Archive for February, 2011
By: Maria Ciezak
Panda Bearâ€™s sound is so fresh and so clean, and sounds like nothing out right now. Check out track Last Night at the Jetty, off the album Tomboy, expected to be released April 12th. Panda Bear is the project of Animal Collective member Noah Lennox. The sound redefines the aesthetics and approach of newfangled and independent music. With melodies fluctuating from expanded but lyrical noise, ornate acoustic arrangements, and guitar-centric feel, Panda Bear have roofed a massive musical terrain that blurs the line between pop and experimental. Try this track on fire & all the cool kids are spinning it.
Stream/Listen to Last Night at the Jetty by clicking here.
By: Rob Brayl
[All photos via Getty Images]
Go inside my head! You’ve been warned. These are my comments recorded in real time while watching the 2011 Grammys…
*Lady Gaga arrives in a tick. Oh wait, it’s a silicon boob? An egg? She’s incubating? Lord help us. If she comes out covered in Cadbury Creme I’ll shit my pants.
*Drake, you lookin’ fine tonight, boo. As always. And I fucking love that you brought your Mom as your date (see video below). How thoughtful and non-douchey.
*Sorry, Willow Smith but Whip My Hair didn’t change my life. But that is an amazing pop song. (Willow told Ryan Seacrest that she can tell her song is changing people’s lives during a red carpet interview.)
*Jennifer Hudson looks really pretty. The end.
*Will LL Cool J ever age? Seriously. Black don’t crack!
*Katy Perry brought her 90-year-old Grammy (Granny). I fucking love Katy Perry!!! Love how she doesn’t take herself too seriously and she’s great in concert. She entered with a Grammy and will leave with one. It’s a win/win sitch.
*Miley Cyrus’ has a major case of side boob right about now.
*Rihanna looks like she’s wearing Christmas garland. Is she? I’m confused. Where’s Rudolph? Lil’ Wayne?
*Christina nailed it. The media can suck it! They always bash Christina even though she’s incredibly talented.
*I want Ricky Martin’s outfit. He was looking hot as hell. And that Gaga performance was weird and overrated. Wasn’t feeling it at all! Why does she have to ruin a song with the bizarre hysterics? So over it.
*I think Mick Jagger just had a Four Loko before coming out on stage.
*All respect to Streisand but wouldn’t it be funny if someone threw a shoe at her face?
*Rihanna, you red headed floozie, get your hands off my man!!!
*Yay. Go Arcade Fire! And the flash to Lady Gaga dressed in all black with a huge hat covering her face. She’s in mourning?
By: Rob Brayl
This past Friday, Facebook suffered from a flood. The flood — mainly brought on by “Little Monsters” — soaked Facebook’s news feed with links, comments, photos, and Youtube audio of Lady Gaga’s just-released, highly anticipated single, Born This Way. Since Gaga is the queen of overhype, I expected the flood and embraced it. To be completely honest, I’ve never been on the Gaga bandwagon and wasn’t too excited to hear the new material. In true imobsessedwithacelebrity fashion, I expected Gaga’s fans to post the video and state how “epic” or utterly genius and amazingly original it was, but to my surprise/shock most posts were the exact opposite. The most stated comment, of course, was how blatantly obvious it was that Gaga’s new self-proclaimed opus was clearly a rip off of Madonna’s classics — specifically the empowering Express Yourself.
And then I listened. And sure enough, they were right.
However, immediately I applauded Gaga for writing a song that had nothing to do with fame or telephones and for writing lyrics without the word “stick”. I’ve been waiting for Gaga to show some depth and although I felt the song was nowhere near as iconic as she had hyped it up to be, I appreciated the message of the song. The truth is, whether or not the song is a rip off or not, it’s definitely a step above some of her debut’s lyrics.
