At one point in “Mercy,” Kanye West’s most recent hit to climb the Billboard charts, Yeezy utters the line, “don’t do no press but I get the most press, kid.” Truer words, Kayne. And we’ll take any news that we can get from the rapper that doesn’t involve significant other Kim Kardashian.
According to British tabloid the Sun, West has been making plans to release an album consisting of “animal noises.” A source is quoted as saying that West has been, “obsessed with roars, barks and jungle noises,” and that the album is, “his next ingenious plan.” Right.
In more serious, much more likely to be true news, it appears that the G.O.O.D. Music album Cruel Summer will really be coming out this summer. Rapper and G.O.O.D. Music artist Pusha T mentioned a release date of August 7th for the upcoming album in a radio interview with Funkmaster Flex yesterday. There have also been hints of another Watch The Throne release, if frequent Kanye West collaborator and producer Mike Dean is to be believed. West is still out on his ostentatious Watch The Throne tour with fellow rapper Jay-Z.
David Lowery is a name you might not be familiar with unless you’re a passionate follower of ’90s alt rockers or music industry wonks. And there’s probably some heavy overlap between those two groups. Well, he is getting more buzz in the last couple of days than he has since his band Cracker was in MTV’s Buzz Bin, thanks to a blog post he recently wrote in response to an NPR intern, regarding nothing less than the future of music commerce.
Lowery was a founding member of both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. Both groups navigated the tempestuous waters of the music industry in the late ’80s and early ’90s and both managed to find moderate success. Cracker is likely known to many fans of AOR and MOR radio for their singles “Low” and “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now).”
But David Lowery is a music industry renaissance man. He has done stints as a college lecturer at the University of Georgia and as a trading analyst, specializing in quantitative finance. Suffice it to say, the man is smart. “I like to think that I am uniquely qualified as an artist, entrepreneur and geek,” Lowery wrote in a blog post from April 15th titled “Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss?” He continued, “I can out geek most of you.”
While Adele herself hasn’t always espoused the most health-conscious lifestyle choices, it appears that her music may have certain medicinal properties. According to various British tabloids, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is responsible for reviving a 7-year-old girl from a coma.
Call it a demonstration of the power of music. Young Brit Charlotte Neve was laid up in the hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage. After a series of operation the prognosis for Charlotte was grim. As her mother Leila was preparing to say a final goodbye to her daughter, “Rolling in the Deep” started playing on the bedside radio. Reports vary as to whether Leila began to sing the song or quietly whisper the lyrics to her daughter. But whatever the case, something was able to reach Charlotte, who began to smile at the sound of Adele’s her mother’s voice.
Charlotte’s convalescence from her near-death experience has also been astonishingly quick. Within two days of hearing her mother singing the melody to 2011′s biggest hit, Charlotte was talking again. And the good news doesn’t stop there, as young Charlotte has since returned to school and even ballet classes. However, she will have to undergo some speech and physical therapy over the coming weeks and months.
Here’s the long and short of it. Youtube user wzrd0713 originally posted ‘JB Fanvideo’ in response to a contest that Justin Bieber was running through youtube to help promote his new fragrance, ‘Girlfriend’.
Here’s the original video for your viewing pleasure.
While the strange video, replete with soul-stealing stares and lyrics that could earn restraining orders, could’ve gone unnoticed, it was eventually discovered and posted to popular imageboard Reddit. From there a still image (pictured right) from the video took on life as the template for the Overly Attached Girlfriend image macro meme.
Heiress and socialite Paris Hilton might be coming to a rave near you. And chances are she’ll be in the DJ booth. It’s no surprise that Hilton is a fan of dance music seeing as she’s been a fixture of the club circuit for the past few years. She also has a relationship, platonic or otherwise, with Afrojack, a well-known commodity as a DJ and producer. So it can’t be too surprising when she says, “I have a huge passion for house music.” Hilton has even flirted with a career in music before, going back to her 2006 debut Paris, an album that some people actually bought.
