Tag Archives: Jams

Hot Routes: Introduction

31 Aug


Football lends itself to casual betting more so than other major sports.  The small number of games in a football season (about 12-17, depending on pro or college) eliminates a lot of the random single game outcomes you could get from a basketball season (about 82 games) or a baseball season (about 162 games).  There’s usually about a week between football teams’ games, so there is plenty of time to pull together information from a team’s previous performance and use it to make a reasoned prediction about their next effort.  And in addition to the scheduling, the very nature of the modern football game allows for plenty of wagering opportunities – there are all kinds of strategic approaches that teams take into their games, and with a little observation, one could make some reasoned predictions about which approaches have advantages over others.

What we’re trying to say here is that we enjoy wagering on football games – both at the college and NFL level.  If it were legal, we would even put money down on games, but it’s not, so we just like play for pride.  And as we play for pride this season, we’d like to invite you all to join in.  Each week throughout the 2012 Year of Football, we’ll be presenting some game picks for the upcoming weekend.  They could be spreads, money lines, over/unders, whatever.  So if you happen to make a trip out to Las Vegas, or perhaps live in the Cayman Islands, you could even take this advice literally and put some scratch down with your local sportsbook.  Or you could just marvel at how great/poorly we’re doing.

We know that just presenting some football picks and short explanations might get a little dry and boring.  And the last thing we want to be here at Dan Swanky’s is dry and boring.  So to keep things moving, we’ll be presenting weekly football picks in conjunction with weekly music picks.  We’ll lay down whatever sweet tracks we’ve been listening to all week, whether they were released in 2012 or 1968, and invite you to join in our jam sessions.  They may relate to the picks, they may not.  Doesn’t matter.  They sound good at the time.

Welcome to Hot Routes 2012


Rock The Playoff Bells

19 May

After covering the remaining playoff teams from the NBA’s Eastern Conference, it’s now time to take a look at the Western Conference’s final four contenders and understand them better with some help from the 2012 lineup of hip-hop music festival Rock The Bells.  [Catch up on the Eastern Conference here.]

Western Conference

Lakers – Ice Cube

Ice Cube and this year’s version of the Lakers have a lot more in common besides just calling the city of Los Angeles home.  Cube earned his status as a hip-hop icon with his brash, free-wheeling work for N.W.A. and his own solo releases.  He’s dipped in and out of the rap game since his 90’s heyday, but in recent years has mostly shifted his body of work from Compton to Hollywood.  A string of family-friendly acting roles has given Cube a lot of mainstream success, and while he can still earn a top spot on Rock The Bell’s lineup this year, his focus now is clearly more on the drama than the music.

Drama is something that the Lakers have seen plenty of this season, and a lot of it has come from off the court.  The core of this Lakers team – Kobe, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol – has had a lot of success in the past with two championships.  Like Ice Cube, however, that success has given way to more and more drama this year, with swirling trade rumors, Bynum acting out, coaching questions, and the ever-changing antics of Metta World Peace.  The Lakers have tried with varying success to keep their focus on the court, but a tough matchup with OKC in the second round is fueling fears that their heyday – like Ice Cube’s – is now a thing of the past.

Thunder – A$AP Rocky “More To Be Announced”

On paper, the OKC squad seems to be a perfect basketball match for A$AP Rocky.  Both the team and the MC are young, supremely talented, exciting, have a lot of buzz, and seem primed for a lot of future success.  That’s on paper though – and as we’ve covered before here at Dan Swanky’s, the OKC Thunder are not a normal basketball team.  To fans of the Seattle SuperSonics (RIP), this OKC team is a living, breathing reminder of greed and theft on a large scale.

The Thunder shouldn’t exist – at least not in their 2012 version,  playing for the whitewashed crowd currently cheering them on in Oklahoma City.  They belong to Seattle, and as far as we’re concerned, are now an illegitimate franchise.  That’s why when it comes to the Rock The Bells Lineup, OKC is really most like that little phrase at the bottom of the poster: ‘More To Be Announced’.  Because they don’t really exist, in the sense of being a true franchise.  Is that a petty, bitter approach to take?  Well, yeah.  But that’s how we feel.  The awesome talent of A$AP Rocky is much, much too good for this stolen team.

Clippers – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

One of the themes of past Rock The Bell festivals has been to have older artists or groups reunite or make rare live appearances, in which they play some of their classic albums or tracks.  Bone Thugs are continuing that theme this year by coming together in their original lineup and playing the entirety of their most successful album, E. 1999 Eternal.  The group has been pretty inconsistent with their material in recent years, but they have a lot of great tracks from earlier in their career, and their unique, creative sound has earned them a favorable spot in the hip-hop canon.

