Category Archives: Adam Lukach

went to Lollapalooza mostly alone but i wasn’t sad about it

diplo mick

I spent this past weekend covering Lollapalooza and spent a lot of time by myself, since tickets are too expensive for my broke friends, and my tastes are too 2-Chainz-y for my journo friends. So as the oddly alone smoked-out dude, I conducted some highly thoughtful surveying of the crowds. At times conversations were had. It was fine! Here’s some of what I saw and what it was like. It will be exactly like you were there, trust me. Continue reading

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Best Albums of 2013 (thus far)

Matt Bailey @SonOfHilljack

Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
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I turned 24 the other day, and this shit gets a little more depressing every year.  Thankfully we have Brooklyn pessimists with Squire Stratocasters pledging their discontent through feedback and razor sharp wit.  A soundtrack for post graduate despair that radiates with slacker quirk, I can blast this in my compact economy car while some lady next to me at an LA stoplight in an Audi purses her lips and thinks to herself “Get a job.”  Conversely, I’m thinking to myself, “Atleast 3 people just ran that red light.  And why does nobody have their turn signals on?  Did none of you people have stable father figures in your life?”
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“what is happening here?” “oh we are just waiting for a new kanye west song to appear on the side of one of these buildings.”

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s noted non-celebrity Kanye West premiering a new song via a 20-foot projection of his face onto a Walgreens!

(Really though, “New Slaves” is heavy and awesome. Black power Kanye is the real ‘Che Guevera with bling on.'”)

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Cool Songs : April


Apologies for the prolonged absence — especially considering my last past post prior to this one was a music review that was one giant step short of a music review. As it turns out, it’s much easier to contribute steady content to a blog when you’re unemployed.

And actually, this month’s playlist is going to be much shorter (ready to opt out of my lazy ass blog yet?), but that’s by design. I seriously doubt you guys are interested in hearing a 3 hour playlist that jumps from genre to genre, and would probably opt for 10 standouts or at least a compilation that had some flow. See? I’m always thinking of you guys, even if it’s not necessarily evident.

A quick recap of the month that was. Things definitely hit a low point on the 15th, as evidenced by the tears of twitter . What a fascinating part the internet played in this national tragedy, from the good (strangers offering up nearby sanctuaries to Boston Marathon runners on Twitter) to the bad (misinformation flying around, ex. 12 dead) to the hilarious (Reddit detectives, CNN’s credibility). For the rest of my life I’ll remember sitting in my Glendale, California apartment, dialed into a live stream of the Boston Police Scanner at 1:30 am and being so overwhelmingly captivated. I’m still not exactly sure how we caught him…something involving a boat, a pool of blood and a negotiator….but we did, and everybody simultaneously swelled with patriotism that was reminiscent of Charlie from Always Sunny.

I’d like to think we’re still riding that wave of positivity, considering April was a generally kick-ass month. It got warm for a bunch of you, so congrats on that. Additionally, the only relevant, yet extremely entertaining portion of the NBA season is underway. Also, I lived vicariously through friends Jurassic Pop back in Lafayette on what was apparently a wildly successful Record Store Day 2013 at Purdue. That reminds me though, if I hear about another Racist incident at Purdue, I’m flying back and kicking everybody’s ass, whether they were involved or not. Forewarning.

I’d like to punctuate your month with an extremely strong April edition of Cool Songs. I was floored by more than few tracks over the past month, and I’m happy to have this outlet to share them with you guys. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Oh and I almost forgot, Empire of the Sun released a new video for their painfully vanilla single “Alive”. The video on the other hand…My god this video. If you’re familiar and appreciative of their brand of hilarious vanity, this will not disappoint.

Lukach’s picks

“Dis Ain’t What U Want” – Lil Durk

“I can’t do no shows, cuz I’m terrified of my city/ They say I terrify my city,” Durk wails on this monolith of a track that’s his first single from Def Jam. He doesn’t really fuck around, and that’s about the most vulnerable you’ll find him, when “Chicago Hates You” turns into “Chicago Hates Me.” The rest is as menacing as ever, and Paris Bueller’s drop in the middle of the chorus is crushing.

