Tag Archives: entertainment

Listen: GRRRL PRTY “Wegula” is HOTTT

13 Jul
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Sophia Eris, Manchita and Lizzo from GRRRL PRTY Image via Facebook

This is the most bumpin’ tune I’ve heard come out of Minneapolis in a while! Can this be a summer jam on the radio stations? LOVE IT. Lizzo, Sophia Eris and Manchita, who are all local musico phenoms who constantly work on a BUNCH of different projects, comprise this new group amazingly titled GRRRL PRTY (vowels are SO last season). Their debut release is a single titled “Wegula”. I’m taking a stab in the dark and guessing ‘wegula” is a lil wordplay on people in bars/parking lots/literally anywhere trying to act superior or simply being a rude dude by claiming a “regular” status. If not, then they’ve added a word to the English language and we should be awaiting Webster Dictionary official status any day now.

Their video above is part of a series called “Lights and a Backdrop” (check out season 1 and season 2) ingeniously crafted by a production company called Evil Ice Cream Pictures. It’s a really cool series that has local musicians perform their tracks in front of-WHAT!- lights and a backdrop. It’s simple and a great way to showcase and spread the word about local talent. Cuz there’s a shit ton of local talent in MPLS/STP. Seriously. Everyone is in a band. It’s amazing.

In case you didn’t know, girl groups are fuckin IN in the MPLS scene. Lizzo and Sophia are also in an R&B girl trio called The Chalice with Claire de Lune. They’ve had a bunch of buzz and success this year. More power to the ladies. It’s refreshing! Plus girl groups were due for a pop culture resurgence anyways. There’s just something about a bunch of women tellin’ it like it is that gets everyone excited. Strong talent, strong opinions, strong style. FUCK. YEAH.

 

 

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Celebrité: Amanda Bynes is getting annoying

12 Jul

Everyone knows Twitter is full of useless information: jokes about dying alone, endless/useless fights about politics and details about strangers’ day to day lives. But once in a while, some fairweathered tweet about a useless celebrity sets me on fire.

Amanda Bynes erratic behavior is becoming a bore

Image via People

Image via People

It’s sort of beating a dead horse at this point to say “Why do we CARE about these people?” Is it because our love lives are stale? Our cubicle is depressing? We don’t have enough interesting things going on it our lives? Probs a combination of the three and a BAJILLION others, but I digress.

My problem with this tweet, and most gossip columns tweeting about AB, is that her crazy weird behavior is something we care to know about. Wearing crazy wigs to court because she shaved her head to wear bad wigs? SHOW ME THE PIC. Mumbling to herself all over NYC? YOU GOT A SOUND CLIP? Throwing a vase/bong out of a high rise window? I LOVE GLASS CHIPS. Entering stores and locking herself in bathrooms to “apply makeup”? DAMN THAT GURL IS HIP. Sure, calling Drake ugly and everyone else ugly is kinda funny and entertaining. But seriously, what the hell is her game?

I will dissect this in three ways:

  • Amanda Bynes is having a mid life identity crisis. Not legit crazy, which would explain why she has never been held by a court for incompetence. It also explains why her friend Drake Bell (granted I don’t know anything about him besides he starred on her show “The Amanda Show” in the early 00’s) said in an interview with OK! magazine that “She’s a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she’s brilliant. She’s good, and she’s healthy.” Without actual mental issues, there’s little anyone can do just because she’s acting weird and rude.
  • She is uneducated and starved for attention. At least Joaquin Phoenix’s weird year was for art. Unless Amanda Bynes is writing a dissertation on the absurdity of post-modern media, or planning to compile a book of tweets that mirror modern life in the era of useless information, I’m gonna continue to think she’s acting out for attention.
  • She thinks acting erratically and getting media attention will bring her career back to life. She’s not wrong, which is even sadder commentary on modern American pop culture and how to be successful. Be a dick! Be crazy! People Love it!

No matter what, the Amanda Bynes news is getting old. Either she’s going to continue to spiral into even more erratic behavior for more and more media/twitter attention, resulting in who knows what, or the public is gonna get bored of her weak attempts at staying relevant. Only sweet time will tell whether our fave semi-crazy B is gonna take it too far or reign herself back in. Oy. Vey.

Gross: Demi Lovato sells cars now

10 Jul

Demi Lovato, Car Saleswoman

EW. WHAT? Excuse me? Demi, are the first lyrics to your new song “Made in the USA” (PUKE TITLE) Our love runs deep like a Chevy? And is your chorus really cuz our love was made in the USA? Jesus. Nice try on the “Party in the USA” rip off, but no. Just… no.

