“Shame when trade magazines turn tabloid,” tweetedKaty Perry last night, likely in response to The Hollywood Reporter’s June cover story about her. Pegged loosely to the release of her 3-D concert-umentary Katy Perry: Part of Me (opening July 5), the story looks back on her rise to fame and finds a savvy star (“She knows her fan base so well, and her business acumen is incredible”) with a winning vision, and a killer work ethic. Mostly, it’s flattering. Though as her aggravated tweet suggests, the story occasionally strays from the shop talk when they ask about her faith, her family, and her estrangement from Russell Brand. And now Katy’s feeling twisted!
And so, putting ourselves into Katy Perry’s sparkly and probably candy colored shoes:
The top five parts most cringeworthy parts from THR‘s “Katy Perry: Confessions of a Pop Princess:”
Before it even begins, the story compares her public split with Russell Brand to Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries‘ much questioned split. Who would want that? “Nobody knows what really happened except the two people who are in it.” It’s June 6, and Katy Perry is talking about Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to NBA up-and-comer Kris Humphries, unsure where her empathy lies with regard to the media-saturated spectacle of the split — or whether she feels any at all.”
Labeling her a “survivor of her own short-live whirlwind romance gone wrong,” they suggest that “differences of intellect” may have fueled the divorce. I am not sure if they are trying to imply that Perry is intellectually superior to Brand or vice versa, but I can’t imagine it’s flattering to be called dumb or to be told the person you once loved was dumb. Ouch!
Onward with his release week blitz, Justin Bieber stopped by David Letterman last night to show off his new “Believe” tattoo and to perform “Boyfriend.” Bieber and Letterman have good rapport. Letterman showed concern for Biebs’ burgeoning man. “Honestly,” he asks Bieber while trying to rub off the “How does that help the way you look?” To which Bieber mumbled antogonistically, “grandpa…”
As for his performans, Justin still seems to be lip-synching the hook and chorus. Has his vocal range changed too much to hit those notes? He is enthusastic with his whisper-rapping and slick dancing. Backed by a full band and a troupe of dancers, this was definitely more amped-up and swagged-out than performances past. Which was good because, unlike most of his appearances this pastweek, there wasn’t an audience of teary girls to bring the energy.
While watching the Canada’s MuchMusic Video Awards the other night, we wondered if Carly Rae Jepsen might be in danger of running herself into a rut. That night, she took home three awards and was on stage many more times than that. She performed “Call Me Maybe” and sounded great, and then she joined Flo Rida for “Wild Ones” and sounded great again. For many of us, though, that was a first chance to hear her sing something besides “Call Me Maybe,” and we sort of wished she could have tried something new so we could really see what she’s got.
Well, today we get our wish: here’s a new song that features Carly Rae Jepsen that is not named “Call Me Maybe”!
We’ve heard plenty from Lily Allen since she releasedIt’s Not Me, It’s You in 2009, but not very much of it was music-related, because that, the big mouth songstress said, she was done with. Except apparently she’s not.
Last night Allen announced on Twitter that she is back in the studio, thus ending her self-imposed hiatus. “you will be pleased to know that i am currently in the f****** studio with [It’s Not Me, It’s You producer] @GregKurstin so SHUT UP PETER!” she wrote, countering a from the site PopJustice about her paused career and breaking the news in one tweet. “No big deal really,” she clarified. “im just throwing shit at the wall and seeing if anything sticks.” But for eager fans, any news of new music is good news enough.
Allen has kept plenty busy in her break from music: she launched a clothing rental store with her sister; started her own record label, a Sony imprint called In the Name Of (Brooklyn’s Cults were her first signee); and, after suffering through several very public miscarriages, she gave birth to her first child, Ethel Mary.
