The X Factor is as much a ratings seeking show as anything these days, priding itself no longer on just the talent it showcases, but catfights, crying and breakdowns. With judge Britney Spears commenting, “We’re gonna push them to their limits,” it’s only reasonable to expect a bit of on air tension when the family sits down to watch on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
After settling down inside a swanky Miami hotel, the contestants were bused out to their performance site, and one by one, all 120 of them went in front of the judges, knees shaking and voices set to impress. After all, each performance is only the biggest of their life. Check out the scoop after the jump.
The all-American folk-rock “Jokerman” himself is back… apparently followed by a posse of young cholos, scantily clad women, and a guy dressed like Gene Simmons. Yes, Bob Dylan‘s new video for his single “Duquesne Whistle” is quite a bizarre one. It starts as some cute and innocent boy-meets-girl scenario, fitting the light jaunty mood of the song, but quickly goes awry in a twisted and hilarious way. Head over to Rolling Stone to see it for yourself. The new song is off Dylan’s upcoming album Tempest, which is due out September 11th.
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Last month when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its fifteen nominees for induction in 2012, the organization really outdid itself—and not in a good way! Donovan? Not again! Erik B. & Rakim? Not before LL Cool J! Joan Jett and the Blackhearts?
What? No “Weird Al” Yankovic? Hasn’t he been eligible for four years?
The Hall of Fame has been scraping from the B-list for a while now, but the voting body should take a closer look at the A-list. There’s still a lot of unheralded talent there, and that would not include Joan Jett. Yes, Jett’s former band, The Runaways, deserves credit for introducing girl power to hard rock, but did Joan Jett and the Blackhearts really earn a spot in the hallowed Hall based on the strength of one really awesome No. 1 smash, 1981′s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which the band didn’t even write? In the general scheme of things, aren’t they sort of a rock & roll footnote?
Not Linda Ronstadt. Perhaps the most influential female in ’70s rock, who spent the ’80s juggling genres from new wave to mariachi to the great American songbook, she’s the most deserving artist never to be nominated. And let’s talk about Pat Benatar and Stevie Nicks, who is already in the Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac but whose solo career is far more worthy of the honor than Jett’s post-Runaways. At least the nominating committee finally had the good sense to give props to Heart, though I’ll eat my copy of the “Alone” Cassingle if the Wilson sisters actually get in.
The list of Karina Es’s accolades is so diverse it almost seems made-up: showcases for Gene Simmons, co-writing credits for Chinese superstar Laure Shang, song placements on Nickelodeon. It’s only when you listen to her music that it starts to make sense. Es is a protean performer, nimbly skipping from urban to pop, Latin and R&B. There doesn’t seem to be a genre that the Toronto singer isn’t willing to try her hand at. “Make It Real” is her most club-ready single. Percolating vocals and digital chirps make the track more of a bopper than a banger. “Blame It On The Tango” is a fiery ballad with a Spanish guitar, horn section and some beat-box textures a la Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.” It’s a catchy Latin number, even with the queso. Probably the biggest departure for Es is “What Are You Waiting For?” The twee pop rock track feels like a Disney hit, even if the lyrics are more adult: “You say my body’s more than you could ever dream to explore …” The great thing about Es is, if one song isn’t your style, the next one could be. If a teenage girl, a club hopper and a salsa instructor walked into the bar, they’d probably play Karina Es on the jukebox.
Rockstar gamers rejoice! Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock was finally released today.
The game includes over 90 songs from the likes of KISS, Black Sabbath, Rush, Muse, Queen and Megadeth. In addition, it is the first Guitar Hero game to feature a story mode, known as Quest Mode. Narrated by KISS’ Gene Simmons, players will complete songs to move further in their quest to save rock ‘n’ roll.
Players can also engage in Party Play and Quickplay+ mode, which offers 13 gameplay challenges for each disc track and many downloadable songs from Guitar Hero World Tour.
As in previous releases, players can choose to play guitar, drums or sing vocals. An exciting new addition to this game is the updated guitar controller, which is now “shredding”-enabled and complete with a swappable body for custom designs.
Guitar Hero is also breaking new ground by collaborating with Soundgarden to release the first video game/album bundle. Soundgarden’s new compilation album Telephantasm is bundled with the first one million Warriors of Rock games. In addition, you can download the entire album to play on Warriors of Rock.
Below is the trailer for the game, for those of you who are still in the dark. If you can tear yourself away from this epic rock adventure, let us know what your favorite songs and game features are!