Pharrell’s new video for “Come Get It Bae” brings up a lot of questions: Why does the video start out by stating “beauty has no expiration date,” only for the multiple dancers in the video to all look to be in their thirties or younger? Why is Pharrell filming the dancers? Shouldn’t he be singing?
For the first video from her forthcoming sophomore album, The Other Person Is You, singer-songwriter Lara Meyerratken, aka El May, took to the streets of New York City with director Yaara Sumeruk. The Australian musician brought along a pair of headphones and an iPhone loaded with her bouncy, dancehall-infused single “I Played a Role” and captured the reactions of people on the street hearing the track for the first time. Like Meyerratken, the song and the video’s conceit are fun and more than a little cutesy without crossing over into full-blown twee quirkiness.
“The train scene was our dream come true,” Meyerratken, who resides in L.A., writes in an email. “We had imagined a best-case scenario, where our journey around the city over the two days coincided with some amazing subway dancers. At the end of the day, headed to our final locations, exhausted on the J train, we heard the famous call: ‘SHOW TIME!’ So we approached them… it turned out to be a real highlight!”
The Other Person Is You, which features contributions from indie rock royalty like the Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly and Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham from Luna, is out Aug. 26.
Most people recognize Questlove as The Roots’ drummer and Jimmy Fallon’s sidekick, but as of Wednesday night, he will also be the executive producer of SoundClash, a new music show coming to VH1 and Palladia. In honor of this venture, in which he gets top artists to play different renditions of their hits and/or cover other performers’ work, Time talked with the artist about the music of summer, and specifically, where he falls on the cultural appropriation debate surrounding Iggy Azalea.
When asked if he was pro- or anti-Azalea, Questlove said he can see both sides. “I’m caught in between,” he said. “And I defend it. I see false Instagram posts like, ‘She said the N-word! She said the N-word!’ I’ll call people out—’Yo, don’t troll.’ I know you’re ready to give your 42-page dissertation on theGrio about why this is culture vulture-ism.
“You know, we as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture,” Questlove continued. “If you love something, you gotta set it free. I will say that ‘Fancy,’ above any song that I’ve ever heard or dealt with, is a game-changer in that fact that we’re truly going to have to come to grips with the fact that hip-hop has spread its wings.”
For Questlove, the Azalea conversation is about more than just her music. It’s also about where she’s from. And she isn’t the only Australian artist Questlove’s currently listening to. “I don’t think it’s a mistake that a lot of of my favorite artists are coming from Down Under,” he said. “A lot of them [are] more soulful than what we’re dealing with now. When you think soul music and Aretha Franklin and the Baptist-born singer, that’s sort of an idea in the past. As black people, we’re really not in the church as we used to be, and that’s reflected in the songs now.”
Though he’s still on the fence about the simmering Azalea controversy—”I’m not going to lie to you, I’m torn between the opinions on the internet, but I’mma let Iggy be Iggy,” Questlove said—he was able to come to a decision on whether her hit “Fancy” should be labeled the song of the summer. “The song is effective. I’m in the middle of the approximation of the enunciation, I’ll say,” he explained, again acknowledging the debate. “Part of me hopes she grows out of that and [sings] with her regular dialect—I think that would be cooler. But, yeah, ‘Fancy’ is the song of the summer.”
Yawn is an electronics-heavy pop band who has spent the past five years building up a reputation in the Chicago DIY scene, and the band is starting to ease its way up aboveground. Last year, they played Lollapalooza, and this year they’re releasing their second album, Love Chills, with an immediately catchy lead single.
Like the rest of the LP, “Flytrap” was recorded in the band’s live-in studio, which was formerly occupied by the bro-metal band Disturbed (of “Down With the Sickness” fame), and its combination of swaggering fuzztone riffs and trippy electronic flourishes sound like something that will land them a nice spot on the festival circuit.
Love Chills is out September 9 on Old Flame.
Broods are a brother and sister—Georgia and Caleb Nott—based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Geographically inclined pop listeners will note that this is where zeitgeist-dominating teen pop phenomenon Lorde also lives, and the two acts have more in common than just a hometown–Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen, was produced by Joel Little, who also helmed Pure Heroine, and they share a common goal of uniting radio-friendly pop hooks and the cool-toned minimalist aesthetic that’s been dominating hip-hop during the Drake era.
Recently they released the first single from Evergreen, “Mother & Father,” and with its sweeping hook and up-to-the-minute production it’s already looking like it has a good chance of continuing the Kiwi takeover of the American pop charts. (Their upcoming tour with Sam Smith should help as well.) EW got on the phone with Georgia Nott to discuss it.
Kasai Allstars are from the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and as their name suggests, they’re something of a supergroup, with around 25 musicians drawn not only from six different bands but from five different ethnic groups that reside in the area, not all of which have historically gotten along. Their music not only bridges the gaps between their disparate musical cultures, but in the process of adapting parts for traditional acoustic instruments for modern electrified ones they link two distinct eras of African music.
