Archive for February, 2012

RICHARD MARX COVERS MIZ KATY PERRY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


This is crazy! So naturally, I like it…

’80s hitmaker, Richard Marx, the dude who gave us the smash Right Here Waiting, has created an acoustic cover to Katy Perry’s The One That Got Away.

Marx recently stopped by VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live to debut his version of the track, explaining: “You know, I’m just sitting listening to my iPod and I love the last Katy Perry CD… I loved the production but I heard this other really heartbreakingly beautiful song inside of [‘The One That Got Away’]. So I was really bored that day and I went in my studio and made an acoustic version.”

Go on with yo bad self, Mr. Marx.

THE MENZINGERS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Punk rock tends to have some slow years, and in my opinion, 2011 was one of them. Although, to anyone who thought the genre died in the late nineties, be prepared to experience an authentic rebirth…

It gives me great pleasure to say that one of my favorite groups, The Menzingers, are back with their third LP, entitled On the Impossible Past. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this group, I recommend you familiarize yourself with their discography. Every album in their collection is commanding.

After listening to the new record through multiple times, I have come to the conclusion that each song carries a dissimilar message, and the tone of the album as a whole is flawless. It’s full of honest emotion without melodrama; a raw sound with catchy tunes. Fans will not only see The Menzingers growing stronger, but also growing up, and in a way that highlights their music for the better.

This is exactly what a punk rock album should sound like.

Pick this one up!

JOJO GETS FIERCE REMIX TREATMENT

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

JoJo has just dropped a brand spankin’ new remix of her hit single Disaster, accompanied by a new video — a fragmented, extended version of the original video for the track. Remixed by DJ Klue (Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna), the song is now full of bass and dancefloor ready.

Says JoJo: “I’m excited to present to you the DJ Kue version of my ‘Disaster’ video. I love this remix and hope you will enjoy it, too.”

This remix is one of five that will be featured on a new EP set to drop on March 6th.

JoJo’s new album, Jumping Trains, will be released this Spring.

ZAC EFRON AND TAYLOR SWIFT DO IT… I MEAN DUET

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Zac Efron and Taylor Swift recently appeared on Ellen to talk about their voicing roles on the upcoming animated film The Lorax and ended up singing a little ditty together. A super adorable re-working of Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks to be exact.

Honestly, I could watch this for dayz.

Seriously. How cute are these two?! And Efron’s got a great set of chops.

[Related Post: Weezer Covers Foster The People]

BIRTHDAY CAKE! CAUSE ABUSE IS FUN!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’m all for forgiveness, but Rihanna collaborating with Chris Brown again is just straight up sad to me. I’ve seen Rihanna in concert and I’ve supported her music for years, but after the abuse became public, her actions have been really inconsiderate. She had such a platform to make a positive statement to all the young girls who idolize her and instead she has almost let the abuse slide underneath the rug, releasing singles that continuously perpetuate the stereotype that women are nothing but sex objects. I like a fun, sexy song (even though she often takes it to an annoying level), but with Rihanna and her history it becomes so much more than that. It’s simply sending the wrong message.

[ENDING VIOLENCE EVERYWHERE]

And now, for a little comic relief… I LOVE GLOZELL!

ROCK & ROLL GOSPEL W/ FOXY SHAZAM

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Back in 2005, I listened to an undeveloped, extensive band on my headphones during Intro to Literature freshman year of college. A few years later, in July of 2010, I reviewed this same little band called Foxy Shazam, begging people to give them a listen and referring to them as the “Evil Knievel Of Rock And Roll.” I still fully stand by that proclamation. If two years have gone by and you are just now finding out about this band, shame on you. But no judging here; simply do yourself a favor and watch their live set (whether in person, online, or on stage), for it will ultimately change you.

From sound, location, style, and content, this band has grown with every release. Please allow me to explain. Their second release back in 2009, Introducing (contrary to the title, this wasn’t their debut, for their first release hadn’t “introduced” them as they had hoped), had that Southern feel, getting them on the map. You could almost feel the Cincinnati roots on this album. Then on their third release, the self-titled Foxy Shazam, they traveled across the country musically, providing that L.A. glam-rock feel, which Foxy fans have grown to expect. The album was compressed with anthems, catchy hooks, and blissfully overblown music that scaled the heights of pomp-rock excess that has seldom soared since the heyday of Queen (I’ve dropped the Freddy Mercury comparison in a prior review, for I find him to be lead singer Eric Nally’s avatar).

