Will Britney’s new song “Work Bitch” deliver us from evil?

Britney released the video for her latest single, “Work Bitch” and it’s a step in a good direction. In the vid, Britster moves her legs way more in the dance scenes than in past videos of recent history. See “Till the World Ends” for the modern Britney arm wave dance-like reference. So yeah, this is pretty huge, folks. I can’t help but think every single time I see her perform in a video or live that her dancing just isn’t there anymore. But in this video, her dancing is creeping back to almost good again. As you may or may not know, in 2004 Ms. B broke her knee on the set of the video for “Outrageous,” thus leading into the downward spiral we all sort of lovingly remember. In the knee breaking video, you can see how FUCKING AWESOME she was moving. But she just can’t do it like she used to. Of course I feel like a shit fan for wishing and hoping she would dance like the old days.

Hope is such a dangerous drug.

“Work Bitch” also raises important societal questions like:

Will Britney’s new song inspire millions of people to work?

Will everyone who has been avoiding the gym finally get out of their laptop/couch coma and get to sweatin’?

Will Congress finally get their shit together after a Britney dance party?

if_britney_can_make_it_through_2007-4892
This is my favorite thing on the internet

Let’s hope so. I know I’ve gotten through some weird times by listening to Britney. There’s something ethereal and existentially comforting about listening to a woman ask a stranger to fuck her in the back room of the club, all over super hot club beats. The air of “Fuck it” and “Imma get what I want!” is so inspiring. When you’re knee deep in quarter-life crisis, it’s important to have Britney there as a reminder that you REALLY, REALLY can make it through anything.

CAN a pop song inspire a nation to quit being lazy shitbags on a personal and professional level and “Work Bitch”? Time will only tell if our Godney will deliver us from evil.

Advertisements

Music: Caroline Smith’s new vid for “Magazine” is SUPER FUN

GOD DAMN I LOVE THIS SONG. Minneapolis wundergal Caroline Smith is gearing up to release her latest album titled “Half About Being a Woman.” And it’s gonna be killer. Like, this chick is blowin’ up killer. Because if you haven’t heard of her yet, holy shit. She’s about to blow your world. She has a show on the 27th of Sept. at First Avenue in MPLS, otherwise I’m sure she’ll be on tour in a city near you soon. You’ll wanna see it.

The first time I saw her live was 8 years ago when we were all in college, at the 400 bar. She had hand written CDs and gave me one fo’ free cuz I was cash poor/my friend was dating her friend. My favorite song from that (I think) first little album was “Clench My Teeth.” Very folky, very pretty. I am so proud of her, not only because she’s fucking awesome but also because she’s an awesome part of the music scene in the good ol’ MSP. AND I’m also excited to see where her career goes from here, because I have a feeling its gonna be amazing!!

Def check out her new album when its out, which is I believe Sept. 27. YAY!!!!!

caroline smith

Britney Spears rocks and a rant about Ashlee Simpson

Here is a comp I found on Youtube that was suggested after watching “ashlee simpson singing live” videos.

BRITNEY ROCKS 4 EVER.

I happened upon this marvelous B Spears vid after torturing myself by watching a ton of Ashlee Simpson live performance videos. Because, you know, I wanted to remind myself that I once loved Ashlee Simpson, drove an hour and a half to meet her AND got her autograph. To this day it remains my darkest pop culture hour.

But for real. Ashlee Simpson. Could America could have crafted a less compelling performer? Like, to start, bitch doesn’t even have good style. She was like a watered down pop version of a pretty attractive, “i like 2 ware black n dark green cuz its edgy and my sister is a pretty blonde singar so i gotta stand out sum how,” pretending to be emo because of market trends, dad hooks up everything cuz he’s a closet gay minister and gays have weird powers, hot topic loving kind of gal, which is probably just the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. She must be just the most vapid and undeserved person in Hollywood, because everything was without a doubt handed to her. There’s one thing to be a pop star who follows the trends and gives the audience what they want to hear and see. It’s another to expect that your audience will follow your weird, manufactured “punk” persona and shitty music because of your formerly B+ famous family. People posing as punks are so fucking lame, because it’s not even that hard to be a punk. That’s how dumb her career was.

