Showing posts with label Kanye West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kanye West. Show all posts

Monday, October 09, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 10/9/2017

Little of Your Love - HAIM

When HAIM released their last video I said they should never not dance in their music videos, though country line dancing was not really what I had in mind.

The Last of the Real Ones - Fall Out Boy

Killer llamas may have been more entertaining if it was not in super slow motion. And it was not until the end before I realize, didn’t Kanye West do this already but with a hot model and not farm animals? Is Fall Out Boy really parodying a decade old Kanye West video I barely remember?

Heart Break - Lady Antebellum

There was no pre-ad roll before I watched this Lady Antebellum video on YouTube. I bring this up because about ten seconds in I was looking for the Skip This button because that opening was mostly boring. And really, the video’s plot did not make much sense. Unless it continues but I hate music videos that are to be continued.

Generous - Olivia Holt

Sure the new Olivia Holt (who distractedly looks like nineties Mandy Moore) song sounds like a rip off of Bad Liar, but still, it is mostly catchy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 7/5/16

Sledgehammer – Rihanna

In a post monoculture world you need a big hook to get your music in front of a lot of eyes and ears. So Rihanna released her new music video as the very first one ever shot in IMAX, apropos for s song from the new Star Trek movie. It does look cool enough for something that could fill an IMAX screen though I have no desire to actually go to one. This was not even the only big music video event Rihanna stared recently as an atomically correct lifelike doll of her popped in Kanye West’s Famous video which I will not be sharing, not because I am offended by the graphic nature but I was offended by how boring it was. Seriously, ten minutes of fake people not moving? Yawn. My big complaint of the Rihanna song though, is you cannot have a song entitled Sledgehammer without making people think of Peter Gabriel much like when Fifth Harmony released a song of the same title a couple years ago. Ironically the both came out with songs named Work this year though Fifth Harmony ended up changing theirs to Work From Home to avoid confusion even though both songs still chanted Work obnoxiously.

Heathens – twenty one pilots

Patrick Carney of The Black Keys once philosophized that the reason rock music was dying was because we let Nickelback become the biggest band in the world. So what does that mean twenty one pilots is now the biggest band in the world? I at least got Nickelback, it was frat rock. Who exactly is listening to twenty one pilots? But I can ask that about half of the top forty (seriously people, Panda?!?). But hey, we get a couple new images from Suicide Squad. I have said it before, but DC should scrap their five year Justice League plan and just start doing Suicide Squad standalone movies, which they may actually do as word on the internets is there are mulling over a Harley Quinn female antihero team up movie. Then after the standaloine, bring the Suicide Squad back together to fight the Injustice League headed by Black Manta.

Fake My Own Death – Sum 41

I will admit it, I have a couple Sum 41 songs in my library, like a lot of songs from the punk-pop era; those early songs were dumb fun. But like many other acts from that era, that act got old fast. The band always had a heavy metal side and it is probably wise to embrace that side but I am just not that into it. And Weezer already did a way past their prime music video where they took on internet memes and did it much better than this.

Bored to Death – Blink-182

Speaking of punk-pop band still at it, blink-182 was the one of the few of those bands that made it a decade of being relevant. The may be down a core member (apparently guitarist Tom DeLong is too buy rating about UFO’s) but this sound sounds like it could have been in a time capsule for the past decade, for better or worse.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Ten Most Anticipated Events of 2016

10. Swish - Kanye West: In previous installments I would open up with Detox saying maybe this is the year Dr. Dre finally releases his album. Dre did release an album last year though not Detox which seems will officially never see the light of day (then again Bob Dylan released The Basement Tapes forty years later so maybe someday). Kanye West may be the closest thing to a long anticipated album. Yeezus came out three years ago making it his longest wait between albums. He actually released what was assumed to be the first single New Years Eve 2014, another single came out a couple months later as well as a Rihanna collaboration (who's Anti is also oft delayed), he premiered a third song at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary, and once again dropped another song this New Years Eve. Will we actually get to hear Swish this year? Will it go under another name change before being released (it was originally supposed to be called So Help Me God)? Or will it turn into the next Detox?