“Fuk Yo Life” – Fat Trel

Trel sputters a lot about killing and fucking here and it’s actually pretty chill considering the content. 12 Hunna’s beat is the matter here tho, with all the literal bells and whistles giving it a kineticism that works for Trel to stuff his syllables through.

“Sound of Love” – Cassie feat. Jeremih

Slow jam of the month award right here– it feels like a Cassie song featuring Jeremih, but his voice is the one that’s more dynamic here, helping it to really swell by that last chorus and making you want to fuck immediately every time you hear it. Cassie’s a super-solid complement here though, don’t get me wrong. Sexiest song I’ve heard in a minute.

“Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends)” – Kid Cudi feat. Michael Bolton & King Chip

This is a Kid Cudi song featuring Michael Bolton about bringing your friends to their after party, and it’s 9 minutes long. I also love it, so there’s that.

“Grins” – Charli XCX

“Ha Ha Ha” is the best song from this new Charli XCX album, but “Grins” stretches out her gothic groans over hella drums that gives it a lighter touch, even when she’s wailing. It carries none of the weight of the rest of the album, but all the tangible melody. “Beaches and oceans for my baby…”

“SOS in Bel Air” – Phoenix

One of those songs that makes you feel like you’re running, or you should be going somewhere or something, but when the break comes before it falls into the chorus, it catches a little reset before Thomas Mars gets to croon “Alone, alone alone” over and over–that intimacy permeates the rest of the track once you hear it and it’s all catchy, cool and invigorating together, somehow.

“Unreal” – Hebronix

The dude from Yuck is making his own music now, and this one is super slow, super lonely, and SUPER druggy. Must be high to listen. (Not really but it certainly works to your benefit.)

“Young and Beautiful” – Lana Del Rey

LDR’s Gatsby contribution is the best, but only by default, because the rest of those curated by Shawn Carter for the Gatsby soundtrack really have no business being on a Gatsby soundtrack, unless it was adapted by Baz Luhrmann with a soundtrack from Jay-Z, so, yeah.

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Cool Songs : February

Forewarning : This playlist will be considerably less involved than January.  Last month, we felt compelled to break down tracks, and what they meant to us and shit.  This month we’re mad at you, but we’re not telling you why.

I will say I had like some sort of half-cold for a couple weeks, paired with the fact I started Homeland. And then there was the week that I just listened to “Call Your Girlfriend” on repeat. I won’t deny trying to watch the video on my phone while driving on the highway (4 or 5 times). Sorry world.

A few things worth noting though. I invite anybody to try knocking “Retrograde” off the top of the mountain. Far and away song of the year for me. “AM Portal” and “The Mirror Reflecting (Part 2)” had to be back in this mix. The latter sent me down an internet rabbit hole where I found electronic doom music. Way more terrifying than the heaviest metal and some of it completely un-stomachable. Seriously, can you imagine somebody playing this at a party?

What the fuck is going on here, exactly?

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Remembering Fall Out Boy lyrics as MySpace names and who had ’em

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remember myspace? it was so you, wasn’t it? that’s cause you could customize everything, it wasn’t stagnant and boring blue like facebook. like, you could have your top 8 for everyone to see; you could totally deck out your background HTML if you just wanna google it. it’s, like, so easy. plus, you could put a solid tune on there too: something like fall out boy. actually, an even better place for the chi-town boiz was in your name, where you could use their resonant lyrics to convey who you were in a unique way that was still popular enough that everyone got you. here are some def classics.

“’cause that’s just who i am this week” from sugar, we’re going down – crazy person, maybe a little bratty, confident in Who They Are.

“isn’t it messed up, how i’m just dying to be him?” from sugar, we’re going down – actually kinda-creepy dudes

“the best part of believe is the ‘lie'” from sophomore slump or comeback of the year – the scorned girl, her boyfriend made out with another girl so much at the movies his glasses steamed up

“i set my clocks early cause i know i’m always late” from a little less sixteen candles a little more touch me – myspace bio: “i’m just a guy who’s always a little behind… just waiting for a chance to prove myself”

“i’ll be your best-kept secret and your biggest mistake” from nobody puts baby in the corner – the girl who’s not as bad as she thinks she is but maybe would be if you put on fall out boy.

wow, how fun. add your own!

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January 2013 Playlist

To conclude January, we have collectively put together a list of tracks that caught our attention this month.  We’ll probably do this monthly until we inevitably forget about this blog 6-8 months from now.

