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Tag: Things That Are Awesome (61-70 of 456)

Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu slink through 'Q.U.E.E.N.' video: Watch it here!

The sexy, slinky, impossibly funky grooves of Janelle Monae’s new Erykah Badu-assisted single “Q.U.E.E.N.” demanded a next-level video, and the forward-thinking Monae has certainly delivered.

Last night, Monae pulled back the curtain on her new clip, which takes place in an alternate future that casts Monae and her musical accomplices as exhibits in a living museum, imprisoned there because of some sort of unsavory undermining of authority (or maybe they just got freaked out by Badu’s hair).

The video was directed by Alan Ferguson, who previously directed the clip for Monae’s “Many Moons” and has also guided spots for Beyoncé, Katy Perry, and Fall Out Boy.

Check out the clip below, which stars Monae as herself and Badu as “Badoula Oblongata,” which is a fantastic alter ego. READ FULL STORY

Backstreet Boys reflect on their 20th anniversary, release album sneak peeks

The Backstreet Boys are far from boys these days.

Almost all of them are married (Nick Carter was recently engaged), four of the five have children (the oldest is 11), and this week, they celebrated their 20th year as a band. “It’s amazing,” Kevin Richardson, 41, told EW before the band previewed material from their forthcoming record for fans in Hollywood Saturday night. “To be able to do this for so long, it’s quite an accomplishment.” READ FULL STORY

Record Store Day 2013: What's on your must-have list for the annual vinyl bonanza? Here's ours

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This Saturday, April 20, a great yearly tradition arrives once again.

No, not that one. We’re talking about the sixth annual Record Store Day, which pays tribute to the independently-owned record stores that were once ubiquitous but are often now fighting just to stay afloat in in the iTunes and Amazon age.

The day is more than just a tribute to the fetishization of vinyl; it also honors the sense of community that comes when a bunch of music obsessives get together to talk about their favorite stuff — and kick-fight in the aisles over a limited-edition Roky Erikson 7-inch, or whatever their coveted object may be. (Check out the impressively large list of stores that are participating in this year’s festivities.)

Though there are plenty of live in-store performances, signings, and giveaways, the main attraction has become the vinyl releases that surface for one day only (and then for an eternity on eBay). This year’s list doesn’t have the same parade of heavy hitters as last year’s, but there are still plenty of goodies worth seeking.

I love Record Store Day, mostly because I just love record stores. I’ll be celebrating this year at my home base during my high school years, and here’s what I’ll be searching for:  READ FULL STORY

Daft Punk's new single 'Get Lucky' lands on Earth: Hear it here!

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At long last, everyone’s favorite French robo-dudes are back.

Just after midnight, Daft Punk finally unveiled “Get Lucky,” the first single from their new and long-awaited (unless you’re one of the guys this guy is looking for) album Random Access Memories. Though there have been some brief snippets that have shown up during television commercials and some pretty convincing fakes circulating around the Internet over the past week or so, this is the real deal.

The track features vocals by Pharrell Williams and some blistering guitar work care of Nile Rodgers. It’s now available for sale on iTunes, but you can go ahead and give it a spin below.  READ FULL STORY

Fall Out Boy pay tribute to Spinal Tap on 'Conan': Watch here!

Fall Out Boy just dropped their latest (and actually very good) album Save Rock and Roll, and though their song titles are not as pun-tacular as they used to be, the band clearly hasn’t lost its sense of humor.

On last night’s episode of Conan, the band busted out Save Rock and Roll‘s first single “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark” with a little help from the famous “Rock and Roll Creation” pods from This Is Spinal Tap.

When one of the pods failed to open (as they are wont to do) and imprisoned bassist Pete Wentz, Tap’s own bassist Derek Smalls (a.k.a. actor and writer Harry Shearer) filled in on the low end.

He brought along some pals, too. Check out the entirety of Fall Out Boy’s performance on last night’s episode of Conan below: READ FULL STORY

Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan on 'Delta Machine,' inspiring Frank Ocean, and what his band has in common with Led Zeppelin

Depeche Mode just released their 13th album Delta Machine, their strongest outing of the 21st century. Though they’ve been at it for over three decades, they show few signs of slowing and remain as relevant as ever: They’re constantly being covered (“Just Can’t Get Enough,” the band’s first single, showed up this season on Glee), and as frontman Dave Gahan points out, also regularly providing inspiration for a new generation of boundary-pushing artists.

EW: Your new album Delta Machine was made both in New York, where you live, and in California where Martin Gore has his studio. How does Depeche Mode work being a bi-coastal operation?
Dave Gahan: Depeche Mode is a bit of a revolving door when it comes to other people that work on our record since Alan Wilder left the band 20 years ago. We’ve had to adapt to different ways of working on things. This time we worked with Chris Berg who is a Swedish musician, and he’s worked with bands like Fever Ray and the Knife. He does sort of hardcore electronic stuff. He fit right in, he knew exactly what he was doing, he was very bold, he had great ideas. Martin and I both need a different angle, and that’s what makes it interesting. But to answer your question, yes, Martin’s out there in California, I’m here in New York, so basically we just the recording in half. He has a nice studio in his house, too. This record was really kind of a pleasure to make with Martin. He’s in great shape, he’s writing great songs. He’s as positive as we get as musicians. We’ve come a long way together, we see our strengths and we’ve come to this place where we have a very strong musical bond. I think that just happens with time. Being in a band, you spend the first 10 years chasing something. You spend the next 10 years trying to hold onto it. We’ve spent the last 10 years just kind of doing our own thing. I think there’s a great strength in having the courage and also having the support to do what you want to do when you’re an artist in any way shape or form. And we’ve been lucky to have some great people working with us.

