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Classic Album Review Miscellaneous Music Education New Album Review

Whole Lotta Leaks

Well, it finally happened. After years of anticipation, memes, and leaks, the long-awaited album “Whole Lotta Red” finally dropped on Christmas morning. Playboi Carti had declared himself as Santa and donned a red appearance to match the theme of the album. However, and I say this as a true Playboi Carti fan, it turned out to be a whole lotta hype for a whole lotta garbage. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some good songs in there. “Place” was a classic throwback to the synth-style of Carti’s music and “Go2DaMoon” sent me to Pluto. But for the most part, the album was an evolution to a new style of rap that hasn’t entirely taken hold yet. Instead of sticking to his beloved dream-like style of music found in his first album, Carti is slowly transitioning to a more grunge, pop style of rap found in songs like “Poke It Out” in Die Lit. 

One of the most asked questions from fans concerning “Whole Lotta Red” is why none of the dozens of leaked songs were found on the album. To be honest, I feel like if Carti made an album entirely out of leaks it would have blown up. However, leaks such as “Kid Cudi” and “No Lie,” for as good as they may be, hinder Carti’s ability to actually release the songs. When a song is leaked by a fan it goes against how a rapper’s label may have intended to release the song. If it doesn’t gain enough popularity fast enough or in the right way, it may never release. So while it may be possible that some leaks could have been on WLR, since they were leaked they never made it on the album. 

Although the album wasn’t for everybody, it still had some pretty good songs on there and the new direction of Carti’s music warms up to you after a few listens. Hopefully fans are still willing to stick with him in the future and hopefully we can see less leaks and more legitimate songs. 

-The DJ Formerly Known as Chippypants 

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review

New Music Alert: English Oldies

It’s becoming increasingly more common these days that I find new music through TikTok. I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is. Just the other day, I was scrolling through videos and heard a song that almost sounded familiar. I found the name of the song and realized it was the sample for “Ghost Town” by Kanye. The song is called “Take Me For a Little While” and sounds like something straight from the 50s. In fact, I fell in love with the whole album after just one run through. It’s actually a collaboration between The Royal Jesters, Dimas III, and Joe Jama. Each song off of this album is so heartfelt and raw. If I were to ever make a movie about two lovers in the late 50s, I would fill the thing with songs from English Oldies. Even the album cover, which shows The Royal Jesters playing in front of a crowded ballroom, suits the music perfectly. 

I’m not entirely sure as to what the backstory to this album is. The Royal Jesters was a West Texas band from 1958 that advertised Mexican-American civil rights, but I can’t find much about Dimas III or Joe Jama. My favorite three tracks from this album are definitely “Take Me For a Little While,” “Let’s Kiss and Make Up,” and “I’m So Sorry.” However, there are 28 tracks on this album, so I’m sure there’s got to be some more good ones in there. 

Hope you guys enjoy the tunes, 
-The DJ Formerly Known as Chippypants

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Miscellaneous Music Education Short Stories

No One is More Cozy Than A$AP Mob

Let me paint you a picture. A group of respected men walk into a New York Corner Store. They have a little chatter with the owner, otherwise known as “Papi,” and ask for a chopped cheese, a staple New York delicacy. It differs from it’s cousin, the Philly Cheese Steak, in the distinction that the steak is chopped up along with the cheese. After a short discourse on the goods of their exchange, the conversation between the men shifts to new and upcoming rappers “acting like they’re cozy.” This facade seems to antagonize the group of men, because the new rappers are not cozy. The group of men have been in the game, working hard for years, and quite frankly it’s offensive to see these new rappers come in, “sweat-suited up,” with their cheap, off brand clothes while concurrently trying to look like the homies. They are not cozy. 

Another unnamed member of the group, who had until now kept quiet, interjects and concurs that he has also taken notice of the recent mockery. However, he goes on to describe how exorbitantly cozy he is. While these new rappers may seem cozy, the man speaking is coming through with the Playboy boxers, with the Playboy fitting, wearing old man socks with the things that hold them up (the sock holsters). He reassures the group that he is cozy and the other men seem to approve. 

