Gwar got a new singer, and it's a woman named Vulvatron

Gwar got a new singer, and it's a woman named Vulvatron

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters has a good Dave Brockie story

After frontman and founder Oderus Urungus (aka Dave Brockie) of Gwar died earlier this year, many wondered what the future of the gross-out metal band would be. The band has always had a rotating door, but there would need to be a gap filled for another vocalist.

Well, we have at least a partial answer. Gwar got a lady singer. And her name is Vulvatron. According to a profile from Wondering Sound, she made her debut during Riot Fest in Chicago over the weekend, and she is a sight to see.

I feel, in this case, we have all won, and for several reasons:

1. Her "massive (prosthetic) breasts occasionally shoot geysers of blood," making her "a monster instead of a princess."

2. She's purple! Cool!

3. She is not the first female member of Gwar, but is the group's first major player, co-leading on vocals with Blothar (aka Mike Bishop, aka Beefcake the Mighty).

4. She's already getting the hang of Twitter, the guts-spewing, fire-inacting, cum-and-blood-chugging, guitar-wielding, speaker-blowing social media medium of choice.

RIB, Brockie. Long live Vulvatron.

And in case you didn't know, hero human Dave Grohl is a fan, and has a good story about Gwar and Brockie, below (NSFW). This was delivered during the Foo Fighters' ultra-small show at The National in Virginia last night (Sept. 17).

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Review: Chris Brown's new album 'X' rarely makes its marks

Review: Chris Brown's new album 'X' rarely makes its marks

HitFix
C
Readers
n/a
On ego and art

Chris Brown is an artist whose public persona is nearly impossible to separate from his art.

He's an obviously gifted singer, and frequently an even better dancer. His pout and his swagger, when he's performing, is all part of the act. And the act can often be the art. He's also been repeatedly arrested, charged and sentenced for assault; he publicly brawls with other artists; he's proven a hostile and defensive in television appearances and on social media. That recent Billboard interview was insufferable. He can be vile about women, boastful about commercial success and his own materialism.

His success is dependent on inspired live performances, a hit single and the support of his label and guest artists on his records. This need has worked its way into his art, onto his new album "X," though not always in the most explicit, lyrical terms.

"X" was an album that took a year-and-a-half to make, and publicly went through spits and starts. It's biggest rev really began with the success of "Loyal" feat. Tyga and Lil Wayne, a runaway hip-hop smash with a hugely catchy vibe and ugly, misogynistic lyrics that sprinkles drug use on top like the Weeknd showed up for the weekend. It's defensive as hell, too, which makes fans "loyal" to Brown defensive on his behalf. He doesn't even need to answer to its blatant, demeaning themes.

Except that he does anyway.

"If you're only as good as the company you keep / Then I'mma blame you for what they say about me," he warns in the first lines of the titular, opening dance-inspired track. It's a noisy and soaring offering, co-produced by Brown and Diplo. Then, cynically: "I can make you a believer if I turn the nonsense down."

The "company" he keeps on this album, in addition to Diplo? Chart-toppers like Usher, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Jhene Aiko and producer Danja. (Nicki Minaj wastes away on "Love More" from the deluxe bonus version, the same collection of excess tracks where Brown's terrible "Fine China" exists to be burned by a thousand fires.)

Some of these singers, rappers and beat-makers are contemporaries any artist would kill to keep in their cadre. Stylistically, Brown's riding their sonics. This does not make for a cohesive album.

"Songs on 12 Play" is an obvious homage to Kellz, plugging "Ignition" though inviting Songz to guest on vocals. R. Kelly shows up instead on messy pussy ode "Drown In It" which is just as explicit as you imagine. Perfectly innocuous "New Flame" reverses it's simple structure to cater to an Usher cameo and, worse, a dorky Rick Ross verse, promising to do you ladies "right."

Let's pause. I don't think for a single second the cameos from troubled artists like R. Kelly (for his chronicled history of sexual assault of young women), Rick Ross (who has difficulty grasping what sexual assault even is) and Akon (whose rep was partially staked on a fake criminal history) on an album of troubled artist Chris Brown is coincidence. I also think that guest spots from artists like Grande, Aiko, Brandy and Lil Wayne were from artists who wanted or could use the exposure: Grande and Brown were in the lab before "Problem" was even Grande's great career solution. Brandy's rebuilding the Brandy brand, as is loyal Wayne. Aiko is building off her breakout year.

