Entries tagged with: Jessie J
The Queen of Rap, slayin' with Queen Bey
Look, I don't have the polling data handy, but I'm willing to bet that over the past 12 months, there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of young women who call themselves feminists, and that this is almost entirely due to Beyoncé. And no, contrary to popular belief, this was not because of some viral-era voodoo that took place when everybody reblogged that image of Beyoncé standing in front of the word FEMINIST at the VMAs; it was because of her ingenious idea to include in the original version of "***Flawless" a clear, concise, and marvelously demystifying definition of that too-often-misunderstood word. Thanks to Beyoncé, somewhere in America, a seventh-grader is right now being asked what the word feminist means, and instead of saying "an angry woman who hates men," she is answering in a memorized intonation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's words: "a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes."The above quote is from Lindsay Zoladz's review of Beyoncé: Platinum Edition over at her new-ish pop-music column for Vulture. As it points out, feminism has seen a huge rise in post-Beyoncé American culture, and this has especially happened in pop music. Other articles on this have been published throughout the year, like Lindsay's 2014: The Year That All-Female Collaborations Ruled the Radio for the same Vulture column, or Molly Beauchemin's FKA twigs, Lorde, and the New Feminist (Dance) Movement for Pitchfork, but now that the year is coming to a close it seems like everyone is getting in thinkpiece mode declaring 2014: The Year of Feminist Pop. Here are some good reads:
Ann Powers for NPR: In 2014, Pop Followed Beyonce's Lead
Kat George for Noisey: 2014: The Year Feminism Reclaimed Pop
Rachel Brodsky for SPIN: Feminism in 2014: More Than a Trend
Lindsay Zoladz for Slate: A Salute to the Bad Feminists of Pop
Hillary Crosley for Jezebel: My Anaconda Don't: Nicki Minaj's Ass And Feminism
Kelley Dunlap for Buzzfeed: 17 Of The Most Feminist Songs Of 2014
And not unrelated: Molly Beauchemin's piece for Pitchfork, 2014: The Year We Reached Peak Ass
Also Madonna releasing a song called "Bitch I'm Madonna" featuring Nicki Minaj is kind of a feminist thinkpiece on its own, isn't it?
This year, the 2015 Grammy nominations are being revealed gradually on CBS This Morning. A few categories have already been announced, with a lot more on the way, and we'll have to wait for tonight's A Very Grammy Christmas special to find out the Album of the Year nominees. Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Beck, Black Keys, Ryan Adams, Jack White, Beyonce (now the most Grammy-nominated woman), Pharrell, Schoolboy Q, Drake, Eminem, Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Basement Jaxx, James Franco, Aphex Twin, Little Dragon, Royksopp & Robyn, Arctic Monkeys, Mastodon, Motorhead, Alt-J, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sam Smith, Haim, Sia, Coldplay, Robert Glasper, Sharon Jones, Jhene Aiko, Tom Petty, U2 and more have already been announced. Stay tuned for more announcements and check out the list so far, below.
UPDATE: Full list of nominations (
except Album of the Year) now up at GRAMMY.com. Several of the categories are also listed below.
UPDATE 2: Album of the Year nominees announced. See below.
The awards ceremony happens February 8, 2015.
Alt-J at Mercury Lounge in May (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Big day for award nominations. The Oscars announced theirs this morning and the Brit Awards just wrapped up their ceremony for 2013 nominations, with Emeli Sandé grabbing four and Mumford & Sons and Alt-J each getting three. All three of those artists were nominated for British Album of the Year, a list that also included Paloma Faith and Plan B. If you don't know, The Brits are basically the UK's equivalent of the Grammys, though nominees are all British apart from a few "International" awards.
Jessie Ware, Muse, and Adele each got two nominations, and single-digit noms went to Bat for Lashes, The xx, Richard Hawley and The Vaccines.
The entire 2013 Brit Awards nominees list is below.
by Bill Pearis
George Michael at the London Olympics Closing Ceremony
While Kate Bush didn't perform in the London Olympics Closing Ceremonies segment that "Running Up That Hill" was used in (that was cut from the U.S. telecast), NBC did cut a few actual live performances from it, including The Who closing out the whole thing with "Baba O'Riley," "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You" and "My Generation." (Yet they left in Kaiser Chiefs doing "Pinball Wizard"!). The Who was not deemed as important as letting the world see the first episode of some new sitcom. NBC also cut Ray Davies doing Kinks classic "Waterloo Sunset" and Muse who wrote "Survival," the official song for the London Olympics.
