Five World Cup Music Lists We’re Dying to Share

Soccer Music

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are that you’re well aware that we’re living in World Cup times. Most of the Loog team has deep, deep roots in a little South American country called Uruguay and, of course, we’re just constantly biting our tongues and making a huge effort to avoid tweeting, posting and talking about the World Cup non-stop. I hope you guys appreciate it 😉 (Although, of course, we’re very much on the same page as John Oliver here.)

In any case, the soccer World Cup and music usually go very much hand in hand. There are the national anthems played for both teams on the pitch before every match. There are several official FIFA World Cup songs produced every four years for each cup. And there’s music being played in every country celebrating a win or honoring a loss. It’s weird when you first think about it but actually very logical once you rationalize it: soccer and music go very much together.

FIFA World Cup Music

And we’re not the only ones saying it. We’ve managed to collect a huge plethora of articles, pieces and blog posts relating music and the World Cup together and decided to post our favorite here instead of drowning our Twitter feed with World Cup-related madness. So sit up, get ready and bookmark this page. You’re about to get lost in a Wikipedia-esque journey of World Cup music.

1. The Best World Cup Anthems
We found two lists we like a lot. The first -from Sportskeeda.com- is our favorite because it remembered to include “Un Estate Italiana” from the 1990 Italy World Cup. This song is, by far, considered THE World Cup anthem of all time. It’s very 80s, has a bizarre video and is not as up-beat as you’d expect World Cup songs to be. And therein lies its beauty. The most unexpected song for a World Cup:

 

The second list is from Pitchfork and, of course, includes some of the more obscure and lesser-known World Cup songs. World Cup Song 101 for Hipsters, if you will (and we think there’s nothing wrong with getting a little bit hipster from time to time). The coincidence is that both lists put this little gem from France 1998 at #1, which we wholeheartedly agree with:

 

2. Every Participating Country’s National Anthem – With a Twist
A country’s national anthem is a great way to first get to know a country and its roots. You’ll see that most South American countries have very similar-sounding national anthems, for instance, because they were all composed at practically the same time. Some African countries also have national anthems that resemble those of the countries that colonialized them. It’s a great minute-long lesson on historical roots and ancestry.

What you don’t usually get is a bunch of pop stars reviewing said national anthems and that is why this piece from The Guardian is so great. You get the experience of listening to soccer players sing their heart outs on the pitch and then laugh at the commentry below. History and humor, two of our favorite things (even if we completely disagree on what David Gray has to say about Uruguay’s):

 

(That final line there? “It’s a vow that the soul pronounces and heroically we will fullfill it / We will fullfill it / We will fullfill it / We will fullfill it!” We think that the best war-cry for a soccer match, but we might be biased.)

3. The Five Most Streamed Songs in Each Participating Country
It is a given that most streaming services will produce one of these lists and we’re completely curious if you have any more to share. This one was made by Shazaam and there’s tons to take in. For instance, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez’s “official” song is not as prominent as the FIFA would undoubtedly like it to be and there’s a whole lot of Enrique Iglesias going on. Plus, it’s always interesting to see how culturally diverse these top 5 lists are in certain countries.

Be warned: you might go into a YouTube video or streaming frenzy after looking at this lists trying to figure out each country’s particular music zeitgeist, but maybe that’s just us 😉

4. How Winning or Losing Affects Music Streaming
This one might be a tad more obvious but Spotify did the science anyway. We’re just not sure if we’re 100% convinced with just two graphs. Seems to us that the Swedes have earlier bedtimes than the Portuguese and that Spotify has a better presence in the Netherlands than in Spain. But maybe they’re on to something and people really do listen to less music when they’re sad. That wouldn’t explain why Adele went so global a couple of years ago, but ok, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. What do you think?

