Photos, videos, words and autographs obtained by G.
If you are unfamiliar with any of these bands, songs or albums listed below, I urge you to open your mind and check them out. Maybe they won’t be your taste or maybe they will change your life! And now… According2g.com’s top 15 albums + songs of 2015!!!
Currents by Tame Impala
“Currents” by Tame Impala. By now you should know I am obsessed with this band. They fuse psychedelic rock and and pop seamlessly on this album, their third, and I can’t get enough of it. Lead singer Kevin Parker’s voice sounds like a fusion of John Lennon and George Harrison with a little bit of reverb on his vocals. The opening track “Let It Happen” is over 7 minutes long and I listen to it over and over and over again and months later, I am still not sick of it. By now you’d think I’d have the lyrics memorized, but the processing on his voice makes the end part sound like he’s signing “Shoobie doobie doobie” to me. And I’m not complaining! It makes me smile every time I put this song on repeat. The songs on “Currents” move away from being so rock oriented and this collection of tracks are the grooviest songs Tame Impala has done to date. If this is the direction they are headed in, I am ready to take the ride. I recommend this album, but if albums aren’t your thing, check out “The Less I Know The Better,” “Let It Happen,” “Eventually,” “Cause I’m A Man” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” If those songs don’t rock your world, we are no longer friends
Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey
2. “Honeymoon” by Lana Del Rey. I’m really glad the world finally stopped hating Lana Del Rey and came to the realization that there is no one else out there in the music scene that is like her. From her dark lyrics to her noir-esque music, Lana’s songs sound like mini 5 minute soundtracks to David Lynch films that don’t exist yet. Love her or hate her, no one else opens an album with a 6 minute song that is nearly a capella, save for an orchestral arrangement when the name of the song is sung. Her lyrics are badass (“you could be a bad motherfucker, but that don’t make you a man”) but she still gets her heart broken (“Ever since my baby went away, it’s been the blackest day/ All I hear is Billie Holliday/ It’s all that I play”) and in between she name checks legends and talks about many of our favorite subjects including getting high by the beach, appreciating art deco and invites you to move to California and become a freak like her. Oh Lana, you have my heart!
Alex Kapranos of FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks)
3. “FFS” by FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks). Who would have thought pairing 90s rockers Franz Ferdinand and 70s duo Sparks would have been such a great idea, but whoever matched these two bands up deserves a medal. The 16 song (if you have the deluxe edition) album is as theatrical as a Broadway show and has enough grooves and quirky lyrics to make you listen to this album repeatedly, whilst occasionally laughing out loud at the absurdity. The opener “Johnny Delusional” talks about not being attractive and trying to impress a hot woman. With song titles like “Dictator’s Son,” “The Man Without a Tan,” “The Power Couple,” the band knows how to take the piss out of themselves. In fact, the regular edition of the album closes out with “Collaborations Don’t Work,” and “Piss Off” which is obviously telling critics to piss off, since the results of this collaboration (that does work!) are some of the best work either band has done. The deluxe edition features the song “So Many Bridges” and just from hearing the title, you think it’s going to be a reflective song, and instead they sing about how there are “so many bridges in the world to jump off from.” This album rules!
4. “Thirty One” by Jarryd James. Jarryd James is a singer/songwriter from Australia who has a nice mixture of soul, R&B and pop in his songs. In the age of the piano ballad that makes you want to slit your wrists, Jarryd James is the relief as his music has a beat and many times, a funky little groove. His album has yet to make a splash in America, but I think with the right marketing, he has the potential to be a big star. I happened to see that he was playing a concert in New York and the promoter inserted a youtube link to his track “Do You Remember?” and I pressed play, heard about 5 seconds of the song and said “I need to see this guy sing.” It was a great decision and I enjoyed every song I heard that night and when his album came out, I found the same love for every track on the record. If you are looking for a starting point, let me recommend “Give Me Something” (for a more upbeat taste) and if you need a slow jam, check out “High.” I really hope Jarryd’s career takes off because I love this album so much. I am looking forward to hearing more from Jarryd James and you should be too!
