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New Music: A Universal Love Affair

Andrew Gastelum | Thursday, March 21, 2013



Editor in Chief

Music, it’s new to somebody.

My favorite album ever (Kid Cudi’s “Man on the Moon: The End of Day”) may be a classic to me, but it could be entirely new to you. My favorite guilty pleasure (Solange’s “Losing You”) may be a secret to me, but it could be your favorite song. The album that turned me into a fan audiophile in the first place (Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”) may be legendary to me, but to you its total crap. 

Hey, that’s the best part about music. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

But the one feeling we all share about this blissful part of our lives is we can’t have enough new music and I wouldn’t have that any other way either.

New is the future; it’s upcoming. I can’t tell you how stoked I am for the upcoming Kid Cudi album on April 23. Eighteen tracks, Cudi’s producing it all and he hasn’t had a solo release in three years. Call me Mr. Rager, because that’s all I’ll be doing then.

New is the present; it’s recent. Justin Timberlake just released some new tunes. So did Diplo (one half of Major Lazer). So did Kendrick Lamar – his verses on the “Don’t Kill My Vibe” remix feat. Jay-Z made his shirt say R.I.P., absolutely burying Hov and Shyne in his wake with some of the best bars of the year. 

New is the past; it’s relative. Just because OneRepublic’s anthemic album “Waking Up” released in 2009, that doesn’t mean I listened to it right away. It took me two full years to catch it, but once I did it entered my rotation and those of my friends.  

As a college kid, I couldn’t survive without music. It is absolutely vital and I feel it is probably that way for just about everyone on campus, with the exception of those random guys above Fisher Hall on Football Fridays. 

Don’t get me wrong, my favorite artists will always be Kid Cudi, The Shins, Kanye West, The Strokes, Youth Lagoon, Kendrick Lamar, Bon Iver, Childish Gambino, The Beatles, U2, Passion Pit and co. But the unquenchable thirst for something new, the vivacious hope to add a spot to this echelon will remain the same. 

As a result, I am always searching for new music. I’m a new music fiend, tunneling through the digital underground and wading my way through the mainstream in order to reach my yet-unknown destination. Whether it is old school or released this past Tuesday, I have to listen to new music every week. Have to. 

So that’s why I am writing in this space. Look below, and you will see this dude’s mug in an orange box. It reads “The Kickback,” because that is exactly what it is. It’s a Cali term, translating as both a verb and a noun that means to get amongst your favorite dudes, bump your favorite music and just plain chill to the max.

No expectations, no problems, no worries. It’s the California way.

And since I can’t bring the sun back with me to booming South Bend, I figured I could bring the tunes instead. Just this week, at least 10 people have made my day by complementing my Spotify. I make frequent playlists/mix CDs for my closest buds. I spread music like SBTRKT’s “Wildfire.” Now it just goes on a grander scale.

My musical tastes range from old school rap to indie/alternative to acoustic to new age rap. For that, I have to thank my dad, the musician. 

He introduced me to a steady rush of The Beatles and U2 from the get-go. Then, A Tribe Called Quest added a fresh new set of tastebuds to my lyrical taste. I strayed from hip-hop when I felt betrayed by the hardcore/club style of 50 Cent and Lil Wayne. So The Strokes and Coldplay took me in and showed me the world of alternative rock, while Jack Johnson and The Shins pushed a more mellow feel until Kanye reeled me back in. 

Because of this musical journey, I make my stand with a wide-ranging palate. Sometimes it’s pretty weird, other times it’s too pop-ish, but it’s often spot-on. But no matter, because it’s new to me, whether it is from now or then. 

So if you want to kick back, send me some music suggestions and follow me at @andrewgastelum. I’ll do the same for you every Friday in the orange box below.

Contact Andrew Gastelum at [email protected]