5. Sweet, Sweet Sounds from Brazil
Following the Brazilian fan’s discontent with FIFA’s official World Cup song, Condé Nast Traveler was cool enough to conjure this playlist chock-full of Brazilian and Brazilian-inspired music for the world to enjoy. Brazil is a VERY musically-inclined country and it boasts a huge repertoire of awesome artists and bands, as well as genres that they absolutely invented (anyone say Bossa?) Here’s a list to get you started, sprinkled with some crossovers that will make you happy you clicked the link.

Also, you seriously need to check out all of Seu Jorge’s Bowie covers from The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions. Here’s a little taste (you can find another track in the Traveler playlist):

The Loog Father’s Day Playlist

Father's Day Playlist

It’s been a while since we’ve done a playlist with you, so we thought we’d brainstorm some of our favorite father-and-kid songs just in time for Father’s Day this Sunday. As usual, feel free to add yours in the comments and we’ll swiftly get it into the original playlist for everyone to listen!

So, in order to celebrate your dad or the ongoing mind-blowing realization that yes, you’re a dad now, here’s 10 songs inspired by musician’s kids and their wishes for them 🙂

Loog Guitars Father's Day Playlist by Loog Guitars on Grooveshark

Did we miss any? Let us know! PLUS: dads love Loog Guitars as well! Let him know he should leave his kids’ Loog alone by getting him his own here 😉

The Hound Dog Taylor Sound

Hound Dog Taylor

 

We’ve recently become obsessed with a Blues musician who might have been the godfather of Punk and one of the pioneers of Rock n Roll as we know it. We’re obviously talking about Hound Dog Taylor. Just watch him in action:

 

 

 

Hound Dog Taylor was born in 1915 in Mississippi. He was born with 6 (six!) fingers in each hand, and his first instrument wasn’t the guitar – it was the piano. However, by the time he was in his twenties he has sold his Blues soul to a super-cheap Japanese teisco guitar with a slide. His resulting trademark sound was dirty, messy, raw and totally unheard of at the time.

He quickly gathered a loyal following with his wild and unpredictable shows, and became a favorite in the Chicago South and Westside. In the 60s he formed his band, Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers. All their shows started with him shouting “Hey! Let’s have some fun!” before he became a tight little wad of energy and frenzy. Punk rock, anyone?

Hound Dog Taylor's hand

Speaking of punk rock: Taylor’s hand.

He died in 1975 and his epitaph was already written by him, several decades ago. His tombstone reads “He couldn’t play sh*t, but he sure made it sound good!” A true artist!

Old school Blues guitarists like Hound Dog Taylor were a HUGE inspiration for the Electric Loog Guitar (that also got some news this week on Kickstarter, if you’re interested). Vintage pickups with some distortion and a slide can sound AMAZING, something you can’t really get with a standard or expensive guitar – that’s why lots of professional guitar players hunt down these old, beaten-up, super cheap guitars – Jack White’s a huge example of this, and a big fan of the Hound Dog Taylor sound.

There are more videos on Youtube which you can check out, and even listen to some of his records. Here’s another great live performance:

 

Listen to a complete album here:

 

And get more info here, here and here.

What other old school musicians do you geek out about? Let’s us know and we’ll DEFINITELY check them out!

Record Store Day Special Releases – Our Wish List

As you might already know with our constant blabbering on all social media known to mankind, this Sunday’s Record Store Day and, as every year, we’re super excited about it. Chocolate bunnies and vinyl? The red moon has granted all of our wishes.

For those new to the concept, Record Store Day was set up in 2007 to celebrate independent and local record stores. It’s set to happen on the third Sunday in April of each year and serves as an excuse to hop down to your local record store and get new, special releases, meet up with some cool music-minded people, get to know who the cool guys who ended up running a record store for a living are and, all in all, support the brave souls who keep the spirit and nostalgia of music alive.

That, and it’s perfect to take the kids and show them what actually waiting in line to purchase a CD was like back in the day. Most indie record stores go all out and have live performances and other surprises, so check out what yours is doing!

