Rudimental – Not Giving In feat. John Newman & Alex Clare

On November 6th, 2013, Rudimental came to Brooklyn. They brought with them beautiful crop topped women, suave men, horns, guitars, voice changing microphones and plenty of bouncing energy. For some reason, I’d chosen to describe Rudimental to others who had asked, as a drum ‘n’ bass group from the UK. I knew they had some soul in them, especially after hearing Baby. But I wasn’t expecting a performance that would touch on almost every genre, finding ways of transitioning between disco, drum ‘n’ bass, pop, and even some reggae. With the edition of Thomas Michael Jules as a charming and beautifully talented male vocalist, Rudimental delivered a groundbreaking performance, complete with class and showmanship.

At any given point during the performance, band members could be found dancing and smiling at each other on stage. This wasn’t part of the performance, it was merely the way they seemed to be around one another. I looked around and saw the behavior of the band members, mirrored in the audience. It was an audience of friends — people came to see this band with best friends and walked away feeling like they’d just been to a newly ranked “best show ever.”

I personally went through waves of happiness with their performance. While thoroughly entertained throughout, the accessibility of their music kept me on my toes. The crowd was surprisingly foreign and not younger than myself, which was a nice change of pace for a semi-electronic show. I couldn’t help but feel at certain parts of the night that I was witnessing British culture at its best, in Williamsburg.

My favorite song, Not Giving In, was performed beautifully which then reminded me of how much I love the music video. The build-ups are predictably awesome, but the duality of soulful male vocals and patiently timed drops makes for a flawless joy ride. It’s a timeless song about the strength to prevail, to conquer that which tries to knock you down. The video matches this subject matter beautifully, but the song itself is an anthem for the little guy who wants to succeed. I’ve always loved this song because it’s classically anthemic and makes me feel like I can do anything. Like putting on boxing gloves and kicking the rest of 2013’s ass.

This time, I’m gonna be stronger I’m not giving in.

Rudimental is on tour, so don’t miss an opportunity to see these guys live.

Rudimental – Not Giving In feat. John Newman & Alex Clare


C2C – Happy feat. Derek Martin

Well, seeing as I just danced for like two whole minutes at my cat to this song, I think it’s only fitting that I write about it. I also want to talk forever and ever about their live show which I attended on Thursday at Irving Plaza. But I won’t talk forever, I promise.

There’s a lot to say but let me begin by saying that The Knocks were a fantastic opener for C2C. We’ve talked about them before, and I understand the hype now. They’re so much fun live, with an excellent selection of songs and a fair gauge of what the crowd is into. Seeing as a lot of the audience at this show was French, they played a lot of funky electro, and even managed to get live edits of a couple of Justice’s tracks.

I was kind of turned off by the amount of pushing there was in the crowd, more so than usual, but I was quickly distracted from that once C2C entered the stage. Four turntables set up on top of boxes that played a variety of animations and light shows over the course of the performance.

They opened with The Cell, which is the first track on Tetra. Perfect opener, high energy and the smiles on each of the men’s faces were priceless as they watched a New York crowd go absolutely bonkers for their music. The moment that I heard the opening notes for Happy, I knew that things were about to get a little more wild. At that point, I turned to my friend, huge smiles plastered across both of our silly faces, and said, “They wanted to make a song about happiness, and they just happen to have a room filled with really happy people.” And that was true, as I looked around. All night, my friend and I were dancing next to this one dude whose sole intention was to move his body all night long. He arrived alone and left alone, wearing a fedora and simple clothes, he was the embodiment of what C2C’s music is about. It’s about art, craft and technique, sure, but it inspires such an overwhelming amount of happiness in so many people. It’s an instantaneous amount of happy, like when you’re sitting in your living room and your roommate puts on Down the Road and you hear the first ten bars, immediately smiling and asking who the eff this is? Because you’ve never heard such a happy balance of sound and music.

As a former turntable DJ (I took classes and have since not been able to practice, but I would still know what to do if given the opportunity), I was absolutely floored by the tricks that they pulled on stage. Everything from trading places, to working as four on one turntable with one person scratching while the other worked the cross fader. These are standard tricks for them, but me being the rookie that I am having enough trouble with simple looping, it was a magical sight.

These Frenchmen do a pretty excellent job of creating sound that embodies a good feeling, and then pairing it with a video that matches that visually. So if you haven’t seen the video yet, look below.

The show ended with an incredible tribute to the Beastie Boys where the members of C2C took turns rapping their own verses to Intergalactic. As some of you know, there’s a lot of overlap between Hocus Pocus and C2C, and I was secretly hoping that they would break out into rap earlier in the show. Nevertheless, this dose of rap was enough to leave the crowd really pleased in a high energy way, the perfect way to leave a crowd after a great night.

That said, this track should give you a lift if you’re down and keep your spirits up if you’re up! Enjoy.

C2C – Happy feat. Derek Martin


Sia et Oh Land July 27th, 2011 @Webster Hall

Oh Land and Sia could not be a better pair for one another in a concert setting. I was lucky enough to be in their duel presence last night at Webster Hall, where Oh Land opened for Sia. Two artists who are truly revolutionary female acts, each brought their own separate game, and killed it. I was especially excited to see Sia, because she’s someone I’ve idolized since high school, a true artist and creative mind.

Oh Land performed with such power and energy, instantly getting the crowd moving. Her oversized flowy see-through romper only made her seem like more of an angel that her voice portrayed. I loved hearing White Lights” especially because I’d only heard the remixes before, and having fallen in love with those, was pleasantly surprised to find that the original was even better. Her final song was one that I’d never heard before, “We Turn It Up.” Love. Love loved it. I’m just a sucker for catchy drums and poppy vocals. It’s such a powerful tune too, which totally encouraged the audience to dance and jump as much as possible.

Sia followed this happy act with the same energy that was left on the stage, in a slightly different way. The entire stage was covered in knit apparel; knit rug, knit amp covers, even a knit microphone stand. Sia’s shoes, (a pair of really sexy and totally fabulous open toed stilettos) had little frilly pieces of knitted additions on them. Her entrance was really funny to me, because she came on stage greeted by tremendous audience approval and happiness. She smiled and shook her shoulders in a sort of shimmy, laughed, then gave the most genuine greeting ever. Throughout the concert, she was constantly concerned with her fans happiness and well-being. It was so sweet, and totally unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She accepted a couple of gifts after playing a couple of songs, one of them being a pair of fuzzy slippers signed by some fans…another one being a blue monkey. The whole moment was just too cute, and I was overcome with emotion.

As for the actual performance, when it was time to sing Sia completely tuned out every spacey tendency she might have had, and delivered a superb vocal performance. She performed a new song titled, “Hostage” which she got some help from The Strokes, Nick Valensi, to put together. My favorites were “Death by Chocolate” and her encore, “Clap Your Hands.” They were both classics and the crowd went nuts. I’ve never seen so much energy for a band that was not particularly dance music.

She shared a statistic which I found to be truly enlightening: If a person that is single were to eliminate the people within their age group, the people of their sex, religion/faith, culture, even political beliefs, there would still be approximately 14 million people in the world that could be, the “one”.


Oh Land – We Turn It Up

Sia – Clap Your Hands 

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