Two very different radio jams, one as a Young Money/G.O.O.D. Music mash-up
Lil Wayne may have recent conflict with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. camp -- specifically Pusha T -- but that hasn't kept him from releasing what has been suggested is the first song to arrive from his "I Am Not a Human Being 2" album.
"My Homies Still" features G.O.O.D. Music's Big Sean, from whom Weezy borrows heavily for the hook and even some of the rap's generally sunny outlook; he injects "Go stupid" from Sean's 2011 hit "Dance (A$$)" while he and his collaborator weave around girls, skating and a mix of both good and bad one-liners.
I can't stand how it opens. I grow to love it as it ends. Their voices are good together. Too bad their respective labels aren't.
Pusha T lobbed a little beef Lil Wayne's lil buddy Drake's and Young Money's way with his "Exodus 23:1," with veiled talk of "n*ggas" signing other "n*ggas" and "Contract all f*cked / Explain up I guess that means you all f*cked up." This was a little more than a week ago, after which Weezy Tweeted "F*ck pusha t and anybody that love em." About a day later, he dropped Pusha diss track "Goulish." (It wasn't... great.. They can't all be zingers, but you can actually give a response some time, Wayne.)
'I Just Started Hating Some People Today,' 'Blue Randy' and 'Silk Pillow' arrive
Funny Beck, blue Beck, rapping Beck. Fans got all three this week as the trailblazing singer-songwriter released a new single through Third Man Records with Jack White, and collaborated with Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) on a one-off posted to the rapper's website.
As previously reported, Beck Hansen dropped by White's Third Man Nashville studio at the tail-end of a album recording mission, with White producing and guesting what would be "I Just Started Hating Some People Today" with B-Side saddy "Blue Randy."
As was discussed in my interview with Third Man cohort Reggie Watts, the label loves to mix comedy with music, but that's been a part of Beck's history for years. He weaves his snark and deadpan with a country guitar performance and loping, cool melodies on this A-Side, grinding it to an halt with White screaming and a casual woman's voice showing you the door. Who he hates -- and if he really hates -- may not be the message, but it's a theme and that would fit perfectly well on White's solo effort "Blunderbuss."
The singer-songwriter goes into his typical bonkers wordplay mode on "Silk Pillow," rapping with Gambino in a bro-down of dorks dorking out. Beyond those obvious motifs, the co-production is what holds this attention-deficit ditty together. A fun outing for the boys, but not sure how long it will last for the community.
Stream "Silk Pillow" here. Enjoy Big Ghost's liner notes and that amusing "cover."
'Martha Marcy May Marlene' actor Brady Corbet directs
I'm still putting the words together on how I feel about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' new album "Here," but my feelings about the new video for single "Man on Fire" is simple: what a delight.
The clip, helmed by actor Brady Corbet, hits mostly schoolyards and gyms at high schools in New York with the purpose of capturing jubilant movements from cheerleaders, tumblers, step team, gymnasts, double-dutch champions and other shakers who are moving to, literally, their own beat. Proud mamas and sisters and coaches, the ilk, look on. It eventually leads to an abandoned lot where the New York City Ballet executes their choreography to the song, and let me tell you, there is nothing cuter than honest-to-god ballerinas busting out in Chuck Taylors.
Band crafts 40-minute silent film with Shepard Fairey's help
Rather, the rockers have released a 40-minute silent film that was crafted partly out of found footage to accompany each of "Americana's" 11 tracks. The opening scene features Young playing a writer who visits an art gallery -- which features works from designer Shepard Fairey -- "in hopes of finding illustrations for his new book about great American songs," according to NPR, which debuted the vid.
Young obviously finds what he's looking for, and thus starts "Americana," which is the Crazy-Horseian interpretation on classic songs like "Oh Susanna," "God Save the Queen" and "This Land Is Your Land." The remainder of the film is found footage from the silent film era, including works from director D.W. Griffith. Young -- under the name Bernard Shakey -- directed and cut the film.
Country pop singer reports in from the set of the Broadway-movie conversion
Apart from her country music career, Julianne Hough has built a reputation for showing up in musical films lately, including “Burlesque” with Christina Aguilera and the “Footloose” remake. Of course, the convincing powers of co-starring in a flick with Tom Cruise didn’t hurt to say “yes” to one more, now with cinematic adaptation of Broadway show “Rock of Ages.”
