Weekly Music Box: Summer Here We Come

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lorde

I can’t get enough of songs that I know I will be listening to all summer long. I love picturing myself with a group of friends and my favorite cocktail, when suddenly a song that perfectly fits the moment comes on. Those aren’t memories you forget too easily.

Here are a few of the newest, most popular songs that I think will help you forget about your long week and picture summer. Here’s to the good times we’ll have in the future!

Calvin Harris – Summer

I admit, I downloaded this song without even listening to it. I have a bad habit of doing that, actually. But all I needed to see was ‘Calvin Harris’ and ‘Summer’ this time, apparently. There’s a reason why it’s already #14 on the Top Songs iTunes chart.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Castle

I’ve already mentioned this song before, but it’s one of my favorite songs right now. Macklemore has a way of creating music that becomes obsessively (and rightfully so) present on my playlists.

Coldplay – A Sky Full of Stars

Coldplay is one of my favorite bands of all time. They also presented one of the best concerts I have ever been to. So, obviously I’m excited to hear when they release new songs.

They’ve already released “Magic” and now “A Sky Full of Stars.”

If I wasn’t so sick of hearing about it (think about how much publicity is shed on Chris Martin right now), I would mention something about Gwynnie and how he’s totally sticking it to her right now. But I won’t.

In other news, look forward to their new CD that’s coming out on May 12th! Read more about what the album is inspired by here.

Avicii – Addicted To You

This song is another great one by Avicii, and also features American singer Audra Mae.

Lorde – Team

My favorite song off Pure Heroine, I had to feature “Team.” Lorde is absolutely killing it.

Happy listening!

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Shakira

Weekly Music Box: Shakira, Shakira

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Shakira

I have loved Shakira ever since her breakthrough (English) album Laundry Service, and more specifically, “Whenever, Wherever.” I absolutely loved that line, how does it go? “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble / So you don’t confuse them with mountains.

She had me right then.

Fast forward to her newly released album, Shakira. I was extremely excited to hear some of her newest songs, but what I discovered was so much greater than I ever could have imagined.

Billboard’s review of Shakira expresses exactly how I feel about the new album; they took the words right out of my mouth:

“Love, motherhood, rock roots, a dab of country here, a drop of reggae there, and of course, Latin dance rhythms. Shakira’s “Shakira,” her first studio album in four years, may at first blush sound as if it could be a disparate affair, but instead, it’s a cohesive, organic set, with roots that lie mostly in melodic pop-rock and unexpected touches from multiple influences. There’s not much Latin-ness to be found here (despite two tracks in Spanish: “Loca por ti” and the Spanish version of “Can’t Remember to Forget You”), but it doesn’t matter. The album works on the strength of the songs.”

Here are a few of my favorite tunes from the album:

Empire

Spotlight

Dare (La La La)

Medicine (ft. Blake Shelton)

23

This song is about Shakira’s love, Gerard Pique. They met when he was 23; the couple now have a son, Milan Piqué Mebarak.

You can even hear him at the end of the song!

CHEERS TO SHAKIRA!

Shakira - Discografia

Hip-Hop

Weekly Music Box: Summertime Hip-Hop

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Hip-Hop

It’s finally spring, but we all have our minds on one thing: summertime.

There’s absolutely nothing better than summer: the beach, driving with all the windows down, the beer, the breeze, and just the times. It’s one of the most beautiful times of the year.

This week, I asked a few of my friends some of their favorite songs that are currently getting them pumped for summer.

Without further adieu, I give you some of the best songs that I’m listening to right now.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Castle

No wonder Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won the 2014 Grammy for Best New Artist!

Castle was released on their 2012 album, The Heist. If you for some reason haven’t heard this song yet, I highly recommend it. It’s been on my must-have playlist for a while now!

Lil Wayne – Right Above It ft. Drake

Lil Wayne released this song in 2010 and it’s still kickin’. Great song!

Zion I – Coastin’

First and foremost, this video is a MUST see. It is absolutely one of my favorites, especially the beginning.

I’ll let the lyrics of this song speak for the rest of it:

“When life brings trouble
You can fight or run away
I have no struggle
Relax watch me float away
I´m coastin´
I´m coastin´ on a dream”

Sounds like a summer dream to me!

Common Market – Connect For

Common Market released this album in 2006, and this is one of the best “lesser known” songs by the group. I’m not really sure how this song never got more recognition, but it will definitely be on my playlist for this summer.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

Last but not least, the best hip-hop summertime song of all time: Summertime.

How could I make a summertime hip-hop list without this classic?

