Concert Review: Marcus King Band

Mama we made it! The first show since quarantine began finally happened. It’s been 6+ long months of cancelled shows, rescheduled events, and music withdrawals. I’m being dramatic, of course, but if you are a fellow concert goer you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re curious, check out my post here for a rant.

And what better time to ring in the return of live music than with a beautiful, late-summer night at the Yarmouth Drive-In on Cape Cod. But this was no ordinary show. The format was, literally, drive-in style! You pay for your car which you can pack full of your buddies, then drive into one of three “sections” where there are 100+ roped-off bays you can park your car in. In classic drive in fashion, we popped open the trunk, enjoyed a few beers and watched the show relatively close to the stage all things considered, complimented by two massive displays on each side.

Although in my case, my buddies were in fact just my girlfriend who self-admittedly was more in love with Marcus King for the 2hr+ duration of the show.

I’ll get into the experience in a minute, but let’s start with the music. I have been following Marcus King and his Band for about 2 years or so now after I saw them open up for Tedeschi Trucks in 2018. He was the first opener at the time and literally left the crowd in an uproar with his incredibly powerful blues crooning and insanely complex guitar shredding – and I remember being nothing but impressed. Since then, I missed a few of his shows up in New England but have continued to explore his short discography and have been hooked.

What makes Marcus so unique to me is his ability to be the most unassuming young front-man in blues rock today. Because honestly, if you look at him straight up, you would never expect the walls of sound this dude shells out night after night. Marcus has a voice that is fit for Blues: raspy, hearty, intense but soft as butter when he’s hitting those low notes. He can yell (oh, he can) but never pushes the limit or cackles. It always arrives at this pleasant high note that makes me think of what a male Bonnie Rait would be like. When he’s singing through verses, he brings this sensitive subtlety to his vocals which brings his Tennessee twang out on full display without being overbearing. The result are songs led by magnificent southern blues rock vocals that keep you upbeat and genuinely overjoyed. And my favorite part – he incorporates his country-boy twang in some way into each song without succumbing to the same country-esque tropes we see so many blues rockers fall to these days for the sake of pop stardom. Admirable, to say the least.

The Marcus King Trio is 2/3 of the full Marcus King Band, and is made up of lead singer and guitarist, Marcus King, drummer Jack Ryan, and one of the jam band music world’s rising bassists, Stephen Campbell. Although the MKB Trio is made up of two-thirds of the players in the Marcus King Band, the sounds of each are noticeably different. I’ve heard the trio itself compared to the sound of Cream, Derek Trucks, Dickie Betts, and other power-driven guitar leads.

While I prefer his sound with the full band rather than the show’s Trio, given a large majority of his songs incorporate keys and several horns, the trio was a fun transition into rock and roll which carried by attention throughout. In addition, it gave Marcus the opportunity to shred endlessly which was a spectacle in itself. In fact, it was some of the more outrageous shredding I have seen in recent memory, albeit slightly muffled by the limited sound quality. Regardless, you could tell the man had full control of the guitar. It also produced this solid wall of sound which impressed me for a three-man group. I wished we had seen more of the bassist Campbell who showed signs of greatest on stage left throughout the two hour performance, but I will be looking for him in the future.

One Day She’s Here was a phenomenal jam, followed by the hard-rocking likes of hits Virginia, a grimy, southern-style anthem, and The Well, one of his newest singles off of El Dorado (his most recent album) that gets the crowd going with intense vocals and monster soloing throughout. My favorite of the night very well may have been a cover of Buddy Guy‘s “I Smell Trouble” which sounded better than the original. There were a handful of additional covers sprinkled in here and there that he certainly made his own and only added to the performance. He even covered “Ohio” by CSNY which was a nice treat – complete with its own unique MK-spin. He also tossed in a few new songs, both of which we enjoyed thoroughly (but unsure of the names).

I’d encourage you to check out: The Well, Rita is Gone, Virginia, One Day She’s Here, Goodbye Carolina, Where I’m Headed, Homesick

While I’ll always take a traditional venue over something like this, given COVID and all the nuttiness going on, this was a perfect alternative. I loved chilling in the car, being able to bring a few brews and just actually chill for a change at a rock show. We even brought snacks which is straight unprecedented as you know. Imagine trying to walk into the Boston House of Blues with a Granola Bar, god forbid.

On top of this, the venue was stacked full of food trucks you could order from right on your phone. Thus marked the first time I mucked some fried dough while watching blues rock live. And I have to say it was a lovely compliment. Everyone felt safe enough given the distance, and I think it made everyone much more at ease (plus being outside, obviously). I would 100% try something similar again if the COVID continues. I would almost compare it to some kind of homey, town fair-type experience where you have all the locals just tossing back brews in their cars, all gathered to watch some local event. It gave it a really relaxed, comfortable atmosphere which I enjoyed thoroughly.

My one complaint about the whole experience was the sound quality was sub-par at best, and just not tuned well to capture all of the ferocious jamming from Marcus and his trio. The issue was that you have the sound coming from stage front ahead of you, but the speakers were largely stacked far, far back behind the entire 3 sections of cars. This created an interesting sound quality that had us hearing reverb from the back with drums and the occasional guitar lick ringing from the front. But hey, I suppose that’s what you get for a recently closed drive-in-turned-rock-venue. But next time, I would either choose another venue or make a formal request for some improved sound quality. Admittedly, we could’ve tried to put it on the radio but that seemed like it kinda defeated the point of being at a show…

All in all, we had a terrific time and it felt good to taste the sweet, sweet sound of live instruments again. I’ll definitely be looking for (and letting you guys know of ) any similar shows coming up. Score: 7/10

BEST OF AUGUST 2020: TOP TRACKS & EPs/LPs

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO TOP ALBUMS OF THE MONTH

TOP 5 SONGS OF THE MONTH

5.) Revival SMLE & Just A Gent
[Electronic]

This SMLE and Just A Gent collab is just a straight up fun dance track. Minimal but complicated. It seems like they just combined the funnest sounds they could find and expertly arranged them into this track.

4.) Daylight Joji & Diplo
[Alternative]

In my opinion, one of the top hip-hop/pop artists in the industry right now, Joji teams up with legend Diplo for this masterpiece of a track. The catchy chorus with Joji’s impressive vocals layered over an emotional instrumental will have you swaying your head back and forth while the tears flow down your face. Gasolina song.

3.) The Prince Madeon
[Electronic]

The Frenchmen brought the heat on his first single since the release of his sophomore album Good Faith. While not as dark as his Celine EP which was ripped from vinyl earlier this week, The Prince is an intense downtempo track that’ll get that heartbeat pumping.

2.) escape jaron
[Electronic]

The 17 year old electronic protege kills it with this massive single. Jaron’s been on the radar for a few years now; which is a wild thing to say at just 17. Getting discovered at 14 by the likes of San Holo and Madeon certainly helps, but if Jaron can keep up delivering these incredible tracks, he’ll be around for a long time to come.

1.) Mirror Porter Robinson
[Electronic]

You shocked Porter is topping this list? The third single from his upcoming album Nurture and, in my opinion, the best we’ve heard. Porter describes the meaning of the track and some further insight on the album as a whole in this amazing interview. I have not been able to stop bumping this beautiful song.