One of Bone Thugs’ signature qualities is the loose, party-friendly vibe that permeates through a lot of their songs.  This has a lot in common with the style of basketball often played by the 2012 Clippers.  The Clippers carry the nickname Lob City, and play up to that moniker with highlight-ready plays from athletic freaks like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.  The Clippers run up and down the court, throwing no-look passes and dropping thunderous dunks, and at times look like a bunch of really talented guys playing a loose game of street ball on the neighborhood court.  There can often be a lack of discipline with the Clippers’ style, and discipline is not a word found anywhere near the vicinity of weed-scented Bone Thugs jams like “1st of tha Month” and “Weedman.”  There had to be at least one time this year when a dashiki-clad Nick Young put on E. 199 Eternal in the post-game locker room, prompting the entire Clippers crew to rap and dance along.

Spurs – Missy Elliot + Timbaland

There’s a chance that the Missy Elliot + Timbaland collaboration won’t actually make it to the Rock The Bells stage this year, but they’re on the initial announcement materials, so we’ll go with it.  With a history of one hugely successful run and reliably constant stream of output, there isn’t another artist on the lineup that better compares to the San Antonio Spurs.  To the chagrin of basketball fans who like their basketball stars to be emotional and remotely interesting, Tim Duncan has led the Spurs to three championships in his 15-year career with the team.  For a while in the 2000’s, the Spurs were the undisputed kings of the basketball world, much like Timbaland, and to a lesser extent, Missy, ruled over the music world with their distinct sound and style for a stretch of time.

The spastic, occasionally irritating sounds of Timba + Missy are also reflected by the Spurs with the flopping and flailing style of play often displayed by players like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.  These two foreign stars in particular stand out as being very talented, but nevertheless infuriating when they take spectacular dives from phantom fouls and whine loudly when things don’t go their way.  The music of Timba + Missy can be highly entertaining, and it’s easy to marvel at the high quality of their work; the response to the basketball performances of the Spurs can be the same way.  But there can be a time when the funky and expressive sounds of Timba + Missy become grating and tiresome, and those are two qualities that Spurs haters know all too well.

Personal Soundtrack

26 Feb

The Song

We Could Forever by Bonobo


Bonobos are a species of great apes that aren’t as well known as chimpanzees, their close relatives in the animal world.  Their relative anonymity is a shame, because they are amazing creatures that love to party.  Seriously – they are most known among anthropologists (people in the know) for their high levels of sexual behavior.  They use sex in nearly all of their group interactions, and have been observed employing and enjoying a staggering variety of sexual positions.  Bonobos are great, so it makes sense that their musical namesake is top-notch as well.  Simon Green is the man behind Bonobo, and under that moniker he’s released laid-back, dynamic electronic music that draws upon jazz, hip-hop, and distinct global sounds.

“We Could Forever” comes from Bonobo’s 2010 album “Black Sands,” and it provides the backdrop for the best international dance party you’ve never had.  The track has a humming energy from the get-go, with an urgent cymbal tap backing a percolating rhythm.  The song’s frenetic jam nears a cresting point near the halfway point, but right when you take a breath, a flute goes bananas in a breakdown and the groove continues.  “Forever” exemplifies the unique greatness of Bonobo’s music – it has instruments and sounds culled from all areas of world music, combined with electronic touches that create an immensely satisfying groove.  Sometimes Bonobo provide a funky rhythmic backdrop to your chillout time, and sometimes with songs like “We Could Forever,” they drop the subtlety and implore you to start dancing.

The Activity

You’re trekking through a lush jungle somewhere near the equator, alone with your thoughts and the low buzz of insects.  Your shirt clings to your back in the humid air and even though it’s nighttime, you have no problem finding your way under the brilliant pearly light of the full moon.  You came on this trip to get away from the grind of everyday life, and find some adventure that you’ve been sorely lacking lately.  So far, everything’s been great with your stay in this tropical and foreign land, but you still don’t feel as if you’ve had any truly crazy experiences.  You took a local’s suggestion and ventured out on a night hike, hoping to find something, and were disappointed until the faint sounds of music reached your ear.