9. The Presidential Election (November 8): Of course Kanye may just very well forgo music and throw his hat into the race for president this year instead of waiting until 2020 like he announced last year. He might as well because this election cycle has turned into a clown show. And the Republicans said they had learned from four years ago with what was commonly referred as a clown car of horrible candidates that tainted the one guy who could actually beat Barack Obama and ended up losing in a landslide. So the Republicans conduct an autopsy, decide they need to be more welcoming to women and minorities... and ended up with a crazier group candidate with anyone who could actually win a general election languishing in single digits. I have long said I would not worry about Donald Trump until they started to vote but now that we are about a week out I am starting to get worried because Ted Cruz, who is just Trump with tact, is right behind him. Then you have the Democrats who should look at the Republicans and think they can win in a slam dunk except they rigged their nomination so someone who may be indited before the election will win with no opposition except for some guy who can be described as your crazy Jewish uncle. Seriously, people want a second Clinton as much as they want a third Bush, not at all. Yet both parties seem intent on nominating someone no one else in the country wants as president. Hopefully Canada is more open to immigrants than Trump because there may be an influx no matter who wins in November

8. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (February 5): I have not been this excited for a film based solely on its title since Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Hopefully this one is better.

7. More Live Musicals on Television!: After three tries, NBC finally got their live musical right with the Wiz. No official word if there will be another but I sure they will announce another on during May sweeps in not earlier. And now Fox is getting into the live musical business with Grease Live (starring Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, and Carly Rae Jepsen) coming January 31 and they are righting one of my major gripes with the NBC version and including a live audience. Clueless ABC is also doing a musical this year but their musical version of Dirty Dancing staring Abigail Breslin will not be live. Also not live is another Fox event who is remaking Rocky Horror Picture Show set to air this fall. I have never been much of a fan of the movie and the recent casting of Victoria Justice, who acts about as well as she sings (not very) and a bunch of people I have not heard of does not get me any more excited.

6. Billions (January 17): Paul Giamatti comes to the small screen to shout at people on a weekly basis! Sure I have no idea what is going on as he tries to catch a hedge fund billionaire with ill gotten gain (Brody returns to Showtime!). I have a lengthier write up on the show coming around the time the show premieres.

5. La La Land (July 15): When NBC announced after the success of The Sound of Music Live! that a live musical would be a yearly event, one of my first fantasy castings was Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Guys and Dolls. Unfortunately that is not happening (yet) but the duo is starring in a musical (albeit not live) coming out this summer.

4. Angie Tribeca (25 Hour Marathon starring January 17 at 9:00): I have a full write up coming closer to the premiere date but let me say now that this is the funniest show on television.

3. X-Files (January, 24): Reboots can be tricky, but I am cautiously optimist for the new X-Files even though the two stars jumped ship long before the series originally ended and the mediocre at best movie from a couple years back. First off they are just dipping their toe back in the water with just six hours, including four stand alone episode and plenty of fan service with the return of the Smoking Man and the Lone Gunman (despite their demise). And even if it does end up sucking, hey, it is only six episodes.

2. The Suicide Squad (August 5): Have we finally reached superhero fatigue? The Fantastic Four reboot bombed, Ant- Man was the worst performing Marvel film. Yet by my count there are seven more comic book adaptations coming this year. Marvel has two more, DC is starting their cinematic universe with two films itself, while Fox, despite the recent disaster of the Fantastic Four, is going all in with their other Marvel owned property X-Men with three movies. To be honest there is only one that has really gotten me excited; I never cared much about the X-Men, I am two films behind on Marvel, and every passing Superman v Bat Man trailer makes me less excited; and that is The Suicide Squad. Okay I want to cut off the trailer when Jared Leto's Joker shows up because he looks horrible, but sign me up for everything else about it. Just give Margo Robbie her Oscar for Harley Quinn now. Or at the very least an MTV Movie Award.