See, the thing is, I have a lot of beef with Gaga. It’s as if the woman clearly has some self esteem issues. Otherwise, what’s the point in declaring your greatness. For example, in the new issue of Vogue, Gaga stated: “I consider myself to have one of the greatest voices in the industry. I consider myself to be one of the greatest songwriters.” See, it’s fine and dandy to have confidence in your ability and talent but there’s a fine line between being confident and being a straight up egotistical douche. And Gaga crosses this line more often than I am comfortable with, which is one reason I have had a hard time becoming a true fan.
That line was crossed when she stated that Born This Way was in fact going to become the new gay anthem for our generation. Besides being a bit bold, that statement came across as a slap in the face, for instead of letting the gay community decide what the new anthem was going to be, Gaga was basically telling us what it was going to be. Sorry, but who voted you our President? Since when have you ever walked a mile in a gay man’s shoes? (Not every gay man gives a shit about designer labels and six inch heels.)
Also, I was really hoping that this would be the best time for Gaga to strip the hysterics and to really show us the real side of herself, the side that isn’t cluttered with goth lipstick and ripped fishnets and porcelain pink weaves. After all, the song is about being who you were born to be. The last time I checked Lady Gaga was born Stefani Germanotta. She grew up in a wealthy family on the Upper East Side. She attended private school with Paris Hilton. She was never a tortured artist. And she never was blonde.
To add more fuel to the fire, the single cover would’ve been more powerful and felt if perhaps maybe Gaga used a simple black and white photograph with little to no makeup and no wigs. Instead, we get the typical half-way naked shot with caked on eye makeup and computer generated horns and exaggerated back bones.
Bottom line: Appreciate the message, even if it does get lost in translation.
Listen to Born This Way below.
By: Rob Brayl
Nicole Scherzinger has just dropped the music video for her new single Don’t Hold Your Breath, the dancefloor breakup jam produced by Dave Aude. The track serves as the official second single from Nicole’s upcoming debut disc which will be released in late March.
Originally produced by Timbaland, Don’t Hold Your Breath was recorded as a demo by Keri Hilson. Although the demo was leaked with Hilson’s vocals, the more urban sounding version was never released. Flash forward to Nicole Scherzinger, whose label requested the song and sent it to Dave Aude to re-construct. Aude replaced the Timbaland vibe with more of an an electro-pop beat and delivered the finished product, which you can listen/watch below.
(Don’t Hold Your Breath will be released in the UK on March 20th.)
By: Maria Ciezak
The Strokes are back with a new single entitled Under Cover Of Darkness for your liking. Itâ€™s fun, itâ€™s edgy, and compacted with amazing Stroke swag, as expected. They were kind enough to provide the single for download from their website. I slightly picture myself dancing to this tune in a sun-filled pasture where no one is around to judge my moves. This is the lead single off the boys upcoming release Angles.
After a five-year hiatus, it was well worth the wait.
By: Maria Ciezak
Who exactly is James Blake? Heâ€™s an artist you need to watch, thatâ€™s who.
The 21 year old Londoner has massive talent and appeal. Indulge in this new artist and watch his career rise. Check out track The Wilhelm Scream and witness a song possessed with infrequent elegance and poignancy set to the sounds, the voice, the silence, and the beat to match.
Mike Kuntz from Washington City Paper described Blake’s album as: “…an album thatâ€™s probably best approached at a distance. A slow-burning eruption on all counts, James Blake can feel excruciatingly intimate in one moment and impossibly isolated the next; it has emotional extremes and experimental ones, and theyâ€™re often dizzying.”
Are you dizzy yet?
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Turn the volume of your world down. Let the radio be the only sound. Forget the day at work, the evening to follow. Eleazar Vs. John will introduce you to poetry at its finest, silence at its strangest.
They belong to Glitch, a genre which focuses on taking what anyone else wouldnâ€™t want and making it into something beautiful. Their foreign sounds, artistic use of static, and simmering vocals make you feel like youâ€™re floating through space, trying to catch stars.
Itâ€™s rare to find intellectual, cyber-based electro that actually hangs onto you. They make ugly things entrancing, make you want to be repulsive rather than ordinary. They toy with your sensibilities, and I absolutely love that.
