Arcade Fire to Give Lecture on Haiti at University of Texas

We never thought we’d be in favor of the concept of rock bands giving lectures, but then there’s this.

Grammy award-winning band Arcade Fire will be at the University of Texas at Austin on March 19 to discuss the socioeconomic crisis in Haiti, along with their own efforts within the region. The cause has always been close to the group’s collective heart, particularly for singer Regine Chassagne, who was born in the area. She, along with band members Win Butler, Will Butler, and Marika Anthony-Shaw, will discuss Haiti’s need for healthcare reform and First World aid. The lecture is intended to bring attention to the non-profit organization Partners in Health, through which the band has helped raise over $1 million dollars in ticket sales and licensing.

Bethesda Vs. Arcade Fire

If you need any proof that indie music is quickly becoming mainstream, look no further than Arcade Fire. The band first burst onto the scene in 2004 with their debut album Funeral, which garnered much critical acclaim and is now regarded by many as one of the best albums of the last decade. 2007’s Neon Bible continued the band’s success by debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band then cemented their status in the public’s consciousness by winning last year’s prestigious GRAMMY Award for Album Of The Year with their third album, The Suburbs. Arcade Fire stand out from the plethora of other indie rock bands through their use of baroque influences and varied instrumentation; using anything from violins to accordions to xylophones and many more. Their music can best be described as “anthemic,” and their headlining slots at huge festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo this year have proved that their music is intended for the masses. Luckily, OurStage’s own Bethesda share Arcade Fire’s penchant for making stadium ready indie rock.

OurStage's Bethesda

Arcade Fire








Like Arcade Fire, Bethesda is great at creating slow-building songs that lead to epic conclusions. Their song “Dreamtiger” is a perfect example of this formula, and it bears some resemblance to Arcade Fire’s song “Haiti.” Both songs begin with strummed acoustic guitar chords, but add a variety of instruments as the songs progress. While “Dreamtiger” picks up momentum pretty quickly, the song takes a drastic change about halfway through. Here, all of the instruments drop out except for the acoustic guitar and vocals. Other instruments like violin and electric guitar are soon added to create texture, followed by the entrance of a snare drum, which creates a march-like rhythm that gradually gets faster and faster. This eventually leads into the bold ending, with the repeatedly sung refrain “we are free” backed by pounding, rhythmic drums and guitars. Words can’t fully do this song justice; you really need to listen to it yourself. “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats!” is another Bethesda song with some similarities to Arcade Fire. This song also begins slowly, this time with acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals. Violin is soon added to the mix to double the vocal harmonies. However, this slow section only lasts for a short period of time, as the song quickly picks up tempo. Driven by a pounding bass drum beat and hand claps, the song sounds like it could be played at a hoedown.


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

OK Go get dogged in new video

If you’ve ever watched an OK Go video, you know choreography is key. Exhibits A, B, and C right here. This latest installment is no different, but adds man’s best friend to the mix with heart-warming results. If one of these furry little rapscallions doesn’t get a gig on Dancing With The Stars then there is no justice in this world. Oh, and 10 points if you can spot the goat.

And then, these guys jumped on the bandwagon …

Ever heard of a band called OK Go? Quirky, ambitious videos? Winsome electro-pop? Subject of blurb Number 1 in this column? Here’s video that lampoons their whimsical, electro-pop methodology … using a giant pie!

The Bad

Aretha Franklin’s son beaten at Detroit gas station

Eddie Franklin, 52, son of soul singer Aretha Franklin, ended up in the hospital on Monday night after three men jumped him and beat him severely in a Detroit gas station parking lot. Franklin underwent emergency oral surgery and was released on Wednesday. Charges have not yet been filed.

The-Dream and L.A. Reid fired from Def Jam

L.A. Reid and The-Dream

Word on the street is that producer L.A. Reid (responsible for cultivating the careers of Mariah Carey, Pink, Usher, Ciara and countless other stars) and R&B singer/producer The-Dream were just fired from Def Jam Records due to disappointing sales figures and exuberant spending. If true, this would be The-Dream’s second break-up of 2010. If he gets strapped for cash, maybe he can sell the pointless hyphen in his name.

The Ugly

50 Cent threatens his dog with a knife

50 Cent and Oprah

In an attempt to be funny, 50 cent posted pics to his Twitter page of him threatening his yorkie, Oprah Winfrey, with a knife. Totally lame, and kind of disturbing. Seriously, someone call animal rescue on this tool. In happier news, here’s a video of kittens massaging each other.


This Week On

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Breaking: Wyclef’s Run For Haitian Presidency Is Denied

Wyclef has led the Haitian people as an ambassador, musician and philanthropist. But for now that’s as far as his leadership will extend.

According to Reuters, ‘Clef’s bid to run as president of his native Haiti has been denied by officials due to lack of residency.

