Dave Matthews Band's new single "Mercy" means well. With album "Away From the World" en route for September, the group is trying to set a tone, with a sentimental song on par with John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change." Which was his version of "People Get Ready."
Neither compare to the latter, and DMB's furthermore lacks a real discernible melody.
Matthews is featured spouting off truisms in an awe-inspiring stream-of-conscious, like a beauty pageant competitor caught off-guard with the question, "How do we end war among the nations?" Lift up your heart, yeah. We could turn it around, baby. Stand up for where we need to be.
It's cool-headed and honest, but tamely unedited. Will there be any real rock on this record?
"Away from the World" is out on Sept. 11 and is now up for pre-sale on iTunes. Those who purchase will get "Mercy" for free, bless your heart. Jam to fade.
Leave it to director Hype Williams to suspend color along with reality and disbelief in an action-packed clip for Jack White. "Freedom at 21" is the celebration and dissent of women who do whatever the hell they please, and in this case, it's a hot cop who shirks her regular duties in order to turn. you. on.
White, as is his nature, is looking gaunt and borderline batsh*t in the video, the track culled from his eccentric solo debut "Blunderbuss." It's further evidence of the mystery that you never see the Third Man main man and Johnny Depp in the same room.
And, much like his "Sixteen Saltines" clip, this one leaves viewers on the edge of their seat, without resolve. White seemingly craves a violent death involving his car.
Green Day are much more power-pop than pop-punk on the first offering -- "Oh Love" -- from their album trilogy. They're much more Cheap Trick and Big Star than they are Sticky Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks on this mid-tempo rocker, which features frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's "heart in a noose."
But to bassist Mike Dirnt, they had Rolling Stones in mind.
""We were just thinking about making a killer power-pop record – dirtier, back to basics," he told Rolling Stone. "We tapped into our version of 'Exile on Main Street.'"
"We wanted to get back to the simplicity of 'Dookie,'" Armstrong said, "... back to our love of Fifties and Sixties music, close-to-the-bone rock 'n' roll. You don't hear a gazillion parts. The majority of this is drums, bass, two guitars and vocals."
He's referring to "¡Uno!" which is due on Sept. 25, ahead of the Nov. 13 drop of "¡Dos!" and Jan. 15 arrival of -- you guessed it -- "¡Tres!" My hope is that the remainder of the first set shakes off the lethargy that "Love" leaves, or fans lose excitement for a second or third
Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" was released a week and a day early on Monday, exclusively through iTunes, and brick-and-mortar retailers weren't pleased. Any music-sales shop would be, and has been, and will continue to be unhappy about it. Target reacted to the news by claiming it wouldn't stock physical CD copies of "Channel Orange" in its stores. Now, because of bad timing, Target has to defend its sales maneuver not just to fans, but to those who view its decision to be influenced by homophobia.
As widely reported, singer Ocean outed himself online two weeks ago. Since then, artists and labels have rallied to support this popular African-American solo male artist in hip-hop/R&B music, considering the dearth of openly gay African-American popular solo male artists in hip-hop/R&B music. Especially after his stint with Odd Future, his guest spots on Watch the Throne and the critical acclaim for his mixtape tracks, Ocean has become one of the hottest new items on Def Jam's roster, and subsequently one of their biggest third quarter releases this year.
When the surprise came that Ocean's album "Channel Orange" would be available for purchase more than a week early, Def Jam claimed the move was part of the marketing plan all along.
Meanwhile, a war has raged between labels/distributors and brick-and-mortar, particularly big box retailers who have the leverage to help or diminish sales of new titles in a major way. Retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target already compete among themselves, with major slashes in price or exclusives like the AC/DC album release or extra-disc bonuses; however, they also compete with digital retail, which has the added benefit of never running out of "stock" and suffer no shipping costs.
This is an entertainment news site, and new 'Call Me Maybe' covers and parodies is no new news. But sometimes something so momentous and earth-jolting happens, that our hand is forced, in order to give you what it is that you needed.
And what you needed was a version of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," as performed by "Sesame Street" star Cookie Monster in revamp "Share It Maybe.' We heard your halcyon cry. We answer it.
After R&B crooner Frank Ocean came out as gay last week, there has been an outpouring of support fromt he urban music community, including some from another R&B pop star, Beyonce.
Bey posted an open letter -- OK, more of an open picture -- on her website to Frank Ocean with handwritten encouragements over his photo. Check the note below.
""Be fearless. Be honest. Be generous. Be brave. Be poetic. Be open. Be free. Be yourself. Be in love. Be happy. Be inspiration.," she wrote on Saturday.
Queen B's husband Jay-Z also wrote a note of support on his Life + Times website under the post "Thank You, Frank Ocean."
"Your relieving yourself of your 'secret' is as much about wanting to honestly connect as it is about exhibition. We are all made better by your decision to share publicly," the rapper wrote.
Another singer, Anthony Hamilton told GlobalGrind in an interview, "[Ocean's] creative, doesn't matter if it's his album or whatever album he puts his talent to, it'll be OK. I think he's creative enough and clever enough to go with what's needed - to adjust to whatever the climate is in the music business."
Over the last year, electro-pop rockers Breathe Carolina has made some huge strides. They earned a Hot 100 hit with "Blackout," made it to No. 2 on Top Electronic Albums with latest set "Hell Is What You Make It," joined the Warped Tour in a top spot and signed to Columbia.
Tomorrow (July 10), "Hell Is What You Make It" is getting a digital deluxe "Reloaded" reissue. Included in the set -- via iTunes -- is a hot revamp their dance floor banger "Hit and Run" by the Wideboys. For those playing at home, the British House collective Wideboys have left their stamp on remixes from Rihanna and Beyonce to Cascada and Eric Prydz.
Below, you can check out the exclusive premiere of the jam, which has adds more jagged edges and glittery stops to Breathe Carolina's wild-eyed formula.
Check out Blur's Damon Albarn behind the keys on "Under the Westway," filmed in the studio. It confirms the suspicion that drummer Dave Rowntree need only toms to make a beat interesting, that kid instruments still have a place in "adult" music, and Albarn must have a deep-seeded affinity for Procol Harum's "A Lighter Shade of Pale."
Blur last released new music in 2010 on Record Store Day, a track called "Fool's Day" penned for their Olympics gig. Blur are skedded to perform at the London Olympics closing ceremony on Aug. 12 and are playing two Swedish music festivals this summer. Albarn has been shady on details if their summer gigs are the last of their reunion, but at least there's a 21-disc reissue and retrospective of Blur's efforts, coming out on July 30.
As for Albarn's other major project, Gorillaz, he told the Guardian that he and co-founder and artist Jamie Hewlett were no longer on speaking terms. Yeesh. See you guys at Coachella 2020.
Murder fiction and country songs make excellent repeat bedfellows. The themes in country classic "Jackson" have been rehashed and manipulated a thousand times over, and the word "Carolina" (and her low-country cousin "caroline") uttered by every Southern-loving folkie. Whiskey doesn't rhyme with much, but it is a good source of harmony and writing material.
There are certain worthy themes that will always crop up in Americana, some delivered more convincingly than others. There is a required element of authenticity and self-awareness for little country bands now, the ones outlying radio and the traditional Grammy categories. And Shovels & Rope have that Real Deal card.