Yeah, we gather that Prince, his purple majesty, likes to crash out in front of the TV on Tuesday nights and watch Zooey Deschanel on New Girl. There is officially nothing left for us to be surprised about.
Unless he were to appear on the sitcom, having pitched his own idea to the producers that they do an episode involving his famous, real-life pajama parties. Which is what is happening.
This is highly irregular.
The episode will air after the Super Bowl on February 2nd.
Ben Gibbard has been a staple of the indie rock scene for years. He’s a twee everyman. If you were a sensitive kid in high school, there’s a good chance that Death Cab For Cutie, Gibbard’s main musical project, soundtracked some of your most vulnerable moments. He’s also a frequent collaborator with other members of the indie rock cognoscenti. And let’s not forget The Postal Service! Finally, for those of you that are totally not dialed into the world of Rock, he’s also that scruffy chap who was married to Zooey Deschanel for a bit. But for the first time in his career (since he got famous, at least), Ben is stepping out on his own with Former Lives.
The debut album from Gibbard is going to be released through Barsuk Records. Barsuk, the label which first signed Death Cab and has put out releases from the likes of The Dismemberment Plan, Ra Ra Riot, and Mates of State, is indie as all get out. Gibbard is also recording and releasing under his full name, Benjamin Gibbard, for what it’s worth.
Gibbard dropped some hints about what we should expect from Former Lives in an interview with Stereogum, saying that the songs on the record come from a number of different periods of time during his music career. “I think that people will kind of see past the fact that one song has a mariachi band, the next song is acoustic ” it’s all over the map,” says Gibbard. “But I’m really proud of the tunes and how they came together in the studio, and I’d like to hope that that’s enough to carry and justify the record.”
Former Lives is out in the U.S. October 16th with tour dates in the fall to be announced. Visit Gibbard’s offical website for more updates.
If you have a life outside of the Internet, then there’s a good chance that you haven’t heard of singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey. In that case, consider yourself introduced.
Del Rey, the handle of one Lizzy Grant, has become a figure of infamy within the online music world with unprecedented speed. Between the highly stylized videos, the songs about video games, Diet Mountain Dew and shooting her boyfriend in the head, the accusations of her image being a well managed concoction, the hipster baiting and”most importantly” those lips, it’s hard not to have an opinion about her.
Oh, the side project. So often a bad idea, a vanity project, intended to display another side of an artist who really only has one good side. But other times, we get to see the output of great artists and performers who escape the confines of the project for which they are best-known. And if you’re a fan of that primary project, it’s always interesting to see what else the artist is driven or inspired to do, and whether you like the side project more or less. This list focuses on artists that could all be described as indie rock (depending on how strictly you define that term, I guess). The side project may or may not have evolved into a main project, but it has to have been formed secondarily to another band or ‘career’ while that career was still ongoing. This is my decree, let it be so…
10. The Gentlemen
Members of frequent tour-mates The Figgs and The Gravel Pit got together for this riff-heavy and rootsy rock band whose debut album, Ladies And Gentlemen, is a blistering good time.
9. She & Him
M. Ward was primarily a well-respected solo artist before hooking up with actress and singer Zooey Deschanel and launching She & Him, for which they both write the music. It’s simply delightful, classic pop.
There are incredibly talented people all over the world who spend their lives pursuing a single goal: musical success. These dedicated souls spend day after day making and promoting their music in the hope that one day they will finally make it, and be able to make a living off their music. And despite how badly they want to reach their goals, many of them never achieve the success they crave. Yet, there are plenty of less-talented artists making millions off their mediocre music every day. How, is this possible? The answer is fame.
While historically, singing and acting went hand in hand because many acting roles were in opera or musical theater, today this is no longer the case. TV and movie stars can make a fine living for themselves without having any musical training. But instead of sticking to their theatrical roots, a growing number of actors and actresses decide to pursue music careers, simply because they have an audience readily available. Some of these cross-over artists are incredible, but many others are just incredibly bad. And it begs the question, would these stars have any followers if they were known solely for their musical talent?
An example which comes immediately to mind is Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy had incredible success with the Star Trek series, and while he has no particular talent when it comes to singing, he was approached by a record label to record five albums and capitalize on the shows success. Fellow Trekkie William Shatner followed a similar pattern, releasing a series of albums where he mostly speaks the lyrics, rather than actually singing. The only reason either of them had any takers for their “music” is due Star Trek‘s extremely loyal fan base.