Now that it’s gained some traction, Record Store Day is also the day when a lot of musicians launch special vinyl and CD releases that you wouldn’t get any other day. The organizers are kind enough to publish who will release what well in advance, so everyone can make their own shopping list of pure awesome. And even though the actual hunting for vinyl once you’re there is what actually keeps the magic alive, we’ve already ran the special release list by everyone at Loog headquarters and now know what we MUST get this Sunday – apart from Easter treats, of course.

You can find the entire special release list here, but if we were you, this is what we’d be getting all giddy about:

David Bowie - 1984

David Bowie – 1984 – 7″ Vinyl
From the Record Store Day site: “1984” originally appeared on David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” album and draws its inspiration from the George Orwell book of the same name. It was released as a single in 1974. The b-side was recorded live in December 1974 on “The Dick Cavett Show” and has had limited release since then. This is the first time it appears on vinyl.

Joy Division - An Ideal for Living

Joy Division – An Ideal For Living – 12″ vinyl
From the Record Store Day Site: Reissue from a newly cut master for the first ever Joy Division release.

Motorhead - Aftershock

Motorhead – Aftershock – 12″ Vinyl
From the Record Store Day Site: Fourteen belting statements which see Motörhead in perhaps their best writing form for years. There’s swagger, there’s punch, there’s speed and there’s dirty filthy grooves, Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee showing clearly that Motörhead is not simply a band, it’s a genre! For Record Store Day 2014 UDR is proud to present a special edition picture Vinyl which is strictly limited and numbered – a collectable that every fan will want to have.

Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself and Want To Die

Niravana – Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself and Want To Die – 7″ Vinyl
From the Record Store Day site: Original plans for the single in 1994 were cancelled due to Kurt Cobain’s death.

Of Montreal - Satanic Panic

Of Montreal – Satanic Panic 10th Anniversary
From the Record Store Day site: Featuring favorites such as “Disconnect the Dots,” “Lysergic Bliss,” and “Chrissie Kiss the Corpse,” of Montreal’s breakthrough album Satanic Panic in the Attic marked a slight departure from the band’s previous sound due to influences ranging from 1970’s Afro beat to 80’s New Wave.Remastered, 180-gram vinyl in a gatefold jacket with download. Disc 1 on Yellow vinyl, Disc 2 on Light Blue vinyl.

Bruce Springsteen - American Beauty

Bruce Springsteen – American Beauty – 12″ vinyl
From the Record Store Day site: Four previously unreleased songs: 1) “American Beauty” 2) “Mary Mary” 3) “Hurry Up Sundown” 4) “Hey Blue Eyes”.

Psychedelic Bollywood

Various Artists – Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood
We truly have no idea what this is but “Psychedelic Bollywood”? Want.
From the Record Store Day site: In the 1960s and 1970s Bollywood composers adventurously adopted the trippy guitars, spiralling synthesizers and ethereal vocals of psychedelia and mixed it with lusciously over-the-top Indian orchestrations. Jewels included feature songs by Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Iyer and yodeller Kishore Kumar.

The Velvet Underground - Loaded

The Velvet Underground – Loaded – 12″ Vinyl
From the Record Store Day site: Reissue on pink, black and white splatter vinyl of the 1970 Cotillion Records release. It was the final studio album by the band featuring Lou Reed, who had left the group shortly before it was release. “Loaded” contains two of the best-known Velvet Underground songs: “Sweet Jane” and “Rock & Roll.” Loaded is #109 on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time.

Johnny Cash - His Hot and Blue Guitar

Johnny Cash – With His Hot and Blue Guitar – 12″ vinyl
From the Record Store Day site: Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar is the debut album of country singer Johnny Cash. Released in 1957, it was the first LP ever issued on Sam Phillips’ Sun Records label. Currently out of print, the album is being remastered and reissued on an exclusive blue color vinyl for Record Store Day. This limited edition pressing of 3,000 units will be numbered with a foil stamp on each jacket.

