Punk-pop veterans Simple Plan are back—and they’ve got Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on their side.
EW has the exclusive stream of their collaboration “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You.” You can listen to it here: READ FULL STORY
Chances are you’ve either heard the Weeknd is the greatest thing to happen to R&B since the “Single Ladies” dance, or you don’t even know who he is.
If you haven’t heard of the Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfay), it might have something to do with the fact that his self-released debut was released only a week ago. Prior to that, he had a handful of songs floating around YouTube.
But ever since the Weeknd’s House of Balloons appeared as a free online download, his music has gathered the kind of media attention publicists usually offer blood sacrifices for: Fellow Canadian Drake has repeatedly Tweeted lyrics and linked to the mixtape, and an ensuing flurry of positive reviews tore through the online blogging community, including an 8.5 rating from tastemaker Pitchfork.
Listen to the slightly NSFW “Wicked Games” after the jump: READ FULL STORY
There was buzz around Canadian pop-rocker Fefe Dobson when she debuted her self-titled first album in 2003: The effort premiered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers Chart, sold about 300,000 copies domestically, and spawned one minorly successful single, “Take Me Away.” But then Dobson virtually disappeared, and it came to pass that her sophomore album—Sunday Love, which was to hit in 2006—would not be released by her label, Island Records. Until recently, Dobson had stepped away from the studio—or at least singing in the studio—and could mostly be found writing songs for other artists, everyone from Miley Cyrus (“Start All Over”) to Selena Gomez (“Round & Round”). But now, after more than seven years, Dobson has got a couple of new singles—“Ghost” and “Stuttering,” which she recently performed on The CW’s teen cheerleading drama Hellcats—and is finally ready to release another studio album. The disc, Joy, hits retailers today, in fact. To celebrate her return, EW got Dobson on the phone to talk about her scrapped album and the last few years; her new album; who she’s been writing for; and who’d she love to collaborate with in the future. Rock—or rather, read—on.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about your new album, Joy. It’s been a while since you released anything. How are you feeling about getting back out there?
FEFE DOBSON: So excited. I’ve been waiting for this release for forever. I tried to get it to a point where we’re all happy, and I’m happy, and I think we’re ready. I’m ready. I’m so stoked, I can’t explain it to you. I’m smiling right now.
When somebody says, “Give me the pitch for what Joy is,” how do you answer that?
Joy to me is a reflection of the life experiences that I’ve had throughout the first record and kind of having some time and a hiatus. It’s just like all of those experiences that I had during that period—that growing up period. I made my first record when I was 17, and I’m in my early 20s now, so I kind of had some time to figure stuff out.
You grow and change a lot during that period.
Exactly! You grow and evolve and as you do that, your art hopefully reflects that change and that growth. Musically, it’s still rock and roll, but there’s elements of pop because I love pop music. I love rock music, I love country music—I love all music, let’s be honest! But it reflects that and my interests. It’s a really raw record.
Raw in the sense that you feel like you put yourself out there? What does that mean?
Yeah, definitely because I put myself out there and just kind of expressed what’s going on and what’s been up. And it’s raw because, musically and sonically, there’s two sides of the album. There’s the indie side and the pop side, and the indie side is musically very raw, and sonically, and the pop record is more raw lyrically.
Wait, so the pop side is more raw lyrically and…
Basically, what’s happening is that I made this album for like three years. It’s a concept record, and half the record is indie rock and half the record is pop because that’s who I am as an artist. So we kind of wanted to make it more literal, and in a way poke fun, but also just say, “Here it is,” and put it on the table.
hit it big after being discovered on Youtube playing his guitar. Now with millions of albums sold, it appears he’s planning to take it back to simpler times and release an acoustic album. On Saturday (Oct. 16), the teen sensation asked his fans what their favorites are from his first two albums through his Twitter page. Justin Bieber
“curious…,” he started. “What is your favorite song on MY WORLD and MY WORLD 2.0?? If you could remix any song with another artist which would it be?” Then Justin shot his music director Dan Kanter a line suggesting they, “make an UNPLUGGED album for the fans for the holidays….or maybe we already did…hmmmm ;)”
“maybe we need to give everybody an UNPLUGGED acoustic album with that new song I cut in Hawaii for the holidays…thoughts???” he continued. “..so an UNPLUGGED album for the HOLIDAYS????” That he’s playing a cruel joke on his almost six million followers is highly unlikely. Bieber’s rep declined to comment on the possibility of an acoustic album. But he apparently has a date for its release set. “On November 23rd the Unplugged Acoustic album comes out! Taking it back to how we started,” Bieber tweeted Oct. 23. “Spread the word.”
Is the Bieb’s acoustic album on your wish list? What songs do you hope make the cut? Let us know.
(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter:@EWMusicMix.)
