Category Archive – New Music

Say yes to this!

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I don’t think I’ve written about this on this blog before, but I am a HUGE Hamilton: An American Musical fan.

The stage door to the room where it happens

The stage door to the room where it happens

 

This is not hyperbole. I am addicted. I have proof too. I own the biography (and a book about that time when Hamilton and Burr joined forces on the first murder trial in American history), I own The Hamiltome (or by its other title Hamilton: A Revolution), I watched the documentary on PBS, I’ve seen every #Ham4Ham (one of them live. You can’t see me.. I’m standing next to the person who filmed this but you can hear me screaming.), I own the cast album and know every single lyric (I’m even featured on the Genius page). And then there’s also the fact that I’ve seen the show…with the original cast…twice. The second time was last February, I stood in the freezing cold with a friend for 7.5 hours for a chance to get standing room or canceled tickets. At one point Lin-Manuel Miranda came out of the theater, looked at us like we were insane (which we were) and wished us luck.

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Me and Leslie Odom, Jr. (the original Aaron Burr… sir)

But while my experiences seeing the show were magical and I could go on and on about the whole thing, this is not actually the reason I am writing.

What I really want to know is…HAVE YOU LISTENED TO THE MIXTAPE YET?

hamilton-mixtape-artist-lineup

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.  The Hamilton Mixtape is a companion piece to the show and cast album. It features covers of tracks from the cast album, like Regina Spektor and Ben Folds singing “Dear Theodosia,” Usher singing “Wait For It,” Ja Rule and Ashanti singing “Helpless” and Sia and Queen Latifa singing “Satisfied” (if you have to listen to one song for the rest of your life let it be this one…and also watch Jonathan Groff’s reaction to it). The mixtape also includes cut songs from the show, either sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Cabinet Battle #3”!!) or covers (Dessa’s “Congratulations” is amazing). But perhaps the best thing about The Hamilton Mixtape (which is a difficult statement to make because the whole thing is amazing) is the original tracks.

You guys, these tracks are OUTSTANDING! They are poignant and topical and personal… and I’ll stop here, but let it be known that I could go on. My  personal favorites are “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” featuring K’naan, Snow The Product, Riz MC and Residente, and “Wrote My Way Out” featuring Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Aloe Blacc.

Unfortunately, the library doesn’t have a copy of the mixtape yet. But I have put in a request so we’ll just have to wait for it. Until then you can listen to it for free on Spotify. You can also enjoy this special #Ham4Ham from December 1st, celebrating the mixtape and its awesomeness:

A Music Moment: A Cappella and Country (and it’s awesome)

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Get your ears ready to have their minds blown.

So that was a cappella superstars Pentatonix and country superstar Dolly Parton joining forces on one of Dolly’s biggest hits “Jolene”.  And just… yowza!  Love it!

I’m a fan of a cappella.  I’ve mentioned Pentatonix before and I love the Pitch Perfect movies.  Why am I a fan?  ‘Cause who needs instruments?  If you’re in an a cappella group you ARE the instrument!  All you need is some know-how, some resources, some hard work, the right people to get in on it and the will to make it happen.

BTW, did you know that at the Civic Centre Resource Library we have a recording studio?  *GASP!*  It’s true!  Check out our site here for more info on how to book and what’s involved.

Sing on!

LYDIA LOVELESS – real country

by  | Category: Hoopla, It's here!, New Music, Super Fan
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Lydia Loveless - RealI’ve said it before: we all should be listening to country music (if you already are, then perhaps listen to more of it). And if we’re not at all …well, there is just so much great country music out RIGHT NOW.

Really, there is no excuse.

Real – the new Lydia Loveless  – suits these priorities just fine. It’s good, gritty, tattooed, heart-breakin’, world-weary, butt-kickin’ country fun.

On Hoopla now.

PINK – just go listen to this album

by  | Category: Hoopla, It's here!, New Music, Super Fan
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igr_634457723825_270Just do this. Go listen to the reissue of the MONSTER Boris album Pink. Boris is my current favorite band and Pink was my number one album, way back in 2006.

I can’t overstate this: please go listen to Pink. This new version has an ENTIRE SECOND ALBUM of unreleased material. And the original album remains the very best punk / hard rock / metal(ish) recording of the last 15 years or so.

Hoopla. Not now. But right now.

PUP – quality catchy, melodic, heavy, fast punk

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PUPI’m always happy when silly genre terms fall away into irrelevancy. Take “emo” for example.

Ugh. I remember a time when (many) music snobs (I’m guilty) derided emo bands as too poppy. Too overwrought. Not punk enough. Fronted by Jared Leto.

Well, I’m happy to see the term emo put to rest. It’s all good; I mean what’s not like? It’s catchy, melodic, heavy, fast punk music. And you know who makes quality ̶e̶m̶o̶. I mean, quality catchy, melodic, heavy, fast punk music?

Toronto’s PUP. Check out The Dream is Over, their new album on Hoopla.