Entries tagged with: Kanye West

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Daft Punk

Daft Punk's first album had helped refresh house music in the mid 1990s; the second went further, rewriting electronic pop's pleasure principles to such a degree that when it came out a lot of people thought Discovery must be a put-on. They took the joy in the record for irony. Rather, the band had simply plunged into the raw popstuff of their 70s childhoods, from AOR to disco, Buggles to Manilow, rock to robotics. They wanted their listeners to get the rush of context-free delight they had hearing music as kids, and on "Aerodynamic" and "Digital Love" they succeeded wildly, dissolving a decade-plus of dance music good taste. And not all of Discovery looked back. The middle of the album is house music as string theory, with the duo finding dimensions of pleasure coiled within the tiniest loops: "Crescendolls" releases an awesome, gleeful energy by repeatedly triggering one five-second sample.

Discovery was simply the decade's best good-times record, with Daft Punk as pyramid-toting party wizards and the chipmunk Kraftwerk of "Harder Better Faster Stronger" their anthem. But this most celebratory of records has a bittersweet streak, too: Daft Punk know that a rush always carries the risk of exhaustion. Perhaps the album's most underappreciated track is the sad but gorgeous "Short Circuit", a three-minute robot graveyard of crumbled transistors and dying LEDs. But from Romanthony's first blissful, vocoded shout of "one more time!" the dominant emotion on Discovery is joy. A joy that wasn't afraid to be sentimental and funny as well as hard and futuristic, and is all the better for that. When a generation looks back and tries to catch a fuzzy hold of the music that made them happy this decade, Daft Punk's will be top of the list. --Tom Ewing [Pitchfork]

Daft Punk grabbed the #3 spot on Pitchfork's list of the Top 200 albums of the 2000s (now fully announced) (yesterday they were only up to #21). The top 20 are also listed below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork announces the top 20 albums of the decade "

Lady Gaga & a skeleton (like Kanye, potential 2009 Halloween costumes)
Lady Gaga

Kanye West may be able to take time off to think about his life after all now that his concert tour has been canceled.
Kanye West has canceled his "Fame Kills" tour with Lady Gaga. It was announced two weeks ago.

Concert promoter Live Nation said Thursday that West's concert tour with Lady Gaga, titled "Fame Kills," has been canceled just two weeks after it was announced.

The reason for the cancellation was not revealed. West told NBC's Jay Leno last month, before the tour was officially announced, that he planned "to take some time off" in the aftermath of his MTV Awards show embarrassment.

The three-month, 34-show tour across the United States and Canada was to start next month. Tickets went on sale last week.

Live Nation said people who bought tickets could get refunds at the point of purchase. Tickets purchased online and on the phone will be refunded automatically, the promoter said. [CNN]

I guess that means MSG on New Years Eve is up for grabs again. I wonder if the NYC venue will get a new show for that date (it was never announced, but I heard if was definitely supposed to happen).

In related news, Lady Gaga is hosting Bootleg at Santos Party House this Saturday.

In unrelated news, "David Letterman shocked viewers when he confessed on his Late Show Thursday night that he was a victim of an extortion plot for $2 million dollars. Someone tried to blackmail him for having sexual relations with female members of his staff."

NSFW "Fame Kills" promo video below...

Continue reading "Kanye West & Lady Gaga tour cancelled"

Kanye West

"The Fame Kills Tour Club is pleased to announce that tickets and VIP packages will soon be available for the Fame Kills Tour: Starring Kanye West & Lady Gaga! Fame Kills Tour Club members will get exclusive access to presale tickets and VIP packages before they go on sale to the public! Interested in becoming a member? JOIN HERE!

To check when presales start for a particular concert, please see the start date displayed in the "TOUR CLUB PRESALE" and "VIP PACKAGES" columns next to the shows listed below.

To participate in any of these presales, simply log-in to your Fame Kills Tour Club account, pick up your passcode, and click on the link displayed in the "TOUR CLUB PRESALE" or "VIP PACKAGES" column next to the show of your choice (while the presale is active). After you click on the link, you will be directed to the ticket vendor's website, where you will be asked to enter your passcode and select the number of presale tickets/VIP packages you would like to purchase. Please note each Fame Kills Tour Club member is allowed to purchase up to 4 presale tickets or VIP packages total per membership year."