1. The Olympics (starting August 5): Always one of my favorite events every other year and plenty of story lines for this year's game which will includes Rugby Sevens for the first time: can Micheal Phelps add it his gold medals record? Can Usain Bolt go back to back to back in the Mens 100 Yard Dash? Can the US Women Soccer team be the first team to win Gold the year after winning the World Cup? Will anyone die swimming in Rio's polluted river? Okay the modern Olympics would not be complete with controversies in the lead up and this year's big one is the rivers where they plan to host the outdoor swimming events were unsafe to swim in. A previous scandal was adverted when they announced that the organizers were going to charge for air conditioning but later reversed that decision.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The 100 Best Songs of 2015

1. First - Cold War Kids

2. Here - Alessia Cara

3. Leave a Trace - Chvrches

4. S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

5. Magnets - Disclosure featuring Lorde

6. Lonely Town - Brandon Flowers

7. Big Decisions - My Morning Jacket

8. Girl Crush - Little Big Town

9. Cocoon - Catfish and the Bottlemen

10. Coffee - Miguel

11. She Used to Be Mine - Sara Bareilles

12. Fool for Love - Lord Huron

13. Close Your Eyes (And Count to (Expletive Deleted)) - Run the Jewels featuring Zach De La Rocha

14. Work Song - Hozier

15. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse

16. Photograph - Ed Sheeran

17. Feel Right - Mark Ronson featuring Mystikal

18. Hold Back the River - James Bay

19. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) - Father John Misty

20. Your Type - Carly Rae Jepsen

21. Empty Heart - Grace Potter

22. Fight Song - Rachel Platten

23. Bright - Echosmith

24. Doing It - Charli XCX

25. Style - Taylor Swift

26. FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney

27. Let It Go - James Bay

28. Roll Up Your Sleeves - Meg Mac

29. Renegades - X Ambassadors

30. Nobody Love - Tori Kelly

31. Untouchable - Pusha T

32. One Time - Marian Hill

33. Electric Indigo - The Paper Kites

34. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart - Chris Cornell

35. Hello - Adele

36. Sagres - The Tallest Man on Earth

37. Weight of Love - The Black Keys

38. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez

39. Brother - Needtobreathe featuring Gavin DeGraw

40. OctaHate - Ryn Weaver

41. Walk the Wire - Boy and Bear

42. Coming Home - Leon Bridges

43. Freedom - Pharrell Williams

44. The Wolf - Mumford and Sons

45. Outta My Mind - The Arcs

46. Love 3X - ZZ Ward

47. Bad Blood - Ryan Adams

48. Forever Mine - Andra Day

49. Dreams - Beck

50. Bad Blood - Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar

51. Smoke Break - Carrie Underwood

52. First Kiss - Kid Rock

53. Stand By You - Rachel Platten

54. Heavy Is the Head - Zac Brown Band featuring Chris Cornell

55. What Kind of Man - Florence + the Machine

56. John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 - Keith Urban

57. Empty Threat - Chvrches

58. The Next Storm - Frank Turner

59. 1,2 1,2 - Raekwon featuring Snoop Dogg

60. Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd

61. Hold On Tight - Greg Holden

62. The Healing - Gary Clark Jr.

63. All Day - Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney

64. Still Want You - Brandon Flowers

65. One Last Time - Ariande Grande

66. Easy Rider - Action Bronson

67. Bloodstream (Arty Remix) - Ed Sheeran and Rudimental

68. Famous - Charlie XCX

69. The Wrong Year - The Decmberists

70. Take My Love - The Lone Bellow

71. Future People - Alabama Shakes

72. Strangers - Langhorne Slim and the Law

73. Things Happen - Dawes

74. Loving You Easy - Zac Brown Band

75. NWA - Miguel featuring Kurupt

76. Sound and Color - Alabama Shakes

77. How Could You Babe - Tobias Jesso Jr.

78. On To Something Good - Ashley Monroe

79. My Type - Saint Motel

80. Our Own House - MisterWives

81. Fell in the Sun - Big Grams

82. California Roll - Snoop Dogg featuring Stevie Wonder

83. Could Have Been Me - The Struts

84. Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes

85. Eyes Wide Open - Sabrina Carpenter

86. St Jude - Florence + the Machine

87. Mine - Phoebe Ryan

88. Delilah - Florence + the Machine

89. Focus - Ariana Grande

90. Good For You - Selena Gomez featuring A$AP Rocky

91. Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay

92. Put a Flower in Your Pocket - The Arcs

93. The Eye - Brandi Carlile

94. Biscuits - Kacey Musgraves

95. Numbers - Daughter

96. Inside Out - Spoon

97. Black Sun - Death Cab for Cutie

98. Sugar - Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

99. If You Ever Want To Be In Love - James Bay

