Saturday, October 18, 2014

LISTEN: DANCE MIX 2014 VOL. 3

Back in the 90's and somewhat into the early 2000's there was a glut of mainstream dance mix albums released on a fairly regular basis. Some of them weren't so good, but others wound up being classics in their own right. A couple of the "MTV Party To Go" and "Dance Mix USA" collections were so good I played them nearly constantly, sometimes still expecting songs to blend into the specific track that followed them on those CD's whenever I hear them to this day. There aren't nearly as many being made anymore, aside from the "Ultra.Dance" series and its offshoots, probably because streaming services sort of negate the need for them. So, in order to help me relive the glory days of the amazing dance music compilation whilst simultaneously helping to hammer the final nail in the coffin for said concept, at least in its original form, I have been putting together a semi-regular series of playlists on Spotify with the same general idea. They are designed to be listened to in the order presented, and I recommend that you turn on crossfade to 10 seconds to get the "mixed" feel, but of course you are free to listen to them however you like. Here is the most recent one to help you get your next party going strong, which features music and remixes by Avicii, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris, Tiësto, John Legend, Iggy Azalea, Nick Jonas, RuPaul, Charli XCX, Benny Benassi, Mary Lambert, Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Gorgon City, Laidback Luke, Childish Gambino, Ultra Naté, Crystal Waters, StoneBridge, TKA, Eelke Kleijn, Kele, Mr. Probz, Hostage, Dillon Francis, Harry Romero, Deorro, Alesso, Treasure Fingers, and more.

Friday, October 17, 2014

HOTTIE OF THE WEEK: JASON TAYLOR

Every fall it's hard to escape football here in the US, which can either delight or annoy you depending on your opinion of the sport. I personally don't mind it, especially when it lets me get a look at hotties like ex-player and current ESPN analyst Jason Taylor.



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NEWS: AND NOW YOU CAN WATCH CBS WITHOUT CABLE

Hot on the heels of HBO's announcement of its upcoming streaming service, CBS yesterday launched their own entry into the field; CBS All Access. The service provides next-day availability of many of the network's most popular shows, including full seasons of several, and an extensive back catalog of classic programs. While that is enticing enough, the really interesting thing about the new offering is that you can use it to watch live feeds of your local CBS station in several of the nation's top markets. Live local news has been one of the most glaring omissions in most cord-cutters' set-up but this looks to remedy the situation for many people. There are a couple caveats. First, at least for the time being, the live feed will black out during NFL games. And second, while the service does offer apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices out of the gate, it is noticeably lacking from the most obvious places like Roku, Xbox, Playstation and Chromecast; though support for those is rumored to be in the works. TRY IT HERE: CBS ALL ACCESS

READ: THE SCIENCE OF "CIVILIZATION: BEYOND EARTH"

"Civilization: Beyond Earth" launches in exactly one week, and promises to be one of the highlights of the year for PC gamers. It's the first time the long-running series has entered the realm of science fiction since the unofficially related "Alpha Centauri" came out back in 1999, and as you can imagine, much of what we expect the future to hold has changed since then. The designers took inspiration from scientists and sci-fi authors to come up with as plausible a future for humanity as possible (while still keeping things fun), and it's interesting to see just where the game gets its ideas. FULL STORY: PC GAMER

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NEWS: HBO LAUCHING STREAMING SERVICE NEXT YEAR

In news that is long overdue, and is bound to make a lot of cord-cutters very happy, HBO has just announced at a share-holder meeting that they will begin offering a standalone streaming service some time in 2015. No doubt the decision comes as a result of the success of rival Netflix, who has recently surpassed HBO in the number of total subscribers. While cable companies are undoubtedly less than thrilled, this is good news for everyone else. There is no word yet on pricing or an exact release date. FULL STORY: THE DISSOLVE

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NEWS: "ARACHNOPHOBIA" NOT JUST A MOVIE ANYMORE

In news that is sure to horrify anyone with a (perfectly rational) fear of spiders, it turns out that a home in Weldon Spring, MO has been infested with thousands of venomous brown recluse spiders for at least 2 years now. In what can only be described as something out of our collective nightmares, the family was forced to abandon the house when spiders, "started bleeding out of the walls." The mortgage company that now owns the house has just this week taken action against the arachnids, covering the structure with a tarp and filling it with toxic fumes. FULL STORY: ABC NEWS

WATCH: JON STEWART POINTS OUT SOME STUNNING GREED

There is certainly no shortage of examples of greed in this country. But every now and then someone goes ahead and does something so galling, that it makes everyone else look like humanitarians by comparison. Former C.E.O. of AIG, Maurice Greenberg, has decided that he wants to take a turn at being that person. He is now suing the US government because he feels that the terms of the bailout they gave his company, which desperately needed it and voted to accept it, were unfair. Jon Stewart discussed the situation at length, and with some much needed doses of humor, on Thursday's episode of "The Daily Show", and it is absolutely required viewing. I certainly don't advocate violence against anyone, and I strongly discourage anyone from resorting to such methods against Mr. Greenberg, but while learning more about this lawsuit, it's hard not to wish ill upon him.

LISTEN: MELANIE MARTINEZ "DOLLHOUSE"

Hybridized pop and trip hop has been around for a couple decades now, so it's hardly anything new, but when it's done well it's hard to resist. On this 4-track EP, Melanie Martinez does it well. The heavy beats, techno noises, and unusual instrumentation combine with Ms. Martinez's prettily haunting vocals to create some of the best tunes the genre has seen since Jem's debut album a decade ago. "Carousel" especially stands out, and has me anxious to see what's to come from this promising new artist.

Friday, October 10, 2014

HOTTIE OF THE WEEK: NICK JONAS

I can't say I ever found any of the Jonas Brothers to be unattractive, but they weren't ever really high on my radar either. I can't say why that might have been, but I can say that Nick Jonas' recent push for a solo career has definitely captured my attention. Sure, the fairly catchy pop tunes he's been releasing recently deserve some of the credit for that, but the sudden willingness to show off his pretty buff physique all over the place (even in gay mags) isn't hurting either.


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LISTEN: JOSEF SALVAT "IN YOUR PRIME"


There's certainly no shortage of electro-pop crooners in operation at the moment, but Australian singer Josef Salvat still manages to stand out from the crowd. With influences ranging from Sia to Björk to Woodkid he combines just the right blend of deeply personal lyrics, catchy melodies, and quirky electronic flourishes to create something truly memorable. Check out this 4-track EP in advance of his forthcoming full-length album.