The only NYC-area dates so far are December 22nd at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, and January 3rd, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Neither of those dates go on presale until September 29th, unlike many of the other dates on the tour which go on presale Tuesday morning.

That said, there are still lots of days off on this tour. They hit the Verizon Center in DC on December 30th, but are currently free on the 31st. One keen Anonymous commenter noticed this and said, "I hope this New Year's Eve show at MSG isn't Kanye and Lady Gaga......". I think that person's on to something.

Meanwhile, some of the first New Years Eve shows to officially be announced are Dean & Britta (early) & The Felice Brothers (late) at Southpaw in Brooklyn.

Above picture via kanyegate.tumblr.com

Continue reading "Kanye West & Lady Gaga playing MSG on New Years Eve? -- presale for other dates starting soon "

Kanye @ SXSW 2009 (more by Faith-Ann Young)
Kanye West

Critics may have hated it, but Monday's premiere of "The Jay Leno Show" got a warm reception from viewers.

Thanks in part to a newsworthy appearance from rapper Kanye West -- who drew widespread scorn for his behavior during the MTV Video Music Awards the previous night -- the former "Tonight Show" host's 10 p.m. comedy-variety show drew a surprisingly large crowd of 18.4 million total viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. That's more than three times what he averaged on "The Tonight Show."

Among the key demographic of viewers aged 18 to 49, "Leno" scored a 5.3 rating/14 share, easily the night's top-rated program. It was NBC's most-watched program in the time period since last year's Summer Olympics. [LA Times]

That widespread scorn even reached President Obama who was taped calling Kanye West a jackass.

Meanwhile, as Kanye promised a few weeks ago, he's going out on tour with Lady Gaga who was also a big star at the VMAs. The'Fame Kills' tour runs from November into January 2010, and includes two (for now?) NYC-area shows: December 22 at the Izod Center and January 3 at Nassau Coliseum. Ticket info TBA. All tour dates, and videos from the Leno show, are below...

Continue reading "Kanye West (the jackass) & Lady Gaga - 2009 Tour Dates"

yeah let's all ignore the VMA's...just keep pretending u wouldn't totally go if u could - Anon 12:32

Kanye West

The MTV VMAs were last night. Matt & Kim won the award for Breakthrough Video with their naked-in-Times Square video. Kanye West made a scene. Videos of Kanye (who joins Jay-Z and Rhianna on the new Leno show's debut tonight) (and who played with the same two people at MSG on Friday night), Beyonce, Lady Gaga and more below...

Continue reading "waking up from ATP... Matt & Kim won a VMA"

Trent Reznor & Peter Murphy @ Terminal 5 in NYC - 8/25/09 (via nin.com)
Nine Inch Nails

As Kanye West and Amber Rose watched from the balcony (sorry for the gossip) at Terminal 5 last night (8/25), Nine Inch Nails played 29 songs at their 3rd of 4 NYC shows this week. The major highlight of the evening (for me at least) was that Peter Murphy of Bauhaus joined them for 3 of those songs, one of which was a Bauhaus cover ("Kick in the Eye). It wasn't the first time it's happened, but it was very sweet.

Earlier in the set, NIN played "I'm Afraid of Americans", before which Trent said something about getting to work with an idol on a song a few years ago, but unfortunately, despite that tease, David Bowie was nowhere to be found in the building. Now that I think of it, they totally should have had Peter sing Bowie's part on that one.

Trent introduced Peter Murphy by saying that back in 1990, when they were young and just coming up, someone helped them out and took them on the road. Then came Peter to the stage to help them perform "Reptile" which was followed by "Kick in the Eye". Peter returned in the encore to help NIN do their cover of Joy Division's "Dead Souls". His stage presence is awesome.

I thought the whole show was great, but it was the final ten songs that really made it feel like there was energy in the large, cavernous room. Basically: Peter--> Peter--> Hands That Feeds--->Head Like a Hole---> all encore songs w/ 1 Peter again---> final-emotional-Hurt. What did you think?

Night one (Bowery Ballroom) got "smallest venue ever". Night two (Webster Hall) got The Downard Spiral from start to finish. Night three got Peter Murphy. Night four happens tonight (Wednesday, August 26th), again at Terminal 5. All 10 "Wave Goodbye" dates (Trent at one point said something like "I'll miss you guys") (which bothers me a little because I don't actually believe this is the end) HERE. Stay tuned for more. Full setlist below.

