Our friends across the dial spoke with Zedd, the 23-year-old producer and EDM artist who opened for Gaga on last year’s Born This Way Ball and has been collaborating with her on a new sound for ARTPOP despite both of their packed schedules. “The problem with her is obviously that I’m busy and I tour a lot, but she’s probably a lot busier than I am, so it’s hard to find time to work on something together,” he explained. “So we’ve been working on it for over a year now. There’s still a lot of work left, so we’re definitely gonna work on this project for the next month.” Isn’t being “busy”–or just flat-out tardy–what caused the Gaga-Kendrick Lamar collaboration to fall apart last fall? Read more…
The year is running down, and like everyone else, we are bundling up our most memorable musical moments from the year into a slew of Best Of’s. Before we get to the more obvious lists — the best albums, the best songs — we thought we would have a little fun. First up: 9 delightful collaborations, made all the more so for their unexpectedness. We aren’t talking Watch The Throne-style of-course-they-would team-ups, we’re talking collaborations that we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have imagined or that we thought we would never see, like — well, these nine:
Barton Hollow is totally “an indie record much cooler than mine,” but more careful observer might have predicted this unlikely but delightful collaboration, as Swift began yammering about her fellow Nashville transplants The Civil Wars on twitter long before this was even a possibility. We, however, were left breathless upon learning that one of the day’s biggest pop stars had teamed-up with one of our favorite You Oughta Know acts — and for a song for such a pivotal moment in the Hunger Games movie, no less! Joy Williams harmonizing turns Taylor’s girlish coo haunting, and John Paul White‘s patient guitar plucking gets the whole thing swirling. See also:“The Last Time,” Taylor’s distressed duet with Gary Lightbody of Northern Ireland’s mostly absent as of late folk rock set Snow Patrol. Taylor is a slick machine when it comes to her music, and it was a surprise to see her reaching out of bounds for this one.
Hard to believe as it may be given the boom box beats and all the sing-rapping that resulted, Warrior is allegedly a tribute to the genre Ke$ha loves the most: rock and roll. If you really strain your ears, you may hear some of that “old hippie rock” in the breakdown of “Die Young.” You won’t have to try so hard with “Dirty Pop,” which features Iggy Pop, a true and blue rock star and someone Ke$ha has spent a lot of time talking about through the years. The joy she must have felt the first time she heard him call her “Wild Child” on her own song is evident. See also:“2012,” K$’s duet with fellow weirdos The Flaming Lips.
It’s amazing how a casual Instagram can get everyone worked up. Especially when it’s a photo of Miguel and Beyoncé — with the former alluding in the caption: “…woah. creating for Virgo’s all weekend.” Beyoncé, of course, is a Virgo (haven’t you heard B’Day?) and she’s definitely had some R&B heavy-hitters “create” for her in the past. 4‘s “I Miss You” was written by a (then) relatively unknown Frank Ocean. And who could forget “Irreplaceable” written by none other than Ne-Yo (Whoops, not The Dream, he wrote “1+1″ — thanks @KingBeysus)? With Kaleidoscope Dream Miguel by her side, it’s easy to see Bey crafting up some magic for her next album.
Weirdly, Miguel deleted the Instagram soon after he put it out there. Bey is known for being mysterious, but she also must know the speed of the BeyHive–it’s out there and we’re all excited for this Bey/Miguel joint.
If you were playing Family Feud and the category was “Iconic Bridges of the USA,” the top two answers on the board would almost certainly be San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge. This thinking almost certainly went into play for this weekend’s aptly named Bridge Session benefit concert, which saw San Francisco’s own Bob Weir (of Grateful Dead fame, natch) team up with a cadre of Brooklyn indie rockers from bands like The National, The Walkmen, and Takka Takka for a series of collaborative songs from these bands’ catalogs.
If you think about it, though, the Bridge Session is not just a literal reference to a structure that rises over the water. If you stretch the Bridge reference into more metaphorical territory, one could infer that music itself is a bridge that connects generations — in this case, the Baby Boomers and Generation X.
