This weekend was a doozy. Not only did Taylor Swift’s celeb-rampant music video for “Bad Blood” drop, but Kanye West made a memorable “performance” at the Billboard Music Awards, Courtney Love shared a new song, Squarepusher’s new music video is a crazy 360° cartoon, Brent Weinbach discusses 8 bit videogame music, Black Tower shared the most melodic metal we’ve heard in weeks, and NPR’s First Listen has new records streaming in advance.
Remember when we said Taylor Swift‘s new “Bad Blood” music video was shaping up to be amazing? Well it debuted at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night and the Joseph Kahn-directed clip was only four minutes long.
While all those cameos were a tad underutilized (Lena Dunham, Hailee Steinfeld, Ellie Goulding, Paramore singer Hayley Williams, Zendaya, Jessica Alba, Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, Cara Delevingne, Selena Gomez, and more), it’s still a star-studded clip that becomes a feminist anthem of female power. Plus this little guy named Kendrick Lamar contributes two brand new verses to the song. Warning: they’re great.
The music video wasn’t the only thing to make waves at the awards ceremony. Kanye West performed “All Day” and “Black Skinhead”. Thanks to the censors, the songs were more about utter silence than booming bass. So much so, actually, that out of the five minutes and 18 seconds he performed, only 16 seconds of audio is, well, audible. “He’s Kanye,” a production source told TMZ. “What are we supposed to do?” [Pitchfork]
If the Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck is still on your mind, consider this an unofficial bonus reel. Cobain’s then-wife, Hole frontwoman, and pop culture icon Courtney Love has just shared a new single that gets in touch with her grungy side. Although “Miss Narcissist” is glossier than any of Nirvana‘s material, it does tap into her punk rock sensibilities with unhinged force and sounds a bit like Metric. Welcome back, Ms. Love.
Is it just us or is everything spinning? In Squarepusher‘s new video for “Stor Eiglass”, the electronic act takes the perspective of a headless woman and moves through a neon cartoon of bizarre locations and immersive landscapes. Open it up in a Google Chrome tab and you can navigate the full 360° world yourself with your mouse or W/A/S/D keys. Give props to studio Marshmallow Laser Feast, illustrator Rob Pybus, and animator Blue Zoo for such a fun creation. Just don’t get motion sickness when you make it full screen. [FACT]
Three-piece Black Tower make the most melodic metal you will ever hear out of Ottawa, Canada. The band caught our attention with their new single “Riders”, a ripping number that thrashes through hard rock with intense drumming and dominant speed. Erin Ewing, Skottie Lobotomy, and Dave Williams take turns with vocal duties, and the result is a dark song that will make you smile. Oh, how rare those are to find. [Nerdist]
With great numbers comes great responsibility. On the 200th episode of The Indoor Kids podcast, Brent Weinbach of The Legacy Music Hour podcast stops by to talk about videogames. Not only that, but those before 1996. Weinbach hones in on the old school game music of 8 bit and 16 bit games as if they were jazz, appreciating them from every chord, note, and progression. It’s a fascinating listen. Check it out here. [Nerdist]
If you’re looking for some straight-forward albums instead, NPR’s First Listen has your back. The radio station is streaming excellent upcoming releases in full. Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s highly anticipated Multi-Love blends ’70s funk with psych indie rock similar to Prince, Queen, and plenty of others. Plus they have Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles‘s Oh Man, Cover the Ground, a record of delicate introspection from the La Luz guitarist. Both are a solid soundtrack for the week. [NPR]
Come back on Wednesday for another Music Dispatch!