SOL – “Old Him”

With hip hop’s often me-centric standpoint, SOL brings something you don’t catch on a lotta tracks these days: Sympathy for your fellow man. SOL doesn’t get too wrapped up in his own problems on this track. Actually, some of the bars here elude to him doing well for himself financially, but that doesn’t alleviate the pain he feels when he sees others in pain. Props to the people at Kinda Neat for the video!

Jonathan Mann – “Your vs. You’re Song”

My buddy Jonathan Mann is one of my favorite creative minds on YouTube. The guy has been writing a song a day for quite a while now, and he’s written some “hits” along the way.

Though the song linked above doesn’t have 1,000,000 views on YouTube, I think it deserves it–especially considering the lack of grammar observation in YouTube comments–uh, generally.

Make sure to subscribe to Jonathan’s Channel for educational songs like this one every Wednesday.

Graveyard- “Goliath”

Old school psychedelic Swedish rock outfit Graveyard is bringing those nostalgic sounds along with a pretty clear message about the state of the world.

Despite what some YouTube commenter might have to say about the previously mentioned message it shouldn’t be that hard to grasp for most people especially when you consider the title of the song. Basically it deals with ideas of oppression and topics that really fit the bands 70′s psych rock aesthetic. This brand of stoner rock has always been appealing instrumentally to me as it has an organic jam-like feeling to it that not a lot of other genres can really capture. It does that will still remaining fairly heavy and focused; it’s clear that Graveyard has a pretty strong grip of this style of music and are just working on making it more complex either instrumentally or in the case of this song a lyrical message.

Song A Day: The Album

70, 20, 10. I hate to boil music down to numbers, but a YouTube musician Jonathan Mann has a songwriting theory that’s too compelling to ignore. Basically, since 2009, he’s been writing a song a day. That’s around 1000 tracks. Of course, not all of them are good, which is what Mann’s “70, 20, 10″ theory is all about. According to him, seventy percent of these tracks are destined to suck or be mediocre. But the remaining thirty percent have go to be pretty good. If he’s right, he’s written at least 100 great songs.

What tracks actually comprise that thirty percent is something worth debating, though. I’d love to see a case study where people have to agree on which of his songs are actually quality.

I’ve been watching this guy for a minute now, and it’s not hard to remember my favorites thus far. Tracks about Arcade Fire, an Alanis-aurus Rex, vegan myths, and sticking it to the man.

This whole project has built into the album above, Song A Day: The Album. It’s some of Jonathan’s most prized musical possessions, and many of them were reworked in the studio with a full band that was financed with a very successful Kickstarter project.

Of course, I’m not a fan of every song, but that’s gamble one takes when listening to Mann. I could repeat tracks like “I Hate Being Alone” for hours. But if I were Mann, I would have thrown “Sweaty Girlfriend” into the trash bin a long, long time ago. Does that mean I have better taste, though? Maybe it only means I’m more self-conscious, which is my problem, not his.

This isn’t just a set of songs. It’s culmination of learned lessons in the creative process. If you’re going to make a great song, it may mean writing twenty terrible ones first. Mann’s album and YouTube channel are a raw, unadulterated look into the creative process. It’s not often that we get this clear of a look at it. According to man, he has no plans to quit his songwriting gauntlet, and there’s no reason to–especially if there’s always gonna be that ten percent that will blow expectations away.

Remix Wednesday!

1. Marina & the Diamonds- Obsessions (oOoOO Remix) (SoundCloud)

2. Chromeo- Don’t Turn the Lights On (BASHO Remix) (SoundCloud)

3. Teen Daze- Shine On, You Crazy Whitecap (Gobble Gobble Remix) (mp3)

4. Phoenix- 1901 (Zillamix) (mp3)

5. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.- Somebody To Love me (Holy Ghost! Remix) (YouTube)

6. Deadmau5- SOFI Needs a Ladder (Refracture Remix) (SoundCloud)

7. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti- Round and Round (KTWC Remix) (mp3)