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OLD SCHOOL VIDEO OF THE DAY: Aaliyah- “Back & Forth” (1994)


Enthusiastically supporting an okay football program since ‘03. @rellebelle1223 @stephdio #cuse  (at MetLife Stadium)
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LISTEN: Currently Obsessed (September)

Ahh September! After an extended vacation from work and the island of NYC it was time to return to both. 

I started a new show at the top of the month, a goofy scripted pilot for Oxygen, so I was on the hunt for new shit to listen to while I edited.

Above are my most played songs this month featuring the likes of Mac Demarco, Years & Years, Marlena Shaw, Little Dragon and more.

Enjoy!


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Currently Obsessed With: Mac Demarco

Because my job requires me to spend a lot of time by myself with headphones on, I listen to a shit ton of music. But even I sometimes get bored with my Itunes favorites and Spotify playlist.

This happened last week so I decided to browse the music section of the Nasty Gal blog and came across this podcast recorded at last months FYF fest.

It is a super fun collection of interviews with artist performing at the fest with their music sprinkled throughout the pod.  
I became a fan of pretty much everyone featured but Mac Demarco was the standout. 
If you listen to his interview he kind of seems like an asshole but then they played one of his best tracks “Let My Baby Stay” and I became an instant fan.

He describes his music as “jizzy jazz”, others have described it as “blue wave” or “slacker rock” and certaintly there are songs that fit the latter descriptions. “Salad Days” comes to mind.

But I don’t think those descriptions do his sound justice. 

"Chamber of Reflection" could be on the soundtrack to the opening of a blaxpolitation film.

And the acoustic version of “Only You” from last years Live & Acoustic Vol. 1 is as beautiful and haunting as it gets.

There are currently 3 Mac Demarco albums on Spotify and he’s been Pitchforks Best New Music twice so I’m pretty late to this obsession but better late than never.

Mac Demarco, I am currently obsessed.


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Old School Video Of The Day: En Vogue-“Don’t Let Go” (1997)


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A Track-By-Track Beyonce Cover Playlist

Sometimes, usually when I should be working or sleeping, I dive deep into the world of youtube pop covers.

On a recent deep dive, I decided to see who amongst the brave youtuber’s had dared to cover the reigning Queen of Music, Mrs. Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter.

I present for you a track-by-track covers list of Beyonce’s self-titled 2013 suprise album. 

Enjoy!

1. Chloe & Halle-“Pretty Hurts”

11 & 13 year old Chloe & Halle kick off our list with the opening track, “Pretty Hurts”. 

There are some great honorable mention covers of this song but this is mine and 2.5 million other YouTube users favorite.

2. Haben Abraham-“Haunted”

“Haunted” is one of my favorite tracks on the album so I wasn’t sure I would find a cover worthy of my love. Wrong! Haben’s soulful version beats out a piano cover and a beautiful male version.

3. Vanna Moua-“Drunk In Love”

Vanna tops all of the HUNDREDS of covers of this song floating around YouTube.

4. Durand Bernarr-“Blow”

I listened to a bunch of covers of this track and didn’t find anything that spoke to me. Then there was this. 

Durand’s creative freedom with the lyrics, dance moves, family participation and commitment to the fun spirit of the original video catapults him to the front of the “Blow” covers.

5. MUNA-“No Angel”

One of the great things about this album is that for the most part you can play it all the way through. However “No Angel” is one of the rare instances where I’ll skip to the next track.

Because of this I wasn’t to invested in finding the perfect cover and then MUNA came and shut me up. 

There is a high degree of difficulty to this track but MUNA does what you should do with a cover, make it their own.

6. Christina Amato-“Partition”

“Partition” is a tough one. It has some of the most sexually explicit lyrics not just on the album but in Bey’s career and I sensed from the YouTubers that tried to cover it, a little bit of apprehension. 

In a song with the lyric “he Monica Lewinskied all on my gown” you kind have to own it. Kudos, Christina.

7. DRoMusic-“Jealous”

“Jealous” didn’t jump out at me when the album first came out but it has slow-burned it’s way up to being one of my favorites. There were a couple of pretty covers up but this piano one did it for me.

Mr. Dro’s Bey covers double as piano tutorials for all of the tracks on the album. You are doing God’s work, sir.

