The Walkmen's Walter Martin is set to release a children's album. The rocker's We're All Young Together will debut in May (14), and will feature a collaboration with The National's Matt Berninger on the song We Like The Zoo ('Cause We're Animals Too).
Martin says, "(That's) my tribute to the lost art of the novelty song. Songs like Poison Ivy and Yakety Yak - all those (Jerry) Leiber and (Mike) Stoller masterpieces are a big part of my life.
"I didn't want to put my name on an album that didn't have room for that kind of song."
Martin also worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O on a track called Sing To Me.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O is set to be joined onstage at Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars ceremony by Vampire Weekend guitarist Ezra Koenig. The frontwoman will perform the The Moon Song, which has been nominated for the Best Original Song award, from Spike Jonze's movie Her.
Bette Midler will be performing at the Oscars for the first time next month (Mar14). Details of her song are being kept under wraps but producers have hinted it will be "especially moving". Yeah Yeah Yeahs' frontwoman Karen O, U2, Pharrell Williams and Idina Menzel will also take to the stage.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O is among the artists who will take the stage at the Oscars next month (Mar14). She will perform her nominated song from Spike Jonze's Her. Other Best Original Song nominees announced as performers include U2, Pharrell Williams and Idina Menzel.
Rocker Karen O has thanked Her director Spike Jonze for forcing her to face her public speaking fears following her Best Original Song Oscar nomination on Thursday (16Jan14). The Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman earned her first Academy Award nod for The Moon Song, the track she wrote for Jonze's acclaimed film.
While she wasn't expecting the recognition, Karen O is grateful to Jonze for prompting her to tackle her on stage speaking fears.
She tells Rolling Stone, "To say this was unexpected is an understatement... The song was 10 years in the making according to Spike and testament to a beautiful friendship and creative chemistry we've shared over the years... Thanks Spike for making my very real phobia of ever having to be in a position to give an acceptance speech at a major award show a reality."
Karen O, who previously collaborated with Jonze for the soundtrack to his 2009 adaptation of children's book Where the Wild Things Are, is up against a number of big names including Pharrell Williams, who is nominated for his Despicable Me 2 theme Happy, and Irish rockers U2 for Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
The Best Original Song prize will be handed out at the Oscars ceremony on 2 March (14).
Suede frontman Brett Anderson has slammed music fans who film gigs on their phones. The reformed Britpop band is enjoying renewed interest in its music and scooped the Icon Award at the Q Awards on Tuesday (22Oct13).
But Anderson has joined stars including Zooey Deschanel and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in hitting out at fans who insist on filming concerts on their phones.
He tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I find it utterly infuriating and it seems completely idiotic to me. Why would you do that if you're actually there? It's a sad indication of the times that people have to experience everything through a screen. It's almost like it doesn't exist unless they've posted it on Facebook."
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than a decade since the Y2K debacle, which was probably one of the most ridiculous scares ever. The 2000s were a new beginning for a lot of things, including the music scene. In the naughts, pop and a new (autotuned) kind of hip-hop dominated the mainstream airwaves, but there were glimmers of awesomeness every couple of years.
Although it’s too early to say which new artists from the '00s were the most influential, here’s a rundown of 7 debut albums from the last 10 years that will most likely have a lasting power in the music world.
The Strokes: Is This It (2001) The Strokes’ debut album’s influence was felt immediately, with dozens of knock-off bands wanting to ride the garage rock wave along with the Strokes, Hives and White Stripes. Nothing came close to Is This It, though. Hands down one of the most influential albums of the decade, the flawless distortion and new age Lou Reed-like vocals on Is This It turned the Strokes into overnight sensations. Everyone from Kings of Leon, the Killers, and the Bravery got their starts by adopting the Strokes’ style, and their debut will no doubt stand the test of time.