Now in 2012, Foxy Shazam is back with a new release, The Church of Rock and Roll, and it’s everything that I could have expected, and more. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of delirious surpluses on this record, but in there you can also find new depth along with maturity; and if we want to travel again, more of an “England Rock” feel. Okay, the lead single I Like It, is certainly fun, and sure as hell foxy, but there is so much more behind this record. Here, Foxy Shazam has shaped music that sounds better being boomed from an old Cadillac, rather than out of your headphones on your iPad. With the haughty goal of altering the very explanation of music itself, Foxy Shazam brings the description back to what it once was: Classic Rock; serving as a standard, musical, model guide.

I saw them perform most of their new songs back in November before the album was released, and you can tell this is a touring record, one that needs to be taken on the road, and acted out in story, song by song. The band is defined by Eric’s high-flying theatrical vocals, and air of debauched recklessness. This quintet almost seems like something produced from a talent agency, or a casting call if you will. Their live performance is just that; a performance compressed with a story, and somewhat of a script. There are theatrics, and each member of the band is not only a rock star but a character, cast perfectly, playing their part to the fullest. If you get a chance to catch them live, watch the reactions of the faces of the people in the crowd. It may temporarily make you feel uncomfortable, but you’ll love every minute of it. It must be thrilling for them as musicians, because you can almost see people being converted. Whether going into their show with an open mind, or seeing them for the first time, it will change you. And at the end of the day, I can only imagine how rewarding that must be.

Listen, I could go on for hours, and I am not going to tell you this album is the most amazing thing you will ever hear; but it’s edgy as hell. If you are tired of music all sounding the same, this band is for you. Oh, and by the way, they just posted a boatload of spring tour dates, and you’re invited to experience physical and mental stimulation.

Enjoy.

MIRANDA LAMBERT VERSUS CHRIS BROWN

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“I just have to speak my mind, because where I come from, beating up on a woman is never OK. So that’s why my daddy taught me early on in life how to use a shotgun.”

–Miranda Lambert on Chris Brown

I COULD WATCH THIS OVAH AND OVAH!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Lourdes is hilarious! Who would’ve thunk it?

[Related Post: Madonna Riding LMFAO = Epicsauce]

TATTERED

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


They reek of rock. The only thing I demand is that they make it louder.

Who? Tattered. Where? Olds, Alberta. (That’s right, these fellas rent in my province!) What? A gentle thunder. A pinch of punk, a pint of rock, and two heaping teaspoons of screamo.

I see in Tattered a decisive, ambitious group, consisting of four gentlemen talented in their own rights. Can’t form an opinion on their live act as I’ve never been to a show, but as they say on their blog, “The band is just itching to get back on stage.” That’s what I like to hear.

Theirs is not necessarily a style reduced to commercial appeal. Rather, I see them thriving with an indie label, a company that won’t suffocate them within realms of superficiality. No matter what, they need to always strike forward in the creative direction that they see fit. They can’t let anyone tell them how their band is supposed to sound, feel, or be.

They haven’t yet a video I can proudly cut and paste, but I will leave you with the emotionally fuelled Lies. The vocals are radio quality, the guitar has brutal control, and it’s all pieced together with a rough, well-rounded edge.

LISTEN: Lies by Tattered (Audio)

[Tattered Online]

JESSIE J TAKES ON ‘WE FOUND LOVE’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


This is why Jessie J is my favorite vocalist on current pop radio…

Watch below as she stamps nothin’ but soul all over Rihanna’s smash single, ricocheting her dynamic voice for UK’s Radio 1 Live Lounge, hosted by Fearne Cotton.

Girl can saaang!

PS: Happy Birthday, Rihanna!

JESSE THOMAS IS BOUND TO BUST OUT

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


I am continuously on a manhunt for musicians that are going to dent the scene and leave some sort of permanent imprint. Sometimes I find some that are middling, or buzzworthy, but then tend to fall off. My latest discovery is a chick named Jesse Thomas. What can I say about her without really knowing her yet? Well, her voice is exclusive as hell, her lyrics will really hit you, and she seems like she would be an astounding live act. Jesse’s melody and phrase are some sort of unearthly gift. Her album, War Dancer, was just released on February 14th through Red Parade Music, and can for sure be considered an Indie Spotlight for 2012.