Continue reading "Peter Murphy joins NIN @ Terminal 5 in NYC (night 1) - setlist"

Jay-Z @ All Points West 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Jay-Z

"ABSOLUT(R) VODKA, the world's most iconic vodka, announces a creative collaboration with Madison Square Garden that will offer music fans an unparalleled series of high-profile concerts at the iconic venue. Showcasing performances ranging from rock-and-roll heavyweights to country crooners, these two legendary brands will work together to bring music lovers of all kinds the ultimate concert experience as only The Garden can offer. To kick off the series, ABSOLUT and Madison Square Garden will host a once-in-a-lifetime benefit show featuring hip-hop impresario JAY-Z on September 11, 2009, to aid the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund. The highly-anticipated performance will air live and commercial-free on Fuse TV at 9pm...

...The on-sale date and method of purchase for tickets to the concert will be announced shortly. After the announcement, Citi card members will have access to presale tickets through Citi's Private Pass(R) program. For complete presale details visit: www.citiprivatepass.com and for more information on programming surrounding this event, go to www.fuse.tv/jay-z."

Jay-Z's new song "Run This Town" features appearances by Rihanna and Kanye West. The official video for that is below...

Continue reading "Jay-Z playing 9/11 benefit show @ MSG, the first in a series of Absolut-sponsored shows ++ it will air on Fuse"

Ken Thomson (Asphalt Orchestra mem.) @ LPR (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Gutbucket

tonight in NYC
* DANCE
* Kanye West @ Cipriani
* Carimi @ Brower Park
* The Fabulous Thunderbirds @ BB Kings
* Los Salseros del Hudson @ Wagner Park
* John Scofield Trio @ Madion Square Park
* Alberta Cross, Phonograph @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Asphalt Orchestra @ Lincoln Center's Broadway Plaza
* Cirque Du Rock: Gotham Underworld @ Highline Ballroom
* Tyshawn Sorey, Todd Neufield, Thomas Morgan @ The Stone
* The Pedrito Martinez Project @ Central Park Summerstage
* Yardwork, Beach Fossils, Sam Buck Rosen @ Death By Audio
* Chris Isaak, Michelle Branch, Dorian Spencer @ Beacon Theatre
* Portugal the Man, The Love Language, Hesta Prynn @ Mercury Lounge
* Lincoln Center OoD w/ Amir el Saffar Ensemble & Dave Brubeck Quartet @ Damrosch Park
* Music & Reading Series w/ Rachel Cohen, Brandon Stosuy, Colin Stetson, Buke & Gass @ Joe's Pub

Lots of free outdoor music tonight, so hopefully the weather holds out. One event so far, Fame at the McCarren Park SummerScreen, has been rescheduled for August 26th. (Wild at Heart, last week's cancellation, happens August 19th.) Carimi is at Brower Park. The Pedrito Martinez Project plays the Central Park Summerstage with a screening of I Am Cuba. Los Salseros del Hudson play Wagner Park. John Scofield Trio is at Madion Square Park.

Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival kicks off tonight with Amir el Saffar & Dave Brubeck and their respective bands at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. Catch Bang on a Can's Asphalt Orchestra, who will be playing at outdoor locations through Sunday, tonight at the Lincoln Center's Broadway Plaza.

All of the above events are free, as is Alberta Cross and Phonograph at the Brooklyn Bowl.

Tyshawn Sorey plays at The Stone with Todd Neufield and Thomas Morgan -- together they form the trio on Sorey's forthcoming album, Koan.

Happy Ending Music & Reading Series hosts Rachel Cohen, Brandon Stosuy, Colin Stetson, Buke & Gass and more at Joe's Pub.

Portugal. The Man plays a sold-out Mercury Lounge show with The Love Language and Hesta Prynn. They'll be back in October too.

See a pair of Deerhoof videos, including the new "Jagged Fruit," below. They come to NYC on September 15th.

Kid Cudi's "Make Her Say" featuring Kanye West & Common is below too. Tonight...

CASIO G-Shock will celebrate their advancements in wristwatch technology, outline the future evolution of the Casio family of timepieces and unveil an entirely new collection of limited edition collaborative pieces.

The star-studded evening kicks off with a press conference highlighting these milestones. Cipriani 55 Wall Street will be transformed into the ultimate showplace for both the brand and for Kanye West, who will cap the night off with an exclusive performance.

