EP Review: Tuxedo’s Fux with the Tux

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PSA for all you dance and disco lovers: last month, Tuxedo quietly released new EP Fux with the Tux. The sharply-dressed duo of soul singer Mayer Hawthorne and Seattle hip hop producer Jake One seems to be riding the wave of 70s/80s revival in pop music. Many artists like Daft Punk and Bruno Marks have struck a balance between retro and fresh, and I think you’ll find that Tuxedo also fits into this category quite nicely. As with many throwback artists, Tuxedo’s long list of influences includes artists like Chic and Cameo, in addition to boogie, hip hop, and electronic music.

Fux with the Tux packs plenty of funk in only 10 minutes. The EP kicks off with its title track, jumping straight into a catchy beat and groovy synths. This song plays off of vocals from both Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One. Although a bit repetitive, it’s still a well-done cross between old-school funk and newer hip hop.

“Special” rolls in with more prominent percussion than the previous track. I love the bass in this song, and the vocal harmonies are a great highlight. If you liked Bruno Mars’ “Chunky", you’ll like this one. (I would also make the claim that “Special” is perhaps a classier(?) take on Mars’ message in “Chunky”.)

In its final song, the EP winds down with smooth slow jam “July”. The horns in the chorus are a great touch, and the background female vocals nicely accent Mayer Hawthorne’s crooning words.

Tuxedo is expected to release a full-length album later this year. Keep an eye out.

Emily Tasaka

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

24k Magic: A Pop Star’s Tribute to Funk

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I am not much of a Bruno Mars fan. He is an undeniably talented, versatile artist, and I won’t deny that his pop career has seen huge success. I have just never felt compelled by his music. But in 2014, he surprised me. “Uptown Funk” was unexpectedly groovy, and I couldn’t help getting hooked on its vocal bass line and slick horns. Now, two years later, it’s safe to say that “Uptown Funk” established the retro groundwork for Mars’ newest release, 24k Magic. This album is basically Bruno Mars as a walking throwback, blending pop, funk, and R&B with surprising taste.

Early on, 24k Magic introduces “Chunky”, a synth serenade to “the girls that pay their rent on time”, before changing the pace with “Versace on the Floor”. The latter is a sultry R&B slow-jam that belongs next to a crackling bedroom fireplace sometime in the ‘90s. Mars reincarnates James Brown in “Perm, while “Finesse” oozes with the cocky swagger that brought us “Uptown Funk”.

I would argue that this is his most redeeming album yet, although I likely only hold that opinion because of my soft spot for funk. 24k Magic is a trim, tight project, clocking in at just 33 minutes for 9 tracks. Mars more or less spends the whole time fixated on sex. The result is a mix of fun-sounding songs, but this leaves quite a bit of potential for some more inspired lyrics. I also have yet to be completely won over by his contemporary take on old-school funk, though his attempt is valiant nonetheless. That being said, I expect a handful of these songs to be in my rotation for a little longer. I have high hopes for this new-old direction for Bruno Mars, and I look forward to hearing some more throwbacks from him in the near future.

Watch “Chunky” performed on SNL:

Stream 24k Magic here.

Keep up with Bruno Mars: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Emily Tasaka

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Playlist: Mid-2000s Throwbacks

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It’s good to take a moment to reflect on the past every once in a while, especially on good memories. Some of my favorite memories from being a kid are times spent with friends, listening to music, and – yikes – dancing to songs that were, in hindsight, pretty inappropriate. 

This playlist is made up of mid-2000s club bangers that you probably sang along to loud n proud and were probably too young to completely understand. Use this playlist to reminisce or to celebrate the fact that you learned how to understand euphemisms (Fergie’s “London Bridge”?), your choice. In any case, I hope you take this chance to enjoy some truly timeless music.

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Chloe Hagans



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

TBT: Belated HB to Baby Spice!!!

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On January 21st, 39 years ago, the universe was blessed with the gift of Emma Bunton–1/5 of the raddest group of girls around. She’s the second Spice from the left in the photo above, precious and pigtailed as ever.  

Emma was the last of the Spice Girls to join the group at just 18 years old after the departure of Michelle Stephenson (who doesn’t get a cool nickname because she wasn’t around long enough). As the youngest, girliest, and generally most adorable of the five, she was dubbed Baby Spice by Top of the Pops magazine in 1996. The rest, as they say, is history. 

If you don’t get down to this song, you’re lying. 

The Spice Girls, formerly known as Touch, released three albums–Spice (1996), Spiceworld (1997),and Forever (2000)–before splitting up in December 2000 to pursue independent careers. Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) probably garnered the most media attention afterwards by marrying British soccer superstar/god among men David Beckham, but I know the burning question on all of your minds: what has Baby Spice been up to since then?

Emma Bunton released three solo albums–the second of which, Free Me, was the most successful–it was praised as being the best of the solo Spice releases for its unique incorporation of Motown/1960’s-era sound. On top of that, she had cameo appearances in two Bollywood movies, started a family, and now hosts a British radio show every Saturday. 

You can also find Baby Spice on Twitter (and on MySpace, in case anyone besides Baby Spice still uses it. I do appreciate her efforts to keep that social media dream alive)–where it is comforting to see that our favorite group of gals still hangs out on the reg. 

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And they’re just as weird as you and me. (from left to right–Baby Spice, Scary Spice (Mel B), and Sporty Spice (Mel C).

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malz