auerbach, of The Black Keys, was producing this new record. He did his own solo record, the very good "Waiting on a Song", with a new label, Easy Eye Sound. This piqued my interest because I am an unabashed fan of Auerbach. I mean, he has The Black Keys and everything else he has done on is own and has produced is awesome. So, I checked out some of Finley's stuff on YouTube, and what I heard and saw, I was on board with. Finley is an older gentleman, and he has that sound to his music. His voice is so perfect for what he does. He has that blues-y growl to his voice, but he can do ballads and standard, old school R&B when it is called for. Needless to say, I wanted to hear his new record when it came out.

I waited, but it was the first thing I bought the day after Christmas. I have not stopped listening to it ever since. I adore this record. It has everything that I enjoy about modern artists doing old school music. It also totally helps that the backing band, The Easy Eye Review, has a very Black Keys-ish sound to their music. The Easy Eye Review sounds like a mixture of "Brothers" Black Keys and Auerbach's first solo record. Then, when Finley drops in his guitar and vocals, it all blends perfectly.

From start to finish this record is solid. The opener, "Get it While You Can", has a great guitar riff at the top, then it is all brought home by Finley's vocals. He uses that blues growl and tears through this song. It is a perfect way to set up the rest of this record. From here on out the record trades genres with ease. The songs, "If You Forget My Love" and "Honey Let Me Stay the Night" blend rock and R&B excellently. "Honey Let Me Stay the Night" has some great backing vocals by the Easy Eye Review's singers. They add the extra pop that this song needs. "Medicine Woman" is a trippy, throw back blues song that rules. Great lyrics, vocals and music throughout. "Real Love is Like a Hard Crime" should be a single played on radio. Finley howls through this song in all the right ways. I find myself openly humming this song, or outright singing it, as I walk through the house while I'm cleaning, changing diapers or running on the treadmill. It is such a great song. This song also has the backing vocals that permeate the record. "Complications" is a great straight forward blues song. Finley's vocals on this are the icing on the cake that is this record. When he scream sings "Complications", I cannot get enough of it. The closer, "Holy Wine", is a perfect ending to this great record. It is sweet and nice and just a gem. I love this song very, very much. In fact, I love this entire record.

I know Finley is an older gentleman, but he is doing throwback music perfectly. I'm sure it helps that he grew up with this kind of music, but he didn't get any real notoriety until now for playing this kind of music. This record is so in my alley. It has everything that I like about music, minus any hip hop. But, Finley is not a hip hop musician. He is a rock/blues/R&B musician. I also love that Auerbach worked on this album with him. I am also stoked that he is currently on tour with Auerbach, opening the shows for him. I'm very much considering going to see them both in Kansas City, that is the closest they are coming to Saint Louis, and it is not just to hear Auerbach's new stuff live. I want to hear Finley perform just as much.

If you like old school music with a modern twist, check out "Goin' Platinum!". It is so good, and it fills that need of no new Leon Bridges music yet for me. It is an awesome record.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He needs some good bluesy tunes to help with the diaper changes.

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The Best of Everything in 2017

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Welcome to the final day of 2017. The year has featured a lot of good stuff, and a whole lot of stuff we want to forget, COUGH Trump COUGH. In order to celebrate we are going to focus mostly on the good stuff. Check out all of our best of the year articles, and enjoy the X Millennial Man 2017 Year in Review podcast. 

Oh, and have a Happy New Year.

The Best Films

The Best Television

The Best Music

The Best Podcasts

The Best Sports Moments

The X Millennial Man Year in Review

The Staff at SeedSing

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The Best Albums of 2017

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On to day 2 of my best of 2017 lists. Today we will focus on my top 5 albums of the year. My list has many different genres, but the main theme is rap/hip hop. It was a decent year for music, not as good as movies, but still pretty good. For example, Beck's new album is not on my list, Khalid's "Teenage Dream" was close, but not quite there, I love Big K.R.I.T., but his new record didn't make my list. I did not have as much trouble pairing my list down, but it still took awhile. Anyway, here we go.

