Inside Music with Katie Hasty
'Unapologetically' sassy, and why it's screwed up
Chris Brown and Rihanna's new duet "Ain't Nobody's Business" is, indeed, "Unapologetic." The song has arrived in full a few days out from Rihanna's new album release, and the pair would like for detractors of their rebudding relationship to butt out.
Using a famed line from Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," they both sing on the refrain: "It ain’t nobody’s business / Just mine and my baby." The sound, overall, is reminiscent of MJ, which must've thrilled the pants of Chris Brown, a longtime disciple who has never shied away from the comparison. It's helmed by The-Dream.
With lines about making out in a Lexus and the continued use of "baby," one would assume that Rihanna and her baby are back together, which they've both denied in the past week. The question of their relationship status, however, will never cease to pique others' curiosity so long as Rihanna and Chris Brown make songs like "Nobody's Business." Making their business model dependent on "Nobody's Business." Business because of "Business." The snake eats it tail.
"Nobody's Business" is a decent song, if you're in a place to hear it. I think it's lame to drum up publicity based on the reformation of what I think is a screwed up relationship that should truly be addressed quietly, but if Brown-Rihanna duets are the MO in the future, so be it. This is one of the cases where the public persona plays deeply into how songs are written and performed, making their personal business of "Business" fair game in criticizing it. So it's a draw, in consideration of her deeply affected delivery of the words "hain nobah'ees bi(d)neh," Brown's bad edits on the pre-chorus, the "infectious" post-disco dance brew and wrinkle-nosed funk at the end.
'Fade' due in January
After an intense election season, a week of scandal, a big "Bond" premiere and that disappointing new Why? album, it's about time for something uplifting and easy to listen to. Yo La Tengo may fill that gap, with the promise of a new album "Fade," due on January 15.
The band released an EP, "Stupid Things," earlier this year, and have included the title track in the 10-song list for this fresh effort. You can hear it below. You may find your ballot-casting hand a little less shaky, or your headphones finally relieved.
Pre-orders are up now and a deluxe version gets you a 7″ with covers of Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light” and Times New Viking’s “Move To California.”
Yo La Tengo is touring in support, starting with their Hanukkah concerts at Maxwell's in New Jersey, and continuing with some shared dates with Calexico. Check those below.
And you thought you were bummed out about 'Twilight' ending
Did I say the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" soundtrack would bum you out? I take it back. The video to Beach House's excellent dream-world "Wild" will bum you out.
And you thought your life was a wreck.
Johan Renck helmed this little spot of violent sexual sunshine, and it may not surprise the viewer that he directed episodes of "Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad," too. (It may furthermore surprise that he's directed clips for Kylie Minogue and Madonna.)
"Wild" is off of "Bloom," released earlier this year.
How's 'Lotus' doing with sales so far?
Before I start in on Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green's live debut of her "Make the World Move" duet, a couple things:
1) People are doggin' on Xtina for the weight gain, and have for a while. I've always thought she looks mega-fine, the added pounds or not. Criticisms of her appearance have frequently preceded any salient thoughts on her talent, which is ever-impressive.
2) CeeLo Green operates best with specific confines. Give him a retro sound, and he's brilliant. Give him a costume concept and he's all in. Give him 10 minutes aggregate of a TV talent show and he's unstoppable. CeeLo doesn't dance. He grooves and gets out of the way.
3) "Make the World Move" is a generally likeable song off of "Lotus."
Now. The television performance of "Make the World Move" on last night's "Voice" (Nov. 13) was positively batty.
It is finished
Psy's "Gangnam Style," with all its idiosyncrasies, will go down in the annals as epically robbed at No. 2 on the Hot 100, never to see No. 1, occupying the eternal runners-up prison where Boyz II Men's "Water Runs Dry" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" sit, shivering.
That is, unless Madonna's endorsement helps that last strong push. (Or not.)
'Synthetica' getting the deluxe treatment
Culling what one can from the music video for "Breathing Underwater," Canada's Metric is a popular band and performs and popular events, and deserve to anyhow. It would also be exhausting to be them.
