Allen Stoneis the filler to my Aloe Blacc/Mayer Hawthorne/(and even a bit of Ray LaMontagne) void. His voice is soulful and lush, his range is impressive, but what I love most is that heavy use of the organ.
Hailing from the state of Washington, Stone refers to himself as “a hippie with soul.” And you know what? It undoubtedly works for him. With the release of his self-titled album last year, the singer-songwriter is embarking on an impressive world tour, finally landing back in America to perform at the Coachella music festival in April. Even though I feel he may get a late afternoon slot (when it’s still so god damn hot), I’m curious to see what he brings to the Coachella table.
Listen and grab your own copy of his single, “Sleep,” below and be sure to grab the free sampler he released via NoiseTrade.
I love New Year’s Eve here in Philadelphia…because it means it’s almost New Year’s Day, and that’s a fantastic thing in this city. The Mummers Parade is just a very bizarre way to ring in the new year, that’s all I can really say.
Anyways..the Remix Artist Collective has completely blown up this year. Started up by Andre Anjos back in 2007, the project has grown into a true collective – spanning across many different genres, even now creating original content outside of the remix world.
2013′s going to be a great year, but let’s make 2012 go down with one of the best electronic acts out there.
Well, I’m average-sized, but I enjoy his music a lot. I don’t have any weight concerns or anything. I’m like 9% body fat. Seriously, I maintain a healthy diet and I work out about 5 times a week. I do weights 3 times a week, doing 2 muscle groups and super-setting each lifting day, and I play basketball 2-3 times a week for cardio purposes.
I also tear up dance floors.
Sorry to alarm you with the previous “huge” statement. Here’s the music video:
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Going into Lollapalooza there were certain acts that I considered “must see”. Being a fan of Mayer Hawthorne’s for a couple of years now and never having seen him live, he was pretty much at the top of the list. Part of the appeal of Mr. Hawthorne is his retro sound that channels Motown soul and reminds me of all the music I used to listen to with my parents as a kid. Just as his sound is a refreshing throwback, so is his live performance. The sound was crisp and the set was amazing. Certain songs were altered from their recorded version so as to let the musicians in his band, The County, to have extended solos and show off their chops. “Green Eyed Love” had some sick guitar soloing, “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” had an awesome extended intro, and the keyboardist was able to get funky with LFO manipulations on multiple songs.
Not only was the musicianship excellent, the showmanship was amazing as well. Mayer was able to get the crowd involved and keep them engaged throughout the entire set. One highlight was right after he performed “I Wish that it Would Rain”. During the song he had the crowd do a simple raining motion dance during the hook and right after he was done singing he got everyone to do it one more time as he snapped a picture of it for his Twitter account. He also taught the crowd how to do the Errol Flynn dance, which I will definitely be bringing to Sea Isle City this weekend. It’s a bit like the John Wall, but you can use both hands!!!!
Mayer also did an interesting thing regarding photography. At one point in the show he posed for everyone who had cameras, which was reminiscent of Edge and Christian’s “Five Second Pose for the benefit of those with flash photography”. After he made me think about wrestling, he had everyone put their cameras away for the rest of the show so they would just focus on the music. I haven’t seen that done before, but I loved it.
Another thing to love about the performance were the cover songs, as there were a decent amount of those. Included were Snoop Dogg and Pharell’s “Beautiful”, the Isley Brothers’ “Work to Do”, and, my personal favorite, a perfect rendition of the Hall & Oates classic “You Make my Dreams Come True.” He also played a new song off of his upcoming album that has me even more excited about that release (set for October as of this posting) than I initially was, and that’s saying something.
Overall the sound was great, the energy was up, and the times were good. I think I smiled throughout the entire set as I was extremely happy throughout. That’s the mark of an amazing performance. If you have a chance to see Mayer Hawthorne perform live you cannot pass it up. Enjoy the music.
Here are 3 songs that were performed during the set:
Woooo it’s that time of the week again! Rounding up this week’s uptempo obsessions by yours truly. I’ve got a lot of different stuff this Friday, some weirdness for all ears.
