Kanye West Meets with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, Kanye West

Fresh off his hospital visit, Kanye flew to New York to meet with the president-elect, in a truly bizarre year.

2017 Grammy Nominees announced

The 2017 Grammy Nominees have been announced!  Some interesting choices include Chance the Rapper as best new artist, Beyoncé’s nomination for best rock performance, Twenty-One Pilots in both rock and pop categories, and just seeing Bowie, Panic! At the Disco, Weezer, blink-182, Bon Iver and Radiohead nominated in one year are all pretty incredible.  Check them all out below! Continue reading

Monday Mixtape: 11/28 (The Weakerthans, My Chemical Romance, Chance the Rapper)

The Weakerthans-“My Favorite Chords”


Following an excellent cover by Aaron West, I’ve been listening to a lot of The Weakerthans lately. Since there is not a lot of new music out at this time of year, I’ve found myself listening to Left And Leaving a lot lately.

Kanye West-“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”


Yeezy is still in the hospital, but The Life of Pablo is sure to be on many Album-of-the-Year lists. Most of the tunes that have been played lately have been checking back on old songs for the year-end lists.

Joyce Manor-“Reversing Machine”


This cut from Cody sounds the most like an old Joyce Manor song, and it’s perfect foe late fall and early winter.

Modern Baseball-“Note To Self”


MoBo have been one of the hardest working bands of the year, while touring behind Holy Ghost. They’re about to close out the year at the inaugural Something in the Way fest, and “Note to Self” is one of the best most restrained tracks on Holy Ghost.

Chance the Rapper-“Same Drugs”


Coloring Book was one of the best mixtapes of the year. Where a lot of the music was celebratory gospel-rap, “Same Drugs” is the kind of soul ballad perfect for cuddling up with some tea or hot chocolate.

Brand New-“Degausser”


The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me just turned ten, and there have been a number of pieces about the importance of this album. One of the most memorable moments from seeing Brand New on their most recent US run was during “Degausser” as the stage was soaked in red lights.

Mitski-“Happy”


Mitski’s Puberty 2 is sure to appear on my year end list, and “Happy” has been a stand out since seeing her recent Webster Hall show.

My Chemical Romance-“Welcome to the Black Parade (Steve Aoki Remix)”


While a MCR reunion seems unlikely, Steve Aoki has kept the spirit of their breakthrough album alive by turning it into an absolute fucking banger.

Kanye West expands ‘Saint Pablo’ tour

saintpablo-619-386

The new dates will close out on New Years Eve in Brooklyn.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to see the show, now is a pretty good time.  Read what we had to say here, and look at the dates below:

November 17 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
November 19 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
November 22 – Fresno, CA @ SaveMart Center
November 23 – Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
November 26 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
November 28 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
December 1 – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
December 2 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
December 4 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
December 6 – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
December 8 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
December 9 – Columbia, SC @ Colonial Life Arena
December 11 – Albany, NY @ The Times Union Center
December 13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center (RESCHEDULED)
December 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
December 16 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
December 18 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
December 20 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
December 22 – Detroit, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills (RESCHEDULED)
December 27 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
December 28 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
December 30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
December 31 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center

Monday Mixtape 10/17: (Bob Dylan, Aimee Mann, Kevin Devine, Black Kids!)

Paul McCartney feat. Rihanna-“FourFiveSeconds”

This weekend saw the wrap up of the Desert Trip festival in Indio, California.  McCartney was probably one of the biggest draws when the festival was announced, but he brought out a special guest who is definitely more suited for Coachella.

 

Aimee Mann-“Can’t You Tell”

The 30 Days, 30 Songs campaign has been a recurring story here at BurgerADay for the past week.  Aimee Mann’s song is easily one of the best songs to come out of it.  It’s a driving number that takes on a much sadder point-of-view that almost forces the listener to emphasize with the Republican Presidential Candidate

 

The Who-“Baba O’Riley”

Another “Oldchella” act.  While The Beatles and Rolling Stones are essentials for any music fan, I always preferred Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwhistle and Keith Moon growing up.  It’s hard to find a song as timeless as “Baba O’Riley.”  That synthesizer riff is one of the most iconic in history.

