Grams of Gold.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUELb7231a79

September 25, 2015, Ottawa, ON – A brilliant amalgamation of electronic music and down-south flow, Big Grams is the brainchild of hip hop heavyweight Big Boi and rising star duo Phantogram. Reemerging in a big way after time spent away from his original super-duo Outkast, Big Boi, alongside Big Grams, offers up soulful hooks and anthemic underlays from team Phantogram, propelled forward by Big Boi’s boisterous bravado, ready at the helm.

Definitely worth every gram.

What do Taylor Swift and Blessthefall have in common? They’re both pretty awesome at the drop-beat.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL


July 1, 2015, Tonroto, ON – I know I’m a little late in the game on this one, but after listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on a drive up to Montreal, I had the opportunity to really examine and appreciate the eclectic brilliance of her latest CD.

From beginning to end, Swift’s album offers an extremely easy listen, with pop songs carrying diverse instrumentals that leave something for everybody. If you’re like me and you’re eclectic in your musical taste, this is an album definitely worth checking out.

My personal favourite, next to the driving hip hop-like bass and snare of ‘Bad Blood’, is ‘I Wish You Would’. Being partial to screamo, myself, I was amazed to hear a bit of a screamo-drop beat during the chorus of this anthemic track. Don’t believe me? Jump to 24-seconds of ‘I Wish You Would’ – pause – now jump to 34-seconds of Blessthefall’s ‘Witness’. MAGIC.


Pick up Taylor Swift’s new CD, 1989, wherever you get your music – you wont regret it.

A Blurryface of Awesome.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Toronto, ON, May 30, 2015 – Uniquely juxtaposing cheery lyrics with somber visuals, the Twenty One Pilots continue to prove that they are a couple of melodic hit bangers with their new video for ‘Ride’.

Twenty-One

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Debuting their second full length album, Blurryface, the Twenty One Pilots continue in their pursuit to stylistically meld hip hop, electronic, pop, reggae, dance, emo and rock into a brilliant amalgamation that can only be heard to be described. From heart wrenching piano ballads like ‘Goner’, to 60’s dance-pop tracks like ‘Message Man’, to electronic pop-with-hip-hop-elements like their opening track ‘Heavydirtysoul’, the Twenty One Pilots single-handedly carve out a musical niche that anyone would have trouble fitting into just one box.

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Signed to the famed Fueled By Ramen, a record label that has put out other great artists like Paramore and Fall Out Boy, this millennial duo from Columbus, Ohio make listening to CDs from start to finish fun again – with each song gradually taking the listener on an auditory roller coaster filled with both upbeats and down.

Definitely worth its space in your digital library, you can download the Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface on iTunes now.

photos via: Google.

V 4 X D : Book I. “Philosophy, music and art.”

Combining philosophy, music and art, this first in a series of three photo books consists of photos taken along my travels. Showcasing music by Lorde, Dizzy Wright, Mt Eden and Skrillex, get ready for an experiential movement blasting the reader off into a new headspace that is both enlightening and introspective.

– book i playlist –
Lorde – Buzzcut Season
Dizzy Wright – The First Agreement feat. Nikkiya and Manny Scott
Mt Eden – Sierra Leone feat. Freshly Ground
Skrillex – First Of The Year [Equinox]

Download your free eBook by hitting the image below.

V4XD BOOK I cover

8tracks addiction.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Feb. 8, 2015, Toronto, ON – If you’re anything like me, and you’re addicted to constantly finding new music to let your mind wander during creative bursts of inspiration, I’d seriously consider giving 8tracks.com a look.8tracks

Allowing you to pick out genres and musical themes like toppings on a Pizza Pizza order, 8tracks spits out free and ready-made playlists, developed exclusively by other members, relating back to the categories that you chose.

Never boring and always providing an endless stream of new and entertaining sounds, this musical self-serve buffet is a great place for any music-junkie looking to break away from their daily iPhone shuffle mix.

Here’s a personal favourite of my own, ‘Chill Mix’. Hit the link and start effortlessly discovering your own mixes, today: 8tracks.com

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Oh, hey, I know this song.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

riffsJan. 15, 2015, Toronto, ON – Propelled forward by fast-paced, catchy riffs and emotionally-charged ballads, whatever happened to the passionate and hungry bands of the early 2000s; where, within the first two-seconds you knew exactly what song was playing?

Starting the 2000s off right with bands like My American Heart, Chiodos, Saosin, Blessthefall, Escape the Fate, Pierce The Veil and the emerging Sleeping With Sirens, it seems that, stylistically, the bands of today are slowing moving away from cultivating that ever-iconic ‘opening-riff’. Pioneered by ‘90s pop-punk bands – New Found Glory, Fall Out Boy, and Blink-182 – one has to wonder why the iconic opening-riff has slowly fallen out of favour. Could it be that it’s just too difficult to make something everlasting and memorable anymore?

