A great philosopher once said, “You spin me right round, baby right round like a record, baby right round.”  A Girl Talk record does just that, it spins me.  We here at Fresh Scouts first shed light on Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) back in April of 2009, when we featured his album Feed the Animals.  Since then we have been slapping each other in the face with glow sticks while we thrash out to the musical connect-the-dots of a Girl Talk album.

If you have a short attention span and you don’t fear mixing Jay-Z and Flock of Seagulls together, well…this is SO going to be your thing.  Girl Talk is back at it again with his winning formula of digital sampling and mashups.  His newest creation, All Day, is jammed packed with hip hops finest and pop music gems.  Imagine sitting at a red light and four cars pull up around you with windows down blaring their music.  Buckle yourself in for 71 minutes of seamless sampling.

Can it get any better?  Uh, fo sho.  Get your greedy little paws on All Day for FREE!  Yeah, that’s the price that speaks a universal language.  Mosey on over to Illegal Art to get the whole album for $0.00.  Thanks be to Girl Talk and to all of the samples.  And yes, thanks be to glow sticks.

Check out this artsy fan created video for “Oh No”

My college years introduced me to a lot of things that I would take with me into adulthood (or what people keep telling me is supposed to be adulthood.)  I drank my very first alcoholic beverage in college which eventually led to a few more alcoholic beverages.  I learned about life outside of a curfew which usually meant the necessity to schedule more naps throughout the day.  I was introduced to the 20 page paper due in a week which also introduced me to the life punishments that accompany procrastination.   But most importantly, on one magical day during my sophomore year of college, I discovered the musical creative genius of a band called Florez.

As a sat at the desktop computer “kids” today would consider to be dinosauresque, I happened upon the Nashville-based rock band, Florez.  As I listened intently through a few of their diddys (not to be confused with “P” diddys), I was immediately intrigued by the unique sound emanating from my speakers.  Lead singer and guitarist Alex Florez paired with bassist Erik Huffman produced a sound combining styles from many different musical genres to produce energetic, yet smooth harmonies.

Despite their brief hiatus in 2006 so that bassist Erik Huffman could participate in a little show called Survivor, the band has traveled with several well known artists and bands including Gavin Degraw, Better Than Ezra, and The Doobie Brothers.  Returning to the music scene, they were snatched up by the Hothead Group and recently released their latest EP Yellow Shoes.

So that’s enough facts to lure you in.  We’ve done our job.  Now do yours and take a listen to their music.  If you’re in college, then I’ve held your hand through the first baby steps of a successful college career.  Now grab a beer (if you’re 21+ of course), stay up until 2am, and write that paper before it’s too late.

Everybody loves free stuff because, ya know, it’s free. When I was a kid, I got this book (not free) that listed this whole slew of stuff that you could get just by asking for it. I wrote letters to all sorts of different companies and ended up free books, free samples, and free toys. It was my guidebook for the begging, basically, and it got me just about everything I could’ve ever wanted.

Except one thing. It never got me Free Energy.

That’s probably because the Philadelphia band wouldn’t even join forces and use their now-buzzworthy name until 2007. I was like 25 years old by that point and had lost my free crap handbook like a decade and a half previous. But now, at the ripe age of 28, Free Energy is finally mine (and yours, I suppose). It’s something I always wanted, even though it didn’t exist until recently.

I sound ridiculous, I know. Nothing I’m saying is making even an iota of sense, but try to understand what I mean—since sometime in the late 1980s, there hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t wanted for upbeat, light-hearted rock, and Free Energy encapsulates that better than any indie band out there. It’s not angry or over-the-top or abrasive—just happy and energetic. Free energetic…

Look, it’s on me to put you guys on stuff that you’re actually going to be interested in listening to, but there’s not a single CD out there right now that’s less offensive and more universally loveable than Free Energy’s “Stuck on Nothing,” featuring, among other smile-worthy tracks, “Bang Pop,” which has seen the most mainstream success of any track on the record.

Not everything in life is free, but this Energy is. I mean, not in the sense that you won’t have to pay for the album, because you will, but in the sense that it’s out there for everyone to enjoy. As part of everyone, you’d be remiss not to join in the festivities. That part won’t cost you a thing.

A lot of good things have been brought to American from Europe:  pizza, Robert Pattinson, French kissing, racy foreign movies, an indie alternative garage-rock back know as The Beatles, and escar go. Ok, maybe we’re not as excited about that last one.  Europeans have introduced us to the quaint game of golf, nude beaches, and even wooden shoes.  We really owe them a couple of high fives, a round of drinks and possibly some gold stars. They’re the country that just keeps on giving.  So naturally, it wasn’t long until they came up with another treat. Their recent gift comes from England in the form of indie pop singer, Ellie Goulding.   Born in Hereford, England, Ellie has been laying down entrancing, unique tracks that have earned her a following of dedicated fans.

Ellie’s music is the perfect combination of “dancing just because you’re happy” and “bubble bathing because you’re in need of relaxing.”  Her voice could carry its own, but combining it with the perfect rhythm of drums and a string quartet brings an additional flavor that is more enticing than the frosting on a perfectly toasted Toaster Strudel (which is saying a lot.)  Both are so delicious that it results in a craving for more; whether it’s frosting or one of Ellie Goulding’s singles.

Ellie Goulding has been noted to be “the next big thing” by the entire UK music business, which they made official when they presented her with the critic’s choice award at the most recent Brit Awards.  Her debut album, Lights, was released on March 1, 2010 preceded by her first single “Starry Eyed” which reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.  But we here at Freshscouts know that we can provide you with as many facts as Wikipedia can provide (sometimes more), but what really reels in your attention is to actually sample the work.   You’re gonna like the way she looks.  I guarantee it.

Some of my favorite things come from Memphis, TN.  There is a little BBQ place on the outskirts of town that looks like an old broken down convenience store.  The Cozy Corner lies lost in a better time where the only thing people had to care about was company and food made with extra love.  I’ve also grown to love the gritty soul of Beale Street, where the party dies when the sun rises and Blues musicians play to the street.  But Memphis also produces a lot of great folk musicians.  Musicians like Drew Holcomb.

The weird thing that I have begun to notice about artists in the music industry is that, more and more, they all seem to be one big happy family.  The more people that I’ve met, the more I’ve realized that they are somehow connected.  For instance, Drew Holcomb has opened for a number of headlining acts nationwide including Susan Tedeschi, The Avett Brothers, Marc Broussard, Dave Barnes and Matt Hires (among many others.)  He is also signed to the same label as Matthew Perryman Jones and Griffin House.  So yeah, one big happy family.

But just because he’s been grouped in with these artists doesn’t mean he sounds like these artists.  He has a traditional folk sound that is gritty and true, bringing back the roots of a type of music that is exceedingly lost on music listeners today.  Drew Holcomb certainly keeps a piece of tradition that most artists fail to keep.  His music is strong, yet peaceful.  Like Gandalf the Wizard.  Was that too nerdy of a reference?

If you want some great folk rock for the winter, make sure you check out Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors.  If you want a great movie, check out Lord of the Rings.  I’m just sayin’.

Oh, and here is a Christmas treat for you courtesy of them.