Inside Music with Katie Hasty
The B-Side to 'Simple Song' arrives; James Mercer taps some cool touring buddies
Credit: Annie Beedy
The Shins have tacked on more headlining tour dates for their spring trek as they bow the B-Side to currently single "Simple Song."
The newly revamped rock-pop troupe have an aesthetically pleasing lyric video for "September" literally spinning on their website, the companion to the leading track from new album "Port of Morrow." While that set is due in March, the band brings it back to the fall, where this sweetly heartbroken song sounds more akin to leaves falling than buds blooming. Or something. James Mercer's wordplay again takes front and center, as little hints of alt-country and Americana rises through the guitar processors.
Band on the run as 'Beekeeper's Daughter' music video debuts
Tyson Ritter, in a few mere motions, slipped off his artfully ripped t-shirt in front of 15 people and slipped on a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, all for the sake of being "twinsies," to match my last-ditch gray digs. He bounced on the balls of his feet between questions and smoothed his long hair during our interview at this year's 2012 Sundance Film Festival, cunningly throwing in a phrase like "bag of d*cks" with his philosophizing on his band's varietal fanbase.
Like their frontman, the All-American Rejects are kind of all over the place. The quartet has been finished with their newest album "Kids in the Street" for a year, and in between have been "finagling" with their record label Interscope and their core listeners, lining up dates with Warped Tour and mulling how to depart from the traditional album release cycle and the alt-pop mold.
"We're melodic, we have a pop orientation," Ritter tells me of "Kids," "but this record... has a story in it."
How'd Justin Vernon and his 8-piece band fare?
Bon Iver for "Saturday Night Live"
Bon Iver may not be a big fan of the Grammys at the moment, but that hasn't kept him from being on a pre-Awards blitz this month. Justin Vernon's stop-offs included his first appearance on "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend, performing his Grammy-nominated track "Holocene" and "Beth/Rest," both from his sophomore full-length "Bon Iver."
The soft-rock songs may feel sparse on record, but Vernon's eight-piece backing band made an example of how involved the production was. Check out the percussive elements of "Holocene," and take a deep breath. "Beth/Rest," the Jagjaguwar band's best
impression homage to Steve Winwood is a rare performance of Vernon not singing in falsetto, which may be why it was chosen as the second track.
Two-mile driving course makes the remix
Credit: Nathaniel Wood
What takes two miles of desert, four days of shooting, four months of prep, 1,000 instruments, a car sponsorship and a song? The new OK Go video, of course.
The Chicago rock act's new single "Needing/Getting" features a Chevy outfitted with boom mics and retractable pneumatic arms that play upended pianos, guitars grafted to fences, bottles dangling from archways and such. The quartet sits helps noise-make in the car, with an impressive effort from frontman Damian Kulash, who sings and drives like a maniac (he took stunt driving courses).
Take a ride with a crazy stuntwoman, 18th century aliens or a buxom 'toon
Three left-of-center, electronic-influenced acts -- M.I.A., Miike Snow and Neon Indian -- invite us into their imaginations with visually striking new videos.
Listen to new material from Tenacious D's 'Fenix'
The lineup for the 2012 Sasquatch! music festival has been unveiled, but headliners like Jack White, Tenacious D, Bon Iver and Beck bring tidings of other news with them.
White, for one, will be performing at additional festivals plus will be announcing more tour dates in support of his solo debut "Blunderbuss." He'll be taking the stage at the Gorge in George, Wash., on May 26, and will also be heading up the Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Ala., on May 18 and to London's Radio 1 Hackney Weekend 2012 over June 23-24. A press release indicates the former White Stripes leader will be posting additional dates and music news soon.
"Blunderbuss" is due April 24; click here to hear White's first single "Love Interruption."
Then there's Beck, who has rarely toured in the last four or five years. His slot at the fest may indicate there are larger things at work.
Breaking news: There are hot girls in Drake's employ to enhance the size... of his singles
Here is a round thing, for your face.
Nothing says "pain and regret in your sweat" like an ass akin to a wavin' flag.
That's the gist of Drake's "Practice" music video, featuring the sex-time moves of Kyra Chaos, a model frequently featured in Smooth Girl magazine. If you are unfamiliar with Smooth Girl magazine, I highly recommend checking it out on a 17-inch screen, brightly lit, in a well-populated and professional setting such as a coffee shop or in and around your boss' office.
For more than three minutes, Chaos indicates to her audience what they're missing -- more specifically, what Drake's got and you not. She presents her greatest asset in front of a mirror and to the viewer, lo-fi YouTube style, in a pair of jeggings and a chopped and screwed top. Her dance is only interrupted, at the end, by the non-euphemistic entry of Drake.
Madge and the girls have some f-u-n in time for the Super Bowl
Madonna in "Give Me All Your Luvin'"
After months of seriously promoting her film "W.E." and dropping some ballsy pull quotes on the press in recent days, it's nice to see Madonna simply have some fun.
The veteran pop star snagged "Give Me All Your Luvin'" guests M.I.A. and Nick Minaj for this football-themed clip, the two rappers donning cheerleader outfits while Madonna gets the royal treatment from a team of real tough players. The hair-flipping, lace-rocking walk-about was helmed by Megaforce, whose treatment of videos like Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness" and Tame Impala's "Solitude Is Bliss" includes similar elements of the odd adventure, a little bit of cruelty and toying with dimension.
In "Luvin'," Madonna is beaming about 90% of the time. It's easy to see why. In a move that playfully panders to the NFL as it does parody it, Madge is in the middle, calling the shots, in four ferocious outfits. She throws a baby, walks on walls and brings it back to her '80s look with that Marilyn blonde knockoff. I still find M.I.A. and Nicki's contributions to be superfluous at best -- particularly with Roman reloading her "Y U Mad" sleeper line -- but it makes it feel more like a girls night out.
Liturgy, Die Antwoord and The Darkness' first song in seven years
Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters
Over the course of the last three days, there have been far too many new music videos to ignore -- from M. Ward, Foo Fighters, Liturgy, Raekwon, Die Antwoord and The Darkness -- so let's explore, shall we?
Kells is prepared to populate, disco-style
After today's sad announcement on the passing of Don Cornelius, it's hard not to hear any other news without that shading on it.
But this is a celebratory piece. Because R. Kelly's back, and he's disco, and it's a very specific nod to an era during which Cornelius reigned. Applause all around.
Kells' newest offering is "Share My Love," a track sent to radio today, steeped in 1970s soul and the R&B crooner's plan to help "populate" this big blue earth. It's a lot of familiar instrumentation from his last album, 2010's "Love Letter," with its groovy bassline and warm, flirty guitar, laced with twinkling keys and a humming, sensual orchestra.
Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton successfully did the feel-good thing last year, so it's great to see that smiling, sexy sex is still popular in 2012.