How to make straight guys rock-out with a gay kiss on the Sunset Strip
Julianne Hough’s character Sherrie in “Rock of Ages” arrives onto the scene in a floral-enhanced dress, with an obscenely cumbersome suitcase in hand while a skinny punk jerk is rattled between policemen and hookers. Skipping alongside ‘80s choppers and liquor ads, Sherrie sings “Just Like Paradize” as her nose points at a rack of girlie mags and cigarettes next to the Roxy. At the edge of her jaunt is one of the film’s fictional focal points, the Bourbon Room, sullied and dank like used chewing gum on the sidewalk. It’s like the opening of “Rock of Ages” is a whiskey-drunk “Wizard of Oz,” with the Sunset Strip as the Yellow Brick Road and the munchkins starring as gum-chewing, crimp-haired, Poison-baiting Lollipop Guild.
Curtain is lifted on Hugh Jackman plus Anne Hathaway's big musical number
Taking beloved stage musical "Les Misérables" to the big screen is no easy feat, but in the new teaser trailer that dropped today, it seems the newest incarnation's filmmakers at least got the scale right.
Featured in the clip is Professional High School Theater Girl Anne Hathaway singing her character Fantine's money shot "I Dreamed a Dream," as Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean, Amanda Seyfried's pure-faced Cosette, Russel Crowe's militant Javert and others are revealed between sobs. There's even a blink of Samantha Barks, who is making a huge leap from stage to film as Eponine.
Victor Hugo's novel, set in 19th century, elegantly compounded the human condition and challenged the high and low ground of ethics and class loyalty, which made for good stage material and even romance when it was first adapted as plays -- and then as a musical in the 1980s. The music of that show is why the show is so fiercely defended and well-worn, because of its strong feminine arcs around Jean Valjean's hard-scrabble for redemption.
Which brings us back to size. What a stage musical can't do is reveal sweeping landscape aerials and assemble enough bodies to amp a student rebellion to scale. Capturing songs in close, quiet quarters also has the appeal of nixing full-throated stage sound, for much more intimate performances in-studio. Director Tom Hooper -- on whom every eye is fallen after "The King's Speech" -- seems unafraid to let the "Les Mis' actors look like dirt and, hopefully, let them act, fight and die like dirt, too, without the quick costume changes between acts.
Documentary-feature playing in six dozen movie theaters nationwide on July 18
On July 18, James Murphy and his band LCD Soundsystem will be taking the stage at Madison Square Garden once more -- on the screens at about six dozen movie theaters nationwide.
More than six months after the dance-rock band bid adieu in "Shut Up and Play the Hits" at its Sundance Film Festival premiere, Oscilloscope Laboratories is taking the documentary-feature on a one-day tour all over the country, with many tickets going on sale June 8.
'Traveling Victorian circus' features four stops with St. Vincent Dawes, Two Gallants and more
Mumford & Sons' North American tour last year proved to be rather unorthodox, so the British songwriters will continue to askew the traditional performance schedule with their Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers this summer.
The group has announced four one-day, mini-music festivals for August, with different lineups featured at each. The Mumfords will headline every night in Portland, Maine; Bristol, Va.; Dixon, Ill; and Monterey, Calif., and will be sharing the stage with "friends" like Gogol Bordello, St. Vincent, Dawes, the Maccabees, Justin Townes Earle and Two Gallants.
"The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover is based loosely upon our favorite festivals like Colorado's Telluride Bluegrass and Scotland's Loopallu Festivals. We want to stop off in towns where bands don't usually tour, and celebrate the local people, food and music," said Mumford & Sons in a statement. "We're keen to promote the town's local businesses, and we'll be using the local bars and venues for after-show parties, whilst working closely with the local people to get everyone involved in making these shows spectacular.
"There will be a host of our friends playing too, and the vibe falls somewhere between 'traveling Victorian circus' and 'Victorian traveling circus.'"
Rapper grabs construction workers to ballerinas to the ball
Wiz Khalifa's single "Work Hard, Play Hard" has its music video companion, and it features the rappers' mantra taken quite literally, with ballers, hard laborers and even ballerinas setting to work, then landing at his pad to play.
The track -- culled ahead of Wiz' Aug. 28 drop of album "O.N.I.F.C." -- could use a good remix. And frankly I'd take that third verse and set it on all sorts of fire due to criminal laziness. But the refrains sticks well, his matter-of-fact yopfills in the them nicely and it could crossover into all sorts of playlists.
Look out, Springsteen. Maybe Wiz is the new populism spokesdude.