100. Fatal Flaw - Titus Andronicus

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 2/11/15

Only One - Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney

FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney

Kanye West christened the new year with a surprised song that featuring instrumentation from Beatle Paul McCartney. The duo then pulled in Rihanna for their next collaboration on a song presumably for her album. I cannot say I was that impressed by either. Only One sounds like a more uplifting version of a song off of 808's an Heartbreaks (my least favorite Kanye record) while FourFiveSeconds sounds just like Stay but with a singular acoustic guitar instead of a piano. Meh to both.

Doing It - Charli XCX featuring Rita Ora

Charli XCX is this bizarrely fun mix of early nineties grunge mixed with late nineties bubblegum pop. Her first album was a bit of a mess in a British version of Ke$ha kind of way. She ironed thing out for her sophomore effort which is a vast improvement. One of the catchier songs on the bubblegum end of the spectrum was Doing It. I jut d not understand why she added Rita Ora to the track who ended up being an even more unnecessary part of the music video that the fat dude in a Speedo.

Lay Me Down - Sam Smith

When someone took Hozier's Take Me to Church and inserted images of homosexual Russians being hunted down and killed in stark black and white and uploaded it to YouTube; Hozier saw it and just made it the official music video. Watching the new Sam Smith video makes me think this pitch could had been perfect for the Hozier song had he had done a more proper music video for Take Me to Church. As for the actual Sam Smith song that does accompany the video, much like the rest of his songs, it is kind of a bore.

Straight Outta Compton Red Band Trailer

That intro is a little silly, but I guess for anyone under twenty-five, they may not even know that that dude from the Are We There Yet movies and the guy who sells Beats Headphones were actually rappers at one point. Usually I stay away from bio-flick (I would rather listen to the music or watch a documentary; surprisingly there was never a N.W.A. episode of Behind the Music though Dr. Dre and Ice Cube got individual ones), but I have to admit this trailer got me a little excited for the movie.

Friday, February 28, 2014

We’re All Self Conscious, I’m Just the First to Admit It

The College Dropout - Kanye West

It took me a minute to get into Kanye West. His first single was a mublecore track Through the Wire that he quite literally recorded with his mouth wired shut (hence the title of the song). He second single was a song called Slow Jamz and I am against rap slow jams (Bonita Applebum being the lone exception). Then I heard All Falls Down. That was a sit up and take notice moment. Base around an obscure Lauryn Hill hook (he could not clear the sample so that is Syleena Johnson singing) that loops throughout the whole song a self conscious Kanye debates himself on what he thinks other people want him to do and what he knows he should do.

By the time Jesus Walks dropped I was all in. The song is the rare rap song that sounds epic and timeless, something that could fill U2 type stadiums. Again, Kanye was rapping about an internal battle, but this time it was a war for his soul with faith on one side and the almighty dollar, through any means necessary on the other shoulder. Ten years later and it is still a tossup of which side won, but it was at that time I had to check out the whole album.

The College Dropout, March’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, almost plays out like a concept album on the doldrums of working your way through college. Starting off with We Don’t Care about the mid-twenties with not much to look forward to because “we weren’t supposed to make it past twenty-five.” That concept then end with School Spirit which stand tall amongst the other great tracks on the album. On the track Kanye says goodbye to school without the paper saying he is finished to a piano bounce (which is only enhanced by the like, “I got a Jones like Norah.”) It is a shame the song never got a video treatment or was released by a single.

Even on the first album, you could see Kanye push the boundaries; who else could get Jay-Z to appear on the same track as a spoken word artist (Never Let Me Down). Or get two of the deeper thinking rappers, Talib Kweli and Common, get down and a pick up chicks song (Get Em High). The guy even closed out the album recounting the road to the first album by having everyone involve give an oral history to a beat (Last Call). And right before that, it may be one of the sweetest rap song that managed to not come across as extremely corny (Family Business).

