The premiere of CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story on VH1 last night got us thinking about what a musical hotbed the city of Atlanta is. As we learned, they don’t call it “Hot-Lanta” for nothing! So we decided to do a little bit of research to determine who, along with TLC, are the biggest musical artists to emerge from the A.T.L.
And to keep the action going all week long, check out our Spotify playlist, featuring some of the band’s favorite tracks.
The return of Erykah Badu on Janelle Monae‘s new song, “Q.U.E.E.N.“, reminded us of a genre that hasn’t seen much love in the past few years: Neo Soul. In the late ’90s, it seemed like everyone was exploring a world of retro R&B influenced by soul and hip hop but these days, the artists channeling this vibe are far and few between. We rounded up 32 artists that helped define this genre of music. Read more…
Whenever anyone brings up hip hop’s golden era, chances are they’re talking about the ’90s. Originating in the Bronx in the 1970s, the genre that would later become a global phenomenon grew substantially in the ’80s and, by the time the ’90s rolled around, had fully matured both artistically and commercially.
When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2012 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 21 songs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only eight that appeared on three or more lists: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” (4 ballots), Frank Ocean‘s “Pyramids” (4 ballots), fun.‘s “We Are Young” (4 ballots), Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know” (3 ballots), P!nk‘s “Just Give Me A Reason” (3 ballots), Usher‘s “Climax” (3 ballots), Azealia Banks‘ “212” (3 ballots), and Miguel‘s “Adorn” (3 ballots).
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2012. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 92 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
In the 38 years since I was born, the music industry has shifted through a number of different methods of delivering their product to their customers. Vinyl, of course, has been the one format that has maintained relevance throughout my lifetime, but as a consumer, I have purchased music in 8-track, cassette, compact disc and, of course, digital form. Each of these mediums have their inherent benefits and drawbacks, but the one constant that tied them altogether was this: I could only (legally) listen to music that I, myself, had purchased. That meant that the my music universe was limited to the library of music that I had acquired over the years (which, in my case, was something that I spent tens of thousands of dollars building), and if I wanted to sample something new, I had to be willing to commit $10-$15 to purchase it. That all changed for me when I signed up for Spotify about a year ago July.
Of course, music subscription services like Rhapsody and eMusic have been around since the late 90s, but it wasn’t until Spotify publicly launched in the United States in July of 2011 that I decided to take the plunge and convert from being a music owner to a renter. Suddenly, for the cost of $9.99 a month, I now had access to millions upon millions of albums, old and new, that I could sample on demand. If I read a good review of a current artist on a music site that I trust, I can immediately listen to the album and decide for myself. Albums that I have always wanted to listen to but have been hesitant to purchase are now available to me. And best of all, thanks to Spotify’s semi-controversial yet undeniably brilliant decision to partner with Facebook, I can see what music my friends are listening to in real time. In short, the process of music discovery has been radically simplified thanks to the previous barriers to entry being removed, and despite the occasional gripes from music creators about payment concerns, Spotify has made this an incredible time to be a fan of music of any era. And that, my friends, is what I am most thankful for, musically, this holiday season.
Once again, fall transitions into winter, and once again you’re in the house looking at your ex’s Facebook page. Not that you wouldn’t look at your ex’s Facebook page during other seasons, but it’s cold(er) and you’re more apt to have aimless web browsing nights where you just happen to end up there. Not your fault!
Friendly reminder, all you Drakes out there: being miserable is a choice, and if you want to take steps to cultivate some holiday cheer, you can start right now. In a baptism-by-fire sort of way, let’s begin by getting the remaining sad ickiness out of your system, and go full-throttle into the carefully crafted playlist below, shall we?
America’s Sweetheart turned Tim Burton muse turned shoplifting pariah, Winona Ryder, will always be the coolest girl of all time. Okay, the coolest woman, as she officially turns 41 years old today. No matter her age, we’ll always remember her as *the* It Girl, not to mention star of films with the coolest soundtracks. We’d like to think she’s had a hand in the soundtracks–the girls has dated rock stars from Pete Yorn and Evan Dando to Chris Isaak and Beck.
If you’re East Coast-based like us, it’s likely that you’re fully focused on the approaching weather. Hurricane Sandy is like the Sandy at the end of Grease–the one with the crazy leather pants and cigarette? Do you understand our stress now? To help get through the storm, we’ve put together a playlist full of Sandy-inspired songs for all you Spotify users out there: (Rock You Like A) Hurricane Sandy: Get Through The Storm With Some Jams.
That’s correct, according to Science aka a study done by music streamers Spotify, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack is the most arousing song selection to play during sex. And because this is Science, it is ultimately accurate and someone needs to teach these Spotify users about Sam Cooke or something. More important, men need to stop letting their ladies choose the playlist, because apparently music does not matter as much to men as it does to women in the sack. This, again, is Science:
Dirty Dancing was the top pick for both men and women, although the study’s author, music psychologist Daniel Mullensiefen, also pointed out that men are more willing to adjust their tastes in music in order to ensure “greater success in the bedroom.”
Apparently, Science becomes Science again after you’re finished with carrying watermelons and such, because the number two sex song pick is Marvin Gaye‘s “Sexual Healing”. Ravel’s “Bolero” (which sounds like this) comes afterward.