Archive for January, 2012

THE BIG PINK

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Okay, so I may be a little late on this, but I am a recent supporter of UK duo The Big Pink. Back in 2009, the group released their debut album A Brief History of Love, which I wish I had given more attention to, but hey, that’s the beauty of music — it’s never too late to give your ears some foreplay. (Their sophomore release, Future This, is now on my to-do list.)

I am currently focusing on the strike with lead single Stay Gold. It has a hip hop drum pattern with a little electro feel. Song Facts explains that the song’s title is a phrase meaning “keep true to yourself” or “preserve your innocence,” which was originally used in Robert Frost’s 1923 poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell drop the hazy pathos and opt instead for slick beats and a trip-hop edge. I could listen to this on repeat for days! On to the rest of the album!

CLUB BREEZY – ‘TURN UP THE MUSIC’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Chris Brown has dropped his first single off his much anticipated new record, Fortune, and the track definitely bangs the club. Properly labeled Turn Up The Music, the release is an infectious party jam that demands us to crank the volume, bitch!

Written and produced by The Underdogs (the pair that brought us Breezy’s sexy Take You Down), Turn Up The Music is heavily influenced by synth and electro jungle beats; comfortably at home in the center of the dancefloor.

Check it!

NEW HALESTORM HITS LIKE A KNOCKOUT

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Halestorm is back with an insane EP entitled Hello, It’s Mz. Hyde. These are four songs that will be featured on their future full-length, The Strange Case Of… I was infatuated with Lzzy and the gang before, but this just seals the deal. Stand out track, Love Bites (So Do I), hits you like a knockout. I absolutely cannot get enough of this song. They sum it up completely in the lyrics: “It checks you in and kicks you down, and chews you up and spits you out.” Not only are the lyrics infectious and raw, but the drumming by Arejay Hale is absolute mayhem.

Halestorm sits among some of the most down-to-earth, brilliant bands I have ever met. A longtime favorite of BTB, the band will be joining Staind and Godsmack on the road this season. I am not sure how long this will hold me over until their CD comes out in April, but it serves as a damn good appetizer.

SOMEONE NEEDS TO BRUCE LEE A HOE…

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


For making this God-awful video! This is just a pain to watch. The song is definitely not her best effort either. It sorta sucks balls. Sorry for the college frat boy review, but seriously, my brain is fried after watching this shiz.

On the plus side…

Actually, there isn’t a plus side.

Watch at your own risk, suckas!

WIN A TRIP TO THE GRAMMYS, Y’ALL!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The countdown to the Grammys has begun, and Fuse wants to send one lucky winner + a friend to the 2012 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California on February 12th! Not only will you go to the Grammys, you will get to walk the red carpet and attend the official Grammy after party! If that’s not good enough, every week a Grammy Nominee Music Pack will be given out as well!

In order to do this Fuse has introduced Grammy Takeover Monday’s. Tune in to Fuse every Monday to see an all-day takeover for a 2012 Grammy nominated artist. Takeovers will feature artists from Hip Hop legends Lil Wayne and Eminem to R&B goddesses Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. While watching look for the special code at the bottom of the screen, once the code is presented go to http://Insider.Fuse.tv to enter that code for your chance to win!

The next “Grammy Takeover” will air Monday, January 30th starting at 6AM on Fuse TV. With artist Chris Brown as the focus this week, this is one takeover you won’t want to miss.

Enter every week to increase your chances of winning!

CHAIRLIFT

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Brooklyn duo, Chairlift, have grabbed my attention and body-slammed me to the ground with their new single I Belong In Your Arms. The oh-so-talented Patrick Wimberly (drums, bass, keys, and production) and untouchable Caroline Polachek (vocals, synth) dispense not only inordinate contagious songs, but also provide the backdrop of a modern landscape of hooks and beats in the productions. This track is so buoyant and intimate, with an 80’s electro-pop feel. Their album Something was just released and I cannot wait to spin it in its entirety.

WHERE BROOKYLN AT?!

