Smells Like Teen Spirit, Completely Reworked the Right Way

Check this song out, a dreamy rework of Smells Like Teen Spirit by J*DaVeY. This may sound like some kind of grunge blasphemy but I think this song is comparable to the original. The way the decided to approach this cover is interesting, I find it really catchy and appealing. Definitely the right way for them to have done this.

A Diplo Classic

Diplo can turn any song into an anthem, between Major Lazer and his solo work he has created some of the most captivating and impressive music of the past couple years.

I recently heard what I consider to be a masterpiece within his collection, his remix of California Soul by Marlena Shaw. The lad back, atmospheric beat is perfectly put together by Diplo.

Also here is an absolutely dirty mashup of Bloody Beetroots and Lil Wayne...


New Timbaland and Missy Elliot Collaboration

Missy Elliot and TImbaland released a new collaboration yesterday as a part of Timbaland's Timbaland Thursday's free tracks. The song has been described as a throwback to Missy and Timbaland's earlier work together. The beat is powered forward by genius drums and bass by TImbaland that I can't help but bob around to in my cubicle chair. The chorus is nothing exciting, nor is MIssy's repetition of her final line of each verse before the chorus, but the verses themselves really stand out on this track. I can definitely see this becoming a huge dance track/party track for a bit. Nothing that stands out to me as life changing, but I enjoy it nonetheless.


Alright, I'm not well educated on the cloud, I don't know how most technology works, I can figure out some basics, but not too much. I know how to work things, but I don't know how things work. So when I read about an app/website, where my entire music collection will be loaded into this cloud, and then streamed from anywhere, I was shocked. If I did happen to own and iPhone or Droid, I could stream my entire music collection from their, and I can also stream it from any computer as well, when I sign in to the Audiogalaxy website. My one problem with Audiogalaxy right now, its slow to scan. I've got about 21 artists scanned off of my computer and into the cloud and ready for stream right now. That is 21, out of over 1,300 artists, scanned. But hey, I get it, its a lot of music to scan, I'm cool, I'm at work I don't need it all done right now. I just hope its done by tonight, so when I go out I can impress everyone with my false knowledge of how technology works by streaming my music from anywhere I go.


The Science of Jazz and Rap

Ever wonder how exactly some people are able to improvise music? Musicians across the board have used improvisation for generations in order to impress, create, and express. It is basic in its concept, the spontaneous creation of music, but complex in the way that it works, and not very well understood. I came across this video of scientist, and musician Charles Lamb, who has recently begun to study the science of creativity. Using a functional MRI machine he is able to measure brain activity, and contrast activity between memorized and improvised performances. Specifically, he is studying jazz pianists, and rap free-stylists. This might seem boring, or stupid, science, whatever, but first off, Lamb is a great speaker and is really able to keep the audience, as well as the viewer, pretty engaged so props to that, and secondly, this study really is fascinating and I'm glad someone is taking the time to do it. In this age of technology and the assumed omnipresence of the human mind, we really do know very little about ourselves and the world around us. I was really impressed by this video, and I think anyone interested in the improvisation of music should take the time to understand, at least, the basics behind what is going on in the brain.


DMCA Strikes Again, Racking Up Cease & Desists.

The DMCA has once again struck a blow to tunegrape, and in the process took down one of tunegrape's more popular posts, about Gucci Mane filing for mental incompetency in court. Oh well, I take it as a badge of pride, and anyway, I heard Gucci Mane's moving on, no more lemonade, no mental facilities, he's moved on up, and got a giant ice cream cone tattooed on his face...

Step aside Lil' Wayne, there is a new king of stupid tattoos. 

Police Cover Up in Biggie Smalls' Murder?