TOP 5 ALBUMS / EPs OF THE MONTH

5.) Desire Bob Moses
[Dance]

Throw this album on if you’re in a melancholic mood. It feels like an example of what would happen if Deadmau5 and Rufus Du Sol collabed on an album. The Canadian duo had a lot of expectations for this record, and they absolutely checked all the boxes.

4.) Poom Gems Hudson Mohawke
[Electronic]

Okay hear me out. Give this album a chance please. The opening track All I Need may trigger your ADHD and turn you off, but just survive until Solstice Izo and you’ll fall in love. The producer legend returns with his second album of 2020 and I’ve had it on replay since its release. If you don’t think you know who Hudson Mohawke is, you more than likely have heard at least five songs he’s made. Forming the famous trap duo TNGHT and producing for legends like Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, just to name a few, he’s no stranger to the spotlight.

3.) ENERGY Disclosure
[House]

The British boys are back with another heater of a record. While some tracks I feel fall short on the album, there are some house anthems on here that’ll quickly become staples in the house scene. I would’ve liked to see the album be a bit more cohesive as it feels kind of all over the place in terms of song placement, but I’m just happy we have new Disclosure to critic them too much.

2.) 7G A.G. Cook
[Electronic]

7 discs. Almost 2 hours and 40 minutes of songs. 7G is almost more of a collection than it is an albums. It has original songs, remixes, and covers of pop hits, including an incredibly strange cover of Sia’s hit song Chandelier. A.G. Cook is the creator of the PC Music collective, and even produces most of Charli XCX’s records. Another dude on this list with his second album of 2020, except this one has 49 songs on it. Do your best to sit through cause it’s a treat.

1.) BRONSON BRONSON
[Electronic]

Odesza x Golden Features is a match made in heaven. I wasn’t sure what this album was going to hold when I first heard of the collab, but it absolutely exceed expectations. Dark and melancholic, which is a change-up from the normal Odesza vibes, BRONSON makes me wish live shows were back so we could see these guys tour together.

NEW MUSIC: Madeon – Celine EP (12122017)

Back in 2017, sandwiched between the Adventure and Good Faith eras of Madeon’s impressive electronic music reign, the French music producer had hit a wall. Writer’s block for musicians can feel like then end of the world. During this period, Madeon said that music made him “feel nothing”, which is a far cry from the lush, complex, and emotion provoking music he’s known to create. So while most musicians would take a step back to reevaluate their purpose and direction, what did Madeon do? Well on 12/12/2017 (making the EP appropriately named), he sat in front of his DAW and created music for 24 hours out of pure anger. The Celine EP is the product of that session.


While he may have never had the intentions of releasing this project during its creation, Madeon has taken to the internet after releasing is critically acclaimed sophomore album Good Faith (2019) to open up and expose some of his deep rooted insecurities. But fans had to work for this one. The release and discovery of the EP was hidden within lines of code that Madeon fans sifted through for months to discover the meaning behind the mysterious word “Celine”.


It’s quite clear this EP came from deep rooted anger as this is the darkest work we’ve ever seen from Madeon. It’s what I’d imagine his work would be if he tried to replicate the dark industrial techno vibes of the legend Gesaffelstein. Seeing this live would be a treat. So would actually holding a physical copy of the vinyl, the only medium Madeon released this project on. But alas, that is seeming to be only a dream as the musician only released 200 of the physical records to the public. Already on discogs.com, the cheapest resale will run you $750 (someone even listing it for $100 million which is completely absurd). But have no fear (no more), lucky fans who received the record have generously ripped the vinyl and posted it on YouTube for all to hear. Check it out above!

Welcome to the Fall – What I’m Listening to This September!

Hi people. Feels like it’s been forever since I put together my music choices for a month. This summer wasn’t my best with music discovery and exploration – too much heads down grinding during the weeks. Now that things have begun to settle a bit, I’ve gotten to dig into both new releases (which there have been a TON of lately) and some old favorites which I’m sharing with you today. As always, hit me up with any new music you’ve discovered lately and I’ll feature your picks next post.

Disclosure Energy (NEW ALBUM) – I was psyched to see a fresh album coming from one of the biggest names in the British electronic scene, who hasn’t made headlines in years with their last album coming in 2015. 2015!?! These guys were on top of the world from 2013-2016, and I was genuinely curious where they disappeared to. Although honestly, if I made that kind of money I would be out taking year-long breaks between shows and album creation spending it exploring. So, props to them, I guess! While I was not completely floored by any song in particular, I thought the album as a whole was a fantastic piece of work that embodied everything Disclosure was about. It certainly captured their “sound” which brings together house, jungle house, electronica, techno, and deep house in one fun, party-fueling package that is sure to hit the club scene as soon as it’s back to normal. Was it a problem that I loved the interludes more than anything else?? They showcased their just general electronic talent and I think that spoke to me more than anything (they are really cool and worth checking out – don’t skip em as you would most interludes).

Give a listen to: “Expressing What Matters”, “Thinking Bout You”, “Fractal”, “My High”, “Ce n’est pas”, “Ecstacy”

Lol this is the interlude. Sounds like some old-school hip hop something…

Lane 8Cross Pollination (NEW ALBUM) – I was pretty floored by this album. Not only was his last album, Brightest Lights which came out earlier this year, an incredible, incredible electronic triumph. But he followed it up with a shorter, 7-song list of gems with nearly every song being (in my opinion) excellent. This is one I have been sharing all week to friends – this guy is the real deal and will continue making his name on the scene for years to come. I encourage you to poke through his older discography as well as the man has this unique, mellow-but-vibey feel to his work which keeps you going and simultaneously puts you in a trance. Like a Shallou type, but even better with more complex compositions. Perfect for doing work, a car ride, or anything really. Sometimes I get a lot of Deadmau5 feels with this guy (plus a fresh spin) which I absolutely love.

Check out: “And We Know It Was Our Time”, “Run”, “Roll Call”

Tame Impala – Tiny Desk Concert (Mini Quarantine Show) – I do love me some Mr. Impala. Wasn’t as big lover of his most recent album although I fully expected to be given how much I loved his previous work. But it has grown on me a bit since starting. Either way, the man has a terrific catalog of music, and although I’m partial to his earlier albums, this was an awesome chance to see the guy using a lot of different tools at his disposal in a very unique setting. Very cool, fun, and certainly a place I’d like to be, chillin with some very talented Aussies!

Leo Kottke & Mike GordonNoon (NEW ALBUM) – This is a fun little acoustic piece Mike Gordon posted on his Instagram last week that I had to explore a bit more. With Gordon on bass and the legendary Kottke on acoustic guitar, the two jam in what looks like a sauna for a wonderful collection of 11 songs that bring in elements of folk with a more modern lyrical twist that kept me engaged and peeking into Kottke’s past works (hadn’t heard of him much before this). Gordon on the other hand, I love – and it was cool to see him play bass in this style that was much softer and more subdued. But the syncopation when the two were playing together is just fantastic and worth a viewing.