Upon stumbling onto her music, I instantaneously started watching some of her YouTube videos, and was flat out hooked. It’s been two years since Jesse released her debut EP, Haze (which I also purchased prior to the new release), and she unquestionably has grown as an artist. Upon first glance, this is a SOLID first full-length. It’s beautifully produced to showcase the expressive complexity yet authentic simplicity of Jesse’s writing. I can absolutely recommend some tracks, like Fire and Song For You. Why? Because they are so personal it almost seems as if she is sitting in a chair next to your bed, singing only to you. Up next, some faster tracks like Back to Fighting and Already Mine, songs that will make you want to get out of that bed and bust a move.

Do yourself a favor and check out some REAL music.

Jesse Thomas: A massive musical fireball in a miniature bundle, who is bound to bust out of the packaging.

ELECTRIC GUEST

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Something sweet post-Valentine’s Day.

Electric Guest: down-to-earth and oh so indie. The kind of indie that makes them host free shows and become very nearly unreachable to the mainstream. (AKA the kind of indie I love.)

I couldn’t properly describe their music, and within such elusiveness they find most of their charm. You could dance to them or play Scrabble with their sound as your serenade. When you’re listening to Electric Guest, there are no rules.

One of their most popular tracks American DayDream is speed in slow-motion. Personally, I find better groove in a more recent compilation: This Head I Hold.

“Get high,” sings their lead man. Yet I don’t need to when I’m listening to their music.

When I saw one of their upcoming shows was in Paris, I had a mini daydream of venturing off to party with the Parisians. For now, I’ll have to succumb to their beat via stereo. But hey, if you’re in the mood to run away, I’d suggest La Boule Noire on March 1st to be your preliminary stop.

Send me a postcard.
 

TAYLOR SWIFT PREMIERES ‘SAFE & SOUND’ VIDEO FEAT. THE CIVIL WARS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Getting backed by the amazing folk-pop duo The Civil Wars, Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound takes a departure from her more mainstream roots into a beautiful grey area. The stunning song is the featured track from the Hunger Games soundtrack, which according to iTunes will drop on March 20th, three days before the movie opens across the country.

Personally, I think this is Swift’s best work by a landslide…

In addition to Safe & Sound, Kid Cudi’s The Ruler & the Killer, and Arcade Fire’s Abraham’s Daughter, new songs from Miranda Lambert, Once star Glen Hansard, and the Decemberists are also included on the disc.

The Hunger Games Track Listing:

1. Taylor Swift (Feat. The Civil Wars), Safe & Sound
2. Taylor Swift, Eyes Wide Open
3. Arcade Fire, Abraham’s Daughter
4. Kid Cudi, The Ruler & The Killer
5. Miranda Lambert (Feat. Pistol Annies), Run Daddy Run
6. The Civil Wars, Kingdom Come
7. The Decemberists, One Engine
8. Glen Hansard, Take the Heartland
9. The Low Anthem, Lover Is Childlike
10. Punch Brothers, Dark Days
11. Secret Sisters, Tomorrow Will Be Kinder
12. Birdy, Just a Game
13. Ella Mae Bowen, Oh Come & Sing
14. Jayme Dee, Rules
15. Carolina Chocolate Drops, Reaping Day
16. Neko Case, Give Me Something I’ll Remember

Sounds pretty amazing actually!

Interview snippet + the premiere of the stunningly beautiful ballad below.

Oh yeah! To see this song performed LIVE, click HERE. Just do it, dammit!

Get More: Music News

YOU’RE WELCOME

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

SLEIGH BELLS RING-A-LING ON UPCOMING ‘REIGN OF TERROR’ RELEASE

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I cannot wait for this record, or for their opening stint with The Red Hot Chili Peppers this spring. BTB favorites, Sleigh Bells, have a way of continuously grating my ears to shreds with their signature bone-rattling rhythms. For a comfort zone music listener, the Brooklyn-based duo may at first seem frightening. But you will quickly find that the fear rapidly turns into a pleasurable mind-blowing assault.

Although their second album, Reign of Terror, isn’t set for release until February 21st, you can get their lead single, Comeback Kid, now. Hard to call it a comeback when they’ve been here the whole time, robust and forceful.

I hear those Sleigh Bell’s ring-a-ling; may the chest-thumping force be with you.

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