Side note: Can you believe that this song was released in 1991?

rock n roll

Weekly Music Box: 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

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rock n roll

This past Thursday, April 10, the 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Out of respect for great music, I decided to dedicate this week’s music article to this year’s inductees:

  • Peter Gabriel
  • Daryl Hall and John Oates
  • KISS
  • Nirvana
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Cat Stevens

And now, a few select songs from some of the greatest musicians to rock!

Daryl Hall and John Oates – Rich Girl

Hall and Oates, how are you not already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame already? You’re “the number one selling duo in music history!”

Hall and Oates

The music duo has been around since the 1970’s and have a total of six #1 singles: “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Private Eyes,” “Out of Touch” and “Maneater.”

During the ceremony, Hall and Oates (obviously) accepted the awards together and talked about their beginnings.

Oates talked about his love for, what else? Music.

“I just wanna start out — I know everyone here is so cognizant of their past and the music that brought us all here tonight because the roots of American music are so important to all of us here tonight, that’s why we’re here. I wanna thank a young couple in their 20s in New York City in the early ’50s who bought a ’47 Chrysler and decided to move my sister and I to Pennsylvania.” (Thanks to UltimateClassicRock.com for that quote!)

KISS – Beth

I’m just going to say it: how were ANY of these inductees not already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Kiss

KISS was also awarded the long overdue honor with singer/guitarist Paul Stanley thanking the fans for all their support, saying, “This is a special night for us, but it’s also a special night for our fans. This is vindication. I believe that the spirit of rock and roll is that you follow your own path regardless of your critics and regardless of your peers. And I think we’ve done that for 40 years. Here we are tonight basically being inducted for the same things that we were kept out from. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate, do not.”

Ouch. That’s a zing for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And now for my favorite song by the band, although it is one of the more famous slow songs: Beth. Absolutely beautiful. Congratulations, KISS!

Linda Ronstadt – Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

She did it! Linda Ronstadt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Linda R

The powerful voice of Ronstadt was very popular in the 70’s and 80’s, but what’s more impressive than her track record is her ability to sing both rock and roll AND country. Kudos to her, because that transition is not very easy.

Unfortunately, Rondstadt was not able to attend due to illness. Regardless, congratulations, Linda Rondstadt!

Nirvana – Lithium

It’s about time. Nirvana has also officially been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Nirvana

A personal favorite band of mine, I’m ecstatic that Nirvana has officially been inducted, although it was also long overdue.

Band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic accepted the award on behalf of the band and the late Kurt Cobain. While Grohl accepted his award with a bit of humor (“Thanks mom for letting me drop out of high school, muwahaha. I listened to some really fucked up shit. But my parents never told me not to. So thanks Mom!”), it was Novoselic who spoke the words that everyone was thinking:

“Nirvana fans walk up to me every day and say thank you for the music. When I hear that, I think of Kurt Cobain. I wish Kurt was here tonight … I want to thank Kurt Cobain.”

Cobain’s widow, the renowned Courtney Love, also chimed in: “I have a big speech, but I’m not gonna say it. We all start bands when we’re kids and this is my family I’m looking at right now.”

In honor of Nirvana’s achievement, I chose the song “Lithium” for the playlist. Enjoy!

Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes

Peter Gabriel has the voice of an angel. And he speaks the truth about music.

Peter Gabriel

Taking the stage to receive his award, Gabriel said one of my favorite quotes from the night: “Watch out for music. It should come with a health warning. It can be dangerous. It can make you feel so alive, so connected to the people around you. And occasionally, it can make you very, very happy.”

Amen to that!

And now, here is “In Your Eyes” as it was featured in Say Anything. Because that movie is simply fantastic.

Cat Stevens – Peace Train

Cat Stevens is a legend. He now goes by Yusuf Islam, which he changed his name to after he converted to Islam.

cat stevens

According to NPR, “In 2004 Yusuf Islam was not permitted into the United States after his name turned up on a terrorist watch list.” So I guess that might have been slightly awkward.

Accepting his award, Islam gave a shout out to another band being inducted: “I never thought I’d be on the same stage as Kiss, to be honest.”

The reason I chose “Peace Train” as Stevens’ song? The lyrics pretty much sum it up:

“Now I’ve been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating, why can’t we live in bliss

Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again.”

Rock on, music lovers.

*Want to watch the event? It was filmed by HBO and will premiere on May 31st!

music

Weekly Music Box: Up-and-Coming Musicians

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music

What better way to start your week than with new music? Whether you’re hitting the gym or trying to wake up while driving to work, music can help elevate your mood and give you that extra umph that you need to make it through the week.