Image via broadwayworld.com

She’s so edgy. Image via broadwayworld.com

How much do you think Chevy paid to have Demi Lovato, singer, actress, judge on The X Factor, to put a line referencing Chevy’s slogan in her song pukingly titled “Made in the USA”? Probably a lot. Oh, did I mention yet that Chevy is also the official car sponsor of The X Factor where Miss Lovato just happens to be a judge? Interesting! Transparent. And disgusting.

It’s like the mainstream music industry isn’t even trying to creatively cross promote anymore. Sure, Britney Spears made a couple of songs for Pepsi (and this AMAZING commercial that is my favorite commercial of all time), but she NEVER had a line in one of her albums about how good Pepsi is. It’s one thing to endorse a company and their product, but it’s another to bring it into your art or music and still call it art. It’s not art honey, it’s an ad. You make ads now.

Mental illness marketing is IN

The other thing that pisses me off about Demi Lovato is that she used/currently uses her mental illness(es) as a marketing tool. Come one, come all, o dearly afflicted teens! GROSS.

On one hand, she IS bringing awareness about mental illness into the homes of middle America. On the other, it seems a bit exploitative and confusing to talk about mental illness so much, and then release songs like this empty crap that have nothing to do with anything besides bringing brand awareness to said afflicted teens. Sort of like, Hey guys! I’m bipolar and depressed too. It really sucks, but you should check out this new 2014 Chevy. They are cool now. Skip the therapist to go for a test drive, cuz this shit runs DEEP. 

She's totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

She’s totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

Demi Lovato is the epitome of an uneducated, blank industry pawn. It’s not like she’s the first one ever, but she’s definitely the most obvious this year. It hurts me to know that these young stars, Miley, Justin, Selena, T-Swift, don’t have college educations, because I think a lot of them would be woken up to just how shitty of an influence they are on the world. It pains me to think about what’s going through their heads when they think of the world, life, entertainment, capitalism, commercialism, sexuality etc. *Shivers*

All in all, Lovato’s career is kinda doomed. She’s not ever going to be taken seriously as an ‘artist’ because of shit like this. There’s not really any coming back from corporate shillings. Cuz honestly, what’s next? A song about using Veet on your vag because boys think pubic hair is icky? “I love to Veet my vagina/it makes all the boys say ‘Hey Demetria!'” Wait that’s pretty good, actually.

I pray for my country.

Music: Summer Hits of 2013: Troublemaker and Blurred Lines

18 Jun

“Troublemaker” by Olly Murs and Flo Rida

Good GOD. I love summer songs. They are full of life and love and sex (maybe, probably, HOPEFULLY). The first time I heard Olly Murs’ song “Troublemaker” I instantly loved it. It’s a refreshing move away from the synth-crazed hits of the radio over the winter. Plus there is not even one note in any of the melodies that is questionable. It just winds around the simple yet full instrumentation so sweetly. Plus PLUS Flo Rida adds a little FLORIDA FLAIR (oh god) making it a perfect A+ summer hit. Extra points for have a strong-willed female in the vid.

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell and T.I.

Robin-Thicke-NSFWThis song is pure sex. Robin Thicke is hot as FUCK, Pharrell is awesome and I guess T.I. is okay. Along the same lines as “Troublemaker”, the instrumentation is simple yet compelling and PHRESH because it’s not the same electro stuff we’ve heard for the past billion years on the radio (don’t get me wrong I love electropop but JESUS, instrument diversity is cool too RADIO). This song is just so fun. You can’t help but move around to it, and maybe kiss ur honey in the process.

BUT, the more I listen to the lyrics, the more I started to like the song less:

ok he was close

tried to domesticate you

but you’re an animal

Baby it’s in your nature

just let me liberate you

Knee-jerk reaction: bitch PLEASE.

One terrible part of loving pop music is the antiquated and rather dull views on gender roles and sexuality. A woman who was unhappy with a controlling man should let you liberate her because she can’t do it herself? COOL STORY BRO. NO, REALLY. I’m so glad another mainstream pop/r&b artist has written a song alluding to the fact that women can’t think for themselves. Real neat. SO 2013.

The uncensored video is kinda really fuckin lame too. I mean, it’s pretty and well shot, but super objectifying and YAWN. It’s full of topless and naked models with fully clothed men. Hey, here’s an idea dudes: why don’t you stop being so insecure about your stomachs/biceps/dicks/manhood and flop them around for a change? IDGAF if it isn’t as pretty as women being naked. EQUALITY MOTHAFUCKAS.

