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Lena Dunham directs new Bleachers video for 'I Wanna Get Better' -- watch it here

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The Bleachers video for “I Wanna Get Better” feels a lot like an episode of Girls: emotional discord and screwed-up relationships set against a backdrop of real-world apartments and therapists’ offices — and of course, random celebrity cameos.

The clip opens with lead singer Jack Antonoff (also the bassist of fun., and the real-life boyfriend of Ms. Dunham) chasing after his girlfriend as she storms out of the house, leaving him for good. “This is crazy; we’re, like, not even awake yet,” he whines. “Come back inside and I’ll make you an espresso.” But she’s not going to be placated, and his day is downhill from there.

Antonoff arrives at his psychiatric practice with coffee on his crotch and a bevy of disgruntled clients to see — played by actors like Retta from Parks & Rec and Mary Kay Place from Big Love. Everyone’s screaming “I Wanna Get Better,” (which should definitely be the theme song for GIRLS):

Anyway, watch the clip here:

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Fleetwood Mac return with Christine McVie for the first time in nearly 15 years

For years, the members of Fleetwood Mac have been touring as Fleetwood Mac, but hardcore fans have been missing one thing: Keyboardist Christine McVie, who hasn’t been with the group since 1998.

But now she’s back, and the classic Mac lineup—McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood—has new music and is headed out on the road again. Dates are still coming together, but the first show will be September 29 in Minneapolis.

McVie and Buckingham are working on new songs for an album, which would be the first recording with the classic Fleetwood Mac lineup since Tango In The Night, which came out all the way back in 1987.

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Puff Daddy returns with 'Big Homie': Hear it here!

Hot off the heels of re-christening himself Puff Daddy, the man born Sean Combs (also known as Diddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, Shiny Suit Man, One of Dave Chappelle’s Best Impressions, and that guy who is always on top of the Forbes Richest Musicians List despite not making very much music) has a new single called “Big Homie.” It was supposed to drop on Monday, but the streets couldn’t wait, as they say.

“Big Homie” features French Montana and Rick Ross, and the latter is clearly the biggest influence on Puff’s current sound: It’s big, it’s badass-sounding, and it leans into that signature monster plod. But while Ross’ penchant for rapping just behind the beat always sounds like a conscious decision (not even the power of rhythm can move the Bawse), Puff just sounds slightly inept (which is a pretty accurate description of his career-long rhyme style). Everybody is going hard, but by surrounding himself with high-impact blasters in Montana and Ross, Puff highlights the oomph his rapping has always lacked.

Still, “Big Homie” is a reasonable enough return to form for Puff Daddy that it should spark plenty of curiosity for his upcoming album MMM. And props to him for that line “The only one that’s topping Forbes/I’m getting lonely.” Listen to “Big Homie” below.

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'This Is A Trent Reznor Song' now has a Nine Inch Nails-biting video

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A few weeks ago, a dude named Frederick Scott tickled Nine Inch Nails fans with “This Is A Trent Reznor Song,” a loving tribute to the NIN frontman’s songwriting and performance tics. It was awesome, and one of the better musical parodies on the entirety of the Internet.

Now comes the next stage: Scott’s video for “This Is A Trent Reznor Song,” which borrows elements from the clips for Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and “The Hand That Feeds.” Once again Scott nails it, with the same kind of video effects from “The Hand That Feeds” and the commitment to spooky photography and weird lighting from the classic “Closer.”

It’s a little more outwardly funny than the song itself—the reaction shot Scott gives to the bottle of milk is particularly fantastic—but it still retains the same kind of reverence for Reznor’s work as the track.

Check out the video below. And while you’re at it, check out some of the clips from Nine Inch Nails’ Tension tour, one of the better live music experiences from last year.

 

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Shakira is a girl on fire in new video for 'Empire': Watch it here

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Shakira is no stranger to wacky visuals, and the new video for “Empire” lives up to the bar set by her past work.

In the clip for the song, which comes from her just-released self-titled album, Shakira is dressed as a ballerina bride at a lovely-looking country wedding. But before she walks down the aisle, she gets cold feet, and the only cure for cold feet is to light yourself on fire.

With her veil torched, she splits the rest of her time in a cartoon-pretty field (perhaps a vineyard?) and dressing in black so she can do back bends in a tower, all the while inviting us to observe when “the stars make love to the universe.”

It’s twice as nutty as that sounds, so you should probably just set aside four minutes for crazy and watch it below:

 

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SXSW Friday: Soundgarden, Green Day, and the search for something loud

With Lady Gaga and her bucking vomitron in my rearview, my personal goal for Friday at SXSW was to find some good old-fashioned, turned-to-11 rawk. I had already seen a lot of about-to-break indie, a handful of promising rappers, and one gigantic intergalactic pop star. Now it was time to find some volume.

Anybody who has read my tweets or been forced to sit outside my office for months at a time under the auspices of “work experience” (sorry, interns!) knows that I like things fast and loud, which often means in extreme metal. But punk, garage rock, prog — these are all things that will satisfy my jones, and I was determined to seek out as many opportunities to permanently damage my hearing as I could find.

