Here’s some music that’ll make your mid-week blues feel more like end-of-week joy. Swedish duo Icona Pop, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, have shared a stream of their newest EP, Iconic, with the web and it if played correctly (all the way through) it should cure your weekday woes. Joining the irritable pop anthem, “I Love It“, five other tracks prove Icona Pop to be consistent with their musical heritage (Swedes trulymake the bestpop) and confirming their “iconic” band name. Melodic synths, thumping drums, choruses perfect for screaming sing-alongs: It’s like ABBA for 2012, if you ask me. (And I am not referring to the A*Teens.)
The best part about an EP? It’s short, and exactly the length time it should take to get ready for a night out.
Once Kaleidoscope Dream dropped the comparisons began. Not to jump on the bandwagon that is certain to continue, but Miguel channeled Prince in his performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Instead of performing the obvious “Adorn” or “Do You” Miguel went with the guitar-heavy rock-ish track “The Thrill.” The garage rock sound of the song allowed for an energized Miguel to actually do more than stand on the stage and sing. Read more…
These are strange times. It used to be that when a band broke up, you could no longer see them live. These days, however, it seems every rock band that has ever existed, from the biggest names in rock to the most obscure of punk groups, is back on the road. Outside of a few, poorly-executed one-offs, 70s hard rock giants Led Zeppelin are on the short list of bands who have not taken the big paycheck to put on a reunion tour, thus when word spread in 2007 they would take the stage at London’s 02 Arena to headline a tribute concert for legendary Atlantic Records’ founder Ahmet Ertegun, it was greeted as the second coming and set the stage for a full-fledged reunion tour.
The dead have risen from their graves.
The concert itself was received rapturously. Everyone from classic rock royalty to the band’s old nemesis, Rolling Stone, proclaimed its greatness. The masses awaited for tickets to go on sale, credit cards in hand, bedecked in new-vintage Urban Outfitters 1977 tour shirts. And then the greatest rock n’ roll reunion tour of all time didn’t happen. Singer Robert Plant went on tour with Allison Krauss, bassist John Paul Jones formed a new band with Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and guitarist Jimmy Page did a movie with Jack White. Five years later, a suitably mysterious countdown clock on the Led Zeppelin website and Facebook page built up anticipation once again that the band were finally announcing the release of Celebration Day, the concert film of the band’s 2007 performance.
A decade in, Kelly Clarkson is ready to sign, seal and deliver the first chapter of her career with her first greatest hits compilation, called of course Greatest Hits — Chapter One, due out November 19th. According to this new track listing, the collection is 17 songs long and each song is in fact a great hit. Included in the mix are early hits, like the twitchy “Miss Independent” from 2003’s Thankful, and songs that are still heating up the charts, like “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” Additionally, there are two new songs: “Catch My Breath” and “People Like Us,” which we have yet to hear. And because it’s that time of the year again, the album is sealed with her take on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”
Clarkson stays being understated, but this track list proves her to be none-less than a pop power house. Let’s have a look: Read more…
Frank Ocean is back on his blog grind. The last time the crooner used TextEdit was just ahead of his Channel Orange release, when he posted a moving account of his first love, who just happened to be a man. Last night the generous star returned to his Tumblr, this time with less of a mission in mind but still with ever so much to say. This note is more free-wheeling and less pointed than the last, touching quickly on his dreams, his diet and even death, before Ocean sweetly concludes: “Good night moon.”
Major revelations include confirmation that Ocean has been in the studio with Pharrell and Jay-Z, and that he’s always making new music. And all the rest read like a revelation — a bit about love, lots of new projects and one mention of Bill Murray. Like Ocean himself, it’s funny and smart, quirky and honest, and well worth the attention. Maybe Ocean should consider a career in blogging?
As R. Kelly gears up to take his latest album, “Write Me Back”, on tour, he’s also giving the fans exactly what we want: More Trapped in the Closet.
According to an interview with Time, R. Kelly is ready to charm the shirts off every single lady (and man!) in town and, more importantly, he states that the beloved Trapped in the Closet is “forever” — in every sense of the word. With 20 new chapters promised to appear “the day after Thanksgiving”, Kells also swears he’s got “like a hundred chapters to come.”
