Kayne West–Dark Fantasy. I have Kayne’s back. And not in a “fishsticks” kind of way, either. I mean he is a great example of Chicago artistry. Like Tina Fey and many others who came up here and moved away–he’s demonstrative of how much harder Chicago artists have to fight to get to the mainstream. Although the battles differ, the results are always the same–artists leave Chicago as one-man armies. You can’t JUST be ridiculously talented, you have to be business savvy and able to produce yourself. I don’t see this as a detriment or excuse to flee for the coasts. I see this as a challenge.
Janelle Monae — Locked Inside. OK, I’m hooked. I love this girl. I had her on heavy replay before but after I was gifted both albums from my brother, my love for her is unrelenting. There are some choice tracks on the album that people know (Tightrope, Cold War) but I wanted to feature one of my new favorites. I love how this dances between funk and disco so gracefully and even though the song has no slow-down, it carries an amazing narrative and social commentary. I’m amazed. Nobody in the industry is making cerebral music this approachable. Kudos, Janelle. Also, have my baby?
Matt and Kim–Cameras. This song is what settled it for me. After I heard it, I searched for more songs from the band and realized I know all of their singles. My favorite story is my friend who requested it once. She asked me to request the “nightmare” song. I told her to request it her damn self! She went up and came back defeated. “He didn’t know what song I meant.” I was like, “Well, what song is it?” And she sang the melody and chorus and I told her, “Oh, that song, go sing it to him.” She didn’t. But “Good Old Fashioned Nightmare” is officially her song when we go out. And Cameras was the song that helped me realize, I know a shit-ton about Matt and Kim and love everything I’ve heard.
The Blow–Hey Boy. Am I new? This lady is awesome, where did she she come from? I think she’s great and not just because she used to go under the moniker “Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano” but it helped.
The Black Keys — Tighten Up. Soul… meet fun. And the video maintains the partnership brilliantly.
White Town–Your Woman. Throwback. But doesn’t it fit on this mix nicely? I can’t speak for you but when I heard it randomly the other day, I had a great “ah ha!” and jumped at the chance to listen to it again and again. And again.
Bitter:Sweet–Dirty Laundry. It’s like lounge music is salsa dancing with jazz! What a fucking sexy song, right? The lyrics stick with you, they are simple but delivered with such sultry elegance ,”Ooo, what’s the fun in playing safe? Ooo wouldn’t you rather misbehave?” I don’t know why but I imagine Jessica Rabbit singing this song. Thoughts?
Scissor Sisters–Invisible Light. I’ve been a Scissor Sister for years but I didn’t recognize the song when it got released as a club hit. It’s always such a great feeling when a band is trying new things and you think “Hey, I like this, who is it?” and you find it’s one of your favorite bands. And they’re coming to Chicago! Excited to see them again, they’re amazing live and totally cool folks too. And the official after party is at my favorite haunt, Berlin nightclub. One of my all-time favorite djs is spinning for the night, Sammy Jo. His event at Mr. Black was always one of my favorite things to do in New York and I’m blessed that he’s getting to Chicago more and more often.
Lady Gaga — Born This Way. Speaking of the Scissor Sisters, guess who they are opening for? Thash right, bishes, Gaga. I know I just posted about Gaga this week with her new single but I’ve been disappointed by some of the gay community reactions to the song and I wanted to speak on it. First, the song is inspired by them and it seems that a lot of the community react to it by being poisonous and catty. I’ve never known a minority group to be so self-hating. How many black people hated on black artists when they were fighting for basic human rights? I firmly believe Lady Gaga is one of the most entertaining artists in the music industry and on top of that, she is choosing to fight for gay rights over and over again. I’m not saying everyone should implicitly love her music, everyone has a type, but such public animosity for an artist that chooses to fight for you is just distasteful.
Also, incidentally, Lady Gaga on America’s pedestal complex.
Hole–Celebrity Skin. Throooooowback. And loving it.
Cee Lo Green–Fuck You. Usually I don’t usually like negative songs about being mad at a former lover. But not gonna lie, this song puts me in a better mood. It’s a “love lost” song, for sure. And bitter, without a doubt. But there’s something here that makes it less cliched and more innovative. The Mo Town feel makes it more light-hearted and even though it has a harsh title, it’s easy to see he’s not mourning the loss. He’s reflecting and he’s glad that he wasn’t able to follow through because he ended up being better for it. That’s a “love lost” song I can buy into.
Marina And The Diamonds–I Am Not A Robot. This has kind of been my anthem for the month. I’ve had a lot of dramatic ups and downs. Some great news and some harsh reality served back to back all week. And, as most of my friends know, I’m pretty hard on myself about things that don’t go well. I’m a perfectionist and a control freak to a fault. This song has helped me out by gaining some perspective.