*I don’t really have a beef with this; I just think this headline’s a real eye-grabber.
Hiphop mogul/rapper Jay Z announced on his blog Dec. 3 that he and his wife/R&B superstar Beyoncé will eat a vegan diet for 22 days. Challenged by a friend to consume only plant-based meals, the veteran rapper—who just turned 44—decided to accept it and will eat no meat or dairy products until Christmas. After that they will consider whether to continue to live on the higher evolutionary plane where vegans exist.
I wish both musicians the best of luck and hope they find veganism to be beneficial to their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If nothing else, it will reduce the amount of mucus in their noses and throats, and that can only improve Jay and Bey’s vocal capabilities. Plus, if going vegan is good enough for André 3000, Morrissey, Moby, N.O.R.E., Robin Pecknold, Russell Simmons, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Geezer Butler, Berry Gordy, Chrissie Hynde, Jónsi (Sigur Rós), and Ian MacKaye, it should be good enough for the Roc-A-Fella Records/Brooklyn Nets boss and Sasha Fierce.
Let us hope that these vastly influential celebrities’ example spurs their millions of fans to follow suit, thereby setting humanity on a path to a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and potentially less obesity-plagued future. Let us hope they're not just doing this for the publicity.
In the comments section of Cienna Madrid and Paul Constant's hilariously accurate review (titled "Roar" and the Search for Meaning) of Katy Perry's new album Prism commenter brian_3520 begs to differ:
I disagree with most everything in this album review. You really don't understand Katy and her music very much. You like what you like. That's fine. Like all art, it's all in the eyes and ears of the beholder and the so called "expert reviewer" has a lot less influence over other people's opinions than they think.
Katy is evolving in her music ... trying new things like artists do. Millions and millions of other people around the world will like this new album. She's probably going to be megastar for years to come like Madonna has been since the early 80s. You'll see.
Katy is a "real deal" musician who knows her stuff. She's been in the music industry since she was about 14 or 15. She paid her dues, learned instruments and the whole nine yards as a typical struggling musician on the small venue circuit for several years ... from age 15 to 23 or so. She's no Disney kid creation. She had help from good producers along the way though.
Since she's trying new types of songs this new album likely won't be a grand slam homerun like Teenage Dream was. It would have been very hard for Katy and her collaborators to do "Teenage Dream II" and have all those smash hits again ... six Hot 100 #1 hits I think. It really IS one of the best pop albums of all time. I like nearly all the songs on Teenage Dream and a lot of the songs on her first album.
Seems like Katy has been evolving from pop/rock to pure pop and now towards inspirational "deep" pop or whatever. Who knows, maybe for the next album she will start all over and be "rock and roll Katy" again like she was on her first album tour. There's lots of Prism colors and parts to Katy like the title of her 3D movie "Part of Me" goes.
After Miley Cyrus named Sinead O'Connor as an influence for new album Wrecking Ball in her recent Rolling Stone feature, O'Connor wrote an open letter to the little hellraiser, advising her to "pay close attention" and not allow herself to be pimped by the media. While I'm not down with slut shaming Ms. Cyrus for outgrowing her Hannah Montana persona, I think O'Connor has a good point in saying that the music business loves to package a person and allow the person to think it's their idea (Britney Spears being the best example of a public puberty/new image gone wrong).
The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, “they” will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.
I haven't really tried to give a shit about this Miley Cyrus yawnathon, but I suppose my tow-cents would be: YES, being a badass lady in the industry is the only way to do it, but I'd love if Cyrus could back it all up with something other than flippant non-logic that ends up sounding like, "someone told me people accusing me of acting hood is reverse racism" or "my teddy bear outfit is creepy sexy like I'm baby, which is warped, LOL."
I want to root for her, I do, but the whole thing just smacks of 10 dudes in business suits pie-charting some combo of SEXY, EDGY, TOUGH, SHOCKING, LIPSTICK, BUTT and then carefully calculating a "You're just growing up, kiddo, you're a party queen adult now—fuck the haters, fuck your uncool dad!" brand for Cyrus to migrate to.