At number 5 I have "Humanz" by the Gorillaz. First off, I was shocked that other publications left this record off their best of lists. "Humanz" was a long time coming, and I thought it was totally worth the wait. Damon Albarn has created something truly special with the Gorillaz. There will never be another band like this. Anyone that tries to do what he did will be called imitators. Albarn was way ahead of the curve as far as creativeness comes. With "Humanz", he took those creative juices and let them flow. It was like there was never a break from their last record. The record is so good and it flows perfectly. The guest list is second to none. You have people ranging from Vince Staples to Grace Jones to Danny Brown, and of course, De La Soul. The Gorillaz have taken on this EDM/rock/rap genre to a whole new level, and "Humanz" is a prime example of that. From start to finish this record is awesome. I love "Charger" featuring Grace Jones and their collaboration with Danny Brown, but the best song is "Moments", featuring De La Soul. That is the perfect Gorillaz song. "Humanz" is a delight.

At number 4, speaking of Vince Stales, I have his newest record, "Big Fish Theory". I was hesitant at first with this record. I was lukewarm on his early stuff, but after hearing him on "Humanz", I decided to give "Big Fish Theory" a shot. Boy am I glad I did. Staples is doing something unique as well. He blends electronic beats with politically conscious lyrics, all the while making it fun. Staples rapping is awesome on this record. He truly knocks his vocals out of the park. He seamlessly moves from party music to straight forward rap to conscious rap. With this record I feel like he has started to hit his stride. He has found his niche as a rapper. "Big Fish Theory" is fun, but also a much needed album in our current political climate. If he continues on this path, I do not see why he won't be as big as Chance the Rapper in the next year or two.

At number 3, going completely away from rap and electronic and cartoon bands, I have the return of LCD Soundsystem with their new record, "American Dream". As you all know by now I am a big, big fan of this group. I love how they blend pop, punk, funk, electronic and rock all into one. I love how they can do a slower song, then follow it up with a 3 minute punk song, then blend electronic with rock and play a 7 minute epic tune. James Murphy is one of a kind. While he may come off a bit pretentious, the dude can sing and write music. "American Dream" has all of this and so much more. From start to finish this album is a homerun. They are the modern day Talking Heads. In fact, thee first time I listened to this record, I was with my father and he asked if it was the Talking Heads. LCD Soundsystem has that same sound, just modernized. This record, another one that we all had to wait for, was totally worth it. You could tell they spent a ton of time in the studio trying to perfect the record. I believe they achieved that goal. "American Dream" also has some great songs about how rough our country is nowadays. We need more and more artists to address the current problems in our country. LCD Soundsysten does that on this record. "American Dream" is awesome and worth the wait. It is nice to have them back.

At number 2, and I had a very rough time with which one of these 2 albums I was going to put at 1, I chose Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN". "DAMN" is amazing. It is basically 1B compared to the record I will talk about next. Kendrick Lamar is the best solo rapper out there right now, and "DAMN" more than proves this. On his other records he can be more of a poet, channeling his inner Tupac, and a bit more obtuse, which I like, but on "DAMN", he makes a straight forward rap album, but with how exceptional he is, he makes it so much better than anything Drake or anyone else of that ilk, can do. This record bumps from start to finish. "DNA" has to be the song of the year. The beat and the intro to that song are amazing. He then tackles so many different themes throughout the 11 songs on the record. He calls out Fox News, Geraldo Rivera and the "president" all within 1 song. The track featuring U2, a band that I do not like at all, is awesome. If you can make me like U2, that is an accomplishment in and of itself. Even a song like "Humble", the chart topping hit from this record, is the bomb. Usually chart toppers get stale after a few listens,  but not "Humble". Kendrick Lamar continues to amaze me, and I cannot wait to hear his next record. Until then, I have "DAMN" to listen to.

And finally for my number one. There is no record better in 2017 than Lorde's "Melodrama". What a piece of art this record is. Lorde shines so bright on this album. She bounces from many different genres, sometime in the same song, so effortlessly. She is one of the best pop singers on the planet, but she can also do ballads as good as Adele, and she is light years ahead of someone like Taylor Swift when it comes to straight forward pop music. From the opener, "Green Light" to songs like "Writer in the Dark" and "Homemade Dynamite" and "Liability", she takes on many different genres. I know she is well known, but I am shocked that she isn't on the same level as some other pop stars. I don't hear her songs on the radio as much as Taylor Swift or Ed Sheerhan or anyone else who doesn't have 1/10 her talent. Lorde rules. I am so psyched that I get to see her live in March. It is also pretty dope that Run the Jewels is opening for her. "Melodrama" is a masterpiece. Lorde achieved legendary status on this record to me. If she never makes another album, I will be happy with what we got from her. I hope she makes more music, I'm sure she will, but she totally crushed it on "Melodrama". It is the best record of the year. I have no doubt about that now.