Music sounds better in the summer, everyone knows this. It gets bigger, so we can bang it from our cars; and other times it gets weirder, because the sun’s got us spinning anyways. Most of all, the promise of Labor Day —when we can put away our “Call Me Maybes” with our white pants— begs repeat listening. Thusly, if you need me, I’ll be listening to one of these Song Of The Summer this summer:
NOMINATION: Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend” EXPLANATION: So what if it’s not really “chilling by the fire while we’re eating fondue” season? There is nothing this season so sweet as this falsetto bridge “I like to be everything you want / hey girl let me talk to you.” While being a little amateurish, his breathy rapping recalls the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whistle Song” in all the right ways; and the Justin Timberlake-like guitar picked chorus isn’t so bad, either. Read more…
Speaking with DJ Funkmaster Flex last night on New York City radio station Hot 97, Clipse and G.O.O.D. Music rapper Pusha T let it slip that Cruel Summer — the G.O.O.D. Music all-star compilation that Kanye West has been teasing since last fall — is set to drop later this summer. “August 7, G.O.O.D. Music compliation coming August 7,” he said. “So fitting, right? Cruel! Stifling!” Pusha, tell us more!
Be warned that, as we learned last summer with Watch the Throne, these sorts of album releases don’t always go as planned. That said, Kanye has been teasing this album since last fall, and the lead single “Mercy” has seen heavy-radio rotation already this summer. A summer without the rest of Cruel Summer would be cruel indeed.
Pusha also used the call to address rumors of a Clipse split (“We definitely coming back with another Clipse album”), and he also called “Ghoulish,” that Lil Wayne’s dis track, “trash.”
Michael Kiwanuka swung by the Late Show with David Letterman last night to share with the late night audience the indelible talent that we were so lucky to have experienced live last week. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a soft-playing backing band, the British singer performed the doleful “I’m Getting Ready.” With a voice soft and soulful beyond its 24-years, watching this made us wish that Kiwanuka would sing us to sleep everynight.
And we suspect we are not alone in that longing. For one, John Mayer – surely a man in the singing song/writing business worth wooing – was impressed. Or, rather, he was “dumbfounded.” “What a voice. What a song. What a vibe. What a soul. What a message,” he wrote breathlessly (or as breathlessly as one can write) on his Tumblr, thusly deeming Kiwanuka “a revelation.” Who are we to disagree?
A$AP ROCKY WILL PLAY JFK IN LANA DEL REY AKA A$AP JACKIE O’S “NATIONAL ANTHEM” VIDEO Not so sure about this plan? “People are going to get it in three years, and that’s the whole purpose of it,” he assures. [HipHopDX]
With or without the facepaint, Cincinnati indie-rockers Walk the Moon‘s “Anna Sun” sounds like a party. More specifically, the sort of party we want to drive us into the melting 90-degree days that are upon us. The lead single off their eponymous new album —which hit shelves yesterday— – “Anna Sun” takes its name from a professor at Kenyon College who was inspiring, lead singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca tells us, and it tells a story about growing up. The song mourns a race lost, a house falling apart, an a time when summer could erase it all. And then, over sun-drenched synths, the chorus signals a charge regardless. “We’re gonna rattle this ghost town,” Petricca sings in a falsetto that recalls the Killers’ Brandon Flowers. And “Anna Sun” is going to rattle our summer.
In the video for “Anna Sun,” Walk the Moon used facepaint to give the project a feeling they describe as “Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, Neverland sort of vibe.” Forever after, though, it’s like the paint hasn’t quite washed off. Instead, it’s kind of become their thing. “We tried to recreate the video in a live setting, and it was just so much fun that we did it again and people started coming to shows in facepaint,” Petricca says, warning also that unknowing concert-goers might get a pre-show, endoctrinating slather. “It’s kind of a thing to get you energized and ready to go,” explained bassist Kevin Ray.
Despite performing on the Late Show With David Letterman AND in front of a sold-out crowd at New York City’s Mercury Lounge last night, these four Ohio boys showed up to our Times Square offices bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And soon as the driving beat of “Anna Sun” hit, we fell immediately into the performance, which was pared-down slightly from the album version — less synth, more thump, all the same soaring energy. “We want it to be fun,” Petricca says. “We want the record to be a party as much as the concert is.” The facepaint may be optional, but the fun? That’s inescapable. Read more…