What we did get: a Spice Girls reuinon where Posh, Sporty and the rest of them mostly rode around the track in separate Bentleys; Beady Eye doing "Wonderwall" (Noel must've loved that); Annie Lennox doing "Little Bird"; Eric Idle singing Life of Brian's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"; Russell Brand singing "Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and "I Am the Walrus"; current popstars One Direction and Jessie J, the latter of whom also sang "We Will Rock You" with Queen; Fatboy Slim in a giant inflatable octopus; Pet Shop Boys doing "West End Girls," Madness hoarsely performing "Our House"; and Ed Sheeran with Pink Floyd's Nick Mason and Genesis' Mike Rutherford for "Wish You Were Here."
The highlight, at least with the crowd I watched it with, was George Michael in his first live performance after a life-threatening bout with pneumonia last year. He still had the moves on "Freedom 90," though it seemed a missed opportunity by the ceremonies producers not to have the iconic video's co-stars Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell come out for it, as they were paraded around in a segment set to Bowie's "Fashion" early in the program. NBC cut (maybe not so unkind) the performance of Michael's new single "White Light" which you can watch the video for below that does feature Moss.
After the Closing Ceremonies, Blur performed in Hyde Park with New Order, The Specials and Bombay Bicycle Club and we'll have pictures from that show soon.
by Bill Pearis
The BBC recently published its Sound of 2011 list, its annual picks of artists they think will be hot next year. A few of these you might have read about already: The Vaccines (playing here in January), Anna Calvi (playing here in March), Australia's The Naked and the Famous (maybe you saw them at Brooklyn Bowl in November), Esben and the Witch (been here a couple times), and Warpaint (already kinda big over here). There's also dubstep wizkid James Blake, hotshot producers Nero and more.
The list was determined via "160 influential UK tastemakers," and the artists selected must not have had a UK top 20 single or album by 14 November 2010, and must not already be famous (aka contender for TV talent competition, etc). You can see the whole list at the bottom of this post and the top five from the initial list of 15 will be revealed first week of the new year. Last year's list was topped by Ellie Goulding and also included The Drums, Marina & the Diamonds and, uh, Owl City.
Another of the band on the Beeb's list is Yuck who have scheduled and then cancelled U.S. shows twice this year already, but are now really coming -- they pinkie swear -- for two shows next month: January 25 at Mercury Lounge (on-sale 12/17 at noon) and Jan. 26 at Glasslands (tickets are on sale). Immediately after their NYC shows, Yuck heads out for a North American tour with their Fat Possum labelmates Smith Westerns. Yuck's debut album, loaded with warm and fuzzy indie rock a la early Teenage Fanclub or Yo La Tengo, will be out February 15. You can check out "Rubber" from the album above (and watch its NSFW video further down), as well as previously-released, super-catchy "Georgia."
Also on the Sound of 2011 list and also here in January are Nashville-via-Ohio band Mona, who play The Rock Shop on January 12, Mercury Lounge on January 13 and Union Pool on January 15. The BBC describes thusly:
The myth of the last gang in town is an enduring one in rock music. A small town, some big ideas and four kids who've grown up and grown so close that they finish each others sentences. Mona are those tender souls, hoping to outgrow the story that's been written for them. Says frontman/guitarist Nick Brown of their debut single Trouble On The Way. Nick: "It's pretty self-explanatory - there's a sound on the horizon and the volume's gonna grow."You can check out a couple Mona videos below. The band have already played Later with Jules Holland, which seems to make them one of these American bands that England likes first. (Other examples: The Killers.) Apart from their three NYC shows next month, most of their 2011 plans seem to be focused in the UK.
The majority of this Nashville-based four-piece were raised in the church and learned their craft playing to the congregation: Nick and drummer Vince Gard as Pentecostalists and bass player Zach Lindsey in by Southern Baptist. Guitarist Jordan Young is the token heathen. For those within the faith, secular music was banned. Vince's mother would play him Creedence Clearwater Revival records and make him promise not to let on to his father - rock and roll as illicit, secret thrill.
Videos for Yuck and Mona, plus the entire BBC Sound of 2011, after the jump.