The Oscars may not have been as music-packed as January’s Grammy Awards, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for a couple stand-out performances, and even a little award action for 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto.
Just months after receiving a Golden Globe for best supporting actor, 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto won an Oscar under the same category for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. In his acceptance speech, Leto not only thanked his mother, but “all the dreamers out there,” mentioning Ukraine and Venezuela, as he said “we are here and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”
Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig performed a beautiful rendition of their track, “The Moon Song” from Her. The track was up against “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “Let It Go” from Frozen, and “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the film of the same name.
As breaking news of the day goes, it’s not exactly groundbreaking. Still, there it was, in multiple variations, splattered across the online pages of E!, Us Weekly, Entertainment Weekly (which called it a hair break-over), People magazine and so many other websites devoted, in large and small part, to such trivialities. You’d think Samson had risen from the dead and taken up guitar.
But wait! Shouldn’t Delilah ” I mean, Katy Perry ” have been the star of this life (and a new ˜do)-after-love story? Traditionally, the celebrity tabloids and gossip websites pursue female celebrities about whom they date, whom they marry, whom they divorce, to search for baby bumps, and fashion dos and don’ts. Guys generally get in only when they’re dating one of them. (Why do you think Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger, who once went from long to short without causing so much as a media ripple and is now engaged to Avril Lavigne, is suddenly “newsworthy”?)
By those standards, John Mayer must be some kind of publicity-baiting genius. In the last several years, he’s made himself as much of a tabloid fixture as an A-list starlet by dating a succession of them: Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, and most recently, Katy Perry, his pop-star paramour of a few months. (more…)
In rock and roll, the term “frontman’ is used to describe the lead singer of a band. While it might seem a bit sexist, the fact of the matter is that most stars in the history of rock and roll have been men. However, every once in awhile there comes a band with a great “frontwoman”; a woman who brings a unique personality and energy to her band that just can’t be duplicated by a man. Women like Debbie Harry of Blondie, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all big time rockstars who steal the show from the male counterparts in their bands. And with this in mind, our latest edition of Vs. brings you a band with a great frontwoman, Love Darling, as they face off against their contemporaries Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Love Darling’s lead singer and guitarist is Shay Magro. The band covers a wide array of genres including everything from electro-pop to hard rock. “Last Chance” is a great introduction to the band’s sound. This song features a lot of the aspects that made Yeah Yeah Yeahs so successful: fast tempos, raw and powerful guitar riffs and of course a frantically energetic frontwoman. On their most recent album, Yeah Yeah Yeahs made synthesizers a much larger part of their sound, and Love Darling don’t shy away from the synths either. On “U Can Be Perfect”, the band uses a synthesizer to play the melody while the guitar provides rhythm. However, the real star of this song is the drums, which mix power and precision to provide a driving force for the whole song. Synths are used again in the slow burning track “Forget This Part.” The song starts off with a slow but dramatic drumbeat and eerie synthesizer chords. The song slowly builds momentum with the addition of piano and guitar, until ultimately reaching an epic and powerful ending.
The Worsties play the kind of music that immediately lends itself to dance parties, fisticuffs and other forms of bacchanal. It’s fun, rowdy and isn’t afraid to bite. Which may be why the band has been picked up by shows like The Real World and Bad Girls Club. Led by the feline yowl of Anna Worstell (not far off from Karen O), the Worsties elbow their listeners to the dance floor with new wave, rock and punk that’s stylish and savage. Party Dress is straight out of the Motor City circa 1969. Frayed guitars and rock steady drums make for a pent-up rocker that demands you belt it out in unison. Likewise, XOXO, is an anthem for bad behavior, made up of thrashing drums and kiss-off guitars. Tightly wound and pressure-cooked, the track is about what happens when you let off a little steam. On Let’s Go, you not only get feral dance rock, you also get a spelling lesson. After the sing-a-long chorus Worstell declares, I just wanna dance all night. So do we. And so will you.