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Covers *Aloe Blacc, Bad Rabbits, Collin McLoughlin, John Legend, Adele

May 8th, 2011 by | Alternative/Indie, Pop, R&B, Remix, Rock |

I have been pushing this back and continually forgetting about doing a covers post. Well know I got too many covers to post, so here’s five that have come out within the last few months worth listening to. Above is a picture of Bad Rabbits who recently embarked on a “Cover Sessions” feature. Below is the third cover in their series.

Aloe Blacc decided to do a cover/mashup with my favorite Jay-Z song, “99 Problems” with Kanye West‘s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”. Aloe Blacc is hands-down one of the best up-and-coming R&B/soul artists and I love his vocals in this, giving the song a retro soul feel. It’s ironic because each of these originals sample retro funk/soul material.
Aloe Blacc – 99 Problems x Can’t Tell Me Nothing
Next my favorite genre-blending funk, pop, R&B, rock band, Bad Rabbits, cover one of Smashing Pumpkins greatest songs and one of those songs I hate to hear on a Sunday because it reminds me of a new work week, much like any Bush song. Loving the instrumentals, vocals are better than I expected, personally I enjoy the cover more than the original.
Bad Rabbits – 1979
For some reason Collin McLoughlin is putting out more remixes/covers than originals which is cool but I want to see more originality before declaring me being a bigger fan of him than say Mike Posner. Here Collin cover’s Odd Future crooner Frank Ocean‘s “Nature Feels” which samples MGMT’s “Electric Feel”. When your doing a song over MGMT instrumentals, there’s a real good chance the song is going to be fantastic.
Collin McLoughlin – Nature Feels
Probably have all heard this but if you haven’t downloaded this yet, here’s John Legend‘s cover of Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep”. Love how John Legend uses hardly anything to support his powerful vocals.
John Legend – Rolling In The Deep
And on that note, let’s finish today’s covers with Adele‘s cover of The Strokes first mainstream hit, “Last Nite”. I still prefer the original, but this is still really good as Adele is one of the most under-appreciated musicians out there.
Adele – Last Nite

XV – SmallVille X H.A.M. (freestyle)

January 28th, 2011 by | Hip-Hop/Rap |

The kid with the green backpack, XV, recently dropped a song produced by J. Cole which samples Smashing Pumpkins. “SmallVille” has a nice relaxing beat to it and the sample only makes it better. Great production, great lyricism, great song.

SmallVille (produced By J. Cole)

Next XV song is “H.A.M.” and is the hit single from the Jay-Z/Kanye West collaboration off their upcoming album, Watch The Throne, coming out summer 2011. XV handles the track nicely and of all up-and-coming rappers to take on a big song, XV has the skills to do it well.

H.A.M. (Heroes Amongst Men)

SSMF review: It was Legen- (wait for it) -DARY

September 4th, 2010 by | Alternative/Indie, Concert/Festival Review, Hip-Hop/Rap, Reviews, Rock |

 The Sunset Strip Music Festival was so dope, not “Mojo So Dope” (thanks for not playing that song Kid Cudi), but just an awesome experience. I went on the best day of the Festival which was Saturday August 28 and saw Neon Trees, Travie McCoy, Semi Precious Weapons, Common, Kid Cudi, and Smashing Pumpkins on the outdoor stages and saw a couple more bands at The Key Club and The Roxy.

This was the 2nd annual festival in which on the final day of the three-day festival, about two blocks of the Sunset Strip were blocked off to host over 60 bands performing on two outdoor stages and four of the best music clubs on Sunset with The Cat Club, The Key Club, The Roxy Theatre and Whisky A Go-Go.

Below are reviews of the artists I saw from first to last including videos some other people and I made.

Neon Trees
Heard about 15 mintues of their set but saw only five minutes as I got to hear their music waiting to get inside the Festival. From what I saw, they really give it their all as the lead singer, Tyler Glenn, looked as if he was going to pass out by the time they were finished and was playing the piano from the floor for the last couple of songs.

Below is a recording of their hit song “Animal” which was my favorite among the songs I heard from them.


Travie McCoy
Travis McCoy is the lead singer of Gym Class Heroes and has embarked on a solo career known as Travie McCoy. McCoy and his band did really well, especially the drummer Matt McGinley, who built the melody and tempo of most of McCoy’s songs. Travie McCoy played mostly music from his debut solo ablum, Lazurus, which was very pop-oriented with some hip-hop and rock. Overall an enjoyable performance by Travie McCoy especially since they played “Cupid’s Chokehold”, the 2006 hit single by Gym Class Heroes.
Enjoy parts of “Dr. Feel Good” and “Superbad” which I recorded.


Semi Precious Weapons
Two words to describe the alternative rock band Semi Precious Weapons; weird and crazy. The bassist was wearing a piece of trash for a shirt and the guitarist was climbing on the side of the stage while the lead singer was screaming a lot and wearing spandex. I only caught five minutes of them while waiting for Common to come on after that. It was a wild experience seeing Semi Precious Weapons on stage with around 25-30 fans partying it up with them during the last few songs.

Below enjoy a couple of pictures posted of them at SSMF.


Even though Common started 25-30 minutes late because of sound check problems with the DJ turntables, he still was the best. He played his full set which ended about 20 minutes later than it should have because of the late start. Common freestyled over old songs by him and other artists, new songs and overall really got the crowd jumping.

Below enjoy video I made when Common finally came out and the reception he immediately got from fans, and enjoy Common performing his classic, “I Used to Love H.E.R. “


Kid Cudi
Despite his whiny singing, Kid Cudi was awesome. He started with a new song of his upcoming album, “Revoref” which is below and played mostly new songs that will be on his album while sticking with his singles from his debut album such as “Day N’ Nite” (Crookers remix) and “Pursuit of Happiness”, which was perfect for him to end with. Some of his new songs were a bit whiny like “Trapped in My Mind” (below), while others were as awesome as I expected like “Mr. Rager” and “Revoref”.

Enjoy the epic opening song of Kid Cudi’s set, “Revoref” and two new song’s: “Ghost” and “Trapped In My Mind”.


Smashing Pumpkins
Saw only about 25-30 minutes of Smashing Pumpkins as Kid Cudi ended a little late because of the late start by Common before him. Smashing Pumpkins played a mix of new (“A Song for a Son” and old songs, including the classics “1979” and “Tonight”. Overall it was a bit too psychedelic and dreamy but they still rocked out as headliners with lead singer, Billy Corgan stopping briefly in their set to name a long list of artists that influenced Smashing Pumpkins including The Doors, Love and the Electric Prunes, Guns N’ Roses, Ratt, Motley Crue, etc.

Below enjoy my favorite Smashing Pumpkins song, “Today”.


Some bands I didn’t get to see but heard great things about was Slash who had singer Fergie and lead vocalist Myles Kennedy singing to his incredible guitar riffs, New Kingdom, The Divine, Saint Motel, Big B, Oh No Not Stereo, and White Arrows but I did et to see emo-hard rockers Dommin and jam band Zen Robbi who were both solid.

All in all, for one of my first major music festival’s, I had an incredible time and loved most of the music I heard.

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