<p>&quot;Oh thank GOD, I'm so hungry...&quot;</p>
<br />

"Oh thank GOD, I'm so hungry..."

Watch: R. Kelly suggests how to re-populate the world in 'Share My Love'

I know it's hard to believe, but...

I know conceptually, the music video for R. Kelly's "Share My Love" will be difficult to comprehend, but bear with me.

Girls with big boobs and small waists are romanced by Kelly in his mansion and then join the R&B singer at a party that is also mostly populated by girls with big boobs and small waists and they all dance for and with him. There is a brand name liquor product placement. Kells looks satisfied with all his achievements, he makes love to the soft edges of the '70s, the end.

Hell, at least I liked the song.

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<p>Spiritualized's &quot;Sweet Heart, Sweet Light&quot;: really?</p>

Spiritualized's "Sweet Heart, Sweet Light": really?

Review: Spiritualized, 'Sweet Heart, Sweet Light'

Can Jason Pierce find new converts or is he preaching to and with the choir?

Spiritualized’s head pastor Jason Pierce, after 20 years of album-making, has forced himself into re-working well-trod scripture and reiterated motifs. Because it’s not broken, he doesn’t fix it. It’s hard for these new tunes on “Sweet Heart, Sweet Light” to not sound like something that’s been made before. 

The group boasts the same confluence of influences from the ‘60s and ‘70s into a pop pickled in psychedelia. Sonically skronky songs like “Headin’ for the Top Now” and Dr. John co-penned “I Am What I Am” drone into musical wallpaper, sitting instrumentally on top of a single note or oscillating between two as J Spaceman (Pierce’s other name) slides off-key up and down his easy melodies, a pack of wild cheerleaders leading the way. On single “Hey Jane” and “Get What You Deserve,” he again gives way humping Lou Reed’s grave even before the Velvets’ main man is even dead (something to which Mr. Reed may not be all that averse) with climactic bursts of blissed-out white noise.
And I don’t mean the sexual metaphor purely provocatively: violence and pleasure, death and life and borrowing and taking are among Pierce’s favorite lyrical themes, with a couple cameos from recurring character Jesus, on whom Pierce places some of his most despairing and simple lyrics. These sometimes border on false profundity, like on woozy “Freedom” and sing-song ballad “Too Late” (which is a perfect partner with “Baby I’m Just a Fool” from 2008’s “Songs in A&E”).
All these are good for collectors to hear, but it’s the clincher – album closer “So Long You Pretty Thing” – that could make new converts. The track’s epic proportion still feels familiar, with Spaceman’s inviting vocals paired with his instrumental kindred in a plonky-plonk banjo, the slow-burn swelling into a choir of “help me Lords” and schemes that put rhyming bedfellows radio/souls/and rock ‘n’ roll together.
This current Spiritualized devolution of genre is still blurry, but bright, tied together with cacophony and clarity. Pierce’s ability to write lasting songs is still skillful and strong, and will doubtless keep his patrons coming back.


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<p>Fitz &amp; The Tantrums</p>

Fitz & The Tantrums

Credit: Dangerbird

Interview: Fitz & the Tantrums on Coachella crowds and crying on stage

'I don't want to suffer from the sophomore slump'

After years and years of what Michael Fitzpatrick calls “failing,” Fitz & the Tantrums are finally having good years. In fact, 2012 is already shaping up to be their best. 

As of today, the soul-rock band is officially part of the 2012 Outside Lands music festival lineup in August. This week, the six-piece is in between weekends playing at Coachella, the kickoff to their spring tour. That stint segues directly into stints opening for Dave Matthews Band and recent Immaculate Noise interviewees the Flaming Lips and performing at major festivals like Bonnaroo and newly minted The Great Googamooga in Brooklyn. Palladia is airing concert film “Fitz and the Tantrums: Live at the Metro” starting this Saturday (April 21). All this, and the band will be releasing their second effort for indie Dangerbird later this year.
Fitzpatrick and his cohorts – co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs, saxophonist/flutist James King, bassist Joseph Karnes, drummer John Wicks and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna – have exhibited an astonishing devotion to the road and to the social mechanics that normally destroy bands half their size. There’s just a rare commitment and collection of talent that has resonated with fans, beyond just their outta-nowhere hit “Moneygrabber” from their debut “Pickin’ Up the Pieces.”
Below is an abridged interview I had with Fitzpatrick at the end of this winter. For aspiring bands, it’s almost a check-list or outline of what it is to slog, and to succeed in slogging.
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Listen: A$AP Rocky's 'Goldie' shines
Credit: RCA