Kevin Devine-“Freddie Gray Blues”

 

As the release of Kevin Devine’s Instigator draws closer, we’ve been treated to the album stream.  Devine did release this track right after the murder of Freddie Gray, and it’s just as haunting.  Devine both acknowledges his white privilege and relationships with cops, and it’s chilling.

Moose Blood-“Honey”

The UK pop-punk outfit has just embarked on a US tour opening for The Wonder Years.  Where their first album had more emo-influence, Blush is sugary sweet pop-punk, and the lead single is probably the best song from the album.  The band is sure to be exciting. 

Modern Baseball-“Phone Tag”

Another tour-opener.  Modern Baseball has just kicked off a tour with Brand New and The Front Bottoms.  While their setlist mostly features takes from the excellent Holy Ghost, I’ve been revisiting their B-sides.  This reworking of “It’s Cold Out Here” is a nice change of pace, and the altered lyrics at the end are much better than the original.

Brand New-“Not the Sun”

Brand New has been playing Devil and God front to back on their current tour, forcing me to revisit the album.  While the most popular tracks never fail to entertain, I’m pleasantly reminded how great songs like “Welcome to Bangkok” or “Not the Sun” are.

Bob Dylan-“Desolation Row”

The biggest music news story this week has been about the Nobel Prize winner.  Dylan’s poetry is perhaps best summed up in this song, and here’s a video from this weekend’s Desert Trip.

Black Kids-“Obligatory Drugs”

Black Kids are back with this fun-as-hell track.  “Obligatory Drugs” is a dancey, indie-rock song with an undeniable hook.  I’m definitely in.

Bon Iver-22, A Million

jv1

The way I see it, Justin Vernon was walking down a Wisconsin road and reach a place where two roads diverged.  He could have created a standard, mostly acoustic follow up to Bon Iver, Bon Iver or he could make a batshit insane electronica album with titles that include symbols for sigma and infinity.  Justin Vernon opted for the latter.

Upon first hearing some of the earliest tracks released, it would be easy to concede that Justin Vernon had lost the essence of what Bon Iver is.  He has simply reimagined what it means to be Bon Iver.  He’s still given us a concept record as solid as For Emma, Forever Ago, just with much less acoustic guitar.  This album sees him exploring mortality, religion and aging, which makes all the distortion, samples and autotune seem all the more fitting.  Bon Iver still has all the warm production, virtuosity and songwriting that make those first two albums such great albums, but he does it with more of a focus on electronics.  Vernon hasn’t abandoned live instruments entirely though.  The saxophone work on “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” and “____45_____” steals the show, creating distorted, glitchy jazz.  “____45_____” also has some sweet banjo at the end.  Original instrumentation and interesting songwriting is definitely not an issue for Justin Vernon.

Bon Iver’s hip hop and R&B collaborations have shown some influence, as this is probably his most soulful record.  Justin Vernon’s signature falsetto still shows on songs like “33 “GOD.””  Unlike his previous work, he sings as if he’s a rapper spitting a sick verse here.  A songs like “8 (circle)” and “00000 Million” have him singing autotuned soul anthems.  It’s very similar to what Kanye West and Chance the Rapper have done with their recent releases.

While there are moments that seem cold and emotionless on this album such as “22 (OVER S∞∞N),” 22, A Million sees Justin Vernon revealing some of his most heart wrenching emotions.  This is most evident during the outro to “715 – CRΣΣKS” where Vernon is practically screaming, “God damn, turn around now.  You were my A-Team.”  “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄” also sees Vernon vocalizing frustrating during a heavy track.  Most of the album seems to see Vernon trying angrily to make numerical values out of life, but the closing track’s calm piano and refrain of “the days have no numbers” seems to show that he came to grips with an existential dread.  He notes that sometimes you have to let harm in.

22, A Million is definitely controversial for Bon Iver fans.  It’s much more ethereal than what it seems, because it merges all the different worlds that Bon Iver has been involved in.  Had Bon Iver done this as an acoustic guitar folk album, it would have been good, but since he traveled down a new path, it’s incredible.  Two roads diverged in a Wisconsin wood, and Justin Vernon took the path less traveled by, and that has made 22 millions differences.

