Archive for July, 2011

CUTENESS COMA: NOAH & THE WHALE (BELUGA, TO BE EXACT)

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Is there anything cuter than indie boys stroking their guitars? The answer to that question is YES. Shocker, I know. But throw a fluffy pooch or a baby eating birthday cake into the mix and usually it’s a doozy. Today, the aww inducing video you’re about to see involves neither of those things, but it’s still just as adorable. It’s a Beluga whale, y’all!

Also, I just want to state that I love the entire package of Noah & The Whale’s Life Is Life. For the music video, the band teamed up with American photographer Autumn de Wilde (Beck, Elliot Smith), who directed the clip. The result is a beautifully crafted piece of art. The message of the song backed with the visuals is really quite stunning. To water it down — I frackin’ love it!

Charlie Fink (lead vocals) stated with regards to the song/video: “I think its best that I don’t say too much about this and just let your imaginations run wild.”

So get to running!

Oh, and hopefully the whale clip puts a big fat smile on your face.

OMGSOCUTE!!!

MANDY MOORE & THE SISSY POP VAULT

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Flashback!

This all started with a crush. So, being the teenage girl that I am sometimes, I started to play some good old fashioned sissy pop. It’s a new genre I made up! It basically consists of all the cutesy girl pop tunes that can be played at Claire’s or any High School Prom. And that’s where Mandy Moore comes in…

In the process of digging into my sissy pop vault I remembered the song I Wanna Be With You. Quickly, I took to YouTube and found my way through a collection of Mandy Moore hits, including a few I’ll be playing today.

What I realized though, is that Mandy Moore was ahead of her time. No, not Candy or the first and second release (those were pretty typical of commercial music at the time), but her self-titled third album, when she was given more creative freedom. I remember when the video for In My Pocket was released and knowing that it was a very innovative, unique video of the time. Teen pop, if you will, was all about the cliche, and Mandy Moore began to really break the walls down — once she was given the chance to do so. Especially with this album. In all honesty, it’s a hidden gem.

I especially love the song Saturate Me (which you’re about to hear) — it’s a poetically dope record!

Now, if only she would stop being a folkie and get back to her pop roots!

BEYONCE LOVES HER ‘BRAVE’ GAY FANS + THE DREAM OF DIANE WARREN’S OPUS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“If anyone is brave and true to themselves, it’s my gay fans. The amount of confidence and fearlessness it takes to do what maybe is not what your parents expect you to do or what society may think is different – to be brave and be different and be true to yourself – is just so beautiful. It’s the most beautiful thing you can be, and it’s what we all want to be at the end of the day. And not worrying about satisfying or becoming what other people think you’re supposed to be, that’s like the ultimate dream – to just be that brave.”

-BK via Pridesource

The incredible I Was Here (my personal favorite from 4) opus below. It brought me to tears the first time I heard it — it’s a beaut. Random “cute” clip following, because I felt it fit the aesthetic quite nicely.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN JUSTIN BIEBER CRASHES A RANDOM WEDDING

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I mean, gurl…who told him this would be a good idea? Personally, I get a little too nervous watching this clip. I’m glad all ended well and errbody left happy as clams, but when you’re a famous little homefry like JB, someone might taser your ass and hold your body for ransom! Am I right, or am I right?

As expected, mass hysteria ensues.

For the record, this wedding took place this past weekend in California, where Jeanine Holguin and Rob McCool were getting their hetero marriage on (yes, it’s legal), by doing what, you ask? Oh you know, just singing some Bieber classic over the karaoke machine, duh. That’s when Justin decided to show face, shocking the heck out of guests who were probably stuffing their ears with cotton balls. What? Karaoke at weddings always makes the ears bleed!

It’s just as crazy but not nearly as fun as that one time Katy Perry crashed a high school prom in Australia. That was pretty funskies!

Regardless, it was a pretty cool and thoughtful gesture. See for yourself.

Oh! And congrats to the happy couple!

Oh yeah, one more thing and I’ll shut up — I threw in Dani Shay’s (les-bean that looks like Biebs) cover of Pink’s F**kin’ Perfect because it’s amazing and it helps to soothe the ears after the first clip. She’s fab.

RIP AMY & THE RESIDUE OF ADDICTION

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This past Saturday was stained with a horrible residue. The temperature in New York City was over one hundred degrees and everything seemed a bit too sticky for comfort. Yet what stuck the most was not produced by the sun, it came forth digitally through a Facebook post, one that hurt to read: AMY WINEHOUSE DIED?

