Unexpected collaboration also samples Gil Scott-Heron plus: So that release date's not really firm?
It's not even Friday but today we have the arrival of yet another new Kanye West track.
Earlier this summer, we reported that Bon Iver's Justin Vernon had joined forces with Ye on a "Woods"-sampling track, and "Lost in the World" is the result of that. The famed producer changes keys and ads a floor-bumping beat underneath the melancholy stack of auto-tuned vocals. Additionally, check the intense use of Gil Scott-Heron's spoken-word piece “Comment #1.”
(Not sure how or why the site got first dibs, considering it obnoxiously painted it's call all over the track, sounding like Bender from "Futurama." Sorry folks.)
Anyway, this is the same track that Kanye spat a cappella at the Rolling Stone and Facebook offices last month. Of the track, Vernon told Pitchfork, "So I head out [to Hawaii] and he plays me the track and it sounds exactly like how you want it to sound: forward moving, interesting, light-hearted, heavy-hearted, fucking incredible sounding jam. It was kind of bare so I added some choir-sounding stuff and then thicked out the samples with my voice." Then a little something about smoking joints with Rick Ross and "I'm just a dude in a t-shirt who smells like shit."
Lovely. Overall, it's a neat, sexy little track in three parts, with some good lines from Kanye, who in this writer's opinion has been hit or miss so far with all that's come out. I personally love the sneeze out of Bon Iver, so it's about time dude gets paid. Click here to hear the original of "Woods."
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From the same guy who produced Green Day? You don't say
Remember that episode of "South Park" where Cartman plots revenge and terror on the creators of the FOX show "Family Guy," only to discover the writing staff of the show is actually manatees pushing random "idea balls" together to form the show's jokes and themes?
That's sort of like what My Chemical Romance's new single is like. "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" -- which we will henceforth refer to as "Na Na Na" or "Na x 12" -- was released today in the form of an unofficial lyric video. The track is the first fans have heard from the rock act's forthcoming new album, the mouthful "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys."
"Na Na Na" seems to be a smattering of random, quasi-anti-establishment statements intermingled with rhyming phrases like "mall cop" and "jazz hands." The name Killjoys is in there too and, while I don't exactly know the Fabulous Killjoys' role in the greater context of the album, I'm going to start at least assuming this is a concept album and sleep better tonight.
My Chemical Romance is no stranger to concept sets, as 2006's solid "The Black Parade" will attest. But you know who else is well-versed in concept rock records? Producer Rob Cavallo, who helmed on "Black Parade" and on "Danger Days." You know who else Cavallo is famous for producing? Green Day.
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Is this the Young Money's star's attempt to coddle brick-and-mortar retailers?
Lil Wayne is obviously excited about getting out of jail, but he's not the only one. Aside from promoting music videos from the clink, calling Drake from Rikers on his birthday and digitally releasing an EP-no-wait-that's-a-full-length, Weezy has been hyping the forthcoming "Def Jam Rapstar" video game, out Oct. 5.
Ads have started appearing with the tattooed non-human sporting unclasped handcuffs. "I am the beast. Feed me rappers or feed me beats," the text demands. (Interestingly, those are lyrics culled from his guest spot on "We Takin' Over," by DJ Khaled, not Wayne.)
The spot comes after a brief announcement from the "Rapstar" camp yesterday. "Yes, the rumors are true. In celebration of our video game release and Lil' Wayne's album I Am Not A Human Being dropping October 12, we've decided to team up and make it a big deal. We've got even more information coming in a little bit so keep your eyes and ears open."
Interestingly, "I Am Not a Human" has already dropped, as of today, at digital and -- as you can imagine -- physical retailers were none-too-pleased about it. It meant that stores like iTunes had first dibs on hugely anticipated tracks, with featured guest spots from Drake and Nicki Minaj. The album will likely sell a ton more when it hits physical shelves on Oct. 12, but not without having hurt those feelings.
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The â€œAmerican Idolâ€ star sets his sights on producing, talks on Jennifer Lopez as AI judge
The first time David Archuleta released a full-length album, he’d co-written two of the 12 songs. For his newest “The Other Side of Down,” he’s credited for 10. The result, he says, is a set of songs that lift the veil on some of his quirks.
What do you think of the pop star's latest plea to abolish the federal law?
This morning, Lady Gaga posted a video of her speaking her mind on the military's current "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, which prevents homosexuals from serving openly in the military. She throws out statistics including how 14,000 soldiers had been discharged from the armed forces because of the law, including 400 during the Obama administration. She provides anecdotes of individual soldiers' outings. And then she gives a call to action, to contact senators who will be voting on the Defense Authorization Bill next Tuesday (Sept. 21), which includes language to deactivate DADT.
One minute of those seven-and-a-half minutes are spent watching Gaga watching her phone, as she attempts to dial her New York senators. It's kind of embarrassing -- but not for her. Here's one of the world's biggest pop cultural icons of 2010 trying to put democracy into action, and she gets a million rings and a busy signal, and a "this mail box is full." (Apparently, the Democratic senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand reached out to Gaga independently, if her Twitter is to be believed, but still: ouch.)