5. “25” by Adele. Hello! A brilliant album of sad songs. Adele is so charming when she is interviewed (I’ve met her 3 times and I can confirm the charm), her laugh makes the world a brighter place. But sad songs are her specialty, so we’ve gotta let Adele be Adele. Luckily songs like “Send my Love (To Your New Lover)” and “Water Under the Bridge” give us a glimpse of Adele when she is at her most up beat. The world is her oyster, so hopefully we will get a tour and more music without having to wait years in between. But Adele lives by her schedule perhaps if more artists did that, we’d get more artful works such as “25.”
6. “Dopamine” by Borns. If T. Rex were alive and making music with the band MGMT in the age of the millennial, it would sound a lot like Borns. His songs are groovy and soulful with a little bit of psychedelia mixed in. You’ve got to watch the video for his single “Electric Love,” and if the song and video don’t blow you away, then try the title track “Dopamine,” which will have you repeating the chorus “wanna feel that stream of dopamine” over and over again. “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “The Emotion” are two of my favorite songs on this great debut. If you scour the archives of this site, you will find videos of Garrett Borns covering Bowie and Elton John. You’re welcome!
7. “Back In Time” by Judith Hill. Judith Hill is so bad ass! She’s sung backing vocals for a list of legends including Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson and for her latest album “Back in Time,” Prince produced it! This production gives us a throwback to the purple proteges of the 1980s when every song on the record is great and it sounds like a Prince production. I saw Judith Hill perform a few of these songs live and the studio renditions don’t do her voice justice because this woman can SING! If you don’t throw your hands up church style when you hear songs like “Cry Cry Cry,” you might need to get your ears checked. “As Trains Go By,” the album’s opener is that funk that is sorely missing from Prince’s own output these days and “Jammin’ in the Basement” will make you do just that. Hopefully the world will catch on to the amazing Judith Hill because she deserves to have a career as great and powerful as her voice.
8. “Kylie Christmas” by Kylie Minogue. Aside from a handful of rock songs, I typically despise Christmas music. I was pleasantly surprised to find Kylie Minogue’s Christmas record to be a mix of classic x-mas songs with traditional arrangements (“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” “Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” where they’ve seamlessly spliced in Frank Sinatra’s voice) to 1980’s covers (“2000 Miles” by the Pretenders, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses – but Kylie’s version is paired with Iggy Pop! and “Only You,” a Yaz(oo) cover “Only You” paired with funny man James Corden – proving he’s got a nice set of pipes) to a disco Christmas song – “100 Degrees,” a duet with her sister, Danii Minogue. It’s got a little something for everyone and you’ll need the deluxe edition if you want some of the better tracks on the album. Ho Ho Ho!
9. “Caracal” by Disclosure. Not as strong as their debut, the sophomore release from the cute Lawrence brothers has some really strong tracks. In fact, when the tracks are strong, they hit it out of the park and when they are weak, they are little more than album filler. Their collaborations with The Weeknd (“Nocturnal”), Sam Smith (“Omen”) and Lorde (“Magnets”) make you wish they would do full albums with these artists.
10 “Uptown Special” by Mark Ronson. Mark Ronson + Kevin Parker of Tame Impala = G Heaven. There are in fact 3 collaborations with the pair including “Daffodils,” which is a track so funky, I’ve had it on repeat a lot this year. But the collaborations don’t stop there, Ronson also works again with Andrew Wyatt of the electronic group Miike Snow (sic) as well as producer Jeff Bhasker and there’s even a little bit of Stevie Wonder’s harmonica featured to open the album. The record also features the mega smash “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars, and to be honest, Bruno’s music is so derivative to my ears that this song sort of sounds like a Saturday Night Live parody of Eddie Murphy doing James Brown, but that’s just me. The music is funky though, and that’s what matters. This record is a little patchy in comparison to Ronson’s last effort “Record Collection,” but I still love it.
