11 songs with finger snaps from the past three years that won’t make you want to jab things in your ears

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By Mike Frash //

You can’t find a texture bed more minimalist than the repeating finger snap. When you think about it, cavemen and cave women probably made music by pressing their hand digits together.

And lately, finger snapping has bubbled up from the underground as dance producers have come to dominate modern pop production. And it’s everywhere. So, here are some songs from the past 30 months or so that have finger snaps and likely won’t make you want to project sharpened pencils in your ear hole. Unless you’re a rock purist — then you’ll probably hate this shit.

11. Glass Animals – “Gooey”



Glass Animals might have goofier lyrics than alt-J and Phish combined, but their sexy-smooth lounge rock is catching on. This finger snap in “Gooey” is more like a jangly clap-snap, but it counts.


10. Run The Jewels – “Sea Legs”



I try to infuse Killer Mike & El-P’s partnership Run the Jewels into most conversations, so why not find a way to get them on this snap list. Snaps only bookend “Sea Legs”, but look, I’m just trying to promote Meow the Jewels. Let’s make this happen.


9. Autre Ne Veut – “Counting”



Arthur Ashin’s falsetto-led future pop channels pain and chaos into a tight, emotive package with “Counting”, using brass and guitar as accent elements while the percussion, including (yes) snaps, dominate the mix.


8. Tinashe, Schoolboy Q – “2 On”

Tinashe released her likable first record in October 2014, and with “2 On”, she takes traditional male language and seemingly repackages it into “break-the-glass-ceiling” R&B-rap rhyming, that is until Schoolboy Q sets everything (unfortunately) back to normal with his opening line, “Uh, pull your panties down from under you, beat that pussy up, make you wanna holler Q.” Still, it’s a pretty addictive track.


7. How To Dress Well – “& It Was U”


Tom Krell is adept at letting his voice carry the emotional weight of his music, and none of his songs show this better than the snap-dominated “& It Was U”.


6. Classixx – “Dominoes”



Electronic music this silky and easy to digest puts it in the cross hairs of where pop is going, and the duo’s live show is a euphoric good time. Classixx will be at Treasure Island Music Festival 2014 in SF.


5. Perfume Genius – “Fool”

The new record from Perfume Genius is a gem, and Mike Hadreas gives a heaven’s call of a bellow in the middle of “Fool”, all while using snaps to keep the tune grounded.


4. DJ Koze – “Amydala (feat. Milosh)



If you never got around to listening to DJ Koze’s 2013 masterpiece Amydgala, get on that. The song “Amydala” features Milosh (the singer from Rhye), whose voice blends with all the musical elements on this driving track. Look for the snaps to add another layer on the back third.


3. Darkside – “Paper Trails”



The magical collaboration between Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington may be on hiatus (read our review here from their only SF show), but we can still revisit one of the best songs from 2013, which keeps its methodical pace with a snap (or at least a modulated clap that sounds like a snap).


2. Lorde – “Royals”

To not include Lorde’s wubby, snap-paced “Royals” in this list would be playing hipster-devil’s advocate. Lorde’s music is much better than most radio fodder (ahem Foster The People and Robin Thicke). And how is she only 17 still? She’s tracking ahead of Madonna in her influence on the pop landscape.


1. Dillon Francis feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Without You”



DF + TEED combined forces for this 2013 insta-classic that uses finger snaps as the critical, minimalist linchpin for the inverted drop.

BONUS: We can’t forget the Super Mario Theme finger snap guy:

10 tips to avoid getting scammed by ticket scalpers

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By Mike Frash //

Getting burned by a third-party ticket purchase hurts. Not only did you lose money to a greedy pig scalper-thief, but you likely missed a show or festival you really wanted to experience.

Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) canceled his first scheduled show in 35 years over insane ticket scalping last week, taking a stand against the state of New York for not allowing paperless ticket shows — that’s when everyone has to pick up their tickets at the box office before the event. So it got us thinking — what is the best methodology for acquiring tickets to sold-out shows?

So we asked for your third-party ticket-buying tips on Facebook and Instagram and incorporated them into this here list. Follow these tips and ya might get into that completely sold-out event coming up, possibly even for face value.

BEFORE THE EVENT

1. Ask Friends First
If you have any buddies that frequently go to concerts or sporting events, check in with them and see if they have a spare. Most casual second-source-of-income scalpers will hook up a friend.

Use your social networks! And once a friend agrees to sell to you for face, “you can use the TM transfer option (if venue allows it) to transfer tickets, voiding the current bar code, & supplying a new one to the buyer.” [Brando Rich]

2. Use the Secondary Ticket Market (and Be Prepared to Get Taxed)
StubHub has taken over the secondary ticket market in the US, and Ticketmaster’s T+ is also an option. (Does anyone else see a problem with Ticketmaster linking directly to their secondary market after you buy a ticket?)