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Justin Bieber is known for eliciting squeals from tweens by way of singing and dancing. But last night the Biebs made his debut as a rapper. Over Cam’Ron and Vado’s “Speaking in Tungs,” a huge hip-hop record in New York’s tri-state area, Bieber confidently steps to the mic in a short Youtube clip. Honestly, he’s pretty good. Lyrically it’s pretty light on substance. But that’s okay. He’s only 16! And rich. He rhymes about buying a girl diamonds, being on fire, and being fly. But there is one line that’s a cut above the rest, where he takes a shot at New England Patriot Tom Brady – who’s been getting a lot of heat for sporting Bieber’s hairstyle. Apparently there can only be one mop cut king.This kid just does it all, huh?
“Call up Mr. Brady,” Bieber spits as he gets into quarterback stance. “Tell him leave his hair to the guy who sings ‘Baby‘.” It’s all in good fun, of course. Don’t expect a rap album from Bieber any time soon. “I just wanted to do this just to prove that I have skills on the rap game,” he says when the track winds down. Mission accomplished. Check out the clip after the jump and let us know what you think of it. Is it time for Brady to meet a pair of scissors now?
The Wilderness Downtown, the interactive website that Arcade Fire released last week for their song “We Used To Wait,” is something very different from a typical indie-rock promotional clip. So it’s fitting that the band hired a director, Chris Milk, who despite his impressive résumé in the field — Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” and “Touch the Sky,” U2 & Green Day’s “The Saints Are Coming” — has decidedly mixed feelings about the music video medium. “I spend a lot of time thinking about how music videos could ever achieve the emotional resonance of straight music,” Milk says in an email exchange with the Music Mix. “Honestly, I’m not sure music videos can ever really touch you as deeply as music alone can. Music scores your life. You interact with it. It becomes the soundtrack to that one summer with that one girl. Music videos are very concrete and rigid because they rely on someone else’s vision. Sometimes mine.”
Cutting-edge Web elements help make The Wilderness Downtown a more personal, immersive experience. Viewers enter an address of their choice (preferably their childhood home), calling up images from Google Maps at key moments in the song. As the music goes on, viewers can also enter messages to their younger selves which are then incorporated into the presentation. “By letting the audience participate in the visuals, we allow for more of an emotional connection,” Milk says. READ FULL STORY
The Toronto-based act is fronted by two Iranian-born brothers whose family fled the country after the 1979 revolution. The new version of the song features the line, “Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone!”
In a statement, Waters said that he believes Blurred Vision were playing a vital part in “the resistance to a regime that is both repressive and brutal.” Waters himself is touring the Pink Floyd album The Wall—which contains the original version of “Brick”—this fall.
You can check out Blurred Vision’s version of the song after the jump. The band are donating half of the proceeds from the track to the human rights organization Amnesty International.
recent announcement that the Arcade Fire had recruited Terry Gilliam to direct tomorrow night’s concert webcast from Madison Square Garden prompted much head scratching at EW Towers. Just what was the maker of such films as Brazil and 12 Monkeys going to bring to the live broadcast format, creatively-speaking? It turns out, Gilliam was wondering exactly the same thing and, with only a day to go before showtime, the jovial auteur says he remains a tad confused about his role in proceedings.The
“I’m trying to find out what this f—ing thing is,” admits the director and Monty Python comedy team member. “I keep reading that I’m directing this thing, but I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing. Their manager called my agent less than two weeks ago and said, ‘We’re doing this webcast and the band would love it if you got involved.’ [Tonight's MSG show] will be the fourth that I’ve been with them. I’m a groupie, basically! If I see somebody doing something stupid I’ll probably mention that to them. But their show’s really good, and they’ve got really good video stuff already. So we’ll stick with what they’re doing and I can sit back and take credit for everything.”
One thing Gilliam con confirm is that he is a big fan of the Canadian outfit: “I do think they’re very special. I’ve felt that since Funeral.” That admiration is apparently reciprocated by band members, and married couple, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. “Win said something to the effect that the first movie they ever saw together was Brazil,” reveals the director. “It’s a good way of finding out if your date is going to be part of your future! When Brazil came out I remember some married couples practically splitting over it. One would like it and the other would just despise the film.” Gilliam says he is regarding the webcast gig as an extended “date” during which he and the band can get to know each other, with an eye on collaborating properly at a later point. “It’s really about seeing if there’s a future between them and me,” muses the director.
Of course, Gilliam is infamous for the disasters that tend to befall his movies: “Me? What?” he deadpans when the subject is raised. But the director says that fans attending tomorrow night’s show at MSG need not worry about the possibility of an earthquake, or some freakish indoor monsoon, ruining their evening’s entertainment. “That’s why I’m staying as far away from this as possible,” he chuckles. “I’m literally hands-off. The Curse of Gilliam will not apply tomorrow night!”
The live stream of the show—part of the American Express-sponsored Unstaged series—will start tomorrow at 10pm EST, while a special pre-show will begin at 9:30. Are you going to tomorrow’s Arcade Fire show? Or will you be watching the webcast? What do you think of Mr Gilliam’s “involvement”? Let us know!
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
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