Below is my interview with Shaw, on purposeful dichotomies, sci-fi and "Twilight" soundtracks.
Rick Ross has love on the mind -- and some mysterious gentlemen -- for the music video to "Touch 'N You," his collaboration with Usher.
The singer and rapper both star in the clip, which also features Rozay's pretty girlfriend who is partial to the high-heels-and-swimsuit look, because such a trend is incredibly practical and easy to
pull off sport. It's a very romantic scene, even circa 2:14, when his lady love perceives an inevitable loss at a chess game. (Three of her pieces have been taken by Rozay, and it appears he pulled his queen out early and claimed a pawn and rook in quick succession, though why would he pull the queen back? And no that's not a euphamism, but I digress.)
Near the end, there's a mysterious meeting of men and the girlfriend walking in and looking pissed. I don't understand this, and perhaps it will be more fully explained in the "Touch 'N You" sequel, "Touch 'N Two." Wake me when it's here.
Ross and Usher's "Touch 'N You" -- which I actually really like -- is off of the rapper's forthcoming, long-awaited "God Forgives I Don't," due on July 31.
It’s taken Fiona Apple six years to get down the masterful anxiety of “The Idler Wheel…” The full title itself – “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” -- must’ve taken at least a couple of weeks and a few sleepless nights. The songwriter has proven over and over again to be both a slave and master to her own carefully selected words, with this current slate aching with the weight of sage, savage and self-effacing confessionals.
The wait for a new Cat Power record was, in part, due to a relationship and a break-up, but fans' first taste of Chan Marshall's next "Sun" is more about travel than anything.
"Ruin" bops along to the sounds of the various countries to which Marshall's travel -- not the native styles of music, mind you, but the actual names of the countries. Can't say I'm wild about the silly over-pronunciations of said countries, like Meh-heeko and Great Breht-ahn, but it's a driving, cool-eyed song with a undeniable refrain.
Cat Power played all the instruments on "Sun," and produced it herself too. Which is always impressive. She and her mixer kinda pulls the whole thing on "Ruin" back a bit much (around the 2:15 mark) but damn if she didn't do a nice job driving the whole jangly, piano-rocking thing.
"Sun," as previously reported, arrives on Sept. 4 via Matador. It's the follow-up to 2008's covers set "Jukebox" and the first set of originals since 2006's "The Greatest." Marshall explained to the Stool Pigeon recently that the wait was because she was working hard at making her relationship with her boyfriend -- now ex-boyfriend and actor Giovanni Ribisi -- work. But a woman who changes her hair changes her life: after years of also dabbling on the record, she split, three days later cut her hair mad short, and then went to France to finish this album.
You've probably never seen actor Shia LaBeouf like this.
The "Transformers" star co-leads the music video to Sigur Ros' new "Fjögur píanó," the third song to get an experimental music video treatment from their album "Valtari." LaBeouf and actress/dancer Denna Thompson perform as “a man and woman locked in a never-ending cycle of addiction and desire,” forcing them through some high-stress, abstract dream sequences during which both stars appearing completely in the nude.
It is emotional and also very beautiful. I found it kind of hard to watch more than once, with all its lacerations and breaking glass and the weirdo car scene -- with the actors kidnapped and licking insect-filled lollipops -- with all its sharks. But the performances are worth while and the styling is absolutely breathtaking. The track didn't stand out much from the album for me, but now it doesn't seem as interstitial.
Also, Shia should stick to the ponytail. It's kinda working for me. Reminds me of Milo Ventimiglia on Fergie's "Good Girls Don't Cry" music video.
Oh, the things I'm finding myself say today.
Since R.E.M. split, it sounds like guitarist Peter Buck has been spending time in the garage.
The rocker is stepping out solo with a new album and now has "10 Million BC" to show for it. The boggy, Jon Spencer-styled track made its bow on WFMU this week, with Buck's collaborator in The Baseball Project, Steve Wynn, introducing it.
R.E.M. called it quits last September. And I've really enjoyed Michael Stipe's cameos on "Colbert."
I don't need any more "Call Me Maybe" covers. But a mash-up with Annie Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass?" Definitely.
Carly Rae Jepsen's No. 1 smash summer hit has been successfully melded with Lennox's 1992 hit by Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, and posted on his Tumblr as "Call Me on Broken Glass."
"This one is strictly for the lulz," Batmanglij posted. And here I thought it was for a Grammy.
Jepsen's track has also been mashed-up with other big pop tracks with equally sunny dispositions, like Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life."
For the budget of hamburgers, three dozen bottles of hot sauce, watermelons, a broken drum kit, a gorgeous car rental and some pastel wear, Best Coast completed the video to their new track "The Only Place."
Much like the sound of Best Coast, the clip is harmlessly mischievous, adorable, bright and all about the drive.
"The Only Place" is culled from the band's latest album by the same name, released on May 15 via Mexican Summer. They're currently on tour with dates below the vid, including their stops at Metallica's Orion Music + More festival and Bumbershoot.
It was "in-the-works" for two-and-a-half years, but now it's confirmed today that St. Vincent and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne will release an entire collaborative album, "Love This Giant." The 4AD/Todo Mundo effort will drop on Sept. 11, and has been preceded by the first song to arrive, "Who."
This jagged and melodic number bumps around with polyrhythms and unusual harmonies -- a la Dirty Projectors and tUnE-yArDs -- with a lot of belting from Byrne and angelic refrains from St. Vincent (aka vocalist and guitarist Annie Clark). The brass does a lot of carrying here, which I love: the horns give it some emotional weight to all the whimsy and 1,000-yard staring.
There will apparently be a lot of horns on the album overall, with help from the guys in Antibalas and The Dap-Kings helping out. Engineer and songwriter John Congleton of moody rock outfit The Paper Chase also lends a hand on programmed drums. Ten of the album's 12 tracks were co-written by Byrne and Clark, and each writing one individually.
And with a snap of your fingers, a new album has likely entered into the top 10 of NPR's year-end list.
No telling if rapper Big K.R.I.T. will earn a Grammy nomination for work off of his confusingly titled studio debut "Live from the Underground" or for his guest spots on tracks from Wiz Khalifa or Curren$y. But in case he wins any award, he already has an acceptance speech worked out.
"Thank You Kindly" really is a big, simple, slobbery wet kiss from the Mississippi-bred rhymer, a one-off thank-you-note on the heels of the release of "Underground" last week. That effort, as we learned today, bowed at No. 5 with 41,000 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart today.
"I wanted to thank all the fans for the support, so I did this one for ya’ll," he wrote on the song's SoundCloud page.
"Underground" had an enormous amount of support right off the bat, at least from its guesting musicians. From artists like B.B. King to Melanie Fiona to Ludacris to 2 Chainz.