 The only thing she really ever earned was all the times she got booed for being a shitty performer. She also married Pete Wentz, who is kind of annoying on Twitter so you can only imagine how annoying they must have been IRL together. *shudders*

You can even see her “A” for Ashlee in an anarchy symbol. Hahahahahaah WUT?! Nobody performing at a televised half time show for a football game is an anarchist. Take a shit on stage at a televised half time show screaming “WE ARE ALL SHIT” while setting a football player on fire and you’ve got yourself a genuine moment of anarchy brought to you by MTV. She wasn’t even trying!

What a horrible pock on the last decade in American pop culture. Music industry Gods willing this lady never puts out another single, EVER.

SORRY ASHLEE.

ashlee simpson
DAT EDGE

7 Questions in Heaven with KILLSTREAK

7 Questions Killstreak

My first introduction into the world of KILLSTREAK was at a secret santa party in December 2012. Our mutual friend Kait (hey gurl) had given me “Tony-he’s 19 and a rapper in a group called Killstreak.” Gifts were exchanged at the party, facebook friendships were forged, and new music was introduced, as KILLSTREAK had just released a song with local slam poet/hip hop artist Guante titled “Collateral Damage.”

 

I was really impressed with Tony’s lyrical content and youthful yet old soul passion and intelligence that bleeds from his music. Granted I was only 5 years older than him at the time, but still-it’s rare to meet a 19 year old (or any teen/20 something for that matter) with any kind of direction and certainty in their life, let alone confidence and drive for their art. It’s a powerful and unassuming vibe for real, and that’s what makes their music and performances so philosophically ballin’.

Tony and his KILLSTREAK partner/producer/pal, ICETEP, released their first full-length album this summer titled “Janus.” (You can read a solid review about it here and buy it here). They are definitely gonna be two guys to keep an eye on in the music scene over the next few years, together and independently. Check out what this Minneapolis hip-hop wunderkind duo has to say about the origin of their fantastic name, Yeezus, sex in college and Carly Rae Jepsen.

1. How long have you, Tony the Scribe and ICETEP, been making music individually? When did you realize you vibed musically, thus birthing Killstreak?

T: I’ve been rapping for about 6 or 7 years, although I’ve been making music my whole life. ICETEP started out playing the piano at age 5 and has been making beats for about 3 years. We first realized we meshed musically about 2 years ago when we were reintroduced by a mutual friend. At first we didn’t really like each other’s shit, but we grew together and gained a mutual respect. 2 years later, we have an album out and are best friends. It’s funny how things work out.

2. Killstreak is a rad name. I picture a quaint streak of blood on the floor after a methodical Dexter-like kill or something. What was the inspiration behind naming yourselves Killstreak? And what is a Janus?

I: For a long time we couldn’t decide on a group name, one day we were chatting and one of us suggested “KILLSTREAK” as a joke, because we both mutually decided that it was a dumb name for a rap group. Flash forward a couple of days and we both sort of independently decided it was the perfect name. It’s less like a streak of “quaint” blood and more of like that blood straight out of “The Shining” just a massive tidal wave. (T: It’s also a play on the nerdiness of our personalities, because it’s a video gaming term. We thought it fit us well to have something nerdy and intimidating) A “Janus” is the Roman god of Duality, Entryways, Beginnings and Entryways. It was a fitting name for the album though, because it represents a time in our lives where we both were changing from one artistic space to another, as well as representing the overt duality we intended for the general theme of the artistic content of the album.

3. There’s a lot of passion and thought in your lyrics, which is hella cool. What topic gets you fired up the most, to the point where you have to run home from a party/bar mitzvah/the middle of class and start writing immediately?

T: Disillusionment with society. Also, watching how people act when they want to have sex with other people, because a lot of people act really different when they really want to have sex with someone. And just interpersonal interaction in general– that kinda stuff is mad interesting to me; I’m a sociology major and a huge extrovert so I’m continually fascinated by how people interact in group settings.

