Archive for August, 2011

NEW KELLY CLARKSON!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

So now that we’ve experienced a hurricane and an earthquake, Kelly Clarkson has decided to step out of the stormy shadows by releasing a new single. Finally! Hell has officially frozen over! (I kid.)

And yup, this is not a leak or a demo but a legit single…

To be blunt, Mr. Know It All plays in safe in the arena of adult contemporary pop. And that isn’t a bad thing; the track is solid. My only beef is I feel as if the instrumentation on the track makes the listener feel as if there will be an explosion, a buildup of sorts and there’s no resolution or obvious climax. The song remains chill throughout, fizzling without the expected bang. With that being said, I do enjoy the song and I feel it will make an impact on AC radio.

Mr. Know It All will be available on iTunes Sept. 5 and will also appear on Kelly’s upcoming album Stronger.

Listen.

[Oh! And BTW, the pic above is Kelly on the set of the music video shoot for the song with Aben, the husband of Ashley Arrison.]

PUDDLE OF MUDD – ‘RE:(DISC)OVERED’

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Sometimes original isn’t so cool. So why not try something fresh? Rock posse Puddle of Mudd has been on the road promoting their new CD compacted of re-done classics entitled Re:(Disc)overed. The captivating part of this record is they stay completely true to the original songs yet add a distinct, funky twist to make each their own. Trust me, I’m not sitting here saying this is the best thing Puddle of Mudd has ever done nor anything close to it (I do not think that was the purpose of this release), but regardless, it’s fun to watch bands go off in different directions, showing off their musical makeup.

Here you can find tracks from Led Zeppelin, The Steve Miller Band, The Beatles, and many more. After all, these are the classic rock songs/bands that are accountable for making Puddle of Mudd want to become musicians in the first place. They have taken the songs and covered them in a way only they could, bringing them newfangled life while wholly respecting their original prodigy. In some words of their own: “It wasn’t our plan to do an album of cover tunes. We were on a bit of a break, during which time some touring offers came in. We didn’t want to go out there without something new, and one day the idea of a covers album came up, and the whole thing seemed very exciting.”

I just saw them live on the road, and indeed, their idea was legit, with an incredible expanded lineup any Puddle of Mudd fan would appreciate. Pick up a copy now and sing along.

MAT KEARNEY GOODNESS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Fact: Mat Kearney is uber-cute.

Fact: Mat Kearney is no longer for the taking. But you can still stalk him through the release of his music like a normal person slash groupie! (Not that I know or anything.)

Fact: Mat Kearney’s music is brilliant. Poetic verse thrown over a pop hop beat, his sound is as fresh as it is sensitive and heartfelt.

Listen to the new release + Mat with poet Anis Mojgani below.

Dreams are stronger than thighs / And questions are the only answers we need to know that we are alive as I am when I have the mind of a child, asking why is 2 + 3 always equal to 5 ? / Where do people go to when they die? / What made the beauty of the moon? / And the beauty of the sea? / Did that beauty make you? / Did that beauty make me? / Will that make me something? / Will I be something? / Am I something?”

And the answer comes: already am, always was, and I still have time to be.

— Anis Mojgani

LIVE BLOGGING: WACK-A-DOODLE THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING 2011 VMAs

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[All photos via Getty Images]

Ok, Gaga makes one creepy old man! Adele’s WTF face in the audience was priceless and my thoughts exactly. But what else is new? Same ridiculous crap.

Nicki Minaj’s outfit is epic…epically HORRENDOUS. Gurl bye.

Pitbull… Get it, papi! Latinos always bring the heat!

Adele’s performance, with nothing but a microphone and a piano, has exposed the sham that is 90% of the other acts that have performed so far tonight. The woman knows real music, heartbreak, and what true beauty is all about. Gorgeous!

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Adele

Ok, not to sound mean but I definitely think Taylor Lautner has tasted the rainbow!

SOUTHERN PRIDE! GO BRITNEY & BEYONCE!

Amy Winehouse, RIP.

