by (@zaragolden)

Frank Ocean Shows Us “What’s A Radiohead Anyways” With His Cover Of “Fake Plastic Trees”

“You ain’t got no Jodeci? What is a Radiohead anyway?” Last Thursday the six-time Grammy-nominated Frank Ocean proved once and for all that he knows exactly what “A Radiohead” is, slipping an affecting but so-sweet cover of their 1995 classic “Fake Plastic Trees” into a short set he played for a Spotify event in New York. Ocean skipped straight to the song’s final verse — the bit about “I can’t help the feeling / I could blow through the ceiling” seeming resonant right about now — and only got about a minute and a half of the song in before getting back to his own “Voodoo,” but it was enough to get the crowd whoop-ing and us hoping that he might someday do more like this. This is sure to leave you with all sorts of feelings.

Frank Ocean Covers Radiohead At The 2012 Spotify Press Event [ONTD]
BlakeBensman
[Twitter]

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by (@zaragolden)

The 9 Most Unexpectedly Delightful Musical Collaborations Of 2012

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:

9. Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, “Safe & Sound”


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.

8. Ke$ha and Iggy Pop, “Dirty Pop”


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.

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by (@unclegrambo)

2013 Grammy Nominations: The Complete List (In All The Categories That You Care About)

The nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. Hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift, the show featured performances from the likes of fun., Maroon 5, Ne-Yo and more. The 2013 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 10th at 8/7c.

This year’s nominations were dominated by a few big names: The Black KeysDan Auerbach, fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West top the nominations with six each; the Black Keys, Chick Corea and Miguel each garner five nods; and producer Jeff Bhasker, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig and Nas are each up for four awards. [via Grammy.com]

RELATED: VH1 You Oughta Know Artists Score An Impressive 16 Grammy Nominations

Here’s a (mostly) complete list of the 2013 Grammy Nominations!

RECORD OF THE YEAR
The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger”
fun., “We Are Young”
Gotye, “Somebody I Used To Know”
Frank Ocean, “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Black Keys, El Camino
fun., Some Nights
Mumford & Sons, Babel
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
Jack White, Blunderbuss

BEST NEW ARTIST
Alabama Shakes
fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

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by (@zaragolden)

Merry Year-End List Season! Spin, NME, New York and Stereogum Share Their Favorites From 2012


The end of the year is upon us, which means: List Season! Many of our favorite publications and websites are rounding-up their favorite albums and songs and comebacks and etc. from throughout the year and putting them in one place for our revealing. These lists are always interesting because they make space to celebrate artists whose names maybe weren’t atop the Billboard/iTunes/YouTube charts all year, or whose music is less amendable to constant radio play than, say, Maroon 5‘s “Payphone,” and they are a fun way to look back at what you loved from the year past and to discover what you might of missed (that’s what 2013′s list is for). Of course we’ve got all sorts of lists of our own coming down the pipe, but before then we thought we would share what some of our fellow music loving sites are saying.

Today in year-end lists: Spin, NME, New York Magazine and Stereogum share their favorites; Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware, Miguel, Chairlift, Japandroids and Cloud Nothings get a lot of love.

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Frank Ocean Rejects The ‘Bisexual’ Label In GQ Profile Story

Frank Ocean Refuses To Label Himself Bisexual

Amy Wallace wrote a fantastically written profile, “Ocean-ography,” on Frank Ocean for GQ magazine. Wallace pulled out of Frank the important small details that complete the bigger picture to otherwise mysterious prolific songwriter and singer. It’s less about the back story on how a kid goes from working at Fatburger to writing songs for Justin Bieber and Beyonce. Instead it’s a window into Frank as a creative, a human, a man. Read more…

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Frank Ocean’s Music Takes Over Monday’s Episode Of Gossip Girls

Frank Ocean's Music To Be Featured on Gossip Girls

What does Gossip Girl and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange have in common? Seemingly nothing on the surface. Dig a little deeper and the commonalities become apparent. Channel Orange’s “Super Rich Kids” sounds like a description of Ladera Heights, which is often referred to as the black Beverly Hills. Gossip Girls is centered around young, wealthy adults in Manhattan’s upper east side. Ocean’s perspective on sex, drugs and love are explored throughout Channel Orange while Gossip Girls is based on the same core themes. It makes sense that Frank’s music will be featured on Monday’s episode of the CW drama, according to Rolling Stone. Read more…

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Brandy’s Two Eleven Revives The R&B Of Yesteryear

Brandy's Two Eleven

Every generation romanticizes the quality of music of their youth, particularly when compared to what’s presently ruling the radio. This statement certainly holds true for 80s babies that came of age in the 90s —like myself— who remember the legion of R&B artists who made soulful music, and to this day yearn for the return of true rhythm and blues. Brandy was among that elite class that shaped my musical memories, and one of the few who has managed to stay around.

As with any artist interested in evolving, Brandy experimented with different sounds on both 2004’s Afrodisiac and 2008’s Human. Diehard fans, who connected so deeply with her debut Brandy and its follow-up Never Say Never, yearned to see Brandy reconnect with the genre and pump some new life into the weakened heart of R&B. The 33-year-old singer wasn’t oblivious to this when she started creating her sixth album, Two Eleven. “I wanted to give my fans something that they’ve been waiting for, that they deserve,” Brandy told me when we spoke in the days immediately following her new album’s release. “For so long they really wanted me to get back to the root of R&B.” Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Frank Ocean Talks Dreams, Diet And Death In Musing New Tumblr Post

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?

Here are our ten favorite lines: Read more…