What Acts To See At Bonnaroo 2018

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Acts to go see: Eminem, Future, Bob Iver, Paramore, Anderson .Paak, Khalid, Playboi Carti, T-Pain, Snakehips, Knox Fortune.

Another day, another festival line up. I guess this is what Januarys are made of.  Eminem is making another appearance, so at this point, expect to see him at the majority of festivals.  I’m actually most excited to see Anderson. Paak make a festival apperance and I hope he will be at more.  I saw him at Pitchfork back in 2016 and he was incredible. I have only heard about him in passing, but after seeing him live I became a huge fan.

We are also seeing a lot of repeat acts, including Eminem (obviously), Snakehips, Khalid and Knox Fortune.

Check out a playlist for Boonaroo below.

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What Acts I Would See at Boston Calling 2018

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Acts I want to see: Eminem, Khalid, Bryson Tiller, Brockhampton, Daniel Caesar, Belly, Noname, Taylor Bennett

A smaller festival, but still some pretty good R&B options. I’ve seen Bryson live three times and each time he’s even better. Always a good set list full of hits and deep cuts. Daniel Caesar has been growing on me and I’ve been wanting to see Khalid. It is interesting that Taylor Bennett is playing Boston Calling this year when his brother played last year. I’ve seen Bennett live before and he was okay, but I’m hoping he has grown as a live performer.

Check out a playlist of my picks below.

What Acts You Should See At The Governors Ball 2018

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Acts I want to see:

Eminem, Travis Scott, Halsey, Khalid, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, 6lack, Dram, 2 Chainz, Vic Mensa, Brockhampton, Aminé, Goldlink

Honestly not anyone I’m super excited about, but I’ve been wanting to see Khalid live. I’ve seen Vic Mensa, Post Malone and 2 Chainz live before. 2 Chainz is always super energetic and fun and its such a rowdy good time.  I also think seeing Goldlink’s “Crew” live would be super hype.

This new lineup shows that Eminem, 6lack, Brockhampton, and Aminé are definitely doing multiple festivals, as they are already doing Coachella.

Here are photos I’ve taken of acts that I have already seen:

Post Malone

2 Chainz

Vic Mena

Check out a playlist of the acts I would like to see below.

Running List of Festival Line Ups and Prices in 2018

Below is a list of festivals line ups and prices for 2018 that will be constantly updated. Compare and have fun!

Coachella-April 13-15, 20-22

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Tickets:

$429 for a GA 3-Day

Click here for my picks for Coachella.

Boston Calling-May 25-27

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Tickets:

Early Bird GA Tickets: $279 + $20 fees

Click here for my picks for Boston Calling.

Governors Ball-June 1st-3rd

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Tickets:

$305 + fees

Click here for my picks for Governors Ball.

Bonnaroo: June 7-10

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Tickets:

$299.50+fees

Click here for my picks for Governors Ball.

Pitchfork-July 20-22

Tickets:

3-Days $175 | 1-Day $75 each

What Acts To See At Coachella 2018

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Coachella just announced its lineup so you know what that means…festival season has officially kicked off! If going to a music festival is a part of your 2018 music goals, now is the time to start measuring up the line up and the prices. Here are the acts I would check out each day:

Friday: The Weeknd, SZA, Jamiroquai, Vince Staples, Daniel Caesar

I’ve already seen The Weeknd, SZA and Vince Staples live.  All very amazing live and their music comes alive in a way you don’t expect. Also, I have a feeling if The Weeknd is a headliner than he will probably have new music out. I keep hearing good things about Daniel Caesar so I would love to check him out live.

Saturday: Beyoncé, Post Malone, Snakehips, Marian Hill, Jorja Smith

Honestly I’m only very familiar with Beyonce, and people have been waiting over a year to see her at Coachella since she had to cancel last year because of the twins. I saw Post Malone live a few years ago, and “rockstar” isn’t a horrible song so I would swing by his set. I like Snakehips remix of Banks “Warm Water” and they were cool at Lolla back in 2016 so I would see them again. I heard of few Marian Hill songs in passing and I like Jorja Smith on “Get It Together” so I would love to see more from both acts.

Sunday: Eminem, Migos, Cardi B, Miguel, French Montana, 6lack, Aminé, DeJ Loaf, Noname, LION BABE, They.

