Archive for the ‘Rock’ Category

Now that it’s 2019, and New Year resolutions are on the rise, here’s a guide on how to curate the ultimate workout soundtrack.

1. Go Techno

Whether it’s classic DJ beats, techno, drum ‘n bass, or newer age Calvin Harris-infused tracks, pick your poison. They’re all designed to make work out harder, faster and better.

2. Feel Nostalgic

Pick a song that takes you back, that you know all the words to, that makes you feel good, confident, and like you have a friend alongside with you. Then, run with it (no pun intended.)

3. Guilty Pleasures

When you’re working out, it’s you and your headphones, so be free, have fun, and laugh at yourself a little. You can go Bieber, Britney, Backstreet, or even this gem here (don’t judge.)

4. Choose Reggaeton

Reggaeton is a combination of hip-hop, Latin beats, and dance. It’s impossible to stay still while listening to the sensual Spanish lyrics and hypnotic rhythms.

5. Be Bhangra

Bhangra is high energy, drum heavy, feel-good music from northern India. Even if you don’t understand what they’re saying, you will undoubtedly keep you moving forward.

6. Michael Jackson

Every workout playlist MUST include a Michael Jackson track. Period.

7. Seek Therapy

At the end of a long, difficult, frustrating, craptastic day, sometimes you just want to get mad. Take that energy, and sweat it all out (while listening to these guys scream of course.)

8. Flavour of the Week

Add the song that you’ve had on repeat most recently, that you just can’t get enough of, because it’s catchy and sure to motivate you.

9. Podcasts

For those lighter, stretching kind of work outs (or whatever suits you,) try a podcast. It’s like listening to a couple of friends shoot the shit, and definitely helps the time fly by.

10. Beyoncé

Every workout playlist MUST include a Beyoncé track. Period.

11. Reggae

I’m talking anything from Bob Marley, to Beenie Man, to Sean Paul (but mostly Sean Paul.) You’ll have trouble keeping still, and will be forced to move faster.

12. 90s Hip-Hop

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 90s hip-hop is the ultimate hip-hop of of all time, and the perfect workout music.

13. Get Lost

If you like to disappear in your head, try indie music. It’ll entrance you with your deepest emotions, and innermost thoughts; all the while letting you continue your workout.

 

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2019 is just around the corner (sigh) so let’s recap the best and the worst of 2018, musically speaking. (Disclaimer: as always, the selections are based solely on my opinion, and I have not listened to every single album/song that was released this year. I’m only human.)

Best Newcomer  – Greta van Fleet

With these guys around, rock ‘n roll will never die.

Best Live Show – The Killers

Blew me away, once again.

Worst Grunge Comeback – Smashing Pumpkins

Almost every member of the original band reunited to release Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1/LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. They shouldn’t have.

Best Collaboration Album – Everything is Love by The Carters (ie Beyoncé & Jay-Z)

This album puts both wife and husband on the same playing field, and finally admits that Queen Bey is actually the boss.

Worst Collaboration Album –  44/876 by Sting & Shaggy

Whose idea was this? Why was this? But mostly, can this never happen again?

Sexiest Sex Symbol – Maluma

That hair, that half smile, that sense of style, that Spanish: impossible to resist.

Best Boy Band Track – “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Backstreet Boys

BSB are the OG boy band. They will always win.

Worst Boy Band Track – “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B

So Maroon 5 isn’t technically a boy band, but close enough. Adam Levine’s voice is whiny (as usual), and as hard as this song is trying to say something, it isn’t.

Best Young Artist – Troye Sivan

At only 23, Sivan’s music has the wisdom, introspection and maturity of someone who’s been around a lot longer.

Worst Young Artist – Lil Xan

At only 22, Lil Xan has managed to make some of the worst music ever, and really should just stop.

Best Rap Track – “Mogambo” by Riz MC

Is there anything Riz MC can’t do? No, no there isn’t.

Worst Rap Track- “Chun-Li” by Nicki Minaj

Is anyone else kind of tired of Nicki?

Best Diss Track – “The Story of Adidon” by Pusha T

The feud between Drake and Pusha T got so heated, Pusha used a diss track to reveal Drake had a son.

Worst Diss Track – “Rap Devil” by Machine Gun Kelly

I don’t understand why this no-name wanna be rapper even tried to take on Eminem.

