Thursday, June 20, 2013

YouTube Artist Review

Hello again! I'm actually on vacation right now, but I've got this post queued up to go live in my absence. So here is a review of three of my favorite YouTube artists right now!

1. Alex G
CHANNEL: AlexGMusic7
655,725 subscribers (as of 6/14/2013)
85,622,508 video views (as of 6/14/2013)

Alex G is one of those people that is on the precipice of blowing up, big time. Let's just start with appearance; she's absolutely gorgeous and has an infectious smile. I also love her style. In every video of hers, she has amazing clothes and is all-around stunning. As for her choice in music, I love everything she covers--obviously, because I love literally all music. Some of my favorites of hers have been "Some Nights" (F.U.N. cover, a collaboration with Tyler Ward), "Heart Attack" (Demi Lovato cover), and "Thrift Shop" (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis cover). She's covered a few rap songs besides "Thrift Shop" and every time, she re-appropriates it into a purely pop dance tune or ballad. Plus, her original songs are killer, extremely catchy with heartfelt, if simple, lyrics. My favorite of hers, as far as both song and music video goes, is "Find You." Her voice is clear and strong, and she seems to know her vocal capabilities really well--and she's also really funny, especially in her cover of "Want U Back" by Cher Lloyd.

2. Ari Zizzo
CHANNEL: espanarnar96
2,430 subscribers (as of 6/14/2013)
160,974 video views (as of 6/14/2013)

Ari Zizzo is relatively unknown on YouTube but he SHOULD be way more popular. He's adorable and if you go back and watch his progression of videos, you can even see him go through voice change :-) I don't know why, but that absolutely kills me. His voice is just a little bit gravelly, which I always appreciate, and there's something about his understated style of video-making that's really appealing and inviting. I personally love his cover of "For the First Time" by the Script, which is one of my favorite songs anyway, and "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" by John Mayer, another favorite of mine, which he did with his friend Cassidy Reiff. And his ORIGINALS! Oh my God, he is a mega-talented songwriter. I love his singing voice, but I would venture to say that he's an even better songwriter than he is a singer. They are honestly and complexly written and beautifully performed. Ari Zizzo is one to watch; I personally would love to collaborate with him one day!

3. Late Nite Reading
CHANNEL: LateNiteReading
18,770 subscribers (as of 6/14/2013)
1,274,387 video views (as of 6/14/2013)

Late Nite Reading, the pop-punk band composed of Dalton Wixom on lead vocals and guitar, Brady Szhuaj on bass, Clayton Collins on guitar and backup vocals, and Drew Cottrell on drums, is an absolute knockout. First of all, all four band members are adorable. That's always a plus. Secondly, they are all total goofballs; I haven't investigated the other two members, but Brady and Dalton both have YouTube channels in addition to the band channel where they post funny videos, and Brady's series "My Life in Color" is laugh out loud funny, if you don't mind severe language...:-) Anyway, this band's latest EP, "Walls," is superb. All the songs are pop-punk at its finest, with angsty lyrics that punch you in the gut and also make you want to head bang till your neck snaps. Boys, if you're reading this, that is a compliment! They've also done a few awesome covers (my favorites are "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People and a Ke$ha/Justin Bieber/Taio Cruz mashup on "Die Young").

I also want to give a shoutout to the awesome rapper Kid Kodak and his group The Suburbs (channel: JetlagEnt2012)! They are absolutely amazing, and Kid Kodak and I are currently collaborating on a new song! We might even make a video this summer! Whoa! :-) Kodak has catchy lyrics and great flow, so if you're looking for an up-and-coming rap superstar, this is the channel for you!

See you guys later!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June Playlist

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog! I'm going to be posting stuff about music here--my music, other people's music, maybe a little bit of pop culture, just some of everything musical! :-)

One consistent feature will be a monthly playlist that has the songs I've been listening to that month. So, in no particular order, here is my playlist for June. Hope you enjoy!