11. “The Gates” by Young Empires. There is no greater champion for this band than me, and I was so excited that their full length debut record has finally seen the light of day. Their music is dance rock, funk punk or “haute rock” as they like to say. Call it what you want, there are 10 tracks to shake your ass on the dance floor and some of my favorite songs are the reggae tinged “Never Die Young,” “So Cruel,” and “Mercy.” Below, you can check out a live version of “Sunshine.” Apologies for it being so dark – that’s rock and roll!
Matt Bellamy of Muse
12. “Drones” by Muse. Not their strongest album, but there are so many Muse moments, from their very political lyrics, to Matt Bellamy’s high pitched voice, stadium anthem ready choruses and my favorite moment on the album – the song “Revolt” where Matt Bellamy tells the listener to do exactly that! FUCK YEAH MUSE!
Bernard Sumner of New Order
13. “Music Complete” by New Order. Peter Hook is noticeably absent on bass, but there are guest stars a plenty that range from good “Superheated” (featuring Brandon Flowers of The Killers) to really good “Tutti Frutti” and “People on the High Line” (featuring Elly Jackson of LaRoux) to cringe worthy “Stray Dog” (featuring Iggy Pop). The strongest tracks on the record, according2g are the obvious tribute to Peter Hook “Unlearn This Hatred” and “Plastic.”
Simon LeBon of Duran Duran
14. “Paper Gods” by Duran Duran. Duran Duran’s career in the 2000s has been all over the map as they released the near-career killing, but mostly pleasant “Pop Trash,” the comeback, but not hugely popular album “Astronaut,” the absolutely horrible “Red Carpet Massacre” (PLEASE don’t ever work with Timbaland again), the criminally underrated “All You Need Is Now” and the spotty “Paper Gods.” As FFS somewhat rightly noted in entry number 3, collaborations don’t work. This rings true for some truly WTF moments as DD have collaborated with Kieza on the otherwise good track “Last Night In the City” but she over-divas her vocals and that has no business on a Duran Duran album. The first single “Pressure Off” also suffers from the ill conceived collaboration with Janelle Monae. Don’t count Duran Duran out though – their live show is still great and Simon LeBon’s voice sounds better than it has in years. They perhaps need to just focus on their strengths which are best made with the 4 remaining members of the band.
15. “Unbreakable” by Janet Jackson. It’s just so good to hear Janet sing again after the death of her brother and almost a decade long hiatus, she could sing the phone book and it would have made the list. Don’t ever leave us again Janet! And check out “No Sleeep” (sic). It’s classic JJ!
16 / 17. “Rebel Heart” by Madonna and “Black Messiah” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard. Both of these albums were released at the end of 2014, so they don’t really count. Well, Madonna’s record leaked over 6 months early and didn’t see an official release until 2015, but the versions she picked to give the fans something different than what leaked are nearly all inferior to the leaked versions. A pity, since this was Madonna’s strongest studio effort in a decade! On the other hand, “Black Messiah” is a fucking masterpiece by the recluse of R&B, D’Angelo. Every song on it is not only great, but essential listening. Let’s hope he is inspired, after the universal love he got for this album, to continue to release music in intervals shorter than every 14 years.
Here are my Top 15 songs of 2015. I’m going to save the commentary, so seek out these tracks!
Erik Hassle – “No Words”
Nervo (featuring Jake Shears, Kylie Minogue, Nile Rodgers) – “The Other Boys”
To catch you up on a few of the great concerts I’ve seen recently, here are world exclusive live video performances from Madonna, Hozier, Duran Duran, Tame Impala and Adam Lambert. This will surely become your favorite According2g.com post ever, so please enjoy! Please disregard any heads that get in your way of enjoying these great videos! I’m a one man operation, so I’ve done the best I possibly can
If you like these videos, follow me on Instagram @according2g for even more goodies. And now… world exclusive performances just for you!