I know it’s a pop song and it IS a fun and catchy tune. But sometimes it’s still hard as a human, who respects not only herself but everyone regardless of gender, to hear lyrics that once again play into gendered stereotypes of sexuality, i.e. men are strong and women are weak. PUKE. All it tells me is that Robin Thicke and co. are living in a fantasy world where they think women need men to save them from other dudes cuz we can’t make a decision for ourselves. EW. YUCK. We’re all just human beings, man. Cut this gender shit out. It’s SUCH a bore and pretty intellectually embarrassing.

A- SUMMER HIT because the music is awesome but the lyrics are so 1873.

Watch this now: Gramma’s Boyfriend “I Have This Feeling & Shugar Crash”

15 May

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This is Gramma’s Boyfriend (best band name ever, right?!) The lead singer is Haley Bonar, who in my opinion is the coolest fucking chick in the Twin Cities area, possibly the nation. I’ve never seen her live solo or with Gramma’s Boyfriend because I’ve been hustlin, busy or broke. But I have seen a lot of her videos online and talked about her drunk with girlfriends. Consensus: this bitch can ROCK. “I Have This Feeling” sounds like a song right out of Clueless during the scene where Cher is throwin shade at all the gross high school boys. The music video for the song is also super fun. A+.

Her vocal style is amazing, her dancing is the shit and the music is fucking awesome. But not only is she kicking ass in her side-project punk/new wave jam Gramma’s Boyfriend, she’s released a ton of music solo as Haley Bonar. I haven’t listened as much to her solo music yet as I was first introduced to her in GB, but I’ve seen a few performances online and they are solid af too. There’s a lot of electricity in this woman. I like how she’s weird. It’s so fucking rad. Definitely an inspirational woman in the local music scene. HB + Gramma’s Boyfriend are must sees in Minneapolis. “I NEED TO SEE GRAMMA’S BOYFRIEND LIVE” should be the only thing you’re thinking this summer. Plus maybe “I should get laid by a hot and respectful individual.” New summer goals y’all.

Check out Gramma’s Boyfriend’s live video performance of “We R Ctrl” below. It’s insanely cool.

Also take a listen to her solo tunes here. Totally totally totally worth it. Luv her!!!

Listen: NOW Toronto and The Autumn Stones cover of Feist’s “One Evening”

13 May

 

NOW Toronto (a magazine and online cultural publication) is doing this really, really cool project called 50:50. It consists of 50 bands in Toronto covering 50 tracks from Toronto’s greatest albums. It is an insanely great project to celebrate music born out of an amazingly musical city. Not only do new, up and coming bands gets exposure on a grander stage than the usual local hangouts, but accomplished stars get honored with covers of their hits. Plus, fans of music get reworked version of their fave songs. It’s a win-win-win. (Someone in Minneapolis should set this up for us ASAP!)

The video above is of The Autumn Stones covering Feist‘s “One Evening”. It’s a really cool horn-infused cover of her song that you would love to hear in a small jazz club, preferably drinking wine with someone who can pull off wearing a fedora. Dreams! Plus The Autumn Stones are cute dudes with probable Canadian accents ready to woo you with smooth tunes and whatever pickup lines are hot in Toronto. Rad.

Check out all the videos so far including covers of Drake, Barenaked Ladies and Neil Young, and check back for upcoming covers of my personal faves from Canada-Peaches and Crystal Castles! (There are bruises all over my legs still from the Minneapolis Crystal Castles show last week. I spent 30 minutes in the mosh pit. Awesome show!)

And just for fun here is Feist performing “One Evening” live:

Listen: Zola Jesus “Vessel”

26 Apr

zola-jesus-006Zola Jesus

This girl Nika aka Zola Jesus went to high school in Wisconsin with some of my friends in college. This video is rad as fuck. It’s not that often that I gravitate towards the local-ish music scene with actual intrigue, since I am obsessed with pop/electronic/experimental music (the two most popular genres in Minneapolis music scene are hip-hop and 4-piece rock/jam/indie rock bands). Also fuck yeah for a woman makin’ it big from around here. The mpls rock music scene is over-saturated with a lot of dudes who think they deserve the world for owning an instrument. Ew.