This all returns to that initial assertion, that "guilt/innocence by association" I think its in moments like these that Brown forces an intersection of public face -- ego -- and art.

Perhaps that's why there's "Loyal," and its reheated machismo on "Stereotype." That's why there's the slobbery sex anthems and fluffy suite of "Body Shots" and "Drunk Texting." "X" is 17 songs long, including a throwaway "interlude" ("101"), performed in a lot of different styles and hardly a single one of them focus on the "personal" Brown, about forgiveness or debt, prison or rehab, girlfriends or exes, or growth.

Brown and his company think it's time you forget the ego: he wants a hit, whether descriptive, debaucherous or offensive. As long as it stays impersonal.

Reeling "Autumn Leaves" and "Do Better" do alright; "X" really is a wind-up toy that will get you ready for a game better than this. "Time for Love" and "Add Me In" are also highlights, with some vocal takes that actually sound inspired.

Overall, though, a prioritization of style over substance may explain why "X" just feels like R&B spit-balling, sounding like "now," not "for always," and zero fun at all. To quote another lyric from "X," "I swear to God I'm moving on": Brown breezily flitting between villainous provocateur to lover-man to pimp to The Good Guy -- the "moving on" -- is maybe what's holding him back.

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Run The Jewels drop a new hip-hop track to have you saying 'Oh My'

Run The Jewels drop a new hip-hop track to have you saying 'Oh My'

Don't cry: El-P and Killer Mike are back

Run The Jewels are back with a track that will have you saying "Oh My."

The duo -- consisting of Killer Mike and El-P --  dropped "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" today via the Adult Swim Singles series, ahead of their next album "Run The Jewels 2" (that's "RTJ2" for those who wish to conserve characters.)

The songs from the AS singles program have included eyebrow-blazers from dance music pioneer Giorgio Moroder to metal men Mastodon to electronica composer Fatima Al Qadiri. You can hear the previously released song streams in the Soundcloud playlist below.

Run The Jewels has already released "Blockbuster Night Pt. 1" from #RTJ2; like their first self-titled album, this set will be out for free to fans, with the option to purchase on CD or vinyl.

Run The Jewels tour dates are below all the yummy streams.

Here are Run The Jewels' tour dates:

10/15 - College Station, TX - Boulevard 217 %
10/16 - Austin, TX - Red 7 %
10/18 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's %
10/20 - Little Rock, AR - Stickyz
10/21 - Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall %
10/22 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
10/23 - Birmingham, AL - Zydeco %
10/24 - Columbia, SC - Music Farm %
10/25 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm %
10/31 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts *
11/1 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
11/2 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater *
11/3 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle *
11/4 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade *
11/6 - Dallas, TX - Trees *
11/7 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/8 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's *
11/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom *
11/11 - La Jolla, CA - Porters Pub *
11/12 - Pomona, CA - Glass House *
11/14 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine +
11/15 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater *
11/17 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge *
11/18 - Englewood, CO - Gothic Theatre *
11/20 - Minneapolis, MN - First Line Music Café *
11/21 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre *
11/22 - Chicago, IL - Metro *
11/25 - Detroit, MI - St Andrews Hall *
11/26 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall *
11/27 - Montreal, QC - Club Soda *
11/28 - Boston, MA - Paradise *
11/29 - New York, NY - Stage 48 *
12/11 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
12/12 - London, UK - Koko
12/13 - Paris, FR - La Bellevilloise
12/15 - Oslo, NO - BLA
12/16 - Stockholm, SE - Debaser Strand
12/19 - Copenhagen, DK - Pumpehuset
12/20 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli Vredenburg
12/21 - Dublin, IE - Opium Rooms
12/30 - Lorne, AU - Falls Festival
12/31 - Marion Bay, AU - Falls Festival
1/1 - Sydney, AU - Field Day
1/2 - Byron Bay, AU - Falls Festival
1/4 - Busselton, AU - Southbound Festival
1/7 - Sydney, AU - Enmore Theatre ^
1/8 - Melbourne, AU - The Forum ^
1/9 - Brisbane, AU - Hi Fi ^
1/10 - Auckland, NZ - Town Hall ^

% Red Bull Sound Select show
* with Ratking & Despot
+ with Despot
^ with Joey Bada$$

 

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<p>Ariana, look out! He&#39;s behind you!</p>

Ariana, look out! He's behind you!

