Tag Archives: Daft Punk

Saturdays in a Saturdaze, with Starcadian

28 Sep

I don’t listen to much Asian music. K-pop, baby metal, Bollywood filmi, I just could never get into it- it’s too risky without consequence. Some music was too sweet for my taste, others too bizarre, still others too arrhythmic. But video game music, which is typically an export of Japan, seems to be taking a leap into the mainstream, at least the mainstream of what is indie. The sleek electric guitars meet the howl of a keyboard, and put a proper melody over it- you’ve got yourself a digestible, indie electro track with a lot of pizzazz.

Saturdaze by Starcadian (stylized ST∆RC∆DI∆N) is very similar to this Japanese space rock, though that still wouldn’t quite do it justice. In fact, this EP and the one prior to it, Sunset Blood, are really two soundtracks to a TV series and sci-fi movie, respectively. The show and film are reportedly forthcoming, though both may end up taking the form of fun, almost campy music videos.

The theme of Starcadian’s work is the entire decade of the ’80s. The instrumentation is specifically intended to sound nearly thirty years old, but in an enduring way. The music videos capture the essence of the ’80s, with the fuzzy film reel and the obsession with space. This project also feels very similar to Daft Punk’s film, Interstellar 5555, matched up with their 2001 album, Discovery. I don’t think Starcadian will go that far with the visual aspect, but it would be very entertaining if he does. Though the music is somewhat similar to Daft Punk, I would say the first album that came to mind when I heard Saturdaze was Kavinsky’s debut, OutRun. It is loud and dramatic, and I don’t think anyone would complain if Starcadian got a song placement in a Ryan Gosling film. We all could use a little more Gosling in our lives.

Be on the lookout for the video for “Dance or Die,” coming soon. Saturdaze is out now. For more information, visit Starcadian’s website.

P.S. If you look closely, Starcadian’s mouth in the “Chinatown” clip looks like a certain pouting bastard. Is that you, Jon Snow? You and Hodor must hang out a bunch.

The Top 10 Songs of 2013 – Preview

5 Dec


Rejoice! The Music Court is bringing back the end-of-the-year Top 10 song list. Hooray. It’s the highlight of any holiday season! Ok … maybe it’s just some reading fodder that you can scoff at when you binge on holiday leftovers. For the rest of December, the Music Court will feature our list of the top 10 songs of 2013.

Check out the full-song in-review of The Top 10 Songs of 2010 and The Top 10 Songs of 2011 by clicking on those links, or click on the subcategories on the right-hand side of this page to view individual posts. There is no 2012 list (sorry!)

First, some logistics prior to previewing the list. In order to be considered for this list, the song must have been released in 2013. Yes, this seems obvious. But when I say 2013, I mean that the song may have been released as a single in 2013, or if it was not released as a single, it must have appeared on an album released in 2013. Often songs are released on albums the year prior to when the song is released as a single. This simply provides us with more options.

This list is clearly subjective. It is completely biased to the taste of those at the Music Court. That being said, you can certainly berate us for getting everything wrong. That’s the fun part of these lists. Comment on rankings you disagree with. Give us your top 10! We want to hear from you. Also, please understand that I (Matt) am not the biggest rap/hip-hop fan. Thus, the list is skewed towards pop/folk/rock (my beloved genres). There is a rap song on the list, though. I promise.

So … what songs almost made it on to the list but couldn’t quite supplant any of the top 10 songs? Here is the list leading up to the top 10:

19. “A Song about Love” by Jake Bugg

18. “Afterlife” by Arcade Fire

17. “Southern United States” by Leif Vollebekk

16. “Winter Road” by Bill Callahan

15. “New” by Paul McCartney

14. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke

13. “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk

12. “365 Days” by ZZ Ward



But, how? “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” were arguably the two most popular songs in 2013. They should most certainly appear on the top 10 list. You must have something against Pharrell Williams, who is featured in both songs. Credit to Pharrell, by the way. What an amazing year! In June he became the 12th musician in history to hold the #1 and #2 spot on the Billboard Top 100 at the same time … and for two COMPLETELY different songs. Incredible. But, while both songs fall close to the top 10, I do not just go by mainstream success. Both songs are as infectious as chocolate-covered pretzels, but, to me, the top 10 songs all have more enlightened qualities.

