Category Archives: Rock & Alternative

[Alt. Indie Rock] Alt-J (∆)- Something Good


[Alt. Indie Rock] Alt-J (∆) – Something Good (as featured in Life is Strange)

[Music Video “Something Good”]

Get high, hit the floor.
Before you go…

Matador, estocada
you’re my blood sport.

This alternative indie-rock song is perfect for chilling out and hits you right in the feels. Whether you just happened across the song by chance or were like me, and heard it on the highly popular, play-as-you-go, “Choose Your Adventure” style video game, Life is Strange, Alt-J (∆)‘s calming soft-spoken, yet powerfully moving “Something Good” is a great song for these upcoming colder months. With relaxing guitar chords and keyboard arpeggios the abstract, and also very concrete lyrics create a warming, joyful ambiance.

Appearing in the game as the typical Pacific-Northwestern alternative-rock cut your main character, Max, just be chillin’ to. Its delivery (at the start of a brand new day the song plays as an “alarm” to wake you up) comes at a perfect time in the game’s story arch and really draws you into as the misfit archetypal high-school senior just trying to fit in.

Life is Strange is a downloadable video-game available on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game revolves around an angsty 18-year-old teenager named Max, who has moved to Oregon to attend a private art-school for photographers. A place where her interactions with her teachers, peers, parents and others are determined by your choices alone. Decisions made during the games dialogues have lasting effects down the line; like whether you make fun of the class bully or help her during her bad day, or leave a window open to save a bird’s life or simply lament the sight of its dead body.

The twist which takes this beyond a game of storytelling and essentially a visual virtual graphic novel is the fact that Max learns one fateful day, when an off-kilter jock brandishes a gun in the school bathroom and shoots one of Max’s friends, that with the thrust of her hand and enough effort she can reverse time.

After the shooting Max awakens in class, about 10 minutes before she first walked into the bathroom and watched a student get shot. All the conversations, from the teacher’s lecture on Daguerreo-type photography, to class bully Veronica’s verbal jabs at Max play out exactly the same way as during the game’s intro with Max realizing she’s not dreaming. From there on out Max is faced with situations typical of young adult life; going to parties with the popular kids, rekindling a relationship with her stoner best-friend and the like, but with major ramifications and consequences for seemingly benign decisions.

Life is Strange is a refreshing breath of air in what technically could be called a role-playing or Adventure game, but pulls it off in a way never fully explored before in a video game. The result is like playing a movie or a TV show that you have control over, or if you’re real old-school, exactly like the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books except the book is presented in 3D graphics right in front of you. So far I’m loving it.

[Throwback] [Alternative / Rock:] Taking Back Sunday – Liar (It Takes One to Know One)


Today’s throwback:

Alternative, pop-punk, post-hardcore emo band Taking Back Sunday was a band I heard a lot about in my high school days but didn’t particularly check out, or like too much. However, “Liar (It Takes One to Know One)” was one of several songs from the genre I particularly enjoyed, along the same time I was listening to early Fall Out Boy, Killswitch EngageSilverstein (whose first CD I bought), Breaking Benjamin, Incubus, The Killers and Modest Mouse. Journey back to 2006 with this single from the album, MakeDamnSure.

All our secrets they are tailored trouble
draped loose now around your hip —
your spotless instincts are valid
We co-exist…

If you tell me that you don’t bend…
Liar, Liar
if we’re keeping score,
we’re all choir boys at best (interested and arrogant)

[Throwbacks] [Intelligent/Meaningful Hip-Hop] Kanye West – Eyez Closed (feat. Snoop Dogg & John Legend) & Jaylib – Survival Test (J Dilla) // [Reggae / Punk / Summer:] Slightly Stoopid – The Fruits [Legalize Them]


Hey there cool kids, I’ve got some new throwbacks for ya today. First off we start in the genre of “real” meaningful hip-hop as I like to call it. You could say it’s as opposed to, whatever you think it is, everyone’s “definitions” of real hip-hop is different, regardless this soulful, never-realeased rare track from Kanye West featuring Snoop Dogg & John Legend is a perfect song to bring back for Summer2k15. With production from Kanye himself, the beat, melody and sample in the chorus are make an irresistibly groove-inducing song.

