BC & Merch’s Top 10 Songs of 2014!

BC’s Top 10(ish) Songs of 2014:

Because we have to start with the honorable mentions…

Kiesza – “Hideaway”
It sounds like an acid dance track being played in a 90s hair salon, why wouldn’t you want to listen to it? Don’t forget to check out the amazing, single-shot music video. Great choreography (Apparently Kiesza broke a rib just before filming) and she totally rocks that Kelly Kapowski outfit.

MØ – “Walk This Way”
I first heard MØ last year when Digitalism did a remix of her song “Pilgrim.” While a good track, I didn’t think much past that. Then I saw the video for “Walk This Way” and instantly fell in love with her music. The choral samples accompanied with a thumping beat and slick guitar licks, it’s a great way to kick off a music career. And I’ve heard her live shows are something not to be missed.

EXGF – “Idle Hands”
A simple, big beat, and easy to sing along to, even after 6-7 drinks. It’s a shame EXGF is so elusive (they are almost nonexistent on the net) because I’d love to hear more from them.

10. Riff Raff feat. Paul Wall, Slim Thug – “How to be the Man (Houston Remix)”
If you thought there was going to be a year that I didn’t put Riff Raff in my Top 10, you would be sorely mistake. After a few years of flying under the radar as a music critic’s punch line, Riff Raff finally exploded into the mainstream over the last year with the release of his single “Dolce & Gabbana” and his work with Katy Perry as her VMA arm candy. The Houston remix for his single “How To Be The Man” features Houston greats Paul Wall and Slim Thug, and highlights that though Riff Raff may seem like a white-boy clown to some, but for those in on the joke, he’s a great artist who never met a beat he couldn’t use, a rapper he couldn’t feature (people love working with him, apparently), or a high-end designer he couldn’t work into his rhymes.

9. Danny Brown feat. Purity Ring – “25 Bucks”
A collaboration between indie rapper genius Danny Brown and Canadian electro-outfit Purity Ring doesn’t make much sense on paper, but the result is a beautifully dark hip hop cut. It proves that the new generation of rappers like Brown, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson & others are taking hip hop in experimental directions to allow the genre to grow and evolve.

8. Elliphant & MØ – “One More”
I’ve already mentioned how much I love MØ, and her duet with Swedish artist and MIA-doppelganger, Elliphant. Much like MIA, Elliphant’s music is almost impossible to label. Many of her songs are party-friendly, but she tones it down in “One More,” a tribute to true BFFs. Pleading vocals and choral harmonies accompany a basic 808 beat builds for the first two minutes until they hit an electro explosion. You’ll find yourself singing this song after a booze-soaked night with friends.

7. Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
If Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” had sex with Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” you’d get Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.” It’s 80s pop perfection… released in 2014. It’s so damn catchy that in order to listen this song, it’s required that you sing it in your towel while serenading your Teen Beat poster. I seriously love this friggin’ song.

6. Jarren Benson – “Gimme The Loot”
Jarren Benton’s spit-fire rhymes with an explosive beat make the perfect banger. Holy shit this beat, though. You guys, THIS BEAT. I’ve played it through my 18″ subwoofer and I thought my head was going to explode, and I was going to let it happen. WARNING: Do not listen to this through shitty iPhone headphones or Jarren Benton will jump through your phone and smack you for ruining this song.

5. Kendrick Lamar – “i”
Can Kendrick Lamar do anything wrong? The answer is no. No friggin’ way. One of this generation’s most prolific and experimental rappers (who is literally tearing up the charts and clubs) takes on the Isley Brothers on “i,” a soulful cut that shows just how much Kendrick (and hip hop, in general) were influenced by 60s & 70s R&B, which many rappers might have forgotten (Looking at you, DJ Mustard).

4. Mark Ronson feat. Mystikal – “Feel Right”
THE RETURN OF MYSTIKAL. It’s been too long, my friend. The 44-year-old “Shake That Ass” rapper spent more or less of the last 10 years in jail. But what a hell of a comeback. It seems like Mark Ronson’s upcoming album, Uptown Funk, might reintroduce the world to both Mystikal and Ronson. Though Ronson’s albums (especially 2010’s fantastic Record Collection) are always a critical hit, they always seem to simmer just under “hit” status. But “Feel Right” coupled with the Bruno Mars-lead single, “Uptown Funk,” will rocket this funk-tastic album up the charts when it releases in January.

3. Big KRIT – “Mt. Olympus”
It’s been over a year since we heard anything from the Mississippi rapper. And what a long year it was. But Big K.R.I.T. came out swinging in April with the release of “Mt. Olympus.” An epic track in the vein of Kanye West’s “Dark Fantasy,” KRIT rips all of his nay-sayers and kiss asses alike a new asshole. You don’t realize how much you miss Big K.R.I.T.’s music until he hasn’t been around. Please don’t leave us again.

2. Digitalism feat. Youngblood Hawke – “Wolves”
It was really difficult to not choose “Wolves” as my #1 song of the year. I still go back and forth on my ultimate decision to leave it at #2. This Digitalism/Youngblood Hawke song is just so, so, so good. It’s a perfect blend of electronic, dance and pop. The chorus is basic and epic at the same time. It’s sad that Digitalism doesn’t receive more recognition. They are essentially early Daft Punk mixed with Justice, but have somehow only gotten better after each album. BUY THIS SONG FROM iTUNES and give Digitalism some love!

