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Tag: Things We Love (91-97 of 97)

Cobra Starship get help from Leighton Meester on 'Good Girls Go Bad' -- and bad feels pretty good

Cobra Starship has just released their new duet with Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester. called "Good Girls Go Bad." and I’m already OBSESSED! I have to admit I’ve been a fan of the band since their Snakes on a Plane  days, and this one, co-written by American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi, is a perfect summer song—it just feels so…sparkly!

I was in the studio with Meester a few weeks ago while she was recording her debut album and she had this to say about working with the band: "They’re awesome. They completely compliment my style and I’ve never seen them live, but apparently they’re unbelievable."

I totally agree with Meester. What do you think Music Mix-ers? Is this your new jam?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Leighton Meester exclusive: In the studio with the ‘Gossip Girl’ star
The Jonas Brothers’ new song: Like, OMG, you guys, it kind of rocks?!
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ wedding song: Stream Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘Turn to Stone’ exclusively here

Living Legends You Need to Know: Swamp Dogg

Swampdoggwilliams_lToday sees the publication of Ben Greenman’s excellent new novel, Please Step Back, which chronicles the rise and fall of a (very) Sly Stone-ish rock/soul pioneer named Rock Foxx. It’s gotten raves from the likes of Walter Mosley, Dave Eggers, and George Pelecanos, but even more thrillingly, it’s also resulted in a collaboration with a real-life rock/soul pioneer, Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams, who “covered” one of the Rock Foxx songs. (You can hear that here.)

Swamp Dogg is — I’ll just say it — a one-of-a-kind musical genius. Last month, even as I wondered aloud if Bobby Womack was “the world’s most underrated r&b artist,” I was hedging my bets. It’s not a knock against Womack, it’s just that he’s hardly an unknown. Swamp Dogg, on the other hand, is a too-well-kept secret, although he’s written and produced hit records over a five-decade span. As he wrote on liner notes 35 years ago, "Where else but in America could a person own a Rolls-Royce, an Eldorado Mark IV, a Mercedes limousine, an estate in Long Island, an apartment in Hollywood and still be considered a failure?"

So what’s the big deal with Swamp Dogg? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. After the jump, a look at what makes him so great.

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The Fiery Furnaces are 'Going Away': Care to join them?

Few things delight me more than the prospect of a new Fiery Furnaces album, so you can imagine the “Huzzah!” I let out when I read last night that the excellently bizarre sibling duo has one set for release this July 21. It’s called I’m Going Away, and apparently it’s full of “70’s sunshine-glazed piano pop” about vintage sitcoms, or something. Cue perplexing statement from the Furnaces’ Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger:

“All rock music is a sort of dramatic music. And since the times are tough, it makes sense to have that ‘drama’ be something more like a version of Taxi than something like a version of Titanic. We like Taxi better than Titanic anyway.  So we hope that some of the songs on this record can be used as theme songs to folk’s own personal versions of Taxi.”

I’m not sure what any of that means, but I expect no less from the Friedbergers. And, hey, we are in agreement that Taxi was a rad show. They’ve also released a promo video showing them rehearsing/bickering in a tiny library stacked high with esoteric literature, which is pretty much how I’ve always imagined those two spend their down time. Turns out even Matt Friedberger can’t keep track of all the projects they’ve released: “This is, like, our 16th record, right?” he asks his sister at one point. (She reminds him that it’s actually their eighth, a figure which counts 2005’s not-really-an-EP EP and last year’s live set Remember.)

Check out the promo clip below, plus another one after the jump, then chime in: Am I the only oddball art-rock fan whose summer just improved?


The Gossip's new disco-pop single -- song of the summer?

Bethditto_lOh, happy Monday! Portland’s gloriously dance-y punk-blues trio the Gossip are back after a too-long haitus, and streaming the first single from their upcoming Music for Men (due June 22) on their MySpace.

Granted, Beth Ditto and co., who haven’t issued an album of original material since their 2006 breakthrough Standing in the Way of Control, have been busy — especially in the U.K., where they’re considered bona fide rock stars, posing nude for magazine covers and closing out massive festivals.

Stateside, the band has now left indie-label stalwart Kill Rock Stars for the unfortunately-named Sony imprint Music with a Twist (gay artists: they haz a lemon-lime flavor?), which will release Men, helmed by legendary producer/bearded beats-yoda Rick Rubin (Run-DMC, Johnny Cash, the Beastie Boys).

