Weekly Music Round-Up: Celebrity Halloween Costumes, The CMA's, And Nickelback Maimed Their Roadie's PenisBy Drew Millard
I live in New York City, so this week has been really shitty. Hurricane Sandy wrought absolute, potentially history-altering havoc on lower Manhattan, causing mass flooding, explosions and leaving pretty much everybody below 34th Street without power. The subways got flooded out, which made everyone in the city turn to cars (both theirs and cabs), which in turn caused such a strain on the city's gasoline supply that we're now facing an insane, Mad Max-style gas shortage.
Natural disasters such as Sandy are weirdly comforting in a way. In times of adversity, we tend to develop a sense of being fucked, profoundly and helplessly, which in turn makes us recognize that there's something outside of ourselves and actually feel empathy for the other human beings around us. You know, we're not unilaterally self-interested pieces of shit, despite how we might act sometimes. Anyways, this week made blogging about pop music feel completely superfluous and silly, but as the cowboys in City Slickers once said, This Is The Life We Have Chosen, So Here's What Happened In Music News This Week.
—The other big to-do this week was Halloween, and you know who loves dressing up as a cynical branding initiative? Famous musicians! Some of the highlights include Lady Gaga dressing up as Sexy Weed, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (Do they not have a stupid celebrity couple name yet? Let's call them Kandashian.) going as Batman and Batgirl, and Thom Yorke going to Maroon 5's party and DJing as Daft Punk. Oh, and in yet another bizarrely douchey move on the perpetual anti-goodwill tour that he seems to be on these days, Chris Brown went as a terrorist. If you click that link, you'll see a statement from his mom defending him for being a maniacal piece of shit, because that's what moms are for I guess. If it makes you feel better, Brown will remain on probation for a bit longer and his lawyer told him to shut up during the hearing.
—Hey, guess what? The CMA's were last night! I didn't watch them, but other people did. Blake Shelton won all of the big prizes, Taylor Swift performed or something, and host Brad Paisley was apparently really funny. Mainstream country is the best, and I will keep typing that each week in this column until it actually comes true.
—Big Boi's coming out with a new album entitled Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, and more excitingly it's got a release date: December 11th. Release dates are important in hip-hop, as even if you're working on an album or have actually made an album, getting a release date means that the label finally thinks they can make some money off of you. In a genre such as hip-hop where commercial triumph usually also equals critical acclaim, this is a good thing. Big Boi, your album is going to be a classic, or else.
—As a critic, I'm a poptimist through and through, and I'll even defend a band like Nickelback to the death, mainly because if a million people buy their record they have to be doing a few things right even if they're not very nuanced or sophisticated things. But I can't really defend Nickelback when their lead singer Chad Kroeger brags to journalists about paying a roadie $375 to stick his dick in a spinning metal fan blade. Kroeger casually dropped that nugget to a journalist from Mens Health, which is funny because a rusty fan cutting your penis is not healthy if you are a man. Also, he decided to call it a "johnson."
—Hey, they're having a benefit for Hurricane Sandy! And Christina Aguilera, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are playing it! And because they're a buncha dicks, the hosts of Fox And Friends speculated that it was a "Concert For Obama." Whatever, dude. There was a fucking storm and people need to put their lives back together, so it's not really that political.
—Beyoncé is working with Miguel! Miguel is the best, and Beyonceé is bester, so whatever song they come out with better be…oh, you get it.
—And now, for some hot chartsy action. Taylor Swift killed shit in ways that people never kill shit any more, moving roughly 1.2 million copies, while our main man Kendrick Lamar fared really well with over 200,000 copies sold, especially considering he's only now breaking out into the main stream. I didn't enjoy the album, but if I did, I would compare Kendrick's radical difference from the rest of hip-hop to the whole Nirvana Killing Hair Metal narrative, except I like hilarious, subtly discursive rappers like Rick Ross way more than I like Kendrick Lamar. No matter how great it might be, good kid, m.A.A.d city is kind of boring and listening to it makes me feel like I'm doing work. Pleasant surprises in the Top 40 included The Sword, the goofy metal band whose Apocryphon hit 17, followed closely by Twizted at 18, and yes they're affiliated with Insane Clown Posse. Rounding out the Top 40 is the Christian rock band Casting Crowns, aka the week's "biggest gainer," which is sort of funny but mainly sad.
Okay yeah, that's pretty much what happened this week. If you want one more link, here's an article explaining the difference between ballpoint and gel pens.
Ace of Base's Secret Nazi Past
Before he founded Ace of Base, Ulf Ekberg was a member of Commit Suiside, a Nazi punk band.
Parquet Courts - "Light Up Gold Road Trip" (Full Documentary)
In this new documentary, Noisey follows rising indie rockers Parquet Courts from Mexico to Texas and London as they tour to support their debut LP, 'Light Up Gold.'
Yung Lean Doer Is the Weirdest 16-Year-Old White Swedish Rapper You'll Hear This Week
Yung Lean raps over pillow-fluffy beats and raps about glory holes and Arizona Iced Tea. Who the fuck is this kid? And why is he like this?
Adam Ant - The British Masters, Chapter 6
Noisey's John Doran talks with the great post-punk pop star Adam Ant about tribal body mods and layering tape.
Photos: Taking Acid at Coachella
When Paley sent these photos in, she included a nice little caveat over email that we've decided to reprint here in full, not only because it's too good to edit, but because her photographs of her and her weird buddies riding the snake are some of the best
R.I.P. Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013)
On Thursday, the hyper-talented graphic designer, artist, and famed album cover creator Storm Thorgerson passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
The Internet Is Scary
As of six months ago, my Facebook fanpage is like a dojo where hormonal teenagers hone their technique. Here is a heartfelt poem from some kid who wants to rape, kill, and marry me.
I Accidentally Touched Little Richard's Butt One Time
It was in the Detroit airport. After it happened Little Richard said, "He graze my derriere."
Listen to St. Lucia's Remix of The Colourist's "Little Games"
Last month, Cali quartet the Colourist released "Little Games," and St. Lucia just pulled a warm Balearic blanket over the whole thing, sanding away its rough edges with bright synths and lightly gated percussion.
Aaron Montaigne, Godfather of Screamo, is More Interesting Than You Can Ever Hope to Be - Part Two
On surviving combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with the help of magic, 'Bladerunner,' and everything in between.