Music, like love, has a timeless allure because of the mystery that surrounds it. We do what we can to scientifically break down and logically describe what happens to us when music hits our soul, but no explanation seems satisfying. Just as throughout the ages people have asked, â€˜What really defines love?â€™, people have also asked, â€˜What defines music?â€™.
This group changes your definition of what music could mean. Listening to them is the catalyst to a transformation. They make you harshly question the things you know, the things you were brought up to believe. And when the song is done, and static rings on the radio, you find yourself enveloped in thought.
Telling you about where the group comes from and what the group is doing would only lessen the impact of their music. They donâ€™t need you to know anything but the music they create. So Iâ€™m just going to leave it at that.
Donâ€™t anticipate normality when you press the play button.
Eleazar VS John – Of Age
Eleazar VS John | Myspace Video
By: Rob Brayl
Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?
Not to sound like a tween on Youtube but can all you haters just can it already?! Everyone knows by now that Christina Aguilera messed up the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner during the Super Bowl! Stop bitching about it on Facebook. Stop twitterin’ how it was offensive to you as an American that she effed the words. Let it go. For real, stfu. She’s a human being and human beings make mistakes! Get real, people!
In all honesty though, what does it say about our culture/media that we can forgive Tiger Woods for his indiscretions, we can let go of the douchebaggery spewed from Kanye’s mouth on numerous occasions, we can still allow Charlie Sheen into our homes even after the news of his epic fails, yet we cannot seem let go of the fact that Aguilera botched a few song lyrics? There’s something seriously wrong with that! (Oh, and not to mention that Janet Jackson’s nipple flash was way more offensive than Aguilera’s honest mistake. You try to perform in front of a gazillion people and see if you’re pitch perfect.)
LEAVE CHRISTINA ALONE.
And for the record — in case you have forgotten — the woman can sing.
Watch my favorite Aguilera performance below.
By: Rob Brayl
A student named Anna recently performed Cee Lo’s breakup smash F**k You in sign language as a final project for her college course on the same subject. The result? An A+ kick ass, feel good slap to the face. Via Anna’s Youtube page: “I am not deaf and still learning sign language and encourage others to learn sign language as well!”
And speaking of sweet. While listening and working on a write-up on Brandon Heath’s Your Love a little while back, I stumbled upon Keefer’s version in sign language and immediately felt moved. Growing up with a deaf father made it that much sweeter. For the record — unlike Anna — I do believe Keefer is deaf.
Please subscribe to their Youtube channels and show these two some love!
Check out Anna’s awesome performance of F**k You (NSFW), followed by Keefer’s sweet performances of Brandon Heath’s Your Love and Dave Barne’s God Gave Me You below.
By: Maria Ciezak
No need to Panic, the Disco has resurfaced, so throw your hands up. I must say, new single The Ballad of Mona Lisa is tremendous foreplay for the boysâ€™ new album Vices and Virtues, expected to be released March 29th.
Now, as we all know, this is Panic! at the Discoâ€™s first release with their current two-man lineup of Brandon Urie and Spencer Smith. Donâ€™t fret though, these boys can rock just as hard. With the absence of bandmates Jon Walker and Ryan Ross, I feel it bounces the chance to focus on their core assets: tune, drama, and authority. The song is absolutely more matured, in lyrical content and sound.
Is this single comeback-worthy to your ears?
By: Rob Brayl
Robyn’s highly infectious first single from the Body Talk series, Dancing On My Own, captured listeners with itâ€™s punch-to-the-face beats fused with the emotional attachment of being in love with someone who could care less about said feelings. The video, as with all of Robynâ€™s videos, was a visual treat, taking the song to a fresh place mentally. The same can be said in the simple documentary stylized video for Hang with Me, the lead single off Body Talk Pt. 2 â€” a sweet and vulnerable record, even if it is possibly, most likely about a friends with benefits type of relationship.