The College Dropout was a game changer that topped my list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the 00’s. It set up a long career. In a genre that has one of the smallest shelf lives, Kanye is still very relevant a decade later and even a bigger lightning rod for better or worse. I would argue that Yeezus would be for worst, but this still does not keep me from hoping a new Kanye West album drops this year, be it solo, another Watch the Throne, an uneven G.O.O.D. compilation, or something completely different that we will never see coming.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 1/21/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Bound 2 - Kanye West

Since there really are not any new music videos to talk about this year, I am going to mention some that I never got around to featuring last year. There really is nothing I can say about Bound 2 that was not already said in Bound 3 but I do have say something about one of the complaints of the video. I do not understand why people were disappointed that Charlie Wilson was not featured in the video. Charlie was smart to sit this one out. What did the critics want, Charlie riding in a sidecar? Would you want to be in that sidecar?

Who You Love - John Mayer featuring Katy Perry

"Yo John and Katy, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish, but me and Kim had the most uncomfortable video of all time. OF ALL TIME!!!"

Skinny Love – Birdy

Speaking of old songs, this dates back to 2011 when fourteen year old Birdy covered Skinny Love and became a hit throughout Europe and gained a cult following here in the states. Birdy just released her second album across the Atlantic a couple months ago but it looks like her first single is finally getting a push in America as she just released a new music video for the song. I have a feeling it may be due to another alternative mononymous foreign suburban teenager hitting it big last year (Birdy is six months older than Lorde).

Talking Dreams - Echosmith

Since there probably be not that much new music of not for the next couple weeks, January is a good time to go back and look for some music from the past year. I recently discover Echosmith, a family band much like the buzz of 2013 Haim. Their debut album was decent but seems to go a little too hard for the Warped Tour power-pop where the most interesting tracks are the songs that do not fit that sub-genre very much. It seems like they are pushing Cool Kids as the single probably because outcast lyrics have been big on radio lately. My favorite song off the album is the title track Talking Dreams. The video gets bonus points for the croquet and if there were an MTV today to put this video in heavy rotation, those close up shots at the end of the lead singer could have made her this millennium’s Suzanna Hoffs. Echosmith seems like one of those bands that could be a lot more interesting on their second or third album when they out grown the power pop sound. That is if they can get to a third album in today’s musical climate where you can get dropped after one underperforming album. Granted if that happens, the singer could always go on The Voice because the show loves female Warped Tour veterans.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The 9th Green's Reader's Favorite Songs of 2013

Before I get to my favorite songs of the year, I am turning the site over to you that submitted your favorites of the past twelve months and after throwing them into my patent pending algorithm, this is the list that was outputted.

1. Get Lucky - Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams

2. Royals - Lorde

3. Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

4. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake

5. Roar - Katy Perry

6. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton

7. Black Skinhead - Kanye West

8. Thrift Shop - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz

9. New Slaves - Kanye West

10. Song For Zula - Phosphorescent

11. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons

12. Pompeii - Bad Blood - Bastille

13. Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk featuring Nate Ruess

14. The Wire - Haim

15. Follow Your Arrow - Kacey Musgraves

16. Wake Me Up - Avicii

17. Falling - Haim

18. When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars

19. Man - Neko Case

20. Q.U.E.E.N. - Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu

21. Reflektor - Arcade Fire

22. Play by Play - Autre Ne Veut

23. Wakin On a Pretty Day - Kurt Vile

24. Love Me Again - John Newman

25. Hannah Hunt – Vampire Weekend

Friday, December 27, 2013

The 25 Best Mash-Ups of 2013

Click on the mash-up name to be taken to YouTube or SoundCload where you can listen to them (and in some cases download). Click on the names of the orginal songs to download them via iTunes.

