Grouplove – Check ’em Out

18 09 2015

The editorial offices are almost back to “normal” here at Racing to the Red Light.  Sorry for the hiatus.  We’re attempting to once again face our addiction to Flaming Hot Cheetos Con Limon and Diet Hansons Root Beer, and we’re doing well of it so far, day to day.

We’ve been listening to some new-to-us music lately, so here’s our first post-hiatus music post.  Behold, Grouplove:

RttRL’s Album of the Year 2013 – Howlin by Jagwar Ma

16 12 2013

We’re finally back, after our three-month booze-and-drugs bender, er, “sabbatical”.  Just kidding.

The Racing to the Red Light’s Album of the Year 2013 award goes to Howlin by Jagwar Ma

You can grab it on Amazon here.





A very, very close Second Place (in our admittedly biased opinion) goes to The Naked And Famous’ second album In Rolling Waves, here at Amazon.  So many amazing tracks!



The CLASSIXX Video You’ve Been Waiting For

24 07 2013

This is CLASSIXX featuring Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem fame.  Consider it to be Racing to the Red Light-approved beats.



On Warren G, and Regulating

11 07 2013

Folks, this is The Good Stuff.


w g 1

Undoubtedly, Regulate… G Funk Era was one of the finest hip hop albums ever released.  Top 5, for sure, in the opinion of the senior editorial staff of Racing to the Red Light.

Released in 1994, it contained an entire album of solid tracks, including standouts “Regulate“, “This DJ” and “Do You See“.

Here’s Regulate:

Here’s a clip of Brian Williams “singing” the same song, as produced by Jimmy Fallon and crew:

The area code 213 is referenced repeatedly in the songs on this album. For our readers hailing from outside of Southern California, here’s a little bit of 213 history as described by Wiki:

The area code historically has been associated with Southern California and Los Angeles. Area code 213 is referenced in Warren G and Nate Dogg’s song “Regulate”, Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.”, the Electric Six song “I’m the Bomb,” and the Notorious B.I.G.’s song “Going Back to Cali.”

213 was the O.G. Los Angeles telephone area code, as introduced in 1947, when 213 represented all of Southern California from the Central Coast down to Mexico. Over subsequent years, it was broken down into an ever-smaller geographic area around downtown Los Angeles (from Wikipedia):

  • 1951 – most of the southern portion became area code 714
  • 1957 – most of the old 213’s western portion become area code 805
  • 1984 – the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley became area code 818
  • 1991 – West Los Angeles and the South Bay became area code 310
  • 1998 – current (2013) practically all of the old 213 territory outside of downtown became area code 323

So Warren G, Nate Dogg and Snoop were all living squarely within “the 213” when the album Regulate… G Funk Era was released.  Today, Long Beach is area code 562.

Why, Why Manti?

30 01 2013


Many thanks to our crack South Bay Bureau Chief for sending this one in.

State of the Art

2 08 2012

There is a great track on the Making Mirrors album from Gotye called State of the Art

Musically, these are a lot of samples and sounds from different instruments and sources.  His voice is processed through some kind of eerie effect that gives it a quality that is not completely unlike the voices on the other end of the phone in those ransom call scenes in movies. 

The video is quite clever – I love the animation style and the story it tells:

The central subject in the song and video is an electronic organ called the Lowrey Cotillion Model D-575. I had to read the lyrics and then look up the Cotillion in order to decipher the song’s meaning.


I found a great article on a British music website that had interviewed Wally (Gotye) about this song. Here’s what he had to say on the subject:


My favorite piece of kit amongst this long list is easily the Lowrey Cotillion organ. My parents bought it for me from a Salvation Army second-hand store for $100 in 2009. It was released in 1981 and I’ve been told that it retailed for around $15,000 at that time! I had always loved playing with the various electronic organs hiding in dark corners of studios I’d visited over the years, but I found they had a lot of similar functions, effects and sounds (endless electronic flutes!). It was a joy to discover that my folks had chanced upon a fully-functioning organ that also happened to be a brilliant and idiosyncratic synthesizer. I instantly fell in love with the Cotillion’s sounds- there are a bunch of quite peculiar ones, but also a host of really vibey patches that, despite the D-575 being a digital model, have an analogue grit to them which I find really appealing.

I got so into the sounds on this organ that I wrote a song not just to showcase them, but also a self-reflexive lyric that mused on how fascinated I was with their peculiar sonic qualities. The song, ‘State of the Art’, is one of my faves on my recent record, and it features a whole bunch of Cotillion sounds.


