March 15, 2010 § 1 Comment
There’s no way to know how official this is yet, but the folks over at Ivy Gate are reporting that psychedelic indie rock duo MGMT is headlining Spring Fling this April. Oh My Fucking God. FINALLLLLY a real musical act that will actually, like, be fabulous. In all my time at Yale, I’ve been ultra disappointed at the quality of Spring Fling acts. One year we had T.I. Really. I’ve been so annoyed at the peeps who run the Spring Fling shit can’t get their acts together and always bring sub-par acts to campus. Two years ago Brown had M.I.A. and Vampire Weekend at their Spring Fling. Don’t ask me who we had that year – I don’t even fucking remember.
Here’s to hoping the rumors are true! I am dying to see them play live – for free!!!
January 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
OMG! Vampire Weekend is set to officially release their sophomore album on January 12th. I found a YouTube clip of one of the album tracks, “California English,” and it’s kinda majorly brilliant!!!!!!! Ezra lends his voice to autotune – but wait! Before you roll your eyes at the overuse of autotune in music recently, you can barely understand the words! Like…the way he uses it, it’s almost like he’s making fun of autotune. Give it a listen, and I dare you not to want to get up and dance!
November 19, 2009 § 1 Comment
What do you do if you wanna be a pop star but you’re Beyonce’s little sister? Wouldn’t you hate it if you were in the shadow of a multi-platinum, uber-ultra millionaire pop-icon? It’s like every time you do an album, folks bitch that you’re not Beyonce. Well…uh….that’s like a really big weave to fill. Guess that’s why Solange shaved all her shit off.
What better way to distance yourself from your pop icon big sis than to cover the Dirty Projectors – the hottest hipster band on the scene. Solange just dropped a cover of “Stillness Is The Move” – and it’s kinda super hot!! I didn’t even realize Solange could sing till I heard this. Work it out, girlfrrraan.
November 17, 2009 § Leave a comment
Better watch your back, Sasha Fierce! Looks like a new fashion bitch is in town. One of my favorite fashion icons is making the publicity rounds, ‘cuz her next album is about to drop. So she needs to be all over the press, natch. And what better way to draw attention to yourself than wearing increasingly ridiculous clothes?
Apparently, our beloved glamazon’s been researching fashion styles – probably to go along with her new album. Says RiRi: “In the past few months I’ve done a lot of research in the fashion world because I wanted to work with a bunch of designers that are kinda underground, people who aren’t the obvious.” RiRi’s even been spotted in some of my favorite designers: Gareth Pugh, McQueen, and Rick Owens. Way to work the goth chic.
If you ask me, RiRi out-fierces Beyonce’s any day. Rihanna is so high fashion it’s sickening. To me, being high fashion means anticipating the photograph – you always look like an editorial. Little miss Beyonce has no innate fashion sense. But does she need one? This bitch could sing an album of Nutritional Facts and I would buy it. Rihanna’s a fashion icon, and B’s a voice-box.
But B u still my girl, though!
November 7, 2009 § Leave a comment
This week Julian Casablancas dropped “Phrazes for the Young,” Casablancas’s first solo album and one of the best debuts I’ve heard. For fans of The Strokes out there hoping this would be another Strokes album, sorry. Let’s get one thing straight: “Phrazes” is not “The Strokes, Part 4.” Jules’ solo offering pushes the retro, electro, neo-glow sounds of the 1980s to the hilt. Heavy bass and synthesizers pop up everywhere, and you can’t help but get up and gyrate. Listening to the album makes me want to hold up a pink glow stick in gold lame leggings at an “ultra-hip” rave or, perhaps, at a McCarren Park pool party, which I might do since he will obviously play there next summer.
I suppose recording a solo debut is difficult, especially when you’re Julian Casablancas and part of the American rock canon. How do I do something new? Maybe opening up Logic on your Macbook and fiddling around is one way to distance yourself from the croon everybody knows you for. Stylistically, “Phrazes” has a fairly consistent sound: think electronic + disco + new wave — which everybody from The Noisettes to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is doing right now. Did all these peeps record their disco + new wave albums together in the same recording session? « Read the rest of this entry »
April 1, 2009 § Leave a comment
I’ve been patiently waiting for a new YYY full-length album to drop for nearly three years. YYY is one of my favorite bands, mostly because of lead singer Karen O.’s ridiculous outfits and equally ridiculous stage antics. And with their latest joint It’s Blitz!, the party is just getting started.
Call me a latecomer, but I first heard about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Misshapes in 2006, which for five years was the über-hot hipster dance party in all of New York City and the civilized world. The shenanigans were all about New York grunge, glamour and rock and roll. So the YYY’s were obviously a perfect music fit. I still remember the moment when the ultra-hip DJ, whose eyes were cloaked behind a force field of unnaturally black bangs, spun the YYY’s song “Date With the Night” and I nearly lost my marbles on the dance floor. With lead singer Karen O.’s twangy, breathy vocals (“choke, choke, choke!”), Brian Chase’s pulsating drums and Nick Zinner’s violent guitar, “Date With the Night” sent electric waves through my body like I’d never felt before. And I have been a die-hard YYY fan ever sense.
