Fear not, Americans: It’s understandable if, like so many things in the world beyond our borders, you’re unsure of who Sam Smith is, and why he is being shown to you on television.
Tag: Pop (81-90 of 1105)
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.
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:
Neon Trees’ frontman Tyler Glenn came out as gay in an interview for the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, in which he talks about his first crushes and his feelings on fellow LGBT celebrities.
“I really love all of the sports figures that are coming out recently,” Glenn told Rolling Stone. “I appreciated Michael Sam was like, ‘I want to be able to go to the movies and hold hands with my boyfriend.’ Even hearing him say ‘boyfriend,’ I was just like, that’s cool.”
After Mother Monster was vomited on at Stubbs BBQ last night — for the show guys, it was all part of the show — she came to the SXSW keynote address wearing a full body tarp and dreadlocks that gave her a distinct Twins from The Matrix vibe.
The address wasn’t actually speech, but a Q&A session hosted by John Norris, the former MTV VJ who is now a producer for Fuse. Norris couldn’t help himself and dove right in with a barf joke: “You could’ve used that outfit last night, huh?” Thank you for saying what we were all thinking. (Although, I have to question his John Galliano armband. Pourquoi?) Lady Gaga seemed subdued, which is probably because she was feeling a little wrung out from all the mechanical bull/pig riding that she did last night. That really takes it out of you.
There were two overarching ideas that she kept circling back to in her answers and they might not be what you expected: 1) The music industry machine is ruining lives, but corporate sponsorships are, surprisingly, not. 2) Twitter is ruining lives. (This from a woman with 41 million followers.) The first point was a reaction to the flack that she’s gotten for showing up to SXSW–once upon a time, a festival for unknown artists–and playing under the massive corporate logo of Doritos, which underwrote her performance. The second point, well, let’s just say Gaga is competing with Anne Hathaway for the most cyber-haters.
So here are seven things we learned from Gaga’s keynote address: READ FULL STORY
Here’s the most important thing you have to know about Lady Gaga’s performance at SXSW on Thursday night: At one point, while performing the ARTPOP track “Swine,” Gaga climbed aboard a mechanical bull that had a pig’s head. A second woman, a performance artists from London who Gaga introduced as Millie, climbed onto the bull with her and proceeded to vomit directly onto the bright white apron that gaga was wearing.
It was certainly a new brand of visual, and one that Gaga designed specifically for this special show that was originally supposed to be staged inside the giant Doritos vending machine but was later moved to the faux-amphitheater at Stubb’s. That smaller stage was converted into “Lady Gaga’s Haus of Swine,” according to a light up sign on stage right. The mechanical pig wasn’t the only attraction; she opened the show by singing “Aura” while rotating on a barbecue spit (this was after six solid minutes of her eating ribs on stage in silence). You can’t accuse her of not knowing how to work a crowd, as she also re-arranged “Bad Romance” into a country-blues hybrid that featured some pretty mean fiddling.
It was hard to imagine what Lady Gaga would do on such a small stage, but she made it work. READ FULL STORY
Who wears the leather pants in music these days? Men still turn out smash songs by singing over guitars. But not since Mumford & Sons strapped on their suspenders have any rock hitmakers broken out as true stars, famous for anything other than scaling the charts. What do you know about the guys in Bastille or OneRepublic, the two bands currently sitting pretty in the Hot 100 top 10? Maybe you can name their singles (“Pompeii” and “Counting Stars,” respectively). But they don’t give off even a glimmer of the cherished emblems of the classic Rock Star: turbulent souls, incendiary lyrics, boa-draped fashion statements, dangerous good looks.
Instead, we’re saddled with mock stars: guys with paltry backstories, little apparent fire under their asses, and indifferent bedhead. And dudes these recent chart-cloggers be. In addition to Bastille and OneRepublic, there’s Imagine Dragons, Capital Cities, AWOLNATION, and Foster the People—all entirely male. They are not entirely terrible. Their modern rock does sound approachably modern, folding in synths and drum machines, with hooks that resonate rather than kick you directly in the acorns. These songs live in the rock fan’s friend zone: ever present, not unpleasant, but deeply unsexy.
L.A. trio Foster the People (pictured) were responsible for one of the biggest and most compelling mock-star smashes to date: “Pumped Up Kicks,” from their debut Torches, has sold more than 5 million copies since the song’s release in 2010. The deceptively sunny track, which frontman Mark Foster made as a demo and never rerecorded, takes the perspective of an unhinged, gun-toting kid; it’s like “Jeremy,” Pearl Jam’s schoolboy-psycho song, minus the anguish and that poor recess lady.
Spandau Ballet put on insanely good show (seriously) at their first U.S. appearance in 28 years at SXSW
As one of their publicists pointed out to me just as they were taking the stage at the reconstituted Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, I was not even born when Spandau Ballet took their maiden voyage from London to New York to play Danceteria and essentially import England’s New Romantic scene to these shores. It’s been a while since their debut, and it has been almost as long in between U.S. tour stops.
Wednesday night, Spandau Ballet played their first U.S. show in 28 years, and it cannot be overstated: they slayed. In town to promote the forthcoming biopic about their rise to fame in the early ’80s, the band took it upon themselves to re-introduce their tunes to a fresh army of ears. READ FULL STORY
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 away. READ FULL STORY
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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