Well, it’s been a full year of doing these little old Music Monday posts. I started making posters for my “most listened to artist for the week (according to last.fm)” one year ago, and for 52 weeks have made something every Monday. I decided to make a collage of the work, much as I did the last time. It’s nice to see everything all next to each other and see how I evolved, or what waves of style I went though, or better, the waves of music I had interest in.
However, I think this is going to be the end of Music Monday if not forever then at least for a while. I sort of like doing things with a definitive start and end, and a year is a pretty good time to round things out. It’s been great, but I don’t want to be locked down to doing this anymore on a week to week basis. There’s many more projects I’ll probably work myself into, and I’m excited to do something completely different. Or maybe something terribly similar. Who knows.
I discovered U.S. Royalty a few months ago and have been listening to them pretty steadily since. Their album Mirrors is a very impressive debut from these D.C. dudes, and I would certainly recommend checking it out. They also have served as the soundtrack to a few of the Gant Rugger seasonal look book videos, which are amazing in their own right. Check out the summer one here. Really great examples of how music and imagery can make a product exciting. You don’t know that you want the clothes as much as you want to be those people. I guess they are doing a perfect job at advertising in that sense. Anyway, I think U.S. Royalty was a perfect choice for the videos.
For those of you who don’t already know, River City Extension recorded a Daytrotter session a few months ago and it finally came out this past friday! Needless to say, something I’ve been waiting for for a while now. You can download it here. It has 5 songs, all of which tweaked slightly from their recordings, and there’s one very nasty guitar solo towards the end of Mexico that I was not expecting at all. Daytrotters are inherently awesome, and this one is no different.
Also, can I talk for a second about Tyler, The Creator’s new album Goblin? Hmm, I’m not really sure what happened with this but it feels like the product of an extremely rushed process. Obviously Yonkers is great, obviously Sandwitches is great, but beyond that, the good stuff comes far and few between. The music is about as bland and repetitive as you could imagine (Seriously? Another metronome beat with a keyboard line that sounds like it’s being played by an 8th grader in the keyboard room at Guitar Center) and Tyler, who’s usually extremely inventive with his lyrics, offers up some of the lamest lines in existence. (“In highschool I used to be a zero, now I’m every kid’s hero” – Nice, just what I was hoping for. A zero/hero rhyme.) I’m probably not being fair. I mean, I only listened to it once, but then again, the fact that I had no desire to listen to it again sort of says a lot. I’ll definitely try to give it another shot, but first impression was not good. I feel like he works better as part of the whole rather than the whole. Knowing what he’s capable of, this just feels like it was rushed and forced and sort of unnatural. If you’re trying to give this a listen, it comes out on Tuesday, or if you’ve been on the internet in the past 5 years, you can download it now.
I discovered Charles Bradley after Paste named him one of their favorite artists from SXSW, then I saw this video, and I was hooked. I don’t know how you can hear that song and not be intrigued to listen to more. There’s a very clear and obvious James Brown influence in the way he looks and a bit of a James Brown meets Otis Redding influence in the way he sounds, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Pretty exciting that something like this is happening now. It looks like his shows would be an absolute joy to be at. Check out his moves in this awesome cover of one of my favorite songs of all time, Neil Young’s Heart Of Gold.
I’m trying to talk a little less about what I’m listening to, because really it’s only reason to make something, and more about what it took to make the poster and the struggles I had and the things I’ve learned. For this poster I knew I wanted to have the silhouette of his head take up the majority of the space, and I knew I wanted it to have a rough, painted-looking edge around some parts, but I also intended to have another silhouette of him dancing cutting in from one of the edges. Well, this idea was just NOT working. I tried it in just about every size, from every side, in every angle, and nothing looked right. I was so stuck on this idea and it was really preventing me from getting it right. It wasn’t until I finally let it go and tried something else that I was able to get it right and solve the problem. It didn’t turn out completely the way I imagined it, but it turned out the right way. Never be too attached to an idea just because you thought it would work. If it’s not working, throw it away and try something else, more often than not, you’ll find the right thing to do.