I feel very proud of her because this is really cool and unique work done with style. A lot of my issues with the local rock bands who are trying to make it bigger is their lack of style, or lack of good style. People like to see new things, enter new territories when it comes to music and new stars. Zola Jesus is definitely that person around these Minnesconsin parts.

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I really, so much do not like people that wear these hats. They are bitchy. And don’t wear lipstain!

Unfortunately I’ve seen waaaaaay too many jam bands (for work I swear! There are a surprising disappointing amount of them EVERYWHERE. Thankfully these communities keep to themselves because drugs). Granted said jam bands are definitely playing and dressing for a certain sub-culture who love acid, but making it bigger is going to be verrrrry difficult if they aren’t doing anything new or fresh that will catch the attention of people outside of their target audience. Not to say there can’t be era-inspired music around- on the contrary. But it seems that many of these bands are missing out on the “inspired” part, i.e. take something old, give it your fresh new spin, and see what happens.

Bonus: I really liked this video of Zola Jesus shopping at Amoeba and going through records that she loves.

Music: Being in love with Marina and the Diamonds “Electra Heart”

23 Apr

Marina and the Diamonds “Electra Heart”

If you can imagine what Barbie would be listening to in her lumped out jeep, it would be this album (which gives Barbie a lot of cool cred but let’s face it, bitch was fierce).

I AM OBSESSED WITH “Prima Donna” by Marina and the Diamonds. It is the most beautiful pop song that is SO POP that I’ve heard in a very long time. Pop music has definitely taken a more electro/dubby route in recent years. Which I don’t really have an opinion on right now because I haven’t had coffee yet. I also realize I’m about a fucking DECADE late hopping on the Marina train. Whatevs, I work through pop stars on my own time bc I Am Not A Robotl

My newfound Marina love began when I finally burned a new CD for my car after months of listening to weird mixes and Taylor Swift’s “Red”.

(It’s really fun to discover new favorite music in your car, especially if you live in a big city. Traffic is kind of like an album anyways. It gets slow, you get stuck behind big trucks and you’re outraged, or you’re driving super fast on the highway and blasting anthems.)

Anyways, my favorite tracks from Marina’s Electra Heart are hard to pick because I’ve only been obsessively listening to the album for 3 days (granted the first day and a half was spent with “Prima Donna” on repeat and feeling invincible). BUT early favorites are: Teen Idle, Radioactive, Sex Yeah, Valley of the Dolls, and Bubblegum Bitch.

Pop music and escapism vs. reality

I love Marina’s take on pop music. Electra Heart is one of the most poetic pieces of pop I’ve ever listened to recently. Not because she’s trying to sound poetic, but because that is the way she writes and the art that she wanted to make. If Marina truly wanted to be a “pop star” in the traditional sense that we know them to be, she’d have worked with Max Martin and adopted some sort of British Ke$ha persona. However it’s easy for many people/audiences to forget that pop stars and pop music don’t have to come out of a machine: they can come from the heart too.

What’s refreshing about independent/artistic journeys like Marina’s into pop music is you get the lyrical depth that is absent from mainstream pop/dance music. Sometimes it’s great to yell “Mazel Tov!” “Tonight!” or “Dance!” when you want to be enveloped in the total escapism pop music gives you. Shallow pop music lyrics have a purpose, because ain’t nobody want to contemplate their shitty relationship or societal woes on a Friday night dancefloor. But when it comes time to feel again, you can say hello to Marina or Lana Del Rey, where you too can contemplate love and life like a normal, suffering human being.

Marina’s Tunes

Check out her soundcloud here because it’s got a lot of songs and remixes up. But I like her originals better than most of the remixes up on her page, except this Passion Pit remix of “I Am Not A Robot”.

Music: New Order live and my problems with live electronic music

18 Apr

First of all, New Order is one of my favorite and most influential bands of all time. I’m an electro-pop artist (Dennis) and a DJ, and “Bizarre Love Triangle” is one of my favorite songs of all time. ALL TIME. This song is fucking beautiful. This band is fucking beautiful. BUT.

As an an electronic artist myself, it is incredibly difficult to translate the emotion and excitement of electronic music into a live performance setting. As I watched New Order perform one of my fave songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live, I was completely underwhelmed and saddened due to the lack of electronic musical stage translation. New-Order-256e4

I think the lead singer, Bernard Summer, was great vocally; he sounded just like the record did nearly 30 years ago. However, the guy standing in the back of stage perhaps playing a drum machine is the reason this performance wasn’t as good as it could have been. Plus these people are old now. There is something so hard about watching old rock bands perform. I really hate to say it and even admit it to you and myself because these bands are idyllic. But their bodies have grown old. So much of being an alluring artist is a sexual appeal of some sort. Their spirit has changed too. Not worse or better, but different, which naturally causes their performance art to change.