Madonna performing “La Vie En Rose” and “Unapologetic Bitch” (featuring Amy Schumer) live at Madison Square Garden on September 16, 2015:
Bonus Madonna! Here’s the Queen of Mean doing “Burning Up”
Here’s Hozier singing his mega-hit “Take Me To Chruch” live at Radio City Music Hall on September 29, 2015
Speaking of Radio City Music Hall, here’s “Let It Happen” live by Tame Impala in NYC at Radio City Music Hall on October 6, 2015
Here’s Duran Duran singing “Pressure Off” from their most recent release “Paper Gods” at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 8, 2015
Last but not least, Adam Lambert singing “Ghost Town” from The Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 8, 2015
Born on the same day: Grace Jones and According2g.com. Photo taken by a complete stranger.
5 years ago on this very day, I launched the website According2g.com. The impetus for this site was simple – I was sick of seeing so many corporate sites not give you the “real” scoop on the hottest art events and concerts. I was tired of watching countless websites kiss celebrity ass or hate on them not based on in person experiences but instead based solely on following the pack instead of leading the way by copying popular internet opinion. In short, it was “Us vs. Them” and I decided to be an alternative for US so we didn’t have to support THEM to get our information. They say to be the change you want to see in the world, so that’s exactly what I did and have continued to do 5 years on.
With that thought process, in 5 years, I’ve written:
over 6,600 posts (which averages to over 3 posts a day, 7 days a week)
posted 365 concert videos
written about 830 celebrity “Encounters with G”
reviewed 900 Art exhibits
reviewed 825 concerts
and wrote essays about 225 social observations, all the while posting over 13,000 world exclusive photos that I took! I typically only write about events where I could find something positive to say. I’d estimate that less than 2% of all the blogs I’ve written are based in negativity – occasionally, doing my “job” as a journalist, I felt it was my duty to call out a celebrity on their bullshit, but overall if I had nothing nice to say, I just chose not to write about it. Can you say the same about your other favorite sites on the internet? DOUBTFUL!
In those 5 years, I’ve clocked several million page views, certain artists/bands/websites/celebrities that I admired from afar are now my friends and either my words have been quoted, my picture has appeared or my videos have been reposted on nearly every website and music magazine that I’ve spent most of my life being a fan of (from New Music Express to Rolling Stone to The Daily Mail!). I’ve heard more times than I can count that my images in a Google search or story I’ve posted made a positive impact in someone’s life – that’s always been the goal, so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I get stopped in the street occasionally with people wanting to take MY photo; I was recruited by MTV to host an episode of their show “Weird Vibes” and to those who know what a huge fan of MTV I’ve been for the majority of my life, that a major life accomplishment! Also, the statistics I posted above (which are not easy to accomplish) are not matters of opinion. Quite the opposite, they are facts and these are facts that you will not find on nearly ANY other blog on the entire internet. Trust me, I’ve looked! For that and more, I express my deepest gratitude! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
It’s not all wine and roses, as they say, and I’ve experienced a lot of really bad stuff too. Sadly, as it turns out, many of the people that at the beginning of this quest that I thought were “US” have turned out to be “THEM,” and again, this applies from the people behind the scenes in publicity and marketing all the way up to the artists (in all genres) themselves. If you’ve learned nothing else from this site, you should know that plenty of A-listers have reached the top and are also nice people, so I’d like to remind you that it CAN be done! I’d also like to remind everyone that these communities are not necessarily mainstream all across the world, so here’s two of the golden rules that I live by: One – you can catch flies easier by using honey instead of vinegar. Two – get over yourselves!!! You could have it so much worse, so be grateful that anyone even cares about you and your art.
Since According2g.com came into being 5 years ago, the way people consume news has changed dramatically (whereby anything longer than paragraph is now considered a “think piece”), everyone seems to just want a disposable photo (that they probably didn’t take themselves), focusing on a negative story instead of something positive is championed and Google and anti-social media sites such as Facebook want you to pay them to reach your followers that you grew organically (brilliant for them, but really crappy for people like me as this model makes it impossible to make a living off blogging), so what is the alternative? I’m an artist in my own right – composing song lyrics, writing books of poetry, making abstract paintings and I’m currently working on a coffee table book. These types of projects (and I’m open to collaboration, so please hit me up!) are going to be taking precedence and I can’t tell you where the next stop on the journey is, but each day and each step of the way fills me with excitement.
To those that have gone on this journey with me and are still with me, I thank you unconditionally for your love and support. It means the world to me.
PS. The photo above is me with Grace Jones, taken backstage after her show at the now defunct Roseland Ballroom in 2012. She invited me backstage after she picked me out of 3,000 people in the crowd to dance on stage with her! It was not only one of my “signature” and essential New York moments (which once again proves that if you put yourself out there, ANYTHING can happen), but Miss Grace Jones and According2g.com share the same birthday. So happy birthday to us both!
4 years ago on this day, I launched According2g.com. At the time, I had no idea where the path would lead, but I just put one foot in front of the other, took out my camera, snapped some photos and started writing – 7 days a week!
Flash forward 4 years later and because of this blog, I am now friends or friendly with so many of my heroes. I’ve had the oppotunity to see and meet nearly all of my living heroes in the realms of music and art. My stories have been reposted on home pages of internet titans and some of my favorite bands, which continues to blow my mind. Earlier this year, a video I took of the closest thing we’ll probably ever get to a Smiths reunion and the went viral and landed me on Rolling Stone and NME’s website, two publications I’ve been reading ever since I was a child! Because of this blog, I had the opportunity to host an episode of “Weird Vibes” for MTV, a channel I’ve been watching since it launched in 1981. Because of this blog, I’ve had the chance to talk to hundreds of my idols and for all of these things and so much more, I am eternally grateful!
In addition, since I launched this blog, here’s a few “by the numbers” statistics:
– I’ve written approximately 700 posts about encounters with some of the world’s biggest celebrities, artists and rock stars.
– I’ve written close to 800 concert reviews.
– I’ve written over 800 posts about art exhibitions.
– There are 1460 days in a 4 year period and the only counting these reviews and experiences, in 6,300 plus posts, I’ve experienced over 2,300 events, which equates to over 2 events in a day, 7 days a week!!! I challenge ANY blog in the world to live up to these standards: taking your own photos, experiencing the events first hand and writing about them, 7 days a week. Many other blogs are much more successful than me, but they are nowhere near as hard working. And that is a fact!
I will not lie and tell you that this blog has helped my bank account as of this writing (but it’s coming, so I’m not worried), but no matter what happens, these amazing life changing experiences can never be stripped from me and that is something you cannot put a price on.
I would also like to put it out there in the world that I am looking to host or appear on more art/rock/celebrity based shows and also would love to collaborate with artists on songs. If you didn’t know, I’ve been known to write some pretty kick-ass song lyrics (however, I cannot write music, so I need your help!) I would also like to work with artists on a new line of T-shirts that I have brewing in my head, so if you or anyone you know can help me achieve these goals, please get in touch.
Back to the blog…
I thank all my readers for sharing these stories in their social media circles.
I thank all the artists whose works have inspired me to keep writing even when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, and when you think of all the technical glitches and stress that comes with blogging 7 days a week, this feeling happens a lot!
Last and certainly not least, I thank YOU for reading this.
If you can see this, you’ve survived the Mayan apocalypse. 2013 is here! I took a brief survey of some of According2g.com’s All-Stars in the fields of art, music and publishing to find out what their 2013 New Year’s Resolutions are. For those, like me that don’t make resolutions anymore, I asked them to tell us what they are looking forward to in 2013. Click on their name to be directed to their websites to learn more about these great minds. Thanks to everyone that participated and I hope 2013 exceeds your dreams, goals and visions!
Mark Kostabi in front of his art.
