Waka Flocka Flame Plays “Round Of Applause” At Kanye West’s Fashion Week After Party
Kanye West is injecting fashion with music, and it looks like Waka Flocka Flame‘s performance of “Round Of Applause” went off at Kanye’s Paris Fashion Week after party. [Prefix]
LCD Soundsystem Release Another Sneak Peek At Their Documentary
LCD Soundsystem have released another short trailer for their forthcoming documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits. The clip features the band playing “North American Scum” and James Murphy talking candidly about his age and how it influenced his decision to end the band. [Beats Per Minute]
The trailer for LCD Soundsystem‘s documentary, Shut Up And Play The Hits, opens with front man James Murphy waking up in his Manhattan apartment, presumably after the band’s last ever show at Madison Square Garden, which was held April 2011. Seminal in shaping electronic and “indie” music, and for pioneering the anti-hipster (all the while being painfully hip), LCD Soundsystem are one of the most important dance acts to emerge in the past 10 years. As we watch Murphy go about his morning’s mundanities — getting dressed, swigging a from a bottle of water, walking the dog — the voice of music journalist and author Chuck Klosterman poses a profound question that shapes the rest of the trailer (and the whole documentary), “This is the end of LCD Soundsystem; and it’s ending in a strangely controlled manner. It’s like there was a record, there was an announcement, there’s a last show, everyone’s aware that it’s ending… When you start a band, do you imagine how it will end?”
The documentary covers the final show, from the the lead up to it, the actual show, and aftermath of the epic performance. Shut Up And Play The Hits will premier at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, and if the trailer, set to the hit track “All My Friends,” is anything to go by, there wont be a dry seat in the house. Directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, and featuring footage by legendary director Spike Jonze, we predict there wont be a dry seat in the house by the end of the doco.
Indeed, even the trailer gave us a tingling sensation in the corners of our eyes — from the romantic footage of Murphy driving through New York, to the appearance of friends and special guests like Arcade Fire and The Roots, to the emotional hugs at the end of the show and an especially poignant shot of James Murphy looking to the ceiling of Madison Square Garden as hundreds of white balloons begin to fall from the roof, signifying the end of the LCD Soudsystem era, there’s plenty of intense, raw emotion to be felt here. The visual montage is peppered with the words, “If it’s a funeral… let’s have the best funeral ever,” and you’ll be sure to get a chill down your spine whether or not you were at Madison Square Garden for the last goodbye (we were, and it was just as emotional), especially as you watch fans in shocked disbelief, despite their knowing it’s the final show, fare-welling the iconic band.
Taylor Swift has been blazing across the country on her Speak Now tour, and in her warm, earnest way, she’s been welcoming city-specific guests to share the stage with her while she pays unique tributes to all the towns she visits. And now, on the final leg of her tour, Taylor is in that town, New York City, and the opportunities for tributes and guests are almost endless. For her first New York show last night at Madison Square Garden, Taylor played “one of the greatest songs ever written,” The Goo Goo Dolls‘ “Iris,” with the band’s frontman Johnny Rzeznik. With one last show set to light up the Garden tonight, we’re speculating who of the New York set will join Taylor on stage. Will it be a Strokes affair? Mother Monster? Or a spectral visitor from the afterlife?
Who did we miss? We want to hear your thoughts!
[Photos: Lauren Deiman/Getty Images]
Thousands of discs were released this year, but only 20 could make the final cut. With the most scientific of instruments (headphones, and sometimes CD players) we whittled down this year?s releases, and for the past two Thursdays, we?ve delivered five of our faves. Let us know what we missed, and what you loved.
LCD Soundsystem, Sounds of Silver (DFA)
James Murphy is the patron saint of downtown cool, and anything he or his record label touches instantly becomes an indie treasure. What?s most extraordinary about his sophomore release is its accessibility — at its heart, this is a bubblegum pop record, and not the salty organic kind of gum you buy at the health food co-op, either. We?re talking Bubblicious here, people. Long renowned for long-playing dance-floor remixes and shoe-shopping house beats — his other record this year, 45:33, provides an excellent example of that — Murphy?s work on Sounds of Silver is discreet, short and frequently to the point. ?North American Scum? is precisely the kind of song you want with you at the gym, a self-deprecating slice of upbeat funk with lyrics that?ll never make the Republicans happy: ?New York?s the greatest if you get someone to pay the rent . . . and it?s the furthest you can live from the government.? Then there?s the new wavy ?Someone Great? and ?All My Friends,? a song so suffused with nostalgia and desire it sounds like it belongs in a John Hughes movie. It?s excellent, easy to listen to and innately underground, and it?s been a long time since those three elements intersected in a pop album. Yes, there?s a sense of unrequited longing here, but so much the better for Murphy if he keeps producing work like this.
M.I.A., Kala (INTERSCOPE)
For her second album, thinking-liberal’s pop star M.I.A. traded political sloganeering and an abundance of hooks for something much simpler: an album of bangers, bamboo and otherwise. Compared to her 2005 debut, Arular, Kala‘s beats are more propulsive, its messages are more opaque and its cultural mining is even stronger. The resulting album is all prowess and ire and recontextualized sound. It is, at heart, a hip-hop record, and because it’s so effective and singular and forward-thinking, it’s the heart of hip-hop in ’07, period. As always, M.I.A.’s speak-singy vocals turn charisma into a fine art. Her personality is so huge, she’d have Rihanna‘s career if the world were fair. But then, her whole point seems to lie in reminding us that it isn’t.