I’ve never seen Eminem live and being from Detroit I feel like I need to do this eventually. I hope he focuses on the hits; I really don’t know his deep cuts. I saw Migos a few times before and it is pretty turnt, and I hope Cardi B has some more songs to justify a full set because I do like “Bodak Yellow.” French, Amine, DeJ Loaf, LION BABE all at least have one song I like so I would be willing to check out their sets.  I saw Noname at Lolla last year and its a nice low key time.  They. was amazing live and one of the best concerts I saw last year so I’m probably most excited about them. I saw Miguel at Pitchfork back in 2016 and it was such this psychedelic (minus the drugs) cool journey and put a twist on his work that I would so do it again.

Here are some concert photos from some of the acts that I shot before:

The Weeknd

SZA

Vince Staples

Post Malone

Migos

They.

Check out the playlist below of all the acts I want to see.

Dear Barack, Here Are Some Song Recommendations Based On Your Favorite Songs from 2017

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Dear Barack,

First off, thanks for sharing your favorite songs of 2017.  You have such great taste, and I think we could be best friends.  Your probably pretty busy enjoying retirement, so I decided to give you some music recommendations based on some of your favorite songs from 2017.

Since You Liked: “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled ft Rihanna and Bryson Tiller

You’ll Like: “Run Me Dry” By Bryson Tiller

What’s great about “Wild Thoughts” is the fun, international sound.  Instead of the Spanish sound of “Wild Thoughts” you get more of an island sound with “Run Me Dry.”  But it features a similar fun groove to dance to and has Bryson Tiller who was on “Wild Thoughts.”

Since You Liked: “Butterfly Effect” by Travis Scott

You’ll Like: “Ex Calling” by 6lack

Barry, you’ll get that trap sound that you like in “Butterfly Effect.”  The also have similar rap cadences on these songs. However, with “Ex Calling” you’ll get more of a cohesive story line about the turmoils of an ex.

Since You Liked: “Chanel” by Frank Ocean

You’ll Like: “Loose” by Daniel Caesar

Both songs have the similar “stream of consciousness” lyric style. Frank is talking more about the duality that exists within gender and sexuality, while Caesar is talking more about letting go of an ex. Production wise Caesar was definitely influenced by Frank Ocean.

Since You Liked: “Rise Up” by Andra Day

You’ll Like: “Thank You” by Kehlani

While “Rise Up” is about tenacity during adversity, “Thank You” is about appreciating the people who have been around you while your were going through growing pains. Both have a positive message about solidarity and the evolution of a person.

Since You Liked: “Havana” by Camila Cabello ft Young Thug

You’ll Like: “I’m A Fan” by Pia Mia ft Jeremih

“I’m A Fan” is a great song that was buried in all the music that came out in 2017, but Pia Mia’s babydoll voice is a bit similar to Camila. Also, they both share a fun beat, with “Havana” being more Cuban and “I’m A Fan” being more Caribbean based.

I hope you like my recommendations. I made a Spotify playlist for you for easy access to the songs below. Please keep in touch and give us some more of you favorite songs. Maybe touch base in the summer?

Sincerely,

freshpairofiis

How To Reach Your 2018 Music Goals

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When thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions, you might think about becoming more organized or being more productive.  But you should consider your musical goals as well. Want to finally go to a festival or build a vinyl collection? Want to stop listening to the same old artists and music? Here are some tips for reaching these totally attainable goals.

  1. Go To A Festival

People always feel left out when they see people on Instagram posting from music festivals, but you can definitely be apart of it too. Cost wise, festivals are actually a pretty good deal. For the large amount of acts you see, the price per show is pretty low, especially since some concerts are already $100+. Some things to keep in mind when picking a festival.

  • Pick a festival near you or a friend: No need to add costs with airline flights and hotel rooms. With so many festivals, you can find one pretty close to you.  Especially since many acts play several different festivals, many people who will be at Coachella will be at other festivals.
  • Think of a price you are comfortable with: Prices from festivals can vary a lot. Some of the cheaper ones are Jay Z’s Made In America and Pitchfork Music Festival. Still incredible acts, but you can get early bird tickets for this year’s Pitchfork for $150 for three days or $65 for a single day now.
  • Consider one day passes or buy closer to festival date:  One day passes are cheaper, and some times you only want to see acts that are on one particular day.  You can also save money by buying tickets closer to the date on Stubhub or other sites because many people’s plans change. Of course there is always a risk in that. It’s best to register to tickets in front of the seller before buying it to make sure they are authentic if possible.

Bonus tip: When buying tickets, avoid the pay plan. I tried to do the with Lolla last year and it wouldn’t go through and I lost my place in line.  Its glitchy for some reason. Just pay for it out front. Worst case scenario you can resale.

