In the words of Maroon 5's latest single"This Summer Is Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf#%ker!" . . .With all the horrible news stories of Black Churches burning in the U.S., Caitlyn Jenner's every move becomes daily headlines, Jon Stewart's last days on "The Daily Show" are quickly approaching and idiots like Robin Thicke and Donald Trump not knowing when to keep their pie holes shut….it's only July and I'm frightened for August.
There's plenty of new music and remixes being dropped every week. The first release that I want to talk about is a track that should have been the debut single from Madonna's "Rebel Heart". I liked "Living For Love" and it would have been a brilliant single to release for Gay Pride. "Bitch I'm Madonna" featuring Nicki Minaj would have been the perfect message and promotional tool to propel her album to #1 and remind everyone she was back for business. She blamed the leaks for the low sales after "Living For Love". "Ghosttown" was just boring. And by the time they released the video and proper House mixes for it, I didn't care anymore. Plus….Adam Lambert's "Ghost Town" is much better. But with "Bitch I'm Madonna" she could have insisted some voguers and whackers for the video, learned a routine and some basic moves (like she did in 1990 for "Vogue") and let the kids have it. With Nicki spitting a a couple verses she would have had the young audience in the palm of her hand and her older fans would have just applauded her for still being here. But her n-word dropping, Margret Thatcher gushing, sheer ass dress wearing, Drake kissing stunts and whining about age-ism did not help her sales at all.
Sorry, Madge….maybe do an album of standards and if you must have a dance hit, let some of the top remixers have their way with a couple songs. That way you'll educate the young ones if the remixes are hot and your fans around my age will still love you and appreciate you for still being here. You just sound silly trying to use today's lingo when we remember you as a young girl in the 80s.
And speaking of mistakes in music…..if Robin Thicke had any ounce of dignity left after being humiliated by losing his wife behind "Blurred Lines" and then being sued by Marvin Gaye's family for the obvious use of "Got To Give It Up" in the writing for the track. On July 1st, 2015 an interview with the New York Times quoted him as saying that he is planning on appealing the decision that awarded Gaye's family $7.2 million. If you ever want to be taken seriously again you should let this go.
After Michael Bolton lost to Ron Isley he never really had anymore hits. Robin is a feature on Flo-Rida's new single "I Don't Like, I Love It". I'm not seeing this being a huge hit, but Robin's timing might hurt the new single. Robin and Donald Trump really should just suck it up. You made mistakes and suffer the consequences. Keep your damn mouthes shut! I mean….Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have been pretty quiet since they got sued for their obvious used of "Oops Up Side Your Head" by The Gap Band.
So, let's get to the meat of the matter….new music! You ever hear a lyric and know immediately that it was written specifically for a season? Well, that's exactly what Adam Levine and the boys of Maroon 5 did when they crafted "This Summer's Gonna Hurt". Adam loves to sing about getting hurt in relationships and the lyrics to this track are no different. But all the great remixes have skipped over the lyrics and only focused on the title hook. The Alesso Remix is kinda triply with its fluid BPM. But if you really want your floor pumpin', head directly for the Riddler Club Mix!
I think Demi Lovato is hoping that her "Cool For Summer" will make some waves on the charts as well. As far as I know, there aren't any remixes yet and the regular single version hasn't moved me yet.
Every since a friend turned me on to Disclosure and "Latch" with Sam Smith, I have been excited about the return of real House Music. Their latest two tracks are a welcomed addition to my playlist. First up is "Holding On" featuring Gregory Porter. Good male vocal (which seem to be rare these days) and an updated traditional UK House production. But for a more traditional U.S. House production, check out the Gus Pirelli VIP Disco Mix. And the second track's title should excite most single folks out there…."Bang That". And with a chant style delivery of "I like it when you bang it!"….I'm sure this will be a popular in most straight venues.
Now…just like Madonna, Rihanna waited a while to do a video for "Bitch Better Have My Money". Madonna's video for "Bitch I'm Madonna" is…cute. Rihanna's new video is intense! It's more like a mini-movie….a very disturbing mini-movie. In this seven minute epic, Rihanna kidnaps a white woman, holds her for ransom and ends up killing her and the man who was supposed to pay the money. Then a day or so after the release of the video a news story came out that her former accountant from 2009, Peter Gounis is missing and so was about $9 million. Many are speculating that the song is about him.
I was disappointed that Veronica Vega's "Pay Me" video wasn't in the same vein. I mean, both tracks are about getting paid and could have definitely helped promote each other. Although, for some reason I don't cringe as much when Rihanna uses the n-word as much as I do when Veronica does (probably because whenever I go to NYC I hear more Latinos using it than black people). Both are unnecessary, but hood is hood I guess. My point is…."Can you tell your narrative without?" I think you can.
And speaking of Rihanna….her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown certainly does a lot of high energy Dance tracks for someone who is SO hard and full of street creds. He is a feature on Deorro's "Five More Hours". Kinda generic and very forgettable. But hey…I've done many tracks that my heart wasn't in it. A check is a check. And I'm sure the money was the motivation behind "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth for the Furious 7 soundtrack. This rap ballad has dropped and risen on the charts for the past few months. Enough so that there are Club and House remixes. The two best remixes are the Arthur White Remix and the SJUR & Dunisco Remix. Both good for for a full vocal. If you want something that is heavier Club Beats, check out the Bassthunder Remix.
This trend of 70s and 80s Pop R&B Dance production continues with The Weeknd's "I Can't Feel My Face". It reminds me of a slower version of "Enjoy Yourself" by The Jacksons. He even sounds like Michael Jackson in some of his phrasing. Jason Derulo's "Want You To Want Me" seems to be a favorite on my floor. And it sounds completely like it could have been a filler track on any 80s soundtrack for a John Hughes teen movie. However the Speaker Of The House Remix is quite clever. And his next single "Cheyenne" could have been a B-side to any Lionel Richie single.
And speaking of 80s sounds….the new Hirshee Remix of "Message In A Bottle" by The Police is everything right now (for me at least). Makes me think of the early days of MTV when music and videos meant a lot more and weren't as disposable as most of the songs out today. It was an event to hear your song in the club because you couldn't just buy or download the remixes. And going to a video dance bar was a special treat. Remember that not all videos got played on MTV. The uncensored version of "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was a popular one in gay bars. MTV barely played "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat. And "I Love Men" by Eartha Kitt probably wouldn't have seen the light of day if it wasn't for the gay video screens.
Today….these kids have their videos on their phones. They don't get excited about dancing to their hits with visuals. They barely get excited about their favorite songs after a week.
And our last track is "No Sleep" by Janet Jackson. Janet has always had a bad habit of releasing these downtempo tracks as her debut for her new album. I really wish she would stop that. Unless she has some fierce Club and House remixes planned she might be looking at another failed attempt at a comeback. I know her fans are waiting with baited breathe for anything new, but she's another one in my opinion that should do material that is more her age. It's the same formula that she always does. Downtempo track, maybe a second single that's mid-tempo while she actually has a couple of real dance tracks on the album that won't be released and a massive tour. Lots of choreographed numbers and lots of lip syncing because she doesn't have the pipes to sing and dance for an hour and some change. Sorry to call you out, Janet but I am hoping you prove me wrong. Please, Miss Jackson…give us something new and unpredictable.
If you're curious to hear me spin and you're in the Toronto area, come hear me every Friday night in the Zone at Crews & Tangos for CLUB LITE FRIDAYS or at Church On Church on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month for his retro dance party RELENTLESS REWIND right in the middle of the Gay Village on Church Street.