Anyway, read O'Connor's whole letter here, and then direct your attention to something more important (re: anything).
DJ Jazzy Jeff has posted an Instagram picture in which he has accused DVBBS on faking their DJ set. DJ Jazzy Jeff said that DVBBS is guilty of pretending to turn knobs and search for songs even though the whole set was “PRE RECORDED.” DJ Jazzy Jeff said “I respect anyone who wants to be a DJ of any kind…u don’t have to be a super great dj…just try…but the 1 thing that I will absolutely HATE ON IS FAKING IT!!!!”
...at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland. I felt CRAZY this morning."
Last Friday the internet was buzzing about Jack White and his weird emails—his restraining order and custody battle with his ex-wife Karen Elson (see here, and also here, on SLOG). Mr. White has fired back, expectedly.
White claims that Elson professed her love for him as recently as last month, telling their mutual friend Dean Fertita, "I'm completely in love with Jack and I'd move back in tomorrow if he asked me." (Fertita, White's bandmate in the Dead Weather, also plays in Queens of the Stone Age.) "This is not the statement of a woman who is concerned about the emotional stability of the father of their children or their safety when they are with him," the motion states.
Hoo wee, this legal and public battle is getting incredibly HEATED, no?
Joan Jett is kind of over writing songs about loving rock n' roll or hard partying, and is a seemingly more concerned with the darker bummers she's experienced within the last decade. For her first new album in seven years, she explains “I’m in a different part of my life. The song’s aren’t all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. There comes a time when you have to go through stuff. For me, this isn’t very uplifting—but I call it the decade of death: losing people, companion animals very close to me, my parents, really heavy things.” The Unvarnished LP is due out October 1st, and will include a collaboration with Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! and a new single co-written with Dave Grohl.
Here's a video of Laura Jane Grace and Joan Jett doing an amazing cover of
The Replacement's "Androgynous..." I can't wait to see what the two of them write together on the record.
Mark Macdonald writes: "As we, humanity, have been blessed with the birth of a superior being and the saviour of us all, it is only fitting we celebrate his glory with 10 loosely connected songs from across the ages."
1. Scott Garcia ‘It’s a London Thing':
2. Prince & the NPG ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ [Not Happening on YouTube]
3. Jill Scott ‘Crown Royal’:
4. Royalle Delite ‘I’ll Be a Freak for You’:
5. UB40 ‘One in Ten’ [Not Happening on YouTube]
6. Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band ‘Hunting Tigers Out in Indiah’:
7. Pulp ‘Common People’:
8. Salt n Pepa ‘Push it’:
9. Tom Robinson Band ‘Power in the Darkness’:
10. Carla Thomas ‘B-A-B-Y’ [Not Happening on YouTube]
Sasha Baron Cohen No Longer Starring in Queen Biopic: Due to the oft-cited "creative differences" with remaining members of the band Queen, who apparently wanted a "more PG version of reality," than the raunchier vision Cohen had. Yes. Because Freddy Mercury's life was definitely rated PG.
2 Chainz Writing Cookbook to Be Released with New Album: Says it will contain "[p]robably about 14 to 15 meals, [based on how] many songs [the album has]," thereby saying my favorite thing so far today.
Beyonce Vs. the Superfan: No, not an overly enthusiastic lover of her music. An actual fan that began eating her hair in the middle of a performance.
Kumail Nanjiani on Hating "Everybody Hurts": This barely qualifies as news but feel free to head on over to the A.V. Club and read comedian Kumail Nanjiani's funny takedown of one of R.E.M.'s most popular songs. "Really, you can ask a five-year-old and they’ll say, 'Yeah, everybody hurts sometimes.'"