The Libertines: Up the Bracket (2002) What the Strokes were in America, the Libertines were in the U.K. In a rather banal time when music desperately needed some guitar rock to kick in the door and shake things up a bit, the Libertines came in to save the day with the great Up the Bracket. The album was pure frantic garage rock, rooted in punk from both sides of the pond (think Stooges and Pistols had a baby), and offered more than just great music – Up the Bracket started a new kind of lifestyle, complete with Libertine-isms, shiny jackets, and slicked back hair (thanks, Carl Barat). Like the Strokes, the Libertines also influenced many bands that came up after them, including the View, Left Hand, and the Arctic Monkeys.
White Stripes: Elephant (2003) Elephant wasn’t the White Stripes’ for real-for real debut, but it was their first after being signed to a major label. This is the album that really introduced the band to the mainstream and, along with Is This It, is definitely one of the decade’s most influential albums. The perfect mix of garage rock, blues, and punk catapulted the White Stripes into fame and, not surprisingly, also inspired a legion of imitators trying to make a band with the most basic ingredients: guitar and drums. The album was made in 4 short weeks and should be put in a museum, if only because it gave us one of the greatest non-bass basslines in music history with “Seven Nation Army.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell (2003) Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the raw garage rock of the Strokes and melded it into an even rawer, deeper, garage punk sound on their 2003 debut, Fever to Tell. With Karen O’s wildly gorgeous vocals and music that sounded like it had gone through a Turn This Noise to Eleven blender, Fever to Tell was a masterpiece in 2 parts – the first half of the album was frenzied and wild, while the second half was more introspective and controlled. Yeah Yeah Yeahs helped bring art punk to the forefront and inspired many a-ladies to learn how to yell at the top of their lungs and still sound classy.
Kanye West: The College Dropout (2004) Regardless of the fact that he’s thisclose to becoming a bona fide caricature of himself, Kanye West’s debut album is still a force to be reckoned with. West took rap in a completely different direction with The College Dropout, spitting about insecurities, desires, and worldly reflections instead of the usual hyper-masculine, haughty bravado that was dominating rap. While not the first rapper to do this by any means, West’s debut brought self-reflective and self-conscious rap back to the mainstream.
Arcade Fire: Funeral (2004) Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire took the music world by Quebecois storm with their 2004 debut, Funeral. The somber debut that dealt with family deaths wound up being one of the most beautiful records of the decade, with their baroque pop influence and flair for drama making the band stand out from the abundance of other indie rockers that made up the scene. Funeral took indie rock to a new level, proving that you didn’t need 2 members in a band to be legit and you shouldn’t be afraid to dream the most grandiose dreams for your musical vision. Arcade Fire also helped make parking lots cool again, so there’s that.
Arular (2005) M.I.A.’s debut album was a brilliant mix of grime, hip hop, dancehall, electro, and Southeast Asian influences. Few would be able to hold their own under the vast influences that were drawn from to make the record, but M.I.A. did more than hold her own, making politics and social change something you can dance to. M.I.A.’s sound on Arular was unique and fresh, and the effects of her genre mash-ups is still felt in pop culture, including in hip hop production and pop music (M.I.A. was the original crazy-eccentric chick of the naughts).
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We’re three quarters into 2013 and the year is already chock full of creative and unique music videos. In the 1980s and '90s, artists wanted to create videos that were meaningful and larger-than-life, but in today’s digital age, the art of music videos is starting to be replaced by DIY videos that aim to go viral. Thankfully, the following artists have managed to find a happy medium between the two, and the result is 10 of the best music videos that have come out this year.
Allison Weiss – “Making It Up” We all know that breaking up is hard to do, but what happens when you get dumped by the one creature that’s supposed to be give you unconditional loyalty? Allison Weiss knows what that pain’s all about. In the Kristen Winter-directed video for “Making It Up,” Weiss comes home to a note on her bed that simply says, “Allison – I can’t do this. I’m sorry. –Scott.” You can’t even do it in person? How rude, Scott! A lot of furrowed brows and pacing around later, Weiss goes off to confront her dumper … who just happens to be her dog. Weiss is perfect in her genuine disappointment over breaking up with Scott, the handsome dog with the stylish name-embroidered scarf that clearly anyone would’ve fallen for. Breaking up has never been cuter.