You stopped to gauge direction, and followed the rhythmic pounding of drums as they got louder and louder.  Finally, you come upon a clearing among the vines, and find a vibrant, throbbing circle of people dancing and playing instruments around a bright fire.  There are people from all walks of life, from locals to the beautiful Australian travelers you noticed at your hostel earlier, and they are all in varying states of dance and disrobe.  You move cautiously forward into the clearing, and are noticed by a young Brazilian couple who smile and groove over your way.  The woman grabs your hand as you ask What Is This Place?  The man hands you a gourdlike instrument to shake, and simply says Dança.  And you do.

Doing It Live: Sleigh Bells

22 Feb

Sleigh Bells at the Mayan Theater, February 21, 2012.

Brooklyn-based group Sleigh Bells released their sophomore album Reign of Terror on Tuesday, and played a sold-out show at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles to commemorate the occasion.  Although familiar with the band from their first album Treats, we hadn’t been to one of their shows before, and weren’t sure what to expect.  In this era of breathless blog hype surrounding ‘bands-of-the-moment,’ new artists can make a big splash on the merits of having a unique sound, without necessarily having the musical chops to sustain success after an initial breakthrough.  After their novelty has worn off, does a new group simply sound dated, or can they produce consistently great music?

Sleigh Bells is a great example of this question, as they have a distinct sound that felt refreshingly new when they hit the scene a couple of years ago.  Often referred to as “noise pop,” the majority of their songs have the sound pushed up to distortion levels and feature pounding drum machine loops with crunchy guitar riffs.  Fronted by the melodic voice of Alexis Krauss, the group’s first batch of songs were aggressive rockers that had a pop sensibility underlying them, and they were able to build up an ecletic fan base of indie scenesters and harder rock fans.  Will Sleigh Bells be able to keep building fans and rocking faces for the foreseeable future?  Live performances can often be a good indicator of whether or not a band is for real, so the show at the Mayan provided a chance to see what this band has to offer at a notable point in their early career.

The night got off to an uneven start, with a bit of a strange vibe in the air.  The Mayan is a pretty unique venue, as its jungle theme makes one feel as if you’ve stepped in to a drug-fueled lost episode of Legends Of The Hidden Temple.  It is cool in a very weird way, but the night’s opening act seemed to struggle with the theater’s acoustics and it wasn’t clear if Sleigh Bells would have the same issues.  Any doubts of that dissipated as soon as Krauss and guitarists Derek E. Miller and Jason Boyer took to the stage and seized control of it for the next hour.  The band started out with two new tracks that were delivered with enough energy to get the capacity crowd started, but it was when they broke into their first old song, “Riot Rhythm,” that the raw power of their live act fully appeared.

Krauss promptly ripped through a series of Treats songs, and had the crowd in her hands from then on.  Yowling and prowling the stage, she took the drum machines and deafening riffs to another level, displaying a focused showmanship and true rock god(dess) potential.  At some points she was alone on stage, backed only by the towering stacks of Marshall amps, but she refused to let that dampen the energy in any way.  The songs from the new album sagged a bit, but for familiar tunes like “A/B Machines” and “Straight A’s” the crowd upfront was going fucking bananas, with bras and shirts flying at the stage from all angles.  It was a testament to the magnetic power of Krauss’ performance that the group’s quietest song, “Rill Rill,” didn’t lower the energy level at all.

The full set for the band burned hot and fast, coming in at a little under an hour.  The short time left the audience wanting more, and seemed well-suited to Sleigh Bells’ propensity for hopping from one quick, loud burst of noise to the other.  There didn’t seem to be any disappointed faces in the crowd filing out, and the band’s live power would appear to bode well for their staying power as a unique new voice in the music world.  Their brand of music is heavily influenced by heavy metal and pounding hip-hop, and at points the show they put on last night rocked much harder then most “modern rock” bands ever will.  As long as Krauss is getting heads banging like Ozzy and pals used to, Sleigh Bells will be worth the price of admission – and then some.

Friday Relief

17 Feb

Here is an amped up Ginger version of Star Wars Kid playing some basketball. Happy Friday!

Personal Soundtrack

16 Feb


The Song

Respiration by Black Star

“Respiration” begins with a few bars of Mos Def rapping over a chiming sample, and has your head nodding slowly before the beat even kicks in.  From then on, you’re in a different world, a dream-like urban landscape populated by sharply intelligent rhymes.  This is a classic song from a classic hip-hop duo, representing many of the things that the genre can be when the artists love what they’re doing.  The beat is laid-back but banging at the same time, providing an expansive sonic playground for the MCs to bounce over with their lyrical gymnastics.  Common joins the Black Star party to add some wordy rhymes that fit right in with the overall vibe of the group.  The beat is evocative, the skilled verses have weight, and the song stays with you long after the record’s over.