Here’s how this is going to work. All songs that hadn’t been added to Spotify will be embedded in this post for your listening pleasure.  Everything that I was able to find has been assembled on a playlist that can be found HERE

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This is not Lil B’s year to get on the Grammys :(

taskforce

It was supposed to be a crowning moment for positivity, a #rare opportunity to spread the #based gospel on national television. Yes, Lil B’s potential Grammy performance seemed too good to be true, yet there he was, climbing to 2nd place in his region behind the apparent strength of the Lil B Task Force. The Based God seemed on his way to transcending the novel Gig of a Lifetime contest and taking his place along Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Deadmau5 in the canon of timeless Grammy performances.

But the Task Force was not able to protect Lil B from 4Chan, and those OG cyber bullies turned out to be partially responsible for his ascendance on the list. For some reason 4Chan’s votes weren’t good enough for the Grammys and Lil B was apparently eliminated from the ballot. Normally this would spark and outrage/digital revolt with defamatory Tweets and pouty blog posts, but Lil B hates hate and it was really an extremely #rare opportunity.  So 4Chan plz pick Chevelle to ironically get on the show next time, and Grammys you stay hating on good shit without even knowing it and Protect Lil B At All Costs. #based4life

-Adam Lukach

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A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP

by Adam Lukach

The demise of New York hip hop has been both well documented and greatly exaggerated, and, really, that goes step-for-step with the demise of regional affiliations and expectations as a whole. Regional repping can still be crucial from both a career and artistic perspective; look no further than Chief Keef and Kendrick Lamar most recently. But while “GKMC” was defined by its setting, cruising, literally, through the streets of Compton, or “Finally Rich” was the major label fruition of Chicago’s movement, the “LongLiveA$AP” debut of New York’s latest savior, A$AP Rocky, has a much more worldly outlook and scope.

On the title track opener, Rocky spits, “Rollin through your city like that muthafucka mine,” and that’s not just a nonsense boast. It’s the way he makes music, snagging sounds and clothes from everything, from Houston screw to Alexander Wang and a lot in between. He slangs Bone Thugs syllables about hanging out with Drake. He worries about dripping 40s on Dior. The dude born Rakim Myers is from Harlem and has plenty of swag to prove it, but he’s got his eye on the rest of the world.

His indulgences include a Skrillex crossover, “Wild For the Night,” that I frankly endorse wholeheartedly; it’s as good an American dubstep/hip-hop crossover as there’s been, mostly because the pair is malleable enough to do pull it off. (Although, “Middle finger to the critics/Me and my nigga Skrillex” is LOL-worthy every time.) That’s the meat of a “Fuckin Problem”/”1 Train” sandwich, the former the huge, star-studded, sexy single and the latter an over the top posse cut. “Train” is a “generation” cut, to borrow another favorite Rocky word, with Kendrick, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big KRIT all throwing down on a rather tame but VERY New York Hit-Boy beat.  Even when Rocky stays home, he can’t go small. Clearly it’s a lot, but the purple-syrup-dark gothic haze that hangs over it all brings a shade of continuity. Think Three 6 Mafia making fashion party music.

The misses come off as bad ideas. The Santigold hook and stadium synths on “Hell” sound awkward and misplaced, and includes “Catch me out in China stunting, yeah, I’m about my guapanese,” one of several Rocky groaners. “Pain” is a lesser retread of “Acid Drip” from “LiveLoveA$AP,” both produced by Soufein 3000, this time with a forgettable Overdoz guest spot.

The other steadying presence is Rocky, who shows that he can still ride the fuck out of a catchy beat, but he’s also improved as a rapper a bit. He does some decent lyrical lifting on the finale “Suddenly,” driving it for a drumless first two minutes and carrying the Dangermouse-produced “Phoenix” about the same way.

It’s easy to long for the Clams Casino-assisted comfort of “LiveLove” during some of the colder, more spacious “LongLive” numbers, especially when he flashes familiar chemistry with Clams or Schoolboy Q during the lurching “LVL” and “PMW.” But he’s serious about “boom-bap mixed with new rap,” and even though he likes to break off a little more than he can handle, Rocky doesn’t care about the missteps. He’s already off that and onto more.

stars

4/5

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