4.You played a show in my bedroom last month. Do you plan on playing anymore bedroom shows, basement shows or house shows this summer (besides, you know, the shows you play in actual venues)? What are your thoughts on house shows vs venue shows?

37021_509896762399778_1647310655_n

I: Yo fam I love bedroom shows, I wish we could play more, but usually people have really small bedrooms, and I’m not about me and Tony being the third and fourth wheel of a good time. This summer we unfortunately do not have any underground shows on the horizon, but we do have a couple of legit shows that are still being organized. That being said, from the house parties I’ve played, in my experience I’d rather just play in an actual venue, because people go to shows at venues with the explicit purpose of (usually) seeing an artist or a band. It’s not like I don’t like hanging out with drunk people, but I feel venues have determined drunk people. We’ll probably end up playing lots of underground shows in the spring just because T has a house in nor cal, and I am about that life.

5. Main musical influences on your music and art, GO!

T: Kanye West, Doomtree, Linkin Park, Rustie, Flying Lotus, and giant robot anime. Bam.

6:  If you could collaborate with any artist outside of the hip-hop genre, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

969404_386920588092492_194545708_n1
I: I’d really love to do a whole album with Kanye West actually, I know a lot of people are divided over Yeezus, but I still really fucks with him both as a rapper and as a producer. I guess I’m more interested in just hanging out with him in the studio than anything, like seeing what his process is like and what not. If Kanye wasn’t available though, prolly Flocka. Dude goes IN when he’s in the studio. BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BOW BRRRRRRIIIIICCCCKKKKKKK SQQQUUUUUAAAADDDDDDDDDDD. (video context: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvJDiZwGGd4)

7: Who’s your favorite guilty pleasure artist and/or what’s an embarrassing song you LOVE?

T: I love Party in The USA. And Call Me Maybe. Anybody who doesn’t like Carly Rae Jepsen can eat a bag of dicks. Straight up.
images-15

Gaga vs Perry: Life is better when two pop stars reign at the same time

gaga29f-1-web

Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP” 11.11.13

vs.

Katy Perry’s “Prism” 10-22-13

rs_600x600-130729163438-600.KatyPerry.mh.072913

There seems to be a special alignment of the planets (or corporate music industry strategy. whatevz) when a huge pop star releases an album.  Madonna vs. Cindi Lauper, Britney vs. Christina, and now Gaga vs. Katy Perry. What would be the fun in releasing a major diva studio pop album without some healthy competition?! GOD THIS FALL IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry rose to fame together, both have two albums under their sparkly belts and are slated to release their third albums this fall, respectively titled “ARTPOP” and “Prism”. I have no idea which one I’m more excited for. Dare I say I’m excited for both? Pop blasphemy! Pop music tyrant! To the VMA stakes!

I’m excited for Gaga’s “ARTPOP” because:

images-13
Single art for Gaga’s “Applause”. Me gusta.
  • I like all of the aesthetics so far. Her first single titled “Applause” has a fresh look to it. I’m digging the white a lot. It’s a whole lot better than her “Born This Way” album art, that’s for sure.
  • Gaga lives for art. She puts a lot of effort into her artistic process. “ARTPOP” is said to be a journey through collaborations with famous artists like Inez & Vinoohd (worked with Björk in the music biz and a lot of fashion photography), Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic (famous performance artist and recently in Jay Z’s latest video release) and Jeff Koons.
  • Girlfriend ain’t afraid to get a little weird, which is always makes for an interesting time.

I’m excited for Katy Perry’s “Prism” because:

  • She is a quintessential pop star. I get the vibe that Katy Perry will (and does) do everything she is directed to do by her label. I like her music a lot, but it is very cut and dried classic pop music. It will be like 200 feet in front of new trends, but won’t stand anywhere near what would be called innovative. She is here for one purpose: Sexy. Hot. Pop. Star. And we love her for that.
  • You know she’s gonna have the best pop song of fall on her new album. She works with the best pop music producers in the business (Max Martin, Dr. Luke) and the best pop music songwriters (Sia, Bonnie McKee). She gets the best of the best of the BEST to help produce and write her music.
  • Her fashion sense is good, even though it’s completely fucking commercial “I’m a sexy lady! Gee whiz! Boobs! Firework!”

