About five years ago, while working for a new show for a big name cable entertainment channel that is exuberantly punctuated (you know the one), I created and produced a weekly new music segment called, “Now Hear This”. I thought it was one of the best parts of this “news” program since we actually talked about entertainment instead of just celebrities and their babies, but I never really got to talk about the music I wanted to… the freshest, illest, you-have-to-know-this-band-right-now kind of stuff that network tends to overlook in a big way. Since that show was cancelled last year, I’ve decided to reclaim the idea and the segment I created and give it a new life here at HelloGiggles. HG seems like the perfect place with the best kind of audience to check out my thoughts on my favorite subject: awesome tunes.
I know there are exactly one-gazillion music blogs on the interwebs (confirmed fact) and I am by no-means a certified expert, a professional music critic or one of those annoying, snobby, holier-than-thou music heads who looks down on people that listen to popular music. I’m just the chick who has had a subscription to Rolling Stone since age 12, a closet full of vinyl, goes to 100 live shows a year, listens to satellite radio obsessively and actively seeks out and thinks about new bands and new music all day, every day. It is my biggest passion and my biggest pleasure and because I spend most of my free time listening to and finding new music, I tend to be that person that everyone comes to when they want to know what’s good. I used to be the mixed tape queen of Miami in the ’90s and now I run this weird program amongst my friends and family where I load up flash drives with killer new jams and send them all over the country a couple times a month. I totally love the convenience of our digital age, but man do I miss me some mixed tapes.
So, Now Hear This – The Hello Giggles Edition will aim to be what it couldn’t be on TV, a weekly (or more) feature where I talk about new songs, new albums and new bands that I think are worth a listen and that people should check out if they are looking for ways to shake up their playlists. I might talk about brand new releases, a band I’ve just discovered but that’s actually been around awhile or something I’ve re-discovered while perusing my 10,000-song-strong library. It could be an opening band I saw at a show that melted my face or a track I randomly heard out at my favorite indie rock bar that I Shazam-ed and then downloaded later. I get the biggest kick out of introducing my friends and family to their “new favorite” song or band and that’s what I hope to be able to provide to the Hello Giggles-verse. Not to worry, my tastes are all over the place, so I think there will be a little something for everybody to sink their teeth into.
In the spirit of newness for my first post – I want to share this dynamic, quirky and well… fun single from the yet unreleased new record by an NYC band aptly named, fun. ’We Are Young’ has these military-esque drums, a damn catchy chorus about the power and spirit of youth and halfway through features the excellent R&B soulstress Janelle Monae on background vocals. Their 2009 release Aim and Ignite has some equally engaging, unique moments and is worth a listen too, but this new endeavor was produced by Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Drake) and I think it’s really going to be something fresh for your ears and super special. The guys are currently on tour with Ms. Monae for the Campus Consciousness Tour, a half music, half environmental/social consciousness campaign hitting Mid-West and East Coast schools through the end of October. I’ve yet to see them live, but a quick peep at some of the clips of their shows on YouTube has me putting them at the top of my “must-see-soon” list, fo sho.
So, take a listen to ‘We Are Young’ and if you dig fun. like I dig fun. (and I dig fun in so many ways), then also check out ‘At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)’ and ‘Be Calm’ from their first record for more good times and let me know what you think. You can also see the music video and download the track here: http://www.ournameisfun.com/
Just a side note as we move forward, fellow Gigglers: no one loves iTunes and what it has done for music nerds (like myself) more than me, but if you do see a real live record store in your town… go in and support them by buying some tangible music once and a while too. It makes it sound that much better, I promise.
We Are Young (ft. Janelle Monae) – fun.