Most Irrelevant Rap Beef – Ja Rule vs. 50 Cent

Ja and 50 win this one because in 2018, nobody cares about either of them. At all.

Best Break-Up Song – “Thank You, Next” by Ariana Grande

Grande takes the higher road here, appreciating everything she learned from past mistakes, instead of hating, blaming and shaming.

Worst Break-Up Song – “Without Me” by Halsey

She quotes Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”, and makes it part of the track. Huh?

Best Reggaeton Track – “Te Bote” by Casper, Nio García, Darell, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, Ozuna

Instant classic.

Worst Collaboration Track – “Havana” by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug

I just can’t with this song. Nothing original about it, and the extra “na-na-nas” are an earworm no one ever asked for.

Best Collaboration Track – “Nina Cried Power” by Hozier feat. Mavis Staples

All soul, all power, all goosebumps.

Best Video of the Year – “This is America” by Childish Gambino

Was there any other choice?

Worst Video of the Year – “Happier” by Marshmello feat. Bastille

Just to be clear: I love this song. But as a new dog lover, it’s emotionally manipulative, and I’m not here for it. It’s supposed to have a happy ending, but my tears are all sad ones.

Best Drake Song – “Nice for What”

Drake puts the spotlight on strong females, so this track wins.

Worst Drake Song – “In My Feelings”

When a song goes this viral, it should never be played again.

Toughest Musician Death – Dolores O’Riordan 

For me personally, O’Riordan’s was the hardest to handle. Too many memories, and I’m still not over it.

Best Indie Track – “Hymnostic” by Big Red Machine

Anything Justice Vernon (of Bon Iver fame) produces is the most beautiful, eloquent, wonderful, ethereal, musical experience. No exception here.

Worst Indie Track – “Four Out of Five” by Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys went from solid Brit rock, to jazzy elevator music on this track (and the entire album – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.) I just couldn’t love it.

Best Slow Jam – “With You” by Mariah Carey

Mimi will always win at slow jams.

Best Soundtrack – Suspiria

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke wrote and performed all the music on this soundtrack, and therefore nothing else can compete.

Best R&B Album – Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

Start to finish, front to back, this album will electrify you in all the best ways.

Worst Album of the Year – Man of the Woods by Justin Timberlake

I have no idea what this album was: is he trying to convince us he’s a down to Earth lumberjack? That he’s low maintenance? That he lives in the woods? So many questions, not enough answers.

Album of the Year – High as Hope by Florence + the Machine

It’s no secret I’m a little obsessed with Florence + the Machine, but it’s hard not to be when every new album they release is completely different than their last, but equally impressive.

Worst Song of the Year – “No Brainer” by DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo & Chance the Rapper.

Didn’t this song already happen? (see “The One”)

Song of the Year – “Miracles” by Chvrches

Play it once, and you’ll have it on repeat for days.

You can recognize a Nirvana song from miles away. Their music was the anthem for an entire generation, and a founder of the grunge movement. Their lyrics were filled with anger, depression, apathy, self-deprecation; their sound was heavy, distorted and loud; themes often revolved around drugs and escapism. That may not seem appealing to some, but for a teen growing up  in the 90s, it was everything.

When you turned on a Nirvana album, you knew what you were getting yourself into. They presented an alternative to mainstream, a change from the barrage of leftover 80s rock and current 90s pop. They were there for you when you needed them, standing by your side; I mean who doesn’t want to mosh and head bang when they’re in a bad mood?

Recently, after days of rumblings, every 90s adolescent had a dream come true: a Nirvana reunion. Dave Grohl reprised his role on guitar, Krist Novoselic returned to play bass, Pat Smear (touring guitarist for Nirvana) played guitar, and they borrowed the vocal stylings of both Joan Jett and John McCauley (of the band Deer Tick.)

In  honour of this nostalgic event, here are the best Nirvana tracks.

In Bloom, Nevermind, 1991

 

Dumb, In Utero, 1993

 

Man Who Sold the World, MTV Unplugged in New York, 1994 (David Bowie cover)

 

Drain You, Nevermind, 1991

 

About A Girl, Bleach, 1989

 

You Know You’re Right, Nirvana, 2002

 

Lithium, Nevermind, 1991

 

Where Did You Sleep Last Night, MTV Unplugged in New York, 1994 (Lead Belly/Mark Lanegan cover)

 

All Apologies, In Utero, 1993

 

Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nevermind, 1991