Archive for March, 2011


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This woman’s my hero!

With the just-announced news that Dolly would be touring this summer I found myself listening to old records and watching clips of her online. And I stumbled upon this gem of a photograph, as well as some touching points made when Dolly was interviewed last year by Larry King. Can’t wait to see you on the road this summer, Dolly!

When asked about her loyal gay fans:

“I have a lot of gay fans, female and male. A lot of people feel like they’ve grown up with me. As you know I’ve always been outspoken, I’ve always been pretty outrageous. I’ve always believed that a person should be who they are and you should be comfortable being who you are and people should leave you alone to be who you are and how you are. So I think I’ve always been accepted in the gay community because I accept them. I have so many fans who’ve always loved to come to the shows and they know that I’m not judging them. I think people are who they are. We’re supposed to love each other for what and who we are.”

When asked about anti-gay bullying:

“I don’t know the reasons why people act the way they do about other people. I just think we need to dig down a little deeper and try and be a little kinder to one another and accept each other for who we are. You can’t tell me that people are any way other than how they’re supposed to be. I don’t think gay people are trying to be different just to make other people miserable. I think people are being who they are. I think we should be a little more tolerant and a little more accepting and understanding.”

[Dolly, in an interview w/ Larry King]

Check out a recent interview below + Dolly’s version of Shine following. (The lyrics felt appropriately matched to the message of this post.)

PS: I’ve gotta get back to Dollywood! That place rules my face!

[Related Post: Dolly Returning To The Big Screen w/ Queen Latifah]


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Broken Bells are out with a new EP entitled Meyrin Fields. As I’ve stated before on BTB, Broken Bells equals pure genius. When you combine James Mercer and Danger Mouse, things cannot go wrong. Although only four songs, it’s a little taste for what’s to come on their next release.

These tracks sound noticeably different then those on their first release, showcasing some more electronica-based influences. But don’t fret; it’s not just beats. The backing vocals stand out as a highlight, and of course, Mercer’s pipes are strong as ever. Basically meaning the influences of both members can be heard. There is nothing better than the misty vocals and guitars of The Shins and the discrete melodies and beats from Danger Mouse. It’s such a simple recipe for musical success, pretty much add water and mix. The only negative thing I can say is that each track doesn’t clock over the three minute mark, but hell that’s ok; beggars cant be choosers.

Check out a track called Heartless Empire below.


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The Sounds are back with a new album entitled Something To Die For. Basically, this record sums up three demands: dance, sing along, and interpret. The Sounds are an original, underrated Swedish five piece that recognize the definition of creative music. (A little side note for those of you are unfamiliar with the group, they’re fun, almost 80’s style sound will turn you out.)

This is the group’s fourth album to date, and this album differs on all fronts. To be honest, it was love at first sight. For current fans of the group, this is the record that will redefine the fresh attitude for The Sounds. The new wave, synth pop sound emphasizes lead bombshell vocalist Maja’s talent. Key tracks such as The No No Song, Something To Die For, and Won’t Let Them Tear Us Apart, are some that I recommend to the listener trying out for the first time, as each is a good way to test the water.

Purchase this if you want to feel like you’re rocking out to the days of big hair and neon leg warmers.


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

There are songs where the finest version isn’t always the first recorded. If an artist decides to copy a song, spinning it in a drastic yet positive way, then the remake has the right to exist. This may not be the exact case scenario we’re talking about here, but John Legend does a pretty damn good job covering our girl Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. I simply worship both of these artists, and listening to each of their versions is a spectacular treat.

Check it out below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

So this past weekend I saw Hall Pass. And besides the fact that I basically pee’d my pants from laughing so hard, I also realized that I have yet to write about Wiz Khalifa (his music is played during the closing credits in case you’re wondering).

But back to Hall Pass for a hot minute. I gotta say, I loved the big black dong scene. What?! Didn’t you? There was just something about Owen Wilson’s face lying next to an chocolate anaconda that just did it for me. I really needed that laugh! So thank you, Farrelly Brothers. And on a sidenote, how the hell did this film get by with an R rating?! I mean, I could understand a quick flash of penis but this was a good five second close-up.

