John Lydon -- aka Johnny Rotten -- speaks in stanzas, with grand pauses. He’d finish a thought, I’d give him a few seconds, I’d start to speak but then he’d start in on another thought on the same subject, sometimes in third person. He was full of sharp declarations and axioms like they were print-ready for badges and t-shirts. Perhaps its because many were badges and t-shirts.
If the Hot Chip video for banger "Night and Day" were a movie, I'd watch the hell out of it.
The clip was directed by actor Peter Serafinowicz and utilizes polar-opposite recruits Reggie Watts and supermodel Lara Stone to man the spaceship. Their combination is well til it ends well. (Read my obsessive interview with comedian/musican Watts here.)
And precisely occurs on this ship? What is their mission? I don't know, but now my mission is to abduct the choreographer, in order to learn step-by-step Gaga style. What genius it took to make hooded robes out of actual hoodies and for a sexy ritual dance for a half-man-sized egg god, the eye of the yin and yang...divine, intergalactic styling.
Sigur Rós don't want you to choke and die. They have a video to help you through such a problem, were it to occur.
The music video to "Ég anda," directed by Ragnar Kjartansson, is the first of eight commissioned clips to accompany each of the songs off of Sigur Ros' new album "Valtari." Kjartansson recruited some real characters for this, who waver between Wes Andersonian deadpan to cartoonish ecstasy in this step-by-step instructional vid.
The band ask from each of their filmmakers/artists to create a video of whatever comes to mind when the creators hear their songs. This one apparently made Kjartansson gag (ba-dum-bum-bum).
Motion City Soundtrack's new song "Timelines" may be one of their most personal songs, according to Justin Pierre.
Its refrain "It's not a matter of time, it's just a matter of timing" came from the frontman's father, a concept he then filled in with some very intimate experiences, from growing up stuttering to discovering sex and flunking college classes. It's a little dark at times, thematically, but thankfully there's that soaring chorus and harmonies, upbeat keyboards and a fast beat.
"The only way I can get through the day..." is to check out this new song from the reunited Afghan Whigs.
"See and Don't See" is a damned bummer of a cover, but great news for fans of the band -- which hasn't performed together live in 13 years. This track is their first new one in five, after in 2007 they dropped "Unbreakable: A Retrospective 1990-2006" which contained two new tracks recorded when the Greg Dulli-led band reunited temporarily to record "I'm a Soldier" and "Magazine."
The band officially split in 2001 and last released their album "1965" in 1998. Next week, though, they'll take the stage once again on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on May 22 and will play New York's Bowery Ballroom on May 23. They have 28 dates on slate; stops include Lollapalooza, plus at All Tomorrow's Parties' New Jersey edition, which Dulli is curating for a night.
Reggie Watts kicked off a headlining tour this week, but it wouldn’t be fair to say that the stint is in support of one single thing.
The musician/comedian/musical comedian dropped “Reggie Watts: A Live In Central Park” on CD/DVD on Tuesday, with airings having ramped up the week before on Comedy Central. He’ll be featured in each episode of new IFC show “Comedy Bang! Bang,” which debuts on June 8 (you can get a taste of him collaborating with Jon Hamm on the theme of “Taxi” here). He’s warming up for festival season with stop-offs like Bonnaroo and Electric Forest this summer, and he’s dropped off everywhere from SF Sketchfest to Sasquatch! to Fun Fun Fun. He continues to work with Louis C.K. on his show “Louie,” writing incidental music, and made his own score to Ridley Scott's "Legend."
The Williamsburg, Brooklyn resident opened for Conan O’Brien on his “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour” last year and gained rep online through the word-of-mouth success of “Why Sh*t So Crazy?” from 2010 (featuring “F*ck Sh*t Stack”) and his CollegeHumor “Blowjobs” bit. He also held down a high-profile gig singing with LCD Soundsystem at their last show at Madison Square Garden in 2011, a performance captured in “Shut Up and Play the Hits.”
Watts is mesmerizing to watch, as he blends pre-planned comedy bits and banter with himself in with improvised music composition, beat boxing, experimental motifs and rapping. He looks like a crazy person. He can make himself sound like Chaka Khan and Fred Rogers in the same breath.
Below, we talk about “Central Park,” Jack White, lazy pop production, All Tomorrow’s Parties and just how ugly Steely Dan are.
The xx just kicked off a tour in time for festival season, and are bringing new songs with them.
Below, in a surprisingly well-recorded video at Chats Palace in London, a show-goer captured the Mercury Prize-winning band perform a fresh track, title still unknown, earlier this week. The thing only goes for about 2:15, but it's got that chilly guitar riff and big bass thuds that make the kids crazy.
The setlist from their Electrowerkz gig this week indicates that half of the songs played at the gig were actually new.
When Whitney Houston died in February, Sony "accidentally" spiked the price of the singer's albums. Celebrities seemingly re-engaged with the media just to be part of the dialogue on her death, to their own benefit. I've seen press releases for tribute groups who are "touring" in order to "celebrate" her legacy, a predictably profitable time in their careers. Cover songs were made in tribute and sold on iTunes.
Whitney's mom Cissy is putting out her first album of gospel songs in a decade and Lifetime is cobbling together a reality series based on the Houston family, which include the participation of Whitney's teenaged daughter Bobbi Kristina. And Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown is putting out a new set, "Being Bobby Brown," on June 5. It's his first studio full-length since 1997.
Not every artistic expression made in the name of dead entertainers is made in the name of profit. It just comes off as very complicated, especially in the passing's immediate wake.
Sparta are working on a follow-up to 2006's "Threes," and new track "Chemical Feel" is the first evidence of production.
The sonic space-bound track is tough, and impeccably recorded, with crisp guitar lines funneled through pirstine pedals. Jim Ward sounds uuungggh, in the good way.
"Let me see your phone..." Gotta love Nicki Minaj's gall to have a verse about checking her boyfriend's cell phone in a song that features Chris Brown.
The Young Money would-be pop-star and rapper combined with Brown for "Right By My Side," another cut from "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded." In addition to the socially repugnant pop star, Minaj also tapped another super-talent for the track, or at least the video: Nas.
The music video seemingly set up shop in the 1990s era of R&B, with Minaj's slo-mo'ed long blonde locks and wack lounge wear, and the ever-lovely Nas sporting eyeglasses like he's Nate from Boyz II Men (of course he was the cute one). Oh, a new car! Oh, a make-out session on a park bench! Kelis is somewhere, weeping and sharpening a blade.
This clip is thankfully much more cohesive than Nicki's last, neon eyesore "Starships." Where I take issue here, though, is that she spends about 75% of the time doing capital-S Serious acting for the VH1 crowd, and the rest of it goofing off. It's one kind of comedy to watch Brown try to lip-sync to his auto-tuned solo, it's another to perpetually act like its the end of a long day. The tail-end of the vid hints at a "Thriller"-like sequel, but I don't feel like dancing.