While this outfit is undoubtedly cozy, a third speaker, who I can only assume to be Rocky, brings light to the situation. He shows a confidence that leaves the group thinking if they even know the true meaning of “cozy.” He uses his outfit from yesterday as an example. While a seemingly meaningless phrase, the use of the word “yesterday” implies that for Rocky to dress this cozy is nothing to him. It’s something he casually does on a daily basis. As to the outfit he wore, it consisted of the Valentino shorts with white and red pinstripes. Rocky sported a real goose down feather bubble jacket. He described it as “very cozy, warm.” Then he had the durag hanging down with the bow string slinging in the wind. It was a two toned durag, with red on one side and white on the other. Some say he was so cozy that he fell asleep before he left the house. When asked what his inspiration was he told them “global warming.” In short, he was “too cozy.” 

This is an intro to a song called “Yamborghini High,” a tribute to the late A$AP Yams. It’s one of my favorites and I think the intro was just too good not to share. 

Hope you guys enjoy, 
-The DJ formerly known as “Chippypants”

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Miscellaneous Music Education Non-Music News

Artists Who Give Back to Their Community

One thing I’ve always noticed in not only the music industry, but in celebrities in general, is how easy it is to look at them as superhumans. It’s so easy to hold them to such a high standard that we ridicule them for the slightest mistakes and turn our heads when they do something good. I decided to write an article about artists who have given back to their community, but honestly it was hard to find a lot of information about it. More often than not when artists give donations and contributions to charities it’s overlooked or just not even reported on. However, I was able to find a few whose music I thoroughly enjoy and who are actively working to make the world a better place. 

A$AP Mob
The Always Strive and Prosper Foundation was created after A$AP Yams, one of the founders of the original A$AP Mob collective, died of an overdose back in 2015 The foundation is intended to provide children with the best information available about substance use and abuse without judgement or morality to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Their main philanthropic gathering is called Yams Day, which is a music festival dedicated to the foundation. 

Mac DeMarco 
Remember all those wildfires in Australia earlier this year? I know, it seems like forever ago. But ironically enough, Mac DeMarco held a barbeque event in Melbourne which raised $210,000 to go towards Wildlife Victoria and Fire Relief Fund. Cook a pig, save a koala. 

Rihanna
The queen herself is actually one of the biggest philanthropists in the music industry. While she donates to a wide variety of charities, her biggest one is focused on the education of children and women in Malawi, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Rihanna has helped to fight the huge disparity between the drive of the population to learn and the incredible lack of supplies and schools that are offered for children. 

Mrs. Lauryn Hill 
Lauryn Hill is perhaps the artist who most represents the idea that a community has the capability to love and heal as long as it has the right amount of support. While over her career she has donated to a wide array of charities, her most notable work was her 20 year anniversary tour of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” when she donated every single dollar earned from that tour to the MLH Foundation. This is a charity dedicated to supporting those who are fighting cancer and other serious illnesses. 

While these artists are already very well known, I thought the good work that they were able to do because of their success was something worth mentioning.

-DJ Chippypants 

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review

New Music Alert: Mamalarky

Warning, warning, the music you are about to hear may cause ambient waves of tranquility and soothe the inner tension in your soul. 

It’s time for another album review. This week we have a self-titled album by Mamalarky, a new band from Austin, Texas. Quite honestly, I listened to the first track on the album and already knew that this was going to be a hit. For a little bit of comparison, Mamalarky sounds like a sister band to Crumb. A concert with the two of them would be mind-blowing and would probably send my mind to another planet. On their website, Mamarky describes themselves as “down to water your houseplants while you’re out of town and plot an elaborate revenge on your high school bully. Mamalarky is a campfire song for American Idol rejects and a somber soundtrack for the months leading up to your next breakup. They are exactly what you’d expect in an increasingly sentient robot’s dream journal.” Honestly, I couldn’t have put it better myself. 

My favorite songs from the album include “You Make Me Smile,” “Schism Trek,” “Drugstore Model,” and “Don’t Laugh at Me.” The thing I love about listening to their music is that the vibe does not change with the tempo of the music. While some songs may be much slower than others, it still holds the exact same energy as the fast paced songs, making listening to the album all the way through much easier. Mamalarky’s music is reminiscent of a walk on the beach at night or sitting on a porch while listening to a gentle rain. It’s tender, soothing, and ambient, and makes for a great addition to any playlist. 

