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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hot Chip To Provide Olympic Table Tennis Soundtrack

In a move that sounds cooler the more we think about it, English electronic group Hot Chip have been chosen to chosen to provide the introductory music for the Olympic table tennis competition. With their Olympic foray, Hot Chip join a host of English musical luminaries who are already involved with the 2012 London games. The all-star list includes Paul McCartney, Arctic Monkeys, MIA, Adele, and Muse, who will reportedly all be performing at the opening ceremony of the games tomorrow night. Muse’s song “Survival” is also the official song of the 2012 Olympics.

While we wait in anticipation for Hot Chip to bring their funky electro-pop to the table tennis court, it’s only natural speculate about other combinations of English bands and Olympic sports that we’d like to see. Dragonforce and rhythmic gymnastics, anyone?

Your Country's Right Here: Don DiLego 'Walks the Line' with New Alt Country Release

A funny thing happened when Don DiLego sat down to record a new album”he found he had written two.

The singer/songwriter who you likely know from his songs that have been featured on such television shows as Dawson’s Creek and Roswell and various films has just released  the Western & Atlantic EP. Working with Colin Killilea (Pocketknife), Marwan Kanafani (City Breathing), Erik Olsen (DiLego’s longtime writing partner), and Gregg Williams (Dandy Warhols, Sheryl Crow), the result is a stroll back to the Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell sound that intrigued DiLego as a child. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you consider Rolling Stone dubbed him “alt-country’s next poster boy.”

“Just this morning I was watching ‘Walk the Line’ [the 2005 biographical drama about] Johnny Cash,” he said when asked about his decision to gather all the players in a studio and record Western & Atlantic live except for minimal overdubs. “It is only in today’s era that having recorded everyone live [while the players are] together means anything. In the history of music, that was just the way you recorded things.”

Not that DiLego is that far away from the roots of country. After all, he and musical partner Bree Sharp have a loyal following for their folk, alt-country duo Beautiful Small Machines. In fact, the duo’s recent cover of a banjo version of MIA’s “Paper Planes” was just selected as a Top 5 Pick of the Week by The Guardian of London. But in order to juggle his hectic musical schedule, DiLego will often use modern recording tools, like most other musicians, to finish a project. Perhaps the back-to-basics recording process for Western & Atlantic is what makes the early buzz around the EP so heartening.

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Diplo and Snoop Dogg Working On A Reggae Album

Diplo is quickly emerging as the go-to producer in the industry by making a name for himself as a constant chameleon, and more importantly, a tastemaker. He discovered MIA, he helped bring Azelia Banks to popularity just last week, his label Mad Decent was the first to champion the growing moombahton sound (which could easily become the next dubstep), and he just recently revealed on Facebook that he and Snoop Dogg are working on an album – and, according to MTV, a reggae album, at that. Diplo is no stranger to the reggae style, as his side project Major Lazer incorporates dancehall and dub elements into American-style EDM. And while it may come as a surprise to some that Snoop, the everlasting hip-hop icon has chosen such a drastically different style of music, his newfound Soundclound explosion hints at his eagerness to explore new genres.

Diplo opened up to MTV:

“Snoop Dogg is an icon, man; he’s bigger than the music…What we’re doing is a reggae record. It’s like Snoop Dogg and Major Lazer together. It’s all reggae and he’s singing and he’s doing a f—ing awesome job and I never knew it, but he had his heart in every song…We’re going to get back into the production of it next month, and I’m really proud of that record. It’s the first record I’ve ever executive-produced and his crew is amazing.”

We really have no clue what to expect from this album, but with the talent and creativity the two of these guys bring to the table, there’s no doubt we’ll give it a couple of listens. Heck, we might need to give it more than a couple just to cut through all the haze that is bound to be associated with this heavy-lidded album.

Exclusive Q&A: A Conversation With Theophilus London About Love, Life and Antarctica

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsWhen you look at the hip-hop scene at it stands now, with artists like OFWGKTA and LMFAO on the rise, you can feel the genre shifting a bit both in terms of music and artistic vision. Taking a more wild and eclectic approach to not only music but fashion sense is becoming a running trend. With that in mind, the up-and-coming rapper Theophilus London is riding the wave with his unique blend of influences, that read off like something from an indie rock band, and his eye-catching sense of style. This has led to widespread success with his debut release Timez Are Weird These Days getting significant buzz and landing high-profile performances like at this past year’s Cannes Film Festival. Taking some time out of his busy tour schedule, this budding rap star sat down to chat with us about topics ranging from his Tumblr to listening to actress Milla Jovovich cover Prince.

OS: In the past, you’ve voiced displeasure about mainstream rap. Do you feel it’s something you still try to stay away from?

TL: In a sense of [it] being played out, maybe. But, there’s a lot of mainstream rap.

OS: How would you describe the difference between your approach and a regular hip hop artist?

TL: I work off of references. I idolize producers and try to sit down and work with producers on brand new sound. We talk about favorite artists first and foremost and develop a brand new sound. I really can’t say I’m different from other rappers because I’m not in the studio with them or in their creative process.

OS: You announced on Tumblr today that you got Michael Jackson to DJ some of your shows. How did you find him?

TL: I found him in New Orleans. He was hanging out a window. I asked him if he wanted to tour and he said yes. Really glad he came out to tour with us.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Tina Fey gets all googly over J-Biebs

If you didn’t catch SNL this past Saturday night, you (A) probably have a better social life than we do, and (B) missed a hee-larious sketch in which Tina Fey fantasizes about our little Canadian pop dauphine, Justin Bieber. Watch him toss his feathery mane while Fey goes weak at the knees. That is, unless you’ve got something better to do ¦ AGAIN.

The Bad

MIA gives Lady Gaga the what-for

It’s always upsetting when two powerful female performers turn on each other. Kind of makes you feel like the sad kid whose parents are fighting. In this case, playing the part of the Mean Parent #1 is MIA, who gripes about the success of Lady Gaga in a recent NME interview. Here’s one of a handful of verbal missiles she launches at LG: She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic. She sounds more like me than I fucking do! That’s a talent¦ but she’s the industry’s last stab at making itself important.” Sounds like sour grapes to us. Maybe MIA’s just jealous she didn’t think of cigarette shades first.

The Ugly

In which Shaquille O’Neal wears a wig and sings Rick James

Look, no offense and all, but Shaq in a wig makes the Wayan Brothers in White Chicks look like total babes. Almost scarier than the NBA star’s foray into cross-dressing is his inability to lip sync in time with Rick James Fire and Desire. It looks like some sort amalgamation of low-budget Kung-Fu and tranny Chatroulette. Which is why we know you’ll love it.

Miscellany

New Scissor Sisters record out June 28
Rihanna joins Lillith Fair
Ben Folds collaborates with Nick Hornby
Coachella scheduled released
Kevin Eubanks leaves Tonight Show
Bieber topples Usher on Billboard charts
Britney releases untouched photos