MIIKE SNOW DROPS BRAND NEW GROOVE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A piping hot new single by Miike Snow has emerged onto the internetz. Oh, happy day! Paddling Out is the lead single off the Swedish indie electro-pop group’s sophomore effort Happy To You (available in stores and digitally on March 19th via Columbia Records).

Jam + Happy To You tour dates below.

Mar. 24 ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL – MIAMI, FL
Apr. 10 PARAMOUNT – SEATTLE, WA
Apr. 11 ROSELAND THEATER – PORTLAND, OR
Apr. 12 FOX THEATER – OAKLAND, CA
Apr. 14 COACHELLA – INDIO, CA
Apr. 21 COACHELLA – INDIO, CA
Apr. 24 TERMINAL 5 – NEW YORK, NY
Apr. 27 ELECTRIC FACTORY – PHILADELPHIA, PA
Apr. 29 HOUSE OF BLUES – BOSTON, MA
May 01 SOUND ACADEMY – TORONTO, ON
May 02 METROPOLIS – MONTREAL, QC

Paddling Out by miikesnow

KELLY CLARKSON SOARS AT RADIO CITY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Opening her debut performance at Radio City with Dark Side, Kelly Clarkson stood behind a sheer curtain that flashed a negative light of images and words — all tabloid fodder surrounding her professional career and personal life. The one word in particular that stood out the most, in bold red letters, was the word FAT. It was a touching moment to open the show in such a vulnerable way, in a way that most certainly fits the theme of Dark Side — a way that has lead everyone in the audience to feel connected to her, to cheer her on with a force to be reckoned with. Kelly Clarkson not only represents the girl next door who can rip a song a new one, she also represents a piece of all of us — that part of us that’s human and f*cking normal and real. This is why we, as fans, and as people, love and cling to Kelly Clarkson.

To keep it brief, after the show I updated my personal Facebook with this:

“On a high from Kelly Clarkson’s show. She was bloody amazing! I especially loved her cover of Florence + The Machine’s ‘Heavy In Your Arms’ — goosebumps! Vocally the best show I’ve seen in quite some time. Oh yeah, and Fancy herself (Reba McEntire) was in the audience. I will definitely be seeing her again. Unf*ckingbelievable!”

That pretty much sums up the show, except I did leave out the fact that besides her huge pop records, she also performed a cover of Etta James’ hit I’d Rather Go Blind (as a tribute to the iconic singer’s recent passing), and a wonderful rendition of My Man, taken from the huge Broadway favorite Funny Girl.

But since Kelly’s ballads have always hit home runs in my eyes, those particular numbers stole the show in my opinion. Below you will find an acoustic, stripped-down version of the angst-ridden Never Again, the beautiful rendition of Florence + The Machine’s Heavy In Your Arms, and a lovely ballad that Kelly wrote to help the children of Africa entitled You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like.

Get ready to feel your heart skip a beat.

KDREW’S SH*T IS INFECTIOUS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


To be blunt: KDrew’s sh*t is infectious. It’s the type of sugary pop that gets stuck upon first spin and tosses and turns in your head while you sleep at night. And the new track One is no different.

In the just-released video for the song, the Jersey gangsta finds himself careening through the streets of New York City on his final night of life; a life that doesn’t seem to invoke much stress besides making sure his pretty girlfriend doesn’t lose her marbles (since the world is ending and all that jazz). Just a typical Saturday night in the city, really. Y’all know how bitches be dramatic!

Anywho, the song is taken from KDrew’s Free Volume 2 EP. So far, KDrew has released three self-produced EP’s, all infectious as crap (I can’t say this enough, so repeating it here), showcasing his talent as a singer/songwriter/producer.

Check it!

TGIF, betches.

Oh! And while you’re at it, check out my interview with KDrew HERE.

TIM MCGRAW EXPOSES DARKER SIDE ON THE NEW BITTERSWEET BALLAD ‘HALO’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s been almost a year since I last talked Tim McGraw. And although BTB doesn’t spit out country-related material on the daily, when I heard this song I instantly knew I wanted to write about it.

