Pop music is great, but if you’re looking for emotional depth, you may not find it in an LMFAO song. So when Chase Manhattan was recalibrating after his band short-circuited midway to their big breakthrough, he turned his focus to making pop music with substance. Enter Goodnight Argent, a nod to an old studio on Argent Road in the band’s hometown of Pasco, Wash. The band crafts burning, soulful pop, part Justin Timberlake, part Ben Gibbard. “Those Were The Days” is a smoldering look at summer love, driven by a simple back beat and panging piano. “When the sun comes up will the stars remember our love?” Manhattan wonders. Then, like an admonishment, the band fires back with “Don’t Get Sentimental, ” a track filled with spacy sequences and piercing guitars. The only thing these guys have in common with LMFAO is that they’re sexy and they know it.
Seems that Apple, interested in shoring up as much intellectual property as they possibly could, tried to trademark their Music player icon, that orange box to the left. But their efforts were for naught as another tech company had already beaten them to the punch, trademarking a similar icon. Egads! Who were the nefarious corporate saboteurs behind this? Perhaps Samsung, taking pot shots in response to their continued legal pounding at the hands of the iPhone makers? Or maybe Google, one of Apple’s adversaries in the patent wars?
Nope. According to GigaOM, it was Myspace. Myspace. Huh.
Between that pretty awesome trailer for their upcoming relaunch and this, Myspace is grabbing more headlines at the moment then they have in years.They’re having a hell of a week, huh? And when was the last time those words were written?!
When Justin Timberlake took ownership stake in MySpace following the site’s acquisition by Specific Media, we weren’t sure whether the pop star had a brilliant idea up his sleeve, or whether he just wanted a million dollar personal server to store all of his selfie mirror shots. Thankfully, JT has spared the world from any more swoopy-haired profile pictures, choosing instead to steer the former social media giant towards a beautiful new design emblazoned all over with, yes, himself. A new promotional video posted yesterday shows the redesigned MySpace in action; huge, high-definition profile pictures move effortlessly across the screen, streaming videos play smoothly in the background, and Timberlake’s frozen, smiling mug appears at almost every turn like a creepy uncle who won’t leave you alone at Thanksgiving.
It’s always interesting to find out that one of your favorite artists, known for a particular genre, is quite talented in another style of music. Sometimes fans get so used to a person as a specific character fulfilling a familiar role that, at times, it can be a surprise to hear the musician’s alter ego. Often times though, it can be and eye-opening experience, creating crossovers and introducing listeners to a new style of music that they would have otherwise been oblivious to. So, with that in mind, I’d like to acknowledge and pay respect to a few eclectic rockers who have challenged their fanbases with side-projects that are almost polar opposites from their main work. Some you may know, others may surprise you. In the end, you may feel inspired to finally start that pseudo-electronic jazz fusion folk band you’ve been dreaming about for so long. Continue reading ‘Jekyll & Hyde: Rockers And Their Alter Ego Side Projects’
The producers and the Fox network already have to worry about sagging ratings (the average viewership in season 11 dropped 23 percent to below 20 million for the first time in nine years, and the show fell from No. 1 for the season—to No. 2—for the first time since 2005), not to mention less commercially viable Idols and external competition from The Voice, The X Factor, and pretty much any reality show that promises to make a nobody a star.
Now, the producers have to deal with pleasing Mariah Carey, who has signed on as a judge next season, replacing either Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler, both of whom left after two years in order to focus full-time on their music careers (and in the case of Lopez, her “acting” career, too).
I once interviewed Carey for an Us Weekly cover story, and I found her to be warm, intelligent and surprisingly funny, but she’s a diva through and through. (She actually walked into the living room of her New York City hotel suite cradling her miniature dog!) Idol will reportedly pay her a very diva-like sum of between $12 and $17 million a season (a hefty and not altogether worthwhile expense, considering that Carey is well past her pop heyday), and I don’t even want to think about her list of perks and demands.
Meanwhile, there are murmurings that Randy Jackson, the last remaining original judge, currently in contract negotiations, might be moving from the judge’s table into more of a mentoring role, in an attempt to revamp the show for season 12, launching in January of 2013. Sadly, that restructuring doesn’t extend to Ryan Seacrest, the inexplicably still-highly employable host, who has signed up for another two years at a pay rate of $15 million per season. Is it too late to invite ex-judge Ellen DeGeneres back for the job they should have offered her in the first place?
But this summer, as pop’s three hottest males—Usher, Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber–release new albums, the guys will be giving the ladies their stiffest competition in years. Are any of them most likely to succeed Michael Jackson as the new King of Pop, this season or in seasons to come? Read on….
Usher Vocally, Usher is without a doubt the most-talented man in pop, and he already has a hit list that’s long enough to guarantee his place in music history. Commercially speaking, though, he seems to be settling into middle age, a comfortable place where he’s still good for the occasional big hit single (2010′s No. 1 “OMG” and his recent David Guetta collaboration “Without You”).
But he’s hardly a chart shoo-in anymore. “Climax,” the first single from his new album Looking 4 Myself, which was released on June 12, peaked at No. 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100, 16 notches lower than “Yeah!,” the premiere single from 2004′s Burn that spent 12 weeks on top. Meanwhile, after one day in stores, Looking 4 Myself was projected to sell only up to 130,000 copies in its first week, some 200,000 less than 2010′s Raymond v. Raymond. Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Usher Vs. Justin Bieber Vs. Chris Brown– Will the Next King of Pop Please Stand Up?’