Stream the slow-building, big-banging "Heavy Cross" here and tell us — could Men be the best release of summer 2009?

More on the Music Mix:
Lil Wayne’s ‘Rebirth’ delayed yet again?! Here’s why
Bonus Round: Spoon, Sufjan, Hot Chip, The Streets
What’s that Song? Ad mysteries solved

How much do you REALLY love your music idols?

Jillsobule_lToday ran a story about singer-songwriter Jill Sobule whose new album, California Years, was financed by donations from fans to the tune of $75,000. One person alone donated $10,000. That bought them the opportunity to actually sing on the CD, which was released last Tuesday. Sobule is not the first performer to finance an album in this manner. Way back in 2001 British prog-rockers Marillion paid for their CD Anoraknophobia by asking fans to pre-order the collection before the band had even recorded it. More recently Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh has also experimented with fan-financing, even offering the title of "executive producer" to big contributors. With the collapse of the traditional record industry combining with the effects of the recession to make life harder and harder for musicians this business model may well become increasingly popular. Which made me think: How much would I donate to my favorite band to ensure that they made another album—or maybe even to actually appear on that CD? Well, I’m a big Wilco fan and while they don’t need my assistance at the moment (they’ve already recorded a new album which should be out in June) I could imagine donating $100 to help the cause. If they let me hit a triangle on a track then maybe I’d give them $300. And were they to back me on my self-penned song  "I Love A Ghost Is Born So Much It’s Really Kind Of A Sickness (Seriously, I Should Go And See A Doctor Or Something)" then the sky would very much be the limit donation-wise.

But what about you? Whether you’re a fan of Miley Cyrus or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, how much would you donate to the making of their next album if they were short of funds? And how much more would you pay to actually perform on it?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Eminem to play the MTV Awards
The Twilight soundtrack’s Bobby Long: A Music Mix meet and greet

Jamie Foxx’s Miley Cyrus tirade
Jason Castro signed to Atlantic

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Phoenix rises on 'Saturday Night Live'

How this under-appreciated French band scored a high-profile slot on SNL is a source of some mystery, but they certainly made the most of the unexpected opportunity. I’ve been obsessively playing an advance of their excellent new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (due May 26), over and over in the office, and they totally pulled off the rich-and-tricky pop sound of two album highlights, "Lizstomania" and "1901." Check out the clips below, and if you like what you hear you can buy the studio versions right now on a four-track EP the band just released on iTunes. 

Stevie Nicks On Her Favorite Songs: A Music Mix Exclusive

Stevienickshat_lThe legend of Stevie Nicks—mystical Fleetwood Mac chanteuse, famously excessive solo star, leather-and-lace pop icon—has preceded her for more than 30 years. Yesterday, the original Gold Dust Woman sat down with EW to discuss her new live album, The Soundstage Sessions, and companion DVD Live in Chicago, both out today.

Though she is now 60, and many years sober, she still looks very much the same: pink cupid’s bow mouth, long sweep of blond hair, diminutive (minus her habitual platform boots) five-foot-one frame draped in red chiffon. Ensconced on an overstuffed sofa in her suite at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria and surrounded by her two pocket-sized dogs and a towering spray of white orchids, Nicks tells the stories behind some of her most memorable compositions—songs that have been covered by everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Dave Grohl but are still, and always, signature Stevie.

“Oh boy, I’ve never really spoken about this, so I get verklempt, and then I’ve got the story and I start to screw it up. Okay: In the old days, before Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had no money, so we had a king-size mattress, but we just had it on the floor. I had old vintage coverlets on it, and even though we had no money it was still really pretty… Just that and a lamp on the floor, and that was it—there was a certain calmness about it. To this day, when I’m feeling cluttered, I will take my mattress off of my beautiful bed, wherever that may be, and put it outside my bedroom, with a table and a little lamp.

That’s the words: “So I’m back to the velvet underground”—which is a clothing store in downtown San Francisco, where Janis Joplin got her clothes, and Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane, it was this little hole in the wall, amazing, beautiful stuff—”back to the floor that I love, to a room with some lace and paper flowers, back to the gypsy that I was.”

So that’s what “Gypsy” means: it’s just a search for before this all happened. And later, I tacked on a line for my friend Robin, my best friend, who died of leukemia: “I still see your bright eyes.” But then, Robin wasn’t sick yet. She got cancer, and died within a year.”

Continued after the jump:


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