Only a few days away from the soundtrack release to his film “The Man With the Iron Fists,” RZA admits that -- for the most part -- he got what he wanted, even if the film itself took about seven years to come to fruition.
"I wanted give the viewer an opportunity to experience something different to the normal images of lovers in video clips."
That's music video director Jessie Hill on her clip for Julia Stone's "Justine." In it, two, lovers flounce around the beaches of California, eating snacks, snipping drinks and kissing on the boardwalk. What makes the view into this love story somewhat unconventional is the contrast between the singer-songwriter and her beloved -- played by "The Blind Side" lead Quinton Aaron.
”I set out to make a video that depicted a heartfelt romance in a distant time...a love story in its purist state," Hill said in a statement to HitFix. "My casting agent suggested Quinton and I immediately contacted him to have a coffee. The contrast of Julia being so tiny and Quinton being a larger character was something I wanted to explore visually."
We are becoming our computers. Our information becomes us. And nature will destroy us in retort.
That's what I'll take away from the partially animated music video to Boys Noize's "Ich R U," which I've now watched no fewer than 13 times. It's culled from the electronica act's third album "Out of the Black," which was released on Tuesday (Oct. 16).
The track is the more "put-together" of theirs, but that doesn't mean its not reflective of the whole set. It bangs and bruises with the rest.
Nicki Minaj has never looked better in a video than she does in "The Boys." Cassie, who is stunning, bares most of her, ehm, assets for the clip. The girls strut besides and inside of cars, immobile for the sake of the traditional girls-with-cars trope in hip-hop videos.
The "The Boys" of hip-hop, much of Minaj's new video will ring familiar, albeit in furious colors of magenta, aggressive greens, volcanic reds and the rapper's favorite color pink -- conveniently coordinated with their bikinis. Barbie and her hook-singing guest literally stop traffic with their look, and where else would they be headed but the salon? The leading ladies also flirt with each other throughout, Minaj even simulating going down on her comely friend.
On its face (pun intended), "The Boys" pretty much follows all the rules for a proper male gaze. Except for the part where Minaj sets a barber shop on fire, killing its inhabitants.
If you don't listen closely to the lyrics (which is somewhat impossible to do, considering the crystal-clearness of that refrain), this track takes solid aim at the boys of hip-hop, how they expect their "love" to be hand-delivered as a commodity: "They want to touch it, taste it, see it, pet it, bone it, own it." Here, Cassie and Minaj even put a bow on it.
Minaj's "revenge" to that notion is carried out in her sentencing, letting loose of her flame-thrower. She and its creators also try to mix up the genders, by putting Cassie in a suit without a shirt on underneath, for instance, or Nicki rocking denim in a princess-styled two-piece. Minaj's attack on the barber shop actually seems methodical, pre-planned, less as an actual violent act and more of a warning, that if this is how "the boys" carry on, they're gonna get burned.
Unfortunately, though, the glossiness of this package will override any social commentary it actually brings to the table. As is evident already through Minaj's Twitter response and retweets, fans are arriving on the other side, naturally, responding "OMG bikini
But, hey, at least it's still better than "Starships."
"The Boys" is the new single off of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, The Re-Up," a confusingly titled repackaging of confoundingly titled "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," due on Nov. 19.
Good tune, so-so lyrics.
The Weeknd is preparing the commercial release of "Trilogy," a collection of his three (you guessed right!) mixtapes all in one spot, with added tunes. "Wicked Games" is the next video to premiere from the set, and the Weeknd's Abel Tesfaye couldn't be more excited. See, it's funny, 'cause he couldn't look more bored in the black-and-white clip, as he gets a lapdance from a shadow, and a peep show from a model.
"You bring your body, baby, I can bring you fame," he sings, skipping the whole "charm" schtick. "Let me motherf*ckin' love you."
Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s new album “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” -- for fans in waiting for 10 years – succeeds not in its tightness, but where the bolts are loose and their joints feel flung everywhere. Given the space of five minutes or 20, they fill up the moments with large and small matter, for the listener to apply their own context and analysis as the band grinds, heavy-lidded, through the noise-making they love.