Part of the lyrics talk about “throwing out the TV” when they bought the Cotillion, and about staying home rather than going out in order to have fun playing the organ.

This is quite a contrast to a story that the NY Times ran recently about how so many older pianos are now being hauled off to the dump rather than being donated and/or fixed up – especially since new pianos of similar quality, made in China, can now be purchased cheaply.

It was not that long ago, as the NY Times article points out, that practically every middle class household had a piano for entertainment. If you liked music – and who doesn’t? – you had relatively few choices in terms of enjoying music inside your home. You had the radio, the phonograph, and live music.

It’s sad that we’ve moved away from learning to play music. These days it is becoming more rare for the average person to be trained in at least one musical instrument.

The other kind of cool part of these contrasting articles is the robustness of the D575. Granted, Gotye thinks that his was produced in 1981, but still, it has evidently held up pretty well. It seems like a shame that so many things these days are not built with quality, built to last. Everything feels disposable, from modern cars to pianos.

Thankfully, Wally’s parents recognized the Cotillion for the treasure that it is at the Salvation Army, and put it to good use on his album.

Racing to the Red Light

17 07 2012


The following BOMBSHELL announcement from your friends here at RttRL is brought to you by a Google search on our blog’s name.

An Austin-based musician named James McMurtry has a song named … Racing to the Red Light!

I’m not a huge country music fan, but I like it!

Please listen to James’s music, and buy his stuff!  🙂

Gotye – Bronte

6 06 2012

I’m on a Gotye kick today, so it would seem.

By the way, Gotye’s album Making Mirrors is exceptional. Even if you are sick of hearing “Somebody That I Used To Know” on every channel on the radio, the album is diverse and strong.  Despite its release date of last year, it is in the running for Racing to the Red Light’s Album of the Year 2012 (because we only discovered it this year, and hey, it’s our rules here!).

I believe I got it digitally from Amazon for only $10 – well-worth it for sure. It’s been in regular rotation for weeks now.

Anyway, the closing track from the album is a melancholy downtempo tune entitled Bronte.  Here are the lyrics:


“Bronte” by Gotye

Now your bowl is empty
And your feet are cold
And your body cannot stop rocking
I know It hurts to let go

Since the day we found you
You have been our friend
And your voice still echoes in the hallways of this house
But now
It’s the end

We will be with you
When you’re leaving
We will be with you
When you go
We will be with you
And hold you till you’re quiet
It hurts to let you go

We will be with you

You will stay with us


Intrigued by the somber lyrics, and being the inquisitive type that I am, I decided to try to find the artist’s take on the song.  I must admit, I teared up a little bit when I read the following description of the meaning of the song:

The song Bronte is about a friend’s family gathering as their old dog is put-down.

If you have ever had a pet who suffered and had to be euthanized, then you can’t help but feel something when you hear this song. It’s sweet and sad and somehow an appropriate sendoff for a friend.

I believe the folks who produced the animated video for Bronte are independent Australian animators, who go by their first names, Ari and Jason.


The video follows a different interpretation of the lyrics, and is just as beautiful (but not as sad) as the inspiration for the song.

Sometimes I like to hear, and think about, sad songs. Life is hard, and it’s not like there aren’t a million daily reminders of that fact. But I think there is value in experiencing sadness and loss, because it (hopefully) encourages us to appreciate the good stuff a little bit more – the time we do have left with family and friends, or the simple pleasures in life.

Here’s the video:

R.I.P. MCA – Adam Yauch

4 05 2012


Founding member of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch aka MCA, has died. He was 47.


I didn’t realize this until today. Besides music, he had expanded into film lately. His film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories produced the excellent documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” about street artist Banksy, which I highly recommend.



License to Ill was such a great album. So was Paul’s Boutique and Ill Communication.

I remember when License came out, I was in elementary school. I liked it because the songs had funny lyrics but the music was good, not goofy. 

The record, which I had, featured the tail of a private jet with the Beastie Boyd’s logo, but when you opened the record sleeve, the rest of the picture showed the crumpled forward part of the plane crashed into a mountain. We thought that was pretty clever.



Truly a sad day. RIP MCA.

Say Hello Before You Say Goodbye

23 12 2011

Since I’m on a video kick this week, I thought I’d share another good one – Martin Solveig’s “Hello” – a truly funny video: