I’MMA LET YOU FINISH, but Taylor Swift has the greatest guest appearances of all time. At her recent Los Angeles show, Taylor Swift went indie by bringing Beck and St. Vincent onstage seemingly out of nowhere. It also appears that Kanye West is being honored at the VMAs, Talib Kweli rapped a West song with Amy Schumer, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are the stars of a new HBO documentary, Yo La Tengo were NPR Morning Editon’s first live in-house band, Julia Holter dropped a saccharine single, Solange and Dev Hynes covered Nina Simone, and Potty Mouth revisit the VHS days of the ’90s in their new video? Let’s dive in.
Indie is no longer indie and pop is no longer pop. Well, at least not by their original definitions. The musical genres are blending together even more now that their respective giants are joining forces. We’re talking about Taylor Swift‘s show at Staples Center in Los Angeles on August 25, where she brought out Beck and St. Vincent to perform Beck’s new single “Dreams”. It’s a fittingly poppy version of the cut, reminding us that indie and pop are pretty much the same thing nowadays. [Vulture]
One giant will never be dethroned. At this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. It’s a fitting musician to honor given he’s been nominated for over 30 Moonmen over the years, only two of which he actually won. Tune in to MTV this Sunday, August 30 at 9pm EST/PST to see it all go down. There’s no way his acceptance speech will be less than memorable. [Rolling Stone]
Surprise guests don’t stop there. Amy Schumer joined hip-hop star Talib Kweli onstage in Chicago on August 25 to perform “Get ‘Em High”, his collaboration with Kanye West and Common. It was a joint show, but that doesn’t make the onstage sing-off any less entertaining. Check it out above. [FACT]
HBO is working on a new music documentary, and this one focuses on Latin music in particular. The Latin Explosion, a feature exploring and celebrating the historical and cultural impact of Latino music in America, includes Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and more. It officially drops on November 16, so you’ve got some time to study up on the genre if you don’t want to feel clueless watching history unfurl before your eyes. [Rolling Stone]
NPR is as iconic as public radio gets, yet their Morning Edition show has never had a live in-house band for any of their recordings. On Wednesday morning, Yo La Tengo changed that. The indie rock trio stuck around all day to play transitions between segments on birdsong, stock markets, talking cats, and some discussion on, of course, their own songs. It’s a delightful listen that we hope happens again very soon! [NPR]
Julia Holter shared a gorgeous new song called “Sea Calls Me Home” that illuminates harpsichord with Beatles-like vocal harmonies and plodding percussion. If “Feel You” had you swooning before, “Sea Calls Me Home” will have you flat on your back with your breath punched straight out of you (lovingly, of course). Like we weren’t excited for Have You in My Wilderness enough already. [Stereogum]
At FYF Fest this past weekend, Solange and Dev Hynes of Blood Orange teamed up with Moses Sumney and soul trio KING to perform a stirring rendition of Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black”. The cover is powerfully driven by strong vocals all around, eventually erupting with backing keys. Fair warning: you may get emotional watching it. [Rolling Stone]
Potty Mouth‘s phenomenal alt-rock hit “Cherry Picking” was our Track of the Day when it dropped earlier this month. It brings you right back to the ’90s, complete with grunge bass and seductive vocals with a poisonous tip. The Massachusetts band released the music video this week and it’s practically a lost VHS tape from that exact same era. Watch as one teen flips on their song, takes a hit from her bong, and sees all three members appear in her house to play in her bedroom, complete with Hole and Morrissey posters all over the walls.
If you’re hungry for more, check back here on Friday for another installment of Music Dispatch!