Black Star was/is an underground rap group comprised of Mos Def and Talib Kweli – a pairing that was seemingly too good to be true, because they only dropped one album in 1998 before going their seperate ways.  The beauty of Black Star was that both Mos and Talib are incredibly talented and complementary artists – they seemed as though they were fated to perform together, and combined they represented a hip-hop vision that couldn’t have come from anyone else.  Talib was always a bit more wordy and technical with his rhymes, while Mos was always great at expanding the sound of hip-hop into different genres, so that it became a vast collage of every piece of music you might hear while walking along a Brooklyn street on a summer night.  “Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star” brought these strengths together in a masterful album that is thought-provoking, soulful, funky, and essential hip-hop.

The Activity

It’s a warm NYC night on some vague date in the middle of summer, and the city is buzzing.  It’s far too hot in your apartment, so you decide to head up to your roof to get some fresh air.  Seems like most of the other people in your building had the same idea, as a small gathering has broken out on your building’s rooftop patio.  There are all kinds of people mingling about, taking it easy in the night’s heat, and the feeling couldn’t be more welcoming.  The roof has become an island amid the twinkling lights of the city skyline surrounding you, and you know you can stay for awhile.  No one’s really caring to judge up here, and you sit down to accept the joint that the old couple from down the hall have wordlessly offered.  The cute new roommates from two floors down have just arrived with some fresh bottles of wine, so you figure soon would be a good time to expand upon those awkward elevator conversations.  For now, someone puts an old hip-hop record on, and the beats groove out to join the rest of the night’s ever-changing soundscape.  You finally have the chance to do what Black Star implored you to do:  ‘Escuchela…la ciudad respirando.’

Personal Soundtrack

7 Feb

The Song

Black Tin Box by Miike Snow


The debut album by the Swedish group Miike Snow was filled with undeniably catchy songs that straddled the line between edgy electronic music and polished pop.  The group knows how to craft a hook, and craft them they did, but they also infused everything with a sense of dark urgency.  The resulting feeling was often as if  something bad was always on the verge of happening, but you couldn’t help but dance regardless.  Miike Snow are now gearing up to release their new album Happy To You on March 27th, and have released a couple of tracks over the past two months, one of them being “Black Tin Box.”  The song, featuring a guest vocal from Lykke Li, rides a moody and muted electronic pulse that sounds almost sinister.  Underneath airy and whispered vocals, “Black Tin Box”  packs a slow-burning momentum, culminating in pounding drum hits that wouldn’t sound out of place on a vintage Phil Collins live album.  It’s another brooding, mysterious, and polished song from Miike Snow that won’t get out of your head.

The Activity

You’ve found yourself in some real-life iteration of a David Fincher movie, or at least that’s the idea that keeps bubbling up in your head.  It’s hard to keep everything straight at this point, as you haven’t slept well over the past week or so, and when you go outside it always seems to be snowing, hazy nighttime, or both.  You’re constantly darting around between buildings, never able to to stop moving, and that’s probably because you’re either hastily building a Social Networking site that will change the world, or you’re on the trail of a serial killer that may or may not be on your trail as well.  You can feel a sense of dread and foreboding building up in the murky, snowy edges of the night and something momentous is going to happen soon.  It could be good, it could be bad, and it will probably be unnerving no matter what.  In the meantime, you’ve got to keep it together long enough to meet the mysterious, sexy, and very pale woman who you met last night, and who could be the key to everything.  So you cinch your hoodie tighter and head off into the snowy night.

Personal Soundtrack

27 Jan

The Song

We Must Go On by Pretty Lights


Two Pretty Lights soundtracks in a row?  Yes.  Derek Vincent Smith, a.k.a.  the man behind Pretty Lights, has dropped a new track and it’s here just in time for your lazy Saturday/Sunday enjoyment.  “We Must Go On” is a departure from the hard-hitting bass-driven tracks that PL has released lately, bringing in a catchy soul sample and a laid-back drum beat that takes its time grooving along.  The song builds up a propulsive, low-key momentum, while at times it threatens to follow the soaring vocal sample and drift off into the ether – giving everything a feeling of dreamy, perpetual motion.  Hopefully this track is indication that Pretty Lights will release an EP or full-length album in the near future.  In the meantime, let this one ride and enjoy 5+ minutes of stress relief.