The fifth song from Tim McGraw‘s upcoming Emotional Traffic album (due out January 24th) is pure poetry. Written by Jedd Hughes and Luke Laird, the modern country track is rough around the edges yet full of smooth-skin soul.

The darker ballad revolves around a man who’s tired of fighting with his lover.

“Let’s just cut it down the middle / Let it bleed and bleed out / I’ll clean up the mess / Baby you stand there and shout / Cry, cry, baby I can’t hold us together,” McGraw pours out the words with a bittersweet center.

“Baby I’ll let you go when you say so / Try to let your heart fly free / I’ll crawl outta my cradle, down into my black hole / You just lay low / Under your halo,” he continues to sing, during the chorus.

If this song is any indication to how the rest of the Emotional Traffic album will sound, I’d say we’re in for a beautifully wild ride.

[Related Post: Tim McGraw Joins The Sober Club]

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE MONTH AGAIN

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Time to punch a dude in the ballsack!

After all these years, I still LOVE this damn song. It gets me.

Where the hell is Meredith Brooks these days, anyways? For real, someone else do the research for once. I’m cranky and on my period!!!

FIRST AID KIT

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Nothing else enhances my week quite like discovering free singles on iTunes. This week, it’s Swedish duo First Aid Kit, and their single Emmylou (off of their record Lion’s Roar). I am totally intrigued with this number. The single pays tribute to some of the girls’ favorite country musicians, including: Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, June Carter and Johnny Cash.

Two sisters with a robust love for folk, indie, country, and most of all, kick ass harmony. I recollect hearing of these girls when they did a stunning cover of The Fleet Foxes, resulting in a huge internet fan base. Maybe it’s me, but this tune puts me in a state of widespread calmness. Check it out.

MY SISTER OCEAN BREAKS NEW GROUND

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

My favourite Canadian rock boys are back with a new single, and a new break onto the charts. Their latest splash in the sea, Am I Wasting My Life, is a throbbing, honest piece.

My Sister Ocean has injected me with musical morphine. Again.

This song is an affront on apathy; the listener is forced to reconsider, reevaluate. The vocals hit you like air-borne alcohol. From the tip of the drumsticks to the vibrating guitar, all resonates with a heavy dose of reality. The song makes me taste smoke. I see lonely roadways lit up with the eerie glow of streetlights. I hear a soul seeking clarification. It’s the purest beauty, and the most devastating pain.

Thus far, the single has hit #50 on the Canadian Active Rock Charts, a first for this budding talent. Let’s push them even higher up the scale.

[Related Post: Duo To Watch: My Sister Ocean]

M.L. KING, OBAMA, GEORGE MICHAEL

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ve been wanting to share this for awhile but never knew when the moment was right. Today feels right.

2 years or so ago, I asked a close friend about how he felt when Obama was elected and I remember his exact words because they moved me so much: “You know when you’re a kid and you’re told you can be anything you want to be when you grow up? Well, being black, I knew that was a lie because I could never be President. But then Obama showed up and he changed all that.”

Today we celebrate more than equality. We celebrate the freedom to choose.

BABY BLUE MAKES CHART HISTORY ON JAY-Z’S ‘GLORY’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

At less than a week old, Blue Ivy Carter is already making chart history, thanks to a slick feature on daddy Jay-Z’s Glory. (Some kids have all the luck.)

According to Billboard, Baby Blue (or B.I.C., as Beyonce/Jay-Z’s daughter is credited on the track) is the youngest person to ever land on the chart in history. The track is currently sitting at #74 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Since Blue Ivy was born late on Saturday, it is likely that she was only hours old when her voice was recorded for the song.

The heartfelt song about fatherhood was produced by Pharrell.

With references to Bey’s previous miscarriage and his own absent father, Jay-Z doesn’t hold back the heartbreak on the otherwise joyous tune.

Personally, I find this vulnerable side of Jay-Z to be completely refreshing!

Congrats to Beyonce and Jay-Z on the birth of their baby girl!

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