After all, music does make the world go ’round. Here are some highly recommended up and coming artists that are bringing their unique brands to the table.

A-Fresh (ft. C.C. Merit) – We Own The Night

Releasing his debut album “Overdose” last June, A-Fresh is one of the new faces in the hip-hop and rap industry. As a member of The Young King Family based out of Charlotte, NC, A-Fresh is shaking up the local music scene, and hinting at great things on the horizon. A-Fresh adds unique vocals to jams designed to pump you up, while dishing out honesty and wisdom from his life’s experiences.

Our favorite words of wisdom from A-Fresh? “I try not to take anything for granted… It drives me to be the best, and to want to inspire others to do the same.” If that isn’t something all twenty-somethings can take to heart I don’t know what is.

Kylie Rothfield – “Royals” cover

You may or may not have heard of Kylie Rothfield, California native and blossoming artist. She recently moved to Nashville to pursue a career as an artist, and I believe her voice could take her there. When Rothfield sings, you can hear bursts of pop and soul music, which makes her seem both current and vintage.

According to her website, Rothfield has always felt emotional when it comes to making music, stating, “When I was 12 years old, I wrote my first full song with a No 2 pencil and a tattered notebook, performed it clumsily for a small crowd, and then experienced a feeling that I’ve never been able to forget. Since then music has confounded me, frustrated me, defined me and saved me; and I’ll probably spend the rest of my life being completely infatuated with it.”

She will be releasing her debut EP, “Rag Doll,” but for now, check out her incredible cover of Lorde’s “Royals.”

Grimes – Vanessa

Grimes, also known as Claire Boucher, is a Canadian artist and songwriter. Most of her known songs (like “Genesis” and Oblivion,” as well as “Vanessa”) were released back in 2012, but her popularity is growing exponentially. This year, Grimes won a Juno Award for Electronic Album of the Year.

If you’re a fan of new electronic and dream pop music, try listening to Grimes!

Zak Waters – Runnin Around

Zak Waters emerged on the music scene back in 2011 when he released his first EP, “New Normal.” He has been performing since high school, where he attended in Los Angeles.

And if you aren’t convinced from his video that he holds the power to be a popular artist, know that Waters was “personally sought out by Flo Rida and Benny Benassi for their upcoming 2014 tracks.” He’s also “produced official remixes alongside Benny Benassi, R3hab, Pharrel Williams for All-American Rejects, Adam Lambert, and Foxy Shazam Moreover, famed Los Angeles venue The Satellite in Silver Lake tapped him for a high-profile residency as well in September 2013.”

Porter Robinson – Language

Porter Robinson is an electronic dance music producer and DJ from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The 21-year-old is adamant about his music being reflective of beauty, and has said:

“Years ago, I realized that I wanted to write an album that focused on beauty above all else. The feeling of hugeness and gorgeousness and vastness and beauty is what I fucking live for. It is my favorite thing in the world. I kept trying to write songs that both satisfied me artistically and also could ‘work’ in a DJ set. Nobody ever heard these songs because they sucked and made me miserable. Again and again, I found that making a track ‘danceable’ just meant compromising and ignoring what the song really needed. And I found that the more I forced myself to work within those DJ-friendly limits, the more I resented the genre. I realized that the rift between the music that works for DJs and the music that I love had grown too huge to ignore.”

Interested to see what Robinson is talking about? Check out his song “Language” which was released in 2012.

Whether or not these musicians are for you, keep checking in for the newest music recommendations each Monday!

welovethe90s

Weekly Music Box: A Spectrum of the 90’s

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welovethe90s

This week, I’ve decided to change up the music talk a bit. Tomorrow I will be traveling for work and I need to make myself some kind of entertaining music mix. There are a lot of great songs out right now (Pharrell Williams, the whole Frozen soundtrack because I’m a sucker for Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, Luke Bryan, Shakira, Avicii, American Authors, to name a few) and they have been dominating all of my playlists recently. Finally, I concluded to go back to a simpler time in music: the 1990’s.

I was (very) young in the 1990’s, but thank goodness I remember hearing some of the songs on the radio. Thusly, I’m going back in time to the DSL, Spice Girls, New Kids on the Block, Sonic the Hedgehog, and frosted tips: the “naughty nineties.”

MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This (1990)

Even though it was early 1990 (January to be exact), this is hands down a classic. MC Hammer should also get more credit for his video, which is incredible with neon colors and tight spandex. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest it.

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)

1991 had hits like “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men and “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, but Nirvana’s “Smells Like Team Spirit” was just recently named one of the greatest songs of all time by NME. So there’s that.

The Cure – Friday I’m In Love (1992)

This song has always remained fairly popular; you may have heard it in He’s Just Not That Into You and 50 First Dates

Side note: Drew Barrymore, are you making people put this song in all your movies?

Stone Temple Pilots – Plush (1993)

This song came on the radio the other day. I forgot who sang the song, so I decided to look it up. Not only did I find out that Stone Temple Pilots were the “most critically despised band of their era,” they also essentially accused of stealing their music and style from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Still, a good throwback.

All 4 One – I Swear (1994)

Okay, I admit that the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear this song is Ryan Reynolds singing it in Just Friends. The music video is great and all, but I just had to attach the one with Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit.

You’re welcome.

Coolio (ft. LV) – Gangsta’s Paradise (1995)

There are no words. This is just a classic. Enter Michelle Pfeiffer.

Spice Girls – Wannabe (1996)

Yes, I do feel the need to put at least one Spice Girls song on this list. And it has to be “Wannabe.” Because friendship never ends.

Chumbawamba – Tubthumping (1997)

According to who you ask, Chumbawamba is the best band in the world.

Regardless, this song yields some of the best lyrics: “He drinks a whiskey drink
He drinks a vodka drink
He drinks a lager drink
He drinks a cider drink
He sings the songs that remind him
Of the good times
He sings the songs that remind him
Of the better times”

Fatboy Slim – Rockafeller Skank (1998)

I will also have to admit that this song reminds me of the prom scene for She’s All That. Remember when all you wanted to do was punch Taylor Vaughn (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) in the face?

Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

The face of “teenage” evil.

TLC – Unpretty (1999)

Last but not least, 1999 also had many amazing hits (“Bailamos” by Enrique, “What’s My Age Again” by Blink 182, etc). TLC hit a home run with this song.

For more hit songs from the 90’s, including other facts, you can go to 90’s 411 like I did!

Dance

Weekly Music Box: Dance

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Spring is officially here and it’s time to start getting ready for that warm weather. While there are a lot of great upbeat songs out right now (“Happy” by Pharrell Williams, Avicii and Tegan and Sara are personal favorites right now), I have a few other suggestions of songs you should add to your mix!

Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses

I have no idea where I was the first time I heard this song, but it’s guaranteed to get me singing. Onlyyyy the horsessssss!

Sample lyrics:

And if this is the end
It’s the best place I’ve ever been
It feels so good to just
Get lost sometimes

Dragonette – Let It Go

Dragonette was founded in 2005 by Martina Sorbara and her husband, bassist Dan Kurtz. These Canadian performers create such a dynamic electro-pop sound that it’s hard not to listen to their songs over and over. They also have an awesome Laidback Luke remix version of the song.

Sample lyrics:

We don’t need a cure for the weight of the world
Cause it’s floating round in the universe
Just swing it like it’s tied by a string that you hold
And let it go

Icona Pop – We Got The World

We all know about Icona Pop, especially after they collaborated with Charli XCX for “I Love It”. This song is definitely going to be a staple party anthem song.

Sample lyrics:

Just come into my arms
I will get you love drunk
We’ll be burning bright

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- And We Danced (ft. Ziggy Stardust)

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “The Unplanned Mixtape,” was released in 2009. “And We Danced” is one of the best songs that they’ve done so far. There’s no doubt in my mind why this duo swept the Grammy’s this year.

Sample lyrics:

I will not, I will not give a damn who watches me
I will live, I will live liberate the fox in me
I will be the disco ball, freak and give my all

Dragonette – Live In This City

I’m wrapping up this list with my favorite song by Dragonette, “Live In This City.” Always a must on my road mixes!

Sample lyrics:

I gotta keep on doing what I’m doing
‘Cause we’re clapping our hands now
Yeah I found a lipstick that I like
And so I’m walking it downtown

The Killers

Weekly Music Box: Indie/Rock “Winter to Spring” Mix

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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

-Plato

There’s nothing better than listening to music that warms your soul. Plato got it.

As winter starts to turn to spring (FINALLY), here are a few tunes that can change up your playlists and get you ready for the excitement that is warmer weather. Godspeed!

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream

This song was released in 2009 and is one of my favorite songs to put on in the morning while I get ready for the day. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros has a revolving band lineup of up to 12 people- so when you listen to this track, know that a bunch of people came together to hang out and make awesome music. There isn’t anything better than that.