“Born This Way” and “Teenage Dream” were both great sophomore releases but totally pandered directly to “troubled” and  “bullied” teens and less towards an artistic, grown up sound. I think both of their upcoming albums will show long overdue maturity, however Gaga probably has more freedom to grow up in the limelight than Katy Perry. Katy Perry is the pop music, number 1 hit maker slave, and Gaga is the weirdo artist but still has to appeal to a wide audience. Life is hard in Pop World, y’all.

images-14

Pop Predictions

All things considered, I think Gaga’s album will be way more interesting and creative than Katy Perry’s. It’s like if Madonna from 30 years ago (holy fucking shit it has been THAT long) split in half, birthing two opposing pop star molds: with Gaga you get the edge, the art, and the cravings for controversy. With Katy you get the “I’m the Queen of Pop now” who releases really great but kind of predictable #1 hits that are about as stimulating as a cold Diet Coke with a really great sandwich. Sure, everyone loves Diet Coke and good sandwiches, but it’s no orange San Pellegrino with a side of classical piano training and a penchant for performance art. Only time (internet leaks) will tell which album will prevail. BRING. IT. ON.

7 Questions in Heaven with The Autumn Stones

7 Questions Autumn Stones
_______________________________________________________________________________
I met The Autumn Stones-where else!- on Twitter. (Follow them here for some fancy Canadian fun.) What a place. They are a band from Toronto, Canada who has recently been featured in a Canadian publication called Now Magazine as a part of a really cool cover project called 50:50 (more on that cool shiz below). They are an indie-pop, sax-infused quartet from the big T (can that be a new nickname for Toronto?!). Check out what they have to say about the Toronto music scene, their upcoming album Escapists and what they would do if they were kidnapped by Beliebers.
_______________________________________________________________________________

1. What’s the music scene like in Toronto? Is everyone in a band? Are people really nice there? How’s the dating?

Yes just about everybody is in not just one but often a few bands. It’s pretty saturated with artists here in Toronto. The key is to find some likeminded people and show support for them. That’s kind of the law in the Toronto music scene. To be honest I’m not crazy about the local music here but there are some decent bands. Just nothing that really does it for me the way my favorite bands do.
Toronto is pretty.
Toronto is pretty.
The people in Toronto are pretty nice as a rule. We have a reputation for politeness but truthfully we’re not the warmest bunch. We can be a little standoffish. At shows not a lot of people dance. It’s improving slightly though.
I’m the only single guy in the band right now but I am not much of a dater. I do chat up girls here and there but I usually get too drunk to get anywhere. I mostly just stare and grab the occasional bum. I am taking a stab at online dating but I couldn’t really say as I have been mostly dating myself for the last 2 years.

2. How was the Autumn Stones formed? Where did the name come from?

I founded The Autumn Stones in 2009 from the ashes of my old band The Assistants. I pinched the drummer and then met the original bass player later on. The original idea was for us to not really be a band but just do 1 album and to try to avoid all of the typical band hassles. It was really meant to just be a recording project. But after the first record I started writing better songs and wanted to keep it going and see where things could go. Our lineup is completely different now and we’ve started to embrace playing live a bit more. We’re anxious to get back in the studio though. That’s my favorite part of being in a band. I think it is the true measure of how good a band is. At least it has always been what’s most important to me. I used to have vinyl copies of The Stone Roses first record and Guided by Voices Bee Thousand on my bedroom wall to remind myself what it’s all about.
Strike a pose, Autumn Stones.
Strike a pose, Autumn Stones.

The name of the band comes from a song by The Small Faces called Autumn Stone. It’s a nice little tune. I’m not a huge fan of theirs but have always liked that song and thought it would make a great band name since I was 19. I tried getting a few of my older bands to take that name but it always got turned down by other members. So, instead I stared my own band called The Autumn Stones and then found members to be in it. That’s the way to get your ideal band name. I’m not sure what it means to be honest. I know that Stone Henge has a winter and summer stone and that it was likely used as a primitive calendar by ancient people. I suspect that The Small Faces may have got the idea from Stone Henge but I’m not sure. For me the name evokes something melancholic or nostalgiac in me. Also it implies something that lasts a really long time but not forever.

