Grammy Insights

Every music artists dream is to win a Grammy; it is one of the highest accolades in the music industry. The nominees for the 2017 Grammy Awards were recently announced. However, this academy of electors seems to have made some interesting nomination decisions this year and I’m here to point a few of them out. Get ready for some cynicism.

How is Chance the Rapper nominated for best new artist?

I saw Chance the Rapper in 2015 at an SDSU sponsored concert.  He gained recognition three years ago with his mixtape “Acid Rap”. Three years of recognition doesn’t really seem like much of a “new” artist to me. He often performs at college campuses and offers up all of his music for free online download. While this helps to avoid the streaming issues that can are often associated with artists and payment, it leaves question as to how Chance survives in a competitive market. Additionally, and with all biases aside, that performance that I saw was awful. The song “Cocoa Butter Kisses” really creeped me out.

A better nomination in this category is The Chainsmokers. Although I am not primarily a pop/dance/electronic music listener, there is no doubt that The Chainsmokers have had a very successful year. They have had multiple hits including my personal favorite “Closer” and continue to bring new things to the table in terms of collaborations and performances.

How did Blink-182’s California get nominated for Best Rock Album?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Blink-182. However, I prefer pre- Matt Skiba Blink, as do most sane people. California was a good album, but not a great one, especially when compared to past Blink albums.

A better nomination in this category is Weezer’s self-titled album. My favorite song of the album is “Thank God for Girls”. This album is Weezer’s tenth studio album. Whether or not Weezer actually receives the little golden trophy, they sure are fabulously prolific.

The Song of The Year

This is perhaps one of the most important categories of the whole awards ceremony. It is left until the end so that you have to stay tuned the entire time for fear of missing it. This year the nominees are pretty standard 2016 hits: “Formation” by Beyoncé, “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber, “Hello” by Adele, “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” by Mike Posner, and “7 Years” by Lukas Graham. The nominees in this category were relatively well selected and all five songs have equal capability of winning, but I have a favorite, of course.

2016 brought about the Lemonade bug and while I truly appreciated seeing Beyoncé’s extra sassy side, I’m going to have to go with “7 Years” by Lukas Graham as my Song of the Year choice. Like many Top 40 hits, “7 Years” was a bit over played on the radio, but otherwise was a rather well written song. Perhaps the most award-winning part of this song is that it tells a story, which can be quite difficult in popular music. This story of a man throughout different stages of his life is relatable to everyone in some way, even if it’s just a little one. My favorite aspect of music, specifically lyrics, is that it can really touch people and “7 Years” excels in that way.

Back from the Dead: San Cisco

Bands can evolve for years, creating new sounds that draw listeners in. However, for San Cisco, this Australian band has reconnected with their roots and put out a new track called “B Side”. The song’s bright, clean guitar sound and catchy melody pays homage to their 2012 self-titled album with popular tunes like “Fred Astaire”, “Nepal”, and “Awkward”. The simple yet infectious clean guitars in “Fred Astaire” give it a 50’s vibe. The synth, on the other hand, adds a modern sound recognizable in Vampire Weekend songs. Other stand-out tracks like ‘Awkward’ with its distinctive groovy bass and thumping drum beats, and “Nepal” with its dreamlike guitar effects has made San Cisco’s debut album a personal favorite. Their second LP Gracetown, on the other hand, takes a subtle but different approach.

Gracetown carries a more mature sound. They ditch the pure indie pop for psychedelic, hip-hop, and disco leanings. Lead guitarist Josh Biondillo adds more complex and creative hooks listeners can groove to. Complimenting the bouncy riffs and melodies, Scarlett Stevens shows off her exceptional drumming and even her pipes in “Magic”. Nick Gardner’s ingenious bass lines bring depth to the songs while Jordi Davieson’s lyricism and dreamy vocals tie every aspect together.

The record opens up with “RUN”. The bass line is an immediate stand out and the jangly guitars are nice changes from the usual clean effect. Including “RUN”, “Magic” and “Bitter Winter” are the best tracks on the album. Nevertheless, in spite of raving reviews, Gracetown fell flat for me. I appreciate San Cisco’s musicianship and maturity as a band, but I also miss the bouncy pop vibe from their debut album.

‘B Side’ takes me back to the self-titled days. The clean guitars, infectious riffs, and Davieson’s melodious vocals gave me a little spring to my step. Even the endearing lyrics in the chorus aren’t cringy at all, but sweet and fun. Overall, it’s a solid track and a solid “B-side” to their new single “SlowMo”. I’m excited to hear their upcoming record so stay tuned for more updates!

It’s DJ Ricky P signing out. Deuces.

Local Music Faves

Most people discover music through Youtube or Pandora, but I’m here to tell you that great music can be discovered right under our noses, right here in southern Cali. It’s quite gratifying to go to a local show and realize that woah, you actually really like the music being played. Then, you’re at home, on their Facebook page, trying to figure out what song you fell in love with. Let me make it easy for you. Below are my favorite songs from bands that are from SoCal.