That seems to be it.
"Breathing Underwater" is from Metric's "Synthetica," released in June; the album is getting a deluxe re-release this month, with five acoustic tracks tacked on. The shiny new version will be out Nov. 20 via digital retail and Dec. 4 at brick and mortar.
Can this hybrid of talent amount to much on its second go?
With the release of their first self-titled EP and now with “An Omen,” How To Destroy Angels have proven to be a much leaner, cleaner-sounding crew than Trent Reznor
’s other band. In conjunction with longtime collaborator Atticus Ross
and Mariqueen Maandig, Reznor tries to configure the drones and squirrely, processed matter around calculated acoustic rhythms and electronic melodies, as the Nine Inch Nails frontman trades vocal spaces with Maandig when he’s not outright absent. he band is at its best at combining its talents on the sixth of six tunes, “Speaking in Tongues,” a journey-is-the-destination ellipsis of noise and rising melodies.
But at its worst, “An Omen” is dispassionate and utterly unextraordinary, and it’s this for at least half the tunes. Reznor and Ross’ work on “The Social Network,” for instance, had similar minimalist strains, but at least didn’t lack in emotionality; the formula here is off, sometimes lost in drab lyricism. On “Keep It Together” Maandig and Reznor sing “I can’t keep it together” in staggered time like a broken round, because – get it? – they can’t seem to keep it together. “The Loop Closes” sings “the beginning is the end / keeps coming around again” over and over again because, again, get it?
“Ice Age” is more like a workshop tune, and unproven model, where the band appears to be recreating the band Califone inside of ProTools with Maandig’s practiced, calm voice wandering off in another sonic direction. That track, like the slow-building “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” has all the trappings of an interesting hybrid of tone and talent. However, it doesn’t amount to much.
Yoga and a smoky road
The video for Ludacris' "Rest of My Life" featuring David Guetta and Usher is like one of those inspirational posters: it's a lot of monumental "moments" framed in motivational speech, but not without commerce. That is, look for the product placements inside this general message of carpe diem.
Icelandic band has big plans for its 'Valtari' film expierminet
Sigur Ros have spent the better part of the last year revealing short films corresponding to each of the track off of their latest album "Valtari." As if something so ambitious cannot stand on its own, the Icelandic band is screening the 17 films on all seven continents -- including Antarctica -- and going on tour in North America and releasing an additional new EP of three songs.
They put their own ambition to ambitious shame.
The latest short film to be released from the album-film experiment is a movement-centered piece set to "Ekki Múkk”, “Valtari,” “Rembihnútur,” and “Varúð," featuring only a pair of dancers conversant in contortion, calling and responding through motion like a very intense mating call. Visually stunning, director Christian Larson's piece a great release after the pure tension of the tracks.
The screenings of it and other officially commissioned and fan-made videos for the "Valtari Mystery Film Experiment" will occur during the second week of December in some unorthodox venues like “hardware stores, hairdresser salons, and beyond," in dozens of cities worldwide based in Portugal to South Africa to Oklahoma to Japan.
From Green Day to Feist to Nikki Reed, everybody's bumming out
Are you completely heartbroken that “The Twilight Saga’s” theatrical run is almost over? The soundtrack to “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” understands. The 14-track set will hand you crumpled fistfuls of tissues when it, itself, is not wearily sobbing in its jammies.
The soundtracks to the series haven’t always been the sunniest, but as Bella and Edward wage their final battles and burrow into their vampiric fates, they’ll have the help of piano-led ballad duets like that from co-star Nikki Reed and ex-“American Idol” contestant and husband Paul McDonald. James Vincent McMorrow fits into the funeral using the Bon Iver mold, a placeholder Bon Iver himself shaped in the “New Moon” tracklist. Broadway’s “Spider-Man” star Reeve Carney more closely channels his upcoming film role as Jeff Buckley for his original song “New For You.” From upstart Iko to sullen Green Day, everybody’s tenderly shuffling through string sections or bummer BPMs.