Working with the same visuals director over and over again, Animal Collective get to play around with their strong suits and are allowed to experiment. Their suits in "Today's Supernatural" are clown suits, and a Chinese dragon.
The Danny Perez-helmed full-length-movie-thing "ODDSAC" was a good example of how the members of the New York band sort of ooze and bolt in and out of their own tracks, musically and visually. There was a lot of similar electricity and tech-y weirdness that shows up in this track -- culled from AC's forthcoming full-length "Centipede Hz" -- and it works. The desert pastels and decadent styling enhance this upbeat ode, which is about as close to "pop music" as Animal Collective really gets.
That T.I. "Trouble Man" album may just never come out. I think Warner's waiting for something to hit, and very little is; the rapper's "Go Get It" is no exception.
Released today, the video and track featuring the "sophisticated convict" extolling his own riches since bouncing from the clink more than a year ago. This sticks with the general formula of bad bitches with thick asses, the piece he has tucked away in his car, the dope that he is almost assuredly not smoking and the Molly he is certainly not dropping (remember what happened the last relapse, T.I. & Tiny?).
The video could have taking a more interesting tack, putting his rags and riches parallel lives side-by-side. T.I. got a second chance after jail to correct the course, went back to jail, and now here's the third chance. The empty-pocketed side of the clip contains all the small pleasures of Atlanta living without "millions stacked to the ceilings." But it's got its weird, small-time, lonely problems.
One of SXSW's toasts of the town (and there were many toasts, and many got toasted) was Poliça, whose decadent use of cedilla may have you placing them from Brazil or some other exotic locale. At least their brand of chilly, vibrant electronica is decadent: the Minneapolis based crew just got another big chance to hit big, by signing to Mom + Pop and getting their album "Give You the Ghost" a hardy re-release this week.
The Channy Leaneagh-fronted group has also just released the music video for "Dark Star," another shining (heh) example of quality usage of auto-tune.
Now, don't go pokin' around for a plot here: the visuals are simply there to amp up the blues of Leaneagh's chosen hue. It's an easy listen, and delightfully easy to remember. In fact, several artists liked it enough to give "Dark Star" a remix for an EP, also out this week.
Watching Brandy work a room in "Put It Down" is pretty hot. The R&B singer has always had a firework for a voice, and she earned a killer single to put it to use.
As I noted in my review of the track before, I don't have much use for Chris Brown on the single -- not just because I think his name taints the appeal of a Brandy comeback -- but because his overtly processed voice has no place in a track with an emphasis put on a minimal beat and big vocal performance.
And thankfully, he's not in the vid too much.
This is Hype Williams' second video premiere in the last 24 hours, and this one hits much harder than the nauseating "I Wish You Would"/"Cold" from Kanye West, DJ Khaled and friends. This is big splashes of bold colors -- Williams' specialty -- and some fresh moves from Brandy and her merry band of street dancers. Brown, meanwhile, dons his favorite pair of painters overalls and pretends to flirt with Brandy. Their chemistry is like that of a cat to a vacuum cleaner.
I'd recommend you take seizure inhibitors before checking out the music video to DJ Khaled's "I Wish You Would" combined with Kanye West's "Cold," but, actually, the clip itself is the seizure. It may comfort you to know that Hype Williams probably earned a pretty penny for shooting Ye, Khaled, Rick Ross and (for a moment only) Kim Kardashian in a dank brick tunnel with a shake-cam.
But then again, it's Hype Williams: dude generally gets a pass.
The tracks together are less of a combination and more a pair of convenience. Kanye West takes up most of the screen time, while Khaled still seems to suffer from Little Brother Syndrome, which pushes him upfront for some quick catch-phrase and then back literally into the shadows. Rick Ross -- still eager to never retire his "M-M-Maybach Music" tag -- delivers his lines about making it rain and buying nice watches, while West brings his next level rhymes about his South Side Chicago neighborhood, drug testing at work and countering his most violent tendencies with the feeling of responsibility. Looks like one of the two phoned it in, I'll let you guess which.
The have always made an effort to reinvent their sound every few years, with varying degrees of success. But, their latest single -- the aptly titled "Kill the DJ" -- may be their biggest stylistic departure yet.
