Over the course of the last three days, there have been far too many new music videos to ignore -- from M. Ward, Foo Fighters, Liturgy, Raekwon, Die Antwoord and The Darkness -- so let's explore, shall we?
After today's sad announcement on the passing of Don Cornelius, it's hard not to hear any other news without that shading on it.
But this is a celebratory piece. Because R. Kelly's back, and he's disco, and it's a very specific nod to an era during which Cornelius reigned. Applause all around.
Kells' newest offering is "Share My Love," a track sent to radio today, steeped in 1970s soul and the R&B crooner's plan to help "populate" this big blue earth. It's a lot of familiar instrumentation from his last album, 2010's "Love Letter," with its groovy bassline and warm, flirty guitar, laced with twinkling keys and a humming, sensual orchestra.
Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton successfully did the feel-good thing last year, so it's great to see that smiling, sexy sex is still popular in 2012.
Jim Jarmusch is getting closer and closer to that inevitable solo project, but in the meantime, he's linked up again with lute player/producer/composer Jozef Van Wissem for a collaborative, experimental album "Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity."
The set, due out on Feb. 28 through Important Records, features the famed director on guitar and is preceded by a new track "The Sun of the Natural World Is Fire." Check it out below (via SSG).
It's all texture and clock-like repetitions, with static and dissonance dominating the lute's structures. From a visual standpoint, I'd say its more interstitial than narrative, but a gorgeous, melodramatic piece nonetheless.
The duo will be promoting the set with two shows at the Issue Project Room (110 Livingston in Brooklyn) on Feb. 3.
Jarmusch has previously worked with Wissem on other projects, and lent other talents to music acts like Bad Rabbit and the Wu-Tang Clan. His last film was 2009's "The Limits of Control."
Will any of his musically inclined actors from previous films -- like RZA, Jack White or Tom Waits -- show up?
I don’t have a problem with Lana Del Rey’s scarlet-harlot-starlet get-up. I don't mind a little peril. My hope was that she wore it well.
Man, nothing breaks your heart like seeing somebody bury their dead dog.
That's how Feist's "The Bad In Each Other" starts out. Celebrations situations go sour, family relationships are hurt by jealousy, a one-night-stand gets to the sad part: examples of people bringing out "the worst in each other." This high-tension song pairs sweetness with noise, and God love that bari sax because it feels like everything is crumbling by the end.
Quoth Leslie Feist, via her website:
This video captures glimpses of something human, we get a peek inside something real between people - could be loss, longing and love. A lot of things which is about being a human being.... It is told in a way where it opens up more aspects than it concludes. Maybe something we can't grasp, but it points at it or touches it and leaves us with different kinds of emotions. You could think about the video like a song or a poem, and different people will connect to different things- and those connections might be different from time to time when they watch it.
Yup, will repeat this viewing tomorrow when I won't feel so badly for the little girl with the recorder.
Joy Williams and John Paul White -- known as The Civil Wars -- released "Barton Hallow" one year ago, almost to the day. Aside from making a lot of critics' year-end lists, the album was also a springboard for dozens of other unique opportunities in the past months. And by "unique opportunities," I mean they earned a couple of Grammy Award nominations, recorded with T Bone Burnett from some film soundtracks, toured extensively around the country, collaborated with the Chieftans and Taylor Swift, played Nashville's Ryman, late night television shows and "Prairie Home Companion." It's sold healthfully. The year 2011 wasn't just good: it was gangbusters.
"The sky's the limit," Williams said during our interview during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival last week. The Civil Wars were on hand to promote "Finding North," the documentary film on hunger in America, with a score featuring T Bone Burnett.
M.I.A. is capping on her recent collaboration with Madonna for a little extra fame of her own. If I were her, I'd do the same too.
The talk-singing-rapping songwriter has revamped a "Vicki Leekz" mixtape track into "Bad Girls." And what do bad girls do well? Live fast and die young, apparently. Gunshots included. (Via Pitchfork)
But what is it with the mix? Or rather, what's with the lack of low ends today? I want this to be the banger it aspires to be, but there's a lot of overpowering treble squibbles flopping between what should be bigger beats. As is M.I.A.'s M.O., she relies heavily on lyrical repetition so it's always a joy to hear an actual, y'know, verse. Maya's attitude remains fierce.
I'm almost surprised it's taken this long, but Jack White has finally prepared his solo debut. "Blunderbuss" will be the former White Stripes leader's first album under his own name, out on April 24, and from his description of it, it's will be all Jack White, all the time, and maybe on all instruments.
"I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas," he said in a statement.
To kick things off right, the Nashville-based songwriter's released the track "Love Interruption," streaming now on his newly launched website. He's joined by a female vocalist -- or treated his own vocals to a shot of estrogen -- but for the rest of it, it's a pretty stripped-down, burning bluesy song. There's no low end, and an acoustic guitar joined by a keyboard are the only accompaniment besides. I like it, it's catchy, but perhaps I expected something more bombastic?
No doubt, Gina Rodriguez is a star in the making. The rising actress spent months getting down a flow -- a hip-hop flow -- for her starring role in Sundance flick “Filly Brown.” In the title role, the Latina MC is trying to “make it” with the help of a local hip-hop podcast, her ever-loving crew and by spitting her own nasally L.A. fire. As Majo Tonorio, the Real Girl behind Filly, she’s plagued with the stuff of VH1’s “Behind the Music”: A fiercely imploring and manipulative mother Maria who’s serving jail time on drug charges (Jenni Rivera); a naïve and bratty teenaged sister Lupe (Chrissie Fit); a hard-working dad Jose barely making ends meet at a construction job (Lou Diamond Phillips).