Hello once again! We’re only halfway through the week, and a truly stellar one for female musicians. In today’s round up of music news, we have a girl-empowerment video from Charli XCX, a new track from the trailblazing Sleater-Kinney, and a rather revealing interview from Madonna. Also, for good measure, there are some guy musicians mixed in here somewhere.
Harkening back to her Harajuku days, Gwen Stefani shows some love for Japanese pop culture (and product placement) in her latest music video for “Spark the Fire”. The ageless pop-star floats atop a Kirby-like cloud over a kawaii animated city, and talks strictly in interactive emojis (not unlike the latest Facebook Messenger commercials). And then somebody brings an HP Sprout to the club and puts a slice of pizza on top of it (which is actually a pretty brilliant use of the Sprout, but also a waste of a perfectly delicious slice of pizza). Stefani’s fellow former The Voice coach, Pharrell, makes a not-at-all-surprising cameo. Pretty sure it’s a rule that Pharrell has to be in all music videos now. Remember his own super kawaii anime music video for “It Girl”? [Vulture]
NSFW: Unstoppable Run The Jewels have released another music video for RTJ2, this time to their second single, “Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)”. Lots of energy and flashing lights and suggestively naked girls. You should probably be warned of its mildly-NSFW content, but if you’re already reading this article at work, you don’t really care, do you? [Rolling Stone]
RTJ’s Killer Mike is making the most of his long-overdo time in the national spotlight, most recently by co-authoring an Op-Ed piece for USA TODAY. In his article, “Rap’s Poetic (In)justice,” Killer Mike takes on our judicial system’s tendency of treating rap lyrics as something more sinister than artistic expression. He writes:
- “Rap lyrics have been introduced as evidence of a defendant’s criminal behavior in hundreds of cases nationwide, frequently leading to convictions that are based on prosecutors’ blatant mischaracterizations of the genre. Ignoring many of the elements that signal rap as form of artistic expression, such as rappers’ use of stage names or their frequent use of metaphor and hyperbole, prosecutors will present rap as literal autobiography. In effect, they ask jurors to suspend the distinction between author and narrator, reality and fiction, to secure guilty verdicts.”
The trial discussed in the article, Elonis v. United States, is also notable for being quite possibly the first time a Supreme Court Justice has quoted Eminem, according to Billboard.
The Girl Power is turned up to 11 in Charli XCX’s “Breaking Up.” Bright airbrushed colors, bubble gum, and boyfriend bowling pins abound, as Charli and her all-girl backing band assert their independence in this Burn-Book of a music video. [Buzzfeed]
The long-rumored Mick Jagger/Martin Scorsese HBO series is finally happening. Three years ago, the two teamed up with Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter to develop a drama centering around a record label executive during the drug-fueled late-1970s. Our Alicia Lutes has the full story over HERE.
Ooooh, new Sleater-Kinney is oh-so-good. The reunited riot grrrl rockers released the track “Surface Envy” following a Reddit AMA. Their new album, No Cities To Love, comes out January 20th. [Pitchfork]
A Kanye super-fan has reconstructed Yeezy’s entire Yeezus tour performance, piecing together snippets of YouTube footage posted online by concert-goers. Good bye, next two and a half hours. If that’s not enough Mr. West for you, Consequence Of Sound also has his surprise Times Square set from this week’s World AIDS Day, hosted by Red. [Vulture]
Never one to be shy about sexuality, 56-year-old pop icon Madonna provided Interview Magazine with a very boudior-y photo shoot to accompany a recent article. The album, shot by Marcus Piggott and Mert Alas, brings to mind her 1992 art book, Sex, and is NSFW. Wow, that expression is popping up a lot today. [Billboard]
The latest video from Bass Drum of Death starts off promising enough, with a modern day Dennis the Menace-type making the rounds in his friendly neighborhood, but disappointingly ends just as things gets interesting. The video is only two acts of a three act story, but the track is messy, lo-fi garage rock at it’s finest. And if you haven’t seen their previous, insane, Russ Meyersian NSFW video for “Left For Dead”, well, buckle up. [Stereogum]
Psy’s “Gangnam Style” has officially broken YouTube’s view counter. The video site reports: “We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met PSY. “Gangnam Style” has been viewed so many times we have to upgrade! Hover over the counter in PSY’s video to see a little math magic and stay tuned for bigger and bigger numbers on YouTube.” [HypeTrak]
Gourmet Action Bronson is back with another mouth-watering episode of Fuck, That’s Delicious, in which the hefty, hirsute, hiphop artist travels the world in search of the most banging delectables. In this month’s episode, “New York at Night,” he and his cousin sit down for some midnight Szechuan and Bronson shares that he’s “down to do CrossFit.” God, I love this show. [Munchies]
In the most metal moment of all time, Delain bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck took a confetti cannon blast directly to the groin, and kept on playing despite the pain of a bleeding, ruptured testicle. After the show, he was rushed to the hospital to be stitched back up and given a medal of badassery. Consequence of Sound has the full story, as well as deceivingly anticlimactic video of the incident (seriously, you would never know it happened because the dude just keeps on playing).
See you Friday with more music news.