1. Personal Yeezus – Chambaland
Kanye West (Black Skinhead) vs. Depeche Mode (Personal Jesus)

2. A Man’s Game of Thrones World – Djrozroz
James Brown (It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World) vs. Ramin Djawadi (Main Title to Game of Thrones)

3. Mit Freaudlichen Gruben, Rosana – Lup
Wax (Rosana) vs. B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams (Airplanes) vs. Die Fantastischen Vier (some weird German song) vs. Eminem (My Name Is) vs. Missy Elliott (Get Ur Freak On)

4. Polly G – Phil RetroSpector
Nirvana (Polly) vs. Bon Iver (Blood Bank) vs. Wings (Band On the Run)

5. Adornocene – The Hood Internet
Holocene (Holocene) vs. Adorn (Adorn)

6. Hey Jude, We Major / More Popular than Jesus – Tutanhamun Brothers
The Beatles (Hey Jude) vs. Kanye West featuring Nas and Really Doe (We Major)

7. Tommy’s Royal Christmas – DJ Schmolli
The Who (Christmas) vs. Lorde (Royals)

8. Blurred Mercy – DJ Y alias JY
Duffy (Mercy) vs. Robin Thicke (Blurred Lines)

9. Warriors of the World Care About Us – DJ Schmolli
Michael Jackson (They Don't Care About Us) vs. Manowar (Warriors of the World United)

10. The United States of Pop (Livin’ the Dream) – DJ Earworm

11. City Down Under – Mighty Mike
Men at Work (Down Under) vs. M83 (Midnight City)

12. The Royals From Liverpool – MashMike
Lorde (Royals) vs. The Beatles (Come Together)

13. Wake Up, Mary! – MashMike
Creedence Clearwater Revivial (Proud Mary) vs. Avicii (Wake Me Up)

14. Don’t Worry Be Perfect – DJ BC
CL Smooth and Skyzoo (Perfect Timing (Main)) vs. Bobby McFerrin (Don't Worry, Be Happy)

15. Lonely Boy in the Wild – Mighty Mike
The Black Keys (Lonely Boy) vs. Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean (No Church in the Wild)

16. Run.Walk.Cruise – GaraGara
Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo (On The Run) vs. Smokey Robinson (Cruisin') vs. Dire Straits (Walk of Life)

17. Call Me a Hole – pomDeter
Nine Inch Nails (Head Like a Hole) vs. Carly Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe)

18. Under Treasure – The White Panda
Queen and David Bowie (Under Pressure) vs. Bruno Mars (Treasure)

19. Love Diamonds Theme – DeeM
Rihanna (Diamonds) vs. Barry White (Love's Theme)

20. Lose Yourself to Dance (I Can’t) – DJ Y alias JY
Genesis (I Can't Dance) vs. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams (Lose Yourself to Dance)

21. Wake up Down Under – Kill mR DJ
Men at Work (Down Under) vs. Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc (Wake Me Up)

22. Heaven on Fire – DJ BootOX
Kings of Leon (Sex On Fire) vs. Bruno Mars (Locked Out of Heaven)

23. Roar of Faith – Mighty Mike
Katy Perry (Roar) vs. George Michael (Faith)

24. Red Hot Wonder – Addictive TV
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Give It Away) vs. Stevie Wonder (Superstition)

25. Roar (The Brave Radio Edit) – MixmstrStel
Katy Perry (Roar) vs. Sara Bareilles (Brave)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 7/24/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Black Skinhead – Kanye West

Okay, the above video is just Kanye West’s performance from Saturday Night Live a couple months ago because the actual music video is not embeddable. And if you thought Yeezus was inaccessible, the music video is even harder to get into. The rapper posted the interactive on except when I went there, it was only a picture of what looked to be a picture of three black dudes in black KKK hoods. After about five minutes of nothing I figured maybe Chrome was the problem and dusted off Internet Explorer which had a launch button. But when I clicked on it, the music started playing, but there was no video. Supposedly the interacted video can “synched, posted and shared” so videos will probably pop up on YouTube any minute now (and probably already have by the time you have read this) and I may check a few up is I still care by then.

Wasting All These Tears - Cassadee Pope

It was a big week for The Voice last week as the most recent winner Danielle Bradberydropped her first single just days before season three winner Cassadee Pope released her first country music video. Both songs are your typical boring pop-country fare (Pope's is just a pop-rock song with a banjo and whiskey soaked intro) that will probably have minor success on country radio but not interesting enough to cross over unless The Voice audience gets curious about them (maybe Blake should have gotten his wife Miranda Lambert to help write something more interesting). I would slightly give Danielle the first round, but neither song is as good as Inventing Shadows (speaking of Dia Frampton, she just released a song via YouTube called Footsteps which is better than anything on her first solo album and certainly better than the above two songs).