Listen: A$AP Rocky's 'Goldie' shines

Produced by 'N*ggas in Paris' hitmaker Hit-Boy

A$AP Rocky wasn't on our Hip-Hop's New Class list for nothing. The general behind-the-beat swagger of the rapper's new "Goldie" is no "understatement," aided by the big beat of Hit-Boy.

For those playing at home, that producer was the same hitmaker behind Lil Wayne and Eminem's "Drop the World and Kanye West and Jay-Z's "N*ggas in Paris," and is a firm associate of Ye's G.O.O.D. Music label. (Perhaps he'll be contributing to that forthcoming compilation?)

"Goldie" is off of A$AP's forthcoming RCA debut "LongLiveA$AP," out in July, not to be confused with recently re-released mixtape "LiveLoveA$AP." The track features an easy beat and Rocky dropping his vocals an octave for the refrain, a la Tyler's Golf Wang Goblin growl. No zingers stand out more than others, though I could swear there's a Naked And Famous name-drop in there and I could definitely do without the "ch*nk eyes" reference. However, his voice fits in a perfect mix range, where the rhymes rattle off like a drum. He's got a good grip on Hit-Boy's particular brand. Hopefully there will be another pairing in the future.


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Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse headlining Outside Lands

Jack White, Foo Fighters, Beck, Skrillex... so many dudes

Outside Lands has confirmed its major lineup announcement, with Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Jack White leading the way for the weekend music and food festival.

The San Francisco event runs Aug. 10-12 in Golden Gate Park. Tickets go up via the Outside Lands website on Thursday (April 19) at noon PST and, judging from years past, get 'em quick: it will likely sell out, particularly with a few factors in mind...

First, Metallica's from there, folks, and have no other U.S. tour dates on slate this year except for June 23-24 at their own Orion Music + More Festival in Atlantic City, N.J. Furthermore, the Metallica 3-D movie is slated to start shooting in August, and you can bet there will be footage taken at this Outside Lands gig. If you're a fan, fight to the front.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse are releasing their first new album in 15 years ("Americana") on June 5, but the band's status in rock annuls was marked by their electric live concerts. The collaborative group has only played one show this year, and this gig is only their second announced.

Stevie Wonder -- for all anybody cares -- can just continue being Stevie Wonder as his marquee moment this year.

Jack White seems to be sticking largely to festival bookings to support his solo album; Beck already signalled a return to the stage with his headlining gigs at the Governor's Ball in New York and Sasquatch! in Washington state; and, yesterday, we explained that the Foo Fighters were plotting to record new material later this year, in addition to promoting Dave Grohl's "Sound City" documentary.

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<p>Owl City's Adam Young</p>

Owl City's Adam Young

EXCLUSIVE first listen: Owl City combines with Mark Hoppus for new track 'Dementia'

Blink-182 singer and electro-pop star are a perfect combo

Well, look what just flew onto my desk. A brand new Owl City song "Dementia" has surfaced, signalling the way for a fresh album from the electro-pop star.

And it appears that Adam Young has made some more famous new friends. Mark Hoppus -- singer for Blink-182 and +44 -- helps out on vocal duties for this high-energy track. I can't tell if Hoppus also had a hand in producing this sure-fire radio hit, but he has helmed for acts like Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory. So this particular combo is just slightly out of each artist's usual arena, with Owl City branching out into a much more rock-reliant sound.

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<p>Dave Grohl</p>

Dave Grohl

Credit: AP Photo

Nirvana today: Dave Grohl records with Krist Novoselic, plus... Kurt Cobain solo album

Hole reunites, weirdly; Courtney Love apologizes over asinine rumor-mongering

This past week, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Butch Vig, Hole, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson and a whole swirl of Nirvana characters past ahve banded together in a milky way of news. 