The Activity

You were in a hurry to make some appointments this morning, and didn’t have time to make a proper breakfast.  So you grabbed the muffin your roommate left on the table, not stopping to wonder why it was wrapped individually, or why it tastes kind of funny.  And by the time you recall your roommate’s tendency to indulge in the occasional edible, you’re already in your car and are starting to feel nice and laid back.  At that moment, you take a look at the sunny day outside,  and the good looking people headed to the park – you can’t fight it.  You pull over to your friend’s place, borrow his dog, grab a leash and some headphones, and head out for a nice long walk.  Followed by an ice cold microbrew and some good company.  A long stressful day has become a Treat Yo Self day, and you couldn’t be happier.

Dancing In The Desert, Pt. 3

25 Jan


[With the Coachella lineup just announced, excitement is running high again for this year’s installment of the Southern California music extravaganza.  Here at Dan Swanky’s, we wanted to push past the breathless hype and get the gritty details about what the Coachella experience is all about.  Lucky for us, our resident Steed made his first trip to the festival last year, and offered to give us a rundown of his time there]

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

After two days of toeing the line at Coachella, I woke up on Day Three with a little bit less fire in my belly than I had the previous two days.  My head was pounding, and part of me wanted to stay right where I was, curled up in the warm sun on the soft turf of the golf course.  Oh, yeah – I woke up that day on the golf course, 12th hole I think, that ran next to our rental house.  My Australian flag was still around my neck and serving as a blanket, but Ibis was nowhere to be found, and my name had been carved into the soft grass with the hole-marker, which looked like it had been javelined several feet away.  I also wasn’t wearing any pants, once again, so I brushed off the cobwebs and took a brisk jog back to our house, which woke me right up and got me raring to go dance once more.  At this point, I figured I would deal with the emotional and physical reckoning on Monday.  I was going to go all in on this one while I still had the chance.

I rustled up the DJ Collective from their various resting spots, and we got a couple hours of pre-gaming out of the way before hopping in a party bus that someone had parked on the front lawn the night before and abandoned.  Whoever left the bus there had also left several cases of beer and Ciroc in the back, so we took our time getting over to the concert grounds and were in a fine mood by the time we parked.  I guess I was in too fine a mood, because as we were walking through security, I told the security guard to At Least Kiss Me If You’re Going To Touch Me Like That, and I was briskly taken over to “HQ,” which was a trailer next to the Main Stage filled with sobbing girls and passed out bros.  I was able to muster my charm and kept it coherent enough that the Stern Police finally let me go on my way, but not without taking all of my 5-hour energy stash, and taking my ‘Benadryl’ for Safe Keeping.

As I made my way out of HQ, I realized that I had lost my group, and had no phone or any other way to contact them in the ambiguous mass of people spreading out in the meadow before me.  I needed a cold Heine to rest my nerves after the Security run-in, so I headed over to the nearest beer garden.  After grabbing a drink, I struck up a conversation with a lively group of bros, all wearing mid-90s Vin Baker jerseys, who suggested that I try spotting my friends from the Ferris Wheel.  One of the Baker Bros also handed me a fresh beer, which he said was White Elephant brew.  He winked as he said this, but I figured what the hell and polished it off before heading over to the Wheel, so I could get on there before the good tunes started.

I hopped on a solo car on the Wheel, and as I started to circle up to the top, I felt a quick little surge of adrenaline, that went away almost as suddenly as it came.  Looking back, that was like the first little rain drop you get before the hurricane hits, but at the time I shrugged it off.  As my car went one rung past the top of the Wheel, I got a clear view of Sahara, and amid a sea of waving bods, saw the glorious stuffed bunny that I had worked on the day before.  At that point, I understood that the little fellow had made the bunny to be used as a signpost, and as I was realizing that, the White Elephant from the Baker Bros finally made its presence known.  I could no longer sit still.  The car on the Wheel was slowly making its way down to the ground, but I couldn’t really wait any longer, so I clambered on to the outside and shimmied my way down the scaffolding to the ground.  Security was not too happy about my early departure, but my legs were pumping before I even hit the ground, and I was off running the fastest quarter-mile you’ve ever seen to Sahara.

I got in to Sahara at the start of the Ducks [Duck Sauce] show, and as they pumped out the electro jams, I grooved my way up to the bunny and re-united with my buds.  I was enjoying myself near the stage for a bit, when something about the music must have triggered the other part of the Elephant, and things began to take a turn.  I has already been getting nervous about the giant inflatable duck that was on stage for the show, and when the “Big Bad Wolf” song started, I decided that the duck needed to go and I made a run at it.