Jimi Hendrix - Live at Monterey

Jimi Hendrix – Live at Monterey – 12″ vinyl
From the Record Store site: 180g reissue of original album. Numbered.

Jack White - The World's Fastest Record

Jack White – World’s Fastest Record – 7″ vinyl
And if you’re anywhere near Third Man Records in Nashville, you’re in for a treat: at 10 AM Sunday, Jack White will step up to the Third Man stage and record, live, the title track from his upcoming LP Lazaretto – which you’ll be able to take home that very same afternoon.
From the Third Man Records site: “The masters will be rushed over to United Record Pressing who will immediately begin pressing 45s. The sleeves will be printed from pictures taken at the show. The finished records will be whisked back to Third Man to sell to awaiting fans. All in the same day. All in a matter of mere hours. As long as there are fans in line waiting to buy the single, United will continue to press and deliver them to Third Man to sell. Even if it takes all day.”
Tickets to the live show are only for Vault members but any fan can drive up to Third Man and buy the single outside. Want. So bad.

Songs About Time and Clocks

Timeless MusicThe times, they are a-changing. And as much as some of you might want a revolution, we’re not really talking about Dylan’s times but our own clocks. We’re living an hour into the future as of Sunday night (morning?) and instead of moping around about the hour that’s been taken away, here at Loog we’re much more happy creating playlists about anything – even Daylight Savings Time 😉

So you already know what’s coming: turn the volume up, press play, sit back and enjoy. Let the smooth sounds of this timeless playlist take you through the ages – and feel like the edge of one less hour of sleep just fades away. Here are 13 songs about time and clocks. Happy listening!

Turn the Geek On: The Science Behind Music

Know what’s fun? Science. And know what’s even more fun? Music. So imagine the joy we experience when they both meet. Here at Loog, we spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to figure out how music actually affects the brain (as our Your Kid’s Brain on Music infographic shows) and the entire science behind music. It’s our little hobby, in a way. So we’re well aware of the data out there and studies looking to see what impact music has on the brain exactly.

One of our favorite experiments, which we’ve shared on Twitter, is changing minor and major keys to a song in order to radically change the way it is perceived. Whenever you do this, the song is highly recognizable. But instead of being happy-go-lucky, for instance, it becomes gloomy or sad – and viceversa. You see, major keys are usually found in happy, fresh songs. And those songs you’re so addicted to during break-ups? Those are all in minor keys. See the difference for yourself with this video from REM’s Losing My Religion, played in a major key.

Our second fascination: listening to sad music when we’re sad. What’s that all about? Why would someone salt their own wound like that, right? (We also like to call this the Adele effect). A new study shows that sad music actually induces pleasant emotions when listened to. But exactly why it does this is still a mystery. Composer Stephen Johnson says it’s because “There is something about seeing your own mood reflected that allows you to let go of that feeling”. Others think it’s because it becomes relatable.

Music in the brain

Or, just maybe, it’s the thrill of anticipation and having those expectations met. As this NY Times piece shows, listening to music releases dopamine in the brain, but just not at any time:

We found that listening to what might be called “peak emotional moments” in music — that moment when you feel a “chill” of pleasure to a musical passage — causes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, an essential signaling molecule in the brain.

When pleasurable music is heard, dopamine is released in the striatum — an ancient part of the brain found in other vertebrates as well — which is known to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli like food and sex and which is artificially targeted by drugs like cocaine and amphetamine.

But what may be most interesting here is when this neurotransmitter is released: not only when the music rises to a peak emotional moment, but also several seconds before, during what we might call the anticipation phase.

This would also answer one of our longest living musical neuroscience questions: why are electronic music drops so awesome and why does a song without them seem like something’s missing? That instant gratification might be the answer.

Do you have any other music-related science tidbits you’d like to share? Feel free to comment 🙂 We LOVE this stuff!