Alone Today – Neutral Shirt

A band that just toured across the country, Neutral Shirt got its roots from right here in San Diego. Initially getting their start playing at the Che Cafe, the band has maintained their lo-fi sound — applying their focus on the lyrics. Having an alternative sound, Neutral Shirt’s song Alone Today is perfect for lying in bed staring at the ceiling (which is precisely what I did last night).

I Work For The City – Mandarin Dynasty

Mandarin Dynasty is a band that originally got its foot into the music world by playing shows around San Diego. With it’s high-quality production, the album Perpendicular Crosstalk includes 11 songs that are all equally beautiful. It involves beautiful harmonies, a couple weird (a good type of weird) instruments, and thoughtful and poetic lyrics.

Carey finds herself (with a new fascination) – California’s Bellow

With catchy lyrics, bass-riffs, and beats, California’s Bellow is a Los Angeles based singer. All the songs and lyrics created are credited to Ben Levinson, the main singer and producer.  His music mainly features two fictional(?) characters by the names of Harri and Carey. The song “Carey finds herself” offers ~cool~ synth noises and a bass-riff that you won’t be able to get out of your head!

Condensate – T.Rexico

T.Rexico is a band based out of San Diego (more specifically, Chula Vista). The band includes 3 young pups who are seriously still in high school. Their music involves a heavily reverb-ed guitar and a surf-punk/rock sound. The difference between T.Rexico and the many other surf-punk bands in San Diego is that they have such high skill levels in the individual instruments that they play. They mostly play here in San Diego, so keep an eye out for them! Their live shows are always awesome.

Yuri Yuri Flex (ft. Mangaboy Jun) – Digi-Gurl

For those who are into hip hop, I suggest taking a listen to Digi-Gurl. Also a pretty young pup, his music suggests absolutely nothing about his age. His music radiates a new level of “coolness” that is definitely hard to have. If you’re looking for some fun tracks to blast in your car with your friends, his music is p e r f e c t for it.

That’s all I have for now! Tune in to my music show today at 11 pm!

Ashley Bajet, signing out.

 

The Ultimate Lifting List

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year…midterms! Sike. It’s a miserable, dreary time. Long nights of studying and binge eating weird foods because you don’t have time to grocery shop (Not speaking out of personal experience or anything…). Anyways, everyone has their form of stress relief, whether it be watching Netflix or venting to a close friend. My stress relief drug of choice is hitting the gym. No gym trip is complete without a pair of headphones on full volume.

This playlist is 58 minutes in length, the maximum time that my lifting workouts ever last. Whatever workout regimen you follow, it’s always good to have some motivating music on in the background.

  1. A** Back Home- Secrets

This is a screamo remake of a Gym Class Heroes Song. It may surprise you how much a little bit of screaming can pump you up. This is the perfect song to start off your workout.

  1. Tom Ford- Jay-Z
  2. No Mediocre- T.I., Iggy Azalea
  3. You See Me- Childish Gambino
  4. Switch Lanes- Tyga, The Game

You may recognize the name Tyga because he has a minor role on a majorly popular reality television show. His talent is minimal, in all aspects, but this song is one of the few good ones.

  1. Headband- B.o.B, 2 Chainz

I am not going to claim that I have the credibility to make this statement, but this is a true hip-hop gold mine of a song.

  1. I Don’t F**k With You- Big Sean, E-40

Aside from being a great song to squat to, “I Don’t F**k With You” is a great study song. I know that sounds strange, but trust me. This song was the sole reason I got through finals freshman year.

  1. Otis- Jay Z, Kanye West
  2. All Gold Everything- Trinidad James
  3. R.I.P.- Jeezy, 2 Chainz
  4. No Hands- Waka Flocka Flame

This song takes me back to early high school. Pick up those free weights and stare at yourself in the mirror for a second and reflect on that dorky person that you used to be (Again, not talking out of personal experience…). Please don’t be that person that stares too long though.

  1. Gas Pedal- Sage the Gemini
  2. Fancy- Drake

I tend to try and ignore the sexist undertones that are evident in almost every hip hop song, but this one’s a little less sexist and a little more independent women. Although I wouldn’t exactly throw a Drake song in the pile of female empowerment anthems, “Fancy” does make being one of eight girls in the non-cardio part of the gym a little less annoying.

  1. Gold Digger- Kanye West, Jamie Foxx
  2. Ayy Ladies- Travis Porter, Tyga
  3. Lean On- Major Lazer

At the end of your workout it’s always good to slow down the pace a bit to match your plummeting heart rate. “Lean On” does just that, at least in comparison to the other songs on this list.


shoes

No matter your form of midterm stress relief, it’s a guarantee that this playlist will at least provide a little escape from the madness.

You can access my Spotify playlist here! IMG_6546See you at the gym! 😉