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Tag: Things We Love (11-20 of 96)

Record Store Day 2012 preview: The best vinyl, the coolest stores

RECORD-STORE-DAY

Today, thousands of fastidious collectors are waking up way too early for a Saturday, standing  in silly lines with their brethren, and diving deep into crates to pay premium bank for the privilege of owning a handful of the dozens of exclusive vinyl releases being put out as part of the sixth annual Record Store Day.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Launched in 2007, Record Store Day celebrates the independent music shop, an institution that has been under attack since well before the Internet threatened to dismantle the music business. Really, it’s a day to celebrate the relative resilience of these little shingles that could. After all, they survived the format wars, outlived massive chains like Tower Records and Virgin Megastore, and stuck out the first wave of file sharing (Napster, Gnutella, and the like).

With vinyl sales surging and interest in sprawling music discovery zones like Amoeba Records steadily growing, it’s a good time to be a fan of black discs that go around and around and around. This year’s exclusive Record Store Day features the release of several dozen exclusive pieces of vinyl, which may or may not be available at your local emporium (it pays to hit up more than one spot, if only to observe the crowds at each location). READ FULL STORY

The Death Set cram Spider-Man, Super Mario, Godzilla, and 'Troll 2' into hyperactive 'They Come For Us' video: Watch it here!

Music videos are a tough game — it’s impossible to get anyone but the core fan base to watch them, and just about all the ideas have already been done.

(In that sense, making a video is a lot like running for president, though slightly less expensive and way less embarrassing.)

So when Australian hardcore combo the Death Set decided to put together a video for their song “They Come For Us,” they went all in: “They Come For Us” includes just about everything in a jumbled pop-culture junkie’s skull — appropriate, since the song will run over the closing credits to the upcoming found-footage horror anthology film V/H/S, which screens at South By Southwest next week and will be on demand in August.

It begins as a simple homage to a famous scene from Back to the Future, but then quickly ups the ante, trotting out nods to The Simpsons, Batman, Troll 2, and a bevy of other ephemera. Give the clip a spin below, and see how many references you can pick up. READ FULL STORY

Rufus Wainwright's 'Prima Donna': Major drama, done up in a sequined ball gown

Rufus Wainwright (Credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)

This weekend, Rufus Wainwright premiered his French-language opera, Prima Donna, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to a packed crowd that included Yoko Ono and Anjelica Houston.

Which begs the question: what other pop star could get away with (a) writing a French-language opera and (b) calling it Prima Donna?

Well, if anyone can pull it off, it’s Wainwright. The Canadian king of cabaret pop has always had a flair for the dramatic. He loves penned-in-cursive lyrics about cigarettes and peach trees and angels on high.

Fashion-wise, he’ll gladly trade the traditional for the elaborately feathered. And, according to the recent documentary Prima Donna, he’s always loved opera. He’s been listening to it since he was a teenager, casting his sister and his cousins in elaborate versions of Tosca, which he filmed with the family camcorder.

So when the Metropolitan Opera first suggested that he might submit a libretto, he composed one with Bernadette Colomine. (When the Met insisted that they stage the opera in English, Wainwright took it to the NYC Opera, which took it to BAM.) Loosely inspired by the life of Maria Callas, it’s about an aging opera star named Régine Saint Laurent, who’s hiding out in Paris in the 1970s, anxiously preparing for her comeback after losing her voice six years previously.

“One of my favorite things that I like to say now is that I relate a lot to Mozart,” Wainwright recently told EW.com. “Not so much in terms of the genius factor. More in terms of the dead factor. It’s so, so laborious and time-consuming and emotionally draining. You can’t skimp on the work, whether it’s the first violin part or the heartstrings.”

The opera’s also a pretty hard sell, even for your average Wainwright fan. (I should know. I’ve only seen one opera, Tosca, and even now, I couldn’t tell you what distinguishes it from other operas. The death? The betrayals? All the singing about death and betrayals?) So I attended the Brooklyn premiere of Prima Donna with one question in mind: Should you spend your night listening to rising-star tenors and sopranos, delivering hard-bellowed odes to “faded glory” and “passionate love”—in French?

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Watch 'Parks and Rec' star Aubrey Plaza go crazy in new clip from ex Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman -- VIDEO EXCLUSIVE

Once upon a time, many months and Lana Del Rey posts ago, we asked Aubrey Plaza what was on her iPod.

The Parks and Recreation actress tipped us off to the then-unreleased “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” from J. Tillman, formerly of the Fleet Foxes, and mentioned that she’d be starring in its video.

And Aubrey Plaza is not a liar!

Under the moniker Father John Misty, Tillman has released the song (now titled “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”) as the lead single off his forthcoming debut Fear Fun (out May 1), as well as a video to match. Named for one of L.A.’s oldest burial grounds, the droney psych-rock dirge is a bit of a departure from Fleet Foxes’ fey forest-folk, but one that will likely please old fans nonetheless.

As for the video: “We created this trippy funeral scene in Laurel Canyon,” Parks and Rec‘s deadpan doyenne told us back in September. “I play a crazy person who destroys the funeral.”

Watch Plaza go certifiably H.A.M. — eating flowers, smashing turntables, smoking apples — in the video below:

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Matthew McConaughey returns to his 'Dazed and Confused' character in Butch Walker's new 'Synthesizers' video: Watch it here

matthew-mcconaughey

You know what we love about Dazed and Confused? Matthew McConaughey gets older, but David Wooderson stays the same age.

After a nearly twenty-year hiatus, McConaughey has reprised the stoner comedy’s lingering high school graduate in Butch Walker’s new video for “Synthesizers,” off his album The Spade.

The collaboration came out of mutual admiration, and probably a dash of nostalgia. “When it comes to classic characters, Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Wooderson’ took the cake…and the high school girls with him,” Walker says.

Added McConaughey, “If you love Dazed and you loved Wooderson, you’ll see this and you’ll probably get the tickle box pretty quick.”

So how’s the iconic burnout holding up these days? Find out in the video below:

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Lil Wayne set to release prison memoir

Did Lil Wayne’s underwhelming post-prison album Tha Carter IV leave something to be desired?

If you answered yes, then Dwayne Carter has a consolation prize for you: a memoir.

It was announced today that Gone Till November – a Weezy-penned account of his eight-month stint at Rikers — will be released by Hachette’s Grand Central Publishing division this November.

The rapper, who was sentenced in 2010 on a gun possession charge, will provide “an internal dialogue” based on diaries he apparently kept while serving his term, the AP reports.

“We are thrilled to be publishing Wayne’s prison memoir,” confirmed Grand Central Publishing’s Ben Greenberg. “He kept detailed journals of his inner and outer life while he was on Rikers Island, and they certainly tell a story. They are revealing.”

November will hit shelves November 28th, ensuring that rap fans will have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

Read more:
Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, and Lil Wayne win big at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2011
B.o.B returns with Lil Wayne-featuring cut about weed smoke : Listen to his new single ‘Strange Clouds’ here
Justin Bieber wishes Lil Wayne a happy 29th and covers his ‘How to Love’: Listen to his sweet acoustic version here

Michael Jackson posthumous earning power unscathed by Murray trial

The private world of Michael Jackson, fiercely shielded by the superstar in life, was exposed in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. But rather than suffering harm from revelations of drug use, experts say Jackson’s legacy and posthumous earning power will survive any damage done and could actually grow after he was portrayed as a victim of a money-hungry doctor.

Jackson died before he could launch a series of highly anticipated comeback concerts in London as he tried to regain the towering status he enjoyed when he released the “Thriller” album in 1983. But his death did breathe new life into record sales and boosted other projects to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for his estate, even as his already tarnished personal life took another hit by revelations about his drug use. Jackson zoomed to the top of the Forbes Magazine list of highest earning dead celebrities and his executors are moving quickly on more projects designed to burnish the performer’s image and expand the inheritance of his three children. A Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour opens in Las Vegas this weekend, a precursor to a permanent installation at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and fans are expected to flock there for a “Fan Fest” exhibit of Jackson memorabilia. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce releases nostalgic video for 'I Was Here': Watch it here

She lived. She loved. At some point, she danced in neon overalls.

According to her new DVD, Live at Roseland: Elements of 4, which was shot during a New York show in August and finds Beyoncé telling her life story through her songs, Bey has done a whole lot of amazing things in her life. And you can see some of them in this clip for “I Was Here,” the wistful weepie from her album 4, written by Diane Warren.

Splicing together her home movies with footage from major performances and awards shows, the clip features (among other things) Baby Beyoncé doing the snake in her living room, performing in her finest TLC-inspired neon overalls, hugging Michael Jackson, performing with Prince and Tina Turner, and revealing her baby-oncé bump on MTV.

Of all the moments captured in the montage, the best are the everyday behind-the-scenes moments: the sometimes-awkward teenage hair, the goofy fooling around on a Slip ‘N Slide, the scene where she tries on her (apparently real-life) wedding dress. It’s not often that anyone gets to see the ultra-media-trained star when she’s unguarded, and even if this video’s a bit more professional-looking than most people’s home movies, it’s the closest thing I’ve seen so far to Bey just being Bey.

Check out the footage below and let us know what you think in the comments.

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The Academy Is... break up: A tribute to a great, underrated band

After nearly a decade of delivering killer post-emo pop-punk hooks and confounding copy editors at magazines, Chicago-based quintet the Academy Is… have decided to break up.

“After nine years and three albums, the Academy Is… have decided to go our separate ways,” the band wrote in a statement on their official website over the weekend. “The music we have made together is a gift to you. From this point on, the Academy Is… belongs to you. Feel free to listen. Listen as loud as you like.”

Though they only released three albums (2005′s Almost Here, 2007′s Santi, and 2008′s Fast Times at Barrington High), the group left a memorable mark on the strange postmillennial decade in pop-punk that saw the rise of emo and the dominance of bands like Fall Out Boy (whose frontman, fellow Chicago native Pete Wentz, got the band signed to Fueled By Ramen).

Their 2007 single “Neighbors” became an unofficial party anthem among kids pogoing in their Vans, but by far the band’s greatest achievement — and in the end, their final album — was Fast Times at Barrington High, a hook-filled sorta-concept-album about the senior year of high school. READ FULL STORY

Jack's Mannequin head for a new direction on just-released 'People & Things.' What do you think?

Full disclosure: I’m a big Jack’s Mannequin fan. Without going into too much personal detail, the Orange County band (a side project turned full gig by former Something Corporate frontman and piano balladeer Andrew McMahon) has always seemed to release an album that coincides with big transitions in my life. When Everything in Transit dropped in August 2005, I was stuffing everything I owned into a Chevy Cavalier and moving away from home for the first time. In September 2008, The Glass Passenger was the soundtrack of my return to the U.S. after studying abroad. Fitting, then, that JM’s new album, People & Things — released today — drops right after I make my way to New York City.

I remember the first time I saw Jack’s Mannequin live. It was 2006 and McMahon announced to the crowd that it had been exactly one year since he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The 2nd album arrived two years later and it was clear that his experience battling the disease had infused his music with a reflective intensity.

From a comparison of sound, People & Things lands closer to The Glass Passenger than the band’s debut album. READ FULL STORY

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