You pay a premium for security and customer service should anything go wrong. Or as Ryan Cohn put it, “using verified sources like StubHub will help weed out the dickbags trying to scam.” It’s the kind of business model that gives economics professors wet dreams — take 15% from the seller and charge the buyer about 10%.

3. Use a Peer-to-Peer Social Ticketing
One under-the-radar resource for buying tickets to sold-out events is CashorTrade.org, a website for ethically selling or trading tickets — you can’t sell tickets for over face value. The website uses a community-based model, directly connecting fans without any markup or fees.

As Steven Wandrey mentioned, “CoT isn’t verified but if someone has good rep ratings on there the chances are much higher than not that the tickets are legit.” That said, Stubhub doesn’t verify ticket sales either (but the buyer does have a credit card on file), and CashorTrade.org will assist you if any problems arise. Using CashorTrade.org can save you money compared to using the mighty corporate behemoth StubHub.

4. Randoms on Facebook
After all above resources have come up dry, try to find someone within a trusted Facebook group or message board. For example, if you’re looking for a Coachella ticket, you could look for help in a Coachella group on Facebook or hit up the Coachella community forum.

A word of advise from John Kim: “If buying on FB, make sure the person you’re buying from has a legit profile. Few friends and a private page are some things to watch out for. Also, check their recent postings and comments. If someone hasn’t posted on FB in 2 years or has zero comments on their status updates, you might want to be careful.”

5. Craigslist (If You Must)
Craigslist should be the last resort if you are buying. It’s equally as risky as buying at the venue. If you’re really worried, ask a ticket seller if it’s cool to meet them in front or near their house. Usually scammers won’t send unsuspecting buyers to their house. Also, if paying via PayPal, choose the “Items/Goods” option for extra protection.

And repeat after me: Hard tickets are safer than digital tickets, unless you’re doing a Ticketmaster transfer. Digital PDFs can be sold over and over again — first buyer to the venue wins.

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AT THE EVENT

6. Don’t Buy From a Scalper
Try to buy from an event-goer instead of a scalper. Paco Martini wrote, “Don’t buy from dudes buying & selling tickets. They are usually scalper suspects. Look for someone heading in to the same show, and ask people near by if they need a ticket if you have extras.”

In similar fashion, Ben Baity advised, “I mostly go around and say ‘I need a ticket, NOT A SCALPER, just wanna go to the show’ and POOF, someone comes along and deals me in. For big shows, like Springsteen etc, it is easy as pie. Nobody goes to shows without tickets anymore. Boom, tix.”

Also Cassie Blaza L wrote, “When I do buy tickets off someone at the venue I gauge the persons’ validity by whether they look like they belong in that scene fashion and conversation wise. You can tell pretty quickly, at least in NYC, who the guys are that showed up outside exclusively to make money and leave. They aren’t dressed for a show, can’t name a song by the artist, don’t have friends with them, and generally don’t look like they belong.”

7. Check the Tickets
If buying from a scalper or show-goer, look at the tickets before you hand over your hard-earned cash. “Knowing what the ticket policy for an event is helps. Know how the tickets should look and what the event would consider an invalid ticket. Making sure all necessary barcodes are there and that none of them are repeating over multiple tickets.” [Christi Payeur]

Conor Boyland explains this concept in further detail: “What I usually do if I’m forced to buy a ticket on the street, is ask to see all of the tickets. check the numbercode (numbers above the barcode), if all of the numbers, or even a few pairs, match; they are fakes.” Also, know the the original cost of the ticket and be sure to check the one you’re buying to make sure it’s correct.

8. The First Key to Negotiation
Be willing to walk away. You have the leverage for non-sell outs and after an event starts, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Is the event really sold out? Trust the person at the box office over a scalper.

9. Ask the Seller to Walk You to the Venue
Pete Mauch and Joel Hoffman both commented that you should ask the seller to walk with you to the venue entrance before buying. If they hesitate, keep that money in your pocket. Although, this is a slippery slope as it’s generally illegal to sell secondary tickets on venue property.

10. Let It Burn
This is pretty extreme but true. Ticketmaster tickets aren’t printed on normal paper, and if you light a small corner of a genuine ticket with a lighter or cigarette, it should turn black on the face but be completely unaffected on the back side. Also, Kevin Quandt pointed out that “most Ticketmaster tickets have a blueish layer of paper that is slightly visible, and that they are heat sensitive (also, best to not leave in hot car).”

Leave your sold-out ticket purchasing techniques below in the comments.

NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: The Best Ever Songs with Finger Snaps
Make your voice heard at our social channels: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Your comment could be used for the Bam of the Week article next week.

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10 most important Political Protest Songs of the last 50 years

As President Obama looks ahead to four more years, let’s look at the 10 most important political protest songs of the last 50 years, from oldest to most recent. What did we miss? Leave a comment below.