Cipriani * 55 Wall Street (Between Wall and William Street): Press conference at 6:30PM, expected celebrity arrival
8:30PM

Common has a show coming up at Terminal 5.

Los Campesinos! played Webster Hall last night. Video from that below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday?"

photo by Bao Nguyen

Kanye West & Clipse @ Webster Hall - July 30, 2009
Diesel

As predicted, Kanye West came out and performed one song with The Clipse (who replaced Drake) at the Diesel party at Webster Hall last night. After Clipse came The Roots who played a bunch of songs with Lykke Li. Earlier in the evening there were sets by Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Heartsrevolution, The Noisettes, Theopholis London, Cobra Starship and Passion Pit. More about all of them after some sleep, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures and some video...

Continue reading "Kanye West played w/ Clipse, Lykke Li w/ The Roots - some pics & video from the Diesel Party @ Webster Hall in NYC"

Clipse and Kanye

The big Diesel show happens at Webster Hall in NYC tonight (7/30). Hopefully you already have a ticket or wristband. Special guests at the show will in fact be Lykke Li (who is here to play All Points West and will probably perform a song at Webster Hall with The Roots) and Clipse (who will probably perform a song at Webster Hall with Kanye West) (remember, Diesel likes live mash ups). There's a Jay-Z rumor going around, but all I've heard is "not true". For Passion Pit the Diesel show will be their second with the Roots in two nights. Last night it was on the Jimmy Fallon show. Video from that below...

Continue reading "Clipse & Lykke Li (and Kanye West?) are playing the Diesel show w/ The Roots & Passion Pit (who played Fallon)"

photos by Chris Graham

Mos Def

"Mos Def took the stage looking like a New Orleanean shaman.

He kept gesturing beyond the crowd to the Columbia River, saying, "The dream is real! Look around you!"

My favorite moment: Mos Def rapping over a personal favorite beat by Oxnard, CA artist called Oh No (find it on an album called "Dr. No's Oxperiment"). It's got a strong '60s/'70s Turkish psych-rock guitar line running the whole way through...I want to say the original is by an artist called Selda. Not sure. But I remember when heard the beat about two years ago, I went straight to the music store and bought the album it was sampled from. Pretty sure Selda is the correct name. I just bought a greatest hits album. I don't know a lot about Turkish/Anatolian psych-rock. Wish I knew more,

Anyhow, I'm one of those long-time Mos Def fans that loves his singing voice, but wishes he'd rap a little more. And there he was, killing one of my favorite beats, rapping like he meant it. Felt great." [Seattle Weekly]

That review comes from Mos Def's performance at the 2009 Sasquatch Festival in Washington State over Memorial Day Weekend. The pictures in this post are from that show too.

Tonight (5/30), Mos Def reunites with Talib Kweli for two Black Star shows at NYC's Nokia Theatre. The early show (with 88 Keys and Black Violin) is sold out, but tickets still remain for the late one (with Blaqstarr).

As the NY Daily News pointed out in a feature yesterday, 88-Keys is also known as a "Kanye West protege". Special guests are definitely rumored at tonight's show.

More pictures from Sasquatch below...

Continue reading "Mos Def played Sasquatch (pics) -- Black Star reunites tonight"

words & photos by Faith-Ann Young

Kanye West

True - it was the worst kept secret and the most corporate plumping event of all of SXSW (if Kayne would have worn grillz sporting the The Levi's® logo, it would have completed his Levi's® outfit) - but that doesn't mean Saturday night's show at the Fader Fort wasn't one of the best (3/21). Kayne West acted like a grand circus ringmaster - introducing his whole G.O.O.D. record label crew including Consequence, GLC, and his prized diamond rapper all-star Kid Cudi. Then, just when you got sick of Kayne's world, in came fellow Chi-towner Common sweating out "Universal Mind Control." And then, like Mary Poppins on uppers, Kayne smiled and pulled out yet another prized gem from backstage: the gorgeous divine Erykah Badu (who is a Texas native and was wearing full-sequined silver pants- the combination of which got a hot scream from the crowd). To close out, like a big, super-talented brat pack, the entire G.O.O.D. crew came back on stage and danced around to songs from West's 808s. Whether you love him or hate him, Kayne sure knows how to party (or promote).

More pictures and the entire setlist below...

