Bob Lefsetz may not have good music industry sense, but he sure has a good memory for personal feuds. The self-styled “First in Music Analysis” (who last week wrote that Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin didn’t have any online word of mouth) took a shot at Lily Allen in September 2009 after she decried filesharing on her myspace blog. Believing Allen’s complaints to actually be about Allen’s own relative lack of success in the United States, Lefsetz proceeded to criticize both her artistry and what he believed was an expectation of success due to birthright.
Last night Lefsetz rekindled the feud when Allen tweeted, “Everyone watch Case Histories on BBC1, my mummy produced it.” He fired back:
Welcome to Week Two of VH1’s Song of the Summer countdown. Each and every Monday from now until Labor Day, we’ll be utilizing today’s most advanced data collection techniques Microsoft Excel to chart the competition of what will become THE song that people will think of when they remember the summer of 2011.
Last week, Adele‘s monster smash, “Rolling In The Deep,” captured the top spot, scoring 87 of a possible 100 points. (For a reminder on how the scoring system works, click here.) Somehow, the English songbird managed to increase her stranglehold on the #1 spot in this countdown this week, racking up 91 (!!!) points and proving that no matter what medium people use to consume music these days, they’re using it to listen to Adele.
The NSFW video for Kanye West‘s feature-packed single “Monster” premiered on kanyewest.com yesterday, largely unchanged from what was seen in the unfinished cut that surfaced five months ago. One notable addition: the disclaimer “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any groups of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.”
What a joke! The song remains one of the highlights of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but every music video is an “art piece”?some just happen to be more self-conscious about it?and interpretation is the task and privilege of the viewer, not the creator. Besides which, this disclaimer, preceding six minutes of sexualized “dead” models, is the most absurd non-apology for the treatment of women since R. Kelly’s “When you say ‘teenage,’ how old are we talking?” in Tour?’s interview with him on BET.
The tracks’ guests have varying levels of complicity in Kanye’s sexist aesthetics. Rick Ross portrays some sort of serial killer, complete with chainsaw, whose victims just so happen to be female models. Jay-Z raps in the foreground while a nude model is half-buried under the cushions of a couch in the background. Nicki Minaj (who, musically, steals the show on this track) portrays one of her personalities mildly torturing another of her personalities. But mainly this is Kanye’s problem.
Considering the appearance of zombies in the video (and his self-proclaimed idolatry of Michael Jackson), we have a pretty good idea of where Kanye got the idea for a disclaimer, but it goes without saying that “Monster” is no “Thriller.”
Just six weeks ago we provided a primer to Cheryl Cole, the least-known of the announced judges of Fox’s forthcoming Simon Cowell-helmed reality singing show X-Factor, and ever since there’s been a roller-coaster of gossip about drama behind the scenes. Just a month after joining the show (and two weeks after the show’s first auditions), Cole was allegedly replaced as a judge by X-Factor host Nicole Scherzinger. Five days later, negotiations for Cole’s return to the UK version of X-Factoralso fell through. But Fox and X-Factor producers Fremantle Media and Syco TV only today announced Cole’s departure from the American edition, set to launch this fall.
Coldplay headlined Day 2 of Germany’s three-day Rock am Ring Festival this weekend, by playing a number of songs from their forthcoming LP, including their potential Song of the Summer anthem, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” and the above “Hurts Like Heaven,” featuring a New Order-esque guitar riff. The festival was streamed on German TV station Eins Plus, and inevitably ended up on YouTube. Below are the three other new songs, in descending order of how much we like them:
Later in the show Lupe Fiasco and Trey Songz performed a two-song medley: performing not only their collaboration “Out of My Head” (Lupe’s latest single) together live for the first time, but also the earlier Lupe single “The Show Goes On,” with Trey Songz handily supplying JR Get Money‘s “Float On” chorus.
Moby‘s comments last week about what types of pop are and aren’t music isn’t the first time he’s taken shots at other artists. At the 2001 Grammy Awards he calledEminem ”a racist, a homophobe, and a misogynist.” But he’s not the only artist who’s feuded over art (and, implicitly, integrity). Here are the five most notable feuds of the last 20 years.
FEUD:Nirvana vs. Guns N’ Roses HOW IT STARTED: Nirvana never liked the lyrical misogyny and homophobia of Guns N’ Roses, but the feud officially got underway when Nirvana turned down an offer to open for the band on tour. KEY NIRVANA PULLQUOTE:Kurt Cobain, interviewed by Kevin Allman in the February 1992 issue of The Advocate:
I can’t even waste my time on that band, because they’re so obviously pathetic and untalented. I used to think that everything in the mainstream pop world was crap, but now that some underground bands have been signed with majors, I take Guns N’ Roses as more of an offense. I have to look into it more: They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.
KEY GUNS ‘N’ ROSES PULLQUOTE:Axl Rose, on stage in Seattle: “Nirvana would rather stay home and shoot drugs with their bitch wives than tour with us.” WINNER: At the time, Nirvana by a mile, but as time has gone on and Cobain-as-icon has lost some of its political edge, it’s now closer to a draw. Read more…
What is going to be the 2011 Song of the Summer? I honestly have no idea! I’m neither a prognosticator nor a music critic, but rather, I’m simply a fan. My colleagues Nick Minichino, Lacey Seidman and Jim Shearer have already weighed in with their thoughts on which songs will reign supreme (Burrito Supreme!) this summer, but all that I can guarantee about my three picks is that I will be listening to these a lot this summer. Either way, enjoy!
“Helena Beat,” their second single off Torches, is a synthy indie pop pleaser that will appeal to fans of MGMT. I will confess that I’m not entirely sure what the song is about, and lead singer Mark Foster‘s distinctively high-pitched vocals are sometimes a smidge tricky to decipher, but each and every time I hear this song, I can’t help but to tap my toes. Maybe it’s the washes of sound that roll through the track, maybe it’s the way the progression of the synth line builds, I’m not sure, but this song just feels like summer to me.
Now it turns out that her condition has not improved sufficiently to continue the tour at all. Her plan to resume in San Francisco tomorrow night was derailed by bad news from a consultation with an otolaryngologist in Los Angeles. We wish her the best for a quick recovery.
Meet the new Paramore, (almost) same as the old Paramore. “Monster,” from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, is the first studio recording from the band since guitarist and drummer brothers Josh and Zac Farro made their dramatic exit in December. Until now, the remaining trio has politely but firmly stood by as the dust from their blowup settles.
“Monster” is a different story altogether. Lyricist and vocalist Hayley Williams plays a lot with pronouns in the song, but her sights are almost definitely set on Josh Farro?as her ex-boyfriend, yes, but primarily as her ex-bandmate. A strongly implied undercurrent of the Farros’ departure has been theological disagreement. All the band members identify as devout Christians, but Josh Farro’s faith carries with it an evangelical certainty, whereas Williams’s few statements on the subject have been less conservative (for lack of a better word). Brand New Eyes was proof that the band could stand up to romantic conflict, but apparently they were ultimately religiously irreconcilable. (Williams’ lyrics include the narrator’s acceptance of, and her subject’s rejection of, a state of “not always knowing the answers.”) All of that said, the comparatively simple drumming on the song proves that despite ill feelings, Josh’s brother Zac, at least, will be missed by fans.
Paramore fans: does the song hold up to old Paramore? (Dare we put it in the running for Song of the Summer?) Paramore haters: is this any better or worse? Let us know in the comments!