Monday Mixtape: 9/12 (Green Day, Lady Gaga, Beach Slang, Kevin Devine)

Green Day-“Revolution Radio”


Green Day are vamping up for their return, and the title track from their new album is as explosive as ever.  The melodic punk track features Green Day’s trademark catchy power chords.  Tré Cool shines through locking the song down the most.  Billie Joe Armstrong writes some of his wordiest lyrics continuing on from the equally intricate “Bang Bang.”  Revolution Radio will be released October 7.

 

Against Me!-“Crash”


While Shape Shift With Me is streaming via NPR, the catchiest track remains the power pop gem “Crash.”  Laura barks over some melodic guitar rock.  “Crash” lands all the punches that Shape Shift With Me should when it’s released on Friday.

 

Kanye West-“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”


Not a new song, but I’m still coming down from a Saint Pablo tour hangover.

 

The Smiths-“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”

As summer officially comes to an end, Morrissey and Johnny Marr have written some of the best Autumn songs ever written.  This Louder than Bombs track is essential Smiths listening, and it’s a bittersweet take for the start of Fall.  It’s a Pumpkin-Spiced jam.

 

Beach Slang-“Atom Bomb”


This sludgy track has one of the best music videos of the summer, and James Alex sings this song with an intense snarl, that’s irresistible.  While “Punks in a Disco Bar” sounds like a chunkier version of a track from Beach Slang’s first album, this song shows that the Philly outfit still has some tricks up their sleeves.

 

Lady Gaga-“Perfect Illusion”


            This Tame-Impala produced single may be Gaga’s best following the flop that was Artpop.  This era of Gaga may be exciting.

 

Kevin Devine-“No History”


Remembering 9/11 this weekend certainly puts a lot of things into perspective.  Over the weekend, everyone that was around the same age as me when the World Trade Center attacks happened remembered the confusion.  Kevin Devine’s first song from Instigator captures what I imagine it must have felt like for people that were much older than I was when the terrorist attacks happened.  Devine is also aware of how this event has echoed to this day.  As Devine sings “This is the future severe and always happening” is one of the eeriest to come during this haunting song.  Devine doesn’t really memorialize any of those lost, but he does reveal the confusion, fear and anger that has never been forgotten.

Kanye West’s ‘Saint Pablo’ Tour is a Religious Experience

saintpablo-619-386

There are a handful of moments during Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour where West drops to his knees at the center of his floating stage, because Kanye turns wherever he plays into a place of worship.  When the show closes with “Ultralight Beam,” Madison Square Garden wasn’t an arena; it was a cathedral.  Yeezus’s floating stage gets the most talked about, but the lighting design is equally exciting.  Sometimes, the stage is mostly blacked out, and the lights come up over the moshpit.  The whole show is communal.  It’s easy to get lost watching the moshpit, but Kanye keeps his energy up above the pit with the same presence as a punk-rock vocalist.

Kanye is easily one of the most polarizing artists of the past decade.  When entering the arena, most artists of Kanye’s stature would be playing the hits of their contemporaries, but Yeezy opted for ambient drone music.  This almost seemed like preparation for when the overhead lights descended and synthesizer music narrated the light show.  While the energy on the floor electrified as soon as the lights went down, it didn’t truly burst until “Mercy,” where Kanye opened up the fucking pit.

Kanye’s best songs play off large emotions.  Whether it’s the celebratory nature of “Gold Digger,” the remorse on “Runaway,” or the depression on “Heartless,” Yeezy’s heart is sewn to his sleeve.  All of those emotions are explored on the Saint Pablo tour and then some.  West’s icy silhouette during “Wolves” and “Heartless” starkly contrasts the guy slam dancing during “All of the Lights” and “Famous,” but it’s truly a testament to how much Yeezy’s music continues to resonate with listeners and himself.  Kanye laid down on the stage as “Runaway” ended and reached out his hand as if begging the audience for forgiveness.  Kanye’s the father, son and preacher in this instance.

Kanye kept speaking throughout the evening about how this event had the most tickets ever sold at Madison Square Garden.  With everything Kanye does, it’s difficult to tell if this was true or just a delusion, but the Garden certainly felt packed.  Kanye’s neo-gospel sound was only improved by the 20,000+ people.  The studio versions of the songs don’t hold a candle to how they echoed throughout the halls.  When “Ultralight Beam” closed the show, it’s shocking to think Kanye didn’t ascend into Heaven and just descended backstage.

 

James is on an Ultralight Twitter.