Continue reading "Kanye West, Common, Erykah Badu, Kid Cudi, Consequence & friends @ Fader Fort (SXSW 2009) - pics, setlist"

photos by James Trevenen

Playboy

As suspected, the reunited lineup of Jane's Addiction took the stage at the annual Playboy Rock the Rabbit party in Austin last night (3/19).

In a move that was either pure coincidence or pure brilliance, the Playboy bash was held in an empty grocery store attached to a slightly skeevy strip mall in a decidedly unsafe area of Austin. It's difficult to think of a more perfect setting for Jane's tawdry, tarty rock (the bevy of Bunnies parading around the party were a nice touch too). Whether it was due to the joy of feeling at home, or the joy of playing music together again, Jane's came out feisty, fiery and fierce.

On this night, there were no selections from Jane's softer side, just plenty of pummel, from opening number "Three Days" to the incredibly raucous set-closer "Stop!" Showing a swagger that only the best bands possess, Jane's threw haymakers, with guitarist Dave Navarro pulling solo after solo out of his axe, frontman Perry Farrell patrolling and posing, and the reformed rhythm section of Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins remaining in lockstep.

Songs like "Standing in the Shower ... Thinking" (during which Farrell patted his crotch dry with a towel, then tossed it into the crowd), "Ted, Just Admit It ..." and a particularly massive "Ocean Size" sent the crowd into hysterics -- there was even some crowd surfing, which sent the Bunnies scattering -- and showcased a band still very much at the top of its game. Navarro and Farrell shared a smooch, Avery and Perkins exchanged knowing nods, and frankly, it was as if those 17 years never happened. [MTV]

Metallica plays a more-official SXSW party tonight (3/20) at Stubb's. Kanye West is rumored to appear as the guest at the FADER House where Kanye's label GOOD Music is having a showcase (makes sense). More pictures from the Playboy party below...

Continue reading "Jane's Addiction last night (pics), Metallica tonight (at SXSW)"

Michael Jackson and PrinceMichael Jackson and Prince

"A week after Miley Cyrus shared with the world her plans to 'ruin' Radiohead after they snubbed the young starlet at the Grammy Awards, the band has responded to the singer's threat... The band wasn't amused by her story. 'When Miley grows up, she'll learn not to have such a sense of entitlement,' the band told the new issue of Us Weekly in a statement." [MTV]

"Dozens of investors who came to federal court in New York to hear Bernard Madoff's admission that he ran a $65 billion Ponzi scheme in which he lied and stole for decades applauded his jailing." [Bloomberg]

"Yet Miley is not the only star that has a beef with the band. Kanye West is another temperamental superstar who was also snubbed by the band. West told audiences at his VH1 Storytellers taping that he too was dissed by the band at the Grammy Awards" [andPOP]

"wish us all a safe journey if you still like us and you're not one of those people i have managed to offend by doing nothing xx" [Thom Yorke]

"We are working on new material" [Ed O'Brien]

"U2 celebrated the number one debut of its new album 'No Line on the Horizon' with an intimate gathering for a few friends Wednesday night." [Boston Globe]

"It's not U2, but 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno' will get its own multiple dose of pop royalty this month. Prince will perform on three consecutive nights on the NBC program as he girds for the release of a pair of new albums. The mini-residency will run March 25-27; he also plans to hit the 'Tonight' stage May 28 for Leno's next-to-last night as host of the venerable talk show." [Reuters]

"Five new shows have been added to Michael Jackson's London run, bringing the total to 50, according to Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live, promoter of the shows." [Billboard]

"Hundreds of fans have queued through the night to buy the first tickets to Michael Jackson's 'final curtain call' of concerts in London." [CNN]

Continue reading "Radiohead, Miley Cyrus, U2, Prince, Leno & Michael Jackson"

AC/DC @ The Izod Center (more by Ryan Muir)
AC DC

If anyone had any doubt that touring is where the money is in the music business, a quick look at the top Moneymakers for 2008 should hammer the point home.

Regardless of genre, retail sales or radio play, each of the 20 acts on Billboard's Moneymakers list toured in 2008. (Taylor Swift mostly opened for Brad Paisley but doesn't get credit for that revenue). For almost all of them, touring generated the most revenue. And in a year when recorded-music sales declined yet again, many earned more at the box office than ever before. [Billboard]

I hope Kanye West can handle being below The Jonas Brothers (and Lil Wayne). The whole list below...