No matter your feelings on DADT, it is at least admirable to see a celebrity set a step-by-step course of action on a political issue. For one thing, when citizens are asked to call their senators, they don't know what that looks or sounds like, or what they're supposed to say. Another that -- thank goodness -- it doesn't finish with her asking for donations. It's not that kind of thing.
And here's a woman who's normal job is to make a spectacle of herself make a spectacle of an issue. She brought an entourage of soldiers from SLDN.org to accompany her to the MTV VMAs (hell, she's on their home page now), and presented them with honor in her voice during one of her acceptance speeches -- one after she thanked "the gays" for making the "Bad Romance" video over and over again on YouTube. Through her official videos, her Monster Ball tour, her public statements, Gaga has worked to establish that she's as much of a gay icon now as she is a pop icon.
Where it gets hazy for me is the that #BornThisWay hashtag.
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Watch: Canadian indie-rockers subtlely wow with 'Restoration' video, kick off Americna tour this weekend
I first fell in love with The Acorn in 2007, more specifically, when I saw the breathtakingly dramatic animated video for track "Flood Pt. 1." The song was culled from the larger narrative, "Glory Hope Mountain," a tribute to frontman Rolf Klausener's mom's early journey from Honduras to Guatemala to Miami then to Montreal.
The Ottawa-based band's newest set "No Ghost" is just as epic, though doesn't necessarily boast a clear-cut concept. It still features the Latin-influenced rhythms, the woodsy hum of nylon-stringed guitar, those popping, earthy vocals. It's a solid set, with features like electric "I Made the Law" and "Misplaced," which Klausener told me briefly at a show in Brooklyn was his first real "sexy time" song.
Thankfully, too, the band has another animated video offering -- the subtle and endearing "Restoration," which, to be appropriately dramatic, is like a summer's exhale into autumn, a recharge with a shock before the long haul of winter.
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Listen to 'I Could Be Wrong' featuring Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig
As Chromeo was recording new album “Business Casual,” the duo kept and updated a chart in the studio, categorizing each song as they made them. More than just a summary of work performed, it was a map of mood, lyrical content and tempo; it helped determine which tracks would make the cut and which would be highlighted.
What are you doing on Sept. 22? Or Sept. 29? Wanna go to the Palm? It's easy...
Brandon Flowers' "Flamingo" album isn't the only good thing going on about Las Vegas this month.
The Palms Las Vegas is hosting dance-rockers Phoenix on Sept. 22 and indie darlings Vampire Weekend on Sept. 29 in concert, and I have a pair of tickets to give away for both.
Just in case you don't know what you're in for, Phoenix released one of the most beloved albums of 2009 ("Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix") and Vampire Weekend's "Contra" has been hot all year long. Two tickets to each show would set you back around $80+, but we've got 'em for free.
And if you don't win, but still want tickets, you can purchase Phoenix here and Vampire weekend here.
The Killers frontman explores Sin City in religious metaphors and dance-rock
If you’re gonna make an album shaming and praising Las Vegas in a milieu of styles inspired by your favorite new wave, pop and rock artists, then your album should sound like Brandon Flowers’.
"Flamingo" flies onto shelves today (Sept. 14).
Despite moving from a major to an indie, Rivers Cuomo and Co. show no signs of changing the formula
The Epitaph effort has is dummy rockers, electro rockers, jokey rockers, Serious singles and ballads essentially remade into rockers. The band won't allow itself to drop below a certain midtempo BPM even once, and, as per usual, the mastering pummels every note an inch into your face, desensitizing the listener to any changes in sonic or subject matter.
Not that it matters. "Hurley" doesn't really play like an album, just more like a collection of licenseable songs and a little something for the kids. It's front-loaded with proof that Rivers Cuomo can still write the hell out of hook, like on the unwinking "Trainwrecks" and "Ruling Me," which very well should be the second single after straight-forward "Memories."
"Where's My Sex?" is like a dirty children's tune, akin to "The Cat Came Back" with dorky jokes about procreation. Cuomo extols "Smart Girls" with some awfully lazy rhyming schemes but also with a cute trickle of memorable lines. "Run Away," the band's collaboration with songwriter Ryan Adams, sadly loses steam mid-song, like dialing in a favor.
As Weezer's older fans skim for any inkling that the band has another "Pinkerton" or even a "Maladroit," in them, there may be some joy in "Hang On" and striking, vulnerable "Unspoken" (up until the dam breaks and the grinding guitars return to irritate your skin). Closer "Time Flies" interestingly features the sounds of clipped guitar and vocals, giving it a lo-fi calculated textures.
More songs with gang vocals, more of the 1-6-4-5, more tracks about girls and waxing nostaligic on the days when we were single. It's not weird, or more pop or experimental, revolutionary, sensitive or off-beat. It's just more of what we've come to expect.
"Hurley" is out tomorrow (Sept. 14). Listen to the album in its entirety here.
Click here to check out the band's recent video for "Memories," featuring the crew from "Jackass 3D."
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