Hope you guys enjoy the music
-The DJ Formerly Known as “Chippypants”

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Great Bands From the Land Down Under

Recently I have been getting into Australian music. I couldn’t tell you how or why, but I just have. And the one thing that I have noticed is that no matter what band it is, it usually has a distinct Australian sound to it that just makes it stand apart from American music. It’s bouncy and almost tropical sounding, with a hint of fear from the local wildlife. So without further ado, I would like to present my favorite bands from the other side of the world. 

Tash Sultana
This is a one person band from Melbourne, Australia. Tash’s story is the classic tale of a DIY bedroom studio singer/songwriter gone pro. Their music is truly unique and makes you feel as if you were travelling to another world in a dream. My favorite songs by them are “Jungle”, “Big Smoke”, and “Talk it Out.” 

Bootleg Rascal 
This band formed in Sydney all the way back in 2013. I would classify this as a mix of hip-hop and indie. This is one of those bands where the vocals just perfectly fit the beat. The lead singer’s voice just the right mixture of passionate and raspy and he belts out psychedelic rock- esque lyrics. My favorite songs are “Overflow”, “Drop the Gun”, and “Prosperity”. 

Sticky Fingers 
So, fun fact, the band Sticky Fingers is actually friends with Bootleg Rascal and has a song named after them. Even more of a fun fact, it’s by far my favorite song by them. Their music sounds like if Tash Sultana got into psychedelic rock. Other great songs by Sticky Fingers include “How to Fly” and “These Girls”. 

Mako Road
This is definitely my favorite on the list. With their bouncy guitar riffs and excellent rhythm, Mako Road is the perfect representation of “Australian Music.” My favorite songs from this band include, but are not limited to, “The Green Superintendent,” “Teenage Lucy,” “All We Need,” and “The Sun Comes Up.” 

Tame Impala 
Have you guys heard of this band? They’re super underground and like so indie. You probably haven’t heard of them to be honest it’s pretty alternative music. Sorry, I had to include them if we were talking about Australian Bands. Irony aside, Kevin Parker is still an incredibly talented musician.  

Hope you guys enjoy the music, 
-DJ Chippypants 

Categories
Playlists

Songs to Astral Project To

Ok so obviously I understand that listening to these songs is not going to cause you to astral project. In fact, I’m not even 100% sure if I’m fully convinced of the idea. For those of you that don’t know, astral projection is a term used to describe an out of body experience, assuming that the soul is able to detach itself from the body. This would imply the immortal separate existence of the soul, but that’s a conversation for another day. I have personally never had this experience. Although, if I did, I feel like this is what I would be playing as I looked down from my projection. 

“Jungle”- Tash Sultana 
I feel like I would just have to start off the astral projection with this song. It starts off with a little bit of light, bouncy, guitar but progressively adds more and more layers as the song goes on, coinciding perfectly with the feeling of your soul floating up into space. 

“Changes”- A$AP Rocky 
Changes is the first in a long list of beautiful A$AP songs that I could make. This song is off of Rocky’s most recent album, “Testing,” and shows how truly diverse his music is able to be. The background harmonies are like no other, and there is an undeniable storyline that follows the flow of the song. 

“Still”- JJ
Switching over to SoundCloud for a bit, we hear one of the best uses of the ‘Still D.R.E.” sample to date. From start to finish, this whole song is just beautiful. The introduction includes a series of distorted, off-beat harmonies, which eventually flow into the iconic piano sound of “Still D.R.E.” 

“4 Morant”- Doja Cat 
This is one of Doja Cat’s earliest songs and my favorite on this list. The lyrics are actually pretty sad, but it honestly adds to the astral projection experience. Because, just like Doja Cat, we have to go through hard times to grow. And this song is the perfect thing to emulate that idea. The ending of the song is the best part and it is best listened to at loud volumes. 

“Same Ol’ Mistakes”- Rihanna
This is a Rihanna cover of “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” by Tame Impala. But to be quite honest, her voice just fits the song better. The song deals with change, overcoming self-doubt, and dealing with criticism from others in spite of who you want to be. And if that isn’t the perfect song to end an astral projection to, then I don’t know what is. 

Again,not saying that these are songs that will cause astral projection, but that I think it would just elevate the experience if they were played. 

