I'm going to get my favorite part of this announcement out of the way first. I'm From Barcelona, who are not from Barcelona, have their own Etsy shop. I love these goods, I love the new take on merch, I feel as twee as a Flintstone vitamin.
OK: Now for the meat in this good news sandwich. The Swedish indie-pop crew has released its new album "Forever Today," well, today, and in celebration have unleashed a very sunny music video to the set's second single. "Always Spring" reminds you that it's always happy hour summer somewhere, and that it doesn't take a good singer to be a great frontman. Emanuel Lundgren takes us by the hand on a countryside jaunt and bike ride.
The thing appears to be made from an iPhone video, while Lundgren's mustache may be the worst (read: best) photo-bomber ever. It's sweet.
"Forever Today" is the follow-up to 2008's "Who Killed Harry Houdini?".
It was kind of hard to fathom it, when Amos Lee came out withÂ a No. 1-selling album "Mission Bell" on The Billboard 200 earlier this year. Granted, sales required for a No. 1 aren't what they used to be, and it marked a record low, but then again, how many No. 1 albums do you have, chump?
Anyway, it's easy to see why people like the New York singer-songwriter, particularly with the light feather new "Flower," the video to which dropped this week.
I was a big fan of initial single "Windows Are Rolled Down." There's something so harmless about his soul songs and unfiltered acoustic guitar. "Flower" would be largely unforgivable for that meh-inducing first line, "My heart is like a flower / That blooms every hour / I believe in the power / Of love," were it not for the strength in its melody.Â
Its accompanying clip is equally hate-melting, with an adventure in white-wash and paper folding. Lee may not be impressed with how he's portrayed on paper, but the story takes it time and lays back, just like the track does.
Lee is on tour with a slew of major headliners, including Adele, Lucinda Williams and Calexico (that band's co-founder Joey Burns produced "Mission Bell"). Check all dates here.
The opening synth line reminds me of "Forever Young" (or "Young Forever," if you're Jay-Z) while the lyrics are reminiscent of "Sea & the Rhythm" by Iron & Wine (and not just because of "breasts"). But it's all Justin Vernon when it comes to that easy falsetto, as he lays beside a lover, apparently, in that Canadian town.
The keys continue into a mechanic percussive jaunt and harmonies swirl around that positive-yet-desperate vocal sound, held over from "For Emma, Forever Ago." I love it, but then again, I had a feeling I would.
The band has released a pair of new pieces to the "Codes and Keys" puzzle this week. First, there's the video to "Home Is a Fire," co-directed by famed artist Shepard Fairey and Death Cab for Cutie bassist Nick Harmer. It's good instruction on how to post word art all around the unwashed walls of your own town. "OBEY" stencils meet civil disobedience. Just lovely.
There's also new track "Underneath the Sycamore," which I'm having a hard time distinguishing it from every other DCFC song. I need a couple more listens just to un-jar "Home" from my head.
Beyonce has taken to the pages of Billboard to announce the title of her new album: "4."
In magazine's cover story, the singer revealed that there was further inspiration for the ultra-short title, other than the fact that it's her fourth full-length. "We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me. It’s the day I was born. My mother’s birthday, and a lot of my friends’ birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."
That's nice. Bey is at the magic numeral three right now when it comes to number of video teaser's she's released in anticipation of her new clip for single "Who Run the World (Girls)." All three are streaming below. If a count-down clock on her website is to be any indication, the full video will drop in, well, an hour.
Taking a cue from the song itself, the video looks like it will have plenty of inspiration from the military, in addition to the benefits of throwing a lot of model-y girls out to flop around in the desert.
When I first saw FM Belfast almost four years ago, it was on their home turf in Iceland, during the annual Airwaves music festival. Two members took their pants off and audience's front row was covered in what looked like fruit juice and confetti. A few months later, they rocked the walls of a small LES club in Manhattan. Many people were shirtless. Somebody, I believe, was dressed as a palm tree. This person may or may not have been in the actual band.
FM Belfast are most interested in fun, not in the cheeky, LOL-culture version of fun. Sometimes 25 people or more join the band on stage, in colorful costume, without a slow jam to dull the crew. It's dorky as hell, without an ounce of mean-spirit. It's like a lot of Dan Deacons, with less arm-crossing from the back of the room.