Try “Flat Top“, “From the Cradle To The Grave“, “Eight Miles High

Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony RiceThe Pizza Tapes Extra Large Edition (2011)- This was a fun find by a friend today who just sent this over. Plenty of versions that cover the OG pizza tapes’ versions with various takes, bringing in a handful of free-form jams, quick cuts, outtakes and fun little diddies that I thouroughly enjoyed.

Explore: “Louis Collins“, “Rosa Lee McFall”, “So What“, “Shady Jam

Billy Strings and Marcus King – Summertime & Midnight Rider (Cover, Video) – Bless your ears with this unreal rendition of the classic “Summertime”. I feel like every year we get a new cover of this, but hell is this one of the best I’ve heard in recent memory. Two absolute beasts of vocals and guitar joining forces to create a fun, upbeat, jam-filled collab that makes you smile all the way through. Give it a listen, ASAP! Midnight Rider is equally fun – they do a few songs together in total – all on YouTube and each is excellent.

i_orévolution (2020), other releases since 2019 – A really, really talented techno-focused DJ I just started exploring over the past few months. Turns out he’s a modern-day legend on the scene. Who knew?! Definitely worth checking out if you are into more upbeat, high-tempo techno and trance music for a little change of pace.

Tom MischGeography & What Kinda Music (Albums) (2018, 2020) – I really hadn’t given English musician Tom Misch enough of a chance until the GF put on his new song in the car the other day, “Kyiv”, which I absolutely loved. So, naturally I started digging in a bit and was so happy with the results. Misch’s 2018 album, Geography is a unique take on heavy, funk-synth basslines with very clever drumming throughout, and some interesting ambient vocals that don’t take seem to away from his more instrumentally-driven work. One of the things I love about his music is his ability to combine a jazzy-feel with very modern, thick electronic and hip-hop tone to his music. It makes for some very fun, complex beats that leave you bobbing your head without realizing. It’s almost hard to define the genre, and that’s a very good thing! What I enjoyed even more was What Kinda Music, featuring Yussef Dayes, which featured mostly instrumental tracks and gave the pair a chance to showcase their diverse tastes and musical abilities.

Check out these songs for a taste: “Last 100“, “Kyiv“, “Tidal Wave“, “Sensational“, “Nightrider“, “Lost in Paris“.

Love this video

Floating Points – Printworks (2019) (Live Recorded Show): Just watching this for the first time tonight and I am very impressed. If you are not familiar with Floating Points, he is a British producer and electronic DJ who combines elements of techno, deep house, future house, ambient electronic, and tech-house sounds into one wonderful package. This show in particular showcases a terrific light show and had me wishing I could go back to my venues downtown, combining plenty of music to get you up on your feet moving, with others designed to put you in a trace, close your eyes and just feel the performance. Very impressive and I would love to see this guy live someday. Check out his albums: “Crush” and “Elania” as well.

Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil & Juju (1999): Wayne’s birthday was apparently this week, and a page I follow posted something about his discography, honoring his work as a “legend” of jazz. It was then I realized I hadn’t ever really listened to much of his work. What I discovered was an absolute gold mine of saxophone talent at the highest level. The man has won 10 or more Grammy Awards, and was brought under the wing of (and taught by) the legendary John Coltrane back in the day, and those two facts alone speak for themselves. He has worked as both a saxophonist and a composer with equal success and produced many standards that remain to this day. If you enjoy a solid jazz comp, give this a try. JuJu and Speak No Evil were particularly AWESOME.

Try “Infant Eyes“, “Speak No Evil“, “Footprints“, “Witch Hunt“, and “Night Dreamer

That’s all for now folks. Send me in more reccos and stay safe out there!

Much love —– Connor

In Honor of the Return of Sports, Let’s Take a Look at Some of the Greatest Sports Films of All Time

It has, without a doubt, been a wild last few months here. And by here I mean everywhere. For me, you – all of us. And in all the commotion, I have been really bad about posting. So I apologize. But we are back now, officially. That means more routine, scheduled posts. So tell yo kids tell you wife and please help us share our content as we get this bad boy going!

Indulge me to take a quick step back from the nonstop carnage of our world for just a moment, though – we do have one thing to be thankful for, as weird as it sounds. And that is the return of Professional sports. Even sports feel a little odd though – all these tournaments, round-robins, playoffs? Where are we and what is this universe. But thank the good lord we have something to stare at on the TV that isn’t terrible, sad, or depressing. Although watching the Bruins actually brings the stress levels up to max capacity, it’s still the greatest thing on cable. Also, shout out to Celtics and Bs both winning their series quite handily.

Ah – Sports, the medium where we can all kick back, put our feet up, and watch some of the most talented, spectacular human specimens around the world compete for glory on the biggest stage. The stage feels a whole lot bigger this year, though. Your audience for every major sport that has returned (MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, UFC, etc.) is probably going to double in terms of viewership, for the pure fact that there has been such a drought of athletics for so long that literally anything is better than nothing. It’s a unique opportunity for sports to try and bring us together a little more than usual – even if your favorite teams are not playing (or have already been eliminated). Because finally, we actually have someone, or something, to root for.

Sports gives us the chance to put aside our bullshit for a minute and actually focus on a cause outside our day-to-day lives, even if it isn’t for anything more than pride and pure regional allegiance. But hell, is it fun. And these films I’m about to list capture the best in sports in such a light that makes them worth regular re-watches – because they give us that sense of the majesty that can only be achieved on the field, on the big screen. Whether you are a sports fan or not – there is a very high probability that if you grew up watching movies, even occasionally, your life was touched by one or many sports films. As a kid watching some of these, I know it got me hyped up beyond belief – and it still does as an adult.

Sports films have their inherently corny moments, we know this as a tried and true fact. And there have been a fair share of terrible ones, indeed. But this is to be expected, because really a lot of the corniness that we see as just cheese is in all actuality the same substance that makes these movies great. While there are an equal amount of sports comedies out there, I will save that for another post and stick with the more “serious” of the group in this one.

Rudy – 1993; (My Score: 10/10): Need I say more. The greatest sports film of all time? I think many would agree. Rudy Rudabeger is the iconic underdog story – the story that shows all of us that with enough drive, energy, and genuine passion for the game and doing what you love, you can and will achieve your dreams. In short, its a classic (and true) story about an underdog recruit / walk-on for the Notre Dame football team who leaves everything on the field for his chance at a shot at glory. To get there, he has to get through the death of his loved ones, work his ass off on and off the field to support his education, work hard in class to maintain his standing and balance the life and dreams of a young man who wants to leave his mark on history. Plainly said, a requirement for all sports fans, and one of the most inspiring films ever made. Also this film stars Samwise goddamn Gamgi, I mean what more could you possibly ask for (although this was many years before LOTR).

Miracle – 2004; (My Score: 10/10): One of the greatest movies about US sports ever made, and absolute triumph of filmmaking, it should be a requirement by age 18 that every American should watch this movie at some point in their lives. The film follows the historic 1980s U.S. men’s hockey team in the Olympics, led by Herb Brooks (Kurt Russel) in the deep days of the cold war. The team is a ragtag group of college studs , all with their own agendas and ways of playing – but they unite under a dream, a dream to beat the heavily favored Soviet team who had been dominating opponents for years. It is an epic tale of perseverance, grit, excitement, and the ultimate underdog story. AND – its based on a real story! This is piece of American history we are talking about. Kurt Russel shines as Brooks here, and is really the centerpiece of the entire film. “Who do you play for?” – “I play for the United States of America”. You owe it to yourself to give this one a look – about as close to perfection in a sports film as you will see.

