For one thing, you’ve got Tulsa’s strongest male singer, and for another, you’ve got him covering one of the GOATs (greatest of all-time). What more do you need? Here’s Ben Kilgore singing Otis Redding’s immortal “These Arms of Mine”:
Spike Jonze puts a Spike Jonze twist on old hip-hop schtick for ‘Otis.’
I can’t think of a more tired concept for a hip-hop music video than a couple of pop stars riding around in an expensive car with a handful of models. But somehow, director Spike Jonze does exactly that and winds up with a classic. He’s come a long way since getting high in high school.
For starters, ’Ye and Jigga strip down a Maybach to look more like a luxury Jeep Wrangler, and then they start playing with fire. Literally. Watch for yourself. And keep an eye out for a brief Tom Haverford cameo. I wonder if they shot it in the City of Pawnee?
Modern-day hip-hop legends pair up to go ‘hard as a motherf***er.’
Hip Hop/Rap Matt Carney
Hey, have you guys heard of this new rap band called Kanye West and
Jay-Z? Yeah, apparently they released an album exclusively on iTunes
last week that pissed off a lot of record-store owners. Not sure if
you’ve heard of it, so I’ll try to break down “Watch the Throne” for
you, since these guys are kinda obscure.
With the blogosphere erupting over the Kanye West/Jay-Z joint (do we call them “albums” anymore?), Kid Cudi couldn’t have picked a worse time to release his video for “No One Believes Me.”
Actually, it’s not his fault: It’s the “official” music vid for DreamWorks’ remake of “Fright Night,” which opens Friday. I’m under one of those dreaded review embargoes, so I can’t tell you until Friday whether I think the Colin Farrell/Anton Yelchin starrer falls short of the 1985 horror-comedy classic; or whether I think its 3-D effects are needless; or whether I think Imogen Poots (despite her flatulent name) is way, way, way hotter than Amanda Bearse.
In the meantime, Kid Cudi! As with the film, the lushly orchestrated clip is directed by Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl”) and looks to take place on the same set. Its dark tone is right in line with the picture, and it’s nice to see what it essentially “just” a tie-in have merit on its own. —Rod Lott
It’s been a slow couple of months for interesting new music from established acts, be they indie or mainstream. Other than Kanye and Jay-Z’s epic collaboration on “Watch the Throne,” we haven’t heard much from the usual suspects.
But that’s not to say times are tough! Plenty of great music is streaming and downloadable right now, both from up-and-coming indie acts and locals. Here are my picks for the week.
Thundercat made himself known to indie audiences when he guested on Flying Lotus’ excellent “Cosmogramma” last year. FlyLo reciprocated by producing his debut LP, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse.” Stream it over at Hype Machine.
Tulsa and Enid have combined to give us Good Morning Grizzly, a pretty, pop-rock project that put this first big track up for download. It’s called “Stars and Satellites,” and you can snag it at the band's Bandcamp page.
Okie Chase Kerby (The City Lives) is getting back into the pop-rock game with Defining Times. Their debut EP was up for free download earlier in the week, but now it’ll set you back $5. I call that money well-spent.
Peter Bjorn and John stopped by KEXP’s studios in Seattle to play a couple of tracks off their latest record, “Gimme Some.” Watch “Breaker, Breaker” (complete with cowbell!) below.
In case you were curious what two of the world’s biggest pop stars performing live for the masses looked like.
Well, this is exciting. Kanye and Jay-Z played their new hit together at the VMAs, and, despite apparently not rehearsing, they totally rocked an arena full of cheering fans (save for a certain Biebster who did not appear impressed). I think I speak for the planet when I say that it needs a “Watch the Throne” tour.
Watch Peter Bjorn and John successfully ‘Try a Little Tenderness.’
Big success across time periods here. Swedish act Peter Bjorn and John’s cover of “Try a Little Tenderness” somehow makes me think that Otis Redding’s being covered by an energetic, ’50s doo-wop singer like Frankie Valli, but one with solid guitar chops. And nice dance moves to boot.
I think Peter Morén summed it up best, however, before the performance: “There’s a lot of emotion, y’know?”
Hip Hop/Rap Ryan Querbach
Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew have finally dropped their long-awaited compilation album, Cruel Summer. It has its moments, but overall falls short of the high expectations that come with any Kanye project.