Now, back to the music…

There’s a new jam in town and it’s left me feeling high. Listen to No Sleep, taken from Khalifa’s upcoming album, below.

[Rolling Papers is set to be released tomorrow.]


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I dig musicians with soul. And not just the kind of soul that gives magic to the groove. I mean the soul beneath the skin that so many philosophers debate about. The spark that wants to make a difference in the world.

Jack Johnson is a musician with that kind of soul. Part musician, part surfer, part family man, but all about the love. He has promised to donate $50,000 to the Japan Tsunami Relief Effort, and that’s a move that deserves a pat on the back. Jack and his band were actually in Japan when the earthquake hit, mid-way through their To The Sea tour. The experience was so rattling for him that it awoke his inner philanthropy. He describes it as such: “My family and I were in our hotel room on the 29th floor in Osaka when the earthquake hit. Although it was an extremely nerve-racking experience, it was nothing compared to what those closer to the epicenter are going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families that have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. We are making a donation to help with the relief efforts and hope to be back in Japan soon to reunite with friends and play more music.”

What’s more, all of the moolah he’s making from his tour is going directly to charity.

I only hope that more men like him get out into the world and keep on making music. He has an attentiveness that comes through his music’s mellow vibes.

Let’s all have a round of applause for Jack Johnson, a man who uses his music to make a difference, not as an excuse to hit on groupies and throw up backstage.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Spoken like a true crackhead!

“I say Rebecca Black is a genius and that anybody telling her she’s cheesy is full of shit.”

–Lady Gaga
[Via the Google Goes Gaga Interview]

PS: Do you agree? Or do you think Gaga was smokin’ crack?


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

One of my beloved powerhouse groups, Halestorm, are back with a new EP entitled ReAnimate: The Covers. Lead singer, Lzzy Hale, blares notes so high, things may possibly explode. Her voice is truly one of the best out to date, with a range that’s purely epic. Halestorm covers a diverse collection of greats such as Skid Row, The Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, and modern day diva Lady Gaga (among others).

This disc has a little bit for everyone, while putting a unique, rock and roll touch on each track. This group never disappoints, live or on the airwaves. See the video below in case you need a reminder.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

How precious is this pop tart?!

Fresh out da oven.

Most songwriters cannot claim to have written a track as big as, oh you know, If I Were A Boy by Beyonce. But then again, most songwriters are not BC Jean. In a way to deal with heartbreak, Jean channeled all of her inner pain post-breakup to create a beautiful record and as most would be, was excited to get a phone call stating that Beyonce wanted to record the track.

But that’s besides the point…

BC Jean is emerging now as her own artist and has released a record just as heartfelt as If I Were A Boy, the emotionally soaked I’ll Survive You — another dose of post-breakup stress channeled through song.

Listen to I’ll Survive You + watch an interview with the singer/songwriter as she discusses If I Were A Boy and her upcoming debut album (release date TBD), following.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A woman should never take the stage unless she knows how to move, knows how to sing, and knows how to riot, one way or another. Taylor Momsen knows this well, and gives it all when leading The Pretty Reckless. They have an edge hot enough to cauterize your arteries, primed to slice up your ears. Sometimes I feel like they put a little too much hard into hardcore. They could turn it down five notches and still bust your chops!

For the record, I don’t care what you have to bitch about Taylor Momsen. I don’t care if she’s not your choice for a leading lady, I only care that she owns the stage and has a voice that rocks my socks off. I’m not here to talk some chalky celebrity gossip- I’m here to talk about music. And their music is something worth talking about. Who cares what a musician does when they’re not on stage?

It’s dark, but splices of light have a tendency to slip through. I can picture them touring with Die Mannequin, or anyone else who knows the truth of grit. Taylor always said the point of this band was to give people something they didn’t expect, something that would give people a double-take while they’re on stage. All about shock value, trashy truths uncovered in the dark corners of the night. Not only do I feel the passion behind their rock, but I feel the intense honesty in the songs, and that’s what keeps me listening. I know the dark dress, heavy bass, and whisky shots before showtime is a formulaic vibe, but The Pretty Reckless takes it and makes it their own.