Continue reading "the list of musicians who made the most money in 2008"

Radiohead

TMZ can confirm that Chris Brown just entered an LAPD station, where he turned himself in to police.

Chris is being investigated by the LAPD for an alleged domestic violence felony battery that occurred early this morning near Hancock Park in L.A. Police officials said earlier today they may arrest Brown when they found him. Well, now they know where he is.

According to the female victim -- who cops refuse to identify -- she and Chris got into an argument which turned violent. Cops say when they arrived to the scene, Brown had split, but the woman had "visible injuries and identified Brown as her attacker."

Brown and his girlfriend Rihanna were together earlier last night, attending Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party -- and both canceled their scheduled performances at tonight's event.

Brown is currently being interviewed by detectives. [TMZ]

Radiohead did show up the Grammys, as did an even MORE pregnant M.I.A.. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss took best album (for an album that came out on indie label Rounder Records). Video of Radiohead and M.I.A.'s performances, and a list of all winners (including Daft Punk) below...

Continue reading "a list of all the 2009 Grammy winners, Radiohead, MIA video"

Lucero @ Terminal 5 Friday night (more by Mike Lerner)
Lucero

today in NYC
* DANCE
* Lucero @ Mercury Lounge
* Elysian Fields @ Joe's Pub
* The Black Keys & Doug Gillard Wellmont Theater
* Blank Dogs, Woods, WAVVES & Nodzzz @ Underground Lounge

Underground Lounge is located 955 West End Ave @ 107th St in Morningside Heights. The WAVVES show starts at 2PM.

Kanye West has been blogging about a lot of 'indie' music (and comedy) lately. There was the recent Aziz Ansari post, and the exclusive new Peter Bjorn and John track he posted. Kanye's other recent likes include TV on the Radio's David Bowie cover, Bon Iver covering Feist, Friendly Fires, Francis and the Lights, Passion Pit, Animal Collective AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, LAND OF TALK.

Kanye will be performing at the Grammys today. So will Radiohead. Nominees include MIA, Adele, No Age, Hot Chip, Daft Punk, My Morning Jacket and Death Cab For Cutie.

Antony was just on NPR.

Little Boots played Studio B last night. Video below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Sunday (besides the Grammys)?"

Thom Yorke

Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Justin Timberlake and the quadruple threat of Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West have been added to the performance lineup for the 51st annual Grammy Awards, to be held Feb. 8 at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

McCartney will be backed by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on drums, while Radiohead will be making its first live U.S. television performance in nearly nine years.

Meanwhile, Jay-Z, Wayne, T.I. and West will team to perform the hit single "Swagga Like Us," while T.I. and Timberlake will also perform together.

Previously announced Grammy performers include Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Jennifer Hudson, Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood. [Billboard]

The pictured poster is an actual Grammy promo and Thom Yorke actually appears in a video commercial. Watch it below...

Continue reading "Radiohead (and others) playing the Grammys..."

by Ryan Barkan

Notorious

The B.I.G.gest music licensing story last week was the release of Notorious, the film based on the life story of Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. As you may already know, a virtual unknown was cast to play Biggie. The film hit theaters Friday and so far has received mixed notorious reviews. Notorious contains a number of Biggie's music; the official soundtrack even contains three unreleased songs (listen to them here).

The movie ended up in fourth place on the holiday weekend box office list, grossing an estimated $24 million. According to Variety, Notorious had the best per-location average of the weekend with $14,652 earned (approx) at each of the 1,638 theaters screening the film. I personally didn't see it this weekend because I was too busy helping Paul Blart Mall Cop take top spot on the weekend draw.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Commuters in Liverpool Station were surprised last week with the spontaneous (yet meticulously calculated) filming of a T-mobile commercial. The spot started with music coming over the loudspeaker and igniting a few members of the crowd to begin dancing. As the songs change (there are eight of them), more dancers join in until the entire station is engulfed in the excitement. The spot was created then on air within 48 hours and was shown as an exclusive premier on BBC 4. The songs in the spot, in order, are: Lulu's "Shout", Yazz's "The Only Way Is Up", Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha", Viennese Waltz, Kool & the Gang's "Get Down On It", Rainbow's "Since You've Been Gone", Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop", and Contours' "Do You Love Me". Watch the spot below.

Another spot out of the UK recently is this lyrically driven commercial for the Ford Ka appropriately using Soundtree's "Go Find It".

