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Sia ft. The Weeknd (prod. by Diplo) – Elastic Heart

I’ve had a string of shitty days in the office. If you want me to churn out some busy work spreadsheets, fine. If you want me to build some Ikea furniture, I can do that. But if you want me to just sit there and wait around doing nothing…no thanks. Factory workers stand for 18 hour shifts in horrible conditions making widgets and pillows and shit and get to go back to a windowless dorm room to sleep for a few hours before restarting the whole process. That is hell, and my plight isn’t even comparable.

I can’t wear headphones at work, so I fill my days writing blog posts for EMPT and others. I sometimes can sneak a few minutes of reading a book in (currently: “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder). Far too much throwaway internet content slips across my retinas. It’s a sad state when the commute is more exciting and enjoyable than the work day.

My commute is about an hour: 45 minutes of waiting for, then riding the train, and 15 minutes of biking. Usually I listen to an audiobook and drift into whatever world the sonorous, slightly British male voice takes me into (for the past 6 weeks, early 1800s Russia). But today I needed a pick me up, so I queued up “Elastic Heart,” a newish collaboration between songstress Sia, blogosphere hero The Weeknd and hand-in-everything-these-days producer Diplo (That annoyingly, I’ve just discovered, is from the new Hunger Games soundtrack).

You’d be hard pressed to find three more consistent artists. Not that everything they put out is good, but each has a distinct sound that they’ve stuck with from the start. Perhaps it isn’t a combo you’d expect, but fuck it works so well. It’s becoming clear that The Weeknd needs to do more guest verses on non-Weeknd-y beats, and that Sia is a legit crossover act. And it’s long been clear that Diplo is at his best when producing for versatile female singers (See: Robyn – “Dancehall Queen” and most Major Lazer female-fronted tracks).

So pop in those hopefully not-Apple earbuds, or throw on your audiophile cans and forget the economy and all of your friends whose photos make you jealous. You’re probably young (I’d guess the average age of EMPT viewers hovers around 25?) with a whole lot of years ahead. Keep answering those phones and churning out spreadsheets with the knowledge that when you get fed up with it, at least you’ll have great music to listen to while you apply to that dream job from bed.

Sia ft. The Weeknd (prod. by Diplo) – Elastic Heart

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Music

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”.

-Ashley

Oh Land – We Turn It Up

Sia – Clap Your Hands 

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