That is it for my top 5 records of the year. Come back tomorrow for my top 5 TV shows of the year.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He was struggling about what to do with Taylor Swift's new record. He has never heard it, never will hear it, but thought she deserved a mention. There, we mentioned her.

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The "Monster Mash" is a Bright Spot in the Halloween Season

 Even the Fremont Troll is in for the "Monster Mash"

Even the Fremont Troll is in for the "Monster Mash"

Happy Halloween. Please enjoy this post from holidays past. The article was originally posted on October 31st, 2016.

I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween. I think that I've made that pretty clear on this website and podcast. Halloween died for me the day my parents told me, at 13, that I was too old to go trick or treating anymore. I couldn't argue with them, they were right. Who was I fooling by going out there with my football jersey on, that's right, it was my jersey, not some NFL or college players jersey, and trying to get free candy from strangers. It felt weird doing that, as a teenager. I've also never been one for dressing up, be it in costume, for a party, a funeral, a wedding, basically any fancy occasion. I like to wear t shirts and jeans, cargo shorts or athletic shorts. That is what is most comfortable, so that is what I feel like I should wear. So, the idea of putting on a costume or makeup or both, that is unappealing to me. Since 13, I have not been a fan of this "holiday". I also don't like being spooked, I hate scary movies, I don't like haunted houses and the puns made around this time of year are atrocious. Even with 2 small children, I still do not get into the spirit. Call me a curmudgeon, an old man, an angry old man, whatever, I just do not get excited for Halloween. I do go out and trick or treat with my children, I'm not a monster, but I'm always happy when it is over.

But, there is one thing, and probably the only thing, that I do like about Halloween. I like, neigh, I LOVE the song "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett. First off, I love the 50's/60's music sound. I love how genuine and nice and kind of dirty that it can get. I'm a big Buddy Holly fan. I love all the old time blues guys, think Robert Johnson. I'm just a big fan of that older sound of music. "Monster Mash" is the perfect representation of the goofy, yet extremely catchy sound of the 50's/60's rock/pop music.

The song is hilarious first off. The singer sings the song in a very deep, trying to sound scary but not pulling it off, voice that is unforgettable. The song also has background singers doing some of the best background work in spoof music history. The "ooh ah ooh"'s that sprinkle that song and the hushed vocals during the chorus are glorious. The music is trying to be spooky, but it comes off kooky, in the best possible way. The instruments and sounds are great. The bubbling cauldron at the beginning is great. Then, it's your typical 4/4 groove with 3 chords. The "Monster Mash", in its simplicity, is so much better than any Ramones song ever, and I will debate anyone for the length of time why I'm right about this.

Then there are the lyrics, my goodness, what a hilariously ridiculous song. Pickett sets the table beautifully from the start. He paints a very real depiction of a goofy Halloween story. The first line, "I was working in the lab, late one night/when my eyes beheld an eerie sight/for my monster from my slab began to rise/and suddenly to my surprise". Perfect. He is a mad scientist that had a late night, and Frankenstein I'm going to assume, awakes from his slumber. But, instead of attacking this scientist, the chorus lets us know that Frankenstein just wants to do the monster mash. They never tell us how to do the monster mash, but we do know that it is a graveyard smash, so I guess all the monsters at the graveyard can really boogie, but they can only do the monster mash. In the second verse, Pickett talks about how all the ghouls and monsters and vampires and the like come to him to get a jolt so they too can do the monster mash. It is so silly, yet so damn catchy. I'm humming it in my head as I type this. Then, after all the monsters get their jolt, they all proceed, along with Frankenstein, to do the monster mash, and we are led to believe that it is still a graveyard smash. In the third verse, we hear that every monster is there, including, the Wolfman, zombies, Dracula, and even Dracula's son. This dance has turned this graveyard into party central. And now, not only are they dancing the monster mash, they are singing it as well. These monsters are having the time of their lives, thanks to the monster mash. But, in a stunning twist during the fourth verse, Dracula wants to know why no one is doing the Translyvania Twist? Well Dracula, I'd like to know as well, and Pickett explains why in the next verse. The other monsters let him know that this is a strictly monster mash party, and at the next party they have, they will all gladly do the Translyvania Twist. Instead of getting angry and biting necks, Dracula is cool with this arrangement and goes back to the party. The "Monster Mash" ends with it's unforgettable chorus, and the song is over.