The presiding judge over the reopened case of the murder of rapper Christopher Wallace, Notorious BIG, Biggie Smalls, changed the course of the trial recently with a shocking announcement in court, calling a mistrial. She issued a statement that she believed the LAPD had covered up massive amounts of evidence in the trial, that implied the involvement of several rogue officers in the police force in the murder of Biggie Smalls. The hundreds of pages of evidence support the theory that officers were involved in the murder of the famous rapper, and orchestrated the feud between the East coast and West coast rap scene in order to place blame elsewhere. After an anonymous tip, the lockdown of a division of the LAPD and the stashing of hundreds of pages of evidence, the answer to the murder of Notorious BIG, and possibly his one time friend, Tupac, who would later become a figurehead of the West Coast, and Biggie's coastal rival. Nick Broomfield directed a documentary which explored the rappers' deaths, called Biggie and Tupac. The documentary explored the possibility of a police coverup and that is where I first heard of such a thing. Now to hear some pretty concrete evidence that the police orchestrated at least a piece of this terrible loss of life, the loss of two of the most respected names in the emerging genre of rap. This is insane, shocking, and a disappointing insight into the nature of humans. I have, for a very long time, stood by the fact that Biggie was, and still is the best in the game. I hope that very soon those responsible for his, and Tupac's deaths are found.

A part of Broomfield's documentary, featuring Big's funeral procession. 

A showcase of Biggie's freestyling abilities

An example of the darker side of Biggie's story telling, Suicidal Thoughts

A different side of Big, and something to be recognized. One of his classics, Playa Hater

Radiohead Created a Two Piece Jigsaw Puzzle of an Epic Album, a Decade Apart?

I was scanning some music industry blogs and internet news outlets at work on Tuesday, and I came across a list of the top 10 weird things in music, mostly hidden facts about albums and some conspiracy theories. I came across one that I thought was very interesting though, the 01s and 10s theory about Radiohead. Apparently if you count Ok Computer as the 01 in the equation, and In Rainbows, which came out a decade later, as 10, and create an alternating track list starting with OK Computer, it gets a little fuzzy towards the middle though -- I'll list them later on -- and add a 10 second crossfade, then they play together perfectly. I read some stuff on the internet, some saying it was nonsense, some saying it worked, so of course I was intrigued and decided to try it. I couldn't get my crossfade working on my iTunes so I put each track into Logic Pro, overlapping by 10 seconds each. I've taken some breaks,  it's over an hour longs, but so far it seems to work. Overlapping the tracks seems to have an almost operatic effect, turning these two albums into an epic movement. Imagine the dark and anthemic atmosphere of Radiohead strung into a long and deep cohesive movement, echoing and storming along for over an hour. It's as like Karma Police, or Paranoid Android, full of different movements, tempo changes and swings of mood, yet it flows perfectly. It really is an amazing effect, I was a bit skeptical at first but it does work, albeit shaky at times, but thats to be expected of two albums made a decade a part from each other. The cohesive flow between the alternating tracks is shockingly well put together. Definitely something to try out for any Radiohead fan. Turn one of the most meaningful, influential, anthemic and deep rock bands of our time into the masters of an epic concept album-esque flowing piece of music.

Here is the track listing...

Radiohead – 01 and 10 playlist:
1. Airbag (OK Computer)
2. 15 Step (In Rainbows)
3. Paranoid Android (OK Computer)
4. Bodysnatchers (In Rainbows)
5. Subterranean Homesick Alien (OK Computer)
6. Nude (In Rainbows)
7. Exit Music (For A Film) (OK Computer)
8. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (In Rainbows)
9. Let Down (OK Computer)
10. All I Need (In Rainbows)
11. Karma Police (OK Computer)
12. Fitter Happier (OK Computer)
13. Faust Arp (In Rainbows)
14. Electioneering (OK Computer)
15. Reckoner (In Rainbows)
16. Climbing Up The Walls (OK Computer)
17. House Of Cards (In Rainbows)
18. No Surprises (OK Computer)
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (In Rainbows)
20. Lucky (OK Computer)
21. Videotape (In Rainbows)
22. The Tourist (OK Computer)

OK Computer
In Rainbows


Enjoy the Blizzard

There's a blizzard outside, a blizzard in Boston. Before I burst out the door to go enjoy the snow, let me drop a few songs on here that fit this wintery mood.

