As is usually the case with such endeavors, “Just Tell Me You Love Me,” a tribute to Fleetwood Mac, is a total mixed bag.
Out today, it’s just the sort of album for which iTunes was invented. Fans of Antony (of Antony & The Johnsons) poignant, faithful rendition of the gentle, lovely “Landslide” may not want the fuzzy version of instrumental “Albatross,” delivered more than capably by Lee Ranaldo Band featuring J Mascis.
As a whole, the 17-song tribute breaks down into two specific camps: fans of the ubiquitous hits from “Fleetwood Mac” and “Rumours” will gravitate toward the songs they grew up with while followers of the band’s earlier bluesier, pre- Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham incarnation will dig the more experimental material provided by folks like ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and his swampy take on “Oh Well” or MGMT’s nine-minute trippy version of “Future Games.”
This collection was curated for Concord by the same folks who put together the “Rave On Buddy Holly” last year and it is squarely aimed at the Pitchfork crowd with such artists as Lykke Li, on a haunting “Silver Springs,” and Karen Elson, who provides an echo-y, spare take on “Gold Dust Woman.” To their credit, it feels like the producers allowed the artists free rein to interpret these songs as they wished.
Some acts take the originals and turn them into their own creations: The Kills twist “Dreams” into a harder, darker, much more menacing tune than the original; Best Coast gives “Rhiannon” a sunshiny bounce; The New Pornographers reinvent “Think About Me” as a power pop tune via Cheap Trick; Gardens & Villas’ spaced-out, dreamy take on “Gypsy” works better than it should; The Crystal Ark find a nice work around to the marching band on “Tusk” that still provided a full-bodied sound.
There are few flat-out disasters here, but, sadly, there are just as few home runs that make this collection feel like a must-have. It will appeal more to fans of the acts featured here who will want to see how their favorite artist reinterpret a track rather than to Fleetwood Mac fans. For them, this collection will just send them scurrying back to the originals.
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As is usually the case with such endeavors, “Just Tell Me You Love Me,” a tribute to Fleetwood Mac, is a total mixed bag.
I'd recommend you take seizure inhibitors before checking out the music video to DJ Khaled's "I Wish You Would" combined with Kanye West's "Cold," but, actually, the clip itself is the seizure. It may comfort you to know that Hype Williams probably earned a pretty penny for shooting Ye, Khaled, Rick Ross and (for a moment only) Kim Kardashian in a dank brick tunnel with a shake-cam.
But then again, it's Hype Williams: dude generally gets a pass.
The tracks together are less of a combination and more a pair of convenience. Kanye West takes up most of the screen time, while Khaled still seems to suffer from Little Brother Syndrome, which pushes him upfront for some quick catch-phrase and then back literally into the shadows. Rick Ross -- still eager to never retire his "M-M-Maybach Music" tag -- delivers his lines about making it rain and buying nice watches, while West brings his next level rhymes about his South Side Chicago neighborhood, drug testing at work and countering his most violent tendencies with the feeling of responsibility. Looks like one of the two phoned it in, I'll let you guess which.
"The Glee Project" wraps up tonight as finalists Ali, Aylin and Blake do their best to win over "Glee" mastermind Ryan Murphy in the season two finale. The good news is that they'll be joined by all their eliminated castmates for the final video assignment, in which the GleePros go to prom. I had a chance to talk to a few finalists and a few of those returning for the finale during TCAs. Ali, Shanna, Aylin and Abraham were happy to talk about some low points (think meat dress), high points (almost everything else) and why they all became besties instead of rivals.
Have Green Day gone disco?
The have always made an effort to reinvent their sound every few years, with varying degrees of success. But, their latest single -- the aptly titled "Kill the DJ" -- may be their biggest stylistic departure yet.
A steady four-on-the-floor beat and angular post-punk guitars anchor this ditty about planning the cold-blooded murder of a poor ol' disc jockey (even with corporate terrestrial radio largely becoming a thing of the past, it seems like people still want to hang the DJ). There's certainly some "Sandanista!"-era Clash inspiration in there, but whereas the Clash were experimenting with then-new sounds from allover the music world, Green Day seems to be simply mining the past, and it ends up sounding more like an all-male take on The Ting Tings.
Hear the song here:
It's another stylistic left turn for the Bay Area punk-poppers, and even with the incessant dance beat and clean guitars, it's still recognizably Green Day, mostly due to singer Billie Joe Armstrong's patented nasal whine. But just who is this version of Green Day for? Have they jumped on the dance-rock revival bandwagon a decade or so too late? Will longtime fans more used to their punkier tunes be turned off? Will Katy Perry fans give it a listen? It will be interesting to see how fans respond.
"Kill the DJ" was one of the new songs the trio unveiled at a secret show at L.A.'s small venue The Echoplex to 600 or so hardcore fans. They're releasing three full-length albums over the next few months, with "Uno!" arriving first on September 25. "Duo!" and "Tre!" will follow.
What do you think of "Kill the DJ"? Give it a grade at the top and sound off in the comments section.
When I got married in March, we chose, as many couples do, to offer up readings meant to shed light on our feelings for one another. Mine was a brief but potent (to me) excerpt from Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations." It was the final line, in fact, which has a long story of its own (Dickens offered up three versions and settled on one that carries a delicious sort of ambiguity).
It's my favorite book ever since I cheated and read the Cliff's Notes in the 9th grade (of course I've read it in full since). I love what it says about connectivity, about love, about passion and obsession and about finding one's way in the world. And like many, I always felt there was little to add to David Lean's cinematic interpretation from 1946. Nevertheless, I must say I even enjoyed Alfonso Cuarón's embattled modernization in 1998. (That film's poster hangs framed on my kitchen wall in Los Angeles.)
And just like that, the promise of Joe Carnahan's gritty '70s-based take on "Daredevil" appears to be a thing of the past.
Word recently leaked about a proposed deal between Fox and Marvel that would have extended the life of the "Daredevil" option for Fox in exchange for them allowing Marvel to use some of the characters that are included in the various rights packages that Fox has under option, specifically Galactus, who is still bundled in with the "Fantastic Four" property.
It appears that will no longer be the case.
If you check out Carnahan's Twitter timeline, you can see the conversations he's been having for the last few days, and it certainly seemed like Daredevil was on his mind. At one point, he told a fan "DD fans would be very pleased if they saw the things I've seen of late. Very, VERY pleased…" He also discussed some of his own feelings about how to portray the character. "You have to deal with the fact that he IS blind," he told one person who brought up the idea of Daredevil's other senses being supercharged to such a degree that his blindness didn't matter. "He can't be super-charged and seeing 'sound' through walls. That's bulls**t."
Taylor Swift seems so nice in person (and is), but as she’s shown over the course of her short, but extraordinarily successful, career, if you date her and cross her (or she perceives you do), she will come after you in song.
Has there been any pop artist who has chronicled her love life so directly since Alanis Morissette on “Jagged Little Pill?” Certainly not one whose albums consistently have such a high body count. On “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a pop stomp that blends Hot Chelle Rae crossed with Pink and Katy Perry, the boy in question has done the push-me/pull-me act one too many times and she’s finally really ready to give him the heave-ho.
[More after the jump...]
If the opening night slot at any major festival is a high-pressure position -- one under which many a film has collapsed -- the closing night is in an even less enviable position: at least everyone bothers to see the opening film. Knowing that many journalists will already have flown the coop by the last day, festival programmers rarely leave something truly tasty to the very end, often handing the slight to something eminently skippable and/or low-profile.
Cannes has particular form in this area -- barely a word was breathed about this year's closer, "Therese D," even if it was the late Claude Miller's final film -- and Toronto tends to take a similar approach, the festival's recent closing selections having included "Stone of Destiny" (no, I don't remember either) and last year's "Page Eight," a dreary Rachel Weisz-starring spy drama that had already premiered on British TV.
Still, there have been notable exceptions to the closing-night curse: Venice picked a winner last year with Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress," just the tonic jaded critics needed after 10 days of heavyweight viewing, and I wonder if Toronto has been a little savvier this year with the selection of "Song for Marion," a feelgood British dramedy that has already been picked up for US distribution by The Weinstein Company.
Bob Mould spilled his guts in “See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody,” his autobiography released last year. He tackled some of the deep-seeded source of his “rage,” and the juicy stories behind fronting Husker Du, Sugar and starting his solo sets, all within the trappings of coming out of the closet in the early 1990s.
A review of last night's "Bunheads" coming up just as soon as we Skype with Hugh Jackman...
It was back in April that we premiered the first yield from Owl City's "The Midsummer Station," as mastermind Adam Young combined with Blink-182's Mark Hoppus for rock-heavy song "Dementia." Now we're proud to present, for the first time, this new album's very first track.
"Dreams and Disasters" is an appropriate kick-off to this new set from Owl City, as it's a high-energy, hyper-melodic dance number, like fireworks without the fuse. Or, rather, a car on fire: this mysterious little narrative has a foot heavy on the gas pedal, a sensation that has Young exclaiming "I want to feel alive forever after."
"The Midsummer Station" is out next week on Aug. 21 via Republic Records, and boasts current single "Good Time," a co-lead with "Call Me Maybe" summer jam star Carly Rae Jepsen.
Here is the tracklist for "The Midsummer Station":
1. "Dreams and Disasters"
2. "Shooting Star"
4. "Dementia" (featuring Mark Hoppus)
5. "I'm Coming After You"
6. "Speed of Love"
7. "Good Time" (with Carly Rae Jepsen)
11. "Take It All Away"
As I said in my recent review, "ParaNorman" is an uncommonly beautiful stop-motion film, with some of the best character work I've ever seen in this sort of movie. Part of that is because of the advances Laika Studios has made in using laser-printers to sculpt the faces, and part of it is because they really worked with their cast to get something special.
I've had several opportunities to interview each of the featured cast members of "ParaNorman," so it was an incredibly relaxed and comfortable press day. That made it easier to immediately dig into the process that they went through to help bring these characters to life.
Leslie Mann is always fun to interview. She's always forthcoming and I've never seen her be anything less than full energy, no matter what film we're discussing. I have a feeling we're going to be having some long conversations soon about "This Is 40," and I wish I'd had a chance to see the new trailer before this interview just so we could cover that as well. We had plenty to talk about, though, just discussing "ParaNorman."