But still. This is a marketing ploy from a master self-promoter, lest anyone be mistaken that this signals some kind of earnest artistic intent from Hilton to further ingratiate herself into the music scene that she loves. Funny thing is, the last time Hilton made an album, it was of pop music, designed to slot in nicely with the rest of the Top 40 at the time of its release. Now, she’s going after the EDM market.
The rise of EDM in America has been far less chronicled than the arrival of EDM. Hilton’s move to make a dance record is a signal of the next phase as electronic music settles into itself as a genre with mainstream appeal and following.
That’s not to say that other bands haven’t tried to break into the dance world. We can’t use pop artists as an example, so no Black Eyed Peas or Chris Brown since these acts need to keep their sound current to stay relevant. So, let’s turn to the rock world. Skrillex, arguably the hottest star in EDM at the moment, is known to have gotten his start in music fronting the post-hardcore band From First To Last. Skrillex was also one of the collaborators on Korn‘s last album, the genre-bendingThe Path of Totality. That path was already a road well taken, with British heavy rock acts Enter Shikari and Asking Alexandria melding electronic sonics to metal modes.
But Skrillex isn’t the only person making these kind of connections. We already talked about Diplo, a man the New York Timesdescribed as a, “negotiator and collaborator.” Diplo, real name Thomas Wesley Pentz, has touched on nearly every genre in music. 2012 saw his first major foray into the world of rock music, producing some of No Doubt’s upcoming comeback album. Diplo (and production collaborator Switch) also left their sonic watermark all over the recent debut of British singer-songwriter Alex Clare. While Clare does not have a large following stateside, it’s likely that many TV viewers have heard his work before.
Clare’s “Too Close,” featured in the Internet Explorer commercial above, is a funny kind of synthesis. Lightly plucked chords with a light R&B flavor are married to soulful vocals in the verses. Synth enters and signals the upcoming chorus, which is club ready with the requisite wobbles. A song like this wouldn’t be able make it to rock or the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the U.S. a year ago. But today, things are different.
But Hilton’s move into the house music world is a step further then some rocker’s dalliances into EDM. After all, Hilton isn’t really a credible artist. She’s not even a tastemaker. She’s a human barometer. Hilton will make her club ready debut, replete with her dead-eyed vocals and topical synths. When this din sounds, it will double as an alarm. It will be a call to order, a signal that EDM will have finally lost all of the trappings of being an “underground” genre. As goes Hilton, so goes America.
Get a taste of Hilton’s upcoming contribution to the grand pantheon of EDM, “Drunk Text,” below. Choice lyric? “No one is safe in the Twittersphere anymore.”
Chad Kroeger doesn’t think we’ll be looking at his photograph in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anytime soon. In a feature run yesterday by the Edmonton Journal, the frontman of the multi-platinum band Nickelback remarked on the critical perception of his group.
“We may be dead by then but I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will probably show up the same time as our first GRAMMY,” said Kroeger.
It seems at times that mocking Nickelback has become something of an international passtime. People of every age, creed, color, and political affiliation can get behind their distaste for the Canadian hard rock band. Back in 2010 the band was notably out-liked on Facebook by a pickle. But to the band’s credit they’ve handled their lack of acclaim quite well.
The group has even struck out against haters before in print and over social media. In the same feature Kroeger went on to comment on the fan petition around their halftime performance during the Detroit Lions Thanksgivings Day game, stating that the move only served to increase ratings for the game. The band has also taken on detractors through their Twitter feed, going tweet-for-tweet with disparaging commentators (even if the responses aren’t particularly clever).
Not that the band is losing sleep over a lack of critical love or GRAMMY trophies. The band has sold 50 million albums worldwide and is the second best selling act of all time in the U.S. after The Beatles. Obviously, someone’s listening. So don’t expect Nickelback to change their tune anytime soon.
