Posts By Nick Minichino

by

Kelly Rowland Lays Two New Videos On Us (And Will Cameo In Beyoncé’s Next Week)

We’ve been slightly (if justifiably) Beyoncé-crazy here lately, but don’t think it’s escaped our notice that her friend Kelly Rowland is keeping at least as busy promoting Here I Am. In the last week Rowland released two videos: “Lay It On Me,” featuring Big Sean, and “Down For Whatever.” The collaboration is the bigger-budget affair, not least because it’s already been a somewhat successful single already. In addition to Big Sean, the video features a Slinky, a chaise lounge made up of shirtless men, and an elephant. “Down For Whatever” is darker and much clubbier, with visual and electronic strobes and back-up dancers. Rowland will also be appearing in a video next week: she has a cameo in Beyoncé’s “Party,” which premieres on BET’s 106 and Park on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 6PM ET. Also in the video: J. Cole, who replaces André 3000 on the single remix.

[Image: Getty Images]

by

The-Dream Announces Plans To Release Another Pre-Love IV Album

For the second time in less than three months, Terius Nash has announced, via Twitter, the release of a new album prior to his fourth (and possibly final) Def Jam album as The-Dream. “I am personally pushing Love IV back to drop a [sic] international album this winter,” he tweeted. According to follow-up tweets, the album, to be released under his given name, will be called 1984: Persona Of Love and will contain ten tracks, three of which Nash claims to have written today while in Paris. Normally we’d be skeptical of this sort of announcement-via-Twitter, but this is exactly how Nash announced 1977. As for the Love IV delay, he had hinted as much in a Rolling Stone interview, but there’s been no word yet from Def Jam (not that he’s given them time to respond). We look forward to any kind of new music from Nash, but we would like to hear a new The-Dream record, and we suspect Def Jam would too. Until then, we’re going to revisit one of his under-heralded tracks, a single he co-wrote with Yung Joc for the rapper’s second album Hustlenomics. Listen to “Coffee Shop” after the jump.
Read more…

by

MTV Hive Hosts Four-Band CMJ Saturday Live-Stream

MTV Hive’s Live in NYC series, which has hosted You Oughta Know alums Two Door Cinema Club and others over the past few months, is graduating to the big leagues: a CMJ Music Marathon showcase. This Saturday night, a four-band show will be streaming live at MTV Hive: Walk The Moon at 7:30pm ET, Memoryhouse at 8:15, The Stepkids at 9pm and Mr. Dream at 9:50. The whole shindig will be hosted by Matt Pinfield, and attendees will also receive free tacos. (We think that last bit is just to make those of us watching from home that much more jealous.)

After the jump, watch the Stepkids’ video for “Legend In My Own Mind,” directed by Tom Scharpling and featuring Kurt Braunohler as a guy whose acceptance of a Stepkids CD-R from Wyatt Cenac sends him into a Kangol-hat dream world.
Read more…

by

You Oughta Know Live: MUTEMATH Reimagines Alicia Keys’s “Fallin’”

MUTEMATH had already come through New York City on their fall tour when we selected them as the latest You Oughta Know artist, so we felt a bit guilty making them go out of their way to come to our offices, thrilled though we may have been. The band didn’t seem to mind in the slightest, though, laying down a killer You Oughta Know Live set for us, including an Alicia Keys cover that surprised us with its unique interpretation. After playing the two singles from their new album—”Odd Soul” and “Blood Pressure”—they launched into a Southern blues-rock version of “Fallin’” that sizzled. Maybe it was the Hammond B3 organ Todd Gummerman played, or perhaps Darren King’s substitution of snare for hi-hat on the double-time beat, but this cover worked in every way that “Southern blues rock” covers almost always don’t. This was “Whipping Post,” not Blues Hammer. Even the band was visibly pleased with how they sounded; frontman Paul Meany let out a deserved “Alright” when they finished.

Check out the whole four-song set, also featuring a rendition of their 2009 single “Spotlight,” which has a great rhythm-guitar line on the bridge thanks to Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas. And for more on MUTEMATH go to YouOughtaKnow.vh1.com.
Read more…

by

Self-Effacing Chris Martin Leads Coldplay Through “Paradise” On Colbert

Coldplay visited The Colbert Report yesterday before returning to the UK before their album release next week. After Chris Martin subjected himself to a one-on-one interview, in which he claimed that Thom Yorke’s wriggling performance on a previous episode was actually the Radiohead frontman’s mastery of a style of dance taught in all British schools, the band performed their new single “Paradise,” though not in costume as elephants. Only one song aired during last night’s half-hour episode (as Martin quipped of Coldplay, in comparison to Radiohead, whose episode extended to a full hour, “We’re not as good musically, but we’re much more attractive”) but the band did perform another track from Mylo Xyloto“Up In Flames”—as a web exclusive.
Read more…

by

MUTEMATH Is VH1′s Latest You Oughta Know Artist

VH1 announced earlier this week that MUTEMATH is the latest You Oughta Know artist. We weren’t deeply familiar—though we were impressed with the video for “Blood Pressure”—so we did a little investigating. Their latest record Odd Soul came out on October 4, and it’s got a definite New Orleans funk feel at points—unsurprisingly, the band cites the Meters as an influence—but the overwhelming feel is of a band whose members are deeply in tune with one other.
Read more…

by

Beyoncé Dresses Up New Edition’s Moves (Literally) In “Love On Top”

