Dischord posting 800 concerts in a pay-what-you-want format
I, like many Americans, traveled back to my hometown for Thanksgiving, and coming back to New York, I can't shake that good old high school feeling.
No, I don't mean that feeling you get watching "Young Adult" (just wait, ladies, you'll see). Emo jump-starters The Promise Ring are getting back together, and Fugazi are finally ready to launch a long-standing project that puts many of their live show recordings and paraphernalia together in one place.
All three rappers show up, but only one gender-bends
Weezy, Nicki and Birdman all show up and trade verses in this new clip, which features Nicki as the self-proclaimed "female Weezy" (in baggy pants, a wife beater and wack braids) and as the Nicki Minaj we're all growing used to -- that is, Nicki Minaj rocking Band-Aid couture.
First, let's start with the positives: Minaj on the hook is perfect. The lyrics are like a dare, a proclamation of war, and just goofing around -- the latter which I wish there was more of in this sometimes-dour clip. Birdman found the right, heightened beat for his drip-drop verses, and Weezy just sticks to being Weezy without any guitar riffs to mess with his froggy sound.
It's nice to see the Cash Money/Young Money crew hanging out around the holidays, but in a way, Minaj is still singled out, ever "the girl." See, to be playing on the same field as the boys, she has to dress like a boy. When she's flexin' with Birdman, she's wearing a ravaged-swimsuit look that the other toy-girls don elsewhere in the clip. Hell, why aren't the boys wearing some Crayola wigs and fetish heels?
Eh, let's not have that much fun. Minaj is still rising, with her "Roman Reloaded" to testify to her sophomore return in February. Wayne's still the face, even if "Carter IV" was kinda crap. The imbalance must remain, even if it shouldn't.
Also, the fade-out is a cop-out.
And, also, Wayne: you're banned from the spark-and-smoke intro. You've reached your quota.
Clip is part of larger A/V 'companion' to self-titled album
When you hear Bon Iver's song "Hinnom, TX," do you think of a sun-fueled hazy drive in the car as you roll right through that enormous state?
If so then, boy, do we have a video for you.
Isaac Gale and David Jensen directed the clip below as part of the larger video project from the soft-rockin' songwriter. As previously reported, there are 10 videos getting lined up for the 10 songs on the self-titled album, set for re-release as a digital deluxe edition tomorrow (Nov. 29); the vids are to be "consumed as a visual extension of the music, to enhance each listener's experience," reads a statement.
These aren't "official music videos" in the traditional sense, so perhaps that's why it's OK if you find this little orange-dappled stroll kinda boring. It's not like Bon Iver's songs are the audio equivalent of "Immortals" or anything.
Seventh, noir-ish music video from '4' arrives
- Critic's Rating B-
- Readers' Rating B-
It was a stormy night, and the detective was hard at work, gazing out the window.
He suddenly found himself to be the luckiest heterosexual model-man on the planet, as Beyonce arrived and gyrated seductively at him.
If you're a hetero sexual lady detective, however, this is sort of boring.
"Dance for You" is the seventh music video to arrive from Queen B's latest album "4" (this track was culled from the deluxe version) and is the seventh of seven to be included on her latest "Live at Roseland" DVD 2-disc collection. It was directed by the singer and Alan Ferguson, who helmed "Party" earlier this fall.
Hashtag rap in animated form
Actually, this is funny.
Odd Future has its own live-action, "Jackass"-style show coming to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, but the hip-hop troupe's Tyler, The Creator is jumping the gun a little bit and appeared on "Regular Show" in animated form.
Tyler appears as a bully Blitz Comet along side the rest of his crew CrewCrew, with Alpha Dog (Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino) and Demolition (MC Lyte [YAY!]). CrewCrew engages in a rap battle with a Shakespearean spitter named Pops, to a delightful end.
Tyler doubles as another rapper in the ep, Big Trouble. Tyler's known for his admirably smart but confrontational (and sometimes misogynistic, offensive, among other adjectives, yes) style. It's kind of fun to see him get a beat down, in a way. Have some fun with that big head of his.
"Loiter Squad" comes to the network next year.
Cudi collabs with Cleveland cohort Dot da Genius: more rock to come?