Next Tuesday, Crammed Discs will release the group’s double album, Beware the Fetish, which offers not only a pleasurable crash course in Congolese folklore (it includes story-songs with evocative titles like “As They Walked Into the Forest On a Sunday, They Encountered Apes Dressed as Humans”) but a blend of hypnotic rhythms and peripatetic melodies that should appeal equally to fans of dance music and jazz. In the meantime, here’s the video for “Yangye, the Evil Leopard.”
On a good day, rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris have enough drama going on in their lives to test the very limits of the reality show they’ve inhabited since 2011 on T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, and the past few months have been particularly dramatic—even by their standards.
Never ones to handle things anything close to quietly, Tip and Tiny have apparently decided to address the situation through a pair of songs about their relationship. Yesterday, T.I. released a new single, “Stay,” a slow jam with an early-Kanye-style chipmunk soul sample and nostalgia-drenched lyrics that profess undying devotion to a woman with the clumsily earnest hyperbole of a New Edition song. (“Girl, together or apart / But you’ll be forever in my heart, I swear.”)
T.I. and boxer Floyd Mayweather have been beefing recently, and back in May the situation escalated when Mayweather seemingly claimed during a press conference to have slept with Tiny. (Mayweather says he was misheard.) At the same time, the runaway success of T.I.’s protege Iggy Azalea has reignited longstanding rumors that their relationship extends beyond business.
At nearly the same time “Stay” went online, Tiny was posting a new video for “What You Gon Do?” which offers a much different take, and as its combative title suggests (the dirty version is actually called “What The F@#K You Gon Do?”), it doesn’t share “Stay”‘s optimistic perspective. The co-writer of “No Scrubs,” Harris is an expert at airing out men who don’t meet her standards, and the lyrics run down a long list of a partner’s shortcomings, interspersed with threats to up and leave him. The combination of unflinching frankness and a beat that consists of little more than a fantastically deep bass line is enough to blow the sappy “Stay” out of the water. If Tiny and T.I. are entering a full-blown feud with one another (whether actual, scripted or somewhere in between), she’s taking an early lead.
It has just as many famous people as Taylor Swift’s Instagram vacations, but this time we’re all invited.
In a press release today, Clear Channel announced the lineup for the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival, which will take place on September 19 and 20 in Las Vegas.
The performers include Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Usher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Motley Crue, Zac Brown Band, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Iggy Azalea, Train, Eric Church, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Bastille, Steve Aoki and more.
For the second season premiere of his reality show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family, the unlikely chart-topping MC (and co-star of Ariana Grande’s ’90s-throwback hit “The Way”) brings his crew on a trip to Ireland as the opening act for Lil Wayne’s tour. Miller uses the excursion as an opportunity to get in touch with his Irish roots, which seems to involve a lot of yelling at the country’s rolling green hills and drinking a bunch of Irish whiskey. After a few Jamesons at a local pub, he decides to sit in with the house band to explore a trad-folk side that his records probably haven’t prepared you for.
The new season starts tonight at 11:30 ET on MTV2.
Jack White’s Third Man Records has made its name on compellingly ambiguous projects that exist in a sort of quantum superposition of established formats: a record store that’s also a recording studio, a box set that’s also a piece of furniture. The company has just announced that it’s moving into the publishing world with the first release from its Third Man Books imprint, and as should be expected, the “book” that it’s putting out isn’t just a book.
Language Lessons: Volume I has its bookish aspects—in particular, a 321-page hardbound anthology of prose and poetry co-edited by poet/musician Chet Weise and Third Man co-founder Ben Swank that includes award-winning writers like Dale Ray Phillips, C.D. Wright, and Adrian Matejka. It also includes five prints of poems illustrated by underground comics artist Jim Blanchard and Tim Kerr, the former guitarist for Texan hardcore pioneers Big Boys. And to take the project to the level of complexity that Third Man is famous for, the “book” also includes a compilation album that includes contributions from such diverse artists as trash-rockers Destruction Unit and legendary avant-jazz saxophonist Ken Vandermark.
The set, which retails for $50, arrives on shelves August 5 and is available for pre-order now.
Latest Videos in Music
- 'Fifty Shades of Grey': First trailer's here
- Sigourney Weaver is digital Ripley in 'Alien' game
- 'Avengers: Age of Ultron': 2 concept art posters
- Comic-Con: Norman Reedus as Marshmallow Man?
- 'Max Steel' goes to the movies: 8 First Look photos
- 'Ant-Man' Comic-Con poster: First Look
- Robert Downey Jr. on 'Iron Man': 'Why give up the belt?'
- 'Arrow' First Look: Colton Haynes as Arsenal