What I love the most about Robyn is how her music, even the most electronic, dancefloor declarations that make you want to shake your ass and stomp your feet â€” even those songs show complete intelligence and thought and often a vulnerable yearning-for-love heart.
Recently, Robyn performed Dancing On My Own at The Warfield in San Francisco and discussed how fans in the US have been reacting to the track. The Swedish pop star goes on to share her favorite subject (“sad love”) and talks about how it has weaved itself into her music. She goes on stating: â€œâ€˜Dancing On My Ownâ€™ is definitely a four on the floor beat, and I wasnâ€™t sure how it was going to go down in the states, but people are really connecting to it and when we play it live, itâ€™s the one song people really go crazy on.â€
Check it out!
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Fifteen years ago today, one of the brightest stars ever to tapdance its way into Hollywood flickered out. Gene Kelly is a performer who will forever live on in his energetic dance moves and unforgettable charm he sealed onto the screen. His debonair looks and boy-next-door smile made him increasingly popular through the 40′s and 50′s, and his unmatchable talent made him a wonder to watch. Some of you may only know him as Donny from Singinâ€™ in the Rain. Some of you may not know him at all. And that is a crying shame. There are so many choreographers, singers, musicians, and â€˜triple threatsâ€™ that helped build the film and music industry into what they are today, yet our generation doesnâ€™t give them a second glance.
Itâ€™s time to break out the old dancing shoes and slap on some classic suspension of disbelief, to give these boys and girls the credit they deserve!
I doubt I would have known of Gene Kellyâ€™s rhythmic talents if it hadnâ€™t been for my parents. They grew me up on musicals, and Gene Kelly was a natural prime number in that equation. Perhaps such a cultured childhood is what has inspired me to carry such an eclectic repertoire of music on my iPod.
I donâ€™t want to live in a world that doesnâ€™t know how to appreciate what it had. We canâ€™t let unmistakable singing and dancing talent fade away while we melt our brains with Lady Gaga.
Check out the comedic, toe tapping, leg shaking talent he has beside Donald Oâ€™Connor, another everlasting star to have faded into the cosmos.
Moses supposes ( singing in the rain )
Uploaded by anabelasugarlee. – Watch more music videos, in HD!
By: Maria Ciezak
Fleet Foxes are back with a new single, Helplessness Blues. Can I just say this may be the best song I have heard in months? Itâ€™s authentic, and open-hearted. These dudes are constantly laying it all out there, with spiraling melodies and soft harmonies.
When you hear this single, envision your late teenage years in some shitty situation, writing melodies that are a straight channel to what you heard growing up; no disengage between the past and now, just music you yearn for, music that is simply heartrending and untainted.
This is one for the books, kids. Fleet Foxes are back.
By: Rob Brayl
If Jessie J’s charisma and powerhouse vocals could be sculpted into car form, the result would definitely be a hot pink Cadillac. That, or an 18 wheeler. That’s the kind of force that’s steering Jessie J into superstardom.
Jessie J is a blossoming British pop star, who has already lit the music world on fire in many ways. She has written hit tracks for Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, and Chris Brown. Hell, she even co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ feel good smash Party In The U.S.A. — yes, as if it’s not already obvious, the girl know’s a thing or two about constructing a hit record.
But that’s besides the point…
Jessie J is clearly not in the music business for the money money, cha-ching cha-ching. One viewing of her live performance of her empowering ballad Who You Are (see video below), or scanning over the lyrics to Price Tag and anyone with half a brain can feel the genuine sincerity, truth, and compassion behind the packaging.
In a world where Auto-Tune is as common as pimple breakouts on the youth who predominantly absorb such music, Jessie J doesn’t require any of the manufactured bullshit or the musical photoshop to give the world of pop a much-needed facelift.
Jessie J’s talent is exploding at the seams.
Watch Jessie J in the following videos below: Who You Are, Live from Times Square + the video premiere of her new single Price Tag featuring B.o.B + a live performance of the same diddy following.
[Jessie J's debut album, Who You Are, is due out on March 28.]