Archive for March, 2010

NEW MUSIC: LINDSAY LOHAN’S ‘STUCK’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Besides Bossy, the last time Lindsay Lohan worked on music was in 2005, when she teamed up with indie rocker Butch Walker, who has produced major hits for artists such as: Hot Hot Heat, P!nk, Katy Perry, Weezer, All Time Low, Pete Yorn, & The Donnas (just to name a few).

The outcome of their collaboration was Lohan’s record A Little More Personal (Raw), which due to her immature lifestyle of clubbing 24/7, wasn’t taken seriously, although I will say, the album as a cohesive mainstream pop record was good. Believe it or not!

Although specific details are unreleased regarding the song below, I can only imagine she worked with Butch Walker on this track as well. It’s nothing revolutionary, but what do you expect with pop music? The majority of the genre is nothing but recycled hooks mixed with different beats.

Either way, I love this song and I have no shame in admitting it. It’s pure pop, but with Lohan’s seemingly chaotic life unfolding for the world to see, the track is stained with a residue of darkness.

Listen to the just-leaked STUCK, below.

PERRY REVEALS NEW ALBUM DETAILS, CALLS BRAND A “BRIDEZILLA”

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


A slimy Katy Perry has outed some details regarding her new album (due out later this year) and Russell Brand’s behavior regarding their upcoming wedding. Fun times.

On the new record:

“It’s what I said I wanted earlier. We nailed it: It’s roller-skating! It’s ’90s! It’s Ace of Base! It’s Cyndi Lauper! It’s like all these colors and more. There might be some really cool guest appearances by some cool rappers and then some best friends might be appearing. We’ll see! It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be one of those records that is everybody’s favorite guilty pleasure.”

On Russell Brand:

“He’s like a freak, man,” Perry told MTV News at the recent Kids’ Choice Awards. “He’s always buying bride magazines. Every time we go out for breakfast he’s like, can we just stop and get a bride magazine?”

Check out the clip, below.

CITIZEN COPE: SOAKED IN RAINWATER

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Let me tell ya’ bout a crew I know, they love hip hop and rock and roll; Citizen Cope, government name, Clarence Greenwood (and co.), whose 5th release, The Rainwater LP, showcases a title of “musical mythologists”. The tracks aren’t about bullshit, but about real life, and situations we all encounter. Lifeline seems to sum Cope’s poison and its antidote stating “If you come looking for a hard time, hard times ain’t hard to find”; sad, eccentric, and exceedingly listenable.

What’s so good? Using sluggish hip-hop beats with mellow piano melodies; the music then blends into new-school blues with smooth as butter pop. He fights the battle to stay pure, and that is why they are respected lyrically. I was surprised to hear they passed up a major record label and decided to launch independently for this record. I Couldn’t Explain Why pours a meticulous explanation for the bold move; “The message that I have been given, could have us drown, in the river, still I gotta deliver it”. Even without a stamp, their message will always get delivered.

Dodging the big bucks for an independent release; that’s something us indie buffs commend, correct? Hey, maybe more major-label denizens should consider busting off their chains and going the indie route…zing.

Be sure to throw Citizen Cope into your indie shuffle, and don’t be surprised if you put the beat on repeat.

STATING THE OBVIOUS: RICKY IS GAY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ricky Martin has finally came out of the closet and admitted to being gay. In more shocking news–the sky is blue.

In all seriousness, kudos to Ricky! He is a wonderful daddy to his beautiful twin boys and a great role model, spending countless hours in the arena of humanitarian efforts, specifically the exploitation of children in human trafficking rings.

He may have a fine bon bon, but where it counts Ricky is truly a beautiful human being and that is why I admire him so. Check out a clip of Martin in an interview explaining the horrific crime that is human trafficking, below.

T & S: NOT SCREAMING TO BE HEARD

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

They’re sharp, they’re crisp, they’re striking. They embrace the visual and mental spaces one can elaborate on with the music scene; easily can they encompass the concept of ‘walking art’. They’re not determined by cliche methods to entice particular demographics, and can therefore be accessible and appealing to almost anyone who cares to listen. They are Tegan and Sara, a band who hails from Calgary, Alberta, and are swelling with creative energy.

This duo is proof of how many places music can take you, and all of the ways that it can challenge you if you let it. This pair of sisters, both masterful musicians in their own right, have globetrotted with the power of the melody behind them, and an intelligent force within them that strengthens their passion to challenge themselves and open up their art. Witty, transcendent, and modern, their quizzical performances show you don’t have to scream to make your voice heard.

