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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Voice Recap: Relax Everybody -- Finalists Have Been Chosen

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

voice.jpg


Last night, the finalists for NBC's The Voice were finally decided upon, and it was an odd show from the beginning. This thing started on a... really, really low note actually, with finalist from last year, Dia Frampton (should've won -- *cough* -- should've won) performing a song titled "Don't Kick The Chair."

Staging for the song involves hideously literal piles of chairs

everywhere, and a rap in the middle from Kid Cudi (who we usually love, thanks mostly to the frankly genius, "Soundtrack 2 My Life"). We think Dia's "Don't Kick The Chair" means "Don't kill yourself,"

since it's followed up directly by the line "It's going to get better".

So... this is Dia's way of telling the contestants who are about

to be booted that it's nothing to be suicidal about? Sure feels like it. It's so

heavy-handed and weird, it actually makes (perfectly happy) us want to

kill ourselves. How ironic! Whatever's next, it can't possibly be this

uncomfortable.


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Friday, March 30, 2012

Six Karaoke Songs to Lure in Your Own Don Draper

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 3:25 PM

mad_men_jessica_pare_zou_bisou.jpg

If you haven't heard enough of "Zou Bisou Bisou" this week, be prepared for an onslaught of especially terrible karaoke this weekend. But before you attempt to reel in your own Don Draper, allow us to provide a little backstory:

You know this much -- the fifth season of Mad Men has begun. And the critical darling has fans doing two things: celebrating the return of the most intellectually satisfying show since The Wire, and making a permanent space for actress Jessica Paré's scorching rendition of sixties French pop song "Zou Bisou Bisou" somewhere in their sonic memories.

Though associated with Anglo-Franco songstress Gillian Hills, "Zou Bisou Bisou" is an overtly sexual invitation-cum-confessional that was translated for American audiences by mid-century bombshell Sophia Loren, who recorded it for the 1960 film "The Millionairess."

On Mad Men, Mrs. Don Draper, played by the slinky Paré, channeled a version of "Zou Bisou Bisou" that melds the song's sinful solicitations with its overwrought, juvenile earnest. It a just as much "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" as it is Lord Byron for the teenage fangirl set.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Here Is Video of Wallpaper. Performing "Best Song Everrr" on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 10:02 AM

wallpaper_kimmel_live.jpg

It's begun: Only a couple of months after signing to Epic Records, Oakland crunk-pop outfit Wallpaper. is on a media storm, pushing "Best Song Everrr" on radio stations around the country and, as of yesterday, to late-night television. Clad in pink ridiculousness and showing no shortage of enthusiasm, Rick Reed and Co. performed the besotted single on Jimmy Kimmel's show, sounding about 40 times more energetic than anyone has on Saturday Night Live in, well, a while. Translating a tune rife with studio trickery to the live stage might need a tad more work -- we miss some of the vocal manipulations in this performance -- but this is still a coup: A homegrown Oakland artist bringing his own smartly silly party rock to the masses. Watch the video after the jump.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Help! That Victoria's Secret Angels Ad Is Ruining M83's "Midnight City" For Me

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 5:00 AM

victorias_secret_m83.jpg

Can there be a button you press somewhere on the Internet that lets advertisers and musicians know that if you see that one ad -- with that one song -- one more time, you are going to hate the song, the ad, and the product ... forever?

Judging by their quickly hatched hater-base, the members of Pomplamoose would have appreciated this by late November of last year. And now I beg for such a warning system on behalf of M83, whose "Midnight City" might just make this straight male loathe the thought of busty Victoria's Secret models prancing across his television screen in angel's wings.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Dubstep Is Now Officially Soundtracking a Southern Comfort TV Commercial

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 6:00 AM

You're a wild type. A rebel. The kind of person who likes life a little spicier. The kind of person who wants a flash of Tabasco™ lighting up your shot of Southern Comfort™. Like a fling between liquor and pepper sauce, you're a radical -- you probably even listen to that dubstep music.

dubstep_soco_ad.jpg

Er, sorry, fans of bowel-shuddering wobble, but your favorite sound has just become a hipness signifier for the desperately uncool. Showing up in songs by Britney Spears and Maroon 5 probably told us dubstep was on its way here (along with brostep's ubiquity and Skrillex on the cover of SPIN, among many other signposts). But at least Skrillex looks a little scary, and -- real talk -- "Hold It Against Me" isn't so bad. Much worse, at least if you're dismayed by the distance dubstep has come from its gritty south London roots, is the gutbomb of subterranean rumble now bringing a Southern Comfort TV spot to its climax. Witness:

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beavis and Butt-Head Return Tonight. Here Are Six of Their Greatest Musical Insights

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 12:46 PM

They're back! The horror!
  • They're back! The horror!

