Anybody who knows the Wu-Tang Clan knows the connections with kung fu and martial arts films. RZA has taken his love of the artform to the next level and is directing and starring in his fighting movie, "The Man With The Iron Fists," co-written by Eli Roth, as a Quentin Tarantino presentation.
And with a guy who has that has so many music world connections, one would expect a spectacular backing soundtrack. And it looks like RZA's delivering. Not only is collaborating with the Black Keys on a new track "The Baddest Man Alive," but he's looped in fresh tracks from other artists like Kanye West, Wu-Tang and Wu-Tang cohorts like Ghostface Killah, rap steady Talib Kweli, soul troupe the Revelations with Tre Williams and more.
West has been busy with his own label's September release, G.O.O.D. Music's "Cruel Summer," but had time to pump out something called "White Dress." Another G.O.O.D.-y Pusha T combines with Raekwon to cook "Tick Tock, and Method Man, Freddie Gibbs & StreetLife released their funky contribution "Built For This" over the weekend. Check that out below: it contains stills and concept art for the film to whet your whistle.
Flight of the Conchords have been off the radar for some time, after splitting after their second seasons and albums dropped in the U.S. and then quietly reuniting this year for tours in Australia and their native New Zealand. But now Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement have finally dropped some new music on an international scale, for a good cause. The formerly fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo from New Zealand wrote and released a track "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)" as a charity single for Cure Kids, as part of a comedy event.
In a video that clocks over eight minutes, the Conchords interview various children on what it is to be sick, and how to raise (or steal from robbers) money. They took excepts of those conversations and turned them into song, bringing in NZ friends like Dave Dobbyn, Brooke Fraser, Boh Runga and Sam Scott to sing some bars. The thing predictably but delightfully devolves into child-like vernacular and terrifying rhyming schemes, with an a capella break-down at the end, a rap verse and plenty of McKenzie and Clement emoting.
Nicki Minaj is making it Pink Friday today as she drops two different music videos with three other artists: "I Am Your Leader" with Rick Ross and Cam'Ron and B.o.B.'s "Out of My Mind."
"I Am Your Leader" is off of actual "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," Minaj's sophomore set and a rap from the Roman side of the coin. Dropping two verses, she talks nasty mean threats to "check bad b*tches" from her seat on rap's throne. And by throne, she means from a bathtub as she rocks thigh-high platforms; or from the middle of a pink and green funhouse floor, empty with exception to a zebra-print rug. As she's flanked by her two featured artists Cam'ron and Rick Ross, Minaj rocks what I'd describe as stipper-biker wear and she does a quick dance in a dictator's hat.
See, that's how you can tell she's you're leader: she's got a little hat.
If you get enough flesh from Nicki, there's plenty more skin to go around from Bawse's front, as he drops the jog suit and goes bare-chested in his golden dining room (styling courtesy of Party City?). Minaj's big refrain on this track is for hos and haters to "suck a big d*ck," and Ross generally runs with the theme after he's done dropping car names and the ilk. "So where the fuck is her manners, she gives brain while I Tweet," he boasts. How rude, right? "DM in the BM, you cm, you buckin', you love it / motherf*ckers on my d*ck, suck it."
Cam'ron also wants to talk about his watches, and then half the verse with an excruciating hit-em-quit-em toss off. It's a fine rhyme, but all eyes still on Nicki, who can steal the video show without even trying. And here: she's trying. The green hair and the blow-out certainly have a part in this stage play, but it's also a swing from the pop tracks she's been pimping all summer, starting with "Starships." Now she's back to the rap side of "Roman Reloaded" and simultaneously working her own sexuality as she asserts power over minions by suggesting they suck a big d*ck. There was no way this one wouldn't be eye-popping, if no other body part was already popping or sulking.
And if "I Am Your Leader" is too subtle for you, try on B.o.B.'s "Out of My Mind" -- a list of reasons why B.o.B. insists he's out of his mind, which doesn't sound like a person who is out of their mind at all. The clip is a good excuse to bust out the nuthouse porn, with leather face muzlzes, old-timey wheelchairs, straightjackets and sexy nurse outfits.
Let's be fair: all the women starring in this video, Minaj included, are playing out a sexy-time role. So perhaps B.o.B. is out of his mind because he's convinced he's getting laid and it just. never. happens.
Minaj turns on the booty pyrotechnics underneath her doctor's coat and does a lapdance for the mentally disturbed. I imagine Lady Gaga was just "watching" from the sidelines.
Joy Formidable has one of those band names that fits its sound perfectly, like dogs that look like their owners.
So here's a wolf. Or "Wolf's Law." The music video is made of the stuff that's the core of those Inspiration Posters, all in black and white, while Ritzy Bryan's Welch vowels saturate her powerful voice and drapes all over this quiet-LOUD piece. They give a piano a good ride and then let the earth rise up and nearly implode. I half expected the "2001" star-child fetus to appear in the end.