Watch Ariana Grande and Chris Brown's ridiculous 'Don't Be Gone Too Long' music video

Garner thy ancient hoodie

Ariana Grande and Chris Brown went to a Renaissance Faire and came out clean on the other side with a new music video.

"Don't Be Gone Too Long" is off of Brown's long-delayed "X," out tomorrow. And while I like Grande and Brown's voices together, this song is a particular thudder, like two talented people being stuffed into a single catchy phrase.

Good thing there's MAGIC to be had. Check out the steamy landscape, like "Neverending Story." Or the prima nocta moves, like in "Braveheart." Prince Douchebag (the villain, I mean) looks like Alan Rickman, a la "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." And Grande's a ballerina, like in... "Black Swan." Brown directed it, noting he "wanted to do something different" on Twitter. So there's that, to explain thine ancient white hoodie.

The sung phrase "no one to love me when you're gone" stings a little much when it Brown behind the words, and that damsel-in-distress arm-grab at the end certainly was some interesting choreography. Don't you know that ho's loyal?

Grande only recently released her chart-topping album "My Everything," and will appear on "Saturday Night Live" with Chris Pratt on Sept. 27. Chris Brown, on the other hand, pleaded guilty to a not-Rihanna assault on Sept. 2, stemming from an altercation from last October. His most repeated fact from his recent Billboard cover interview is that he's just human, y'know.

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Stop pretending Jessie Ware isn't your new favorite pop artist: Watch 'Say You Love Me'

Stop pretending Jessie Ware isn't your new favorite pop artist: Watch 'Say You Love Me'

Here, watch a couple of music videos in a row

It's time we talked, that you quit denying it. Jessie Ware is your new favorite pop artist and you just keep being like, "I don't know who Jessie Ware is."

I'm sick of it. You know that you've rocked "Tough Love" after that last ill-advised nightcap. Or when you got ready in the morning the other day. Or when you had a sassy email you composed for your boss and then decided to delete it.

And this new video, for "Say You Love Me?" Let's stop pretending you haven't thought of making this exact music video when you went to the Museum of Natural History, and when you heard the lyrics it was like Jessie Ware drilled them directly out of your skull and tried to pass them off as her own? Because how else would you be singing every word by the song's end?

Let's end this charade. You already pre-orded the "Tough Love" album, didn't you? Didn't you. It's out on Oct. 21 in the U.S.

Here is the tracklist for Jessie Ware's "Tough Love," your new favorite pop album:

1. Tough Love
2. You & I (Forever)
3. Cruel
4. Say You Love Me
5. Sweetest Song
6. Kind of … Sometimes … Maybe
7. Want Your Feeling
8. Pieces
9. Keep on Lying
10. Champagne Kisses
11. Desire

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Pink combined with City & Colour's Dallas Green for new album: Listen 'You and Me'

Pink combined with City & Colour's Dallas Green for new album: Listen 'You and Me'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
The softer side of the singers

Pink is no stranger to a ballad, but her brand new song "You and Me" picks up an acoustic guitar and swoons over pedal steel, with new duet partner Dallas Green -- aka, City and Colour.

Performing under her given name Alecia Moore, the pop star and Green have crafted a 10-song album called "rose ave." under the name You+Me. "rose ave." is due on Oct. 14 via RCA. The sentimental lyric video for their song "You and Me" can seen below, and pre-orders for the album come with a download of the single.

"The artists met through Alecia's husband Carey Hart and instantly felt a connection and wanted to work together," reads a statement from the label. "Alecia invited Dallas to Los Angeles to write a song or two and ended up writing 8 songs together in 1 week. The duo then decided to finish and record an album."