Rocky – 1976; (My Score: 9/10): A movie as American as apple pie, and the film that shot Sylvester Stalone in to the limelight. Rocky is the classic underdog (noticing a theme, here?) story. Fun fact, the film had a budget of just $1M, and remains one of the most successful sports films of all time to this day, spawning a half dozen or more sequels as a result. The original is, in my opinion, the best of these for a variety of reasons. It personifies Americana of the day and age and really shows the grit and hard work required to be come truly great. Rocky could be any of us, and I think that’s why this film resonates with so many. He is just an average guy, living in below-average circumstances, who wanted to be great. Rocky is a tale that shows us we are much more than our income, job title, looks and dress. What really matters is heart (see, corniness again but its true I mean just watch the movie!). The ability to “go the distance” where no fighter has gone before, to earn the respect of himself above all. He didn’t even want to win, the man just wants to prove himself and show he’s actually much, much more than just your average joe. And for that, Rocky has been immortalized in sports and film fame forever.

Million Dollar Baby – (My Score: 10/10): An academy award winner for best picture, and deserving so – MDB is an absolute masterpiece in every way. I have never met anyone who watched this film and didn’t have positive things to say. I watched this movie at age 10 or so, when I first really started to get into movies, and I remember just the raw, incredible emotion Hilarry Swank brought to the limelight. Not only is this movie heartbreaking, but it just shows you how unfair and cruel the world can be, even when it should have every reason to be behaving differently. You laugh, you cry (frequently), but most of all – you actually feel like you are going through this incredible struggle of a female boxer in a world where everything is turned against you, as a participant, rather than a viewer. One of the most raw, uncut views at sports and the cruelty behind violent ones in particular. Outstanding cast and directing by the amazing Clint Eastwood. This one ain’t no picnic, so don’t go in expecting one!

Coach Carter – (My Score: 8/10): Another excellent sports film that explores deeply both questions of race and the struggles of growing up in a challenging world as a young man, and the efforts of one, unique coach in bringing together a struggling band of misguided students. One of my favorite Samuel L. Jackson roles and an iconic message about the importance of focusing on your future rather than always thinking about RIGHT NOW. As in, you have to be able to succeed off the court if you can ever ac ahieve your dreams on it. Because otherwise, you are just prioritizing one thing and eventually setting yourself up for failure. There is more to life than sports, and Director Tom Carter showed us this here.

The Hustler – 1961; (Score: 10/10): The greatest movie about pool ever made, and a Paul Newman classic. This piece of film legend follows a young, suave pool shark and hustler who makes his living challenging unwitting opponents and making a name as one of the greats, until he blows his shot at success against the greatest player in the world due to vanity alone. He must then work against his own demons and face the problems in his life before making his way back to the table to take on his opponent again in one of the most satisfying conclusions to a film I’ve seen in recent memory. A classic, but dated and definitely not for everyone, and very different from most on this list.

Raging Bull – 1980 (My Score: 9/10): One of the grittiest, most intense films ever made about boxing starting the immaculate Robert De Niro, a middleweight boxer who risks his life, love, health and family as his rises through ranks to earn his first shot at the middleweight crown. It shows you the highest highs he achieves within the ring, and the lowest of lows when his life becomes completely consumed by his drive to succeed at his career. Scorscese is brilliant as ever in this black-and-white biographical drama based on Jake LaMotta’s life and story. I personally found this film a little hard to watch at times, but that in no way is a reflection of the quality of the film and more just my preferences. This is a masterful piece of cinema and is widely regarded as one of De Niro’s greatest roles and Martin’s best films. Gritty. Gritty. Gritty. Loving that word today. But the best of the best films generally are in that they touch on the uncomfortable things we don’t always want to see or hear, but need to see or hear. Because life isn’t always cupcakes and rainbows.

Remember the Titans – 2000; (My Score: 9/10): One of the finest football films ever put to screen, RTT is a true story of the first Black coach in a segregated Virginia community who is in charge of leading a recently integrated group of athletes through the trials of the game, and everything involved off the field around the time it is based (1974). I watched this at a very young age and was blown away by Denzel’s strength as an actor, and the his ability to command a screen and lead this group of divided individuals together towards one common goal. Particularly in light of recent BLM movements, I think this movie is as good a watch as ever, and an important piece of history we should all look to for a message of unification and the ability to find common ground where there seems to be very little.

Hoosiers – 1986; (My Score: 10/10): This is one of my personal favorites ever. It follows the story of a small town, underdog school basketball team in Indiana, who through grit, perseverance and sheer will – and thanks to the coaching of Gene Hackman -transforms into championship contenders. Its a tale of redemption, determination, and improbable victories – everything a good sports film requires. It’s a classic, and I guarantee if you ask you parents they will have something nice to say about it. Hackman’s acting as coach Dale is exceptional, and showcases some emotional sides that he usually hides in his more serious roles we so frequently see him starring in. His assistant, Dennis Hopper, is equally enjoyable to watch alongside his boss as he battles internally and externally alongside the court to transform a group of students into true believers in themselves and their team. Outstanding score, picture-perfect sets and an underdog atmosphere set the stage for one of the greatest endings in sports movie history. Just a terrific film right here.

The Sandlot – 1993 (Score: 8/10): What story better personifies the love of baseball and childhood than Evan’s The Sandlot? It’s a childhood right of passage (at least where I come from) to watch this movie, whether you are an athlete or not. The reason this movie is so great is it is as much a sports film as a movie about growing up. While the centerpiece of the film is, quite symbolically, the sport and love of the game that keeps this team of misfits and friends together, equally important is the story of growth outside of the diamond and the adventures of this iconic young crew of pals. Is it a perfect movie? No. But it excels in being authentically about the experience of the young athlete, and the joy of playing together as a team where I certainly met many of my best friends, to this day. I think we can all relate to this one, even a little.

I could keep going, but let’s stick with this for now… What would YOU have on this list?

P.S.: Three others I would put on this list: Moneyball, Field of Dreams, and a League of Their Own.

Have an awesome week my friends.

NMF: WEEK OF AUGUST 8th – 14th, 2020

TOP 10 SONGS OF THE WEEK

1.) Shepherdess – SheHealsEverything (2016) Porter Robinson
[Electronica]

Wow. I’d say I was speechless if I didn’t have to write a little section here. August 12th was the 6th Anniversary of his first album Worlds and Porter blessed his fans with quite possibly the greatest birthday gift ever. “Shepherdess/She Heals Everything” is a live edit previously only heard at Worlds live shows. For the last 4 years, fans have desperately tried to find a full auto quality file of it, even going as far as to remake the song, with zero success. To the surprise of every single human being, Porter released it on SoundCloud with a full quality download. I could not be happier. For the last few years, I’ve told everyone about this special track. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful song ever created. These feelings and opinions stem largely in part to the visuals and vibes you experience at the live show, so I’ve included a video of it at his Second Sky performance last year. This song will be on replay most likely for the rest of my life. A 10/10 song that will leave you crying and headbanging all at the same time.