Below we present an exclusive video of the band's track "I Don't Want to Go to Sleep Either," from the band's forthcoming "Don't Want to Sleep," due June 21 via Morr Music. The clip may or may not have been created in MS Paint and iMovie.
Plus, here is a short Q&A with FM Belfast co-founder Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson:
Need to find Rihanna? You could search the beaches of California, swimming in a sea of sheets and linen.
The Barbadian singer is pushing her sixth single from "Loud," "California King Bed," and she's slowing it down and popping it up for the adult top 40 crowd.
It's like Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry," in musical and video direction. It's replete with shirtless lovers (and in Fergie's case, it was Milo Ventimiglia, oh hello), rolling around in bed all day like they don't have jobs, a regrettable break, a hint of that '90s "Water Runs Dry" nostalgia factor and references to odd bedroom fixtures (a California King Bed vs. a baby blanket).
Meanwhile, RiRi is under some intense scrutiny in the U.K., where the TV censors' delicate sensibilities have been tickled by her "S&M" video. It's been banned from daytime television airing, which puts any broadcast of it past the 9 p.m. hour. Perhaps the title "S&M" should have a been a warning? But besides the Patently Offensive Use Of Perez Hilton In Anything, I find the clip is more funny than it is noxious.
Rihanna will be on tour in June; check out dates here.
Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg in "30 Minutes or Less"
After a season of “Social Network” promotion and awards-reaping, Jesse Eisenberg has re-teamed with “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer for a bit of a palate-cleanser. It puts Eisenberg squarely in a dirty Michigan junk and scrap yard, in a bomb vest, opposite of Nick Swardson holding a homemade flamethrower.
The director played host to handful of journalists in Grand Rapids, in August last year. On hand was Aziz Ansari, who plays best friend Chet to Eisenberg’s floundering pizza delivery guy Nick, as well as Swardson’s bad-guy co-conspirator Danny McBride.
The midnight shoot turned the lens on the finale to the story of 30-something Nick, whose quandaries start when Dwayne and Travis (McBride and Swardson) kidnap him. They strap a bomb to his chest with the instruction to rob a bank in 10 hours or Nick waves his do-nothing life away. Eisenberg’s character then loops Chet, a middle school teacher, into his little problem, despite the fact that Nick recently pissed his buddy off by admitting his love for Chet’s twin sister Kate.
Kate unfortunately gets added to the mix, a mix that, naturally, requires a bank robbery.
“It was so fun,” Ansari enthused. “I don’t plan on robbing a bank anytime so this is probably the closest I’ll get to doing that. And I see why people rob banks. The whole time before we were shooting that I just watched ‘Heat’ over and over again, to really get in that mindset, so it’s an idiot like me trying to channel ‘Heat.’ Just the idea of a comedy based around a bank robbery seemed like something that would work.”
The two comedians play Dwayne and Travis, two good-for-nothings who indulge in home-made pyrotechnic weaponry and amateur criminal acts. Kidnapping Eisenberg’s Nick, a pizza delivery guy, they strap a bomb to him, instructing him to rob a bank in 10 hours or the vest goes off.
But there’s some father issues there. And some nods to older crime movies. And monkey masks, as seen in the trailer (above).
On the Grand Rapids, Mich. set of “30 Minutes or Less,” McBride and Swardson appeared in workman’s jumpsuits standing in the middle of a junk yard, smudged with ash and Swardson bravely preparing to be set on fire. This was late into shooting, in the summer, as McBride was prepping the second season of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” and Swardson was about to kick-off “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time” on Comedy Central. It was late at night. Eisenberg was about to become a hero. And Swardson was tired of holding the flamethrower.
"The Edge of Glory" should have been Lady Gaga's second single. Let's get that out of the way.
"Born This Way" had fans in their warm-ups, getting ready for the show, and regardless of the comparisons to adonna-May, it at least had me on the edge of my seat, both eager and anxious to see what would pop out next. "Judas" is a lukewarm mess, its video even messier, its inclusion as pre-emptive tease to the album a misstep that likely had Interscope scrambling to pick up the pieces.
Which leads to today, where Gaga introduces what she says is the official album promotion roll-out (as if our exhaustive day-after-day reporting of Gaga news was insignificant until now), "Edge of Glory" being the next enormous sneak peak.