Just looking at the cover art for the album, we see Pink in a long dress and fedora, with a plaid jacket and she's barefoot. Green's in a cowboy 'fit, staring back through specs, sitting in front of a desert landscape on a porch.

Green -- whose penchant for the dramatic has lasted successfully and prettily and painfully over four albums -- seems to give Moore some restraint here, both aesthetically and sonically. Whereas his work in Alexisonfire is him at his most extreme, City and Colour give him another emotional outlet. And maybe this album with Moore gives him his mainstream outlet, insofar as a folk or roots oriented record can mainline, a la Civil Wars or the Avett Brothers.

Two of Pink's more successful songs from 2012's "Truth About Love" were collaboarations: Nate Ruess amplified "Just Give Me a Reason" and cheeky "True Love" featured Lily Allen. But it's when she hit the harmonies on the former that may have partly inspired this endeavor. Her vocal range is so powerful, and so extreme, it's nice to hear someone who can play nice and temper her into her gentler tones.

Here is the tracklist for "rose ave.":

1 Capsized

2 From a Closet in Norway (Oslo Blues)

3 Gently

4 Love Gone Wrong

5 You And Me

6 Unbeliever

7 Second Guess

8 Break The Cycle

9 Open Door

10 No Ordinary Love

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Here is an infomercial for Ryan Adams' new album, starring Garry Shandling, Jeff Garlin, Don Was, Bob Mould
Credit: Julie Brokaw

Here is an infomercial for Ryan Adams' new album, starring Garry Shandling, Jeff Garlin, Don Was, Bob Mould

Hide your birds

Ryan Adams' self-title album is out tomorrow. But today, this little infomercial is the star.

Garry Shandling, Jeff Garlin, Don Was and Bob Mould co-star in this truly bizarre piece of internet ephemera, which may withstand the passage of time due to its use of parakeets and the skittish secretary trope.

Single "Gimme Something Good" also has its moment to shine, if we can call it that.

"Ryan Adams" is out on the singer-songwriter's own PAXAM label, I highly recommend the aforementioned song, along with "Wrecking Ball" and "Trouble." Guests like Johnny Depp, Adams' wife Mandy Moore and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench lend their talents to the set. Here's a great profile of Adams via Buzzfeed.

Read Melinda Newman's review of "Ryan Adams" here.

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Stuart Murdoch on his movie 'God Help The Girl': 'Just let it be Belle & Sebastian: The Movie'

Stuart Murdoch on his movie 'God Help The Girl': 'Just let it be Belle & Sebastian: The Movie'

January release on what frontman calls a 'forceful' new album

LOS ANGELES - Stuart Murdoch, frontman and founder of Scotting band Belle & Sebastian, has been juggling a couple projects over the past year. First was his God Help the Girl music side project, then "God Help the Girl," his first film foray as writer and director, and then a brand new album for B&S.

It's the one in the middle, he said in our interview this week, that changed everything. He called the big-screen musical "a whole new thing, I won't ever go back."

"God Help the Girl" -- starring Emily Browning, Hannah Murray (Gilly on "Game of Thrones") and Olly Alexander -- has been on the festival circuit since January. It's set in Murdoch's homebase in Glasgow, with Browning starring as Eve, a young girl struggling with anorexia and other mental health issues, finding temporary relief in songwriting with two new friends. For any fan of Belle & Sebastian, the songs are definitively Murdoch, with the aesthetic, pacing and sound frequently playing like a visual companion or expansion on the band.

And if that's what audiences get from it, then sure, "Just let it be Belle & Sebastian: The Movie," Murdoch said. He said he didn't try at all to stray from his comfort zone, aesthetically, thought working in movies has got his mind whirling about other places to take his "Girl." "I can't imagine this on the stage," he said, though maybe a TV show would fit the bill, "a good half hour thing. 'Seinfeld' without the gags and add a song," he smiled.

Murdoch also gave an update on Belle & Sebastian's as-yet-untitled ninth album, which they recorded in Atlanta with producer Ben Allen, two firsts. The set has a much "open sound, forceful sound... we just left everything out on the field, to use a sporting analogy. A very soulful record."

