Hidden Gem: DJ Earworm “United State of Pop 2018”

Awwww yeah! The only true Holiday Tradition I willfully honour (aside from being grumpy because it’s so damn cold) is DJ Earworm’s Annual United State of Pop Mash Up.

You know…listening back to 2018’s pop summarized in 4 minutes…this isn’t reflective of how good 2018 really was. Even some of these videos…Childish Gambino’s This Is America pails in the singular creativity of Timberlake’s Say Something (La Blogothèque strikes again!) or the stark uncomfortable commentary issued from Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (directed by We Are From LA) which’ll successfully conclude 2018 on a high creative note.

This Summer we’ll hear a lot of these songs at weddings once the insomnia curing speeches and wildly sexual toasts are over but it’ll be interesting to see how much of them stay with us on that long journey to the middle.


Hidden Gem: Shy Girls “Second Heartbeat”

Moody and raw…with a generous 80s sprinkle. (God, how I miss New Order…I know they’re “back” but it’s not the same; we can’t go back and recapture lost magic.)

Anyways: the ability to pack up and go…to let go, to move on is powerfully intoxicating. When love starts, it’s amazing…it’s rainbows and unicorns and inside jokes and plans…so many plans. And when it all goes wrong, it’s awful, like cereal soaked in milk for too long. Two individuals marred in swamps like what is what was what could be, neither finding or understanding how to move on.

And if that’s where you are stuck…here’s your anthem. What makes this beat so fun is the sheer freedom:
“I’m moving on now / I won’t have to see your face around / I’m not gonna wait for you to change when you want to.”

I’ve read Superman long enough to know…you can’t save everybody. Sometimes you just gotta get out the bankers box and move along.


Hidden Gem: Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dark Necessities”

I get the new music spotlight was on Radiohead. We’re all happy Radiohead is back. And yet I caught this dynamic and utterly fantastic track from the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

So much delicious goodness going on!

Flea’s slapdash bass now comes with piano! And at least on this track the Peppers figured out how to use Josh Klinghoffer. It’s hard to replace John Frusciante (impossible?!).

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the Spurs of rock n roll: Flea is Duncan the power forward, Smith is Pop…doesn’t look like the group and Kiedis is Tony Parker the energetic guard. And no matter how they all age they keep going; they keep succeeding. Outstanding.

Fun Facts

  • From The Getaway their 11th studio album to be released on June 17, 2016

  • The album cover is Coalition II by Kevin Peterson. Here’s an 2015 interview where he discusses the painting.

  • The Getaway World Tour begins on September 1, 2016. As we know following Prince and Bowie if you haven’t seen a band live, GO! Don’t hesitate.


Hidden Gem: Hoodie Allen “No Interruption”

I guess this doesn’t exactly qualify as a “Hidden” Gem. (You’re also free to argue it may not be a Gem either). So Be It. Just in the mood for something fun and silly…and this qualifies:

Plus there’s an X-Men reference: Free Nerdery!

Hoodie Allen’s secret identity is Steven Markowitz; his surreal origin story is he left Google for a music career. It is so simple and easy to write that sentence, another thing to actually do it, you know?

That’s the thing with leaving a steady 9 to 5: he knew what he was getting at Google, he understood the perks, the salary was clearly defined; he knew when to expect paychecks. It’s a Good Life (for some).

And yet if you heart isn’t in it, if you have that desire to do more leaving a lucrative 9 to 5 isn’t hard. Even if it’s for a career in music which let’s face it is fraught with insecurity.

“It was hard but it didn’t really fit into the plan,” he said. “We never really knew if the music would take off like this, so it didn’t seem reasonable to pass up the job at the time.”

Yes Guy. So Hidden or Gem I guess that’s the real Hoodie Allen take away…cue The More You Know…

Fun Facts

  • From All-American his debut album released on April 10, 2012

  • Check out his album People Keep Talking

  • Happy Camper is his new album released on November 17, 2015 and it’s free…oh Yes Guy!


Hidden Gem: Evvy “Collide”

Has this song been in a movie? One of those Jason Sudeikis indies where he seduces a pretty girl who doesn’t have it all together (but thinks she does) with his good hair and refined beard:

I’m thinking a scene that kicks off the last third of the movie…how the girl finally realizes she belongs with Jason Sudeikis’s refined beard and now they have to move heaven and earth to get together; they think slow but move fast. There’s a strange comfort to rom coms; like they’re familar…that didn’t we go to school together…where do I know you from feeling.


Hidden Gem: Astronauts, etc. “Odessa”

Extraordinary. Strongly moody, deeply impressionistic…this is what’ll sound like if you could take a dj into outer space:

The original is a personal favourite:


Hidden Gem: Wild Belle “It’s Too Late”

The lyrics:
 I’m not asking for lots of fancy toys
 I don’t need a lot of fancy toys
 Someone to keep me warm at night

I’ve a friend who basically prayed this…she’s been married and warm for the past 5 years. It’s not too late for you…


Hidden Gem: Maggie Szabo “Tidal Waves and Hurricanes”

Take thumping drums, a voice rich in soul and toss in a scorned woman and you have the Tidal Waves & Hurricanes video. I feel bad for the guy, not sure what he did but he did something wrong. And boy is he paying a hefty price. Glad it’s not me and I can pantslessly enjoy this video as part of Maggie’s monumental journey.

There’s a story here…a journey as epic as Lord of the Rings. How a talented and charming lass from Dundas, Ontario works her way to LA and gets her video shown on Ryan Seacrest’s network. Granted via the NewMusic Ten interview I got a snapshot of that story but there’s more going on. This just doesn’t happen overnight. Does it?


Hidden Gem: Catey Shaw “The Ransom”

This is a quintessential Hidden Gem. That voice…that rhythm…the playfulness in the song: oh yeah:

You might recognize Catey from Brooklyn Girls a popular send up of the LA’s Valley Girls. I don’t doubt there’ll be more “why isn’t she bigger?” comments in response to this video. (Never understood that myself…is it luck? Marketing? Timing? Making a deal with the devil? All of these? That’s one of the hopes with Hidden Gems…maybe we can help somebody get bigger)

Fun Facts: Catey is a painter and plays the ukulele…I hope all of that is on her business card. Saw her a few weeks back at The Rivoli (with Featurette!) so good live.


Hidden Gem: Fadaul Et Les Privilèges “Sid Redad”

The Youtube description of this song sums it up perfectly: “Middle East & North Africa’s own James Brown!!!” (They added the 3 !s not me).

I also dig this description from Jannis Stürtz the German behind Habibi Funk he describes Sid Redad as “Arabic funk played with a punk attitude.” Yes Guy!

Music for When You Want To Get Down and Funky!


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