Taylor’s voice is real, and so is the band backing it. That’s what I love: the reality, the integrity of it all. That’s what real rock should be. So mercilessly honest it breaks your heels.

Come on down to the basement of your brain. The Pretty Reckless is setting up shop here, and they’ve got a good party going.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Is it too soon to rave about these guys again? Nope, didn’t think so.

Hollywood Undead’s new music video for Been To Hell is coming to an eye socket near you. I’ve already had the pleasure of it splattering across my eyeballs, and now it’s your turn.

In case you’ve forgotten, Been To Hell is a ruckus of sound, terror, anguish, and paralysing strength. Now it’s got the visuals to match.

A word of warning: the story behind the vid is a pretty disturbing one. It jumps headfirst into the hard reality of how big cities can corrupt, exploit and destroy. It leaves no nerve uncut.

[Related Post: Hollywood Undead Rumbles On]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


There’s really nothing more to say, I’ve said it all before (see related post below) — Jessie J’s vocals, genuine energy and fresh vibe is turning the music world inside out. Watch JJ take on my personal favorite record she’s created — the powerful Who You Are — live from Don Hill’s in NYC (as part of VEVO’s LIFT showcase) below.

Seeing everyone in the audience sing their hearts out is the only test needed to prove how much this song has become an anthem to those who’ve ever felt unworthy.

[Related Post: Pop Gets A Facelift With Jessie J]


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Mother Mother is a special sort of act to follow. Virile lyrics, fiendishly catchy hooks and quirkalicious vocals are just a few things that inspire my praise. They have swank, swagger, and style to match. They’re a pop art masterpiece just waiting to be painted, just waiting to dry off in time to be framed. Eureka is just their third album, and it’s toying with the atoms in my stereo.

Par example, The Stand is a song I just can’t get out of my head! I’m telling you, I’m singing it everywhere! To work, at work, from work, at home, in my head, out loud. Something about it has snapped all my switches and made my memory go viral. Even when I hear it on the radio for the tenth time in a day, I’m keen to bob along. Any band that can make me love the repetition on the radio has pockets full of genius.

Shall this thrill turn to the dullard moan of, ‘Oh god, not that song again!’? I hope not. I hope this spice never stops dancing on my tongue. I haven’t gotten this excited about a single song since Pink’s Raise Your Glass (which Rob introduced me to).

How can they manage to make my ears so raw, so eager for more?

Will their magic work on you?


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“Pat [Patrick Carney], the drummer for the Black Keys, I met him at a Kings of Leon concert in London, and he was like, ‘I used to shit on you guys, but then I actually listened to your stuff, and you’re so rad.'”

-Joe Jonas
[In the new Details]

My favorite Jonas edit — via the year 2009 — below.


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Sleigh Bells are a–ringin’. Their debut album, Treats, showcases that Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss can deliver hard. Their musical selections can be labeled as a mixture of hip-hop beats and feisty vocals — collective with crunchy — loud guitars to make you move. Despite each track being moderately short in length, Sleigh Bells manage to compact enough punch and twist on each to make high school kids drive around aimlessly with no excuse, just to play the music. Each song — especially Kids and Riot Rhythm — is like gushers, with a juicy musical filling for your ears.

To be honest, you are likely to either love or hate Sleigh Bells, as I do not believe there is an in-between here. Clubheads will rejoice, audiophiles with retch, and parents will purchase earplugs. This is that flamboyant, energetic music that was intentionally mixed “into the red” so that you get intense distortion and feedback. Sleigh Bells’ music is designed to sound really fucked up, much like a cassette that’s been left in the sun, becoming warped. Revolutionary or crazy, you ask? They are reinventing the word loud. I say, let’s throw a party; a party with a soundtrack frolicking that is crazy, epic, and delicious.

If you’re in the fix for scoping out some fresh, loud, jamtastic tunes, look no further. Check out the video for Infinity Guitars below and witness a hardcore guitar player performing side by side with a sensual schoolteacher. Lo-fi. Noise. Pop. Dance. Need I say more?

[Related Post: Beyonce Werkin’ With Sleigh Bells?]