Hot on the heels of “Countdown”—which we’re still watching plenty—Beyoncé premiered a video for “Love On Top” earlier this week. As teased, the video begins with an homage to Brook Payne’s iconic New Edition choreography, but that’s only the half of it (literally). The video edit drops a verse from the song so that the video’s back end is devoted to the four key-change chorus repetitions. For these, she and her back-up dancers doll up in a series of era-evoking costumes, though the costumer must have made some sort of mistake, because they always end up short one dress shirt. Not to worry, though: Beyoncé takes one for the team every time. “Love On Top” may be miles apart from “Countdown,” but it’s no less the jam, and we’ve got no complaints about the video either.

by

Britney Spears Makes The News, Makes Out In “Criminal”

It’s love on the run for Britney Spears in her new video for “Criminal,” in which real-life boyfriend Jason Trawick plays a bad-boy biker, on break from working the kitchen at a fancy party, when he witnesses Britney’s character being attacked by her controlling British escort (not that kind), comes to the rescue, and…you get the idea. Less Bonnie and Clyde than Thelma and Louise—or maybe even Aerosmith’s “Crazy”—the video follows the newly minted lovers and partners in crime as they rob at least one bank before getting cornered by the world’s most trigger-happy S.W.A.T. team. The two characters actually are way more committed to having sex than committing crimes (and we can respect that) but when Britney “borrows” her guy’s gun and pulls it on a convenience store cashier, they make the news fast.

Part of the reason the video works so well is director Chris Marrs Piliero. He and Britney share a comic sensibility that not only drove the madcap “I Wanna Go” video (their first collaboration) but also provides levity in this action-oriented video. The groin kick Britney gives her abusive date, Trawick’s mouthed “Oh s—” when he sees Britney pull the gun, and Britney’s wordless expression of more or less the same sentiment in the TV news still all point to one of Spears’s greatest talents: giving the impression that although she takes her career extremely seriously, she nevertheless doesn’t take it too seriously. The song might not quite be “Toxic” caliber, but its video is at least as entertaining a bad-girl adventure story, and her role here is essentially that of a (wait for it) femme fatale.
Read more…

by

Rihanna Gets People Talking With “We Found Love” Video

Rihanna and director Melina Matsoukas reduce the love-story drug movie to its under-five-minute essence, while tweaking no shortage of noses, in the extraordinary music video for “We Found Love,” which premiered today. Loosely based on Trainspotting, albeit transplanted to Belfast (complete with introductory narration in a slightly dodgy Irish accent from Mancunian-born Agyness Deyn) the video features enough skin, crime, violence, and drug use for culture-watchers to cry controversy even before broadcast censors get hold of the clip. Rihanna and video beau Dudley O’Shaughnessy pop pills and rave their way through a greatest-hits of such doomed-love stories; aside from the eye-dilation insert shot made iconic in Requiem For A Dream and reused in Spun, we saw shades of Jia Zhang-Ke’s Unknown Pleasures and the skate-punk Kids. The clip also has a clever way of showing the worst of drug use without really showing it, both by including a needle, but in the context of an amateur tattoo (more on that in a second), and by portraying Rihanna bent over and vomiting…ribbons. Plus a ton of stock shots and superimpositions of police lights, fireworks, crowds moving in time-lapse à la Koyaanisqatsi, a controlled demolition, and a burning house.

The tattoo is a black-ink “MINE” branded on Rihanna’s left butt cheek, an almost too on-the-nose contrast with the bright-light “YOURS” she writes in the air earlier in the video, and one of a number of signals that the self-destructiveness of O’Shaughnessy’s character is turning just as equally towards Rihanna’s. Much is being made of a physical resemblance between him and Chris Brown, which we can sort of see. But what makes the comparison really stick is O’Shaughnessy’s bleached-blond hair—which is either another stylistic callback to a drugged-nineties moment (like the mud rave halfway through the video) or else it’s a pointed reference to the dye job Brown unveiled earlier this year—two years after his and Rihanna’s notorious confrontation. Or, more likely, it’s both. If people are going to circumscribe Rihanna’s work with the specter of Chris Brown anyway, why not play it up for attention? There’s a lot more to unpack here, not least the global vs. the local, the “art” of post-industrial decay, and the coolness level of doing donuts in a Trans Am. Needless to say, we love it. Watch it now!

[Image: Getty Images]