OMGOMGOMG DRAKE, my baby daddy!!!

Get More: Music News

Lil Wayne, for the love of God! Please pull your pants up!

DIP INTO MARTHA WAINWRIGHT [NSFW]

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Martha Wainwright is my go-to gal for playful sensuality and bracing bilingual performances. Her transition from tragic to titillating is seamless. Her diction, even moreso. Every word she sings (whether in English or French) slips in your ear and stays there.

In 2009 she compiled a tribute to Edith Piaf, a notable French singer in the Canadian community. This was a far cry from the edge produced in other albums, straying away from expletive titles and leaning into pastel pallets.

Usually, I am not into covers. I prefer bona-fide beats and genuine verse. But somehow she makes the tribute stuff work. She does Edith justice, and more than once the album brought tears to my eyes. (Why are words always more tragic when sung in French?)

Best way to find out what she’s all about is by dipping into her original work. Then once you know her well, wade your way into her recent endeavours. No matter which way you go, you’re going to find beauty, and a whole lot of feeling.

My favourite song of hers is a bleeding heart on a record. Bloody Mother F*cking A**hole is painfully honest, a perfect pick for the badly wounded, a lullaby for the misfit. My second favourite is her take on Une Enfant, a tune that stills the heart.

Take your pick and open up to art.
 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CAROLINA LIAR

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: Let’s start off this interview randomly, shall we? What are you doing this exact moment?

CAROLINA LIAR FRONTMAN CHAD WOLF: I’m in my kitchen packing for a move, combined with some extra lunges so I can get an extra work out, while eating what shouldn’t be packed up… It’s a good day!

ROB: The new record, ‘Wild Blessed Freedom’ — in three words is about?

CHAD: A new approach.

ROB: As any other CL fan, I was moved by your breakout single ‘Show Me What I’m Looking For’ — do you feel the new album is full of similar emotionally charged content?

CHAD: Thank you! I don’t think it would be honest if it didn’t have that emotion. One thing I’m so grateful for is that ‘Show Me’ is and was as honest as it could be. When we play it live it comes from something deep inside.

ROB: I know that you’ve worked with Max Martin and other pop industry giants for your new and previous albums, and I wanted to get an opinion on something I recently read, an article in which Linda Perry called Katy Perry’s music “popcorn”, basically insinuating it wasn’t as authentic as say the new Adele. Any thoughts on this?

CHAD: Personally, I love popcorn. Some of the greatest moments of my life were shared with a big fat greasy box of popcorn. Those kind of comments seem silly to me. There are people who experience Katy Perry on the same emotional level that someone will experience Adele and both are great and very real. It all comes from where you are in your life — being “cool” can really skew perspective.

ROB: Is it true that you grew up in a Pentecostal household? (I have a similar background, also growing up Pentecostal in the South. Southern pride, what what!)

CHAD: Oh yes, I did! At one point I was looking into becoming a preacher but my mom told me I needed to work in music, that was my first love and always will be. But I’ve seen the Holy Ghost in action twice in my life and whatever that was, once you feel something like that you will always be Pentecostal no matter how far you get away from the church… right?

ROB: Which track do you feel is the standout on the new record? Care to provide the backstory to said track?

CHAD: ‘Beautiful People’ has got some special mojo. There is something so real in that song that I can’t quite put it into words. It was an idea that my friend Alex Kronlund had, and it got its start when me, my girlfriend at the time and Tobias Karlsson moved out of his house, and we all stopped talking to each other because of some drama that has long since been worked out. But he focused all of that energy into that song when we started working on this record. He played me what he started and I really came out of my skin. That song is a real gift.

ROB: I always ask this and it never gets old: What’s your current guilty pleasure? (Music and non-related musical items welcome.)

CHAD: Cooking and eating. I honestly cannot get enough of all this amazing food that is available right now. I mean we got some Sprinkles Cupcakes the other day, thinking that all the hype was just BS, but no no no. That is not the case. Those things are crazy.