Regardless of what the gents intended to convey with the name Bridge Session, the results were magical. This supergroup played two sets, which included covers of Bob Dylan’s “Most of the Time”, and Cass McCombs‘ “Love Thine Enemy.” In between sets, a discussion panel took place where they covered everything from politics, energy production, women’s rights, and everything in between. After taking questions from Twitter and Facebook, the lights were dimmed and they performed a 2 song encore acoustically, including the version of “Uncle John’s Band” we have for you above!
Today in weirdsies: Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp have teamed up to do a duet of Carly Simon‘s iconic song, “You’re So Vain.” The track will be on Manson’s forthcoming new album, Born Villain, due May 1st and we’re interested to see how the quirky yet unlikely pairing interpret the track. Can we look forward to a hyper-goth, twisted-electro version of the track? Or maybe some pure rock and roll? Or perhaps they’ll stay true to the original and play it with Simon’s original style?
You might also be surprised to note that Deep has a rich history of musical collaborations with huge stars, including playing guitar on Oasis‘ “Fade In-Out” and “Fade Away; playing guitar for the soundtracks of his movies Chocolat and Once Upon a Time in Mexico; appearing on Shane MacGowan‘s first solo album; as part of a band called P; as well as starring in Tom Petty‘s video for “Into The Great Wide Open”, The Lemonheads “It’s a Shame About Ray” video and Avril Lavigne‘s “Alice” video. And as for his pairing up with Manson, the coupling apparently isn’t so unlikely, with Manson having attended 3 of Depp’s recent movie premiers and even contributed “The Nobodies” to the From Hell soundtrack. Huh. Who woulda thunk it?
Well, Madonna has been known to suck the life force from delicately smooch up-and-coming pop starlets in the past, and this kiss element definitely lends a level of excitement to the upcoming collaboration between Her Madgesty and Nicki Minaj that might otherwise have been a bit lacking. By that, we mean that Madonna has always taken great pride in being ahead of the curve and pushing the envelope, creatively speaking, and at this point, trading verses with Nicki Minaj is, quite frankly, something that has been done before. 39 times before, to be precise, with 34 different artists. (See our complete timeline of Nicki Minaj guest appearances below.)
So, what we’re wondering is this:
Below, we’ve got the complete timeline of Nicki Minaj collaborations!
Oh hello, three legends all in one room at the same time making silly jokes and singing a capella together! Last night on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert hosted Brian Eno, but who needs boring chats about “new projects” and “music” when you can memorialize R.E.M‘s (R.I.P, sad face!) Michael Stipe as a trophy on a shelf and have him sing “Lean On Me” with you? So happy Friday! This is pretty much the most awesome thing ever, you’re welcome.
However, the evening’s best moment didn’t involve pandering to Hollywood (Blake Shelton’s raucous version of “Footloose”) or even a huge, pyro-laden production number (sorry, Miranda Lambert!). It occured when Kenny Chesney and VH1 fave Grace Potter each slung an acoustic guitar over their shoulders, hopped on a stool and duetted on a positively gorgeous version of their hit, “You And Tequila.” Of course, we’re suckers for any and all things Grace (those stems!), but the way these two harmonized last night reminded us why we listen to country music in the first place. There’s no slick production, no glossy radio sound, just two great voices (and some palpable chemistry) blending together to make something special. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Rihanna Announces That She Will Collaborate With Jay-Z On Her New Album
We smell a hit. A big one. Rihanna has annouced that she will once again collaborate with Jay-Z on her forthcoming album, Talk That Talk. We’re already dancing. [Just Jared]
SNL Meme Sketch “Band Reunion At The Wedding” Releases Official Single For Crisis Of Conformity Song “Fist Fight”
After the SNL sketch “Band Reunion At The Wedding” tickled the funny bone of audiences in early 2010, Crisis Of Conformity released a 7-inch single of “Fist Fight”. PAPERMAG chats with the band’s creator, Fred Armisen for a chat. [PAPERMAG]