2. Collect Vinyl

While people always talk about collecting vinyl, it seems like a large investment and task. It is not really when you break it down.

  • Buy albums you already like: No need to roll the dice when investing money and space on vinyl.  Buy some of your favorite albums that you would spin often.
  • Buy on sale:  You can find a lot of vinyl on sale at Urban Outfitters and other places.  Easy way to collect when you find some for $10.

Buy a frame when you buy an album: Instead of having another task that will take forever to get around to, just purchase it as the same time you buy the vinyl and hang it up then.

3. Listen To New Music

I think its super easy to get stuck into the music you like without spreading out and discovering new music. Its pretty easy if you are just conscious of your music habits and making small changes.

  • Actually listen to Spotify Discover and other playlist: Just have it as background noise when you are doing something else. Its a good way to be efficient and pick up on new music that piques your interest.
  • Listen to new music highlights from
    different websites: Pigeons and Planes and Pitchfork usually put together new music and artists list each week. Just listen to it once you see it and don’t put it off.

    Basically the best way to get anything done is to just do it! By taking a chance, you can have great musical experiences this year and expand your sonic horizons.

Seven Best B Sides of 2017

At the end of the year, we usually highlight the hit singles of 2017 as our favorite songs. While “Location” and “Bounce Back” were definitely bangers, we definitely need to give roses to great songs that weren’t singles. Below are the best B Sides of 2017, hidden gems on albums that just didn’t make it to radio as official singles.

“Get It Together”-Drake ft Jorja Smith, More Life

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Do all the little things, little things, little things
That excites me
As your woman
Give me a kiss goodnight
Over the phone
When you’re working late
When you’re out of town

It’s funny that one of Drake’s best of the year barely features Drake; he is only on the chorus. English singer Jorja Smith is basically asking for her lover to not be trife and for them to get their shit together and make the relationship work. Drake tried several times to mix Euro club music and island sounds on More Life and this was his most successful attempt.

“Personal”-Kehlani, SWEETSEXYSAVAGE

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I got good heart, good soul, good sex
No stress, next for me is best
Don’t you run your mouth ’cause in this song I say it best

No pun intended, but I personally love this song. All cheese aside, the recurring theme of SweetSexySavage of independence and growth through pain was most prominent on this song, becoming one of my anthems of the year.

“Wild Irish Roses”-Smino, blkswn

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It ain’t no Backwoods on this side of town
Wanna ride with me to get some more?
Pick a couple of Wild Irish Roses

“Wild Irish Roses” was my favorite introduction track of 2017 because it set the tone of the album perfectly. The casualness of the Backwoods, the Wild Irish Roses and making a girl feel like she’s the only one there ran throughout the entire album.

“Don’t Get Too High”-Bryson Tiller, True To Self

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Damn shawty, you know love not the same way I do it
I’m the only drug you need to get you through it

Of course the beat goes hard on this song, but I love the contradictions of the lyrics. He’s asking this woman not to do all the things he himself does (getting high, partying, being selfish). It is a party song which is really an examination of the male’s mind.

“Let’s Go”-Khalid, American Teen

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Can you feel this energy?
This is the start of something great
We might… be a little late… hey
Hey, but at least we’re on our way

While “Young Dumb and Broke” was too pop of a follow up to the R&B heavy, “Location,” “Let’s Go” was the obvious next step in Khalid’s journey. It’s laid back attitude about the future gives the youthful vibes of “Young Dumb and Broke,” but maintaining Khalid’s brand of woozy R&B.

“Inspire Me”-Big Sean, I Decided.

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My mama’s the man of the house
Mama you too good for them men
Even dad, you too good for him

Big Sean is known for having his signature inspirational song on each album (I Decided. had “Bigger Than Me”). However he also included an ode to this mother which is the best song about a mom since Kanye’s “Hey Mama.”

“Delicate”-Taylor Swift, reputation

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Just think of the fun things we could do
‘Cause I like you

While non singles “Dress” and “Getaway Care” are getting the most attention off the album “reputation,” “Delicate” needs to get its due. What’s best about this song is its simple lyrics.  Its not a complicated story that only Taylor could tell, it is just about a girl liking a guy and not wanting to reveal too much to scare him away, a position that everyone has been in.

Check out all the songs in the playlist below.