I really do truly love this song. I love the goofiness, the music, the vocals, everything. I think this song is great. It is an undeniable classic as well. Everyone spoofs it to. From the "Comedy Bang! Bang!" podcast to "The Simpsons", someone somewhere has a "Monster Mash" spoof that they are waiting to unleash. So, while Halloween may not be for me, at least I'll always have the "Monster Mash" to get me through it. Thanks Bobby Pickett.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is not quite as high on the sequel to "The Monster Mash", the unfortunate "Monster Swim". Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

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Ty Listens to Beck's New Album "Colors"

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Time to take a little break from sports and get back to other pop culture things for awhile. Today I want to review Beck's new album, "Colors". I have been waiting for this record since I saw Beck live over a year ago. He played a few of the songs live, teased the crowd that the record was coming soon, but much to mine and my brother's surprise, nothing came out for weeks. Weeks turned into months. Then Beck finally announced that the record was on hold due to some mixing and song choice stuff. So the wait continued. Finally, Beck announced that his record was going to come out on October 13th. I was still leery because this was a "Friday the 13th" day, but thankfully the record was released. I listened to it immediately, of course.

At first listen I was very happy with what I heard, but a tinge of disappointment hit me for some reason. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I had heard some people say that "Colors" was his funkiest record since "Midnite Vultures", but that was false praise. Maybe it is my unconditional love for "Midnite Vultures", and it will be nearly impossible for any Beck record to reach the love I have for that album, but I definitely do not think "Colors" is anywhere near "Midnite Vultures". So, the record was at an unfair disadvantage right off the bat. But, I kept listening. It is Beck, so I am not going to write it off after one listen. The more I listen to it, the more I begin to really enjoy it.

I think "Colors", while not "Midnite Vultures", is a nice change of pace from his last record, "Morning Phase". This is what Beck does. He changes the style/genre on every other album. He is incredibly versatile as a musician, and that is what I love about him. So, after getting over my comparison to "Midnite Vultures", and just taking "Colors" for what it is, a pop record, I have grown to like it more and more, as I said before. The record is fun. The songs blend seamlessly. Each song is more fun than the next. Beck and his band sound like they had a blast recording this record. With "Morning Phase" he went straight folk, and the songs were pretty sad, but with "Colors", it is all fun.

I love the first track, the title track, "Colors". It opens with a bang. It is a poppy blast of a song. I love to listen to it while I walk home from taking my son to school, or when I work out. In fact, this whole record is great for working out. The next four songs are very solid pop songs. "Seventh Heaven" is fun, with a great chorus. "I'm So Free" is one of the "slower" songs, but still pretty poppy and pretty good. I love the song "Dear Life". I love the piano. It is awesome. It ranks right up there with the all time great piano stuff Beck does. The song is the perfect running song too. "No Distraction" is a good change of pace. It is a bit more up tempo pop song. The next 2 songs are the "hits" from the record that he played live when I saw him. "Dreams" is a whimsical song that is so awesomely produced. The sounds and the instruments and the lyrics are just perfect. "Wow" is a hit. This is classic Beck. This is the funkiest, coolest and most like rap music song on the record. When he says, "jujitsu, coming at girl with a Lamborghini shitzu", I love it every time. We blast this song in my car. My son loves to sing the chorus. My daughter tells me, "it's our song daddy". Even my wife, who is a Beck skeptic, thinks "Wow" is great. This song is awesome. It is the best song on the record. The last 3 songs are a great way to close out a very good album. "Up All Night" is another fun, fast paced pop song. "Square One" is about as straight forward a song as one will ever get from Beck. It is actually kind of nice to hear him do a paint by the numbers pop song. The closer, "Fix Me" is truly wonderful. This song sounds like it could have been on "Morning Phase", but it is such a perfect fit to close out "Colors". Beck sings the song beautifully, and it is just a nice ending to a solid record.

