Jive Babe. Or not.
The sound on my computer is broken, as are my USB powered speakers. But I borrowed my roommates computer just for the sake of watching Mikhael’s new video.
It’s certainly moving away from the twee, cuteness of his previous video for “I Spy,” but it works.
Unlike my computer.
Pretentioustan is #1. Ha.
It’s true, I wanna be like you.
A lot of people have been commenting on the video— “And I had forgotten how fun shrooms were” — which is really too bad, because this song is incredibly catchy.
This track is great, and check out more from the Rhymesayers channel if you’d like to find some of the most poignant rap out there.
Kitty Pryde (and a racism rant)
Okay, so this track is gaining attention at a more than notable rate.
I’m skeptical on whether she’ll make it big, but I’ve already listened to this more times than I’d like to admit.
What’s great about it is that she’s a white, suburban girl and she’s rapping about white, suburban girl stuff. I can’t really relate to that experience, but she’s not trying to access a culture without having the experiential cache, and I love that.
Especially when I know a lot of people who believe they are allowed to use their access to typical rap culture to access the underlying culture of its proponents. In a linguistics class recently, a cursory survey at my largely white school revealed that many feel it is okay to speak “African American Vernacular English,” and the main justification was, “I really love rap and I understand the culture.”
I know I’m breaking from the character I’ve set revolving around Pretentioustan, but I really want to say this: Actually, that’s not fucking okay.
You have no right to claim you understand the experience of marginalized people who are subject to systemic violence. You can sympathize and use your privilege to help the cause, but stop there and it is appreciated.
Now, I’m not saying that being white bars you from participating or from understanding in certain instances. If you were born into a speech community and class that allows for the real experience which allows you to identify yourself as such, then I’m down. But you still need to recognize that your skin color allows you certain privileges, regardless of where you come from.
As a mixed race individual with light skin, with the ability to go to college, so do I.
Secondly, much of the music that is encased in “rap culture” is subject to cultural expectations. That is not an authentic experience, because people still need to sell their music. I’m not saying it is impossible to be genuine, but the violent nature that is often bred into the genre sells, and is sometimes completely fabricated and inaccurate. It is akin to the “But I have a black friend” argument.
One more thing. You cannot use your minority status in one area to identify with other statuses. Being poor does not mean you can identify with what it is to be black and poor. Just like being gay doesn’t mean you can dictate what it means to be bisexual. There is solidarity to find there, but don’t take it too far.
Woah, this got really off-topic, but it’s relevant (at least for me). I’ll get back to the music posts, and I assure you, this will rarely happen.
Have fun Kitty Pryde. And I’m excited to see what else happens with this.
Pretentioustan preaches peace. (And I’m back)
Passion Pit - Take A Walk
Passion Pit are back, and not a second too soon (their only other album Manners came out way back in 2009)! “Take a Walk” is the first song to leak from the new album, 12-tracked Gossamer, which will be available starting July 24th via Columbia Records. Don’t forget to catch these guys at Osheaga this Summer on August 5th!
This may come as a shock to some, and perhaps keep me from gaining a few followers (and maybe even lose a few), but I wasn’t all that impressed with Passion Pit’s debut album as a whole. I thought it was one of those rare instances where the singles were the very best tracks of the album. (Pretentious bomb!)
However, I’m really digging this track. A lot. And it’s made me excited for their next album.
In Pretentioustan, RAC (otherwise known as the Remix Artist Collective) is a guilty pleasure. Mostly because their remixes are among the best, but “remix” is in their name. However, the state is willing to suspend pretense and fully appreciate the “collective” after they released their first original track.
Sarcasm aside, I’ve been an avid fan of RAC for a long time. I love their work, especially that of Andrew Maury, perhaps because his remix of Jukebox the Ghost’s “Hold It In,” was the first thing I’d heard from them. Have a listen below. And no, you do not need to know the original track to enjoy it.
Anyway, they’ve also done a remix of a Penguin Prison track. So the collaboration on Hollywood shouldn’t be a surprise.
Except, it is a surprise. The above track was never one of my favorites from RAC, but it’s also not surprising that Hollywood is decidedly “poppy.” Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, personally, it sounds a little too clean. Which also isn’t a bad thing, but my favorite tracks from the Collective are their grittiest. Example:
Of course, I should admit that I’m really just holding onto an older image that has been steadily been “remixed” throughout the years. Their music is becoming increasingly sharp. However, it’s resulted in some amazing sounds.
So maybe I should give up and let it happen. Because to be totally honest, I’m really digging “Hollywood,” and excited to see what else they come up with. And they already have significant star power with ties to Death Cab For Cutie, so the collaborations should be stellar.
Besides, Pretentioustan is not conceited enough to hinder progress.
Wait, that’s not pretentious enough is it? Bummer. Oh well.
Okay, so this isn’t quite new, but I’m still in love. And here’s the pretentious dilemma, as I get off on wanting things I can’t have, my admiration has only grown stronger and stronger.
As hard as this may be to believe, that last comment was not sexual. Promise.
Mikhael Paskalev is a talented Norwegian singer-songwriter, and as Pretentioustan does not contain any Norwegian speakers, it has become nigh impossible to keep up with news on Paskalev.
(The official languages of Pretentioustan are Chinese and English.)
And while Pretentioustan is generally unwilling to ask for help (because usually we know everything), we would be incredibly grateful if you could give us any news. There’s got to be a Norwegian speaker or two out there. Otherwise, why be on Tumblr?!
Anyway, Mikhael Paskalev’s music is incredibly catchy. I would call it folk-pop. The music video actually distracts from how great the song, but it also really captures how danceable the track is.
Here’s another track, stripped down and easier to appreciate for its musicality.
It should be mentioned that Paskalev often collaborates with Jonas Alaska and Billie Van, the woman on the right.
While I think Paskalev stands out among the three, they’re all certainly worth checking out. And they’re all totally adorbs. Err, heart-warming. Pretentioustan does not say adorbs. And definitely not adorabibble.
Jonas has got the singer-songwriter thing down.
Billie Van has great rockabilly. (Yes, rockabilly is something you have.)
[I’m just realizing how great their names all are.]
Marina and the Diamonds
Seeing as she’s already gotten a lot of attention, it wouldn’t be pretentious enough to blog about Marina and the Diamonds, so I’m going to wait until April 30th, the release of her album “Electra Heart” to do so.
But here’s a video of her song “Primadonna,” to tide you over before the wave of patent, Pretentioustan exhibitionism.
But to prepare you, I’ll talk a little bit about this song.
I think it really captures the best of her album “The Family Jewels,” and progresses into very marketable pop, but in a good way. It’s got the progression of “I am Not a Robot,” the grit of “Mowgli’s Road,” and the attitude of “Obsessions.” But let’s hope her next album is as varied as her previous one. Though, with the song “Lies,” I doubt we’ll be hoping in vain.
Pretentioustan does not hope in vain.