'Malibu Country' and his album-making film make TV premieres tonight
Dave Stewart is an artist whose livelihood thrives off of collaboration. The former Eurythmics founder these days splits his time between his guest-heavy rock albums, producing other artists’ work – frequently with acts who also show on his records – and managing film and TV projects via his company Weapons of Mass Entertainment. He was just one part of a five-person supergroup SuperHeavy, with Joss Stone, Mick Jagger, A.R. Rahman and Damian Marley, and they released their first full-length last year. He produced Stevie Nicks’ new album “In Your Dreams,” and the doc of the same name, which made its bow at the Hamptons Film Festival last month.
G.O.O.D. music crew seems to think something big's on the way
Are we ready for a new world order? That's what the trailer to a new short film, "Cruel Winter," asks us. Kanye West has probably already crowned himself king of said order.
The rapper/producer has apparently headed up another short, fueling speculation that "Cruel Winter" will not only be a film but a complete album to follow-up his G.O.O.D. Music compilation "Cruel Summer."
The video itself answers almost nothing, using only the ominous-sounding pre-recorded sample and pictures of the coldest months wreaking havoc on the landscape. It could be incredibly beautiful. And pretentious. Or, with any luck, both.
New York indie-pop troupe preparing another new release?
Happy Halloween! Here is a gentle new pop song!
It looks like Vampire Weekend are back and in effect, as they took to the stage on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and spooked the audience in the most sane, easy way possible: with boppy piano, Ezra Koenig's square longing and some righteous facepaint. The song is called "Unbelievers."
What's missing here is, frankly, a proper sound mix, but also the electric guitar: I rather miss that hollow-body Gretsch, and chonking acoustic guitar isn't quite filling in those spaces. Still, it's a second solid look into what the band has been up to. Vampire Weekend premiered a fresh track, "New Song No. 2," at a show in July.
If history has any bearing on when we hear more studio material, remember that the pop-rock band's first two albums both came out in January, getting a leg up during the slow post-Christmas period.
Rap, R&B and dance stars combine for 'Ludaversal' single
- Critic's Rating B
- Readers' Rating A+
Three mega-stars from dance, R&B and rap have combined for one damn uplifting single. Ludacris recruited Usher and David Guetta for "Rest of My Life," a quiet-LOUD-quiet wave of "women, weed and alcohol," extolling the virtues of the wilder side of life.
Despite the declarations, this thing is fairly tame for Ludacris, who leans hard on PG-13 hip-pop lyrics, letting Usher pump up the pre-chorus and giving Guetta the floor for all of the "chorus," which is the sound of top 40 radio programmers (or is it singular, "programmer," now?) positively losing it. The song goes up on iTunes tomorrow and goes wide for adds on Nov. 19, right before Thanksgiving.
This is Ludacris doing ore pop. Do you want the rest of the record to sound that way?
Dreams come true, folks
Hey, it's not just that Miguel has put out what is possibly one of the best R&B albums this year. But his hard work (and those VOCALS, oh the vocals) have caught more than just my and 64,999 other album buyers' attentions.
Miguel Tweeted and Instagrammed a photo of himself standing next to a smiling Beyonce yesterday. The two appear to be in the studio -- and considering Miguel has penned for acts like Usher before and earned Grammy nominations for his performances, dude's got the chops to work with one of the most popular female singers today.
The songwriter/producer has apparently been writing for a whole crop of Virgos this month, according to his Tweet (Beyonce's b-day was on Sept. 4):
...woah. creating for [sic] Virgo's all weekend instagr.am/p/RbmGzxC13T/— Miguel (@MiguelUnlimited) October 31, 2012
Beyonce is on tap to perform during the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, and you can bet your bottom dollar that she'll be promoting something new at that time. If Ryan Tedder is to be believed, Bey's got two "projects" in the works. Now that she dropped from Clint Eastwood's "A Star Is Born" reboot, some time has been freed up for other projects, including a documentary about her own life. Diane Warren is also proclaimed to be writing tunes for the superstar.