Slow Down - Selena Gomez

On her previous albums, Selena Gomez songs ranged from catchy to non-offensive and even the first single off her new album falls within that catchy category. The rest of Stars Dance really ranges between annoying to painfully bad and the new single definitely falls somewhere on that spectrum (this will probably serve as my official review of Stars Dance). At least Selena had the wherewithal to leave Spring Breakers half way through the movie. Maybe she should stick to acting or at the very least bring back The Scene.

Sky High – Ben Folds Five

When can I get Ben Folds Five to play in my living room? Granted I would probably request A Song for the Dumped and end up trashing my own place so it may be for the best if they do not.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Monster Is About to Come Alive Again

Yeezus - Kanye West

When you are dealing with a genius, you are going to have to put up with some eccentricities, be it Prince changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol or Van Gough cutting his ear off. Then there is the case of Kanye West. His trilogy school themed albums stand up against the first three albums of any artists ever. But after Graduation, West’s mother died and he broke up with his longtime girlfriend and instead on continue his college esthetics of those first three albums, he instead made an emo-rap album more depressing than any of the horrible shoe gazing of the time.

It was also around this time when even I as one of Kanye’s most ardent defenders was having trouble sticking up for the guy after stunts like the Taylor Swift incident and the ill-timed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people comment.” But after his emo opus, Kanye was back on point with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne and even Cruel Summer had a couple hot tracks (if you are able to edit out Big Shawn). Apparently more accessible Kanye albums come in three because out next is Yeezus which one Rolling Stone writer said “makes Radiohead's Kid a look like Bruno Mars by comparison.” I believe he meant it like a compliment, but this listener did not take it that way.

Like most people, my first experience with Yeezus, was when West performed New Slaves and Black Skinheads on Saturday Night Live, not really the best idea considering the show’s legendary poor audio for musical guest, but considering the lo-fi feeling of the songs, it actually might have been appropriate. Based on the two songs alone, it sounded like he was trading in the annoying emo rock of the 00’s that he aped on 808’s and Heartbreaks for an even more darker time period with the new wave sound of the early eighties with bands like Joy Division.

As it turned out, those two songs were some of the most “musical” songs on the album Yeezus instead starts off with On Sight which sounds like it samples some Artari games from the eighties. And most of the songs follow that sparse industrial that throws in even weirder effect like the screaming in I Am a God or the weird almost air-horn distortion in Hold My Liqour, does turn into this psychedelic trip at the end that sounds like a hip-hop Pink Floyd (Guilt Trip also has a trippy Pink Floyd feel to it).

Yet the most surprising song on the album is the closer Bound 2 which musically sounds like classic Kanye with its sped up soul sample (looking back this was foreshadowed with snippets in On Sight and at the end of New Slave) but he still sounds as angry as he does on the rest of the album and some dark synthesizers seep through by the end of the song. I am not sure if the ending means that things are not as bad as the first nine tracks on Yeezus would suggest or it itself suggest on his next album Kanye will revisit his backpacking days. Either way, rumors suggest we will learn that answer sooner than later be it Watch the Throne II or Cruel Winter as soon as by the end of this year.

Song to Download – Bound 2

Yeezus gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2013

It has not been a very good year for music. If you think about this time last year we had Fun. and Gotye blowing up while The Lumineers were still bubbling up. This year: nothing. There is not even anything this year as annoyingly catchy as Call Me Maybe (sorry Macklemore). It is probably not a good sign that were are almost halfway through the year and my personal favorite album so far was a traditional country album (Kacey Musgraves debut). Hopefully that will change soon, possibly as early as tomorrow as there are a few worth wild albums coming our way in the second half of 2013. Unfortunately most of them are currently listed under the dreaded TBD which usually means we will not get them until around Christmas. Here are five or six albums that we should hear before the leaves start turning.