8. Olivia Escuyos-“Rocket”

Because I want to walk down the aisle to the lyrics “let me sit this ass on ya” this will be sung at my wedding. 

Maybe Olivia, who is pitch perfect on an extremely difficult song to sing can do the ceremony honors?

9. Durand Bernarr-“Mine”

Half way through watching this I was all “hmm this looks like the dude from the amazing ‘Blow’ video” and it is!

Durand, your yellow shirt, dance moves and amazing vocals earns you a second appearance!

10. Nikki Yanofsky-“XO”

When I saw Queen Bey this summer I really, REALLY wanted to hear her do “XO” but sadly it was not on the setlist. So imagine my joy when she closed out her VMA medley with the feel good tune.

Simply put, this song just makes me happy and so does Nikki’s smooth jazz version. I love it like XO.

11. Jasmine Tavvis-“Flawless”

A lot of the You Tubers that attempted this song didn’t do the whole thing which is understandable. There are two different parts to the song separated by a snippet of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk

Jasmine was brave enough to attempt both parts and her fantastic raspy vocals push her to the top of the pack.

12. Alessandro Mahmoud/Yendry Fiorentino-“Superpower”

This is another tough one because it’s not just Beyonce you are covering but the brilliant Frank Ocean as well.

Alessandro & Yendy’s gorgeous harmonies slightly edge this male acapella group.

13. Sabrina Claudio-“Heaven”

This song is kind of a bummer so I usually skip it and I wanted to skip it here but a track-by-track list was promised! 

Sabrina captures the somber emotions from the original beautifully.

14. Anthony Snape-“Blue”

Anthony Snape beats out this version because quite frankly I’m impressed how passionately he sings about Bey and Jay’s baby girl. She’s great, I agree! 

Also points for the original acoustic guitar composition.

Are there any covers that I missed? What are your faves?


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SONG OF THE DAY: Jhene Aiko-“Eternal Sunshine”

Is it strange for me to say/That if I were to die today/There’s not a thing I would change/I’ve lived well…

Maybe I have made mistakes/ And been through my fair shaire of pain/But all in all, it’s been okay, I’ve lived well


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Tupac: Divided Soul

"When Tupac died eighteen years ago, he was robbed of the opportunity to evolve, to begin to reconcile his contradictions. But he remains present and prescient, just as he seemed on that phone call."


Mood.
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SONG OF THE DAY: Sam Cooke-“Trouble Blues”


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SONG OF THE DAY: D’Angelo-“When We Get By”


@stephdio my mom has this picture in the dining room lol. Yes kente! #cuse blackexcellence #fbf  (at Carrier Dome)
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CURRENTLY OBSESSED WITH: April March-Chick Habit EP (1995)

The other day I re-watched But I’m A Cheerleader and fell in love with it all over again. The set/costume design, the jokes, NATASHA LYONNE!  

For some reason, the first time I watched the film it didn’t occur to me how good the soundtrack was and how good indie 90’s soundtracks are in general. Someone else on the interenet shares my enthusiam and compiled an 8tracks playlist of every song in the film. Definitely check that out.

As you can hear the whole thing is excellent but two songs stand out for me. One is "Glass Vase Cello Case  by Tattle Tale and the other is "Chick Habit" by April March which was also featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.

I wanted to know more about April March so I did a Spotify deep dive and holy shit she’s my new hero! Her real name is Elinor Blake and in addition to crafting perfect surf rock and haunting acoustic folk (often sung in French) she is also a cartoon animator. You might have seen her work on Madonna’s Who’s That Girl film and accompanying video and as the principle animator on “Ren & Stimpy.”

April March, I am currently obsessed.


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WATCH: SOMEBODY - MIU MIU - WOMEN’S TALES #8 (Dir. Miranda July)

SOMEBODY takes our endless hunger for communication, technology, avatars and outsourcing, and blends it into what seems to be a surreal near-future — but it’s not. It’s right now. In close collaboration with Miu Miu, July worked with a team of developers to create this radical and complex app; when the movie ends we’re invited to visit somebodyapp.com to send or deliver our first message.


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LISTEN: Pink Lotion #3: Cliché, Cliché, Cliché