Angel in the Snow - Elliot Smith 

Snow Day - Matt Pond 

Snow & Taxis - Gold Panda

Dear Winter - Reks

Forget December - Something Corporate 

Dancing in the Snow - Ernest Gonzalez 


Cage the Elephant @ Newbury Comics Thursday Night

HOLY CRAP!  How could I have not known about this Cage the Elephant show until now?  Have I been living under a rock?  Apparently, they’re doing an in-store performance Thursday night at the Newbury Comics store on Newbury St.  They just dropped an album today entitled “Thank You, Happy Birthday,” so they’re making the rounds promoting.  I’m having one of those Homer Simpson “D’oh!” moments because I’m starting my new on-campus job the same night.  Right now my choices are: be responsible and not call out of work, or go see what is sure to be a kick-ass show.  I’ve never seen Cage the Elephant before in concert, but I hear they kill it live.  One of my friends who caught a show of theirs said that they sound better live than they do on their album, which makes sense.  Cage the Elephant makes music that is meant to be played live, not music that is super-polished and placed neatly into an album with a tiny red bow on it.  I like to think of them as a mix between G. Love and the Special Sauce and Rage Against the Machine.   Like if John Wayne were to walk into a bar and see another man hitting on his lady, the soundtrack to the subsequent beat down would be any of the raunchy, high-energy tracks off their self-titled debut album.  Cowboy hats would fly and heads would roll.  Blast!  Just talking about it makes me want to skip out on my duties. 

For those of you who are free Thursday night, Cage the Elephant is playing at the Newbury Comics store on Newbury St. at 6 p.m.  I would show up early, because it’s a first-come first-serve kind of deal with wristbands and everything.  And you know the place will be teeming with Berklee kids.  TEEMING.  So don’t let them take your spot in line and show ‘em who's boss.  What would John Wayne do? 
Cage the Elephant - James Brown

By Courtney Flynn

The Rawth EP

Here comes another post about Asher Roth, so let me just clarify, I’m not a huge fan of Asher, I rarely even choose to listen to his music as it is, but I am a huge fan of his lyrical maturation, and of the direction his been taking with his music in general, outside of the limelight. He really is an example for rappers who have achieved a bit of success just to be pushed out of the mainstream by the standard players, rework your game, study up, sound a bit more intelligent, and a bit more talented, and maybe people will appreciate you as a musician instead of a dollar sign. So I recently discovered Rawth, a free mixtape put together by Asher Roth and producer/rapper Nottz. Nottz has done work for a few well-known names in rap, including Busta Rhyme’s earlier work.  He is a talented artist who deserves much more attention; the beats he produces are unique and imaginative. Now, despite the name I actually don’t think Roth stands out on this mixtape, I just wanted to point out my continued appreciation for the musical direction he is taking. Although the decision to team up with Nottz was commendable and produced a great mixtape, his flow is pretty typical, and his lyrics haven’t moved forward much. At times his flow sounds even robotic, but enough hatin’, in the end he had something to contribute and was able to add something good to this mixtape, adding to it instead of taking away from it like some other artists would. Nottz is like Kanye in this mixtape, lyrically not to advanced, although I do think for the most part he sounds on par with or better then Roth. What stands out are his instrumentals, unique, wonderful, and well put together. This mixtape is a great listen, and its free, so why not?

Is File Sharing the Enemy in Music?