(But then again you can watch modern day Stevie Nicks perform and she still has the passion necessary to keep an audience interested. It’s all a crapshoot.)

I’m not sure how many live DJ sets any of you readers (thank you for reading, i heart you so much) have ever been to. But they are fucking BO-RING. This has nothing to do with the fact that many DJs are SUPER talented DJs and know how to mix some insane, genius-level beats. It has to do with live show translation: it is simply not exciting as an audience member to watch anyone push buttons. (Exception: DJs mixing and pressing buttons for a dance room setting. As openers for other bands DJs tend to always run stale because nobody is drunk and dancing to openers, especially if the set is lacking visual excitement)

This is where electronic bands get into trouble. A drum machine is awesome, but you can’t FEEL a drum machine like you can feel a live drum kit. It gives the audience a mandatory heart beat to the pulse of your music that can’t be recreated through speakers.

Demands of the Modern Audience

Having been to a ton of shows throughout my life and most recently in the Minneapolis area, stage performance is a big part of why many shows are so underwhelming. Where is the creative lighting? Projectors of slideshows put together by the band to represent their aesthetic and therefore their performance art? Anything to keep the audience intrigued?

I don’t know if many artists have gotten the memo, but consumers/audiences are demanding as fuck in this modern age. They want all their senses taken care of. Being a musician isn’t just about making music anymore. You’ve got to give the audience something good to look at, something to feel, something to be, something to strive for. ladygaga-1

Why do you think pop stars dress so wild? That’s how they get attention. Being successful is about how much attention you’re getting. Good, bad; it doesn’t matter. And if that means you have to wear a piece of shit on your face so all the blogs are linking back to poor style choice *AND* your song, so be it. That’s how you get famous. That’s the world we live in now, and it’s not changing anytime soon.

Consumers want to be sold a lifestyle (Ke$ha, The Strokes, Lil Wayne, LMFAO etc.), and if your band- new or old- isn’t able to sell that, then sorry! That’s why you see so many pop stars and celebrities selling fragrances or clothing lines (not to mention the fact that music doesn’t make nearly the kind of money it used to): it’s all about the lifestyle brand. Buy this and be like this person. Buy this and you will be accepted by this group of society. Maybe it sucks, but whatever. That’s life. That’s entertainment. A lot of things suck more than pop artists slingin’ perfume. Its the most cliché shit ever, but LEARN THE FUCKING GAME ALREADY. *drops keyboard and walks off stage*

 

Hit Miss Mess: 2013 MTV Movie Awards

14 Apr

EW. Holy shit. The 2013 MTV Movie Awards were not a great compilation of fashion this year. Not to mention the fact that I know I’m getting older, but who the fuck are most of the people on the red carpet?! My guess would  be B-list “teen” celebs from MTV original shows (lol) and the CW.

Hit

Taylor Hanson

Legit, the only person I say who looked amazing head to toe. He’s so fucking handsome. And you can also tell he’s not a total piece of shit because he A) dresses himself and has great personal style or B) has enough brains to have a stylist. A+ Taylor!

Taylor Hanson

Miss

Macklemore

Okay. So, if Macklemore is going the pop artist route in mainstream society, then I owe him a congratulations. He wore something weird that will get the media talking. If I may deconstruct the outfit a bit, it feels as if the black tie and shirt underneath the blue suit is kind of grounding him, or serving as a reminder that he’s a “regular guy” with an eccentric shell. The cape is kinda fun, the hair has a style and shape, and he doesn’t look like a total hot mess. The shoes are horrid though.

I feel for men because there aren’t a lot of options or opportunities to be really creative with fashion without looking like a jag. He gets a B+ for effort.

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Mess

Hayley Williams

She is definitely a cute bitch. Her hair looks fun and she’s got a pretty smile. But overalls are not okay. EVER. And oh lord, that bag. Is it underwear? Is she carrying lipgloss inside of theoretical old butt stains around on a red carpet? Honey, no.

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Honorable Mess

Hana Mae Lee

What the fuck is that? OH! It’s a cigarette butt. Cuz people should PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!!!!!!!! stop smoking? Woulda been a cute look otherwise, but then nobody would be talking about it or her. Clever publicist, but stupid, stupid outfit.

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