Most Underrated Albums of 2017

It is the end of 2017 and thank God. With all the craziness of this year, it was great to find solace in my favorite thing, music. Despite a troubling climate around the world, we at least had some great music to at least provide some sort of distraction. And while we listened to popular albums like Kendrick and Jay Z, some albums didn’t get the limelight they deserved. Below are my favorite underrated albums of 2017.

Kehlani-SweetSexySavage

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This album is basically my best friend in music form. It understand me, it sympathizes with me, it listens to me, doesn’t think I’m crazy. SSS is about the journey of a woman being comfortable with herself and balancing love and independence. It is about leaving the shell of pain that you have been used to and being comfortable with loving yourself. Its also just a really fun album and empathizes every adjective it is named after.

Favorite song: “Personal”

Smino-blkswn

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I first discovered Smino last year at a Redbull SoundSelect concert and become obsessed. I fell in love with the with the mix of rap, funk and gospel and it felt like each week since it came out in March I’ve discovered a new aspect of the album of the like. It just such a textured album that doesn’t fall sort on lyrics or productions. This album also motivated me to see Smino live three times this year, and with the live instruments and his voice, I would pay good money to see him numerous more times. I’m excited for what’s to come next.

Favorite song: “Wild Irish Roses”

They: Nü Religion: Hyena

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I feel like me liking They. shows that you should actually read those press releases that people in the industry are hounded with because sometimes it is actually really good stuff. I got a press release with They.’s music back in 2016 and I only gave it a chance because I heard the name before since They. had opened for Bryson Tiller earlier that year. I feel in love with the song “Deep End.” Fast forward to 2017 and once their debut album came out I was a huge They. Stan, getting super early to their concert to be in the front row and singing along to every song. What’s great about this duo is that they don’t make any shortcuts in their lyrics or productions, and knowing that the end product is fully created by the group is amazing.

Favorite song: “Deep End”

Surprises and Snubs From the 2018 Grammy Nominations

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The nominees for the 2018 Grammys were nominated, and I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse group of nominees.  At the same time, some work that I thought should have been nominated weren’t. Check out the biggest surprises and snubs of the 2018 Grammy nominees.

Surprise: Jay-Z Nominations in The Big 4

The Big 4 refers to the categories that reach all genres, include Record, Song and Album of The Year and Best New Artist. Of course, Jay could not be nominated for Best New Artist, but 4:44 is nominated for Album of The Year, “4:44” is nominated for Song of The Year, and “The Story of O.J.” is nominated for Record of The Year. While I wasn’t surprised that Jay was nominated in rap categories, and it wasn’t totally unexpected that he was nominated as Album of The Year, the Song and Record of The Year nomination threw me off. Usually these categories don’t have a lot of rap songs, but also, the fact that he was nominated for two different songs is pretty amazing. Usually, the song for the same artist overlaps in the two categories (example this year being “Despacito”). Very exciting that his most confessional and personal work in years was recognized in this matter.

Surprise: 6lack’s Nominations:

6lack is nominated this year in the Best Urban Contemporary Album for Free 6lack and for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “PRBLMS.” No offense at all to 6lack, but he is a highly acclaimed artist that just isn’t Grammy bait. While he doesn’t consider himself to be rapper, that fact that the Grammys also acknowledged this and nominated his album for Urban Contemporary Album instead of a rap album is a major step forward. Last year, Drake was upset for winning Best Rap Song for “Hotline Bling” which isn’t a rap song. These nominations show that the Grammys might be understanding the nuances of urban music and listening to less mainstream artists.

Surprise: Lorde’s Nomination For Album of The Year

It’s not surprising that Lorde is nominated for a Grammy, but its surprising that she is nominated for Album of The Year but no other award.  All other nominees in this category are nominated for something else, so its a bit confusing to celebrate an entire body of work in the highest category but no songs specifically.

Snub: Kehlani not being nominated for SweetSexySavage

I’m biased since this is probably my favorite album of the year, but I thought she would get a nomination for Urban Contemporary Album, especially since her mixtape was nominated two years ago.

Snub: DJ Khaled ft Rhianna and Bryson Tiller’s “Wild Thoughts” not nominated 

This was a pretty huge song from a big album so I’m pretty thrown off that it was not at least nominated for Best R&B Performance.

Snub: Calvin Harris not nominated for Funk Wav Theory Vol. 1 or “Slide”

I thought Funk Wav Theory Vol.1 was Calvin Harris’ best album to date with a lot of hit singles, so I’m surprised it wasn’t nominated in the Dance/Electronic category. Also I thought “Slide” would be nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Which Grammy nominations surprised you this year? Who do you think was snubbed?