They began learning to play guitar when they were fifteen, and it is clear that their fingers were meant to pluck away at those strings, and their voices were meant to sing out. Being related doesn’t at all diminish the effect that their chemistry carries; if anything, it enhances it. Their vocals blend perfectly, and their abstract methods of lyrical organization and use of synthesizers and guitar makes a lush listening experience. Taking cues from indie, mod, and punk cultures (both regarding musical genres and fashion styles), the concoction of music they come up with is as invigorating as it is incapacitating. The result of their combined explorative efforts really indicate what it means to mesh artistic expression with musical genius.

Their juxtaposed personality traits are a perfect mix of introversion and boldness, and if you ever see them in an interview or watch videos on their site, you would immediately be able to tell that their keen articulation goes beyond writing their music.

Now, just in 2009, they released their sixth album, entitled Sainthood, which I think is the centerpiece of their inventive exploits, simply because it is the first album that they wrote together. As Tegan puts it, “We wanted to challenge ourselves. It was really complicated and difficult, (so) the music that came out of it was really complicated and difficult.” Needless to say, it carries their mark of fresh artistry and innovation. A fantastic record like this shows that music isn’t just a bunch of notes sewn together, but that it is a correlation from the brightest sparks of the human soul.

Right now the girls are touring, but planning concert dates didn’t make them too busy to volunteer to help raise funds for Haiti with the Crafts For a Cause organization. As long as this duo keep making wicked-smooth songs, then there is hope for keeping music at its best, and at its most profound.

Check out my favourite song from Sainthood entitled Hell, below. (Trust me, the song title is totally ironic.)
 

Hell from Tegan and Sara on Vimeo.

PS22 COVERS JAY-Z, COLDPLAY; CONTINUES TO MELT HEARTS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


We all worry about what youngin’s will become tomorrow, yet we forget that they are someone today. No, I’m not talking about Lil Romeo, Lil Bow Wow, or Young Money. I’m raving about actual youth talent, and a group from a public school in Staten Island that keeps grabbing my attention: the PS22 Chorus.

They’re infamous for their YouTube videos, and rightfully so. Music is the magnet that holds this school together. These New Yorker’s sing the hell out of various songs from Lady Gaga, Journey, and even Rihanna. They even hit the studio to record with Passion Pit for their critically acclaimed album Manners. These clips made my heart melt like a popsicle on the fourth of July (yes, Little Rascals throwback).

Everyone starts somewhere, and the PS22 chorus could have our future grammy winners sitting in those auditorium seats. Everyone knows youth is not easy, with fighting, bad grades, and cruel kids; but the good thing about music is, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

Check out one of their singing sessions, and I promise your day will be a little better. Not only your daily dose of kick ass music, but your double-dosage of kick-ass kiddies!

COOL COMBO: LARRY KING & SNOOP

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Laaaid back, wit mah mind on mah money and mah money on mah mind.

Larry King upped his street cred recently as the legendary host took rapper D-O-double G out for a spin in this mustard colored converitble. The only thing missing was some gold teeth.

Snoop Dogg is scheduled to appear on Larry King Live on Friday.

If there’s one photo I thought I’d never see in my life, this may be one of them. It’s pretty funny, almost as funny as the “Attention Fail” video from the infamous Fail Blog, I ran into yesterday. For some reason, this made me laugh til’ I almost cried. So awesome.

Check it!

LAURA MARLING IS A BABY CORN; CAN’T GET OVER IT

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I just discovered Laura Marling. This just-released video is poetic and thick with a depth of understanding beyond her years as Marling is only 20! That blows my mind! 20! Ok, I’m done.

Of course she’s from England. Of course it’s beautiful to the point of being a tad depressing. It’s a song with a stunning music video, called Rambling Man.

Marling was part of the original line-up of indie folk band Noah and the Whale and was featured as a background vocalist on their debut album, but left the group before the album’s 2008 release. Which is fine IMHO, because her music does not belong in the background of any act as it clearly holds all the ingredients to rise on its own.

Her sophomore album I Speak Because I Can is out now. Check out the video for Rambling Man, below.

20! 20! Can’t get over it!


Laura Marling – Rambling Man Official Video

Laura Marling | MySpace Music Videos

FRESH OFF THE PRESS C. AGUILERA

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


“Not Myself Tonight”
Written by Polow Da Don & Ester Dean
Produced by Polow Da Don for Zone4, Inc.

Christina Aguilera has revealed the art work for her brand new single (yet to be released). This will be the lead track off the upcoming disc, BIONIC.

More details to follow.

In the meantime you can check out a snippet of the first single, below.

