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."
Click here to follow Katie Hasty on Twitter.
Green is a 'Lady Killer,' superhero and freak -- and he's out to play the field
As he was stitching together his new solo album “The Lady Killer,” Cee Lo Green didn’t have much intention to rope in special guests or featured vocalists. There was one name, though, that he at least tried to get.
Bam, Steve-O, Johnny Knoxville and others join the Weez in Super-8, ahead of 'Hurley's' release
We told you yesterday that the dudes from "Jackass" were at least one good reason to tune into Sunday's 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. It also happens that Steve-O, Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera and the rest of the stupid stunt crew are also a reason to check out the new music video for Weezer's "Memories."
According to MTV, Rivers Cuomo used to hang out with Knoxville in the early '90s, shooting hoops. The Weez was about to go mainstream, and Knoxville was trying to break into Hollywood. How times have changed.
The clip features mostly shots in Super-8 with the various cast skateboarding in an empty pool. Interstitial clips from forthcoming "Jackass 3D" -- the soundtrack to which "Memories" is included -- plus general shenaniganry are included. There's little kids, a fat guy in a pool, gang vocals, the ilk. It's kind of sweet.
What do you think of the song and the video?
Interview: The Queen of Rockabilly chats Americana Awards honor, â€˜The Party Ainâ€™t Over,â€™ shock and awe
There are few people -- let alone women -- on earth who can claim to have toured with Elvis Presley and held their own. Few musicians can enjoy a third or fourth act to their career, let alone a second. Even fewer are rockers, then gospel singers, then punk icons, Rock And Roll Hall of Famers and celebrated Americana artists.
Are you joining the choir or are you skipping the party?
Let me make one thing clear right off the bat: I think Kings of Leon’s new song “Radioactive” is awesome.