3. Who are your favorite artists and which artists influence your work most?

The Smiths. They look straight outta hipster compton.
The Smiths. Music + style icons.

My favorite artists are The Magnetic Fields, Galaxie 500, Guided by Voices, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths and The Stone Roses. I’d say all of those bands have had a big influence on the writing given that I write all of the songs. I’m influenced a lot by what I read as well. A great deal of my lyrics deal with religion and many of my favorite writers such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris have inspired much of my lyrics. We have a new unrecorded song called End of Faith which gets it’s title from the book The End of Faith by Sam Harris. The lyrics to that song are kind of a response to the line in Lennon’s Imagine where he says to “imagine no religion.”

4. When I was 12, my family and I went on a road trip to (drum roll) Thunder Bay. We ate at a restaurant, overtipped the waitress, went to a mall where I bought a purple, glittery butterfly candle and left. (Purple glittery butterfly candles are totally Canadian, right?) We know how to party. But you live in Toronto. Describe Toronto in 12 words.

Good story. Never heard of those candles though. Toronto in exactly 12 words:
Scorching heat. Bitter cold. Giant penis-shaped tower. Hockey crazed. Big Smoke. Home.
In two words: Canada’s cock.

5. Tell me about your new album “The Escapists”. Does it relate back to your first release “Companions of the Flame” or does it move in a totally different direction? What was the inspiration behind the title “The Escapists”?

The title “Escapists” is culled from the lyrics of one of our songs called Ooh La La. The line goes; “Hey girls, let’s unwind entwined. Lace and pretty face, escapists.” I think it works as an album title because a lot of my lyrics deal with things that could be construed as forms of escape or evasiveness. I suppose this has come up in a lot of the stuff I write. Human beings are dreaming animals. So much of what we do is related to our imaginations. We listen to music watch tv, movies, read, observe. We seem to spend most of our time imagining, dreaming or planning more so than doing things. I use the term escapists ironically because I think it is so much a part of being human that it isn’t really escape. It’s the thing that humans do best. We imagine and plan our environment better than any other species. So, “Escapists” is everyone although ironically it isn’t really escape since these things are just what we do.
“Escapists” is a little different from “Companions of the Flame”. “Companions” had more optimistic love songs because I was in a more optimistic place in my life whereas “Escapists” is a bit lonelier, darker and a little heavier too. The songs deal with religion, sex, death, alcoholism. It’s juicier. I am really looking forward to getting into the studio to record these songs as we have spent a long time working on the arrangements and have higher expectations this time.

6. You were asked by NOW Magazine to cover Feist’s “One Evening” for their (really awesome) 50:50 video series (Check it out here, it’s really cool project where new local Toronto bands cover songs from the 50 best albums to come out of Toronto). Even though the covers aren’t completely finished yet, which one has been your favorite so far?

I’m going to be a jerk and say us. I just thought that her song was probably the best on the list and I think we did a decent enough job of it. Also, I’m not a big fan of many of the records on that list and haven’t heard many of the covers. Sorry Now. I guess I’m kind of a music snob that way. Although I should give an honorable mention to our friends The Whirly Birds who did Blue Rodeo’s Rose Colored glasses. I do have a bit of a soft spot for Blue Rodeo and Pete Carmichael did a great job singing that. He has a really rich and distinct voice.

7. If you were held captive by a bunch of pre-teen bandits and forced to give the Autumn Stones spin on one Justin Bieber song, which song would it be?

I honestly can’t name a Justin Bieber song but I can do you one better. I would proceed to sing a song I wrote on Halloween a few years ago when my brother who is 6 2″ dressed as Justin Bieber for Halloween. It’s called “Me and the Beeb” and it is awesome and had everyone at the party singing along. One of my finest hours.

FEAR THE BIELEBERS
FEAR THE BIELEBERS