ALAN POWNALL: THE INTERVIEW

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

He’s toured with the likes of Adele, Florence + The Machine, and Marina & the Diamonds. Now, in an exclusive interview for BTB, Pownall lets us take a peek inside his emerging career.

ROB BRAYL: First, I must say that I love the Single Ladies cover. “He’s up on me, I’m up on him.”—it was perfect the way you didn’t cop out and change the “he” to “she”. I thought it was humorous and endearing. What was going through your head when you decided to cover this song?

ALAN POWNALL: The song was on the radio at the time. We got asked to do a feature for a website called Indie/Ghetto; Indie artists covering hip hop / r&b songs, so we chose that one. I’m pleased you liked it. I can’t bare to watch it.

RB: I love the story behind your music and how things have opened up for you. Did you ever think you’d tour with the likes of Adele? I’m sure that must have been surreal the way it all panned out.

AP: It was an honor to go on tour with her at such an early stage of her career. She was magnificent and a lovely person. I only had a few songs at the time but I learned a lot from her. She deserves all the success she’s had.

RB: You also recently performed a few gigs with Marina & the Diamonds, how was that experience?

AP: I never met her. But we had a good time. It was the first time I went on the road with the band so I really enjoyed it.

RB: What do you wish for your audience to take from your music?

AP: I hope it’s different for everyone. But ultimately I would like for people to enjoy it, that’s all really.

RB: I definitely get a sense of honesty and a humble presence in your voice and music and I admire that. Could you ever see yourself going in a different direction stylistically or vocally?

AP: I write how I feel and I feel different every day. I don’t seek direction necessarily, but I hope to develop and mature as an artist.

RB: I want to know your current guilty pleasures within pop music. Give me something good!

AP: Rihanna seems cool, but I don’t feel all that guilty about it.

RB: I read on your website that apparently some lame hackers were hacking your MySpace profile? What’s the deal with that? Sidenote: you know you’ve made it when the hacking starts.

AP: It was my record label, no hackers yet!

RB: Tell us a secret.

AP: I don’t have secrets…

RB: Do you think there’s a possibility that you’ll be playing in the US in the future?

AP: I would love to tour in America, but we’ll see.

RB: Your major label debut is due out later this year. Is there pressure or a sense of relief, now that you’ve climbed to such an accomplishment?

AP: There are no feelings of relief or accomplishment. I am at the beginning of my career. I’m happy with the record and I’m excited about the future, that’s all I can say for now.

Check out Pownall’s music video for Chasing Time, below.

ENVY ON THE COAST DIVES HEAD FIRST

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Alternative rockers from Long Island are indeed the Envy on the Coast. Their new album Lowcountry is out March 30th; full of dangerously edgy tunes that pulsate a raw urgency and grunge spirit. The boys have boundless ambitions, and make music for their growing swell of fans. Lead off single Head First in the River combines headbanging with butterflies, “Move, it’s what they say, sell them the bones that they love to hear break.”

I was lucky enough to preview this album, an album that is full of songs that I would love to call my favorite, if only I could pick one.

Envy on the Coast is a live act you don’t want to miss. Watching this group play solidifies how touring has influenced their mannerisms and music. Are they just another Warp Tour summer success? Hell no; an element of many styles is their muse, but they all have a common thread. There’s no denying that present day acts rip off one another, or whatever is poppin’ that week. They seem to understand the dynamic of letting bands influence them, and embrace the comparisons without catching a mean case of copy-cat syndrome. After all, where there is no comparison, there is no envy.

Catch the boys on tour this spring, and you won’t be disappointed. Contagious lyrics on top of intelligent guitars, heavy metal drums, and a splash of indie-pop, all combines to form a sea of memorable hooks that indeed make them…the envy.

BIG GIRLS, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL — THE ALLEY, SIMPSON, SIDIBE REMIX

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Let’s just be honest: I love all three of the above-mentioned women. Why, you might ask? I think anyone who can handle the bullets of an evil and shallow industry and still lead a life with a hint of sanity deserves some major kudos.

Last night, after a long day at work, I grabbed my bag of Goldfish and tuned in for Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty. No matter what anyone says about Simpson, I find her cute as a button. I also find the message and idea behind this show to be one that is universal, one that women of all shapes and sizes can cling to, because underneath, in a world where Heidi Montag lands on a magazine cover swollen with injections, many beautiful girls are left feeling not-so-pretty.

Kirstie Alley (whose new series Kirstie Alley’s Big Life premiered Sunday on A&E) also thinks highly of Jessica Simpson, and is glad she’s strong enough to deal with the never-ending talk about her fluctuating weight. It’s something Alley can empathize with, and she gives cheers (pun intended) to the star for taking it all with a laugh.