To get to the duck, I had to clear the fence around the stage, and my running start for the jump was hindered a bit by the wet grass and the big crowd – I ended up catching my shins on the fence and whipping my forehead into the back of a security guard.  This dazed me for a second but didn’t put me out for the count.  The guards picked me up and shipped me out of the Tent, telling me to Take It Easy, and as I stood in the grass collecting myself, I could hear the faint tunes of Chromeo, and I followed the seductive dance beats to the outdoor stage.

By the time I got to the Chromeo stage, the mild concussion I had sustained earlier had met up with the White Elephant and all I could do was put my seatbelt on and hope for the best.  I saw some of the DJ Collective in the crowd, and they passed me a pair of Party ‘Bans to help with the sensitivity to light.  For some reason, as soon as I put the ‘Bans on, I became convinced that I was actually Chromeo himself, and that it was up to me to put on the best fucking dance show that the crowd had ever seen.  For the next hour, I proceeded to do just that, completely oblivious to the actual band performing on the stage behind me.  I was throwing keyboard licks around like no one’s business, unleashing dance moves that screamed Sexual, and one point I even brought myself to tears.  By the end of the show, I was sweating profusely and wasn’t quite sure how I had gotten there.  One of the Collective buds told me to follow them to Kanye West, the capper to the whole festival, and I obliged.

For the majority of the weekend, there had been loose talk flying around about Kanye’s show and all of the special guests he was going to bring up.  Jay-Z, Beyonce, Will Smith, and Coldplay were all being tossed around as names, but as we waited for the show to start at the Main Stage, I became convinced that I was the special guest the show would have, to take it over the top.  All I had to do was figure out a way to make my epic entrance, and then I could do the Twista lines on “Slow Jamz” and it would bring the whole house down.  As I was looking around frantically to find my way in, Kanye came gliding over the crowd in a crane contraption, and I knew what I had to do.  As soon as he got back on to the stage, I crept over to the base of the crane and started to shimmy up the side, towards the platform on the top.  I figured that once I was up there, Kanye could just toss me the mic and we’d go from there.  I got about 6-7 feet up the crane neck before some Boy Scout spotted me and yelled for help getting me off.  I tried to keep climbing, to keep the dream alive, but as Kanye started in on “Hell Of A Life” some security guard crawled up after me like a goddman spider monkey and I tumbled back to earth after a brief struggle and a taser shot.

It took four security guards to round me and the Elephant up, and after doing a quick check to make sure I hadn’t broken anything, they told me my weekend was over and began to escort me out to the parking lot.  I told them that We Would Meet Again, and they said You’re Probably Right.  The next several days would be a long recovery session, filled with doctor’s visits and marathons of Friends, and even though I eventually came back to full health, there’s a part of me still laying out there in the grass of the Polo Grounds.  Until next year, my friends, until next year.”

Personal Soundtrack

20 Jan

The Song

Finally Moving by Pretty Lights


Etta James has sadly passed away, but her beautifully soulful voice will continue on to be appreciated by future generations.  This particular generation is hearing more Etta than usual lately, with her vocal track from the song “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” being sampled for the hook in songs from Avicii and Flo Rida.  The same vocal track, with it’s yearning ‘Ohhhh sometimes..’ was used masterfully a few years back in the Pretty Lights track “Finally Moving,” and I imagine that Etta would consider this song to be a worthy addition to her legacy.  Pretty Lights has an amazingly diverse array of sounds in their catalog, and “Finally Moving” falls into the ‘laid-back reflective’ section of the PL Library.  It also falls into the ‘Best of’ section, as it mixes modern electronic sounds with Etta’s vocals to create a haunting and hopeful song that sticks with you.  This is electronic soul.

The Activity

It’s a quiet weekend morning, and the rain is coming down outside.  You’ve got a lot on your mind, because let’s face it – you’re a pretty soulful individual.  But on this particular morning, you’ve got a feeling that you’ve never, never, never had before, and you can’t be stuck sitting around inside.  So really, the only thing to do is go outside in the rain and hop on a bike, skateboard, skates – whatever you’ve got that will get you mobile and moving in lyrical reflection through your home city.  If you don’t have anything, just go ahead and borrow some wheels from your neighbors, and trust that they will understand.  At least for this morning, your mind, heart and future are all wide-open, and the oh-so-soulful Pretty Lights mix of Etta, swelling strings, and record scratching is the only thing that can relate to how you feel.