Hype Machine x Caliber Week 1by Maya Kulkarni on Oct, 09 2012
Honestly, when I was younger I didn’t really care that much about music. Aside from owning a pink iPod mini (which had 26 songs on it), I just listened to what was popular and on the radio or relied on my more music-savvy friends to send me their latest favorites.
This all changed in high school. I realized that I didn’t have to condemn myself to the Top 40s. But upon realizing that good music existed, I became daunted by the task of finding it. Getting a fresh supply of new music was hard. I had to keep up with my favorite artists’ album releases, scour music blogs for relevant new mp3s and frequent records/music stores that were a little too hipster for me. I was spending more time trying to acquire new music than actually listening to it.
THUS, I was ecstatic when I discovered Hype Machine (www.hypem.com), the answer to the lazy music-lover’s prayers. Founded in 2005 by a few college students, Hype Machine is an independently owned and operated by a small group of
hipsters people who are passionate about music. It is a Tumblr-esqe website, except only for music blogs. The posts from hundreds of music blogs are all collected onto Hype Machine’s main feed for easy streaming and listening. In addition, you can make your own account, follow your favorite blogs, and have their posts show up on your own feed. You can “heart” songs you like, share your profile with other people, and follow friends.
But let’s say you aren’t convinced about the wondrous nature of Hype Machine. I’ve compiled a playlist, with tracks straight from Hype Machine for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
I really liked Rihanna’s new single, Diamonds, but found it a little too slow for my liking at some points. Rihanna glorifies drug usage (…”Moonshine and molly”) nicely in her vocals, slightly sped up to Midnight City. I’m not really a fan of Midnight City in the first place but I was surprised by how well the two songs blended with each other, with Midnight City shining more towards the end of the song.
Any avid watcher of James Bond films will tell you that half of the fun is in the opening theme song sequences: the silhouettes of naked women gyrating to some sensual vocals – what more could you ask for? Sometimes the opening songs can be sadly mediocre, but with Adele singing the upcoming 007′s theme, we can all be assured a quality listening experience. It’s no ‘Someone Like You’, but let’s face it: this is a movie’s theme song. It’s somewhat typical, but still enjoyable. Plus we get to hear Adele’s voice in a action/thriller/spy-movie context, which is always cool.
I have the strange habit of partying to the same music I study too, i.e. mainly dubstep and other forms of electronica. This song is the perfect mix of electronic with more traditional instruments, allowing both parts to shine. It’s a fun and funky listening experience: old school instruments and groovy vocals mixed with some classically Skrillex elements.
Covers usually fall into two categories: a poor imitation of the original or a fresh twist that thrives as a new variation of the song . TRAILS AND WAYS’s cover of Miguel’s song is of the latter; with different lyrics and in a different style from Miguel’s original crooning rap. If you’re a fan of the original song I would suggest checking it out, and even if you aren’t it’s likely you will enjoy it. Fun fact: the band is from Oakland.
This song is a secret favorite of mine. Despite never having seen Star Wars, I was overwhelmed by the Force of this song and its capabilities of making me feel like a badass. Coyote Kisses totally reworked the Jedi Theme into an epic head-banger. You’ll only do justice to this song when listening to it LOUD and with speakers with good bass. But do it– you won’t regret it.
This song alludes to my emo middle school days, but unlike those days filled with screamo and emo, this song is actually pleasant. Without Mike Shinoda’s angry rapping and Chester Bennington’s agonizing belts, this cover instead has an acoustic guitar and a soft whispery duet. It pretty much sounds nothing like the original. However, this change makes the song accessible to all, with an almost rainy-day-quiet sort of feel. If you thought the original In The End was too angry and too loud, I would recommend this song for you.
The intro to his recent mix tape TheWorldENDS, this track features a sample of Adele with Astro’s rap. While so many people have slapped a sample of Adele over some mediocre rap, it blends well with Astro’s flow and lyrics, creating a good song to keep you going through the day (or night when you’re up late and studying.)
Personal Favorite: Macklemore X Ryan Lewis : Same Love Feat. Mary Lambert
While this song actually came out earlier this summer (in July), this track remains on Hype Machine’s Top 50 for a reason. Inspired by his gay uncle, Macklemore released this touching track that exposes the prejudice against homosexuality in hip-hop and America. I teared up when listening to this song the first time: the combination of Macklemore’s fiery lyrics and Mary Lambert’s soft voice is just that good. (If you’re interested in listening to Macklemore live, he’s playing at the Filmore in San Francisco on October 21!)