Wait, DID YOU SAY ONE HUNDRED CHAPTERS? You mean TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET IS GOING TO LITERALLY HAPPEN FOREVER AND EVER?
Last Sunday, VH1’s Behind The Music put a spotlight on alternative/hip hop group Gym Class Heroes and their rapid rise to fame, their troubles with drugs and Travie McCoy‘s relationship with pop superstar Katy Perry all included; if you missed it, the full episode is now streaming here. For those of you who (like us!) who can’t get enough GCH in your lives, check out Behind The Song: “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America,” the song that began the group on their ascent.
Gym Class Heroes’ breakout hit was inspired by a sample of 1979 Supertramp classic “Breakfast in America,” which was written by Roger Hodgson at the tender age of 18 as he dreamt of the California coast while living in his native home, England. As drummer Matt McGinley remembers it, “We were listening to ‘Breakfast in America’ and just sort of playing along to the chorus, and then when the chorus would finish, we would just jam. And that’s where we wrote our own verses.” Then, wanting to make sure it was good, Travie McCoy took the demo into the tattoo shop where he was working at the time and played it for the girls that came in. “I wanted to be that song that, upon first listen, every girl that hears it goes, ‘Aww, I wish my boyfriend would have done something like this for me.'” Needless to say, it worked. They called Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump in to re-record the hook, and then they sat back and watched as the song — and then their career — took off.
Earlier this month, Bruno Mars dropped “Locked Out Of Heaven” and gave us just a little taste of what might be so unorthodox about his much-anticipated sophomore album Unorthodox Jukebox. The catchy first single just oozed Police, something we haven’t exactly come to expect from the former Elvis impersonator and “Grenade” thrower, but Mars’ Sting turned out to be so good that we listened to the song for days straight. Will the rest of the album be so surprising and sweet?
Speaking with VH1’s Carrie Keagan this morning on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, the ever charming Mars more or less promised as much. He assured that there will “definitely” be something to jam to in “every scenario,” because the album was born from his broad experience working as a producer. “As a producer,” he explains, “I’ve written a lot of songs for a lot of different artists and all different kinds of styles — R&B, hip hop, rock — and I feel like when it’s time for me to do my own personal stuff, everything I’ve ever learned trickles down into my music. Which makes me a little unorthodox.” Read more…
Did you ever wonder what “falling in love in an epic way” really sounds like to Taylor Swift? You might think that something like “Enchanted” sounds pretty close, but Taylor assures us that Red‘s dreamy opener, “State of Grace,” is actually it. Previewing the song yesterday on Good Morning America, she explained that, “I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone — the possibilities, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.” But not a story about falling in love just to breakup like all the rest of her love songs, rather this song lavishes the feelings that come with all that with sweeping guitars and a hopeful chorus. And her “State of Grace” and be yours, as well.
“State of Grace” splits the difference between her poppy “Never Ever” and the guitar-plucked “Begin Again.” She keeps the uptempo drum from the former, but layers on reverb-drenched guitars to make it gauzy like a melodramatic nineties rock hit. And like the effort might actually slow down time, she carefully draws out her vowels when the chorus hits and she sings: “I never saw you coming, and I’ll never be the same.” She admits during the song’s breakdown that it wasn’t all so perfect — “You were never a saint, and I love the shades of wrong” — before coming to the sweeping conclusion at the song’s end that: “Love is a ruthless game, unless you are playing good and right.” And so opens the album. Seven days, and the game is on!
Have a listen here, and let us know: what do you think?
It’s going to be a “Bootylicious” Super Bowl Sunday this year in New Orleans if the exciting, shout-at-the-top-of-your-lungs rumors are true. According to the AP, Beyoncé is scheduled to perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Grab your onesies leotards in preparation for the epic “Single Ladies” choreography that has to happen. We can picture it now. Justin Timberlake joins Bey on stage for a drop it low session– even lower than they did on Saturday Night Live–for over 100 million viewers. Read more…