ROB: Most played song on your iPod at the moment?

CHAD: Kvelertak ‘Utrydd dei Svake’ — it’s a great black metal band.

ROB: Do you guys plan to tour the US with this album? Specifically NYC? Pretty please.

CHAD: We are planning everything right now. We hope we will have the details on where and what we are up to before weeks end! We will come to NYC, there’s no way we couldn’t.

ROB: And finally, can you get me an job/internship with Max Martin or Diane Warren. I have no shame! Also, can you explain what it was/has been like working with these pop powerhouses.

CHAD: I’ll see what I can do — I’ll put in a five star reference at the least. Those guys have taught me that no matter how big and great you are, you are only as good as the moment that you are in and you have got to work every time you get a chance and have complete reckless abandon when it comes to your art! Let me get back to you on the jobs! Thanks for reaching out to us.

Carolina Liar’s new album, Wild Blessed Freedom drops September 27th.

Watch the video for Drown, the first single off the new record below.

EARTHQUAKE REALNESS FT. PIXIE LOTT

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

So yeah, there was an earthquake today in New York City…

Honestly, I thought these types of things only happened to those stupid enough to live in LA. Right? Earthquakes in New York, really? What’s next? Sunshine in Seattle?!

The only way I’d ever be ok with earthquakes is if Jake Gyllenhaal is by my side protecting me from the elements like in The Day After Tomorrow! If there’s any way to go, it would be helpful to have a real, genuine, loving, non-douchey ball of scruff by your side.

On a serious note, my company was located in the Twin Towers on 9/11 before moving to Brooklyn after the attack. So you can imagine how some of the people were feeling in the office when the ground started to shake. Hearing those people talk about that day on 9/11, how they managed to get out of the towers was terrifying but beautiful. Most spoke of how they thought it was an earthquake as well. It certainly left a yearning in the pit of my stomach and made me want to pick up the phone and spill my heart to a few people.

Read between the cracked earthquake lines with a little Pixie…

Heart first / dancefloor second.

DELIVERING FLORENCE + THE MACHINE NEWNESS – ‘WHAT THE WATER GAVE ME’

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s new. It’s breathtaking. It’s super ferocious and it’s what real music should sound like. It’s self-explanatory. It’s Florence and the Machine with What the Water Gave Me. It’s a hit.

NATALIA KILLS TAKES OVER NEW YORK CITY ROOFTOP FOR ACOUSTIC SET

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

BTB favorite Natalia Kills recently took over the roof of New York City’s Atlas Hotel, to celebrate the release of her debut album Perfectionist dropping earlier this week. Performing singles Wonderland and Free acoustically, the live set was part of the Hotel’s 4th Annual Open A.I.R: Artist In Residence Summer Concert Series, an event that benefits the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Awesome music + NYC rooftop views + a wonderful cause = 2Grool4Skewl!

[Related Post: On Heavy Rotation: Natalia Kills]

BEYONCE’S ‘4’ SHOWCASE AT ROSELAND BALLROOM [IN PHOTOS]

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

***Please note: These are all pics that I personally took from the show. Feel free to steal away, but credit me, cumquats! Or does the “biggerthanbeyonce.com” stamps on the pics already do that? Hmmm. Ok, disregard!***

The Beyonce Pose! Know it, love it, do it at dinner…

Does anyone gotz a quarter? *Bounce*

LOVE this shot!

This shot is purely for shits & gigs. Totally cracks me up! Get it, gurl!

Sir Paul McCartney in da house! He was so normal, it was weird. Yup! He applauded, squealed, and videotaped with his iPhone like every other person. King giving Queen a standing O.

The definition of BEYAUTIFUL.

The lasers were freakin’ awesome!

Totally teared up when she performed ‘I Was Here’! Breathtaking.

Cool Bey portrait! Kinda creepy?

‘4’ speaker from the stage!

[Check out videos I took from the show HERE.]

BEYONCE GETS INTIMATE WITH ‘4’ SHOWCASE, ROSELAND BALLROOM [VIDS]

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo cred: Me bitches.]