This Could Change Everything: Kanye Quest 3030, a classic Super Nintendo-style turn-based RPG has just been released FOR FREE DOWNLOAD. The last boss appears to be (spoiler alert) a clone of Lil B. Gonna go head and call it: Game of the Year.
R.I.P. Bobby Bland: The amazing blues singer Bobby "Blue" Bland passed away over the weekend at the age of 83. I posted just one of his many awesome songs at the bottom.
Today in Faded Relevance All Around: Aaron Carter claims he was jumped by (four, fully-grown, male) New Kids on the Block fans in Boston who told Carter he was encroaching on their turf by playing a show there. Carter evidently fought back using Muy Thai. The whole thing is pretty surreal. You've been warned, Biebs.
Holler If You Hear Me: That's the title of an upcoming musical based on the life of the late, great Tupac Shakur. It's got a Tony-nominated director (Kenny Leon) who's hoping to release it in time for the 2013-2014 season. I wonder if the hologram will make a cameo.
The Many Enigmas of Rick Rubin: As a big fan of Rubin, I found this article (on Uproxx of all places!) required reading.
Sacrilege!: For their 20th anniversary as a group, TLC released a reworking of the track "Waterfalls," replacing late member Left Eye's verse with Japanese singer Namie Amuro. For those of us bumping and grinding to that song all through elementary school, this amounts to blasphemy.
MGMT Announce New Album: Coming in September. Also in new album news: Chief Keef's making a whole record with amazing producer Zaytoven, and Willis Earl Beal has a new one coming out with a Cat Power feature.
Rolling Stones Fans Boo Obama: That seemed to be the takeaway from Mick Jagger's li'l jab at our Commander-in-Chief, during a show in D.C. over the weekend: "I don't think President Obama is here tonight, but I'm sure he's listening in." I see what you did there, Mick.
Amanda Bynes to Save Career by Killing Rap: Waka Flocka Flame has apparently hooked up with the "troubled" starlet to produce a rap album. Mere words cannot do justice to how excited I am about this.
NIN's New Record: The track list for Hesitation Marks is out, and who doesn't love some sweet, sweet Nine Inch Nails track titles? "Eater of Dreams"! "Various Methods of Escape"! Apparently Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac is also on there somewhere.
It's Time to Party Hard, But When Is It Not, Really, When You Think About It: Andrew W.K. breaks record for longest drum sesh ever.
Jay-Z's Crazy Marketing Scheme: Of giving his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail away to a million Samsung Galaxy users will evidently not qualify for inclusion on the Billboard Charts. Frankly though, Jay's got 99 problems but a Billboard chart ain't one.
The Year of Sub Pop Continues: With limited-edition sneakers. It's all about lateral branding, y'all.
And Just Because: Here's a 17-second clip of a righteously indignant Drake getting turned away from entering the Miami Heat locker room. Can't wait to hear the song he writes about that one.
It's Macklemore's birthday! Happy birthday, Macklemore! This year, you're the recipient of a gift, in the form of this Macklemore Martial Arts Paper Doll Fantasy Kit™.
Download a hi-res version here.
What can you do with the Macklemore Martial Arts Paper Doll Fantasy Kit™? A lot of things, I suppose. Roundhouse kicks to jealous local rappers? Perhaps. Sweep the leg of opportunist managers looking for a percentage? Maybe. Twin Dragons in Search of Pearls to the groin of bootleg t-shirt merchants? Absolutely!
Of course, the best gift is this year is the Kidz Bop version of "Thrift Shop." DUH.
This is the Last Time I Post About Kanye West: The sixth studio album by West dropped today, understatedly titled Yeezus and apparently inspired by a Corbusier lamp, to immediate rave reviews. And that weird, pretty unnecessary American Psycho-inspired video is up on his website now. Last time you'll hear about him from me, until he does something insane.
Thom Yorke Auctioning Off Painting: Made with friend and album artist Stanley Donwood, the proceeds will go to the Trade Justice Movement, "a coalition of organizations that fight to end poverty and hunger." It's called "Business School for the Dead," and judging on these guys' past work would probably look great above your mantle.