First, Dave Grohl is reportedly in the studio with former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic and "Nevermind" producer Butch Vig. Or so says Vig.

"The last 24 hours have been surreal! Had a great gig at the El Rey last night, and spent today recording with Dave, Krist and special guest!" Vig Tweeted late last week.

No more has been said about the "special guest," but here's some context: Grohl's forthcoming documentary "Sound City" is still filming, and promises some unique collaborations. Thus, replied the Sound City Twitter account to the legendary producer, "always a pleasure @butchvig." It appears the recording session will go in the film, which still awaits a release date.

The reunion of Grohl, Novoselic and Vig isn't totally new: the three came together for the Foo Fighters' last "Wasting Light" album last year, with the bassist guesting on the set. The Foos have said that they are planning to record a new album starting later this year.

On a related note, it seems that late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain had planned a solo album. Or so says Eric Erlandson.

The guitarist performed with Cobain's wife Courtney Love in Hole and was a longtime friend of the Nirvana singer. Erlander is currently promoting his newly released book "Letters to Kurt" and told Fuse that Cobain was writing new material for what could have been his solo debut.

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<p>Johnny Depp in &quot;My Valentine&quot;</p>

Johnny Depp in "My Valentine"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp star in Paul McCartney's 'My Valentine'

The famed Beatle directs this black and white clip himself, while Depp plays guitar

Who else but a Beatle could recruit two of Hollywood's biggest actors to sign-language one of their songs for a music video?

Paul McCartney tapped Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman to sign the lyrics to his sweet original song "My Valentine" for music videos that he directed himself. He comped the two performances together into one, all in black and white.

Each performance was fairly understated, with Depp boasting an unusually flat expression and his own interpretation of some of the signs. He also plays the McCartney-penned vinyl-stringed solo; being a guitarist in his own right, Depp slides right in. Portman looks deliciously sad.

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<p>Pulp's Jarvis Cocker</p>

Pulp's Jarvis Cocker

10 things I loved about Pulp's Radio City Music Hall concert

Jarvis Cocker warms up America 14 years on, before Coachella

For the first time in 14 years, Pulp took the stage on American soil, at Radio City Music Hall in New York this week. In the years that have processed since that band's dissolution, frontman Jarvis Cocker hasn't dared to shy away from his libidinous propensity to dance with himself and sing his romances like they'd only happened yesterday. The band was predictably tight, a hot shower of Cocker's cold ones.

I made it to Pulp's show Wednesday (April 11), the first concert scheduled before they announced a second, additional show on April 10 ("You must be the hardcore."). These are the warm-ups to this weekend's headlining spot at Coachella.

It's the sole time I've seen the group, making it easy to, well, remember the first time. Here are 10 things I loved:

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<p>M. Ward's &quot;A Wasteland Companion&quot;</p>

M. Ward's "A Wasteland Companion"

Credit: Merge

Review: M. Ward's 'A Wasteland Companion'

She & Him collaborator back with a packed tin of old friends

The types of songs that M. Ward performs haven’t changed much particularly over these last three solo efforts, but it’s the airs or atmospheres over each that morph. 

The title “A Wasteland Companion” conjures the images of coarse terrain in even lonelier territory, but his companions on here are abundant, bringing their gifts into his blues-structured thumpers, the AM Pop, power pop, chalky folk, Sunday afternoon ballads and spiritual odes, none of which go over the 4-minute mark. The songwriter’s frequent collaborator and Monsters of Folk cohort Mike Mogis is back, as are characters like early supporter Howe Gelb and touring staple Mike Coykendall. Zooey Deschanel – one half of the She & Him equation – provides harmonies on some of the most pop-oriented tunes (natch), her contributions obviously serving fanbases of both her band and those who have come to love Ward after their inception.
While those fatter, cleaner pop songs can be more whimsical, even glamorous (!!), I’m ultimately more interested in the darker environs of Ward’s murkier tunes. This could be summarized, in part, by lyrics from "There's a Key": "I'm conquering the ocean one wave at the time… taking on the deep, deep blue.”
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