June Playlist
1. "Chill Murray" - 3:36
ALBUM: Schizofriendly
ARTIST: Young Science

This is a super upbeat dance song that just makes you want to throw your hands in the air and jump up and down. I'm so glad I stumbled onto this song, it's feel-good and perfect for summer!

2. "LA Story" - 3:28
ALBUM: LA Story (feat. Mike Posner) - Single
ARTIST: Sammy Adams feat. Mike Posner

The opening of this hip hop song is catchy and inviting, because Mike Posner's voice is just luscious, TBH. The sound of his voice makes you want to hear the rest of the song, seriously. And Sammy Adams, who I'd never heard of before this song, is an AWESOME rapper with great flow and killer lyrics!

3. "Popular Song (feat. Ariana Grande" - 3:20
ALBUM: Popular Song (feat. Ariana Grande) - Single
ARTIST: MIKA feat. Ariana Grande

Ariana's voice is absolutely gorgeous; she says she's inspired by Mariah and it shows. Her runs are flawless and she is so cute, OMG. I love her to death. MIKA is quirky and adorable and super talented, and the combination of the two of them is heavenly. Plus, sampling a "Wicked" song?! Talk about the key to my heart! :-)

4. "Going to Georgia" - 2:15
ALBUM: Zopilote Machine
ARTIST: The Mountain Goats

My newfound obsession can be attributed to a) John Green's insistence on their excellence and b) one of my best friends reminding me to listen to them. John Darnielle's lyrics and voice will make your summer, let me just tell you that. The most remarkable thing about listening to this album is that it's you, and you're listening to this album.

5. "Neon Cathedral (feat. Allen Stone)" - 4:34
ALBUM: The Heist
ARTIST: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Allen Stone

Macklemore's lyrics and flow are bone-chillingly good. Every song, regardless of the tone or the message, leaves you with your mind blown and your fingers furiously pressing the replay button. This song makes me cry. It is an honest portrayal of alcoholism, and the juxtaposition of imagery from a church and a bar is positively genius. Pure, unadulterated genius.

6. "Two-Headed Boy" - 4:26
ALBUM: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
ARTIST: Neutral Milk Hotel

Again, my best friend and John Green have excellent taste in music. If you've read "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" (which you should have, if you haven't), you may know about this indie band from the 90s that recently made a resurgence with a new EP in 2011. The whole album is decadently intellectual and jam-packed with brilliant lyrics, but "Two-Headed Boy" has lilting quality that makes it a great song to really lay back and listen to.

7. "22" - 3:52
ARTIST: Taylor Swift

Don't let my glowing review of NMH and The Mountain Goats fool you: I'm a pop culture junkie, too! Taylor Swift is actually one of my favorite artist; her songwriting is honest and catchy and fun, and as you'll soon see, I love every single genre of music (except death metal. That's where I draw the line). "22" makes me happy and makes me want to dance around. Also be 22, though I have to wait around six more years for that.

8. "California Daze" - 3:56
ALBUM: EP Delicious - EP

One of my other best friends recommended this song to me, and I've been listening to it nonstop for like two weeks now. The whole EP is fantastic, but "California Daze" is soothing, subtly complex and a good comedown from dance music, if that's what you typically store in a summer playlist.

9. "Eleanor Rigby" - 2:06
ALBUM: Revolver
ARTIST: The Beatles

If you don't know this song, I don't know what you're even doing on the Internet, please go listen to it and move away from the rock under which you take residence. :-) Why mess with perfection? Having a solid Beatles jam on your summer playlist is a win-win. And "Eleanor Rigby" is The Beatles at their best; it's probably my favorite song by them (though three other songs are in my mind going What about me?! What about me?! And I'm like, I know, I know). But yeah, this song is amazing and incidentally is really fun to play on the piano and sing.

I hope you like this playlist for the month of June. You can mix and match the order and put in your own stuff, but this is what I've been listening to on repeat! Plus, I highly recommend you check out these artists and their other albums/songs, because all of them are extremely talented and worth a listen.

See ya later! :-)