Feminist Taylor Swift Takes Over Twitter: Not sure how I feel about the concept of parody Twitter accounts, but I did enjoy the response from Feminist Kanye: "YO IMMA LET YOU FINISH CUZ AS A MAN I NEED TO STEP BACK AND LET YOU BE HEARD." Oh wait, damnit. I just mentioned Kanye again. Last time.
How Are You Feeling About the New M.I.A?: "Bring the Noize" dropped on Zane Lowe's BBC 1 radio show yesterday. Check it below.
Capitol Hill Block Party Contest: Got out-of-town friends wanting to experience the magic of Capitol Hill Block Party but unsure if they can afford to drag themselves across the country for it? KEXP's giving away "airfare, hotel-stay[s] and 3-day VIP passes," so hop to it.
Kanye and Kardash's Baby Has a Name, Apparently: I give up. Bow down to Mr. West, unbeatable pop culture icon and master of the 24-hour news cycle.
"Rebecca Black is Actually Kind of Good Now": According to Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams, the infamous singer of "Friday" has improved from "worst ever" to not quite as shitty.
"She Got Served": The she in question being Ciara, and the "served" referring to a notice of legal action after she backed out of a performance. This happened while she was on-stage, performing at LA Pride. Ouch!
Adult Swim's Singles Going Steady: Somehow, Cartoon Network offshoot Adult Swim continues to be an underground tastemaker. This summer's series of "Adult Swim Singles" will feature new tracks from Madlib, Mac Demarco, and Lightning Bolt, among many others.
Your Eighth Favorite Wu-Tang Clan Member Readies a New Album: That's right, U-God's back with a RZA-produced solo record called Keynote Speaker, set to drop this summer.
R. Kelly to the Rescue: When their airplane got stranded on the tarmac in Las Vegas, passengers aboard Allegiant Airlines flight 592, possibly suffering heat-related delirium, decided to have a sing-along to R. Kelly's classic "I Believe I Can Fly." Thank God for boom boxes.
American Yeezus: Kanye West apparently recruited "socialite and reality television star" (ugh) Scott Disick for an American Psycho-themed music video which will drop sometime this week.
Jonathan Poneman Diagnosed with Parkinson's: The Sub Pop cofounder went public with his diagnosis this morning, explaining how grappling with the disease has given him a new perspective on his life. Many well wishes to Poneman and those close to him.
And Sharon Jones is Undergoing "Immediate Surgery" for Cancer: Canceling her tour and postponing release of her latest album. Luckily, the stage-one cancer on her bile duct (whoa! I didn't know that was a thing) is "operable and curable." Good luck to you in surgery, Ms. Jones!
Soulja Boy Takes on The Bachelorette: And makes a pretty amazing music video after recruiting the show's stars to be extras. Inane!
David Lynch to Release Second Album: Because people went crazy for Crazy Clown Time, apparently. Definitely curious to hear his collaboration with Lykke Li.
Everything That's Right with Music Today: Skrillex and Riff Raff have an album coming out together, Riff told MTV Australia.
Danny Brown Has the Best Laugh in the World: Check out Detroit rapper Danny Brown explain why he thinks cereal's overrated. Agreed! I don't eat soggy things either.
Mariah and Minaj Ditch the Idol: Both superstars announced via Twitter that they were leaving the show yesterday, after a season of underwhelming ratings and passive-aggressive beefing which led Mariah Carey to hire extra security "because she felt unsafe" around Nicki Minaj.
The Tao of James Murphy: LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy sat down for a chat with The Guardian and, regarding his music career, unleashed this nugget of wisdom: "To want me to do something that you want me to do is to miss the fucking point." Then he spun a wicked DJ set, as is his wont.