Django Django – “WOR” In this brilliantly-directed Jim Demuth video, Django Django take the audience into a dizzying look into a night in the life of the infamous Well of Death riders in Allahabad, India. Clocking in at less than 5 minutes, the video is more like a mini-documentary, showcasing not only the crazy stunts that the daredevils pull off, but also the human side of the stuntmen, giving introductions and quotes from the featured riders. The visuals are the perfect complement to the rousing music, and the video manages to leave afterthoughts about mortality and heroism lingering in the viewer’s mind. Deep stuff.
The Knife – “Full Of Fire” If you know anything about Swedish electro duo The Knife, you know that they’re the dictionary definition of “awesomely weird as hell.” “Full Of Fire” is one of their less creepy songs, more upbeat and frantic than sullen and saturnine, and the almost-10-minute-long video works to keep up with the pace. “Full Of Fire” is essentially a short film by Stockholm and Berlin-based filmmaker/visual artist Marit Ostberg that takes the audience on a crazy ride through protests, random people’s apartments, kids playing with broken glass, and so much more haphazardness.
David Bowie – “The Next Day” (NSFW) 2013 was the year that David Bowie decided to venture back into the music world and show us all how it’s really done. The title track of his latest (and twenty-fourth) studio album, “The Next Day” video was written by Bowie himself and directed by famed Canadian-Italian photographer/director Floria Sigismondi. The video finds Bowie as a Jesus-type prophet singing in a dive bar to an audience of washed up church figures who are drinking their pain away. Marion Cotillard stars as a gorgeous siren (so basically, herself) who gets a really bad case of stigmata, while Gary Oldman is featured as a sleazy priest who just wants to get his dance on. The Catholic League denounced the video, calling it a “mess,” which basically translates as “Welcome Back” as far as Bowie is concerned.
Foals – “Late Night” (NSFW) British indie rockers Foals have a doozy with the NABIL-directed “Late Night.” A 5 minute exercise in existentialism, “Late Night” goes through the basic human events that make up late nights, like death, sex, crime, birth, suicide, violence, and drama. Set in a decrepit hotel straight out of a Hitchcock film, the band plays in the lobby while chaos takes place between the floors and walls. Although the visuals are graphic, the video is anything but gratuitous when it comes to nudity and violence, instead focusing on the realness and grittiness of basic human instincts instead of glorifying them.
Beach House – “Wishes” Beach House’s “Wishes” was directed by Eric Wareheim, one half of Adult Swim comedy duo Tim & Eric. The video is ridiculously amazing, if only for the fact that the star of the show is Ray Wise (yes, Twin Peaks Ray Wise). Wise stars as a football coach singing the melancholy “Wishes” to a huge crowd before the start of a game, while cheerleaders do their routines with bigass machete things and horse-headed people start to pop out in the crowd. “Wishes” is what Tim Riggins would’ve seen if he dropped acid before the start of a game in Friday Night Lights. In other words, this video rocks.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege” (NSFW) NYC’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs never disappoint with their videos, and “Sacrilege” is no different. Directed by French collective Megaforce, “Sacrilege” has model/actress Lily Cole bedding a bunch of men (and 1 woman), only to wind up getting chased through the streets by all her paramours who want to burn her at the stake. Whoa.
Atoms For Peace – “Ingénue” Thom Yorke. Interpretive dance. If those 4 words don’t make your entire life, you’re probably hopeless. Directed by Garth Jennings, “Ingenue” has a simple concept: dress Yorke up like the new kid at Hogwarts, stick him in front of a white screen, and get him to bust out some Wayne McGregor-choreographed dance moves with dancer Fukiko Takase. The result is 4 minutes of the best continuous GIFs you’ll ever find anywhere.
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z – “Suit And Tie” Thankfully, Justin Timberlake stopped trying to make “Timberlake, actor” happen for a bit and went back to what he does best: music. “Suit And Tie” was his big return back to the pop world, and the David Fincher-directed video lives up to the grandiosity of his comeback. The video juxtaposes 50s-style charm with contemporary hip hop dancing, and the black and white film makes the whole affair look classy (even the chick writhing around on the wet floor). In an age where everyone and their dog is trying to make their own meaningful videos with their iPhones, the glamor and lavishness of “Suit And Tie” is refreshing, taking us back to the extravagant videos of pop stars of yore.
Yo La Tengo – “I’ll Be Around” At the end of January, indie rockers Yo La Tengo released their video for “I’ll Be Around,” directed by Phil Morrison of Junebug-fame. The video is as minimal as the song, featuring Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan singing the track with an acoustic guitar in the woods. The forest shots are simply beautiful, and poem-like text and recipes for delicious stuff are superimposed throughout the video. “I’ll Be Around” ends with the band sitting down for dinner, only to have bassist James McNew get arrested by some buzzkill cops (probably for being part of a kickass band that makes illegally awesome music videos).
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Campbell and Edward Norton were among the stars who turned out to toast model Kendra Spears' marriage to Prince Rahim Aga Khan at a party in New York on Saturday night (07Sep13). The happy couple married on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland on 31 August (13) in a traditional Muslim ceremony, and they subsequently flew back to the U.S. to celebrate the nuptials with their famous friends.
They threw a lavish bash at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan on Saturday and British supermodel Campbell took on the task of introducing the newlyweds at the party, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Hollywood star DiCaprio was also in attendance, along with fellow actor Norton and Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis.
The 250 guests were treated to performances by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and British rockers Band of Skulls.
Since marrying the prince, Spears has adopted the new title of Princess Salwa Aga Khan.
The MTV Video Music Awards may no longer award Moonmen in categories such as "Best Post-Modern Music Video," but that doesn't mean the awards show has sold out and gone all mainstream. In fact, thanks to its location, nominees, and lineup, we may be poised for the most hipster VMAs of all time.
LOCATIONTalk about street cred. In 2013, the VMAs moved to Brooklyn for the first time ever. The show will be nestled in the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets (the most hipster of basketball teams), Brooklyn's first state of the art stadium, which Jay Z himself had a stake in. The stadium serves food from local vendors and the basketball court itself — which, granted, will not be in place during the awards show — is herringbone. If Brooklyn wasn't hipster enough (which it is; it's basically the epicenter of hipster), the stadium certainly is — this ain't the Staples Center.
THE NOMINEESBrigitte Engl/WENN
Holy indie bands, Batman! While teen-friendly staples like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and blockbuster favorites like Justin Timberlake and Kanye West rule this year's list of nominees, quite a few indie bands are also getting their time in the spotlight this year — and what's more hipster than an indie band? Sure, the list includes gettin'-too-big-for-their-britches Mumford & Sons and fun., but we could also see less mainstream artists like Duck Sauce, Flying Lotus, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Capital Cities, and The Weeknd take home a trophy. And, while we're at it, Janelle Monae, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons, Miguel, and Iggy Azalea — is this an awards show or a warehouse party in Bushwick?
THE LINEUPAnd things get even more hipster when you consider the presenters and performers. We've been promised appearances by everyone's-fantasy-hipster-boyfriend Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the chillest-host-to-ever-sit-behind-a-Late-Night-desk Jimmy Fallon, Scottish-powerhouse-and-style-icon Emeli Sandé, and I'm-so-hipster-I-bleed-PBR Jared Leto. There is also a rumored surprise performance by Daft Punk because of course.
BONUS: LENA DUNHAM Fun. is nominated for a VMA. Lena Dunham is dating fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff. There's a good chance Lena Dunham will be at the Barclays Center tonight. And anything Lena Dunham attends automatically gets 5 million hipster points.
The VMAs air on MTV Sunday, Aug. 25 at 9 PM ET.
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