Kirstie said (on Jessica): “I haven’t seen The Price of Beauty, but I love her. She’s funny, and she can take the punches. She’s smart.”

The Cheers actress rocked a bikini on TV back in 2006 after she lost 70 pounds, but has since then regained most of the weight back. Now, she’s back on the get-thin train with her new series and is attempting to shed the weight. She said: “I can’t believe I f***ing got f***ing fat again. I spent my whole life thin. It comes on a lot faster than I get it off.”

But the actress who has felt the most recent heat has been Precious star Gabourey Sidibe. Howard Stern recently decided to be an ugly ass (what else is new?) when he basically decided to call her the fattest person on the planet. All I’ve got to say is this:

What’s wrong with the world when we allow tabloids and a 56-year-old disc jockey to prey on a woman’s worth?

BIG GIRLS, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Where’s my twinkie? I’m signing out.

COOL COMBO: FLORENCE + THE MACHINE & JULIA ROBERTS IN ‘EAT PRAY LOVE’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

//And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had
And what was left after that too//

If you do not know Florence + The Machine, you really should. The critically acclaimed band, led by frontwoman Florence Welch, has made one killer cannonball splash in the music industry.

The new music video for DOG DAYS ARE OVER (watch in full, above) is vibrant, edgy, and brimming with ecstatic energy. The energy of the music is backed with incredible lyrics, filled with substance, echoing a message of hope and love. Although this track already had a video, which was released in 2008, Florence Welch classified it as “cheap,” and so she made another. And I must say, I agree with her — the first video did nothing for the song in my opinion. Although this video is definitely eccentric, it’s also undoubtedly fascinating, fitting the elements of the song more precisely IMHO.

The song was also chosen to be featured in the trailer for EAT PRAY LOVE, starring Julia Roberts. The movie will hit theatres on August 13th. The anticipated flick also stars James Franco and Javier Bardem. Check out the theatrical trailer for the film, based on the inspiring true story, below.

BROKEN BELLS; HEAR THEM RING

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Combine The Shins’ James Mercer and Gnarles Barkley’s Danger Mouse, and team them up for a dynamic indie delight; Broken Bells. If you haven’t yet acquired them into your music library, stop what you’re doing now. Their self-titled debut album is a clever pop ensemble full of melody and invention. Stand out track “The High Road” was one of the best free downloads i-Tunes has seen to date. They yearn to separate themselves from their old sound, leaving all old material behind. “A detour in your new life, tell all of your friends goodbye,”–these are true musicians, and the album exemplifies that, for them, it’s all about the music, not the profit.

The SXSW festival has given the band the confidence and the freedom to explore, and the fans are totally diggin’ it. Some may argue that Broken Bells is far too “laid back” to bring any real progressive qualities to the music table; this assumption couldn’t be less accurate. Check out “Sailing to Nowhere” to find two artists feeding off of one another to sum up a true sense of urgency in the dreamy melody. Give this album a spin and become a fan; let the bells ring.

POP MUSIC STINKFEST: KE$HA FARTS, BOWERSOX RE-INSTILLS HOPE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Someone get the record labels some Febreze, please!

Anyone with an ear can agree that TIK TOK is one catchy tune. I would be lying if I said I didn’t blast that diddy on repeat for a good month or two. But I’ve got to say, although I really like TIK TOK, I’m afraid the rest of Ke$ha’s debut did nothing for me. And duuude–what was up with her performance of BLAH BLAH BLAH (ft. 30h!3) last night on American Idol?! I felt like I might need a painkiller to get through it. With her screechy squeakster voice and her Indian headgear and flashing TVs, I was distracted and not amused whatsoever.

Living in New York, I meet some incredibly talented people, many in which I feel should have a record deal or an acting gig but they do not. Hell, I even see bums on the street with a trash can and a fork who seem to have more talent than half of the pop stars that are shoved down our throats each day on mainstream radio. Now, I love some good cheesy tunes, but at the end of the day I am tired of the crap. With the overexcess of “artists” who try way too hard with ridiculous giddups and phony attitudes, it’s all starting to severely stink.

Perhaps this is one reason why I find Crystal Bowersox downright refreshing. There’s no antics. No gimmicks needed, it’s just her and her guitar and a soul that’s been through the ringer a few times. Other than Crystal and a select one or two other contestants, this season feels very BLAH BLAH BLAH (pun intended) to me.

Check out someone who is never blah. The girl who will make you pee your pants: MIRANDA (and her cover of Tik Tok, below). Genius!

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