I only have so much creative excellence to dish out in a given week, and I wrote two articles yesterday for ATQ's April Fool's Day Extravaganza (which was a HUGE success, by the way). Therefore we're going off topic today!
I graduated with a degree in music from the U of O. Though that doesn't make me an expert, or a proper judge of what constitutes good music, music is something I'm very passionate about, and something I enjoy discussing with anyone who will listen. But I'm guessing if I try and tell you why Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, or Karlheinz Stockhausen are important people to know, you'll call me names. Hurtful names. So I won't do that. Instead, today we'll be discussing two different categories.
1) What new music have I been listening to lately?
- Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.D City Simply put, it's one of the best hip-hop albums I've ever heard, and it's unlike anything out there right now. Most albums today, especially hip-hop albums, have become simply a collection of songs. But Kendrick Lamar uses his as a way to tell a story, and he executes it beautifully.
- Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience Anyone who listens to the radio is probably getting close to sick of JT's first single off the album "Suit and Tie". Fortunately, that's one of my least favorite songs on The 20/20 Experience. Producer Timbaland works with JT to blend an old-school doo-wop sound with new technology, creating a monster of a pop album.
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - The Heist You've all heard "Thrift Shop". But the mega-hit is a rather silly outlier on an incredibly smart album. If you only listen to one other track, make it be the marriage equality anthem "Same Love", or a cautionary tale wrapped in a story about sneakers, "Wing$".
- Jack White - Blunderbuss My favorite rock album on 2012, it's more of Jack White being Jack White. My musical man-crush on White borders on unhealthy; simply put, he's my favorite songwriter.
- Frank Ocean - Channel Orange Popular music today is rarely intimate. But Ocean's album is an exception, a subtle and sensitive take on what R&B should be in the 21st century.
- The Lumineers - The Lumineers If you enjoy taking your shoes off in a park, owning an ironic Mexican poncho, or going to bars that serve $10 drinks whose walls are covered in taxidermy, then buy this album and play it until your friends resent you.
- The Doors Someone explain to me the appeal of The Doors. Are they a "You had to be there" kind of band that I couldn't possibly comprehend because I was born in 1987? Is there something with their music that I'm just overlooking? Please enlighten me.
- The Rolling Stones I mean, Gimme Shelter's a pretty cool song. But the rest just blend together in this super blob of rock that I've really never felt the need to explore.
- U2 Ugh, please.
- The Smashing Pumpkins Ick.
- fun. Okay, fun. isn't classic by any stretch. But man, are they hard to listen to. First off, their first two singles sound like cheap rip-offs of other, better songs. "Some Nights" in particular is just Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecelia", but worse. If you were a space alien, and came to Earth never having heard music before, and fun. was the first thing that penetrated whatever you use to experience sound, then I can understand liking fun. Otherwise, no thank you.