Summer and songs. They fit together like Santa and snow, like sex and the city, like Coldplay and Rihanna in the “Princess of China” single and video, which both acts no doubt are hoping will be the song of the summer of 2012. (And if it’s not, Rihanna’s got another shot anyway, with “Where Have You Been,” the fifth single from her Talk That Talk album.)
But the songs of summer aren’t just about the latest, greatest hits when warm weather starts to roll around. If they were, we all would have been stuck with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” on an endless beach loop last summer (and certainly some of us were). The hottest season has been figuring prominently into pop since the beginning of time, regardless of the temperature outside.
This year, it will be no different. So while the rest of the world is sweating it out to Rihanna and Coldplay, or Rihanna on her own, or brand new music from Justin Bieber, Usher, Chris Brown, or Fiona Apple (my personal beach pick), feel free to pad your summer mix with these ten entries, some of the best “summer’ songs ever.
Last weekend, OurStage’s National Warped Tour Competition winner Larry g(EE) filmed the music video for “I’m Your Fool” and sent us some behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot. We’ll have the exclusive premiere of Larry’s new video in just a few weeks. Until then, we suggest you check out the soulful tune here on OurStageand follow our official Warped Tour Tumblr for more on all of the acts performing on the OurStage.com Stage!
Dots Will Echo is a computer programming term and a duo from New Jersey. Dots Will Echo are melodic power-poppers and Crazy Horse-backing-Captain Beefheart sonic provocateurs. Dots Will Echo are a brand new band that’s been around since the ‘80s. Dots Will Echo are wild-eyed rock & roll maniacs and amiable suburban family men. Dots Will Echo are Nick Berry and Kurt Biroc, though Dots Will Echo was once Nick Berry and a bunch of other guys, and has occasionally just been Nick Berry. Dots Will Echo has a double-length album coming out July 24 on Sufjan Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty, entitled Drunk Is The New Sober/Stupid Is The New Dumb.
To make sense of all the above, let’s go back to the beginning with the stalwart tender of the Dots Will Echo flame, singer/songwriter Nick Berry. “I started writing songs when I was nine,” remembers the Garden State native, “maybe younger. I remember being a little kid, I had a friend down the street, and we wrote songs as a kind of competition, I didn’t even play an instrument at the time.” But Berry’s interests took a more outré turn while he was still in high school. “I was in an avant-garde band,” he says, recalling that group’s theatrical onstage escapades, “My friend Roy had built a gigantic instrument he called a Googis…he had rented a truck to get it to this one gig, and the guy [the truck driver] had taken off. He had no way to get it home, so he took a hammer and destroyed the thing onstage. We had a song called ‘Rubella,’ which was just all guitar feedback and oscillators, and at one point we would just lean the guitars up against the amplifiers and then run out into the audience screaming. And every time we did it, it was the kind of thing nobody could process [laughs], these people just had the look of a deer in the headlights. One gig there was a dog there, and I started chasing this dog around the audience…blowing free jazz on a clarinet while this dog is barking. And the guy that owned the dog joined the band.”
No Doubt‘s new album is finally upon us. Though the group has been hinting at a release of their new record since 2010, there was never any solid information from the band, and we waited in teaser limbo. But no longer. On Monday, the band posted a special update to their website, outlining details of the upcoming release.
“While adding the finishing touches to our new album we realized it was time to name it…so we did, and the name is…(drum roll please)…’Push and Shove’ !!!”
So there you have it, Push and Shove, with a release date set for September 25. The band had been teasing fans over the past few weeks prior to the title reveal. Little tidbits of information here and there. An album release date here, hints of an upcoming single there.
News of the album’s title and release date was accompanied by the announcement of the first single, “Settle Down,” as well as an upcoming music video for the track to be directed by longtime collaborator Sophie Muller. Muller has directed a number of videos for the band and for frontwoman Gwen Stefani‘s solo career, helming the visuals for “Don’t Speak,” “Sunday Morning,” “Underneath It All,” and “Cool,” among others.
Check out No Doubt’s first in-studio webisode for a preview of Push and Shove.