Time for another overhaul!

Been doing a lot of reading about Fair Use, Creative Commons, copyright and all sorts of legal jargon involved in blogging responsibly. Since dragonsandflowers is, first and foremost, a place to review and boost artistic projects, I want to make sure I’m doing more good than harm. I’ll be doing some serious editing and reading over the coming days to make sure every step from here on out is better than the last.

I’ve plenty of material waiting in the wings and, like always, I’m eager as hell to share.

So Many YouTube Channels, So Little Time: DYNMK’s Enigmatic Approach To Music

I promote a lot of music on Sharing The Goodness. But where do I find half this stuff?

A big chunk comes from casual browsing. Yet more come from recommendations and chance encounters. A significant amount, however, I find through music channels — the accounts on YouTube devoted to uploading music in certain genres (or sometimes all genres) to share the goodness on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There are a ton I return to on the regular to whet my artistic appetite and set the tone for my day — today we’ll be taking a look at what makes DYNMK a musical stand-by.

For those looking for other music-related content, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts — I have music video reviews, song lyric breakdowns and song round-ups in various genres.

Lovers of ambient, electronica and R&B…you’ve found your treasure trove. I happened upon DYNMK over a year ago and have found myself returning time and time again in search of the next song that has me melting in my seat. Even better? There’s plenty to sink your teeth into whether you’re a casual listener or a music buff. Steady uploads, a consistent tone and the perfect balance between variety and theme go a long way in making this channel stand out.

I also only just realized that DYNMK is an abbreviation of ‘dynamic’. Damn it, me.

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Indie Pop-Rock & Shoegaze

All genres have their inherent strengths and weaknesses. What can cause some to turn away (and even choke back their bile) on indie and shoegaze is their frequently lackadaisical and meandering nature. “Stop droning about your high school crush!” Some might cry. “Give me something more than just a twangy guitar and some fuzzy feedback!”, others wail at their screen.

This is why I’m here: I do my damndest to find the stand-outs of any genre. Even if this isn’t quite your thing, take a look. Some of these grew on me after a few listens…perhaps you’ll find something you just can’t get enough of where you least expect it.

For those curious about other genres, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at piano pop, alternative and hip-hop!

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1. “I’m Just Snacking” by Gus Dapperton

Starting off with perhaps the most twee name in human history, it’s time for some introspection on your music consuming habits. How often do you come back to songs to double-check whether or not it’s a new favorite? ‘I’m Just Snacking’ took a few listens for it to properly grow on me, but once it did, I wasn’t sure how I went so long in my life without having Gus Dapperton on my playlist.

Much like the singer’s cloying fashion sense and oddball haircut, what you see is exactly what you get…almost. Both the song and video give you a rather interesting push-and-pull of simple and weird, a delight I found sticking with me long after the outro wrapped up. The sexual lyrics are rather on-the-nose, mixed with a variety of instruments that sound almost carelessly sprinkled throughout. It’s conventional, yet eccentric. Mellow, yet quirky. All in all, it has a little something for everybody.

Honey, I’m whole so what are we snacking for?

I’m just a whore, boy, it’s only natural

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Piano Pop & Soft Pop

It’s about time I got around to a genre that’s always acted the part of the happy little angel on my shoulder. I used to listen to a serious amount of piano pop and soft pop during my high school days. Gavin DeGraw, Sara Bareilles, Keane, Coldplay, you name it, I probably listened to it. Luckily for you, though, I’m going to focus more on artists that don’t get nearly as much airplay. …Mostly. Predominantly. You’ll know when you get there!

If piano pop and soft pop aren’t really your thing, check out my previous Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at rock, ambient/instrumental and house/funk!

I’ve also shaken up this series by doing a music video + song review as well as a top five list of some of my favorite song lyrics.

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1. “Wanting What I Need” by Clara C

Piano pop is like drip coffee with a dollop of something extra. It’s solid, it hits the spot, it’s a mundane staple of everyday life…but there’s an additional sweetness that elevates it to something all its own. When you match it with lyrics that act like your very own personal life coach? It’s a genre all its own.