“I’m looking forward to a continuing Obama Presidency and an improving global economy due to less wasteful, more intelligent and focused behavior. I’m also looking forward to spring weather.” – Mark Kostabi, Artist.
Jill Jones (right) performing with Jeremy Gloff
“I am looking forward to being the bitch I always knew I could be and to just go rogue this year!” – Jill Jones, Singer
“My resolution is to let go of old grudges and start developing some new ones. For the new year, I’m looking forward to human rights, cultural enchantment, and social bliss, but I’m not looking forward to any action film sequels.” – Michael Musto, Writer
“1. I am looking forward to the rest of the country realizing that all people have the right to love who they want and to celebrate that relationship in marriage.
2. I am looking forward to the rest of the country realizing that Muslims are not to be feared and in fact they are just like us.
3. I am looking forward to alternative forms of health care that utilize what is already here on earth. We are cutting down the rain forests and yet there are a lot of plants that can benefit mankind.
4. I am looking forward to humans embracing nature in everything we do. I want advertisements (ie., car commercials where the car dominates nature) to embrace nature not destroy it. We need this planet more than it needs us and if we don’t embrace it and take care of it, it will get rid of us for it’s own survival.
As far as new years resolutions… those are hard because most people who make them don’t keep them and then they feel guilty. My New Year’s resolution is to be nice to nature and humans and to lead by example. My job is to make new things and to not copy others. I want people to celebrate the hand made and to value it over technology. I want people to start talking to each other again instead of texting. Let’s return to the real next year.” –Don Porcella, Artist, Musician, Coffee Maker
Kenny Scharf at the West Hollywood Library
“I’m looking forward to continuing health no matter what happens in 2013. If you’re not healthy and feeling good you can’t enjoy the good times or battle the bad. I’m having a show in late April of new sculptures and paintings at Paul Kasmin Gallery (in New York). Also I’m involved in a futures show at the Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, which will include murals, installations and paintings, and a large outdoor mural in Santa Monica, California, as well as other fun and big stuff (more work) that I don’t want to announce just yet. Most of all, I hope the world makes the huge changes (wean off petroleum, for example) that need to take place in order for the children to inherit a better place!” – Kenny Scharf, Artist
“I am finalizing on designs for a t-shirt, cell phone cases, sticker sheets and the Summer 2013 Graphic Sunglasses! I’ll also be honing in on a location to paint my first public mural as well as my first public art show on my own in Manhattan. Some important first steps for the burgeoning artist – ALL of which G will be present and covering…i hope.” – TY, Artist
“I’m looking forward to making more stuff, being in New York more, traveling a little less and meeting more people – friends, neighbours, peers and pizzeria owners. My Visa will expire in 2013 so I need to make the most of being in America before I’m shipped off back to the UK. Cheers + happy holidays” – Jon Burgerman, Artist
Painting (and photo) by Ari Lankin
“My New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier” – Ari Lankin, Artist
“2012 was an amazing, special year. I wish 2013 will be a year of correction – we have to discover new things and understand that many things we like or want are not necessary any more. We have to wake up from some dreams and create a new one better and powerful one. I want to be surrounded with great people in a beautiful places that will bring me inspiration and magic always to touch other people’s hearts and minds. I want the summer to be longer and time to be slower.” – Nir Hod, Artist
“My Resolution for 2013 is to surpass my creative limits and to learn to speak fluent Spanish! Also, to have my project at the Bronx Museum (fall 2013) blow people’s minds! Hope to see lots more of you this coming year too!” – Scooter LaForge, Artist
Eric Eyeball Richardson
“My resolution for the New Year is less porn and more painting or is that backwards damn it!?!
Happy New Year’s, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!” – Eric ‘Eyeball’ Richardson, Artist
Thanks again to everyone who participated and I hope 2013 exceeds your goals, dreams and visions!
What are you looking forward to in 2013? What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Tell us in the comments section and most importantly, HAPPY 2013!!!!