Look, the wait made my anticipation go through the roof. That is unfair to a musician that constantly comes through no matter what. Beck has never put out a record that isn't well thought out and one that he hasn't worked incredibly hard on. You cannot say that about a lot of musicians that have reached his level of stardom. It was also unfair of whatever reviewer called it a modern day "Midnite Vultures". Nothing will ever be as good as that record. But, for what "Colors" is, a pop record, it is one of the better ones out there right now. This record proves how versatile Beck is, and how he still is making great music 20 plus years into an extraordinary career from one of the best/weirdest/most influential musicians of the 20th century. "Colors" only gets better the more you listen to it. That is the sign of a very good album. I highly recommend it to everyone that loves good music.  

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is just part of "silver foxes looking for romance in the chain-smoke Kansas flash dance ass pants."

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Ty Listens to "American Dream"

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After a 6 year layoff, and having one of the greatest close out concerts in recent memory, LCD Soundsystem released their newest "comeback" album, "American Dream". I have already listened to it twice and I have to say, this record is amazing. It is oddly comforting for me. They sound like a better version of themselves from the past. They sound so much tighter. They sound like they are having the most fun of their professional careers. James Murphy has never sounded better, at least in my opinion. The music and the writing is absolutely top notch. I am so very impressed by this record.

I got an email from Ticketmaster this morning that was a message from Murphy. He stated that the new record was out, how hard they had worked on it, and he said that he felt like this is the best work they have ever done. This made me a teeny tiny bit worried. I always get cold feet when someone says, "this is the best work we have ever done". Especially when it is a band that I love. Their earlier stuff is already amazing, and I already stated that their final concert, which was made into a tremendous movie, "Shut Up and Play the Hits", was fantastic. So I didn't know how much better they could truly get.

I bought the record, because of course I was going to buy it. I turned it on, and I was so very, very impressed by what I was listening to. You can tell that they really poured their heart and souls into this new record. The 6 year layoff almost seems worth it because "American Dream" is so wonderful. Like I said, I have never heard James Murphy sound this great. He sounds like modern day David Bryne. In fact, I was listening to the record with my dad and he asked me if The Talking Heads put out a new record. He didn't think it was LCD Soundsystem. And, it is not like he doesn't know the band. He listens to them with me all the time. The more I thought about that comment from my dad, I thought that was the best way to describe this new record. On "American Dream", LCD Soundsystem sounds like a 21st century Talking Heads. That is a tremendous compliment for those that know me. I became a big Talking Heads fan after college, and to hear a modern band that I am a big fan of sound like them is just phenomenal. Every song has that Talking Heads sound, but put into the 21st century. It is like a mix of Talking Heads and Daft Punk, in all the best possible ways. LCD Soundsystem brings that excellent electronic sound combined with their rock and roll roots. The band, especially the keys player, plays synth music so perfectly. Then, the guitarist, bassist and drummer add that rock to the mix and it is such a wonderful combination of great musicians. Then throw in Murphy's vocals and it is a perfect collection of great musicians coming together at the best possible time.

Every song on the record is tremendous. It is hard to just point out one or 2. I wrote and talked about the 2 songs they released early as singles, and the rest of the record is just as good as those songs were the first time I heard them. Every song has that classic LCD Soundsystem slow burn and then explosion that just makes you want to dance. I was grooving very hard in my car, and so was my daughter. She was having a blast in her car seat. The record only has 10 songs, but it runs a shade over an hour long. That is about 6 minutes per song, but none of the songs seem that long. In fact, I wish all the songs were pushing 10 minutes. This isn't a jam band, all these songs have proper progressions and the 6 minute plus run time per song is perfect. I could listen to this band play a 20 minute long song and never feel bored. They are so much more fun than jam bands.

I love LCD Soundsystem and "American Dream" is a tremendous return. I hope they continue to play live shows and they continue to make more and more new music. I'm so glad that they are back and they are still making some of the best music out there right now. Welcome back LCD Soundsystem, and please stick around for another decade making great, great music.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is quite happy when he and his daughter can dance to the same music. There is only so much "Yo Gabba Gabba" one grown ass man can take. 

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