The description of this blog focuses a lot on the music industry, and its wrongs in its promotion of what they consider talent. I have a huge issue with mainstream music and that was one of the main purposes of this blog, to sift through the imagery, woven stories and major label lies, as well as dig into the underground, and find music worth listening to, as well as divulge opinion and facts about musicians and issues in music. With that being said I’d like to take a couple minutes to focus on the war on music piracy. For years major labels have been vehemently fighting against free digital file sharing in an effort to maintain control over the music industry. Music piracy has been a pariah, a scapegoat and the industry’s white whale, and they seem to be locked in a single-minded effort to destroy music piracy once and for all. First of all, barring yet another major evolution in the music industry beyond the digital revolution we are all currently caught up in, which is bound to happen one day, it will not stop; piracy is not something that will be defeated. Major label revenue is down, yet they spend millions upon millions shooting their heroic rifles into thin air, expecting to hit something and defeat some unseen yet persistent enemy. It’s not going to work. So we’ve established the major labels’ war on music, but how about this, what if I told you major labels were hypocrites who have embraced piracy when it works towards their own economic gain.
 Recently the four big major labels in the industry have been court ordered to pay $45 million to a series of artists. The case filed against the labels was that they themselves had committed the blasphemous crime of copyright infringement; by taking music they did not have the rights to from artists, and selling it on CDs. The labels, for the most part, ignored the claims from the artists, and went about their business selling these CDs, an act that eventually could have cost the labels up to $6 billion if the issue had not been addressed. Only when a class action lawsuit was filed, did the labels pay attention to the plight of the artists they were stealing from.
Next, it is important to address the true effect piracy has had on the industry. The music industry is in a state of evolution from physical to digital dominance. Yes, revenue is down, but you have to take into account the reasons, besides piracy, that revenue has been driven down. First of all, albums are being sold for less through outlets like iTunes and especially Amazon, and they don’t need to be shipped. Secondly, the age of the album itself is coming to an end. Unlike any era in music before, consumers can now pick and choose which songs from an album they want to buy. While album sales have decreased, the sale of individual digital sales is on the rise. Buying three songs off an album legally will generate less revenue then a whole album.  In 2010 281.7 million units were sold, according to BPI. This is an all-time record in the music industry. In the past 4 years units sold has risen over 25%. The consumption habits of the average music fan are evolving, and music is being embraced more then ever, even when that music is being purchased.
 When you take this into account, it makes sense what labels are doing in an immoral, twisted sort of way. They’re just trying to survive, but if they continue to be set in stone about their ways instead of embracing evolution, there is no doubt that survival is not in the cards.
File sharing is not the enemy, but is actually something to be embraced. Check this out, the following is part of an article I found on the website musicthinktank.com’s blog, about how to take advantage of file sharing. This portion focuses on Greg Gillis, AKA Girl Talk’s embrace of the world of file sharing and free downloads…

“How to Capitalize with Artist Managed File Sharing 
When an artist creates a dedicated landing page with a free album download, great albums will earn artists inbound links. With more links artists will outrank file sharing sites in the search engines, and ultimately, deter traffic from those networks.  This is artist managed file sharing; it will directly benefit individual artists.  Let’s look at an example: 
Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis, released a new record called “All Day,” out 11.15 on Illegal Art.  GT embraced these concepts.  The record was free and hosted on a landing page, resulting in 4 key developments:
1. Girl Talk earned 14,903 inbound links.  These links would have otherwise gone to file sharing platforms.  The GT landing page received links from high authority sources like Mashable.com and MTV.com, therefore achieving higher rankings in the search results.
2. Huge increases in traffic during the month of release.  Analyzing traffic figures with Compete.com, the 6 month traffic average between May and October was 3,025 unique visitors.  Traffic jumped to over 211,111 unique visitors for the month of November.   
3. When typing the keywords “Girl Talk download” into Google search, the GT landing page appears in the search results ahead of file sharing networks.  Thus, using a file sharing network becomes pointless.  This is exactly how artists should manage file sharing.
4. Girl Talk social media conversations skyrocketed the week of release.  There was an estimated 18.5M GT mentions the week of 11.15.2010 - 11.22.2010 between Facebook and Twitter, up from 15 tweets the previous week.  These mentions developed the brand and encouraged inbound links.”
Too many people are scared of change, and as revolutionary as music has been throughout the ages, the industry that has supported it has not been quite nearly as rebellious. In their regret to evolve, accept and embrace the digital age, and find new ways to generate income through the evolution, they are hurting themselves, the artists they claim to support, and the consumer. It’s time to evolve. 
Radiohead defied their label, whom they eventually left, by allowing Amplive to continue to remix songs he did not own the right to. They embraced the digital age by releasing In Rainbows on the internet, with a pay-what-you-want pricing scheme. 

