Steve James Returns To Indie. Rejoice & Be Glad.

Smallpools - Karaoke (Steve James Remix)So, the progressive wonder Steve James has once again decided to go the Indie route and we are all the better for it. Pulling down a fun little tune called Karaoke by Smallpools, he puts his signature, yet evolving style on it. The infectious beat combines with some excellent re-working of the vocals to make this just as anthemic as we need right now in gray January. Apparently this tune was started in my city, so you know it’s got a bright future. I’m gonna keep saying it. This is what you’d expect to hear halfway between the indie & dance stages at Governor’s Ball. Like, if you stood in the exact right spot. The break at 3:40 is everything that post-big-room can be. Can’t wait for people to complain of how tired they are of this sound. (via the always on point Michelle Chu of EDMTunes)

Midnight Music: Brass Knuckles – Water Gun ft. John Ryan (Popeska Remix) [Indie Electro]

Brass Knuckles - Water Gun Feat. John Ryan (Popeska Remix)This indie dance rework of Water Gun by Popeska is surprisingly euphoric. 30 seconds in, the chords slap you with the chorus pushing back into your awareness. Brass Knuckles provided a wonderful indie track to remix. With John Ryan providing on point vocals & Brass Knuckles pulling into some fun poppy dance, Popeska takes it and runs with it. It’s got a “Bomping it in your Camaro in the sunset” kind of feel to it, and doesn’t really try to get too heady about it. Does what it says on the tin, and I really want Popeska to get that water gun now. Or a platform for more of that smooth electro gorgeousness.  

Best “Every Breath You Take” Cover Ever.

So this dude Chase Holfelder is doing a series called “Major to Minor” where he transposes major/happy sounding songs into a minor/sad sounding key. This is a great exercise, but this most recent one really blew me away. This cover really brings out the inherent “creepy as fuck” aspect of the song. Which, if you’re any fan of music, you know is huuuuge. This is definitely an accomplishment, considering it looks like he did it with 2 people, 1 microphone and Pro Tools. At the end of the day, this needs to be in a soundtrack for a movie involving either a dystopian future or a jilted lover ASAP. (Via Laughing Squid)

Midnight Music: Fox Stevenson – Sweets [Sugary Progressive Beats]

I’ve been talking about Fox Stevenson since he ran by the name Stan SB, so seeing the maturation of his sound and his success warms my heart. Tonight, I bring you a delightful, upbeat tune he dropped last week that I’m just going to dub Sunkist EDM. This orange soda-flavored goodness is fun, popcorn dance that will get you grooving in your chair (or walking around if you’re reading this on your phone. Don’t read music blogs & drive!). The electro jam is a departure from his drum & bass bread and butter, but he can do whatever he likes at this point. When not only the headliners but the rising stars are able to jump genres with ease, it’s a good time to be alive.

Midnight Music: Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat [She’s Back!]

You thought she was a one hit wonder, and talked shit about her during her ascent to super-stardom. When you didn’t hear anything, you told your friends she was a one hit wonder and that you never really liked “Heroine” anyway. Guess what, she’s back bitches! Yellow Flicker Beat straddles the line between indie & electronica in a way only she can. This track is the lead single off of the upcoming Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I movie, just in case you didn’t think you were going to hear it a thousand times over the next couple of months. I am unabashedly a fan of her sound and her “zero fucks, do good art” attitude. I hope you’ll join me in getting excited for her next album, while bomping this to your hater friends.

Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Hank & Cupcakes!

(I first saw Hank & Cupcakes at an underground warehouse off the N train way a while back. They’ve since gotten a kickstarter fully funded, an album released and are about to launch into a massive tour! I caught up with them as they were packing…)


1. It’s been a long road for you both since the underground festival at Wonderland in Queens when I first saw you, how have you been?!
Long road is right and winding too! With obstacles surprises & uphills. But we understand that as long as we keep walking that road…

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Midnight Music: Junkie XL vs. Elvis Presley – A Little Less Conversation [Funky Pop]

Throwback Thursday this week is getting a little love from Junkie XL. This hit was all over the place back in 2010, and it still gets me going to this day. The music video has a significant focus on the totally different styles of dance that Americans have been known to employ on the floor. This visual assistance in differentiating parts of the track allow for some fun back and forth with the different movers & shakers. Musically, Junkie XL did an exquisite job staying true to the original, respecting Elvis’ perfect vocals, while adding a bunch of rock-infused kicks that amp up the energy even further. If you’ve not heard this, you owe it to yourself, so get on with it, shut up and dance.

How To Make A Pop Hit By Brett Domino (I & II)

Laughing Squid tipped me off to this fantastic video on how to make a modern pop hit. I do enjoy the evolution of these things, and Brett Domino manages to capture the shifting target that is “whatever the hell do you people want” in their radio play. Now that everyone has heard the Jason Derulo song that he’s playing fast and loose with in the tune, check out this breakdown above. Brett is quite entertaining and the freshness of the process is lovely. Especially with the inspirational shout outs to Jennifer Lawrence. Bassoons are a welcome addition to any pop hit, just saying. He did a follow-up this weekend moving from the pop vocal hit to how to add sick choruses (what’s the plural of chorus?) to your amazing pop track. Kudos to you Mr. Domino. And now I feel like I just said goodbye to a Bond villain.

Psy & Snoop Dogg Get Wasted.

I’m not really sure how an idea like this gets storyboarded. “Ok, Snoop, we’re gonna need you to get real drunk with Psy.” And then they just put cameras on them? Where did the skipping come from? Also, the beer goggles within karaoke is nice. Expect this to get shared a bunch of times but not to go mega viral like Gangnam Style. They can’t all be winners, but this is amusing enough.

Midnight Music: The US National Anthem In A Haunting Minor Key.

Who is this person and why aren’t they singing the soundtrack to Maleficent. This “Major to Minor” juxtaposition is gorgeous and needs to get copied a thousand times over. I’m serious. Minor keys don’t get used in Pop or EDM these days, in no small part because no one played Jazz or went to conservatory before becoming OMG Famous these days. When Afrojack can’t even read music, how the hell are we going to expect a songwriter or producer to know what a mixolydian mode or minor 5th is. Check this guy out because this kind of disruption is super easy to replicate, but super innovative and will definitely lead to more people experimenting with more chords and different tonal arrangements.