Some people’s lives are changed in normal ways — ya know, graduating college, buying a home, plopping out a baby. But me? My life was changed this weekend at a Beyonce concert.

Not just any Beyonce concert, mind you. This concert was the real deal — Beyonce, like she’s never been seen before, in an intimate setting, a small venue to truly capture the bootylicious essence we all know and love. But beyond the dance numbers, Beyonce’s heart and soul came bursting through and by the end of the show — when she sang my personal favorite ‘I Was Here’ — I found myself moved to tears.

I feel so blessed to have a part of such an intimate rare Beyonce experience.

The night was taped and will be released on an upcoming DVD/TV special I do believe.

And as expected, the show was absolutely incredible.

Watch some videos I shot from the show below.

I hope each of you get a chance to see this woman perform live once in your lifetime.

And oh! I guess I should also point out that Sir Paul McCartney was in attendance and even gave Bey a standing ovation. Get it, gurl! Even royalty is taking notice of your brilliance.

[To see photos I took from the show + captions, click HERE.]

[See more videos from the show via my YouTube page.]

ELLIE GOULDING BLUES :(

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ve been diagnosed!

“My music is solely happy at some points, but there’s always a dark kind of thing running through my songs. I am just kind of a dark person. There’s always a place in my head I go to to write songs, and the darker it is, the more genuine it feels to me. Everyone’s different, but I’m just one of those. I think a lot. I think too much, even when I’m really happy.”

–EG

[Related Post: Ellie Goulding Covers Rihanna]

BTW, the beautiful song you’re about to hear is an unreleased demo.

HANSON REALNESS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“I have a hard time with musicians who act like pr*cks because it just makes me mad. If you’re actually making a living doing it [making music], pinch yourself every day, because it goes if you don’t love it and people will eventually get p*ssed off. I’m going to call somebody out on it – the Kings of Leon are running some risks. They’re irritating people and you can’t do that too much. Eventually the bad boy image affects fans’ willingness to show up. Their fans will get bummed out. Everybody has their demons, everyone has their challenges. I’m a bit of a hothead in certain circumstances, but you’ve got to temper it because your fans are there and they’ve paid good money to see a show, and you gotta bring it.”

–Isaac Hanson via WENN

Meow!

FYI: Anyone who says Hanson doesn’t create pitch perfect pop songs either doesn’t know pop music or is simply a hater! Proudly MMMBoppin’ fo’ life!

Don’t be a poser, you know I’m right.

Cue flashback in 3, 2, 1…

KYLE CAREY // PRETTY FACE 4 RADIO

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

My darling Kyle Carey (aka Pretty Face 4 Radio) has a new installment to take out on the town. The single is One Day In Love, and comes at me with the spice of a summer festival and the colours of an impressionist painting. Not as dancey as his usual recipe; more riding on the lava-indie roadtrip vibe. If his usual work is pop rocks, this song is chocolate pudding. His delicious vocals compound with a new-found softness, a delicate nature I hope he’ll continue to explore.

Close your eyes, open up and take a taste.

Video is below.

[Related Post: Introducing Pretty Face 4 Radio] 

ARCTIC MONKEYS – ‘SUCK IT AND SEE’

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I can’t help but get a little giddy when the Artic Monkeys release new swags, so fresh and oh so brilliant. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala has such a compacted title in itself, I almost don’t have to listen to the song to enjoy it; but I will anyway. This is the latest single off of their June release Suck It and See (and it’s a damn good choice indeed), that incessantly outlines their shape and frame of contemporary British rock’ n’ roll.

I cannot classify this group; they seem drawn on some kind of classic influences, yet they’re wholly innovative at the same time. Maybe it’s the complete mystery I enjoy. This track, along with the album as a whole, sends shivers through my spine, with that slight added touch of pop goodness. Some fans may think this album has lead The Artic Monkeys into a new direction, but it’s apparent they want us to follow them along their path.

Enjoy.

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