He confirmed that fans can expect the album in January, and that it will have guest players and singers, including a duet with Dee Dee Penny from the Dum Dum Girls. He'll have his hands on the masters in two weeks, giving him plenty of time to promote what he calls a "Spring record."

Watch the rest of our chat above, for more of Murdoch's thoughts on the link between mental health and creativitiy, the influence of locale on creativity, the musicality of his cast and working out his own demons.

"God Help the Girl" went wide to theaters this weekend.

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Nickelback song 'Edge of a Revolution' gets a protest-worthy music video

Nickelback song 'Edge of a Revolution' gets a protest-worthy music video

Off of the rockers' next album, due this fall

Here is the music video for Nickelback's rising rock single "Edge of a Revolution."

And you may ask yourself: why weren't there smoke machines in your classrooms growing up?

The Wayne Isham-helmed clip features video footage from cultural and political protests like Egypt's Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, along with the four members of the Canadian band performing in a school. Though, kids at home, please don't toss your desks, generally speaking.

"Edge of a Revolution" is safe for work to watch, but don't listen to it loudly in your office, for reasons including the double use of the naughty-word "sh*t." The song will be featured on the group's next album offering, due sometime this fall. Their last effort was 2011's "Here and Now."

Get your pointy fingers ready.

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5 observations about Conor Oberst's dystopian future in 'Common Knowledge'

5 observations about Conor Oberst's dystopian future in 'Common Knowledge'

HitFix
B
Readers
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Black and white and zig-zagging

Two music videos for Conor Oberst's songs from solo album "Upside Down Mountain" tackle what is a disastrous dystopian future. In May, he dropped the visuals for upbeat and smart single "Zigzagging Toward the Light." Part 2 arrived this week, for track "Common Knowledge."

Watch both in succession below.

This second part of the depressing suite also takes place in New York, 10 years after some sort of cataclysm took place on Earth and knocked out all the electricity. An artificial intelligence force took control and speaks to the world's subjects like a calm and outward-interested singularity from "Her." Oberst here is dealing with the consequences, by wandering the halls of his record home Nonesuch and fondly recalling memories from before the fall.

Here are 5 observations about his next little journey in "Common Knowledge":

1. In a dystopian future, you can smoke indoors again. Zing!

2. In a dystopian future, record labels suffer a lot from what they suffer today: emptied cubes, abandoned office furniture, amazing views of New York City and no way to really enjoy it. Zing?

3. God, New York weather is always so sh*tty.

4. Conor Oberst is a clear liquor man, unless that was distilled a la the liquor Dozer makes in "The Matrix": "It's good for two things, degreasing engines..."

5. I have trouble putting records on the platter when I've been drinking, too, man.

I think the emphasis on "ritual" from the first short film is being expanded and broken (like, literally) here, with the trimming of those truly foul long locks, the mazel tov in busting a bottle, the habits of vice, the burial of the old. Just be careful walking barefoot around broken glass.

"Common Knowledge" is nervous, "fatalistic" and self-destructive -- not nearly as charmed as "Zigzagging," and perhaps that's the point.

Oberst is kicking off a new leg of touring next week, dates below. He's also plotted a single release for Black Friday (Nov. 28), with unreleased "Upside Down Mountain" session songs "Standing on the Outside" and "Sugar Street."

Here are Conor Oberst's tour dates:

Sept 14            Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre #
Sept 16            Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater #
Sept 18            Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom #
Sept 19            Houston, TX @ House of Blues #
Sept 20            Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater  #
Sept 21            Dallas, TX @ AT&T Performing Arts Center – Annette Strauss Artist Square #
Sept 23            Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre #
Sept 24            Aspen, CO @ Belly Up #
Sept 25            Bellvue, CO @ Mishawaka Amphitheatre #
Sept 27            Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory #
Sept 28            Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory #
Sept 30            Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market #
Oct 1               Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom #
Oct 3               San Francisco, CA @ Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Oct 4               San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore #
Oct 5               Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre (Co-Headline w/ John Prine)
Oct 11             Mexico City, MX @ Corona Capital Music Festival

# with Jonathan Wilson

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