Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Every English band ever plays closing ceremony of Olympics

OK not really, but a fair lot of them did. The 2012 London Olympics closed with a spectacular revue of British pop music. The Spice Girls slammed their bodies down and wound them all around. George Michael called out for freedom, and Brian May joined Jessie J to perform We Will Rock You. From elder statesmen like The Who to newbies like One Direction, the ceremony had something for everyone. Even this guy. Watch the Spice Girls perform below.

Gotye creates user-submitted mashup video

Are you sick of Somebody I Used to Know yet? After watching this, you will be. Gotye collected all the fan submitted videos for his hit song and created a Somebodies Voltron. It’s pretty amazing. Enjoy.

The Bad

Chris Brown and Drake sued for bar brawl

Chris Brown and Drake are going to have to reach deep into their pockets to pay for the damages to Manhattan nightclub W.i.P. after they and their entourages engaged in a bottle-throwing brawl that left two dozen people injured and the club in ruins. Entertainment Enterprises, which owns W.i.P. and its sister bar, Greenhouse, has been sued by those victims and is now seeking $16 million from Brown and Drake. Next time you want to fight, guys, grab plastic bottles.

UK lottery winner wants to reunite Guns ˜N Roses

Adrian Bayford won the equivalent of $232 million playing the EuroMillions lottery on August 10. And he’s already got a plan for how to use it to benefit as many people as possible. Bayford wants to reunite the original lineup of Guns ˜N Roses, and he’s willing to fork over some serious quid to see it happen. Maybe a big payday can make Axl and Slash can bury the hatchet once and for all and take us back to Paradise City.

The Ugly

Killers drummer gropes Michelle Obama

Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci once grabbed a handful of the First Lady’s derriere, he revealed this week. While the band was being introduced to the Obamas during the Fourth of July celebrations at the White House, Michelle went in for a friendly hug. But(t) due to her statuesque height and his diminutive one, Vannucci’s hands found purchase on her backside in an incident we like to Killer Booty. Read about it here.

Katy Perry moons waterpark

Speaking of butts, Katy Perry flashed both cheeks after slipping and sliding on a water slide at Raging Waters in California. We’re only showing the “before” picture, so if you want to see the full moon, you can do so here.

Miscellany

Friday, July 20, 2012.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sound and Vision: One Direction and The Wanted — the Return of the Boy Band?

The British are coming”again!

It’s been more than a hot minute since multi-platinum boy bands like *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys roamed the earth and ruled the charts. Now, after a decade-long dormancy, cute, heavily-styled guys who sing in harmony and don’t play instruments are suddenly back in fashion.

Once again, the UK is leading the charge onward and upward. While Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC were born in the USA, they enjoyed their earliest success in the UK. This time, though, the new wave of blushing boy bands represents an authentic UK-born-and-bred British invasion.

The members of The Wanted, whose “Glad You Came” single has climbed into the Top 3 of Billboard’s Hot 100 (the quintet’s self-titled US debut album arrives April 24), and One Direction, whose first album, Up All Night, just outpaced Adele to enter Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 1 (176,000 vs. 148,000 copies sold), all hail from Britain and Ireland.

In just a few months, both groups already have enjoyed more US success than Ireland’s Westlife, or Take That, perhaps the UK’s biggest boy band ever, who aside from one Top 10 single (1995’s Back for Good), never made it big in the States. (With the exception of Spice Girls and Bananarama, UK female vocal groups”including All Saints in the ˜90s and, more recently, Sugababes and Girls Aloud”haven’t fared much better in the US over the years.)

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SoundTrax: Shower Stall Rock Star

This week, we’ve compiled a list of our eight favorite sing-a-long tunes to let the rock star living inside all of you shine. In typical SoundTrax fashion, I’ve done my best to avoid falling into a specific time frame or genre. These are all songs pulled from my personal library that I can’t help but belt out whenever they come on shuffle. While I would probably avoid some of these songs like the plague in my everyday listening, I’ll be honest: There is only so many times you can listen to Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way without feeling the urge to join in on the chorus.

Pivotal scenes from Almost Famous and Risky Business highlight the healing power of a sing-a-long (and how much fun it can be to rock out in your skivvies). The “Tiny Dancer” sing-a-long from Almost Famous is a personal favorite that I feel perfectly illustrates the spontaneity and sheer joy that can come from singing a well-known tune with your buddies.

For those of you who don’t feel comfortable belting out your favorite songs at your local karaoke night, the shower is often the only venue where you can truly express the vocal prowess you have. If you can’t sing, we ask that you don’t let the acoustics of your bathroom fool you: please keep the singing contained to the shower. There’s no need to terrorize the innocent patrons who didn’t realize it was karaoke night at the bar, or your kids sitting in the back seat of the minivan,

So grab your hairbrush, but please refrain from stripping down to a button-up and tighty-whities, and rock out to this playlist of rad sing-a-longs.

SoundTrax: Shower Stall Rock Star from OurStage on 8tracks.

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