2.) The Prince Madeon
[Electronica]

New Madeon AND Porter Songs this week?! I’d call this week one of the bests for music within the last few months. A continuation of the Good Faith era, The Prince sounds like it was too dark and moody for Madeon’s sophomore album, but definitely fits the vibe. Taking some synthwave influence with his signature Madeon vocals, drums, and synths, this song should be simply labeled as “epic”. It’s a guaranteed pump up track. After debuting it at Porter’s festival Second Sky in 2019, I’ve been bumping the low quality of this for over a year now. I’ve prayed to my French God Madeon for this release, and he delivered.

3.) escape Jaron
[Electronica]

I’ve been following Jaron for about 3 years now ever since Madeon (see a trend in this top 3?) would play his song “Sonder” in his sets. Also forgot to mention that Jaron is CURRENTLY 17 YEARS OLD. So if my math is correct, I’ve been following him since he was 14. How in the world so much talent is contained in this kid is possible, I will never know. But I’m happy it is. “escape” is another masterpiece from the wonderboy. The music video is oddly similar to Porter’s “Get Your Wish” music video, but the song is just a production treasure. Jaron has this incredible ability of making his synths and supersaws sound massive while still light and airy. At only 17, the world is Jaron’s oyster and if he continues this impressive trend, we’ll be treated to some of the best produced music for years and years to come.

4.) Sweet Summer Sweat (feat. Dijon) Jim-E Stack
[Electronic]

One of the top producer’s in the world at the moment, Jim-E Stack has been dropping some fire lately. The follow-up of his previosu single “Note To Self”, “Sweet Summer Sweat” is a beautifully crafted summer-single with a catchy guitar hook and vocals borrowed from the talented Dijon. Will be bumping this on the beach (once COVID will let me) while simultaneously sweating.

5.) Why Do We Shake In The Cold? Elderbrook
[Dance]

A brand new song off his debut album “Why Do We Shake When It’s Cold?” set to be released September 4th, if the album-titled single is a foreshadow of what to expect off the album, we’re in for a treat. Elderbrook has quickly become one of my favorite dance-house producers as of late. “Why Do We Shake When It’s Cold?” provides another hauntingly beautiful vibe that Elderbrook seems to have perfected. Excited for the album release!

6.) Chicane QUIX & Juelz
[Dubstep]

Throwin’ in a heavier one for y’all. I try to limit posting my “scrambled eggs brain” music on here since I know it’s not the most popular among the general public, but I couldn’t resist with this QUIX and Juelz collab. QUIX is so damn good at producing such clean yet heavy mixes it’s absurd. And the RL Grime protege Juelz knows the formula for epic breakdowns. This banger is a collab made in heaven. Be sure to wear your neck break when listening.

7.) Buggy Yotto & Lane 8
[House]

I feel like it’d be weird to have a NMF without seeing either Yotto or Lane 8’s name on the list. The two have been consistently pumping out songs throughout 2020 with zero loss of production quality. In fact, they may continuously be getting better. “Buggy” is a melodic house journey that’ll take you deep inside your soul. The perfect song to vibe out to or drive around. Yotto and Lane 8 quite literally always deliver.

8.) Zeit & Raum Ben Böhmer
[House]

Another familiar name to NMF (and in the same “house” club as the previously mentioned Yotto and Lane 8), Ben Böhmer’s newest single is absolutely phenomenal. What are these melodic house dudes drinking cause they’ve just been pumping out quality for the last few years and show no signs of slowing down. “Zeit & Raum” is a gorgeous tune, with horns driving the melody throughout the song and that signature slappy Ben kick. Loving this tune.

8.) FleshNet Eprom
[Experimental Bass]

Eprom has been blowing up in the scene recently for good reason. His production skills are incredible, having the ability to cleanly create such complicated yet coherent mixes. He sits atop the experimental bass scene with friend G Jones creating complex sounds neatly arranged into musical numbers (somehow). For those curious about the experimental bass scene, “FleshNet” is a decent place to start. Killer 808’s & subs that’ll shake you to the core and eerie detuned synths to make feel uncomfortable, yet wanting to dance your little white collar ass off.

10.) Outta Here RL Grime & Whethan
[Trap]

Two dudes who need no introduction, I was pumped for this collab when I heard the announcement. Being completely honest, I’m a tad disappointed. It’s not bad by any means, but there’s nothing special about the track considering the two names pasted on it. Five years ago this track would’ve been a chart topper. Today, I fear it’ll get lost in the over-saturated trap anthem club. Not terrible, but I expected a whole lot more from these two.

CHECK OUT & FOLLOW THE “Best of August 2020” PLAYLIST BELOW:

BEST OF JULY 2020: TOP TRACKS OF THE MONTH

TOP 5 SONGS OF THE MONTH

5.) Problems (feat. Olan) Mat Zo
[Electronic]

Mat Zo is just a music production machine. There are very few people as respected and revered in the producer world as the British phenom is. The man behind some of my favorite songs of all time (queue “Easy” by Mat Zo & Porter Robinson next) returned this month dropping this electronic masterpiece. The vocals mixed with those slappin’ kicks and snares in the intro makes me so desperately wish I was in some steamy, sweaty nightclub somewhere in the heart of Berlin. Then come the ridiculous synths in the second drop. Zo is the Picasso of the producer world.

4.) Douha (Mali Mali) (feat. Fatoumata Diawara)Disclosure
[House]

The brother duo that needs no introduction, Disclosure has returned strong in 2020 prepping for a big album release soon. There more recent work has taken some heavy African influence which, admittedly, took some time to grow on me. The drums are the key driver of these songs and it goes without saying that they’re absolute perfection. If you have some patience with this track, my favorite part of the song comes in at 3:47 with an incredible synth section reminiscent of that classic trademarked Disclosure sound. It should go without saying that I am absolutely STOKED to see what these boys are dropping in the very near future.

3.) Blue (Flume Remix)Eiffel 65
[Future Bass]

Obviously this track was going to return to the top of the month charts. Since its release, I’ve constantly been bumping this on my work commutes. It’s just the perfect remix made by the perfect producer. Objectively (okay maybe a sprinkle of subjectivity). Flume is the best producer in the world right now.

2.) Post Humorous Gus Dapperton
[Alternative]

Prepping for his sophomore album “Orca” set to release September 18th, Gus Dapperton dropped this delightful single. A little more pop-influenced, this direction Gus seems to be taking his music is stupid exciting. His quick rise has been a treat to watch. I honestly don’t know who would call his music bad. If you were to look up “good music” in a dictionary, Gus’ face (and wild hair) would be smiling right back at you.

1.) I’m Gone Oliver Tree
[Alternative-Pop]

A meme lord, professional scooter rider, and one of the best modern alternative artists in music right now. Just a quick, condensed resume for the man known as Oliver Tree. Ugly Is Beautiful is my top Album pick for July and “I’m Gone” was the standout track in my opinion (it was a hard decision. Check out “1993” and “Jerk” as well). As the closing track of the album, it seems Oliver may be retiring the “Turbo” persona. If this is truly goodbye to Turbo, the memes may be gone, but some of the best music in pop culture at the moment is hopefully around to stay.