You say you and Martin are positive, but Delta Machine is still pretty dark. Where does that come from?
That’s just in us. READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake plays Memphis tribute at the White House -- VIDEO

Most fans will have the opportunity to see Justin Timberlake live on stage in baseball and football stadiums this summer, but if you’re the leader of the free world, you can just go ahead and book JT to play your home.

Last night, Timberlake joined Booker T. Jones, Ben Harper, Alabama Shakes, Mavis Staples, and a handful of other performers in a tribute to Memphis soul music. It was the latest entry in the “In Performance at the White House” series, concerts that have become a staple of the Obama White House.

“Let’s face it, who does not love this music?” the President said during his introduction to the evening’s music. “These songs get us on the dance floor. They get stuck in our heads. We go back over them again and again. And they’ve played an important part in our history.” READ FULL STORY

Paramore's Hayley Williams on new album, moving to Los Angeles, and Blondie

In December 2010, Paramore members Josh and Zac Farro abruptly left the group, leaving a lot of questions hanging in the air. Would they continue on? Would charismatic singer Hayley Williams embark on a solo career? Would the band’s sound change completely?

Today, those questions are finally answered. The just-released Paramore, the band’s fourth album, pushes the now-trio’s vision forward. Though the band—Williams, guitarist Taylor York, and bassist Jeremy Davis—hasn’t entirely left its snotty pop-punk roots behind, they’ve fully embraced elements of New Wave, garage rock, and bubbly electro-pop.

The key to Paramore‘s coherence is Williams, whose voice has picked up more colors and whose lyrics are at their most direct and expansive on the new album. EW caught up with Williams via phone a few weeks back, where she talked about her bouts of writers’ block, the weirdness involved in choosing a producer, and the importance of the Warped Tour. And be sure to check out their just-released video for “Still Into You” at the bottom.

Entertainment Weekly: What was the first song that came together for Paramore?
Hayley Williams: “Proof” was the first song that we came up with. It was one of the first sets of lyrics I came up with, and I had this melody idea for it and I took it to Taylor, and like the next day we had the song. So that one came really easily, but then we had two and a half months of the worst writers’ block you could possibly imagine. That’s when we wrote the interludes. We needed something to laugh about and soften the blow that we couldn’t write any songs that we loved. And it was weird, because as soon as those interludes were done, the songs started happening. We realized we don’t need to take ourselves so seriously.

What was driving that writers’ block? What were you thinking while in the midst of it?
I was in this crazy depression about it. READ FULL STORY

Tyrone Wells, Brendan James, and Brett Young at New York's City Winery: On the scene

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Last night, the stage at New York’s City Winery hosted three musicians whose names you may not recognize, but whose songs you’ve already heard on shows like Vampire Diaries to Grey’s Anatomy (or just may be hearing more of soon).

Brett Young kicked off the night with a glass of wine in one hand and a guitar in the other. Accompanied by Jay Ollero, Young brought charming country vocals, his heartfelt lyrics and the occasional Bruno Mars cover as he sang about young love, lost love and everything in between. Young kept things short and sweet, ending his set with his newest single, “Kiss by Kiss.”

Contemporary singer/songwriter Brendan James followed, sitting down behind his keyboard and belting out fan favorites “Green” and “None of Them Are You.” James sang about his days spent in New York City, gun violence and even a song he wrote for his younger sister when she was experiencing her first break-up. But it wasn’t until he brought his drummer, Craig Meyer, on stage that the tempo picked up, switching seamlessly from heavy ballads to dance-worthy jams.

Then came the main attraction: Tyrone Wells. Opening with “Sink or Swim,” — which many know from Grey’s Anatomy season six promo — Wells’ vocals were just as strong live as on any CD, a soothing combination of falsetto and gruffness. Wells mixed old songs with new, adjusting his set list to incorporate audience requests, which led to at least one incident of yodeling.

Wells, whose set included a ukulele and a drum solo, won the audience over with a folksy diva mash-up that included Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain,” Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” As the show came to a close, Wells belted out every last note to “When All is Said and Done,” even stepping away from the mic and finishing the last verse acapella — and just when the audience thought it was over, he brought the band back out to perform fan favorite, “I Will Remain.”

Wells and his openers are playing dates across the U.S. through April; give them a chance and go catch them if you can.

Read more:
Pink spins out over Madison Square Garden: On the scene
Tegan and Sara dance through “Heartthrob’ — Live on the scene at New York’s Beacon Theater
Lady Gaga brings Born This Way Ball to Los Angeles: On the scene

Daft Punk officially announce new album, 'Random Access Memories,' with iTunes pre-order

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Yes, it’s happening. And we’re gonna celebrate.

Daft Punk officially announced their return with a press release emailed out at the dancefloor-appropriate hour of 1:45am EST last night — providing a link to the iTunes pre-order of their Random Access Memories for $11.99 plus an official website, randomaccessmemories.com, for the CD ($12.98) and vinyl ($39.98, which includes a digital album download code, an LP size booklet and “180 gram double vinyl gatefold”).

There’s no direct reference to a release date on the album site, but the iTunes page says “Expected Release May 21, 2013″. So there’s that, and the one 15-second song loop that aired in Saturday Night Live ad a few weeks ago to keep you going until May.

More on EW.com:
TV Jukebox: ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘New Girl,’ ‘Girls,’ ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and more music-on-TV moments this week
Pink spins out over Madison Square Garden: On the Scene
Courtney Love confirms appearance on new Fall Out Boy album by mocking Britney Spears

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