The day opened at Stubb’s at the Spin magazine party, a tradition that stretches back more than a decade. This year’s bill featured a fine cross-section of indie rock and fringe rap, with a lineup that included Future, Cloud Nothings, Against Me!, and Schoolboy Q. But my main concern was Radkey, a group made up of three brothers (ages 16, 18, and 20) who grind out delightfully unhinged punk tunes that also owe a healthy bit to Reagan-era thrash. It’s grim-sounding but well-executed, and as soon as their songwriting evolves even a tiny bit, they are going to be dangerous.  READ FULL STORY

Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q plant their flags at iTunes Festival at SXSW

It’s a testament to Kendrick Lamar’s industry power right now that Apple essentially gave him and his crew an entire evening to themselves on the second night of the inaugural iTunes Festival at SXSW.

Lamar’s crew/label conglomerate Top Dawg Entertainment filled ever nook of the evening’s festivities, from the three booked acts to the guest stars. Though not necessarily on the same scale, it conjured up memories of Kurt Cobain curating an entire main stage day at the 1992 Reading Festival—a huge cultural entity acknowledging the overwhelming impact of a single star.

Of course, Lamar wouldn’t have arrived at this point if he wasn’t a stellar live performer, and he brought the same kind of energy and execution in Austin that he brought during his run as one of the top festival stars of last summer. He did most of those shows with a band, but on Wednesday night he was backed only by a DJ, and the narrowing of the sound made his material feel more claustrophobic in some ways. He benefits from that kind of intensity though: READ FULL STORY

Least surprising news of the year: Taylor Swift is super rich

Taylor Swift is fantastically popular, a cultural juggernaut whose ubiquity has never seemed to quench the populace’s thirst for more. But as plenty of fame-soaked cautionary tales have taught us, that level of exposure doesn’t always equal financial solvency.

Of course, Swift doesn’t have that problem. At all. According to a list just published by Billboard, Swift was the top-earning musician in 2013, raking in $39,699,575.60 (specific!) based on album sales, touring revenue, publishing fees, and royalties from airplay, digital streaming and downloads.

That does not include any money Swift might have collected from sponsorship deals, corporate gigs, or whatever back end she still may be earning from Valentine’s Day. Also, because Billboard uses a standard methodology for all artists across the board (assuming, for example, a 20 percent artists’ take on album sales), it’s easy to believe that Swift’s intake was even higher, as she most likely has a better royalty rate than your average country-pop megastar. Another thing to note? She gives a lot of it awayREAD FULL STORY

SXSW Music 2014: 20 acts to see

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The annual South By Southwest festival/conference/conventio-con is underway, with the music getting started in earnest on Tuesday and rolling headlong through Saturday night.

This year’s event has its share of big name visitors: Lady Gaga will be delivering the keynote address and performing, and the likes of Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, and Pitbull will be headlining a series of shows as part of the iTunes Festival.

But SXSW was originally designed as a showcase for new music, a place where baby bands could get their first big taste of exposure and where those artists who were about to break finally actually broke. EW will be on the ground covering acts both big and small, including these 20 on-the-cusp artists we’re going out of our way to check out.

Temples: Throwback psychedelia is hard to do, but this British quartet blends just the right amount of crushing beauty and off-kilter left turns.

Angel Olsen: In the grand tradition of PJ Harvey, Olsen marries muscular guitar with her delicate warble for blow-away blasts of folk-rock and power blues.

Perfect Pussy: Despite their censor-baiting name (and what honestly seems like a pretty standard-issue fuzz-punk sound), there’s a lot of buzz on this Syracuse foursome.

Sleepy Kitty: For fans of Sleigh Bells — but sub in post-grunge jangle for noisecore.

Cloud Nothings: Noisy Cleveland-based anarchists nearly made it big with their exceptional 2012 album Attack on Memory. Could the bigger, badder, forthcoming Here and Nowhere Else put them over the top?

Vertical Scratchers: Ultra-fuzzy indie jangle care of a pair of blissed out Californians.

SKATERS: Four New Yorkers who split the difference between driving punk surges and carefully-curated sonic tapestries, all wrapped in a whatever-man sneer.

ScHoolboy Q: Sure, he topped the charts with his latest album OxyMoron, but the top lieutenant in Kendrick Lamar’s army is ready to take the next step into household name-ness.

Chet Faker: The Australian’s downtempo bedroom R&B that would swerve dangerously into the cheese lane were it not for bearded mastermind Nick Murphy’s convincingly syrupy baritone.

You Blew It!: Don’t look now, but an emo revival is about to kick into gear, and this Orlando-based combo are the finest purveyors of the new pollution.

Oh Honey: Nothing but positive jams for this strummy, soulful Brooklyn duo. Like Matt & Kim with better production values.

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Frank Ocean sued by Chipotle, releases song with Diplo and former Clash members [UPDATED]

Well, this might not be the Channel Orange followup we’ve been waiting for. On Friday, burrito emporium Chipotle sued Frank Ocean for backing out on a deal to deliver a song for an advertising campaign. The suit alleges that Chipotle paid Ocean $212,500 to record a new version of “Pure Imagination,” the song made famous in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for an ad benefiting the restaurant chain’s sustainable farming program. (Several artists, including Willie Nelson, have contributed to the program in the past.) The track was due back in August, but on the day that Ocean was supposed to deliver the tune, he told Chipotle he would not be delivering. READ FULL STORY

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