Thinking of recent death hoaxes, I quickly searched Google to find an answer. I found nothing. But then, minutes later, a confirmation popped onto the computer screen by CNN, and I felt a laser of grief pass through my veins. How tragic, I thought. How incredibly tragic. I had recalled how just the night before, I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge talking about her style and music with my friend Sheilah. It felt eerie, as if somehow light years away, our frequencies as human beings might have crossed.

I began to break and tears soon bubbled over my eyes. Having dealt with addictive behavior in my own life and addiction in the roots of my family, I felt Amy’s pain. In an attempt to remember the artist who brought us the beauty of Back to Black, I, like millions of other fans, took to YouTube to find clips, interviews, and to re-watch her previous music videos.

While searching, I stumbled upon one of her last performances and my heart shattered. Her eyes were that of a lost, hurt child, and suddenly an overwhelming feeling came over me — I wanted to give her a hug, a big fuzzy teddy bear hug and look her into the eyes and tell her that she is worthy of love and that everything would be alright.

Once upon a time, Janis Joplin proclaimed that she made love to 25,000 people at her live concerts, but went home alone. That statement to me represents the type of yearning for love and acceptance that is felt by addicts, that deep but unmet need for connection that pushes the drive for fame and the aching pain of addiction, which could be the reason why it’s common among the famous, why the two often feed off each other. The reason why it fed and ultimately starved Amy.

I want to end this piece by saying that no one will ever be able to replace Amy Winehouse in this life. She was a one-of-a-kind performer and artist. You can’t fake that kind of raw talent and you certainly can’t manufacture REAL music.

And to all of you making light of this situation, I ask that you have respect. Addiction is not a light switch you can just turn on and off. Celebrities have hearts and souls like the rest of us. Please show some compassion, because I can guarantee that there’s someone in your life who has fought or is fighting with addiction issues right now who could use it.

To anyone reading this who might be struggling, my heart is with you.

An early interview + performance of a much happier time below.

RIP.

OOZING POP PUNK W/ MARIANAS TRENCH

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

My speakers are oozing with melty goodness. These guys are red velvet cake, purple sunsets and perfect harmonies! One of my all time mega-favs, Marianas Trench are back and blazing. Their single takes the name Haven’t Had Enough, and the title couldn’t be more true! More, boys, more! Keep giving us this gold! Please!

If you don’t know them yet, now would be the time to educate yourself.

You’ll be better for it.
 

CHIDDY BANG DROPS FEEL-GOOD SONG OF THE SUMMER: ‘MIND YOUR MANNERS’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ever take a big lick from an ice cream cone and instantly feel hooked? That’s exactly how I felt within seconds of listening to Chiddy Bang’s new single, Mind Your Manners. The chirpy children’s choir laced up with a sugar beat make for a delicious treat. (Hey! That rhymed!)

The alternative hip hop band has developed a sound that fuses hip hop + alternative, sampling from artists such as Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Passion Pit, MGMT, and Yelle.

Listen to the track + watch a live performance of the diddy following…

Then rinse & repeat.

[Related Post: Passion Pit Drops ‘Little Secrets’]

FREE MUSIC FRIDAY: ASHLEY ARRISON

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

In January, I chatted with singer/songwriter Ashley Arrison, dishing on everything from working with Kelly Clarkson and Lindsay Lohan to hookers to TLC’s ‘My Strange Addiction’ — yes, I’m serious. But most importantly, we discussed the deeply rooted passion behind her heartfelt music.

And now, that heartfelt music can be yours…for FREE, bitches!!!

(Sorry, I get a lil’ excited over free stuff.)

For a limited time, Ashley’s giving away her incredible debut album (in full) via Noise Trade. Simply enter your email and zip code in the gadget below. Holla!

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Ashley, HERE.

TARGET FLASHMOB GETS BEYONCE-FIED!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The flashmob to end all flashmobs…

Yo Target peeps, is it possible to incorporate flashmobs into the Target shopping experience? Perhaps a “Flashmob Friday” event, to go with your sale on toilet paper and those weird breath strip thingys that taste like cough syrup-y crap then vanish on your tongue (or whatever random items are on sale for that particular weekage)? Hello! That’s a good idea? No?

Just a thought.

Please note: The awesome clip you’re about to see was choreographed by Todrick Hall, who is best known as being a finalist on Season 9 of American Idol.

OBSESSED!

[Visit Todrick’s YouTube Channel HERE].

MICHAEL CERA STARS IN NEW ISLANDS VIDEO FOR ‘NO YOU DON’T’ SINGLE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Continuing my summer song seeking, I have fallen in league with a band that was uncool before uncool was cool. I love indie quirk in all its ironic glory, but it’s nice to see a band that went along with awkward rock before it was the neato thing to do. Islands was there back in 2005, weaving jingles in Montreal, and they’re still here, technicolour and totally legit. Every touch on their guitars is a soft one, decidedly produced and smudged on its edge. The bass has a permanent residence in Chillout Town, and the drums only get excited when it’s absolutely necessary. Add the brass, and you’ve got the best tune to get you through that four hour bus ride. (And who doesn’t love songs spliced with a little saxophone?)