"The band really wanted the film to translate the idea of a re-awakening and rebirth. We worked together to select a series of stills and moving imagery that showed the Real and the truth of nature. Through rhythmical editing we created a real symbiosis of imagery and music to evoke the powerful kinetic energy of life in all forms," said the video's director Cat Botibol.
"Wolf's Law" is the title track off the band's new album, due in 2013. The sophomore set is the follow-up to Joy Formidable's awesome 2011 album "The Big Roar."
Guys, I'm sorry to do this to you, but it's worth warning you that there's a link to a Perez Hilton video below.
Phew. Got that out of the way.
Let's talk about Christina Aguilera, and her newly leaked -- or was it "leaked"? -- song "Your Body." The singer previously confirmed to Rolling Stone that "Your Body" would be the title to her next single, and here it is, a stunning song that seems to be lacking a master.
And Christina Aguilera is making it abundantly clear she wants to "f*ck ya body."
This one has the cool-headed, dance floor approach a la Enrique Iglesias to said sacking. I can already hear the radio edit: "All I wanna do is love your body." The simple, mindless four-on-the-floor refrain has Aguilera flaunting her famous pipes on either side with the verses. It sounds like she had fun recording, and that there's ample room for endless iterations and remixes. It's true: somebody's getting lucky, and it's you!
The song arrives suspiciously close to the Sept. 10 premiere of the new season of "The Voice," on which Aguilera will mount her judge's chair and now all we'll be thinking of when she does is that.
If you wonder what the guys in Kings Of Leon have been up to beyond marrying models and bearing children, the new side project Smoke & Jackal may be some indication.
KoL bassist Jared Followill has combined with Nick Brown, the frontman for Ohio rockers Mona, and made an EP called "EP1" under the Smoke & Jackal moniker. That set will be out Oct. 16 via RCA, and preceding is a new track "No Tell."
Mariah Carey tells the listener to "get off the ropes" in her new single "Triumphant," advice she takes to the next level in her music video for the track. The singer is actually in the ring -- as an announces and the girlie who announces the rounds in a boxing match that also features guest rappers Meek Mill and Rick Ross.
Mill is the fighter and Ross is the fat cat promoter, and both fit their roles well, with the former lavishing in all his sweat and the latter rocking the robes and they stereotypical rings and cigars. What could have been fabulous is Carey stepping up to either of those, beat either at their own game, but like in this particular iteration of the song, she's much less a leader and more of a mere participant.
But it's gold everywhere, and Carey spends plenty of time in the literal spotlight showing off her body in bright lights.
After two album teaser tracks -- a goober-y Olympic theme ("Survival") and goofy dubstep-Hans Zimmer hybrid ("Unsustainable") -- Muse have finally named their first single from new album "The 2nd Law." And it's a ballad.
"Madness," unlike other single-word declarative titles from the British troupe, hardly sounds like crazy-time at all. It's slow-moving with a a fairly pedestrian melodic line, harmless lyrics and a grounded guitar solo. It's listenable modern rock when it slows down with more electronica, as the band has been prone to these days.
And it keeps reminding me of a more lethargic "One Tree Hill" by U2. Matthew Bellamy has those pre-note groans down before a long big pop run. Like the river to the sea.
We're heard Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontlady Karen O tackle a Led Zeppelin classic for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and make tunes for traipsing around a pretend adventure-land for "Where the Wild Things Are." Now the singer has tried on a little calypso number for size, for "Frankenweenie."
Tim Burton's stop-motion feature will feature a zombie dog and other various hodge-podge animalia, all in black and white. Karen O's "Strange Love" also features dogs, but it's colorful and cha-cha-child-like, featuring a zither (bless her heart), congos, bongos and steel drum. It's a good time and, yes, strange.
Judging from all the trailers of "The Master," some of the themes seem to be dealing with the disorienting feeling that down is up, and what you know is never the full truth. And listening to a bit of Jonny Greenwood's work for the film, the score will be rolling with that tide.
"Application 45 Version 1" is the track that you'll get if you pre-order Nonesuch's Sept. 11 drop of the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film. And it'll have you poking around for the downbeat, wondering if it's minor or major and generally exciting the jitters that are beyond your 4 p.m. cup of caffeine. The cello is enough to give you goosebumps.
This is the second time Greenwood and Anderson have teamed up, after their phenomenal combination on "There Will Be Blood": the score to that film was ruled ineligible for a soundtrack Academy Award, as it included previously recorded material. However, it did earn a Grammy nod for Best Score Soundtrack but lost out to "The Dark Knight" because, man, seriously.