Sample lyrics:

I been sleepin for 40 days and
I know Im sleeping cuz this dream’s too amazing

*The song starts around the 1:05 mark*

Fitz And The Tantrums – The Walker

This is a “wake up, dust off yesterday’s troubles and get going” song! And we all need one of those. If this song isn’t enough to get you up and going, I’m not sure what song will! The video also gives a different dimension to the song, depicted by a man who breaks from the waiting line and begins to “walk to the sound of his own drum.” Amazing.

Sample lyrics:

Can’t keep up with my rhythm
Though they keep trying.
Too quick for the lines they throw.
I walk to the sound of my own drum

Tin Sparrow – Eileen

I somehow stumbled upon Tin Sparrow’s “Eileen” on iTunes, and I don’t know how I could ever go back to not knowing this song exists.

Sample lyrics:

These old streets don’t feel the same
Because on long rides home, I no longer see your face
Did you know just what you meant to me?
I wish I could share my stories with you, Eileen

Radical Face – Welcome Home

A slower tempo than the rest of the songs, “Welcome Home” has easily become one of my go-to songs for when I’m feeling down. The song is peaceful and emotional.

Fun fact by Pitchfork: “Floridian Ben Cooper is the one-man-band recording as Radical Face. He’s also half of the Morr duo Electric President, a project focused on muted indie pop in the Postal Service vein that has come to define the label.”

Sample lyrics:

Ships are launching from my chest
Some have names but most do not
If you find one, please let me know what piece I’ve lost

The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done

Ah, The Killers. Need I say more?

Sample lyrics:

Another head aches, another heart breaks
I am so much older than I can take
And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection

Have suggestions for the music box? Tweet us at @TwentiesLiving!

Spice Girls

Weekly Music Box: For The Ladies

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This past Saturday, March 8, 2014 was International Women’s Day. You probably heard about it on the news, you might have read our article for it, or maybe one of your girl friends posted about it on all 5 of their social media accounts. Some of you may be sick of hearing about it, rightfully so in some cases. Personally, I’m glad to see all of the web traffic pointing to something so incredibly important: celebrating women and their accomplishments.

Our first ever music blog is dedicated to the ladies of the world: may these jams inspire you to be the best woman you can be. Or at least give you (another) reason to bust a move in your living room.

No Doubt – Just A Girl

Gwen Stefani is loved by everyone. When I went to her No Doubt concert a few years ago, she sang this particular song for a few verses before asking the guys to sing along. Because she’s Gwen Stefani and no one would be stupid enough to ignore her, the male population of the crowd started to sing along. Eventually Stefani stopped them, saying, “Wow, I can’t believe you guys just did that. Do you even know this song?” Stefani was on stage, laughing to herself, about the fact that she got men to sing along to her extremely feminist song.

To this day, she is still my hero.

Sample lyrics:

‘Cause I’m just a girl, oh little ol’ me
Well Don’t let me out of your sight
Oh I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

Robyn – Indestructible

I have yet to meet a woman who does not adore Robyn and everything she stands for. When listening to her music, you can tell she’s singing with soul and attitude. Not quite on board with her music yet? That’s okay, I’ve got the perfect song for you.

Sample lyrics:

“And I never was smart with love
I let the bad ones in and the good ones go
But I’m gonna love you like I’ve never been hurt before
I’m gonna love you like I’m indestructible”

Ke$ha – Grow A Pear

Oh, Ke$ha. We can always count on you to stick it to the guys. This is one of my personal favorites; there’s no sugar coating in this title.

Sample lyrics:

“When we fell in love
You made my heart drop
And you had me thinking ’bout you nonstop
But you cry ’bout this and whine about that”

Tegan and Sara – Goodbye, Goodbye

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Tegan and Sara have voices equivalent to what I would imagine angels would sound like. This song is the perfect combination of honesty and attitude- with the sisters saying goodbye to someone who treated them less than.

You can feel their underlying pain, which makes me want to root for them to get over the jerk and move on. Preach it, T&S!

Sample lyrics:

“Goodbye
I don’t wanna
Feel the need
To hear your voice

You never really knew me
Never ever, never ever saw me
Saw me like they did”

Miley Cyrus – FU (ft. French Montana)

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Cyrus at least creating intriguing music. One of my favorites from her latest album, Bangerz, is this song. It isn’t as much “girl power” oriented as it is “get the hell out of my face,” but we all need a song like this. Miley, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Sample lyrics:

“Don’t even try to act like Mr Super Nonchalant
What makes you think I’ll stick around
I’m not as stupid as you sound
And you sound really dumb right now”