Hope you guys enjoy the music, 
-DJ Chippypants 

Categories
Short Stories

Album Art of Bikini Bottom

Do you like album art? I know I do. Some of the best albums were characterized by their album art. Take Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” for example. Any Pink Floyd poser can easily identify the iconic light refraction through the pyramid, probably more than they actually know what the album sounds like. A lot of fame can be attributed to an eye-catching cover. But nothing is more eye-catching than the Instagram account @albumsofbikinnibottom.

The creative genius who runs this account takes album covers and reimagines them as if they were created in the SpongeBob universe. They cover all the greatest hits, from Van Halen to Weezer. For example, take the Nirvana album “Nevermind.” Instead of the classic image of a baby swimming after a dollar, we have a picture of Patrick under the sea happily reaching for a dollar in Bikini Bottom currency attached to a fishing hook. (Side note, did you know that babies can naturally swim before they learn how to walk? Crazy, right?)

Other honorable mentions include What I’ve Become by Ashes Remain and A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! at the Disco. For the Ashes Remain album a Faceless Man in a chair is replaced by SpongeBob sitting in his armchair when dancing anemones comes on the television and the Panic! at the Disco cover includes all of the main characters sitting around a table in a manner that reminds me of the last supper.

However, my favorite album replacement has got to be Blind Melon. The creator of this masterpiece replaced the dancing child with the meme of squidward with the bloodshot eyes and all of his arms outstretched in a frenzy. It’s almost better than the original. 

For more silly album replacements, I highly suggest you check out the Instagram for yourself @albumsofbikinibottom. You won’t be disappointed. 

Hope you guys enjoy, 
-DJ Chippypants 

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: Party Favors

You may or may not be aware by now, but possibly one of the best things to come out of this god-awful year is about to drop down to us from the heavens. With a beautiful mix of eccentric guitar riffs and resonating lyrics, “Party Favors” by Sir Chloe has quickly made its spot at the top of my list of albums this year. But who is Sir Chloe, and how have they made such quick success before dropping even a single album? 

Sir Chloe is far from a one man show, but it owes its fame to the vocalist and lead guitarist, Dana Foote, who formed the band with her brother and two friends as her senior year thesis at Bennington College. They released their debut single, Animal, in February of 2019. Since then they have been working meticulously on a debut album, periodically releasing a few singles here and there.

We had the pleasure of getting the album a few days early, and after a thorough listen I can wholeheartedly say that this is my new favorite album of 2020. The list starts off with Squaring Up, a song that emulates the feeling of trying not to fall for someone who you know is bad for you. Another favorite of mine is Untie You, which comes fourth on the album. However, my favorite song by far is Sedona. The song is placed perfectly on the album and is an incredible mix of a light indie background instrumental with heavier rock lyrics.

“Party Favors” is a project that has been in the works for a long time now, but the time and effort have produced something that sounds complete, and hopefully it will get the recognition it deserves. 

Hope you guys enjoy the music, 
-DJ Chippypants 

Categories
Music Education

Women in Jazz

Ya like jazz? Yes? Well who comes to mind when you think about the smooth tones that characterized the 40s and 50s? Is it Louis Armstrong? Or maybe Frank Sinatra and Louis Prima. While all of these men were incredible singers, more often than not they outshined a whole group of female jazz artists that were just as good, if not better.

One of my favorite artists, Billie Holiday, dominated the charts back in the day. She rose to fame in a time following the Great Depression, with a new flavor of music that became known as “swing.” With songs like I’ll Be Seeing You and Easy Living she quickly made a name for herself. Her music also incorporated a strong element of the civil rights movement, with Strange Fruit serving as an emotional depiction of the effects of racism.

Another notable singer from the time was Ella Fitzgerald, who popularized scat singing through songs such as Dream a Little Dream of Me and A-Tisket, A-Tasket. Perhaps one of the biggest women in music at the time, she was also popular on the big screen, with a role in Pete Kelley’s Blues and making guest appearances on TV shows such as The Frank Sinatra and The Ed Sullivan Show.

One last artist I’d like to point out is Dinah Shore. Her melodic voice fits perfectly with the instrumental background and perfectly characterizes the aged feeling that comes from listening to this genre of music.

Each song by these artists tells a story. Some tell stories of injustice, some of hardships, and some of love. But these stories are what helped women gain a foothold in the music industry and will forever be timeless on any jazz playlist. 

Hope you guys enjoy the music, 

-DJ chippypants