Check out the rest of the “Best of July 2020” Playlist below:

NMF: Week of July 18th – 24th, 2020

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO: TOP 5 ALBUMS / EPs OF THE WEEK

TOP 10 SONGS OF THE WEEK

1.) Nescience Galdive
[Electro-Pop]

If you’re looking for some chill summer feels, then look no further. Nescience oozes early Louis the Child vibes. From it’s beautiful piano chord progression in the intro, to the dancey filter envelope synths, this song is treat throughout it’s whole duration.

2.) Hurting On Purpose (feat. K.Flay) Whethan
[Electronic]

The Chicago native Whethan joins up with the incredibly talented K.Flay for this brand new summer banger. The perfect combination of pop and some pretty heavy electro, Hurting On Purpose is just another weapon added to Whethan’s arsenal. Not sure it’s possible for him to drop a bad song.

3.) KEEP MOVING BRONSON
[Electronica]

When Odesza and Golden Features announced their new collaborative project, I was excited, but had zero idea what to expect. What the pair have been releasing isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I’m glad I was wrong. This heavy four-to-the-floor style may not be too familiar to Odesza fans (more of Golden Features’ expertise), but my lord is it banging.

4.) Central Time (feat. Mick Jenkins) Vansire
[Dream-Pop]

The duo known as Vansire has been quickly becoming one of my favorite indie groups. With the release of their single Central Time, it just adds further validity to their rising stock. Merging their familiar indie sound with some Mick Jenkins hip-hop vocals has me continuously hitting the play button today on this track.

5.) Pac-Man (feat. ScHoolboy Q) Gorillaz
[Alternative]

In my opinion, this “Song Machine” series that Gorillaz has been releasing music under has been some of their best work in years. Their song Aries released back in April has been on constant replay for me since and Pac-Man might be another finding its way into my playlists. Borrowing vocals from ScHoolboy Q, this mellow yet still oddly energizing track is nothing short of magic.

6.) 90′ IROC-Z (feat. Wiz Khalifa) Curren$y & Harry Fraud
[Hip-Hop]

Loving this stretch of songs with 90’s hip-hop instrumentals being released lately. And what could be more perfect than a feature from none other than Wiz Khalifa to join Curren$y and Harry Fraud on this fresh vibe. The whole The Outrunners album Curren$y and Harry Fraud dropped today is great. But this song is definitely a standout.

7.) Library Theme Dumage
[Lo-Fi / Jazz-Hop]

What makes a song easy to listen to? I guess we should ask Dumage (whoever that may be) since this short but sweet track nails it on all fronts. The jazzy piano melody and chord progressions are simple to the ears, yet eloquent and complex to make it interesting.

8.) Problems (feat. Olan) Mat Zo
[Electronic Dance]

One of my favorite British boys, the always intricate and never boring Mat Zo just dropped some of my favorite work of his. Dancey and heavy in the verses while tying it together with some beautiful vocals and harmonies in the choruses, Zo knows how to keep his listeners happy. Zo knows…

9.) Get Your Wish (DJ NOT PORTER ROBINSON REMIX) Porter Robinson
[Electronic]

Finally Porter is giving his fans what they want…kind of. After releasing the Anamanaguchi remix of his song Get Your Wish last week, Porter returns this week with a remix that is most certainly NOT Porter Robinson. This sped up, chopped up re-imagination of the original song kinda gives me Virtual Self vibes (NOT Porter Robinson) and is another additional take to the incredible single. However, fans still have their fingers crossed we’ll see a new single soon. In the meantime, I’ll not not settle with DJ NOT PORTER ROBINSON…whoever that may be.

10.) What You Said (feat. Manela) MADDOW
[House]

BANGER ALERT. There’s just something about a four-to-the-floor pattern, groovy bass beat, and those defining female house vocals that I just can’t get enough of. What You Said is gonna make you wanna shuffle them footsies even if you don’t know how. But that’s the beauty of rave culture’s judgement free zone. You’re free to dance like a seal with epilepsy if you want.

TOP 5 ALBUMS / EPs OF THE WEEK

1.) George Clanton and Nick Hexum George Clanton & Nick Hexum
[Alternative]

I have been absolutely loving everything this duo has been putting out recently. When they dropped their initial single, I was a little let down we weren’t seeing solo George Clanton work. But Nick Hexum’s vocals have truly grown on me and mixed over George’s production is what the French call “le magnifique!”. Another album that just oozes Summer vibes, be sure to bump this until the leaves change.

2.) Wherever You Go / Reflecting Light The Avalanches
[Alternative / Electronic]

I feel like I cheated on this one as it’s more just two singles than an EP, but let me get excited for new Avalanches. The Aussie music group dropped Since I Left You back in 2000, which is widely considered one of the greatest electronic music albums of all time and cemented their position as trend setters. These two singles are overflowing with features from talented artists, like Jamie xx. Reflecting Light is definitely the standout track for me and gets me hoping we’ll see a full length album soon from the group in the near future.

3.) The OutRunners Curren$y & Harry Fraud
[Hip-Hop]

If you looked through my top songs of the week, you may have seen 90′ IROC-Z crack the list. After listening through the rest of the album, I knew I would be crazy to not throw it on the Top Albums list as well. This vibe is unrivaled. Old school hip-hop sounds courtesy of Harry Fraud’s production throughout, mixed with incredible smooth flow from Curren$y’s vocals. If hip-hop continues this trend, we may see a nostalgic revival.

4.) FINISH LINE EP SpeedStr
[Speed-House]

FINISH LINE EP by SpeedStr on SoundCloud - Hear the world's sounds

Who is SpeedStr?!? Popping up out of absolutely nowhere and feeding everyone the “Speed House” they never knew they needed, people in the electronic music scene are buzzing over this masked racer.

5.) Sad in Scandinavia (Part 1) Seeb
[Electronic Dance]

June Weekend Flicks Part 2: 12 Years as a Slave, Deadpool, Air Force One, Annihilation, etc.

Back to it… let’s finish the list (for now)!

12 Years as a Slave (2016) – Drama, Timepiece – Score: (9/10): This is a film I went into viewing quite ignorantly, to be honest, as in I had no idea what to expect. I was shocked I hadn’t gotten around to seeing it after its high praise at the Oscars several years back. I was truly and deeply affected by what I witnessed in ways I really didn’t ever anticipate. The experience I had watching this film was one of the most uncomfortable, painful, physically gut-wrenching, sad and heartless, all while exploring stories of the horrors of slavery during the first half of the 1800’s. The sheer depiction of brutality, the incredibly ambitious focus on the slave trade and all its depravity in every conceivable way was bold to say the least. But it conveyed the message it was looking to convey in the absolutely best way possible. Every 15 minutes or less, I found myself cringing and physically sick to my stomach watching anything from brutal treatment of the slaves by the slave owners, whippings, poor living conditions, tense moments… it really had it all. And what really put the icing on the cake for this one is that it accomplished it’s intended affect in the most profound way possible. I left this movie feeling no resolution, no sense of satisfaction, no redemption, no feelings of joy or happiness – just a shallow shell of sadness and grief that this poor man had been through so much for reasons he never deserved in the first place.