Play Your Part Pt. 1, an earlier release from Girl Talk, and one of his more well known songs.

Kayne & Jay-Z Release First Single

The first single off Jay-Z and Kanye's upcoming album has dropped today as promised. Kanye has gone totally insane production-wise, but insane isn't always bad. He's creating, not copying, and it might just be something significant. I feel like this is the kind of song that is going to take a few listens for me to really get down and make a solid decision on, because there is way to much in these 4 and a half minutes to judge it off a single listen. I have to say though, after first listen. I'm a fan. Kanye has never been a lyrical expert, but his production has evolved into something else altogether, off the genre map practically. Then there's Jay-Z, through the ups and downs of his career he his lyrical mastery has been for the most part, precise with a touch of urban poetic. These guys aren't messing around with this album, this is no joke.

Listen to H.A.M. - Kanye West & Jay-Z Here

Peace Love Weed 3D

So, my friend just turned me on to Eliot Lipp. He's a sick artist, with some west coast rap influences, and he's worth checking out. I really don't know much about him as of now, since I literally heard of him for the first time a couple minutes ago, but without a doubt, this guy is worth the time. His ambient, electronic noises and synths are glossed over sleek and catchy hip-hop beats for something like a much smoother, more chilled out Ratatat. These are psychedelic textures to get lost in. Check it,

Homework - Eliot Lipp

Yeah - Eliot Lipp


Thoughts on Car Commercial Music

Sigur Ros has joined the ranks of bands whored out to the automotive industry for catchy, sleek and attractive commercials featuring fresh and original music. I remember when I heard Janglin' by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros in a car commercial I was shocked and disappointed. The band was a musical hippie cult born out of a pivotal 180 degree change by leader singer, Alex Ebert, formerly of Ima Robot (who had the minor, catchy hit, Creeps Me Out). How could you expect someone who denied all his mainstream success to form a giant hippie cult band to sell out to the automotive industry!? Then there is Sigur Ros, whom I love, and have loved for years. In Heima, a documentary which chronicles a series of free, anyone-can-join, shows across their home country of Iceland, the members of the band denounce mainstream success and the modern artist's obsession with fame. I know, these days artists need new ways to collect an income. In the digital age tours seems to be the best way to make money, but many bands can't tour enough, or don't have enough fans to collect real tangible revenue from touring. Still, it really is shocking to see who is selling their music to commercial giants these days. It's an understandable move, but a disappointment nonetheless. Not only this, but Sigur Ros apparently has a history of disputing song rights with companies, and claim certain companies including Audi have ripped off the Sigur Ros sound after being denied rights to songs. Well in the end, the sad part is, and I hate to admit it, for the most part, I like the songs featured in a good amount of car commercials. I guess good music fits well in car commercials.

Light of the Morning - Band of Skulls, used in a 2011 Mustang commercial

Jangling - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, used for the 2011 Ford Fiesta

I have spent about an hour trying to find the Sigur Ros song featured in the car commercial I saw constantly up until writing this blog post, I have yet to see it since. For all I know as of now, I can be wrong about Sigur Ros, and this could be another "copycat" attempt at creating a Sigur Ros-esque sound for a car commercial. It sounded alot like them though, and I will continue to try and get to the bottom of this mystery. When I do, I'll make sure to put the answer on tunegrape. For now, here is another Sigur Ros song, one of their live performances from Heima...

Whored out to the automotive industry or not, you can not deny that Sigur Ros has reached the epitome of power, beauty and atmosphere in their music. 