Band of Horses, Cease To Begin (SUB POP)
Let?s forgive them the fact that their songs are all about mood and aura, rather than ?feelings? or the problems that bring those ?feelings? about. And let?s forgive them the fact that the singer veers into Supertramp territory now and again. Let?s just bathe in the eerie pomp of the chiming guitars and the rhythm section?s splashy forward motion. Like U2 sleeping over at the Jayhawks? house, these guys make melancholy anthems that love to reverberate everywhere before they slink home with the echoes dissipating in the distance. Maybe it?s their recent move to North Carolina, but for a grandiose outfit there sure are quite a few moments where twang takes over. Dream pop disc of the year.
Radiohead, In Rainbows (ATO RECORDS)
It was a David & Goliath tale, if David were a band of insanely talented mope rockers and Goliath was the desperately floundering record industry. In short, the band revolutionized the music industry in 42 minutes and 34 seconds, with 10 songs: The band would offer its newest effort, In Rainbows, and whatever folks felt fit to pay, well, that?s the price of the album. It would be considered an impressive move by a lesser band. That the band was one of the most popular, and simultaneously respected, outfits in music today only compounds the coup. But to concentrate solely on marketing techniques, the implications of morality and the free market economic discussions this generates would miss the point: the band has made a gorgeous album. From the glitchy snares and waltzing jazz guitar of ?15 Steps? to the stark, maker-meeting ?Videotape? that seems to take its percussion from a funeral march, the album shows a marked change in the four years its been since Hail to the Thief. Gone is the politically tinged rock invective, and the verse-chorus-verse songs. Radiohead has made an opus, difficult to splice into song, and utterly captivating throughout.
The Shins, Wincing the Night Away (SUB POP)
It?s amazing James Mercer can get a word out, let alone an album, without choking altogether. Following the release of Oh, Inverted World, indie director Zach Braff latched on to it, using the majority of the album as the soundtrack to his movie, and even having his protagonist Natalie Portman utter the phrase: ?This band will change your life.? That the band went on to make two records improving on the home-recording-honed formulae James Mercer devised for their debut is a feat. With their melodic base well-established, the band appeared to move outward from that point; experimenting with sound (?Sea Legs,? with its plastic bags popping as percussion) as well as perspective (?Phantom Limb? tells the story of two teenage lesbians alienated at their school).
As 2007 dwindles down, we?re taking a look back at our favorite tracks. Each Tuesday through the end of the month, we?ll sing the praises of the 20 songs that made our year. See what made the cut, and let us know what you think of our choices. Check out the last two posts to see what else is on our list.
Avril Lavigne, ?Girlfriend,? from The Best Damn Thing (RCA)
Take the infectious cheer-squad shout of Toni Basil‘s “Mickey,” add some glean from chart-topping uber-producer Dr. Luke, and write lyrics directed at the most tech-savvy market in the country (14-year-old girls) and you?ll understand why Avril Lavigne‘s “Girlfriend” was her highest ranking single to date. Avril?s fans forgave her her newly wedded status and bought her barbed entreaties to an already attached guy to ditch his girlfriend (never has ?She?s like, so whatever,? sounded like such a compelling argument). During the verse she rarely deviates into tune, sticking with her bratty schoolyard chants and marrying mall punk guitars with positively jubilant pop. All handclaps and sass, the video has Avril pulling triple-duty, playing her blonde self, a boyfriend-stealing brunette and a red-headed prude. While the message of the song is far from female empowerment, it seems she?s finally embraced a less abrasive side, making the unabashed pop music she?s faulted others for in the past.
Soulja Boy, ?Crank That,? from Souljaboytellem.com (INTERSCOPE)
Ya gots ta be multi-format these days, and there was no better example of video aiding and abetting audio than this ATL kiddo?s uber-ubiquitous, ultra-catchy dance anthem. His MySpace page was thick with how-to clips (please, don?t mess up the Superman section) and messages from trillions of fans. YouTube was loaded with tributes and satires, from yarmulke doo-rags to Santa?s elves gliding to the groove. So, yeah, DeAndre Ramone Way wasn?t fibbing when he said his reach stretched ?from the Internet to Main Street.? There?s glory in one-hit-wonderville, and even though one Web commenter rightly declared that Soulja Boy blabbered ?on the mic like he just woke up,? the song of the summer (sorry, Rihanna) proved to be a bubblecrunk gem.
On Friday, LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy held a press conference to address "the backlash" — the inevitable response tastemakers will have to the success of their latest The Sound of Silver on the charts (currently Number 46 on Billboard). After quickly dispensing with how he’s planned for the backlash ("I’ve been saving up canned food, I’ve put aside some money, and I’ve kept my tastes small"), Murphy shared some of his wit and wisdom. Check out the video of a power-tied Murphy below. After the jump, a quick compendium of the quotable James Murphy.
Super-producer Timbaland has told GQ that Justin Timberlake?s new album is going to sound like the Rapture. More specifically: The Tim-team has been listening to 2002?s ?House of Jealous Lovers? and they like the way it sounds. JT likes it so much, he?s been blasting it while taking the stage recently. So expect the new Justin joint to be rife with cowbell, shrieking and the future sex love sounds of punk funk. In not entirely unrelated news, the Rapture?s ?House of Jealous Lovers? was produced by James Murphy, the indie god who also attempted to collaborate with Timberlake?s ex, Britney Spears. Murphy (aka LCD Soundsystem) told New York Magazine about the experience: ?It was very strange – we were both lying on the floor, head-to-head, working on lyrics in a notepad. She seemed eager to please, but it went nowhere. She went to dinner and just never came back.?
What do you think, could Justin pull off that kind of sound?
Photos: Justin Timberlake