XXYYXX+Chrome Sparks at North Park Observatory

XXYYXX has been a name in the underground electronic world for quite some time. In 2012 he dropped his self-titled album that is still garnering him attention five years later. While he hasn’t put out a plethora of new music since his most well known LP, he has kept himself busy and his pockets full by consistently touring and performing at shows and festivals throughout the years. He is currently on tour with similar themed DJ, Chrome Sparks. On Dec. 1 they played a show here in San Diego, at the North Park Observatory.

Chrome Sparks opened up with a fun and elastic set, keeping relatively small crowd on their feet in anticipation for the headliner. These were both planned to be DJ sets rather than a live set, in the sense that both artists were expected to play more of not only their own music, but generally more upbeat danceable tunes. Some attendees might not have realized this, as I overheard multiple times from within the crowd that the music that was being played did not quite match up with the tempo of the artists own music.

After about an hour and a half, the anxious crowd was met with the set they were waiting for. XXYYXX came out, and just like his opener, played a blend of his own tunes with those that were equally alternative but had enough kick to keep you moving. Even with tracks to make you bounce, the maximum excitement was achieved when XXYYXX played his most popular songs off of his self titled album. It’s amazing to think that even five years later people still listen to and love that album enough to support it and it’s creator.

Overall it was a fun, intimate show where you didn’t have to worry about being squeezed shoulder to shoulder just to listen to some of your favorite songs. Fans who were unaware of XXYYXX’s difference in produced music and live shows were definitely in for a surprise. That is a surprise that I enjoyed every time I have seen him, and hope to keep enjoying in the future.

Ed Sheeran Creates the Perfect Duet

Ed Sheeran is a musical genius. I don’t know how else to phrase it. “Perfect” is one of the remarkable singles off Ed Sheeran’s latest album “Divide.” If you love that song as much as I do, you’re probably wondering how it could possibly get any better.

Let me tell you. “Perfect” as a duet with Beyoncé… (YES, Beyoncé) is exactly how it could get better.

Ed Sheeran left social media behind for about a year to focus on himself, only to return with more remarkable music compiled in “Divide.” “Perfect” is the epitome of what every girl hopes to hear from their significant other, or at least something close to it. There is such sincere, deep emotion in each line; this is a common theme within Ed Sheeran’s music. He is truly devoted to his music and the results always prove to be phenomenal.

The duet is sculpted to perfectly illustrate the underlying emotions from each singer. Their voices complement each other incredibly well. The harmonies are breath-taking. I didn’t realize I needed to hear Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran singing together until this release.

Little did we know, he’s been waiting to release the duet for nearly two months. What else could Ed be holding out on for us? He dished all the details about working with Beyoncé in an interview with Keltie Knight.

His hard work continues to pay off and working with Beyoncé is just another treat for all of us Ed Sheeran lovers.  According to the Official Charts, if the duet remains at Number 1, this will be Ed’s fourth song at the top of the charts.

What will Ed surprise us with next? Whatever it may be, I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.

I hope you enjoy this perfect duet as much as I do.

All puns were intended throughout the making of this blog post.

Featured image retrieved from here.

A Movie For Your Inner 70’s Teen: Dazed and Confused

Alright, alright, alright. The ’70s weren’t all that great, but movies made in the early 2000s about the ’70s were pretty great. “Dazed and Confused” is a movie that takes place on the last day of school/first night of summer and follows a bunch of high school students.

When I say this movie has one of the best soundtracks ever, I mean it. The opening scene is a car cruising in a parking lot to “Sweet Emotion,” by Aerosmith, while a girl rolls a blunt in the front seat. If that isn’t a scene for the ’70s then I don’t know what is. Other great classic rock songs are played during some iconic scenes, such as when the freshman boy, Mitch, is getting hazed by the new seniors to “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” by Alice Cooper, or when the new freshman girls are getting hazed while “Why Can’t We be Friends,” by War, plays in the background.

This is a movie where the quotes are just as iconic as the music. Like I referenced in the beginning of this article, “Alright, Alright, Alright,” the famous Matthew McConaughey impression, comes from this movie. Also, “I only cam here to do two things: kick some ass, and drink some beer. Looks like we’re almost outta beer.” a quote that is referenced in a lot other movies and T.V. shows, comes from none other than “Dazed and Confused.” And let’s not forget my personal favorite quote “You gotta keep on livin’ man L-I-V-I-N.” This movie has those good, reckless vibe quotes that the ’70s gives off.

So if you want a feel-good summer movie then “Dazed and Confused” is your thing. You’ll see some great fashion, hear some good music and watch childhood friends hang out. “Dazed and Confused” makes you feel nostalgia for a time that you weren’t even alive for, so grab your popcorn, pop this movie into your DVD player and chill out, man.

Why “Four” by One Direction Deserved a Grammy

Well, well, well. It has come to my attention that a lot of people don’t know about the evolution of One Direction. Their most popular hit, “What Makes You Beautiful,” was a straight bop and an all around good mood song. Because of that, a lot of people decided to write them off as just another teen sensation that would end soon. Oh, how wrong they were. Now, I won’t write about the history of One Direction or their fandom or the records they broke or why they weren’t just another teen sensation. But, I will talk about why their fourth album, “Four,” deserved at least one Grammy, if not three.

Let’s start with the quality of the album. HIT AFTER HIT! “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” “Ready to Run,” “Girl Almighty,” “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Fool’s Gold” –  I mean come on. And these were just a few of the hits from that album. The groups vocal performance was top notch too. Zayn was phenomenal as always, while Harry, Louis, Niall and Liam really came into their own on “Four.” Their vocal ranges were expanding and were really shown in this album (and were also really shown in their last album after Zayn’s departure).

Now, I don’t know the qualifications for a Grammy Nomination, but I do know that this album was the first of their albums to actually have a shot. I personally believe that One Direction was never nominated because they were still seen as the “bubblegum pop” teen sensation that they were back in 2012. But in two years time (2014), when “Four” was released, one could see and hear the growth the group went through. They wrote the majority of the songs on that album and they were impressive. It wasn’t what I was expecting, honestly.

Vocally and content wise, “Four” was the album that made a statement: One Direction demanded to be taken seriously. Even though many people still didn’t, their fans felt it. As they were growing up, so were we. Here’s to 1D! If the hiatus ever ends, may the industry take you guys as serious as a heart attack (oww!).