- Critic's Rating A-
- Readers' Rating A+
Kid Cudi has behaved erratically over the last couple of years, to say the least. After the much-acclaimed release of 2009's "Man on the Moon: The End of Days," Cudi hemmed and hawed about his next collaborations and the name of his second album (eventually settling on "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager" in 2010). He's told the press he wasn't going to guest on any more records. And then he guested on everybody's record this year (including Wale, who used a boost from quite a few rappers). He slowly been melding more rock into his sets, he dissolved his old record label and started a new one and even got arrested.
Dude is busy. Good thing he's talented, and it shows on "Brake."
"Brake" is the
second third fourth third-and-a-half song to arrive from his collaboration with producer Dot da Genius, also from his home town of Cleveland. The duo operated under two different names over the last year but now seem to have settled on WZRD.
The first track from now-WZRD was "No One Believes Me" (heh), but under Cudi's name. Follow? The video was cool, the music an even bigger indication of what was to come, the rock-centric "Brake."
Talk about tension
- Critic's Rating A
- Readers' Rating A+
Fleet Foxes' latest album "Helplessness Blues" has been out for a while, but they've been saving up at least one particular goodie for this, the end of the year.
Frontman Robin Pecknold's brother Sean directed animated clip for the band, for "The Shrine/An Argument," which the brother animated together. It featuring myth, monsters and as much plot tension as the song's audio provides. I woke up still thinking about it. I'd recommend giving it a go.
Sean Pecknold also helped out on Fleet Foxes' "Mykonos" and "White Winter Hymnal," and on Pearly Gate Music's "Rejoice," which I love. PGM's Zach Tillman (brother of Fleet Foxes' J. Tillman) put out a damn good album last year, as previously reported.
'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' (A Trip To The Moon) gets a full album
French electronica duo Air are going hand-in-hand with "The Moon."
Director Georges Méliès' "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" ("A Trip to the Moon") was a trailblazing silent film originally completed in 1902, and one of the first known science fiction flicks, inspiring flimmakers and writers thereafter. A hand-painted reel of the film -- the only one of its kind -- was discovered in 1993 and it was subsequently reworked for a debut on the world stage at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year; Air was commissioned to complete a brand new soundtrack for the 14-minute film it debuted at the fest as well.
Air are expanding on that prompt and are completing an entire album inspired by "La Lune." Astralwerks will release "A Trip to the Moon" on Feb. 7.
Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Ian McKaye... will their participation help the cause?
More than two months after the Occupy Wall Street protests popped up, creative professionals now have a formal website to show their support. Lou Reed, Tom Morello, Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Dan Deacon, former members of Fugazi, Laurie Anderson and more have expressed their support of the movement on OccupyMusicians.com, which has sister sites like Occupy Writers and Occupy Filmmakers.
The site organizers can help pair up musicians who support the cause to protest leaders, to help schedule performances. It's also a simple way of musicians showing support for the grassroots cause.
There are names on here that don't really surprise me -- Morello is normally the first guy to sign onto anything that fights-the-power, and nobody's ever going to raise an eyebrow after the words "Ian McKaye" and "personal politics." The 99 percent is a large enough swath to lend relevancy to any artist. I'm a bit cynical about any artist's ability to bring more to the cause than the cause lending to these artists (except maybe somebody gigantic like Radiohead).
It reminds me a little bit of protests against Arizona's controversial SB 1070 law, but in that case, artists actively boycotted the state -- didn't tour through -- which is a quick way to hurt local music businesses. The unconstitutional portions of that legislation weren't affected by Morello or Conor Oberst's protests. But, then again, it was a moment of solidarity, and another way to bring the issue into national consciousness. I had mixed feelings.
Hell, the coldest months approaching, I hope OWS protesters stay warm and healthy as they exercise their right to assemble. Cynicism aside, if the best wishes of Marc Ribot and other artists are going help keep these guys warm, I welcome them.
New vinyl releases from White's imprint, including Edgar Oliver and merch galore
I gotta hand it to Jack White and his label Third Man's handlers. They make every vinyl release seem like an event. In a festively worded press release, Third Man announced its newest round of goodies, in time for Christmas, including rarities and singles from now-defunct White Stripes, from actor and musician John C. Reilly and from Edgar Oliver.
Check out clips of some of these below.
First, with Jack and Meg White's old band there are four records to be had, starting Dec. 6: