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Tag: Things We Love (81-90 of 96)

All Tomorrow's Parties Rocks the Catskills

The roving international event All Tomorrow’s Parties took place Sept 11-13 in the Catskill Mountains, and it was essentially a perfect weekend. Curated by The Flaming Lips and nestled within The Shining-esque Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, the event, featuring the likes of Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave and of course the Lips themselves, provided one mesmerizing set after another. Below, a few highlights:

Nick Cave made a surprise appearance Friday night by joining the Dirty Three (whose Warren Ellis is a member of his Bad Seeds) and apparently he also gave a hotel-room performance to six incredibly lucky fans the next day.

Saturday officially began with indie-pop maestro Sufjan Stevens, who went easy on audiences by playing his gentle Seven Swans album from start-to-finish, because he said it worked well as “an early-afternoon hangover special.”

Black Dice, who followed a few hours later, were markedly less considerate toward anyone with a headache. Its three members embarked upon a 45-minute electronic noise freakout, playing so loud you could actually feel the bass vibrating the tips of your eyelashes. When a sampled guitar riff made an appearance during their set, it was almost sad to be torn from their absorbing underworld and reminded that structured music exists.

Saturday found Bradford Cox pulling double duties, performing first solo as Atlas Sound and then later with his group Deerhunter. The Atlas Sound set was a disappointment—he spent as much time fussing over tech issues (he joked he was worried his guitar sounded too close to Dave Matthews) as he did playing songs.

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The Les Paul guitar's greatest hits. Turn it up!

Guitarist and inventor Les Paul, who has died at the age of 94, once said of the birth of rock’n’roll that, “Suddenly it was recognized power was a very important part of music.” Paul himself helped give bands that power with his “Les Paul” guitar, which he originally designed for the Gibson music company in the early ’50s.

For more than half a century now fretmasters of all musical stripes have made good use of Paul’s invention, from jazzer Al Di Meola to reggae icon Bob Marley. But it had the greatest, and loudest, effect on hard rock. Put a Les Paul guitar in the hands of a rock guitarist and it seems he virtually can’t help but grind out a classic riff or memorable solo. As Guns N’ Roses guitarist and Les Paul devotee Slash told EW a couple of years ago, ”It’s a shame so many kids don’t know about Les. He’s this amazing guitar player with a brilliant mind who pioneered a lot of the electronic wizardry and gadgets, like reverb and delay, that guitarists still use.”

While “kids” (of all ages) may not be all that familiar with Paul, they certainly know the music his instruments created. Below you can find just some of the most famous rock standards to benefit from the late guitar (and guitar-making) wizard — one right here, and five more after the jump. Take a couple of minutes to play a song in honor of the great man. And crank it up. That’s what he would have wanted.

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Led Zeppelin record a new song? No. But close!

How many times a week do you wake up and think, “Wouldn’t it to be nice to hear a new Led Zeppelin track?” For me the number is eight (I like to have a restorative disco nap in my office on Friday afternoons.) Of course, I’m always disappointed in this department. But not today. Okay, technically, no fresh Zep track has been unearthed. But new supergroup Them Crooked Vultures have posted a rockingly Zeppelin-esque instrumental snippet from a track called “Nobody Loves Me And Neither Do I” on youtube. And as the band comprises Dave Grohl, Josh Home and Led Zep bassist John Paul Jones then I’m counting it as a win.

Do you agree that the song is nicely Zep-ish? And are you looking forward to the Them Crooked Vultures album, which is rumored to be coming out October 23?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
MTV’s famous TRL studio in Times Square: R.I.P.?

Are these the best (and the worst) album covers of the year?
Beck interviews Will Ferrell
Harvey Danger Farewell Tour Diary

Jill and Kevin video: adorable viral clip of wedding dancers unexpectedly sparks Chris Brown sales

Four-plus months after the assault against then-girlfriend Rihanna that derailed his career, Chris Brown finally apologized on video — and the world said “meh.”

Then, this cutie-patootie video of Minnesota couple Jill and Kevin Heinz and their wedding party dancing ecstatically down the aisle to his 2008 smash “Forever” went viral this week, and suddenly the disgraced singer finds himself climbing the singles charts on iTunes (no. 19, as of this posting) and Amazon (no. 29) once again.

Watch below:

Is the pure joy and happiness of this clip helping to redeem Brown’s image in a way his taped mea culpa just didn’t? Do the warm fuzzies inspired by a group of goofy, chapel-boogying St. Paulies make you feel more forgiving of him, despite yourself? Do tell, in the comments section below.

UPDATE: As of Monday, July 27, the song has now reached no. 7(!) on iTunes.

More from EW’s Music Mix:
David Guetta feat. Akon, OSexy Bitch’: An exclusive stream!
Friendly Fires: Mercury-nomiated Brit rockers debut video for ‘Kiss of Life’
2008 Mercury Prize winners Elbow at the Wiltern in L.A.
Jay-Z debuts “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna, Kanye West
The Script talk about opening for Paul McCartney, U2

Michael Jackson and the history of the Moonwalk: YouTube explains it all!

Though millions thought they were seeing it for the first time when Michael took those four (only four!) liquid steps on Motown's 25th Anniversary Special back in 1983, the Moonwalk actually has a long and storied history in dance.

Watch this YouTube clip below, which distills the evolution of the move from archived clips of the last century, including platinum-level fancy-footers Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bill Bailey, then see Michael carry on the legacy — and take it iconically next-level — when he debuted it in '83 (if you want to see just that, skip ahead to about 3:38, and again at 4:30):

How many of you spent countless hours on rec-room carpets and parqueted kitchen floors attempting to replicate those steps with just one sequined-sock percent of MJ's dazzling ability? And how many of you succeeded?

More from EW's Music Mix:
Live Aid 1985 photo gallery: What's your favorite?
So You Think You Can Dance top-12 stomp to the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army"; What's next?
Which city has inspired the best songs?
Michael Jackson talks Bad, price of fame in unreleased 1987 interview
Michael Jackson: The truth about his "final" photo shoot

Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval to return with new album this September

Who lived through the '90s without listening to Mazzy Star's shimmery, narcotic dream-rock lullaby "Fade Into You" a few thousand times? Not me, Music Mixers.

If you've been waiting for another full-length frontwoman Hope Sandoval in the long years since her 2001 album with the Warm Inventions, Bavarian Fruit Bread, today is your happy — or at least, happy in an appropriately brooding, restrained Mazzy-ish way — day! This September, Nettwerk will release Through the Devil Softly, written by Sandoval with her bandmate, My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O Ciosoig.

 Listen to the swooning, slow-burn "Blanchard" below, for a sneak preview, and tell us if you're looking forward to Sandoval's return:

More from EW's Music Mix:
Stream new Portugal. The Man track, 'Everyone Is Golden' — an EW exclusive!
Twilight's Blue Foundation: Stream an exclusive new version of 'Watch You Sleeping'
Karen O, MGMT to guest on new Flaming Lips record
Pixies plan 'Doolittle' tour

Spoon surprise fans with a brand new EP

Michael Jackson: The ultimate playlist!

Distilling Michael Jackson’s career into one CD-length list is impossible. Instead, we offer you an essential selection of his best singles, from his earliest releases with the Jackson 5 onwards:

1. “I Want You Back” 1969
A plea to a lover left too hastily (“Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go”) somehow becomes a jubilant call-and-response celebration, built on that ridiculously funky bassline, shivering piano runs, and Michael’s honeyed, impossibly high-altitude vocals.


2. “Who’s Loving You” 1969
Smokey Robinson wrote this heart-bruising ballad in 1960, and countless artists have covered it since, but few can match the then-10-year-old Michael’s mix of pitch-perfect phrasing and genuine pathos.

3. “I’ll Be There” 1970
What begins as a hushed promise blooms into a full-force soul showstopper, with Michael pleading, “Just look over your shoulder, baby!”; the stuff of countless couples-slow-skate and junior prom memories.

4. “ABC” 1970
More kids probably learned the “I before E except after C” rule from the Jacksons’ effervescent, irresistable pop anthem than in any classroom — and how to “shake it, shake it, baby” for extra credit.


5. “Mama’s Pearl” 1971

A flurry of glorious Motown bum-buh-bums support Michael’s provocative (if age-inappropriate) plea — “Goody girl, let down your curls/let me give your heart a whirl.”

6. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” 1979
The thrum of the bass, the clang of the cowbell, and then — that inimitable falsetto, blowing the chorus wide open. When Michael commands, “Keep on with the force / Don’t stop,” the dancefloor obeys.

7. “Rock With You” 1979
Like the giddily transportive “Off the Wall” from the same album, “Rock With You” offers a sweet escape from the everyday: A place where sequin-encrusted bodysuits are de rigeur, hangovers don’t exist, and “riding the boogie” is a physical possibility.

8 “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” 1983
The most obvious bridge between his Off the Wall-era disco kicks and the dawn of the Casio-obsessed ’80s, this block-party stomper kicks Thriller off in slick, inimitable style.

9. “Billie Jean” 1983
Who else could turn the tale of a paternity battle with a desperate and possibly deluded groupie into a worldwide smash? No one who hears that spare, hypnotic opening synth thump can resist what comes next.

10. “Human Nature” 1983
Thriller‘s fifth single, a stunning, slow-burn ballad, offers gorgeous contrast to the brash, Halloween-y shenanigans of the title track. Its airy synths and achingly tender vocals hint intriguingly at a private Michael — one we never really knew.

11. “Thriller” 1984
Always difficult to separate from its legendary video, the song is in fact eminently funky beneath its silly-spooky effects and Vincent Price overdub. But can you even listen today without breaking into the zombie-claw shuffle?

12. “The Way You Make Feel” 1987
In contrast to the almost cartoonish street-tough affectation of “Bad,” this bouyant slice of funk-pop lets Michael play the simpler role of girl-watcher with charming, boastful bluster.

13. “Smooth Criminal” 1988
The galvanizing, guitar-heavy centerpiece of Jackson’s short film Moonwalker presents a murky murder scenario with that infamous refrain, “Annie, are you OK?” Both foreboding and ridiculously, repeatedly listenable.

14. “Man in the Mirror” 1988
“We Are The World” may be some fans’ MJ concsciousness anthem of choice, but this Bad track’s unvarnished message — “if you wanna make the world a better place/take a look at yourself and then make the change” — makes for a far more compelling, impassioned imperative.

15. “Black or White” 1991
The jokes it incited at the time about Michael’s own struggles with his skin tone aside, the Dangerous single still holds up, due in large part to its indelible guitar riff (courtesy of Guns ‘n Roses’ Slash, no less).

16. “Scream” 1995
Michael’s first collaboration with sister Janet since she sang backup on 1983’s effervescent “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” is a far darker, more aggressive effort, about as hard-rock as either of the two ever got. Somehow, the duo still manage to deliver its makes-me-wanna-holler rage in a sleek, undeniably catchy pop package.

More from EW on Michael Jackson:
Black Eyed Peas top the albums chart despite big Michael Jackson sales
“Scream” director Mark Romanek on Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson: 18 key moments in the life of the King of Pop
Michael Jackson’s music dominate on iTunes and Amazon
Michael Jackson’s musical legacy: Tell us how you remember him
Michael Jackson dies at 50
Jackson on TV: A classic artist, a revolutionary
‘Thriller’ at 25: Still Can’t Beat It

The Gossip's video for 'Heavy Cross': Yep...the song still rocks

We loved the Gossip's disco-dance track "Heavy Cross" when we heard it back in April,and months later the tune's still got all kinds of infectious charm.Now, Beth Ditto and company have finally released the official video ofthe song. (Watch it below.) While the clip sports some slick lighting,extravagant headgear and lavish confetti/particle effects, it's mostlyjust a stylized-performance clip. That's totally cool with us. The songmore than picks up the slack. Music for Men, the Gossip'sfourth album and major-label debut, will be available to downloaddigitally tomorrow. (In a truly bizarre display of marketing, however,a physical copy of the CD will not be available until October.)

Who'splanning on buying the album? What do you think of the "Heavy Cross"video? And where do you stand on this whole Beth Ditto-Katy Perry "feud": Team Ditto or Team Perry?

More from EW's Music Mix:
Animal Collective's new video: Awesome, but possibly requires Dramamine
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Empire of the Sun: A Music Mix pick

Video for The-Dream and Kanye West's 'Walking on the Moon' drops: This absolutely needs to be a huge hit

Big day for Kanye: The full-length video with Rihanna for "Paranoid" is finally available to watch legally, and Yeezy also makes an appearance in the space-y clip for singer-producer extraordinaire The-Dream’s latest single, "Walking on the Moon." In it, both men sport some pretty spiffy glasses, but the rest of the video is pretty by-the-numbers.

But that doesn’t matter when the song is this good. "Walking on the Moon" is one of the major standouts off The-Dream’s Love vs. Money album, which has no shortage of guest stars in the form of Mariah Carey, Lil Jon and, of course, Kanye. The song is, in a word, kickin’ — a completely infectious dance track with a retro 80’s flavor that should become a huge hit. This song needs to be all over radio. Immediately. End of story. Watch/listen below and tell us what you think.

More from EW’s Music Mix:
‘The Wire’ star Dominic West on Eminem’s ‘obsessive’ love of the show
Beyonce’s new video for ‘Ego’ — ‘Single Ladies’ part deux?
Rihanna returns in new Kanye video

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

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