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Music

Allen Stone – American Privilege 

This is a song that discovered me in 2016 that to me speaks to the times of today. I think it should be in the curriculum of every American school. It also reminds me of a time pop music was in my curriculum.

In the 8th grade, I was given an assignment to take a folk song and analyze the lyrics and then present it.  While others were choosing Woody Guthrie toons and other classicAmericanaa, I chose Hurricane by Bob Dylan. I would love to say that the language of opression and wrongful inprisonment spoke to me (and it likely did on a subconscious level), I picked it because of it being featured in Dazed and Confused, my favorite movie at the time. I brought in the lyrics to get approved after listening to the song over and over writing them down. This was before you could Google lyrics. It was before you could Google. I remember the teacher calling me up and specifically pointing to the line “Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down” and asking me “what that word is?”, to which I happily replied “Shit”.

A few weeks later I was transferred out of the normal English class and into a special ed English class. The teacher had enough of me. I could dovetail into failings of the American education system or how language is only given power when we choose to give it that power. But I would rather encourage you to go listen to American Privilege.

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About Aaron Music

My Three Headphone Strategy

For a few years, I’ve lived with what I call a three headphone strategy. It’s an understanding that I use headphones for multiple different purposes and it is near impossible to have a single pair of headphones that fit all purposes. I wear headphones while working, while on the go, and while traveling.

On the go

While Walking around the streets and transiting, I often have headphones in. Lately, it is mostly listening to podcasts, but I also listen to music and occasionally talk on the phone. So I need something that won’t get in my way, gives me quick access to volume and pausing, and also doesn’t completely block the world around me. I also want something that iff I lose, I’m not going to be too upset. I’ve used both wireless and wired headphones.  My current headphones are the JLab Audio Epic Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sports. They do a good job of holding a charge, pair quickly, and the sound is good.  I also have a pair of Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds Headphones with Mic/Controller RP-TCM125-A as backup.  I’ve had multiple pairs of the Panasonic earbuds over the years, mostly due to a constant ability that I have of losing them.   

At My Desk

Working in an open office means there are constant distractions and having headphones helps. Here, portability is less important than quality sound. I tried multiple pairs a few years ago, and ended up with the Sennheiser HD448 Closed Circumaural Hi-Fi Headphone. These have held up for five years of office changes and still sound great.  Part of the reason they sound good is that I also use a FiiO E7 USB DAC and Portable Headphone Amplifier. It’s one of the best investments I made towards high-quality listening. This setup is much more stationary than any of the other times I wear headphones.

On an airplane

When flying, I care most about blocking out sounds, with quality and portability still being important. For me, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are by far the best option in this regard. They pack up into a case that easily fits in my bag and include space in the case for extra batteries. Without batteries, they still sound great, but the active noise canceling no longer functions. Since I added these to my travel bag, I can’t imagine flying without them. To me, they are as neccessary as something to read. They are comfortable enough that even on long flights I don’t need to take them off and I can also fall asleep with them on.

That’s my headphone strategy, what’s yours?

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Taylor Swift: 1989

Based on the bits and pieces that I’ve heard, 1989 is looking like it will be an epic album.  Taylor going full pop star is certainly a risk, but from the bits and pieces I’ve heard thus far, I think it will be a success.

Shake it Off is the best pop song of 2014 so far.

Welcome to New York is a solid song that I think has a lot of potential to be remixed.

I can’t wait to give the whole album a listen on tuesday.

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Wrecking Ball Mashups

Miley Cyrus’s song Wrecking Ball is a great example of pop music from 2013, and also a song that Mashes up well with other songs. Here are seven of my favorite Wrecking Ball Mashups

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My Favorite Music of 2013

2013 was a great year in Music. Eminem released his best album in over ten years.

Based on my Last.fm stats, The ten artists I listened to the most in 2013 were:

  • Portugal. The Man
  • The Magnetic Fields
  • The Lumineers
  • The National
  • Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
  • Vampire Weekend
  • HAIM
  • Daft Punk
  • Eminem
  • CHVRCHES

Quantity wise, that is what wins. What about Quality wise?

Continue reading “My Favorite Music of 2013”

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10 Best Songs of 2012

2012 was a great year for music. There were a number of songs that stood out, but I’ve narrowed my list of favorites down to ten. There are songs that I first discovered in 2012 such as Back it Up and Dump it by Cali Swag District and At The House by People Under the Stairs that were released before 2012 that weren’t eligible. Below are my 10 favorites from this year in no particular order.

Honorable Mentions (to make it 12 in 12):

Bonus: Scott Taylor did a nice roundup of his favorite albums of 2012

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Schoolboy Q

For the first time in what I can only estimate to be years, I found an album review on pitchfork that made me want to actually listen to something I had never heard and boy am I glad I did. Schoolboy Q is by far the best new rapper I’ve heard in a long time.

What’s the best new music you’ve found recently?

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1901 Jump – The Coolest Mashup Ever!

This last weekend featured two performances of Umphrey’s McGee at the 9:30 club. There were two amazing performances with some great songs, jams and teases throughout. A highlight by far was the performance of 1901 Jump, a mashup of the Van Halen classic and the Phoenix hit. If you want to hear the entire concert in all of it’s glory, check out Umphrey’s McGee on Archive.org

This song was originally preferred at the Halloween Mashup show. Check out the video from that performance in all of it’s glory.

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Our Own Classics

Tonight I listened to some classic G. Love and Special Sauce.  In fact, listing to the album Philidelphonic tonight might have been the first time I’ve listened to the whole thing in 5 years, but if there is a single musician that brings my dorm days, it’s G. Love.