Next, though still dance-able, but much more conscious: this song could be seen as for dancers like b-boys, as a head-banger for the whip that increases your hardness as you vibe at the light and people think you’re a badass, or even just one you sit there not-moving still, taking in the rawness and lyrical prowess of Jaylib, the combination of underground hip-hop group Madlib and deceased, super-producer, J Dilla.

A tribal-sounding horn, hard beats and kicks accompanied by booming bass and a flute-like arpeggio make this a perfect listen (or beat to freestyle over, see the instrumental).



Finally to wrap up our series of summer-suitable throwbacks we have the absolutely chill, “Hey man, just be easy” relaxation inducing single “The Fruits” from Californian psychedelic rock / reggae band Slightly Stoopid. “The Fruits” is a great listen with its calming sounds that remind one of the ocean, the carefree rhythm and vocals the lead singer provides and its borderline no sensemaking, yet easily understandable lyrics emphasizing being free and happy in life. Check it out above!

[EDM Origins House & Alternative:] Kaskade – Steppin’ Out // Kosheen – Same Ground Again


Kaskade is probably one of the most popular and sought-after American producers of electronic and house music. Chances are, if you watch TV, play video games or went to the movies you’ve heard one of his songs. His music is featured in many different forms of media, much akin to fellow EDM producers and DJs, like BT and Paul Oakenfold.

Our feature is one of Kaskade’s signature songs from the early 2000s, the completely chilled-out, smooth house single “Steppin’ Out

Kaskade is largely known for growing the house music scene in his hometown of Chicago in the early 2000s. Though Kaskade has varied in musical styles during his growth, as a whole, his music can be said to be fulfilling for the soul, or music to put you at ease. Much of his house music includes sultry female vocals alongside soft, harmonic melodies that become instantly recognizable, simply from their uniqueness. Take the song that introduced many, including myself to Kaskade, his absolutely astonishing remix of David Morales & Tamra Keenan’s “Here I Am” featured in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada.


Next up was a random song that my iPod shuffled to today. An EDM/progressive-house tune I bought and downloaded back when I was a senior in high school (2007). This one comes from Alternative Electronic band Kosheen, one of their bigger breakout singles, “Same Ground Again“. In fact, their whole 2007 EP, Damage is chock-full of good alternative-sounding electro music that still holds up today. Check it out above and see more from Kosheen at the links below:

[Indie/Alternative Rock] Saints of Bliss – Born on the Wrong Side


[Alternative Rock:] Saints of Bliss – Born on the Wrong Side

[Quotable Lyrics:]

Born on the wrong side, mixing with the wrong kind,
Misunderstood, and I blame it on the hard life
Life is unfair, when you haven’t got a rich dad,
And I cannot pay the rent ’cause I’m playin’ in a rock band

As part of the division of genres into pages that will follow on this music blog, I am highlighting one of our first Alternative Rock song features, this one from the band Saints of Bliss with their track “Born on the Wrong Side”. With plenty of alternative and indie feel behind the song, the track is a nice solid listen with plenty of emotional depth in its borderline angst, but pleasurable lyrics, down-tempo chords mixing with alternative-pop rock riffs.

You can check out more from the British band on their sites here:

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[Throwbacks:] [Industrial/Tech House] Two Fingers – Stripe Rhythm // [2 Electronic/Alt. Rock songs from:] Bloc Party – Compliments & Letter to My Son


Our first throwback comes to us from electronic producer, Two Fingers, with his bass thumping, head-bangingly good track “Stripe Rhythm.” Props go out to [adult swim] for playing this gem during their bumps.

Last, but certainly not least we have the alternative/electro band you can never go wrong with, Bloc Party. Their hauntingly good, rhythmic string of consciousness that is “Compliments” is worth taking note of. “Letter to My Son” is another epic Bloc Party cut, much more alternative rock in feel and sound. Don’t sleep on either!

[Booty Bass/Moombahton] Big Sean – I Don’t F*ck With U (feat. E-40) [Los XL Bootleg]


This bootleg comes to us from moombahton focused DJ, Los XL. For this take on Big Sean’s “IDFWU” XL emphasizes a moombahton beat blending smoothly with the catchy and repeating sample (the “yeah-ee-yeah-ee-yeah!”) that Kanye West added to the original track (his sample is fleshed out at the end of the original song as a sort of outro, which was also produced by West). The result is a dance-able track that lives up to its “booty-bass” genre. Check out Los XL at his Facebook page where he has several other moombahton tracks and remixes.

Los XL’s Facebook Page