Houdini RAC Remix – RAC It’s fair to say RAC produces nothing short of quality remixes, especially with the latest of Noah and the Whale. But this Foster the People song? Nothing but gold with the teetering synths, hand-claps, and of course some solid bass.
Burnt By The Sun – Paul White Because I know you all were just waiting for me to unleash something truly, sonically interesting for you ears. There’s so much dissonance going on but at the same time, a uniform hip-hop beat. My ears may just explode.
In light of a bunch of recent and upcoming releases from various artists on the Stones Throw record label(www.stonesthrow.com), I decided that we should explore the variety and talent of some of the artists on the label.
First up is James Pants. His stuff is kind of off the wall, but still very enjoyable. He can play funk on one track and then doo wop on the next. His self titled LP just came out and he has released three free singles in order to promote it. Darlin’ sounds a bit like something you’d hear in the early 60s or late 50 but with way more distortion and reverb. Alone is more driving and takes on a darker tone. Lastly, he just released Clouds Over the Pacific , which sounds more chilled out and maybe a little video gamey. Yeah, that’s not a real adjective but it’s hard to describe James Pants, he’s got a very unique sound.
Pants’ labelmate Madvillain is hard to describe, too. He’s a rapper, but he’s got a unique flow and his tracks aren’t the norm for mainstream hip hop. That’s probably why he’s on a smaller label. I prefer it this way. Check out his song Papermill . The track sounds like it was sampled from a funk/rock song from the 70s and his delivery is sometimes off beat and choppy as though this is a freestyle(it might be, I didn’t do research), but it works.
On to someone who has a sound that is easier to describe. Aloe Blacc is straight soul. He sounds like he came straight from Motown in the 1960s. His songs use all the right timbres to evoke that feeling you get from listening to old 45s of the Temptations, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cook. Check out I Need A Dollar , Aloe sings the blues and asks for a dollar in return. He captures the feeling of despair and brings some reality to music.
The Motown sound doesn’t stop there. I was turned on to Stones Throw when I was lucky enough to discover Detroit’s own Mayer Hawthorne. When I first heard his music I thought he had sampled old songs and rearranged them. That wasn’t the case, Mr. Hawthorne is a musician in the truest sense of the word. If you haven’t gotten his debut LP Strange Arrangement you need to do so ASAP. Mayer has a covers album coming out this week, stay tuned to his Twitter feed to find out exactly when it happens as no date was given. Mr. Blue Sky , his cover of the Electric Light Orchestra hit, was given away for free earlier today in order to create some buzz for the eventual release of the entire album later this week. If it comes out on vinyl it will promptly be added to my collection.
Mayer Hawthorne released No Strings for free around October. Sounds old school, but not Motown. Best way to describe it is “80s Soul”. Just download it and listen, you’ll like it.
This Must Be The Place – Arcade Fire Yesterday I was made aware of this cover by one of my Twitter friends (That’s her page, not mine). I’m a fan of both the Talking Heads and Arcade Fire so I naturally liked the cover. After discussing a few more covers I decided that I should probably do a post including some of my favorites.
Cuddly Toy – The Monkees This was one of my favorite songs as a 4 year old and I still love it today. This is the Monkees’ Vaudeville-esque approach to the Harry Nilsson original. Nilsson was a genius, by the way. The Monkees were actually the first band I ever saw live. I was 4 and they played at the Garden State Racetrack. A year later I saw the Beach Boys play there. That’s a nice segue to the next song.
God Only Knows – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. I mentioned this band in my last post so hopefully you know how good they sound. Try being mad or upset when listening to this song. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible.
Private Eyes – The Bird and the Bee Here’s a cover from their album Interpreting the Masters Vol. 1: A Tribute to Hall and Oates. Buy the album. Then get all of their other music as they have some sweet original tunes as well as other amazing covers.
I think I’m going to put together a full playlist of cover songs on Ping once I figure out how. I’ll post a link for that in the comments section of this post once it happens.
Here’s a video of Mayer Hawthorne covering “Mr. Blue Sky”, originally by ELO. As you can see from the picture I post, he has recorded a studio version of this gem that we can all anxiously await.