They carry cool without suffering a lull. When me and my man are driving in the muggiest heat, and every road we pass is in the midst of being torn apart, I need a sound that can make me look beyond the bridge and at the trees. Something that can experiment with my ears without mutilating them beyond repair.

Islands tinkers with common sounds. Mellow rock is hardly a breakthrough concept, but when I listen to them, they make it new. I feel like these guys were kids who spent time ditching class to work on art projects or read poetry anthologies.

What’s not to love?

The slight unease in their vid for No You Don’t made ripples in my psyche. And before you even ask, yes, that is Michael Cera.
 

SMILE-WORTHY: TINIE TEMPAH AND SIR KEENAN CAHILL — ‘TILL I’M GONE’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Watching Keenan Cahill solo never gets old, so you can imagine that if a celebrity is tossed into the picture, his genius is twice as addictive. This is what happens when UK rapper Tinie Tempah glides onto Cahill’s most recent vid, rocking his usual raybans and swagger mack.

Yeah, it’s pretty much amazing.

[Related Post: Welcome To America, Tinie Tempah]

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS TICK ON WITH ‘ADVENTURES OF RAIN DANCE MAGGIE’

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo by: MTV/Getty Images]

Ten albums deep, this band is still ticking like a damn time bomb. Red Hot Chili Peppers are back with a new single, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie, taken off their soon-to-be-released album I’m With You. On that note, their five year hiatus have officially ended.

Note that this is their first single without long-time guitarist John Frusciante since 1995’s One Hot Minute. The Adventures has the band’s touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer in place instead. Frusciantes absence is noticeably heard, as Klinghoffer has principally substituted Frusciantes discrete funk style with ordinary power chord rock lines, but no need to hate; I still like the way this single is taking the band. This song is far from mediocre.

Chili fans, give it a listen here and jam!

LIGHTS TRIPS OVER HIP HOP, DROPS ‘EVERYBODY BREAKS A GLASS’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Canadian synth pop tart and one of my favorites, Lights, is out with a fresh new sound on new single Everybody Breaks A Glass. Pouring the style she’s known for over dubstep and a messy hip hop beat, Lights sings about the flaws of being human.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the new sound, as something felt a bit off to me. But the more I throw the track against the wall, the more I like the way it sounds when it breaks.

Listen to the track below.

Are you feeling the new sound from Lights?

[Related Post: ‘In The Dark I See’ Lights]

PIA TOSCANO DROPS DEBUT SINGLE, REMAINS PRETTIER THAN ERRBODY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

As always, I’ll be honest. I missed 98% of this past season of American Idol. Not because I’ve lost interest in the show, but because I gotz a life. Hello.

That’s pretty much it. I was a little too busy to catch the show every week and I don’t DRV.

Anyways, that’s useless information. I simply wanted to state that I missed the season so I can’t really put my two cents in with regards to Pia performing live during the season as a whole, but from what I’ve seen, the girl has a wonderful set of pipes. And on top of that, she’s prettier than a freakin’ pile of roses!

The season ten finalist recently released her debut single, the tender This Time on iTunes. The song deals with the issue of a bitter breakup — what else is new?

Pia is currently traveling the country on the the American Idols Live! 2011 tour and recently announced her deal with Interscope Records.

Listen to the track in full below.

US SOLDIERS GRAB CROTCHSICLES WHILE DANCING TO BRITNEY SPEARS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s gettin’ hot in here!

[Kinda NSFW BTW.]

There’s just something about military men dancing to Britney Spears. Especially ones that lift their shirts and grab their crotchsicles. Yes, crotchsicles. It’s a new word I’m trademarking as we speak…

Ok, that was a little much. I apologize! But it’s the truth.

After the first clip appeared of US Marines shakin’ what their mama gave ’em to Britney’s Hold It Against Me — which quickly went viral — we should’ve guessed that more vids would surface. Now, a new clip has just made its way onto the web that’s just as entertaining, featuring another Brit track, (Drop Dead) Beautiful.

In all seriousness though, these men and women sacrifice a great deal for our freedom and for that, we raise our glass and hope that posts like this can somehow get back to them and brighten their day.

Watch both videos below.

Lookin’ good fellas!

HELP FOR HEROES — Aimed at helping injured service personnel returning from Iraq & Afghanistan.

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