‘Wanting What I Need’ is the kind of song that wants you to make the most for yourself, online randos and mental illness and anything else tripping you up be damned. Bursting with all sorts of instruments — keyboard, bells, guitars –you also get an unbelievably charming horn section midway through that warms you up just like that cup of drip early in the morning. The video is incredibly cute, too, showcasing the lead singer and her family/friends jumping on a trampoline with balloons, streamers and bubbles.

All in all, what you both want and need is a visual and musical representation of how joy really does come from simple things.

This time I’m gonna break out and be free

Stop needing what I want and start wanting what I need

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A Little Goes A Long Way: Give These Three Art Kickstarters A Fighting Chance

Another day, another round of fantastic independent projects that are just waiting to be given a chance. Fans of illustration, sequential art and crafts are going to find a lot to love in the list below. Even if you’re low on cash, a quick signal boost on your social media account can go a long way for creators who are looking to get their work out there!

For past Kickstarters that I’ve boosted, just click here and see what other cool creations could still use some of your help!

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1. The Sun And The Wayward Wind

The United States is a massive country…and with it, a massive amount of fascinating urban legends, folktales and local myths that are begging for a good re-imagining. The Sun And The Wayward Wind is a full-color comics and illustration anthology ready to transform how you look at the mundane and the fantastic.

With over two dozen comic teams and illustrators combining their strengths and perspectives, this is a compilation that’ll look brilliant on any shelf or coffee table.

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Indie & Alternative

I’m the first to say alternative and indie can be a little hard to pin down. Yet I’ve got a cluster here that are indicative of the genre in ways I didn’t think possible. Emotional, raw, breezy, whimsical, you get the full gamut of emotions these addictive genres have to offer. I’ve got one in particular I’ve been dying to share, so I think I’ll use it to start off the list…

If alternative and indie aren’t your thing, glance back at some of my previous Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at soul and funk, R&B and chill-pop!

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1. “Guidance” by Yeah Boy ft. Ryan Keen

I am overdue for sharing this absolute gem of a piece. A song that makes your soul lift straight out of your body. Not in the ‘I’m dealing with secondhand embarrassment and I can’t handle it anymore‘ way, but the ‘God, I feel like I could touch the sky‘ way.

A breezy summer day somehow condensed into four minutes, this is the definition of bottling up some musical magic. The outro is nothing short of stunning and easily the most incredible part of a strong package. A soft chorus builds and builds and builds with a rolling guitar in the background that’s as grand as it is whimsical. Something I love doing is reading the comments on a video (don’t worry, I don’t read too far) and seeing if people feel similar emotions.

Judging by the amount of commenters saying the song makes them feel nostalgic or like they’re destined for something special…to that I say: yeah, boy!

I really need some guidance

It’s gone way too far

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Hip-Hop & Soul

Soul has a way of getting me into this perfect headspace. For a moment, everything feels all right. It’s not quite the romantic feeling I get from folk, nor the nostalgic sweetness that thrums through my veins with rock. It’s a little timeless, like it comes from another place entirely.

If hip-hop and soul aren’t your thing, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at indie and folk, instrumentals and chill-pop!

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1. “D + G” by Mila J + BC KINGDOM

While Mila J is the more well-known Jhene Aiko‘s sister, don’t let it be said she’s piggybacking off of her sibling’s fame. No, Mila J is in a league all her own. She has the pipes, she has the style and I’m going to talk about two of my absolute favorite songs by her. …So far!

There are plenty of songs about the value of shiny rocks. ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ is probably the most famous Western example, though it certainly isn’t for lack of trying. ‘D + G’, however, gets a touch more artistic. While still talking about money, it goes a step further and uses precious stones as a metaphor for beautiful emotions. It certainly doesn’t hurt the production is buttery smooth and the atmosphere is nothing short of romantic. This is one collaboration that goes together about as well as…well, silver and gold.

Even amber and jade, it couldn’t make my memories fade

If I gave you every stone, could I keep you as my own?

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