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Groove of the Day/Banks/”Change”/Chainsmokers Refire

God damn you, inspiration. 

And much like that phrase was thwarted to Adele after she read all of us for our lives at this past Sunday’s Grammy Awards, it’s meant in the kindest way possible. 

Because, god damn, how that dear, sweet inspiration can truly strike anytime, anyplace like Ms. J-and there’s nothing you can about it. 

Music case in point, how today’s groove, the fiery Chainsmokers 2014 redo of Ms. Banks somber sonnet, “Change,” was given to the headphones after a recent stay at a hotel where it was rightfully bumping in the lobby. 

This not only proves that inspiration and those grooves can truly strike anywhere, so listen up, but that Mr. R. Kelly was right all those years ago in saying that only good things come when you head to the hotel. 

With that being said, let’s just fucking groove it out to this one. Because you will. 

This year’s grooves sound like…

Cover photo courtesy of ThePlace 

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Rewerk Wednesday/ATB

The alias of progressive house/trance German DJ and producer André Tanneberger, ATB has cooked up a catchy, vocal-driven singles catalogue that has helped him cross over from the dance floor onto to the mainstream music charts, making him one of the most sought after trance artists that came out of the genre’s late-’90s/early-2000s commercial peak.  

Widely regarded for his debut single, “9 PM (Till I Come),” which is an ecstasy laced progressive house instrumental that featured a smooth, distinctive guitar riff that would go on to become his music trademark. Diving deeper into his throbbing catalog, ATB”s lengthy discography has also mixed in ambient elements of drum’n’bass, garage and rock, which is another reason why he’s appeared on many music lists as one of the most successful DJs of all time. 

Getting his start in the early ’90s as part of the Euro-house group, Sequential One, Tanneburger and his band of dance music misfits found moderate success across Europe, releasing three records and over a dozen singles before they disbanded in 1999. Along the music way, the DJ also found time to remix for other artists including Outhere Brothers, Technotronic, and Haddaway, in which he began using the moniker ATB for his original solo material. 

His first solo smash, “9 PM (Till I Come),” became somewhat of a global dace music phenonem, which would only help his debut album, the serotonin dripping, Movin’ Melodies, shoot straight to the top of album charts all over the globe. The trance soaked set is loaded with ATB’s trademark riffs and whirls, complete with hits “Don’t Stop,” “Killer 2000” and “Sunburn,” and was an album that would make all those ’90s kids out there quickly know his name. 

After establishing himself in the trance music world and beyond, ATB struck back in 2000 with Two Worlds, a double-disc set that featured collaborations with Heather Nova, Enigma, and the Canadian rock band Wild Strawberries. Each CD was a dance music world within itself, with the first consisting of more dance floor ready tunes and the second featuring more Lunesta-like beats and rhythms. Following a few more hit singles, he served up his third set, 2002, which featured the global dance smash “You’re Not Alone,” which co-starred dazzling overseas dance diva Olive. And for those that hit the Philly clubs back when “You’re Not Alone” was doing its thing, you know that it was just that groove. 

Through much of the ’00s, ATB kept his game on by releasing six more albums, also going on to put his headphones in a handful of trance compilation records, including the immaculate Trance All Stars Worldwide. Another double-disc venture that featured plenty of hits from ATB, including the breezy,  “Ready to Flow,” as well as tingling contributions from regarded trance DJs Sunbeam Talla 2XLC and Schiller. A trance classic set at its very, very best. 

ATB’s next studio venture is his tenth (!) album, In Motion, which is set to drop sometime this year. And while we may never know if a trance takeover like the one occurred in the late’90s/’00s will ever interrupt our music lives ever again, we must point our headphones in respect to ATB, because he was truly a pioneer of a movement that turned out to be a fantastic moment in music time. 

 

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Music Memory Monday/Ke$ha

A self-proclaimed party girl with a thirst for Jack Daniels and a knack for crafting up some truly wicked pop songs, Ms. Ke$ha (Kesha Rose Sebert) first burst onto the scene as Katy Perry’s music video bestie (she’s in Katy’s klips for “I Kissed A Girl” and “Hot n Cold”), which then lead to a smash collaboration with Flo Rida, “Right Round,” which was recently replaced by Adele’s “Hello” as the most downloaded pop song…ever. But as we all know, it was the groovy grime of her debut single, “Tik Tok,” that would propel Ke$ha into a full-blown pop diva who came ready with her bountiful buffet of dirty beats and grooves.

Born in L.A. but raised in Nashville, Ms. Ke$ha came from quite the musical family with her mother, Pebe, making the Nashville rounds as a songwriter, mostly known for penning “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” a country song recorded by Joe Sun and later taken on by Dolly Parton. Before graduating high school, Ke$ha decided to return to L.A. with hopes in jump-starting her own music career, despite the fact that she was all set to study psychology at Columbia. Shortly after moving back to the West Coast, she came into contact with pop music scribe Dr. Luke, who was impressed with her demo recordings and took the rising pop-stress on as a songwriter. 

Starting things off her in her career, the “Tik Tok” diva wrote the Veronicas track, “This Love,” and also contributed background vocals on Britney Spears’ Circus romp, “Lace and Leather.” It was then that Dr. Luke asked Ke$ha to sing background vocals on his Flo Rida produced “Right Round,” which became a huge number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, going on to spend nine weeks spinning around in the top position. Shortly after “Right Round” stomped the charts, the diva signed on to RCA and soon served us with her chart-topping debut album, Animal

Featuring collaborations with Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Benny Blanco, Animal was released in January 2010 and proved to be a big hit, reaching the top of the Billboard 200 and spinning off the blockbuster number one single “Tik Tok,” as well as the delightfully dirty top ten smashes, “Blah Blah Blah,” ‘Your Love Is My Drug” and “Take it Off.” Keeping on with her chart bulldozing success (as well as Platinum sales for Animal), the permanently krunk diva released the nine-song Cannibal EP in late 2010, which featured the hits, ‘Blow,”(hey, Mr. Van der Douche) “Sleazy” and “We R Who We R,” which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, ripped stockings and all.

Keeping on with her album fleek game, Ke$ha released, I Am the Dance Commander + I Command You to Dance: The Remix Album in 2011, which was then followed in 2012 by her second full-length set, Warrior. A departure of sorts for the singer, Warrior took on a more rock-influenced sound with collaborations with indie rock artist Coyne and punk godfather Iggy Pop. From its roaring start, Warrior was poised to be a big hit, with lead single “Die Young” cracking top five, but the failure of follow-up singles, “C’Mon” and “Crazy Kids,” Warrior soon fell off the charts and Ke$ha ended up getting up stuck singing the hook on Pitbull’s 2014 chart-topping single, “Timber.” 

So, just what is Ke$ha musically up to these days? Well, sadly she’s actually not up to anything because she’s unfortunately not allowed to. Last year, the singer sued Dr. Luke with detailed charges of an alleged sexual assault, and the producer sued her back, claiming that Ke$ha tried to extort him into voiding their contract. Unfortunately, due to the fact that she’s still locked in under contract with Dr. Luke and her label, Sony, the singer’s unable to create new music with any other collaborators. However, as of recently, Ke$ha has been striking back, asking the courts to let her record music again, saying that her career is “effectively over” unless she can make new music immediately. In order to record new songs, she needs a judge to let her work with collaborators besides Dr. Luke. Let’s hope this happens soon because no matter what you think about her, a little Ke$ha on the radio is always a good idea. 

Whatever the music case may be, you have to admit, Ke$ha has delivered some truly one-of-a-kind tunes that set themselves apart from most other pop tracks on radio these days. While, yes, she’s not the greatest vocalist in the world, but Ke$ha has certainly proved that she’s got the pop music game on lock and really just wants to make carefree music about simply living it up. Because, really, isn’t that how music is supposed to feel? 

While only music time will tell if Ke$ha can get past her legal troubles to make new music again, she’s left us with some truly dirty and delightful music memories that will certainly last a lifetime.