And the worst part is – none of the men and women who treated he and his fellow slaves throughout the film EVER received any sort of punishment or redemption. It made me physically angry and I was shouting in my head demanding justice for these humans who had been treated worse than animals for hundreds of years without an afterthought at the hands of the slave owners. It was the most accurate depiction of slavery I have certainly ever seen, and I’d imagine one of the best ever made. This movie is not easy to watch, believe me. It hurts, and it leaves you feeling incredibly drained. But you have to power through – because it provides an enlightenment into an era swept under the rug of american history as if it never really happened. The fact that so many Americans had the pure evil and broken moral compass to perform this horrid shit makes me question so much about humanity and what, deep down, the kind of evils so many of us hide within us. Cultural beliefs and years of appropriation are dangerous tools, and I can only hope that in our new day and age, we can continue to recognize (and I genuinely think we are doing a food job doing it right now) that every life has value, regardless of their background, skills, intelligence, race, etc. We are all humans, all deserving of the same manner of respect and opportunity as our fellow man, so long as we are not infringing negatively on the lives of others. All in all, this movie should be shown to anyone questioning slavery or what it really meant in the early days of our ignorant country. Times change, people change, and cultures change – but these things take time, far too much time to the point where the affects of slavery are still being felt in society today. This film showed me he horrors men can do when pushed into a society that enables their behavior, even when it lacks any complacence of a moral compass. And that, genuinely, scares me. What a powerful, fantastic film – although one I font think I will ever be able to watch again.

Deadpool – 2016 – Action/Comedy – Score: (4/10). Sorry Ryan, I think you’re a great guy and all, but what was the hype about? This is a C+ action flick at best. I mean yeah, the action scenes were well done and clever, exciting and climactic (although you knew Ryan was always gonna pull through, obviously because the due is literally superman healing strength which made it much less appealing to me). I think me and Simon (my viewing buddy) realized about 1/3 of the way through that the constant, constant commentary from Reynolds character became so annoying that we almost had to stop watching completely. It was so damn in love with himself that I wanted him to actually get the shit kicked out of him half of the time. The humor was directed at the 10-18 year old demographic (which is fine), but like it also had these incredibly violent scenes and some sexual innuendos everywhere. I didn’t really see any clear direction on where this was going, who it was for, or why it was even made. Acting was sub par to say the least. Save your money (and time) and explore something else.

Air Force One (1997) – Action/Thriller – Score: (6.5/10) – I’ve been on a Harrison Ford kick lately, and honestly I’m loving it. This was your classic Ford scenario, a well loved and respected intelligent character, thrust into an incredibly dangerous and outrageously serious situation where the offs are no incredibly stacked against him. In this case, being the sole free man on a hijacked plane full of hostages. Instead of escaping (which he totally could have done 1/3 of the way through the film), he chose to pull his routine bad-ass trend and stay with the ship to save his family and crew. I had a lot of fun with this one, and loved the tension, the buildup before every encounter, and the epic conclusion that leaves you more satisfied than ever. Oh, and this film is PACKED full of big name actors, like it’s actually outrageous and made the whole like like 10x more entertaining. Gary Oldman as the terrorist leader was such an great surprise (HUGE fan). It has its share of cornball moments (as to be expected), but let;s be real – you can have a great time with this movie with not too much serious investment. A Terrific popcorn film and fun the whole way through. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a good hostage situation though (I’m thinking Die Hard or something to that affect).

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – Epic/Action/Adventure – Score: (10/10): This film deserves all the praise it gets, truly. It is an incredible, amazing, groundbreaking film simply from a cinematography perspective that helped influence countless directors on their paths towards greatness for many years to come. There is really nothing in this movie that is poorly done – nearly every scene, every piece of dialogue, every cut, take, angle and shot was so deliberately constructed that you can tell David Lean’s director was instrumental in crafting this masterpiece. Oh and he also directed The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India – just to name a few. The man has a taste for epics, and this is his magnum opus in every sense of the world. The setting itself is gorgeous and draws you in from the moment Lawrence arrives in the hostile desert environment. The sights the sounds, the colors, the culture – it is all captured so artistically and beautifully in settings both small (a bar or restaurant) or across the sweeping dunes of Arabia. My only gripe about this film is that it is quite long (like we’re talking its broken into two-parts, long). But hey, it is a true Epic in every sense of the word, and it deserves its time on screen – very little is wasted. The standout acting performance from  Peter O’Toole as the enigmatic British hero of the first World War is beyond amazing and will have you hooked early as you follow his amazing journey into the battlefields of Northern Africa and beyond, driven by his own moral compass and a strong intuition and incredibly tactical mind that one would never expect from a man in his position. I really can’t say enough about the cinematography and filming here, though. The shots of the Moroccan desert brought me back to travels many years back and gave me this nostalgic feeling I really enjoyed. The scenes of Toole traversing the desert, the shots of him leading his men into battle, and the ginormous scope of the film is just extraordinary for its time and place in the history of film. It is, without a doubt, one of the finest films ever made. and the best part, it was filmed in 1962!!! Incredible. It touches on so many intense, real, visceral themes of life, including authority, respect, passion, morality, courage and inner strength and bundles it into one astounding package. A movie for every film buff, indeed.

The House of the Devil Score: (7/10): this film was a refreshing take on the horror/slasher genre (I tend to stay away from Slasher-types in general), and I was very pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of this film. A mysterious caller requests a babysitting job at an odd hour which brings a young teenage girl to the home of she accepts a babysitting job even after she finds out there is no baby. Mr. and Mrs. Ulman are the older couple who lure Sam out to their creeky Victorian mansion deep in the woods, just in time for a total lunar eclipse. Victor at first seems like just a creepy guy lurking around the house, but quickly makes it clear that Sam will end this night in a bloody fight for her life. There are plenty of throwbacks to the tense movies of Halloween, and Friday the 13th, but I really enjoyed how they went their own way with this one. The atmosphere this film builds is terrific, and in my opinion is one of the most essential elements to any successful or actually impactful horror or thriller film. Lots of vert TENSE moments spent wandering the house, looking for clues and trying to figure out what the hell was going on – which really helped me as a viewer step into her shoes in a way many movies fail to do so. Worth a watch!