The world-at-large is bound to associate a few things with Beavis and Butt-Head: the '90s, a ballsier MTV, low-grade animation, juvenile delinquency, crude sex talk, and two idiots who loved fire, cappuccinos, and causing mayhem. Another major B&B element that should be on that list is the duo's interest in music videos. In between their misadventures, the horny, oafish deadbeats sat on a couch, flipped between channels, and voiced opinions on whatever clips came their way. Their soft spots were metal and hard rock (Beavis almost always wore a Metallica shirt, and Butt-Head an AC/DC one), but over the show's eight seasons, they took on hundreds of artists from all sorts of genres. Subjects included Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Beck, Dr. Dre, George Michael, Danzig, Letters to Cleo, Scatman John, Oingo Boingo, Biohazard, Nine Inch Nails, Men Without Hats, Reverend Horton Heat, Ween, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, and Jawbox.

Tonight, Beavis and Butt-Head return to MTV with new episodes for the first time in 14 years. (The show starts at 7 pm PST.) They will "analyze" (I use the word very loosely) music videos again, along with clips from reality shows such as Jersey Shore.

As the pair spent their time chortling and making dumb sex jokes in front of the TV, they occasionally dispensed nuggets of insipid brilliance -- things that were so funny that they deserved to be taken as truth, or were at least worthy of repeating. In honor of their grand comeback, let's revisit six of Beavis & Butt-Head's finest pieces of music video insight.

1. Pantera was often reprimanded as a child

In a sterling example of their never-ending stupidity, Beavis and Butt-Head watched the above video for "This Love" and became convinced that Pantera's aggression stems from his being pushed around as a kid by his father. Here, "Pantera" refers to vocalist Phil Anselmo (for some reason, B&B figured that was his name), but the clip's even funnier if you imagine they discussed the entire band as being, another other things, "Daddy's little girl":

Beavis: "Does this Pantera guy ever relax?"

Butt-Head: "I don't think so. This guy's dad must have kicked his ass when he was a kid."

Beavis: "Yeah, really. He was like, 'Dammit, Pantera! This beer is warm! Get me another one.'"

Butt-Head: "Yeah, he was like, 'You treat your stepmother with respect, Pantera, or you'll be sleeping in the street!'"

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

S.F.'s Girls Make Their TV Debut on Jimmy Fallon, with Backup Singers

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Girls on TV Tuesday night.
  • Girls on TV Tuesday night.

Musical performances on late-night shows are always a crapshoot, but San Francisco's Girls sounded great in their TV debut on Tuesday's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band played two songs from its new (out this week!) album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost -- "Honey Bunny" for the main broadcast, and "My Ma" as a web exclusive.

Apparently, NBC producers wouldn't let Girls' bassist/producer J.R. White drape a rainbow flag over his bass amp in a show of gay pride solidarity (sigh). But they did let the band have three backup singers, which was kinda cool. We loved watching the middle singer smile and touch her long locks as she sang the line, "they don't like my dirty hair," from "Honey Bunny."

Overall, it was a successful debut for this S.F. band, whose sophomore album seems to rack up more praise every day. (Even NPR liked it!) Check out video of the performances after the jump.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Watch tUnE-yArDs' TV Debut with the Roots on "Gangsta"

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 12:11 PM

tUnE-yArDs on TV!
  • tUnE-yArDs on TV!

So this was pretty cool: Not only did the Oakland experimental pop outfit tUnE-yArDs make its TV debut last night on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show, but it did it so with the show's house band, which just so happens to be the Roots. With ?uestlove on drums and Black Thought on the rhyming breakdown, the haunting, funky tUnE-yArDs track "Gangsta" got a slight reworking fit for a live studio audience and a nation of people who've never seen anything like this before. In case you couldn't stay up until 1:30 a.m. on a school night, you can check out the video here ...

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Stay Up Late: tUnE-yArDs To Make TV Debut on Today's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs: Now safe for TV!
  • Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs: Now safe for TV!

Not every TV appearance warrants a note, but this one sure does: tUnE-yArDs, the Oakland-based art-pop project of one supremely talented lady by the name of Merrill Garbus, will make its late-night TV debut tonight. This is but the latest in a breakthrough year for Garbus and tUnE-yArDs, following the release of stunning sophomore album w h o k i l l in April. We're so proud we're going to stay up late and watch her play. Are you?

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Voice's Season One Finale: Dia Frampton Was Robbed

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Dia Frampton
  • Dia Frampton

So last night was the grand finale of NBC's The Voice -- the first vaguely credible vocal talent show to find itself on American television. The night before, on Tuesday, the last four contestants each performed a duet with their coaches, as well as a song that had been written specifically for them (most of which were bland -- especially poor Javier Colon's piece of ultra-safe balladry), in a final bid to win $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Republic.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"