A nine-person electorial council decided that the founding Fugees member”who was born in Port-au-Prince and raised from age 9 in New York and New Jersey”was not eligible to run for Haiti’s highest office. Continue reading on…

The Eminem Cover Story: Dying To Live

Eminem is a 37-year-old dad who goes to work every day and has a fantasy football team. He is trying really hard to be normal. Of course it’s too late for that. His childhood was totally fucked. His drug addiction to a myriad of prescription pills and alcohol nearly killed him. He is incredibly talented”only guys like Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer know what it’s like to be that damn good at something. And once again, he stands alone as the biggest rap star in the world. In June, his seventh studio album Recovery sold 741,000 copies during its first week. That’s more than Drake sold. That’s more than Jay-Z sold last time out. Hell, that’s more than even Justin Bieber sold. Some people were surprised. Others were not. Either way, it’s quite the comeback story. Continue reading on…

Rookie Watch: Is Vado The Future Of New York Hip-Hop?

He might draw a striking resemblance to a young Shyne Po who signed to Bad Boy a decade ago, but Cam’Ron protegé Vado is officially the hottest new New York City rapper. The Harlem-bred Teeyon Vado Winfree has the city riding behind him from his memorable appearances on the DJ Drama-hosted Boss of All Bosses mixtape series, which he co-starred in alongside Killa Cam.

With a heavily ’90s influenced rhyme style and vernacular that is as Harlem as Willie Burger and Rich Porter, Vado (˜Violence And Drugs Only’) is currently working on his first release with Cam, Gunz & Butta, due out next month on E1 Records. Killa was M.I.A., but we tracked down his cohort at his record label HQs and let the interrogations commence. Continue reading on…

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

iamamiwhoami artist revealed?


Maybe you’ve been following the enigmatic (and fairly disturbing) videos of mystery artist iamamiwhoami on YouTube. If not, do check them out. Most are one-minute vignettes set to alternately ambient and jarring electronic music, featuring a feral blonde woman with freakishly long eyelashes. First guess is Lady Gaga, naturally. Who else would wrap themselves in plastic to play the piano, or lick a tree? Well, looks like there may be another wildly eccentric pop performance artist out there. For the mystery reveal, click here. Check out the video here.

The Bad

Lady Gaga’s Telephone finally debuts

Lady Gaga's "Telephone"

(And by bad we mean Michael Jackson-style, you know, with dancing thugs, leather and snarls.)

The wait is over for the Lady Gaga and Beyoncé collaborative video for Telephone. For your patience, you get nine-plus minutes of women’s penitentiary sexy times, sandwich making, mass poisonings, multiple costume changes and good ol’ fashioned, Thelma and Louise-style, female camaraderie. (Sweet Beyoncé even swears!) Get an eyeful here¦ and lookout for cigarette sunglasses to become the next big thing.

Alex Chilton dies

Alex Chilton

The untimely deaths keep coming. This time it’s Alex Chilton, former front man of ’60s pop act the Box Tops and later, Big Star. Chilton died in New Orleans on Wednesday at the age of 59 from what appears to be a heart problem. If you’re unfamiliar with Chilton’s work, we suggest you go to your music source of choice and download “The Letter” by the Box Tops and “September Gurls” by Big Star. Another sad day for music.

The Ugly

Miley Cyrus says a bunch of dumb stuff in Teen Vogue

Miley Cyrus

Oh Miley. The soundbites from your latest interview are like potent little vitamins to fortify all your haters. When you’re not dissing the public at large by declaring you and your boyfriend’s superiority (I think we’re both deeper than normal people, what they think and how they feel,) then you’re contradicting yourself. Exhibit A: The more I make music that doesn’t truly inspire me, the more I feel like I’m blending in with everyone else. So after this next album, I’m taking some time off.” Exhibit B: I don’t really believe in breaks. Once you figure it out, let us know. We’ll have to make do in the meantime with our shallow thoughts and feelings.


Discourse & Dischord


The Good

Entire music industry enlisted for remake of We Are The World


We Are The World: Part Deux

Right, maybe not everyone. They didn’t invite Ke$ha, for example. (Possibly because she brushes her teeth with Jack Daniels.) But at least 100 of your favorite musicians took part in a remake of the famous 1984 musical collaboration, We Are The World. Quincy Jones, who produced the first version, and Lionel Richie, who co-wrote it, recruited stars ranging from Barbara Streisand to Lil Wayne to take part in a new rendition to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The event went down at Jim Henson Studio in Hollywood on Monday, and will be broadcast on February 12 on NBC prior to the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Check out the video here.

Simon Cowell leads charity recording of Everybody Hurts

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Quincy and Lionel weren’t the only ones busy producing benefit singles for the victims of Haiti. Simon Cowell enlisted the help of star talent as well for a recording of the REM song Everybody Hurts. Susan Boyle, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé and a dozen or so more performers lent their voices to the track, which is already playing on UK airwaves and will be available for download on February 7th. Take a listen here.

The Bad

Fall Out Boy = dunzo?

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

Looks like it. In an interview with Spin, frontman Patrick Stump confirmed rumors pretty succinctly when he said, I’m not in Fall Out Boy right now. This statement echoes a similar one made by Pete Wentz on his Twitter page in which the bassist says, I can’t imagine playing in FOB again. R.I.P. until the reunion tour, fellas.

The Ugly

Courtney Love and Mariah Carey (almost) collaborate

Courtney Love

Courtney Love

In the Diva Clash of 2010 that never was, Courtney Love reveals that she came this close to collaborating with Mariah Carey on Samantha, the first track off the new Hole album Nobody’s Daughter. Also revealed in the interview: Mimi likes to take up a lot of room in the photobooth.