YYY is a New York band known for its grungy, guitar-driven, recorded-in-my-living room type of sound. “Tick” from the trio’s debut album Fever to Tell (2003) is short, scrappy and super energetic. “You make me/tick tick tick/you look so good.” And just like “Date With the Night,” “Tick” is all about the exploding bassline and Zinner’s virtuosic guitar riffs. But the original sound that gave YYY traction in indie circles became more polished and slightly more commercial on their sophomore album, Show Your Bones (2006). I didn’t love this album as much as the first one, but it still has some good tracks on it, like “Honeybear,” with its chorus, “Good good things happen in bad towns.” Their 2007 EP Is Is returned to the original DIY recording style and sound, but didn’t really take the band in new directions.
With their latest offering, YYY poses the typical third-album question: “How can we evolve as a band if we make the same album over and over again?”
So on It’s Blitz!–god I love that exclamation point—YYY gives us fuckin’ retro disco! I didn’t see that one coming. Let me just say that I am completely obsessed with this album, seriously queening out over it. It’s Blitz! is spicy, sweet, in your face and fierce. It combines what I love about indie rock into 10 little songs: dance rock, still sorta dance-y slow ballads, hard guitar riffs, and fun most of all. You can tell that these guys had a lot of fun making this album, which was largely recorded in the middle of nowhere Mexico.
The most interesting thing about It’s Blitz! is that heroin-chic Nick Zinner basically scrapped his guitar for vintage synth machines, or guitars that sound like synths, which gives the group a whole different retro type of sound. So in a way, it’s like the cool kids returned to their retro roots only to squish them like the egg on the cover of the album.
The lead single “Zero” opens with a static-y synthesizer sound that makes you want to wear neon, shoulder pads and dance right in the middle of the street. I was a little unsure about “Zero” at first because it sounded super commercial—you know, I didn’t hear that NY grunge/angst that hooked me at the beginning. But midway into the track, Karen O. busts out her trademark call-and-response, breathy vocals (“Was it the cure? Shellshock! Was it the cure? Hope not!”) and Nick goes out full blast. That’s the YYY I love!
The album’s other excellent joints include “Heads Will Roll”; “Shame and Fortune”; “Dull Life”; “Runaway” and “Hysteric.” “Soft Shock” presents a side of Karen O. that I’ve never heard before—an upbeat, almost jazzy swagger, complete with gorgeous breathy vocals: “Well it’s a soft shock to your soft side/ summer moon/ catch your shut eye.” But it’s not fair to qualify the album’s songs this time because they’re all really great. Except for “Little Shadow,” which I think belongs at the bottom of the earth.
But what really excites me about It’s Blitz! is that it’s such a fun, dance-y album that I can’t wait to go see them in concert and witness Karen O. turn these gems into ridiculous performances, aided by ironic outfits and wild stage antics. See you at Coachella.
June 10, 2008 § 2 Comments
Anybody who knows me knows I love a British band. Just look through my iPhone – more than half of the bands up in there are from the other side of the pond: Hard-Fi, The Rakes, Patrick Wolf, Mark Ronson, Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons. And now, The Ting Tings.
The U.K.’s newest export of indie pop is front-lined by this blond chick (Katie White) who’s got a funky sense of style, and this random other guy who might as well remain nameless (Jules De Martino). TTT is a band that comes packed with a lot of hype, having had a song featured in an iPod commercial and another on the illustrious Gossip Girl and all.
OK, OK. So erebody likes their two songs. But what of the rest of the album?
I’m here to tell you that their debut “We Started Nothing” is boring. 😦 It’s sloppily put together. It shakes too quickly between ballads, dance songs and songs that sound the same. I know that an album is supposed to have balance – you know, a fast song, a slow song, a sing-songy song, coupled with more fast songs. But you know what? If you can’t sing, why poison your listeners? I’ve got nothing against singers. But if you can’t do it, don’t.
After listening to more than one song, you get the idea that TTT is just another “simply-add-water”, readymade ‘hipster’ band. There’s nothing really new about them. Not. A. Single. Thing. Canned beats? Check. Ironic/kooky outfits? Check. Poloroid snapshots? Check check check!
If you like TTT’s funk and spunk, check out The Noisettes.
Even though TTT’s album is poorly put together; and besides the fact that most of their songs sound exactly like the song before it; and forgiving that the little blond bitch who can’t sing, I like TTT. They’re hip, fun, catchy. But maybe they’ll be more inspired on their next album.
1) Great DJ
2) That’s Not My Name (obvi)
3) Fruit Machine
5) Shut Up and Let Me Go
10) We Started Nothing