Lana Del Rey Lust for Life

I listened to Lana Del Rey’s new album “Lust for Life” this morning on the train, and I didn’t hate it.

To put this in context, I was not always a fan of Del Rey. In fact, I’m still not a fan of hers. Not even sure that I’m a fan of her music. But I do enjoy some of it. This is because I have grown to be able to put morals and principle aside, when it comes to her music, and just take it (and her) at face value and enjoy the music for what it is.

When Lana first changed her name, sound, face, hired new producers, etc., and came on the scene re-branded in her current iteration, I was super anti-anything to do with her. I couldn’t not get over the fact that she was a wannabe with bottomless coffers of money trying to buy her way into being perceived as “cool.” It didn’t help that she is a one trick pony, as far as vocal styling, who doesn’t write any of her own stuff. My disdain for her hit a fever pitch when I saw her first attempt to perform on SNL.

Alas, several years have passed since then. Not much has changed in with her style of music/performing. But I have changed. In an era where authenticity has lost its value, and instant gratification is prime, I have learned to just give into some of my guilty pleasures. And sometimes I just need to kick back and bask in the aural sunshine of an f-bomb dropping female crooner on heavy reverb over teeth rattling bass lines. She has truly turned “Summertime Sadness” into its own genre with this latest album. And I’ll admit that I enjoy it.

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MIA official video for “Bring the Noize”


MIA is out with a new single entitled “Bring the Noize.” No, it isn’t a new spin on the 80’s collab between Anthrax and Public Enemy. It is an original (as original as MIA can be) track. The video is pretty interesting. Personally, we love the Wig/lipstick combinations throughout. Peep the vid below–



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‘Velodrome” by Chemical Brothers for the 2012 Games

It has been a while since I have heard anything new from the Chemical Brothers. So, I was pretty excited when I came across this video today, featuring the track that was commissioned by the IOC for the Velodrome.

Soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers, commissioned especially for the venue, this is the work of London creative agency Crystal CG who also provided the audience pixels and roof LED animations during the Opening Ceremony. Ultimate future-travel flick Tron was their primary inspiration so expect lots of lasers and general zooming about.

Peep the vid below.

Chemical Brothers ‘Velodrome’ – London 2012 from Crystal CG on Vimeo.


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The XX– ‘Chained’

The XX released another single from their forthcoming album “Coexist.” This is the second track (“Angels” came out a few weeks ago). I have to admit that I’m a bit biased. In my opinion these guys can do no wrong. This one is called “Chained.” Here is the vid–


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On Cassette Tapes, Technology and Breakdancing

I have spent a little bit of time with some dancers, recently. In doing so, I have been able to reminisce/converse about the only “dancing” that I have every really done. I am, of course, referring to break dancing. When I was in fourth grade (or thereabouts), the movie “Breakin’” was released. For those who may not have had the pleasure of watching this fine piece of choreographed cinema: “Breakin’” is the story of Turbo, Ozone and Special K. All three live in Venice Beach during the seedy 80’s, and are brought together by dancing.

After seeing the movie, as a youngster, I was inspired to become a break dancer. I boned up on cardboard, bandanas and parachute pants, and went for it. For Christmas, I asked for a “ghetto blaster” (which Santa delivered on). This was the era of tapes. In fact, it was the primitive era of tapes. Well, for me anyway. It was before the dual tape deck was a standard feature on cassette players.

My parents were young, and budgets were tight. So I had to be resourceful when it came to supplying my ghetto blaster with media. Times were tight enough, that purchasing blank cassettes could be justified. I was relegated to collecting discarded and broken tapes, so that I could record music from the radio. I learned that I could put a piece of scotch tape over the little holes in the top of cassettes that had been write-protected, to record over them.  If the actual tape had been cut or broken, I found that scotch tape could also remedy that situation by being carefully overlaid to join the two sections. This also came in handy when the cassette was “eaten,” leaving a large section of the tape looking like it had been run through a crimping iron. I could cut out the destroyed section of the tape, and splice together the two undamaged spools.

I used to spend hours listening to the radio with my finger on the “record” key of my little ghetto blaster waiting for the DJ to play a certain song, so that I could capture it on my frankentape. A lot of the times I would miss the first couple of bars. Amazing the way that times have changed. I was able to pull up this video of the opening credits to Breakin’ in 2 seconds without even typing the name correctly. Enjoy “There’s no Stoppin’ us.”

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