Rhythm & Cool

Brittany Campbell

You want untapped, gutsy, street cool? You go to Brooklyn. And if you’re lucky, you just might find an artist half as interesting as Brittany Campbell. The singer-songwriter/producer/guitarist cross-pollinates doo-wop, Motown, new wave and pop rock for a completely fresh and revelatory sound. Like Amy Winehouse, Debbie Harry and Santigold, Campbell’s an original. On Call Me Baby, vintage guitars strut against a beat while Campbell summons the soulful angst of a 1950s teen, singing There’ll be no mercy now / Wherever you are is where I’ll be. Nerd, with its handclaps, 8-bit synths and bouncing beat is instantly infectious even as the singer delivers dubious lines like, Guess you haven’t heard / God, I’m such a nerd. As if. Goody Goody is the track you’ll want to put on repeat. New wave synths, surf guitars and Campbell’s powerful voice make for a smart and sexy rocker with a vintage edge. Have mercy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Monday, March 14, 2011

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Greyson Chance signs to Interscope

Bieber, beware! There’s a new kid on the block, a tween heartthrob by the name of Greyson Chance whose got the same shaggy mop and babyface as you, but with even more youth. That’s right, gramps. Chance, a 12 year-old musical prodigy became an Internet sensation thanks to a YouTube clip of him performing Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi on piano to a rapt audience of 6th grade girls. Looks like Gaga’s own label, Interscope, nabbed Chance. Whether they planted him on YouTube to drum up interest or stumbled upon him like everyone else remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain, kid’s got talent. Watch him killing it below.

Joy Division honored with children’s symphony

To commemorate the 30-year anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death, schoolchildren from the singer’s hometown of Macclesfield, England will perform songs from the Joy Division canon with help from the Northern Chamber Orchestra. The concert is slated to take place from July 29th “ Aug 7th.

The Bad

Ronnie James Dio dies

Dio

If you’re a child of the ˜80s or a vintage metal afficionado, Ronnie James Dio needs no introduction. For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Dio was 5’4 inches of pure metal fury, lending his powerhouse vocals to bands such as Rainbow, Black Sabbath and (of course) Dio. The singer and songwriter succumbed to stomach cancer this week at the age of 67. R.I.P.

Ryan Adams releases sci-fi metal-ish concept album ORION

Ryan Adams

Back in March prolific songwriter/perpetual critic provoker Ryan Adams (or Mr. Mandy Moore) promised us an album of Most Legit METAL. Well, it’s happening. Except, it’s not really metal, but more just really, really fast country with screaming and crap, says Adams. Today you can pre-order the screaming and crap (entitled Orion) online on Adams’ site. We’ve yet to be disappointed by any of Adam’s musical outpourings. Will Orion be a first? We’ll consult our astrological charts and get back to you.

The Ugly

Black Keys get physical in Tighten Up video

What happens when two young boys compete for the attention of a cute girl on the playground? Or when two grown men go after that girl’s equally comely mother? Blood, tears, donuts and a lot of hilarity. Enjoy.

Miscellany

Hey Nikki

Nikki Lynette

Dubbed the Queen of Englewood by Lupe Fiasco himself, there’s no doubt Nikki Lynette‘s got Chi-town clout. But even Lupe knows that big talent finds its way past city limits. To date, Lynette’s opened for KRS 1, Gym Class Heroes and The Game, played SXSW and CMJ Music Festival and had her songs placed in ads for McDonald’s and Marlboro. Her allure lies in her chameleonic tastes, artfully blended into cool music for fun, cool people. With musical interests as diverse as Pink Floyd and OutKast, the singer/rapper/songwriter/producer leads listeners on a colorblind, genreless dance juggernaut through hip hop, rock and Motown. Loveless is a campy preachfest that leans and bobs to tribal street rhythms. Need a Man is a vintage jitterbug, sung straight and flirty, whereas the electro-grind of Don’t Say No, with its tachycardia beats is more forward-thinking. But it’s Now That I’m Fine that will really get the pulses racing. Hand claps and electric guitar plus Tony Basil’s Hey Mickey equals an insistent, grrrl power anthem that will keep the masses moving. Fans of Missy Elliott, Santigold, even Roger Waters will find something to dig. Long live the Queen.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

David Byrne

David Byrne uses Philippine dictator as inspiration for new album
Rarely have the words Imelda Marcos and good been used in a sentence together, but we’re going to take a shot at it. David Byrne’s new concept album, Here Lies Love, is inspired by shoe fetishist/dictator Imelda Marcos, and it sounds GOOD. Byrne co-wrote the album with Fatboy Slim, and recruited a different female vocalist for each track. Among them are Santigold, Roisin Murphy, Sharon Jones, Alice Russell and Tori Amos. The album drops in early April. Read more about it here.

The Bad

Better than Nickelback?

Nickelback’s sour response to Facebook pickle group
If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve probably seen news feeds for the group Can this pickle get more fans than Nickelback? The answer is yes. As of Wednesday, the pickle had 1,488,589 fans whereas the band had a mere 1,422,807. Well, singer Chad Kroeger didn’t like that one bit, and left a tart comment that read, You’re page will be closing in 2 weeks. Coral Anne, the creator of the pickle group, replied, I still whooped your ass, Chad! Yeah, no one likes a pickle puss, CHAD.

Whitney Houston

The Ugly

Whitney Houston angers Aussies with Brisbane performance
A croaky and disoriented Whitney Houston received dismal reviews for her performance at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Monday. According to multiple critics and fans, the 46-year-old singer appeared out of breath throughout the concert, coughing through some numbers and turning the epic high point of I Will Always Love You into a breathless coo. Houston has a handful of dates left in Australia before she heads over to Europe for more boos shows.

Miscellany