M83‘s new album, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, has been one of the most talked about releases of 2011, and has launched the band from cult indie-electro status to “next big thing” stature. And the first single from the album, “Midnight City”, appears to be the culprit behind M83′s sudden pervasiveness. As the soundtrack to Victoria’s Secret‘s latest launch — the landing of the newest Angels in tandem with the release of the brand’s new fragrance — “Midnight City” has blasted out of it’s alternative niche and right into the hungry ears of mainstream audiences.
And the buck doesn’t stop there — “Midnight City” was also featured as the credits rolled on Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s How To Make It In America. It’s not entirely surprising that M83′s star has risen so quickly, given the band’s brand of uplifting, huge, reverberating sounds. The music is almost made to play over grand montages of sweeping movements, slow motion running and whimsical moments. We’re expecting to see more M83 blasting over vast, panning cameras and epic movie style drama very soon!
The controversial experimental collaboration album by Metallica and Lou Reed, Lulu, was officially released yesterday, and seemingly everyone on the Internet has an opinion on it. In the lead up to the much talked about release, critics waxed lyrical about Lulu with many a no-holds-barred, acerbic commentary surfacing in its wake. Every music critic armed with a blog and dexterous typing hand has weighed in on the collaboration, what it tells us about the music industry, and what ‘quality’ means in a world where the fruits of creative process are both disposable and necessary. Overwhelmingly, opinions have been unfavorable.
VH1 spoke to James Hetfield, Metallica front man about the release, and the artist was optimistic, reiterating how much he, Lou and the band enjoyed creating the album, and specifically how much they love the finished product. He goes on to acknowledge the criticism, saying, “at the end of the day all of this is about us writing music that we enjoy listening to, and if other people enjoy it, that’s awesome, and if they don’t — there’s certainly people out there that don’t as well — then move onto the next thing.”
As Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch The Throne tour kicks off this week, there’s really not all that much else to talk about. Between set lists, leather outfits, copious bling and “OMG WILL PREGONCÉ OR FRANK OCEAN OR BOTH MAKE AN APPEARANCE?”, it’s a truly immersive experience, permeating all facets of daily life and conversation. So while we wait very impatiently for our turn to Watch The Throne, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite collaboration albums of all-time.
Following the announcement that Amy Winehouse‘s first posthumous album will be released a mere four months after her death on July 23, we started wondering how that timeline compared to some of history’s other notable posthumous record releases. From Nirvana to the Notorious B.I.G., we take a look back at the often uneasy relationship between art and commerce.
Artist:The Notorious B.I.G Died: March 9, 2007 Album:Life After Death Release Date: March 25, 2007 Speed To Market: 16 days
Artist:Otis Redding Died: December 10, 1967 Album:(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay Release Date: January 8, 1968 Speed To Market: 29 days
Artist:Tupac Died: September 7, 1996 Album:The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory Release Date: November 5, 1996 Speed To Market: 59 days
Last night, Jimmy Kimmel Live celebrated Halloween the way it was supposed to be celebrated — with grotesque costumes and Megadeth playing on stage. The iconic metal band went all out and got ghoulish in some of the best creepy costumes we’ve seen this year, revising tried and true classics like Frankenstein’s monster, Wolf Man and Count Dracula. The band played two songs, “Public Enemy No. 1″ and “Symphony Of Destruction” to close the epic show, which saw Kimmel (appropriately?) dressed as a monkey.
If you’re a girl, you probably want to get between Donald Glover‘s sheets; if you’re a dude, you probably want to do the bromance thing with him. Either way, Donald Glover has his fingers in the two best pies: comedy and music. Well known for his role as Troy on Community and his behind-the-scenes writing work for 30 Rock, Donald’s lesser known but equally potent alter-ego is Childish Gambino, the potty-mouthed, darkly lyrical rapper. And now, Childish Gambino is saving Halloween just in the nick of time!
With all the saccharine costumes we’ve seen this year — from teen wolves to Gaga look-alikes to Disney characters — the new NSFW Childish Gambino video for “Bonfire” is putting the truly horrific back into Halloween. Not for the skittish or easily perturbed, the video features an ambiguous noose, blood vomit, the woods at night, and an intriguing twist in the plot… and Donald. Lots and lots of Donald.
Following the tragic death of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse earlier this year, two of her closest collaborators, Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, have put together an album using Winehouse’s unfinished recordings that’s set to be released on December 5. Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, oversaw the production. Entitled Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, the album will include 12 tracks featuring Winehouse originals, unreleased tracks, alternative versions of her existing songs and covers of other artists’ songs.
All of which leads us to this: Will the record-buying public consider this record, with its mismash of demos, outtakes, and B-sides, as anything more than a “cashgrab”? In its defense, Mark Ronson’s pivotal role in the project— given his close friendship, ongoing creative partnership and overwhelming admiration for Amy—lends a great deal of credence to the project, and having yet to hear it, leads us to believe that the project was assembled with great affection. Additionally, the fact that £1 from each album sold will benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an institution set up in Amy’s honor to support those dealing with substance abuse issues and addiction, seems to be a positive sign. However, there is a cynical part of us that can’t help but feeling like this record is being rushed to take advantage of the holiday buying season, and also that it won’t be the last posthumous album that Winehouse releases. We seriously doubt that her estate contains the same sort of treasure trove of unreleased studio sessions that 2Pac’s did, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Full tracklisting for Amy Winehouse Lionness: Hidden Treasures below: Read more…
Stealing the late night limelight this weekend, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake joined forces in awesomeness on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon for their latest “History Of Rap” medley. Busting moves like they were born to do it, the dynamic duo’s comedic chemistry is hard to deny. And while we’re all hankering for JT to come back with a new album, we’re quite happy to enjoy him in such musically-related comedy roles. Especially when joined with Fallon, and busting out such classics as Coolio‘s “Gangsta’s Paradise” and other crowd pleasers both past and present, including Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” and Sir Mix-A-Lot‘s “Baby Got Back”.
Madonna, Nicki Minaj And M.I.A Share The Love
In the latest installment of “Madonna Is Down With The Kids (Like, Totes)” it’s been announced that both the eccentric Nicki Minaj and the cooler than thou MIA will appear on Madge’s lead single, “Give Me All Your Love,” from her forthcoming album. On that note, it’s now rumored that these three will also be performing during halftime of the Super Bowl this year. [Billboard]
Controversial Web Sensation Lana Del Rey Signs With Interscope
After a mountain of hype resulted in a tsunami-sized backlash, Lana del Rey has inked an album deal with Interscope, home to not only some of the biggest female-fronted acts in the biz (Mary J. Blige, No Doubt), but also some of the web friendliest (Robyn, Feist). [Pitchfork]
Poptimist Explores The Notion That Epic Rock Is Just “Secular Gospel” Tom Ewing‘s article about stadium-pop as a “hustle” is an interesting read, with references to bands as contemporary as Coldplay and Arcade Fire while remembering classics like The Beatles and The Who. [Pitchfork]
Madonna is difficult to watch at the best of times, with her surgically enhanced face, ludicrously tacky outfits, cringe-inducing raunchy dance moves and ice queen attitude. Even for the most die hard Madonna fans (us!), her public persona can be quite grating. And now, as if hell bent on a mission to destroy and annoy, Madge is holding a search for the next “Lucky Star” with her daughter Lola. We’re not really sure what the competition actually entails (due in part to the confusing video above), nor are we sure when Lourdes became Lola, but we’re both perturbed and amused in equal parts.