What up party people? I’ve got an exciting week ahead of me as I’ll be heading to NYC to do some work and visit with some friends from college. While I’m there I’ll be interviewing Hesta Prynn about some exciting projects she’s been working on so if you’ve got any questions you want me to ask, drop me a note!
Also, I’m toying around with a new idea involving Twitter, music, a hash tag we come up with and basically becoming a gay virtual DJ community for each other. So basically, if you’re in need of some help finding music for the mood you’re in or you’ve got a musical history question, you can take to Twitter, add the hashtag and I’ll be following it along with whoever else wants to participate. If you’ve got any ideas for hash tags that are short and sweet, drop ’em in the comments and we’ll put it to a vote.
Lana Del Rey — Born to Die (Interscope)
Love her or hate her, Lana Del Rey has done an incredible job keeping her name on everyone’s lips, regardless of how bee-stung they are. I could go off on an endless rant about the seemingly never-ending bashing of Del Rey’s aesthetics in lieu of an actual dissection of her album by the same music “journalists” who praise Lady Gaga for being original, but I won’t. (For my own sanity and for yours.) When all is said and done, I would challenge anyone without preconceived notions to put this album on, close their eyes and not feel an immediate connection. Are all of the songs winners? Hell no. “National Anthem” and her pseudo-rapping makes me uncomfortable. “This Is What Makes Us Girls” is what I’d call “meh,” but takes it up to “punch me in the face” levels when she loudly whispers, “Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice.” First of all, gross. Second of all, just awful. Are the great songs really all that great? Personally, I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve played, “Blue Jeans” and “Born to Die.”
This is not the easiest album to love. It is imperfect and at times trying to be too many things to too many different people. Just as it’s true with people in life, Lana’s music can go one of two ways right now: Time and maturity will allow her to focus on what works, what doesn’t and allows her to work it all out in beautiful song. Or, she will be thrown into the indie-pop washer/dryer cycle on high heat and watch her talent shrink until it doesn’t fit anybody. I’m hoping for the former. Here is my favorite remix of “Born to Die,” coming from Damon Albarn.
Ana Tijoux — La Bala (Nacional Records)
Ana’s 2010 release, 1977, was a great introduction to this incredible MC. From my first listen, La Bala appears to be incredibly rich in goodness. It reminds me a bit of Common‘s, Electric Circus, or maybe Erykah Badu‘s New Amerykah Part One. Tijoux’s voice has the ability to go from a sexy slither to a rapid-fire lyrical assault. This Chilean will have you thinking you understand every word she utters regardless of how much Spanish you actually have in your vocabulary. Stream the entire album over at NPR.
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour — Out of Frequency (BMG)
Gosh it seems like this album took forever to come out but maybe it’s because the band has been touring heavily and their Golden Age EP has been getting remixed out the wazoo. This band is all about the fun, like an electronic musical circus looking to corrupt whatever town they land in for the night. They remind me a bit of Gorillaz and also a bit of a band called Loveage that wasn’t around for long enough, in that they are as much futuristic as they are throw-back. Truth be told, there isn’t a ton of substance here, but it’s a good album to have in the background of a party. Here’s a free download of the CSS remix of my favorite song off the full-length, “Heart Attack.” Stream the entire album over at Spinner.
K. Flay — Eyes Shut EP (K. Flay)
As you know, I don’t normally include a lot of EPs in this column, but MC K. Flay is not only bringing the heat with this fresh five-song release, she’s also giving it away for free. So, you know, it’s a win-win! For real though, she’s got me bobbing my head, doing the shoulder bounce and enjoying the hell out of these jams. Even if you’re not a hip-hop head, I strongly encourage you to give this a spin.
Honorable Mentions: Gotye, The 2 Bears (and here’s a free mix they put out), The Big Sleep, Fionn Regan, Hospitality, Imperial Teen, Leonard Cohen, Ringo Starr and Union.
That’s all for this week but make sure you check back tomorrow for another round of Your Weekly Women to Listen to and don’t forget to let us know if you’ve got hash tag suggestions. As always you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or see what I’m listening to on Spotify!