James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Action/Spy – (Score: 8/10) Not much to say here, just a perfect action film. I’ve seen every bond film at least once and regularly come back for a showing when I’m needing a little popcorn time. I’m a massive bond fan (as I’ve said before and a sucker for Pierce Brosnan flicks for some reason. This particular one takes you down a complex rabbit hole, following the exploits of a media mogul mastermind (strangely reminiscent of the word of today – hint-hint) who is scheming to start a war to capture all of the media coverage across the world, utilizing his international conglomerate of media leaders to drive terror in the headlines and create fear. “Words are the new weapons” according to our villian, and in many ways, this holds truer now more than ever. Certainly one of my favorite bond villains because he is so distinctly different from many (and played by the wnderful Johnathan Price) ho usually are just trying to cause mass destruction or chaos. While this is not entirely NOT his goal, they way he approaches it through the lens of the media s a powerful and interesting take on how the world responds to information , particularly the biggest news headkubes, and how they shape our world in eery conceivable way. Aside from that, youve got some amazing action as always, a fun bond girl who can actually hold her own in Michelle Yeoh, and Brosnan leading the charge from submarine to scuba to bike to car to anywhere in between. Great gunfights, stunts – everything is really on point here. I think it’s my favorite Brosnan behind Goldeneye and the World is not Enough. Maybe I am biased as a bond fanatic, but man, these movies always get me, despite the underlying cliches and corniness that are inevitable.

Annihilation (2018) – Sci/Fi / Horror. (Score: 8/10)

I had this movie recommended to me by a friend who commended it as being both a thriller and “psychedelic”. I can confirm it was both of those two, and a whole lot more. This is a movie that I think you should go into blindly, like we did – no preconceived notions. All you need to know is Natalie Portman stars, and that’s good enough for me. The pacing on this film is fantastic, while watching, we felt like the 2 hour run time went by in 20 minutes, we were gripped and genuinely intrigued by what was going to happen to the crew of misfits investigating this strange, unexplainable new world. It takes you into the hearts and minds of these characters, without much semblance of backstory (which worked very well for some reason), in the sense that you are sort of thrown into this situation without too much context or general information on where, what, why, or how the “thing” as I will refer to it, is happening. That is vague as hell, I know. but in a nutshell I would describe it as much more of a sci-fi / psychedelic thriller with a lovely ending that can be left up to the viewers interpretation. I’d highly recommend this one.

That.s enough for now – plenty more coming in the next few weeks! stay tuned my friends and thanks for reading 🙂 love y’all

NMF: WEEK OF JULY 11th – 17th, 2020

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO: TOP 5 ALBUMS / EPs OF THE WEEK

TOP 10 SONGS OF THE WEEK

1.) DesireBob Moses & ZHU
[Deep House / Electronic]

The first single of Bob Moses’ upcoming album. The collab with ZHU is breathtaking and even comes with an interactive music video which can be found here.

2.) Friends Rome in Silver, Chae
[Electronic]

Get familiar with this dude cause I’ll be posting him a lot. Incredible production from the Huntington Beach native with amazing vocals provided by Chae.

3.) Note To Self (feat, Empress Of) Jim-E Stack
[Electronic]

Jim-E Stack is a producer legend and delivers on this hopeful yet nostalgic piece. Check out his entire discography and prepare to be impressed.

4.) twenty20 Maxime
[Alt-Pop]

Maxime is an artist I’ve been closely following since I discovered him. Every release has been more impressive than the last. The Canadian is scheduled to release a new album in late-2020 we’re excited to hear

5.) When You’re Dreaming Kaskade & Finnstagram
[Lo-Fi]

Kaskade, who sits atop dance music Mt. Rushmore, dropped an unexpected but incredible Lo-Fi track with Finnstagram.

6.) Answers Au5
[Electro]

Au5 bringing the heat and funk all in one track. Incredibly diverse yet still organized and satisfying, this song will surely be on repeat for some time to come.

7.) Run Lane 8 & Kasablanca
[Melodic House]

One of my favorite house producers, it’s almost a guarantee that any Lane 8 song is going to be incredible. And as usual, the Colorado native delivers teaming up with Kasablanca for a house hit.

8.) Get Your Wish (Anamanaguchi Remix) Porter Robinson
[Indietronica / Alternative]

While fans were a bit disappointed it wasn’t a new Porter Robinson single dropped on Wednesday for Porter’s birthday, the Anamanaguchi remix of “Get Your Wish” is a fantastic consolation prize. The group from New York are experts in creating electronic rock (not even sure that’s a true genre) and always show the edges music can be taken to. Check out their incredible Secret Sky Set on YouTube!

9.) Rain On Me (Purple Disco Machine Remix)Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
[Nu-Disco]

Purple Disco Machine has been murdering the remix scene lately, giving funky disco house makeovers to songs you never knew you needed. Lady Gaga’s most recent album did a fantastic job bridging the gap between commercial pop and dance music, but PDM gives dance music fans that little extra push to perfection.

10.) Tear It UpEliminate & Shaquille O’Neal
[Dubstep]

Yes you read that correctly. Shaquille O’Neal has ditched the basketball and picked up CDJs under the name DJ Diesel over the last couple years. He’s even DJ’d legendary festival Tommorrowland spinning to the excited, yet understandably confused European crowd. But all credit here should be going to Eliminate who, in my opinion, is near the top of the Bass Music producers list. The LA based bass producer has the ability to create diverse projects while still retaining that signature “Eliminate” sound. Great move adding Shaq into his song to get some exposure and this music video is A+.

TOP 5 ALBUMS / EPs OF THE WEEK

1.) Ugly Is BeautifulOliver Tree
[Alternative Rock / Pop Rock]

After a few album delays, fans weren’t sure if we’d ever see the release of Oliver’s first album. But patience has paid off and Oliver has exceeded all expectations. Oliver Tree’s style is incredibly unique, blending multiple genres into a cohesive masterpiece. Don’t think that his goofy persona means he makes goofy music. This album is a showcase of impressive musical talent with top notch production that will hook you from start to finish. I’ve already listened to it multiple times through.

2.) Brightest Blue – Ellie Goulding
[Pop]

Ellie will always have a special place in my heart as a dance music fan for the many times she’s lent her voice to some of EDM’s biggest names. But Goulding is probably bigger than each of those artists now. Even my mom knew who she was when she performed at half-time for the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. And today, she’s proved yet again why she’s one of music’s biggest stars. Goulding is uncompromisable. She has a vision and makes what she wants, which is rare today in the industry from such a big act. Brightest Blue proves yet again why she’s on top.

3.) Infinite Structure EP – Shadient
[Experimental Bass]

Shadient skyrocketed to the top of the bass scene within the last few years after deservingly garnering the attention of top producers like Porter Robinson, NGHTMRE, and more. Experimental bass is a pretty broad term, but just by listening to this three song EP, you’ll completely understand what that genre means. Crazy sounds perfectly placed to create a soundscape you’ve never heard and probably will never hear again. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the 21 year old London native, so be on the lookout. Check out his recent Reddit AMA to learn more about the producer extraordinaire.

4.) The Light Pack EP Joey Bada$$
[Hip-Hop]

This EP feels like a breath of fresh air for the hip-hop scene. Joey even states it’s “the mumble rap extermination”, which I’m completely on board with. My only critic is that it’s only three songs and leaves me wanting more. The instrumentals give me a 90s hip-hop vibe and with Joey’s incredible voice, flow, and lyrics, it’s a recipe for one hell of an EP.

5.) Delta / Bartok EP – Nora En Pure
[Melodic House]

If you haven’t heard of Nora En Pure, prepare for an introspective experience with this highly anticipated two song EP. Don’t let her beauty fool you. The South African native is a trend setter in the dance music scene and knows how to get you shuffling while simultaneously crying your eyes out.