And … just missing the top 10. The #11 song of 2013:


Know the lyric? It is “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, which many of you know because of it was overplayed on mostly all rock stations since it was released as an official single in October of this year. The lyric of the song is powerful; a clear depiction of a protagonist with pernicious flaws. It is somewhat hidden behind the crashing melodies and dramatic harmonies, but the music is just so good. Imagine Dragons certainly knows how to intertwine a catchy melody with hard rock sentiments. It’s a great song. Can you imagine the excellent stuff on the top 10 list?

Be Tuned in on Monday, Dec. 9 for the #10 song on the list! 

Album Preview – YEEZUS by Kanye West

7 Jun

Before you read on let me introduce you to the author of this post and new Music Court contributor, Jamie Waller. We are excited to have him on board. Jamie will cover the rap and indie rock beat. Keep an eye out for his posts every Friday. Check out Jamie’s bio:

“I’m from Mansfield in UK, and am studying Journalism and History at the University of Lincoln. I’m a keen marathon runner and often write about running on my blog – http://feetfailmenot2.wordpress.com/. I’m a big fan of both rock and rap – my favourite bands are Arctic Monkeys and Gaslight Anthem, and I also enjoy rappers like Eminem, Nas and Kendrick Lamar.”


Kanye West

Whether you are rap fan or not, you won’t be able to avoid hearing about Kanye West’s new album YEEZUS for the next few months. Kanye announced its entrance into the world by projecting the lead single on the side of 66 buildings across America. Here is what we do and don’t know about one of the most anticipated albums of the year.

What we do know

Kanye’s god complex hasn’t gotten any smaller. Kanye has always been one of the most eccentric (some would say arrogant) character in the world of rap, but he seems to be now taking it to new heights. Yeezus is a combination of his nickname, Yeezy, and Jesus. After his smash hit song New God Flow last year, he has now developed a god complex of his own.

The Dropout Bear isn’t back. The adorable bear from his first three album covers still isn’t back – instead he has opted for a minimalistic cover that mimics bootlegged CDs, complete with a handwritten sticker saying ‘YEEZUS.’ Perhaps the moral is ‘Don’t judge a CD by its cover?’

The guest list will be as huge as usual. The list of people he has worked with in the studio just keeps growing, from regular collaborators like Frank Ocean, John Legend and Pusha T, to some people you might not expect – Skrillex and Daft Punk, for example. The French duo reportedly produced the single ‘Black Skinhead’ while Skrillex’s role is still a mystery. Jay-Z will almost certainly have a guest verse too as usual.

It won’t be like anything we’ve heard before. If there’s one thing you can rely on Kanye for, it’s to constantly reinvent his musical style. From the slowed-down horns of his debut to autotune, there’s little telling what he will do next. People who have worked with him have hinted towards the album being ‘dark’, ‘primal’ and ‘tribal’, whatever that means.

It will be released on 18th June. That is, if you believe Kanye’s mysterious tweets.

What we don’t know

What’s actually going to be on the CD. Kanye may be very ostentatious but he can keep a secret when he needs to; there have been almost no leaks about YEEZUS. Going against the current trend, the album won’t be streamed before release either. Kanye has performed the songs New Slaves and Black Skinhead live, but besides that everything else is under wraps.

Whether his rapping has improved. Without being disrespectful, Kanye has never been the most gifted lyricist. His talents lie in producing songs and getting the best out of other rappers, but he constantly gets outshined by them. He has definitely made strides in recent albums – for example, take lines like “They say I’m the abomination of Obama’s nation/ Well that’s a pretty bad way to start a conversation.”  It will be interesting to see whether he can actually hold his own now.

Is he really going political? The first single from the album touches on themes about how consumerism is used to keep black people down, while the word Skinhead has strong political connotations. While he’s never been afraid to touch on struggles black people face before, this is the first time he’s placed them as the centre piece of his album.

Whether it will live up to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Nightmare. Kanye’s last solo album wowed critics and the buying public alike back in 2010. Looking at fame through the prism fairy tales, it dove into the grimy heart of celebrity, winning the Grammy for Best Rap Album. There was an outcry when it was snubbed by the main award in favour of more commercial albums. The question now – and the only one that will really matter to listeners – is if whether Kanye can return to the heights of his masterpiece.

%d bloggers like this: