You’ve probably heard mention of the Weeknd in the past year, and definitely if you get your music from the internet or have an eye on R&B. The gloomy cloud that’s hanging over the genre (see: Usher‘s “Climax”) might have originated with him, while his jagged, falsetto-ed recollections of the high life have become typical for stars like Drake. In 2011, he released three critically acclaimed mixtapes for free through his Tumblr, earning himself a record deal and a clutch of powerful friends. This week, those three tapes have been remastered and repacked as Trilogy, and early forecasts have it debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard charts next week (trailing, who else but One Direction). Who is this shady game changer with an earthly voice and good internet game?
This week’s Friday Face-Off is between Kanye West and Britney Spears because they both have futuristic-theme music videos for their respective “Stronger” tracks. Plus, when you think about it, aren’t Britney and Kanye are basically the same person? Hear me out before deafening me with a chorus of “haah?!” and pelting me with Team Britney, B**** T-Shirts. Both are one-name-recognizable lightening rods for controversy, and despite head-shaving, crotch flashing (yes, both) and speaking before thinking too many times to count, they’ve remained musical juggernauts. Mind explosion, right? Now you tell us whose “Stronger” dominates.
Yesterday we had one of those cool days that makes our job extra awesome. We were invited to a Beverly Hills hotel to try out the new Myspace with a handful of other music, entertainment and tech journalists. We then sat down with CEO Tim Vanderhook, COO Chris Vanderhook (yes, they’re bros) and VIP/Myspace dude Justin Timberlake and quizzed them on the rebirth of 1996’s most popular social media site.
We’ll have a more in-depth review of the new Myspace later today (which is shiny and new and surprisingly, quite cool and fun to use), but first, some interesting moments from Justin, who spoke passionately about what he believes the site can offer to artists across a multitude of platforms. He also sorta addressed that “When is he gonna put out new music?!” question that’s been on everyone’s lips for the past five years.
You heard me correctly. Despite the haters (and, boy, do they come out in droves for any Christina Aguilera-related event), I am rather enjoying Christina’s newest effort. Lotus follows Christina’s first flop, Bionic, which so confusing followed the two-disc Back To Basics — which single handedly allowed her to hit the top of the chart with the likes of “Dirty” and let her vocals shine with songs like “Save Me From Myself”. The aforementioned flop, Bionic, seemed to come out of nowhere and while die-hard Xtina fans stayed by her side, the rest of us were baffled by Bionic‘s lack. “If you don’t like it, f*** you,” she sang on “Not Myself Tonight”, a boast perhaps unvalidated by the rest of the album.
But past is past, and after Christina joined the ranks of Cee-Lo, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton (three good influences!) on NBC’s The Voice, it felt like everyone thought that boost of celebrity would force her newest album Lotus to be as good as we all hoped it would be when it hit stores (and streams) this week.
Busy? Which tracks should you really listen to? Here:
Few movies in recent memory have been so good at integrating popular music into their soundtracks as the Twilight saga has been. The soundtracks — complete with up-and-comers like Sea Wolf as well as old pro’s like Thom Yorke — have true and through become a part of the vampire love story that has so gripped America’s teenagers (and, you know, us) by the heart. And so with the Saga drawing to a close tonight, we thought we would revisit some of our favorite musical moments from throughout the series.
Quick! Hit play before this disappears. The long-awaited Rihanna and Chris Brown duet has leaked its way onto YouTube and with confirming previous evidence, that it is indeed good. Playing off Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, the two extract the hook “Ain’t nobody’s business but mine and my baby’s”, wrapping it around an infectious dance beat. Unlike “The Way You Make Me Feel”, however, these two are way past the wooing stage. Chris and Rihanna take turns spitting love odes for each other, even offering “Let’s make out in this Lexus” — an uncomfortable phrasing considering the very real life situation the two were in that took place in the front seat of Chris’ car in 2009.
History aside, the song speaks for itself and it’s a good one. Check it out before it possibly gets whisked off the web til next week.
“Are you ready to get DRUNK?” says Rihanna on the plane’s intercom. Yes, yes we are. But only if you join us, RiRi!
Day One of Rihanna‘s 777 world tour has been nothing short of badass: flowing drinks, screaming fans and of course, the Bajan princess herself. But it’s only JUST BEGUN. With the help of a good adrenaline rush (and some ibuprofen) we survived our first day in the life of a true rock star and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Matter of fact, we’ll let the pictures do the honors…
Game is not here to appease critics. He’s not interested in making people comfortable with his forthcoming album, Jesus Piece. And if anyone was expecting him to release an apology for the controversial album art, sorry, it’s just not going to happen. Read more…
Adam Lambert left fabulous glamor all over the stage in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday night. Dressed in all black–leather pants, tank top and vest–Lambert energetically performed song after song from Trespassing for the sold out show. He surprised fans with a cover of Lenny Kravitz‘s “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” His powerful voice sent the crowd into a screaming frenzy. Read more…
I’m the kind of person that needs to make comparisons. It’s probably annoying to other people, but I need to just have a frame of reference for some things, so I’m going to say this, and then let you all agree or tear it apart: last night on Nashville, while watching Avery (Jonathan Jackson) perform the song, “Kiss” — at last, a solo on this show that is really, really great! — at the club where he was being scouted/seduced, I got a little bummed out that he wouldn’t be portraying Jeff Buckley in the upcoming biopic, Greetings From Tim Buckley. I don’t doubt Penn Badgley will do a decent job in the role (OR DO I?) but watching Jackson finally get some screen time of his own to showcase his voice was an unexpected pleasure, and if you combine the sweet desperation in his voice with the intensity behind his up-to-no-good eyes, I feel like I’d rather hear him sing Buckley’s songs and play that tortured soul than Badgely. But we don’t need him typecast as the tortured soul, Avery emanates enough of that to last a career to be honest, and he’s on my bad side now that he’s slept with that no-good Music City cougar, Marilyn Rhodes. (Music City Cougars! Coming this fall to CMT!)
(Off topic, the character bio for Avery reads “Avery’s a dead sexy East Nashville hipster with tons of talent—and the swagger to match.” Now that I’ve cut and pasted that, let’s never speak of it again.) Read more…