From the get-off-your-feet introduction in New Found Glory’s ‘My Friend’s Over You’, to the raw punchy-ness of Blink-182’s ‘Dammit’, listening to the evolution of ’90s sounds from early bands of the 2000s had me anticipating what sense of auditory ear-candy would come next. Sadly, somewhere along the way the new bands of today had fallen off the rails, simply to only appear ‘louder’ and less ‘memorable’.

9310379309_c7fbe59298_zNow, that isn’t to say that the new music of today isn’t any good. It’s great to see music evolve into such a unique headspace. It’s just, perhaps the new music of today would do well to take some notes from the past and spend a little bit more time on crafting a more timeless piece; rather than just putting forth mediocre material that will easily be forgotten in a month’s time.

photos via Google

BestCDs

Ode to Outside the Box.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUELtwentyonepilots

The Twenty One Pilots are at it again with their amazing take on music video production. With captivating dynamics and emotionally-charged story lines, this band is the epitome of what it is to think outside the box.

Sometimes, lip-syncs and cinematic tales just won’t cut it, and all you can really do at that point is pay homage to your past. Three years in the making, this is definitely one of the most enjoyable videos and tunes I have seen and heard in a long while.

Doesn’t it just make you want to root for them to succeed?

-photo via Fueled By Ramen

A Cultural Shift In Style: Dance, Dance From Under The Cork Tree.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUELbaggytoskinny

Fall Out Boy -“Dance, Dance”, 2005 – The song that single-handedly catapulted emo pop-punk onto the mainstream “cool” stage, catching the attention of Jay-Z – the band’s future producer – effectively making emo pop-punk a trendy cultural sub-genre to be affiliated with.

 

Goodbye two-sizes too big and hello to two-sizes too small fitted jeans for the masses.

-photo via Styled By Chris

I see fire in my own innovation.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Taking stage performance to the next level, Ed Sheeran, utilizing classic looping techniques on stage, provides an intimate full-band feel as a solo artist; effectively doing away with the need for a consortium of backup musicians to get his point across.

With this grass-roots approach to performing, Sheeran displays how effective being a one-man band can truly be. How can we each scale back and rely more on ourselves over relying on others? Hard work, dedication, and a willingness to innovate in your own craft – despite the potential for failure and awkward stares. Let’s all take a lesson from Sheeran, as he single handedly shows us how self-reliance is done right.

Ed Sheeran – I See Fire, Live (BBC Radio 1)

Literary Headnods With New English Professors.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Never discount a rapper for showing you how to brilliantly string a series of words together in order to keep mass-attention. Littered with analogies, puns, pop culture references, and humor, Childish Gambino’s single Freaks and Geeks, though laced with a potent dose of profanity, hosts a seminar on the effective use of creative writing for hooking audiences. Donald, Childish, started out his career as a writer for NBC’s 30 Rock and seamlessly transitioned from being an entertaining screenwriter, to an entertaining comedian, to an entertaining actor, to, eventually, an entertaining musical artist through his persistent use of comic relief and intelligently pointed fingers at life’s little taboos.

Hooking audiences with witty wordplay and vivid mind-pictures is a skill most writers lack in avenues stretching from news reporting to public relations to academia. Perhaps the most effective way to write creatively is to think of oneself as an artist; which, in actuality, you are. Writing is essentially an art form no different from painting or singing. Though, how many authors do you find actually engaging enough for you to complete a full read-through of any one piece? Not many. It’s no wonder we’re beginning to see the decline of long-form consumptions of literature without two cups of coffee and frequent exercise breaks.

It could be time for writers to stop thinking about the dissemination of information through drab forms of storytelling style-guides, and about time we start looking to develop more creative captures that hook audiences and keep them wanting to find out more. Otherwise, boredom, and an inevitable deficit in education, are not too far behind.

Childish Gambino – Freaks and Geeks [a considerable degree of profanity added for effect: beware.]

Let me get at that, Sammy.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

When tweaking for better business models or creative art campaigns, sampling, taking an existing hit and using a part of it to make something better, can prove useful when strengthening or developing your own venture. “I really like what they did here, let me use that for my own idea”. No sector has displayed such a blatant and effective use of this technique than in hip-hop & rap.

Drawing analogies for cultivating more lucrative business models from the ordinary and mundane, there is certainly something to be learned from this highly influential and vastly creative musical genre. Touting a net worth of $520 million in 2014, Jay-Z is a prime example of leveraging from existing models and making something more attractive.

Take an existing idea, combine it with your own idea, make something great.

Jay Z – Young Forever (feat. Mr. Hudson) – original track: Alphaville – Forever Young