1. Chromeo – “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)”
If everything else in my life is in shambles, I can take solace in the fact that Chromeo will release a new album every 3-4 years. I first saw them with Digitalism at a daytime SXSW day show in 2008, and have never gone back. From that day on, I have had an unnatural obsession with Chromeo. “Jealous (I Ain’t With It),” the opening track and lead single to their latest effort, White Women, is so catchy it’s unhealthy. In fact, every song on the album is a gem and you need to go buy it right now. Let me break it down for you thusly: Chromeo is the best parts about Prince and Hall & Oates, complete with affinity for having every song be about a girl. Dave’s soft vocals and P-Thugg’s perfectly pop-funk beats encompass everything good in music. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go towel off.

The Best of Daft Punk… Remixes & Samples

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It’s been a long eight years since Daft Punk released Human After All, so you know the World was thrown into chaos at the announcement of a new album. Finally, Random Access Memories has been released (officially) TODAY, therefore, making it the greatest day ever… DAFT PUNK DAY!

We’ve compiled 10 (or so) of the best uses of Daft Punk’s music through remixes and samples. Some of them are right on the money for a pop hit, some are completely nuts, but they are all Daft Punk.

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FPSF 2013 Line-Up feat. The Stooges, Postal Service, Macklemore…

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The initial Free Press Summer Fest 2013 line-up was announced today… and it’s fan-freakin-tastic.

Gotta give wicked credit to Houston for putting on an annual music fest with a consistently good line-up that DOESN’T include Paul Wall every year (not that I would complain).

My crew and I went last year and despite the intense heat (it’s in the first week of June), we were able to enjoy great sets from The Flaming Lips, Snoop Dogg (just before his “Snoop Lion” fiasco), Z-Ro Morris Day & the Time, Afrojack, Diplo, Wallpaper, Fitz & the Tantrums, among others.

Without further ado, here’s the 2013 Free Press Summer Fest line-up (and can I mention how AWESOME it is that Quad City DJs are performing?! Come on, ride the train, it’s the choochoo train, woo woo!!):

The Postal Service

Iggy and The Stooges

BASSNECTAR

Calvin Harris

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

2 Chainz

Alabama Shakes

The Head and The Heart

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Passion Pit

Matt & Kim

TV on the Radio

Gogol Bordello

Cat Power

Of Monsters and Men

Social Distortion

Arctic Monkeys

Mavis Staples

The Geto Boys

Borgore * Dawes * The Bronx * Paul Banks (from Interpol) * SOJA * JAPANDROIDS * Chairlift * The Mavericks * Mord Fustang * Devin the Dude * Baroness * Los Amigos Invisibles * Vintage Trouble * Savoy * Machine Gun Kelly * Super Mash Bros * Milo Greene * Half Moon Run * The Octopus Project * The Men * Ume * Kitty Pryde * Quad City DJ’s * The Beans * Blackmarket Syndicate * Deep Cuts *Showers * Otenki * Forced FEM * Orents Stirner * Infinite Apaches * Chin Xaou Ti Won * Mikey & the Drags * Hello Chief * A SEA ES * UZOY
* The Niceguys * Midnight Norma Lane * Nick Greer & The G’s * TRVP LORDZ ft. BUDA LOVE
* Young Mammals * DJ SUN * RIVERS * American Fangs * Snow In Texas * Ashes Of Babylon

[MASHUP MONDAY] Madeon v. Katy Perry (TeeTs Mashup)

I know you kids have missed us since we took off for summer, but even BC and Merch need some down time to rehydrate and throw their party pants in the wash (they’re straight-stankin’ right now). But, have no fear, we are back with a vengeance, and we promise we won’t leave you ever again. Ever, ever. Ever, ever, ever.

Prepare for an epic Mashup Monday! This TeeTs Mashup is electro-pop producer Madeon and the big-boobed pop princess herself, Katy Perry. The song sounds like it should be in a blockbuster movie trailer with its huge synth track and Perry’s wailing vocals.

Mashup Monday is the perfect way to kick off the work week, enjoy!

Madeon vs. Katy Perry – Wide Awake for the Finale (TeeTs Mashup) (download here)

[Mashup Monday] Jay Nebra | “Snapback Krunk (Chris Brown, Tyga v. Wick-It The Instigator)”

It’s been a bit since we did a Mashup Monday, so we decided it we needed a big come back. Jay Nebra’s “Snapback Krunk” mashes Tyga and Chris Brown’s “Snapbacks Back” and Wick-It The Instigator’s electro-banger “Future Krunk.”

Bump this one LOUD.

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F44901019&show_artwork=true

Gorillaz feat. Andre 3000 & James Murphy | “DoYaThing” (Converse 3 Artists, 1 Song)

Converse has been doing the “3 Artists, 1 Song” thing for a few years now (last year’s “I’m A Goner” mixed Andrew W.K., Matt & Kim, and Soulja Boy, and 2010’s “All Summer” included Kid Cudi, Best Coast, and Vampire Weekend). It seems that each addition to the series gets a little more excelctic and bizarre, but this year’s really gets it right.

The blend of the Gorillaz typical strange beeps n beats with LCD Soundsystem brain-trust James Murphy and Outkast’s Andre 3000 spits out a head-bobbing ball of funk. The video is typical Gorillaz flair of CGI, 2D cartoon, and live-action elements, and really has nothing to do with the song other than “DoYaThing” is playing in the background.

Oh, and did I mention there is a FRIGGIN’ BOWL OF EARS at the 3:05 mark?! You may want to strap yourself in for this one.

[New Release] Santigold | “Big Mouth”

Our favorite Philly diva, Santigold, is back with a new single (and a ridiculously 90s-quality video). “Big Mouth” offers Santigold’s signature world music-meets-new wave sound, and she even takes a jab at Lady Gaga (in the video a Lady Gaga-like mermaid is eaten by a cartoon tiger… excellent!). It’s good to know after 2+ years without releases, Santigold is bringing back the flavor.

Look out for a new album this Spring.