This Shit is Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S: The Velvet Underground and the Andy Warhol Foundation have reached a settlement regarding the use of Warhol's iconic banana (uh...) as an advertisement for iPad products. Weird to use a banana to advertise an Apple, when you think about it.
Today in Potentially Overhyped 2013: The New Yorker wondered if "music had to be good to be good" when Daft Punk's new album dropped. The new Arrested Development season has gotten a relatively subdued reaction. And now my beloved Boards of Canada have been viral marketing the shit out of their new album, culminating in a listening party in the UK this Monday, raising expectations to a possibly absurd degree. I'd be happy if it's better than The Campfire Headphase, but I do not expect it to be the Second Coming.
Xenia Rubios Slays With "Psycho Killer": This made my Friday morning.
Nearly EVERY pop star concedes to the notion of their "brand." It's gross and sad, but it's what the biz does to market and SELL it's commodities. If I was a wanna-be I guess I'd understand and comply; like, since there is SUCH a glut of waiting POP hopefuls, if you're tapped as an up-and-comer you gotta let do/be what the press agents say to do/be. Thankfully tho', there are REAL motherfuckers like Iggy Pop who ain't needing to be marketed and can be honest and open about how the marketing is just a lot of bullshit.
The Stooges frontman is often referred to as the godfather of punk but, in an interview with Classic Rock, he said he was not a fan of the title and found it "tedious."
"They have to have a place to put me to reference in the whole thing," he said of industry figures who use the accolade. "And they think they have to explain that to an audience of people who are similarly lacking in intelligence or education. So you get that. It's okay.
But it's tedious."
Tho' I haven't much cared for the Stooges recent recordings or any of Iggy's solo records since, gosh, New Values, it's always refreshing to hear him talk and here he obviously calls bullshit on the "industry figures" while calling out the kid's ignorance! Heh. Unlike a lot of old rock guys who have a certain air of self-reverential arrogance, he seems like he's mostly the same guy he was in 1968; he knows how lucky he was to get out of that fucking trailer park. As for the "I don't like punk" quote...
“We hadn’t sold out one of the shows, so the promoter wanted me to go on the radio. So I said: ‘Alright, I’ll do an interview.’ Well, then that wasn’t enough. They wanted me to talk about five punk songs. And I told them: ‘I don’t like punk.’”
I wonder what five punk songs they had hoped he'd comment on; I can't think of anything contemporary that'd make the grade. Also I found this source kinda funny - it's an interview from Classic Rock magazine?! I'd never consider the Stooges "Classic Rock." EVER. In context with say a generic KNOWN classic rock band, like Kansas, the Stooges would be on the other end of the spectrum.
I don't really know anything about fashion, but I know it when I see it... and a leather bikini and red jeans is not a fashion.
"The Animosity of the Nineties is Gone": Says Damon Albarn, who recently played with Oasis' Noel Gallagher in Britpop's Nas/Jay-Z moment. He's also got his first solo record coming out, an opera he wrote is coming to the States and Blur has several festival dates this summer. Busy man!
Anthony Bourdain Hearts Queens of the Stone Age: And wrote a nice, funny little bio for the band in anticipation of their new album ...Like Clockwork. Meanwhile, the band has put the album on iTunes for streaming.
Drake's Dad Causes a Stir: By (maybe?) posting the tracklist to Drake's new album Nothing Was the Same on Instagram, then promptly deleting it. Either way, the album looks to feature production by Clams Casino and James Blake, and guest spots from Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake and A$AP Rocky.
Today in "No Touching! No Touching!": A concert-goer in Copenhagen "confused his front-row ticket with permission to ... slap [Beyonce] on the ass," and Beyonce was understandably not amused. The fan who got surprise access to Miguel's nether-regions after he launched them into her face at the Billboard Music Awards took it a little better, saying after the show, "I adorn him."
And Here's Dave and the Dalmatians: My favorite local Croatian a cappella group (!!!) played Folklife again this year and as usual, brought the ruckus.