A steady four-on-the-floor beat and angular post-punk guitars anchor this ditty about planning the cold-blooded murder of a poor ol' disc jockey (even with corporate terrestrial radio largely becoming a thing of the past, it seems like people still want to hang the DJ). There's certainly some "Sandanista!"-era Clash inspiration in there, but whereas the Clash were experimenting with then-new sounds from allover the music world, Green Day seems to be simply mining the past, and it ends up sounding more like an all-male take on The Ting Tings.
Hear the song here:
It's another stylistic left turn for the Bay Area punk-poppers, and even with the incessant dance beat and clean guitars, it's still recognizably Green Day, mostly due to singer Billie Joe Armstrong's patented nasal whine. But just who is this version of Green Day for? Have they jumped on the dance-rock revival bandwagon a decade or so too late? Will longtime fans more used to their punkier tunes be turned off? Will Katy Perry fans give it a listen? It will be interesting to see how fans respond.
"Kill the DJ" was one of the new songs the trio unveiled at a secret show at L.A.'s small venue The Echoplex to 600 or so hardcore fans. They're releasing three full-length albums over the next few months, with "Uno!" arriving first on September 25. "Duo!" and "Tre!" will follow.
What do you think of "Kill the DJ"? Give it a grade at the top and sound off in the comments section.
Bob Mould spilled his guts in “See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody,” his autobiography released last year. He tackled some of the deep-seeded source of his “rage,” and the juicy stories behind fronting Husker Du, Sugar and starting his solo sets, all within the trappings of coming out of the closet in the early 1990s.
Now, his new 2012 album “Silver Age” is all guts. The Merge release – out Sept. 4 -- is what Mould calls his “reaction” to his own autobiography, a spontaneous and carnal outpouring of power pop and ferocious rock tracks with the backing of drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats) and bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Verbow).
It’s his first release with the renowned indie, and comes after years of multiple different label deals with his various acts, from Virgin to Anti- to Ryko to SST. It also arrives on the heels of more “studied” albums including his last studio set “Life and Times,” his DJing and guesting stint with the Foo Fighters, and at about the same time that Merge is dropping the 20th anniversary remastered reissue of “Copper Blue,” Sugar’s 1992 debut. In fact, as he promotes "Silver Age" on the road, he'll also be frequently performing "Copper Blue" in its entirety.
Below, we discuss politics, his old Singles Only Records label, DJing, aging, Foo Fighters, rehearsing and evaluating the term “too much information.” Also, check out "The Descent," the first single from "Silver Age."
"Dreams and Disasters" is an appropriate kick-off to this new set from Owl City, as it's a high-energy, hyper-melodic dance number, like fireworks without the fuse. Or, rather, a car on fire: this mysterious little narrative has a foot heavy on the gas pedal, a sensation that has Young exclaiming "I want to feel alive forever after."
"The Midsummer Station" is out next week on Aug. 21 via Republic Records, and boasts current single "Good Time," a co-lead with "Call Me Maybe" summer jam star Carly Rae Jepsen.
2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj in "I Love Dem Strippers"
It's not a stretch to say that 2 Chainz "I Love Dem Strippers" featuring Nicki Minaj doesn't sound like anything new. The video looks exactly like you think it would, with the Atlanta rhymer buttressed by butts and dollar bills raining from this hands. The hook is just the song title repeated over and over with Chainz bumpy slow flow oozing with the usual boasts.
The big question for MInaj: will she work the pole or is she asserting her breadwinner status on the couch with the rest of the dude bros? Because that's what this is: Dude-broage. Minaj -- whose rhymes come off way hotter -- opts to uptake the traditional male role in rap: rappers are paid to rap, and they use that money to pay women to take off their clothes. Grass is green, sky is blue.
It's too hot anyway, right? Cool down with this silky, chilly start to your weekend: Feist's "Anti-Hero" music video.
The Canadian songwriter is cloaked in shadows and gripping the lines on wallpaper for her "sappy songs about what went wrong."
The simple black and white clip was helmed by Martin de Thurah, whose work previously with Leslie Feist exposed an acumen for the melacholy. "The Bad in Each Other" broke my heart in 12 different ways. In "Anti-Hero," they together kind of show off what a broken heart does when its listlessly broken.
Of this new clip, de Thurah told Nowness “I had thought about making something very simple, complex and emotional with Leslie alone. I found the song very intimate, and wanted the video to reflect that.”