Rage Against the Machine, a band I grew up listening to. 

I sat in the cold and gray platform where the commuter rail trains of Back Bay station come and go staring at the wall and the trash littered against the walls this morning. With remnants of last night’s Brand New post still in the back of my head, and no iPod (for some reason mine has given up, and decided to stop charging altogether) I resorted to creating a Brand New station on my Pandora app on my phone. It brought about this instant wave of nostalgia that I couldn’t kick, nor did I really want to get rid of the feeling, at times you may look back at your past music as immature, but you did listen to it at one point. There has to be some reason you attached yourself to the sounds coming from the earbuds of your CD player or first generation iPod. The nostalgic wave of music that came through on that radio station really brought me back, and I decided look back on the past with a sense of fondness and embrace the older corners of my music library. Here’s a quick playlist containing some old favorites of mine, that might bring you back as well…
Cute Without the E (Cut from the Team) - Taking Back Sunday


Picking Daisies

I was reading my school's music publication and saw two mentions of Brand New, one small write-up about Soco Amaretto Lime being a great nostalgic drunk song, and one little blurb in a predictions for 2011 section, which said that Brand New would release "another horrible album" or something to that affect. The first time I heard Dasiy, I'll admit, I wasn't impressed. It was a bit of a departure from The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, my personal favorite Brand New album. The heavy sounds and screams of Vices right in the beginning turned me off, I was confused and unsure about where Brand New had gone with their music. I shunned the album for a bit, but it has been long enough for me to look back at my musical mistakes and accept Daisy. A while ago, I gave Daisy another try and it really isn't as bad as some people think it is. Don't denounce it because after one listen you decided the departure was too major, or the sound wasn't pop enough, or they left their softer sound, or they're trying to be to introspective or whatever. Think of it outside the stigma that a Brand New album carries, as just another collection of music and listen and it actually is a very good album. It is yet another successful chapter in the story of Brand New.

As I listen to the album yet again, I have to say I find it to be just as amazing as any other Brand New album. They are a band of constant evolution, which may be hard for some people to accept, some people who like one constant, monotonous stream of music from their preferred artists. That's not Brand New, Brand New is on a list of a rare collection of musicians who are in a constant state of evolution, bands such as Incubus who has gone from funk-rap, to metal, to jazz-fusion overtones, and mainstream rock. Brand New has outgrown the pop-punk they did so well in the past, slowly carving out a niche for themselves in the musical universe. Nothing is ever certain as far as releases go, but I am excited for Brand New's next release and I promise to give it a better chance then I gave Daisy at first. 

You Stole - Brand New, my personal favorite song on Daisy. 

Caffiene Dosage

I was typing up this long post on Fresh Espresso, and of course while trying to put in a music player for the first time, it all got erased. I don't know how I managed that but whatever. So anyway, Fresh Espresso. P-Smoov, an amazing producer, someone everyone should know about but I'm sure not many people actually do. His extensive sample library rests pretty comfortably from the 60's to the 80's, with strong techno, glam, arena, and psychedelic influences. Probably the backbone of this group, Smoov creates the sort of listening pleasure you rarely find in rap music. Something completely new, completely fresh, and enticing. Rik Rude's vocals compliment Smoov's production and his beats wonderfully. While Smoov seems to stand out as the architect behind Fresh Espresso, he couldn't have teamed up with a better vocalist. I'm not sure how many vocalists would actually get what Smoov's doing as well as Rik Rude does.

                                                  Lazer Beams (Live) - Fresh Espresso

The Seattle based rap group takes the glam rock attitude of years ago and reapplies it with raver style and hip-hop foundations. While that may seem like a daunting task they pull it off to near perfection at times. Diamond Pistols and Lazer Beams are necessary tracks, while Vader Rap is strange, fun and catchy and worth a listen as well.

Laser Beams - Fresh Espresso

All Around the World - Fresh Espresso

Diamond Pistols - Fresh Espresso

Vader Rap - Fresh Espresso