Bon Iver's "Beth/Rest" from last year's self-titled album was songwriter Justin Vernon at his Steve Winwood-iest. The project mastermind has embraced that inner-bygone-era and wrote a treatment that looks just how the song sounds.
Hey, it's OK that you didn't go to the 2012 Austin City Limits music festival. There were only, like, 70,000 people per day anyway, and a third of the artists were webcast through the official YouTube stream. And it's OK if you didn't see those either.
Here is some of what you missed:
+ ACL photos from Friday, of the Black Keys, M83, Florence + the Machine, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes and AVICII.
+ ACL photos from Saturday, of Jack White, Gotye, The Roots, Big K.R.I.T., Metric, Punch Brothers, Big Gigantic and Lee Fields and the Expressions.
+ ACL photos from Sunday, of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), the Civil Wars, Die Antwoord, the Avett Brothers, Tennis, Iggy & the Stooges, Willis Earl Beal,
Here are some thoughts I had about Jack White and his schedule opposite of Neil Young, plus his all-female band. In short: sharp show, lashing the backlash, and at least we're getting a band of women in a headliner spot.
Not sure what the festival was all about? Check out the cheat sheet here.
The Black Keys stuck largely to the four-piece blues rock formula that have taken them throughout the summer festival circuit this year. They've started integrating in the jam "She's Long Gone," from "Brothers," in lieu of "I'll Be Your Man," but it's a fluid set no matter how it's cut. The oversized work lamps keep the stage show simple and with the appearance of raw power -- but the REAL "raw power" came during Iggy & the Stooges' set, as per usual.
"God Bless Neil Young."
Jack White didn't say much during his hour-and-a-half headlining set on Saturday night, but those were his last ones before departing, to probably hop on a golf cart and go watch the rest of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
White and Young played at opposite ends of Zilker Park during the 2012 Austin City Limits music festival on Saturday night, a truly difficult scheduling quandary during this rock-centered fest. Whereas other major festivals will set up hip-hop versus album rock, or dance stage versus popular reunion, Saturday put rock legend versus growing rock legend up against one another, both starting at the same time, though Crazy Horse played 'til the bitter, bitter (10 p.m.) end of the night.
The Third Man Records man tore through most of his album "Blunderbuss" and cranked out the Raconteurs hit "Steady As She Goes," plus cuts from multiple eras of the White Stripes catalog including "Slowly Turning Into You," "Hotel Yorba," "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "We're Going to Be Friends."
It's on the latter two that White's genesis from slapdash guitar genius to nimble Everything, Every Time, Man is apparent, as he switched between electric guitar and organ sometimes in the same phrase, and transformed a simple childlike melody into a full-bodied glammy jam.
White has gotten guff before for this kind of behavior -- this Serious behavior. When White Stripes records sunk into to psych after three albums of workshopped garage echoes, when his band when from a two piece to a three or four, and now that six-piece full backing band and the crew is synchronized, styled and shined.
Furthermore: there have been complaints that the current backing band The Peacocks is all-female, after an apparent 21st-century eye-opening that novelty could infringe on Serious Art. I say it'd be a problem if White hasn't spent half his career championing, embracing and nurturing female artists, combining with them or collaborating so that they could stand alone: Loretta Lynn, the Black Belles, Wanda Jackson, Ruby Amanfu, Alicia Keys, Karen Elson, Norah Jones, The White Stripes...
In "Pitch Perfect," Anna Kendrick plays Beca, a musically inclined loner who is loath to enter into college per her dad's request, because she would much rather move to L.A. on her own and start working at a major record label.
It should be noted that "Pitch Perfect" is an exaggeration, a fiction in which the world of college a capella is about a dozen times more exciting, day-to-day, than it actually is, one in which adapting, licensing and performing hit songs is not a logistical nightmare but a dream. Furthermore, the stars in Beca's eyes broadly shine on an industry notoriously struggling with making money, turning to synch-licenses like those in "Pitch Perfect" and to product placement and commercial sponsorship after album sales have greatly decreased and digital single sales can only make up one piece of the lost pie.
Thus, Beca's desire is somewhat self-reflexive, if not dangerously outmoded, but I'll play this little game because "Pitch Perfect" is actually kind of funny and otherwise harmlessly entertaining.