(1963) Sam CookeA Change is Gonna Come

Upon hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black. (Source: The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time). This was an era of segregation, and Cooke was very popular with white audiences due to his hit “Twistin’ the Night Away,” so it took guts to create this song and perform it before the Civil Rights Movement had really begun.

(1964) Bob DylanThe Times They Are A Changing

In 1985, Dylan told Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, “This was definitely a song with a purpose…I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.” This song, along with “Blowin’ in the Wind,” cemented dylan as a lead counter-culture figure.

(1969) Creedence Clearwater RevivalFortunate Son

Many of the best US political protest songs relate tot he Vietnam War, and one of the best is “Fortunate Son” by CCR. Fogerty is pretty blunt and loud in speaking for the working, middle and low-income earners, the sons drafted to fight. John Fogerty told Rolling Stone, “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war.

(1970) Gil Scott HeronThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Probably the biggest influence in hip hop history, even after his death in 2011, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is Gil Scott Heron’s most important and influential poetic track. Heron wins the listener over with his humor, but it’s one of the best political protest songs of all time due to it’s subversion during the Nixon era.

(1970) Crosby Stills Nash & YoungOhio

“Ohio” was written by Neil Young as a reaction to the US military personel killing of four Vietnam War protestors at Kent State University, the event that effectively ended US support of the disastrous war. CSNY added to the pressure with this classic, catchy song that ensured that the the Kent State shooting stayed on the mind of the American public for months and years to come.

(1973) Bob Marley & Peter ToshGet Up,Stand Up

Like “Ohio,” “Get Up, Stand Up” is an overtly political song. Unlike CSNY, Bob Marley is best known for being the most prominent Raggae musician of all time, smoking copious amounts of marijuana, and for his political protest songs. (Alright, CSNY probably smoked lots of weed) And this track owns the best lines in political protest music history: “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light! We gonna stand up for our rights!”

(1984) Bruce Springsteen Born In the U.S.A.

This song was mistaken as a positive American anthem for years, and still is today by many. Ronald Reagan even used this song in his 1984 reelection campaign and tried to claim Bruce as a supporter! Lyrically the song takes a realistic approach the effects of the Vietnam war on those that were forced to go fight in Southeast Asia, but if you manage to only listen to the chorus, it can be seen as a patriotic anthem. Brian Doherty wrote, “The song’s lyrics are about a shell-shocked vet with ‘no place to run, nowhere to go.’ Bruce once said it’s about “a working-class man…It’s like he has nothing left to tie him into society anymore. He’s isolated from the government. Isolated from his family…to the point where nothing makes sense.” It’s not an overt political protest song, but it’s way closer to that then a national anthem.

(1989) Public EnemyFight the Power

“Fight the Power” was brilliantly used as Radio Raheem’s jam of choice and musical motif to the classic Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing. It was Public Enemy’s breakthrough song, and it incorporates references to many parts of African-American culture, including civil rights samples, black church services sounds, and the music of James Brown. And laying the smack down on Elvis Presley & John Wayne for their on-the-record white supremacist views certainly is the cherry on top of this political protest firestorm of a sundae.

(1992) Rage Against the MachineKilling In The Name

Rage was one of the most politically active groups at a time when political protest songs weren’t and aren’t very common. “Killing in the Name” is the quintessential Rage Against the Machine song, with it’s confronting vocals that link police to racism with the line “Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses,” and with the ending refrain “Fuck You, I won’t do what you told me.” Zach de la Rocha & Tom Morello almost inspired a riot at the Democratic National Convention in 2000. Then de la Rocha abruptly left the group, but Tom Morello has continued his political activity, most recently getting involved in the Occupy WallStreet movement.

(2012) Killer MikeReagan

Hip hop artist Killer Mike put out an excellent LP this year called R.A.P. Music, and Mike’s passion and effective deconstruction of Reaganomics & the man himself is stinging. He explores the Iran Contra scandal, privatization of the prison system, how all US presidents are puppets to the elite (including Obama). One of the best tracks of 2012, “Reagan” shows that political protest songs are far from dead.

Movember: Top 5 Musician Mustaches

By Pete Mauch //

Last week we posted this question on our Facebook page:

We got some great responses, and T.J. Rigney receives a Frank Zappa vinyl courtesy of Showbams for his comment:

The results are in, so here they are:


5. PIGPEN

This founding member and original lead singer of the Grateful Dead rocked a proper ‘stache.


4. LEMMY KILMISTER

Badass. ‘Nuff Said.


3. FREDDIE MERCURY

Freddie is not quite the champion of mustaches in rock, but he’s damn close.


2. DAVID CROSBY

Crosby gets in at No. 2. Have you seen his stache lately??? It hasn’t changed.


2. FRANK ZAPPA

This self-taught, eccentric rocker tops the chart for best mustache in rock history. Gotta love the ponytail taboot, too.


Honorable Mention: Prince, John Oates, Rick James, Lional Richie.

Like us on Facebook, comment on our weekly question, and you may win a prize!