Miguel released "Kaleidoscope Dream" in late September.
How does 'The Voice' judge do with guests Christina Aguilera, the Muppets and Straight No Chaser?
- Critic's Rating C
- Readers' Rating A+
About a third of CeeLo Green's 14-track Christmas album is pretty solid. This includes consideration that CeeLo's overall approach to singing tends toward the heavy-handed, an attribute absolutely compatible with Christmas records. But the most unnatural elements -- the forced styles outside his comfort zone, clunky duets, uninspired excesses -- are what ultimately causes "CeeLo's Magic Moment" to stumblebum around the season with only a few perfectly packaged gifts.
Next single from 'Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up' takes from the sugar bowl
- Critic's Rating C+
- Readers' Rating A+
As evident on the original release of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," Nicki Minaj can't help but to oscillate between trash-talking raps and pure, saccharine pop music for her singles, her sides and, apparently, her personalities. For the upcoming "Re-Up" of "Roman," the bonus tracks have been taking turns batting, starting with heady and bratty "The Boys" featuring Cassie, and now with this new cavity "Va Va Voom."
Of course, Minaj can't help but to play the villain sometime in this fairytale-driven narrative, but for the most part is the Queens-bred artist mugging in a variety of false lashes, with her penchant bright colors swimming all around her. I literally laughed out loud when when a dastardly Robin Hood darkens her doorway as she bakes sweets in a cottage (not making this up) and as she idles alongside a unicorn in a creek (still not making this up).
Contest-winning clip is full of wonder
M83's video for "Steve McQueen" deals with a lot of the same themes the lyrics to the song do: there's something hopeful and mysterious springing forth from us, at times, when the secret unlocking of our greatest desires feel, for once, within reach.
The clip thusly features a kid, a wrangler of magic around some unknown plot involving his toy animals and an unorthodox use of the garden sprinkler. It's colorful and unknowable, with animations from Spike Jonze collabo Sylvain Derosne, under the direction of Derosne and Balthazar Auxietre.
It came about as part of a video contest (in partnership with Genero.tv), with the directors describing their depiction of the “power of childhood, an eagerness for life, and the kind of paradoxical energy you have when you grow up.”
I'm confused by it, but I like it.
"Steve McQueen" is the next single from M83's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" from last year. It will be out with multiple remixes starting on Nov. 27. M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez is also releasing a 12" for Record Store Day's Black Friday edition, with four remixes of that track, on Nov. 23.
Further proof that fun. love musicals
The band fun.'s "Carry On" always sounded like a drinking, transitional song from a musical. In their music video for the track, the band took the cue.
The three-piece pop-rockers take to the New York city twilight and to its pubs for shots and grinning shenanigans for the track, which is the third single from "Some Nights" (after solar eclipse "We Are Young" and the title track). The musical vibe is only helped by Nate Ruess' incessant suspender urges and everybody's textbook definition of "boyish charm." Where's the conflict for the second act?
The clip arrives in time for fun.'s tour dates announcement. The headlining stint starts Jan. 23 and runs through Feb. 16 and is a continuation of the group's fall/winter trek, many dates to which are already sold out. Tickets for the new shows -- excluding big 'uns like Radio City Music Hall -- go on sale on Oct. 26.
Indie rockers produce part of 'Hummingbird' with The National's Aaron Dessner
Local Natives will soon be at a locality near you. The band has completed a new effort, titled "Hummingbird," out on Jan. 29, and have dropped new song "Breakers" in celebration. It's a little like Fleet Foxes raiding all of Dirty Projectors guitar processors, which is not at all a bad thing.
"Hummingbird" was recorded in Los Angeles, Montreal and Brooklyn. In the case of the latter, the quartet hit up The National's Aaron Dessner to produce, out of his Ditmas Park, Brooklyn studio. And of the former, the band actually outfitted their own new recording space in Silverlake.