1. The Civil WarsThe Civil Wars (August 6): The duo put out one of the best debut albums this decade but a couple months ago they canceled their tour due to “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” They were not breaking but it was ominous nonetheless. But as Fleetwood Mac showed “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” can lead to great music. You could not claim anything on their debut to be cheerful, but first single The One That Got Away (as in I wish you were the one that got away) actually sound darker than their first batch of songs. Who knows if we will ever get a third album (The Mac did manage to release six after Rumours), but the second one is shaping up nicely.

2. From Here to Now to YouJack Johnson (September 17): Jack got some early promotion for the new album when he filled in as the headliner for a last minute cancellation by Mumford and Sons. First single I Got You is another laid back acoustic, sitting on the deck at the end of the day song that Johnson excels at. It is too bad we will have to wait until the end of the summer to hear most of the rest of the album.

3. The Blessed UnrestThe Blessed Unrest - Sara Bareilles (July 16): I am not totally sold on the first single Brave which was co-written with one of the dudes from Fun, but Sara’s first two album s were solid, so hopefully there are better things to come on her third.

4. YeezusKanye West (Tomorrow): This would have been number one on my list, and then I heard Kanye perform two songs on Saturday Night Live and got a horrible 808's and Heartbreaks flashbacks. But instead of the crappy emo and auto-tune drenched songs inspired by the mope rock of last decade, New Slave and Black Skinhead sounded like Kanye was listening to way too much Joy Division and other moody new wave acts of the early eighties. Not a very good first impressions. Hopefully the rest of the album is much better.

5. Haim / Churchill (TBD): Neither new band has had the bust out moment that Gotye or Fun had last year, but both released solid four song EPs over the past year and are both are aiming at a full length debut later this year that hopefully live up to the early hype building around both bands.

And here are the rest of the albums worth at least one stream on Spotify coming your way this summer. Click on the album name to pre-order the album on Amazon or the artist’s name to go to their iTunes page.

More LightPrimal Scream

June 25
Love Is the Future – John Legend
Vh1 StorytellersAlicia Keys
One True VineMavis Staples
Moonlander - Stone Gossard
Sound The AlarmBooker T.

July 4
Magna Carta Holy Grail - Jay-Z

July 9
Dont Look DownSkylar Grey
My Name Is – Pusha T

July 16
Last of the Great PretendersMatt Nathanson
Where Does This Door GoMayer Hawthorne
AmelitaCourt Yard Hounds
ElectricPet Shop Boys
Lickety SplitRobert Randolph & The Family Band
Walk Through Exits OnlyPhilip H. Anselmo and The Illegals
White Teeth, Black ThoughtsCherry Poppin' Daddies
One – Sarah Miles

July 23
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic ZerosEdward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Stars DanceSelena Gomez
A New Era Begins – Mariah Carey

July 30
In a World Like This – Michael Franti & Spearhead

August 6
Give The People What They WantSharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

August 13
Paradise Valley - John Mayer

August 27
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right ActionFranz Ferdinand
Electric Slave – Black Joe Lewis
Age Against the Machine – Goodie Mob

Mechanical Bull – Kings of Leon
Wise Up GhostElvis Costello and The Roots
The Last ShipSting
New Constellations – Toad the Wet Sprocket
Hesitation MarksNine Inch Nails
Spreading Rumours – Grouplove
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love YouNeko Case

Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song – Amos Lee

& Then You Shoot Your Cousin – The Roots
The Last Zulu – Q-Tip
Speak a Little Louder – Diane Birch
The Electric Lady – Janelle Monáe
A Better Tomorrow – Wu-Tang Clan
The Diving Board – Elton John
James River - D'Angelo
Girl Power – Cee Lo Green
Fly International Luxurious – Raekwon
Fading West – Switchfoot
Crystal Meth – Method Man
Blackout 3 – Method Man & Redman
Matangi – M.I.A.
Broken – Nelly Furtado
Street King Immortal – 50 Cent
All Over the Place - Avril Lavigne
Arcade Fire
The Black Keys
Broken Bells
Foster the People
Lauryn Hill
Pearl Jam

And of course, let me end with the obligatory this may be the season we finally get to hear Detox by Dr. Dre.