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Not gonna lie. When you find yourself more than a little burnt out on blogging while simultaneously fighting some major computer issues you get a conspicuous absence from the internetz (or what some refer to as ditching loyal readers). But today, an email arrived in the old inbox that not only tugged at our heartstrings but also inspired us to get back on track and jump start Commotion again. Not to get mushy or anything but we don’t always hear a lot from our readers so it can be hard to know if the stuff you’re writing is actually being enjoyed by others. This email, though, from our new friend Becca, made it all worth it:
Hey there! My boyfriend loves your blog and is always like, “Baby look at these new sneakers!” and “Baby check out this new video!” Seriously. He’s obsessed.
Anyway, I was wondering if you guys have heard the band Donora yet. I heard about these guys from My Old Kentucky Blog and fell in love with the music. My boyfriend fell in love with the lead singer after he saw their video. I must admit that I have a bit of a girl crush on her to, so I thought you might want to check them/her out!
After listening to Donora we have to agree with that spot-on assesment of the music (okay, and the crushing on the singer part). Part Tegan and Sara and part Jimmy Eat World (minus all the emo gook), Donora knows how to craft an infectious pop hook that will get stuck in your head in a good way. Their self-titled album is available on iTunes now. Check the MP3 below for another track that belongs on any start-of-summer mixtape. And, Becca, thanks for the kind words, now please go brag to your boyfriend about the shoutout before we threaten you all with another burnout.
For anyone who’s watched Kanye’s career develop from backpacker to megastar to icon it’s been nothing less than inspiring. But let’s not kid ourselves. There’s nothing fancy or frilly about his climb to Olympus. He’s a worker plain and simple. If you strip away the fashion line, the (mostly-earned) self promotion, the cars and, yes, the blog he’s proven to be a tireless studio laborer. Whether he’s crafting hits for Common or providing extra heat on a verse for DJ Khaled or Estelle, the man takes a tireless pride and blue-collar ferocity to his work.
Like a skilled craftsman, he’s consistently delivered work that cultivated the best parts of its predecessors and pared the excesses (skits and guest spots) that helped in the short term to develop his narrative but threatened to weigh down his considerable talents. And as he’s shaped the edges and worked the stone to a sheen we’ve come to see more and more that the ultimate product of his labor is himself and not the music. When Michelangelo was asked how he carved David from a single piece of marble, he replied simply that the statue was always there and that he merely found it. Well, now Kanye has carved away the layers of his previous work to create an album so revealing, tempestuous and vulnerable that even at its most frustrating moments (and there are plenty of them) it’s nothing less than riveting.
Kanye seems to understand his place in the canon of great generational music acts. And with 808s & Heartbreak he’s asking his listeners to take the leap with him as he finally pushes past the last vestiges of music that pops and into the realm of classic Pop music. A realm that few have reached and where the vast size of the ideas is equal to the size of the audience. Revolver. Pet Sounds. What’s Going On. 808s & Heartbreak is striving – practically fighting – for it’s rightful place alongside those landmark albums that stripped away ornamentation and bloat to reveal something brighter than could be imagined. And the question will remain, did Kanye pull it off?
Full rundown and mp3s after the jump.
Would you run a 10k with little-to-no training for a chance to see Kanye and Common once you finished? This was the proposition facing us when a friend duped convinced us into competing in Nike’s Human Race last weekend. We’re proud to say that we finished (barely) with our lungs and legs in tact and our nipples not-as-chafed as we feared.
Check out all the photos from the event at our Flickr Stream or see some of the highlights below.
Sometimes you just have to sit back and thank God for making the world such a wonderful place. Sometimes there are moments of true beauty and wonder. Sometimes, you can do little more than marvel at lifes rich pageant. This is one of those moments.
Let’s just say if you ever wondered what it would be like to sit in on the guys from Chromeo sharing white wine with Daryl Hall or hanging out with them while they perform “Family Man” together, then this is for you. Unless you’re one of those people who pretends that they’re too cool to like Hall & Oates. I have a name for those people — liars.
So we just got our SPIN newsletter in the old inbox and the subject line said “New Kings Of Leon Track.” Meh, we thought, it’s probably a b-side or some shitty live version of an old song. But upon closer inspection, what did our eyes see? This is a legitimately new track? AND Kings Of Leon have a new album coming out on September 23rd? Man, when did this happen? Didn’t they just come out with their last album like 5 minutes ago? So many questions. And then we realized that we probably didn’t hear about this sooner because Pitchfork’s news hopper gets crowded by more important things like the newest Deerhoof side project or if Bradford Cox sneezed. Gauntlet thrown, Pitchfork. Your move.
Also, your friends here at Commotion were nice enough to give away their personal email info to SPIN and RCA so that you could painlessly download this thing from us. We’ll probably get sued back to oblivion for it but, hey. Good times! Just don’t say we never did anything for you. As far as the song itself goes, it sounds grunge-y and wouldn’t have been out of place on “Because Of The Times.”
Announcement via SPIN