Otto-Tune Podcast: Juice Jam 2010

Otto-Tune previews the annual back-to-school concert and names 10 tracks you must hear before you go.

Juice Jam 2010 sold out four full days before the annual back-to-campus show -- indisputable evidence, we think, that this year's line-up skews well above past offerings. Between the witty, genre-melding rap of bespectacled legend Lupe Fiasco and the dance-inducing synthpop of blogosphere faves Passion Pit, there's something at Juice Jam for everyone to love. Don't even get us started on up-and-coming pop stars Mouth's Cradle, one of Syracuse's own.

In this latest edition of Otto-Tune Podcasts, blogger Nate Mattise and entertainment producer Caitlin Dewey discuss the line-up and how it compares to years past. After you've heard that, make sure to look up the ten songs below -- these top tracks from Lupe Fiasco and Co. are must-listens for anyone headed to Skytop on Sunday.

Download the podcast here or click the player to listen online.

1. “Superstar” (Lupe Fiasco, The Cool) – Lupe’s best-loved single, released in 2007 to critical acclaim and plenty of airtime, plays it almost as cool as the album’s title. Minnesota folkie Matthew Santos joins Lupe mid-track for an unusually soulful, introspective take on life in the spotlight.

2. “Kick, Push” (Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor) – A clever coming-of-age tale set in a skate park, the charismatic “Kick, Push” throbs against a swanky, horn-heavy jazz background. It scored two Grammy nominations in 2007, maybe in recognition of its quick-witted wordplay.

3. “Daydreamin’” (Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor) – Far from an idle daydream, Lupe’s third single throws all his cards on the table: the critical take on fame and rap culture, the whispery soul influences, the unusual willingness to sample from artists as diverse as I Monster and Tchaikovsky. Songstress Jill Scott also appears for the chorus.

“Sleepyhead” (Passion Pit, Manners) – It’s more or less impossible to make sense of the nonsense Dalí-esque imagery and ramshackle cooing that frame the better part of “Sleepyhead.” Despite that (or because of it) Passion Pit’s break-out first single still charms: listen for details like the harp and wind chime samples behind all that electronic bluster. 

5. “Little Secrets” (Passion Pit, Manners) – Synthpop rarely gets as joyful as the irrepressible refrain of “Little Secrets,” where kids from the PS22 chorus join frontman Michael Angelakos in an ode to love and its consequences. In typically buoyant Passion Pit fashion, the loves are many and the consequences few.

6. “Moth’s Wings” (Passion Pit, Manners) – “Moth’s Wings” downplays Passion Pit’s love of whirring synths and surging choruses in favor of sampled church bells and a restless cymbal backbeat. The lyrics are dreamlike as ever, but the tempo is gentler – explaining, perhaps, how the song landed a spot on “Gossip Girl” in fall 2009.

7. “I F**kin Bleed Purple and Gold” (Super Mash Bros., F**k Bitches, Get Euros) As Girl Talk learned early in the 2009 party circuit, sampling MGMT’s “Kids” is a fail-proof way to get the crowd moving. Super Mash Bros. cleverly layer “Kids’” buzzing synth track beneath Eminem’s no-holds-barred “Without Me” to open this party-starter.

8. “@LaurenConrad Get Us On The Hills” (Super Mash Bros., All About the Scrillions) – Another musical amalgam, this song surprises with its weirdness alone: Jimmy Eat World, Ray-J, Ludacris, Devo, Panic at the Disco and Missy Elliott all make appearances, but it’s the DJ duo’s idiosyncrasy and effortless transitions that make the track.

9. “Princess of the Beatz” (Mouth’s Cradle, The Next Big Thing) – An early favorite from Mouth’s Cradle’s pre-Baby Teeth days, this refreshingly precocious pop song opens to a strolling acoustic backbeat and Mouf’s half-paced flow. By mid-track, he’s made so many puns and time-signature shifts that it’s hard to keep up.

10. “Honey from a Stone” (Mouth’s Cradle, The Next Big Thing) – Mouth’s Cradle embrace their girl group and doo-wop influences on this sunny ‘50s pop number, which – ironically enough – concerns a failed relationship. Trust Mouth’s Cradle to give a cheerful twist to anything.

Photo by Neil Dorgan

Nice podcast, guys. Very

Nice podcast, guys. Very articulate discussion.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.