The Roots really like Cody Chesnutt; so much so they remade one of his songs ("The Seed") for their 2002 album and even had him play and sing on the record. Not sure if The Roots like Axe products, but the band and brand have mutual love for Chesnutt - his jam "Look Good In Leather" is the feature of a new claymation spot for the Lynx line. Check the spot below.

Continuing with the cool Euro commercials trend, Dutch snowboard gear company Protest uses a great Josh Ritter tune, "To The Dogs Or Whoever", in their new campaign. One interesting jump over to Protest's website finds some more interesting licensing: the brand hopes you will enjoy tunes by The Beastie Boys, N.W.A., The Kooks, and MGMT while you get your shop on. Watch the commercial below.

Lykke LiFox TV show Fringe is running a promo that features Lykke Li's "I'm Good, I'm Gone". Watch it below.

Animal Planet is stepping up its entertainment offerings with a new show called Jockeys. No, it does not have to do with undergarments; it will follow a group of riders and will debut next month on the channel. The promo steps up the cool factor a bit by including Kanye West (and Daft Punk's) "Stronger". Watch the promo below.

continued below...

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing"

Aziz and Kanye

"I WENT TO THE AZIZ GLOW IN THE DARK TOUR AND IT WAS AMAZIIIING!!! OH AND I EVEN GOT TO MEET HIM!!!!" [Kanye West]
That's awesome that Kanye got to meet Aziz. I wonder if he got to meet Obama last night when he played at one of his many inauguration parties...
Opening the show from the Hilton Washington, the night's host, Sway, reminded everyone that after what was sure to be an exhausting first day, it was time to celebrate President Barack Obama's historic inauguration.

Kanye West kicked off the show with a medley of hits like "Touch the Sky," "Stronger" and "Good Life." "Let's make some noise for our new president, Obama," he told the crowd. "It feels so good to be standing here. My mama would be so proud to see her baby boy with the #1 song in the country and our new African-American president."

Later in the night, he joked, "I still can't believe it. I feel like I'm in the future -- first iPods, now this!"

All Kanye-related accolades aside, the night really belonged to President Barack Obama, who dazzled the 7,000 party goers with a heartfelt speech about how thankful he is for the work the young people put in to get him elected. [MTV]

Aziz Ansari's Glow in the Dark tour came through NYC earlier this month. He played four shows at Comix. Before the shows, Aziz was telling Gothamist about how much he loves to read Kanye West's blog, so he is surely pretty excited about the post.

Aziz's still-untitled new TV show with Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones premiers on NBC on Thursday, April 9th.

Kanye West is thinking about posing naked.

Peter Bjorn and John

"...Europe's finest musical 3-piece, Peter Bjorn and John, release their new album Living Thing on Almost Gold Recordings/StarTime International on March 31st 2009. Produced by the band and Lars Mårtén, who also had the control of the mixing dials, the album was recorded in 2008 in Stockholm, New York City and Los Angeles with an unprecedented level of input from the band and reflects the musical tastes, influences and personality of each individual member more than any previous PB+J album. The first taster "Lay It Down" sets the stage for an album full of perfectly crafted gems, all of which carry the distinctive sound that has come to define the trio. From the moment the album opens with the minimalist groove of "The Feeling" to the childlike hook of "Nothing to Worry About," PB+J have created a thoughtful, finely tuned follow-up to Writer's Block that combines the unique strengths and talents of each musician to ultimately find the band at their most adventurous and cohesive.

In addition to recording Living Thing last year, PB+J released a low-key and mostly instrumental album Seaside Rock and lead singer Peter Morén released his solo album The Last Tycoon. Björn Yttling was also quite busy producing other artists, including Lykke Li, Sahara Hotnights, The Feeling and Primal Scream.

Primal Scream will play Webster Hall in NYC on March 28th, and since that show was announced, it has come out that Primal Scream will also appear at SXSW in Austin a few days earlier. Also appearing at SXSW this year: Peter Bjorn and John, and it can't be long before they also announce a NYC show.

I posted that new Peter Bjorn and John track, and its accompanying funny video, last month. That "Shut the Fuck Up" song is actually called ""Lay it Down" and will be track #8 on the album (thx japple26). The MP3 Kanye West posted on January 6th is also on the new album. Kanye modestly wrote:

WORLD PREMIERE ... THEY SENT THE SONG TO ME FIRST! PETER BJORN & JOHN... SHIT IS DOPE!! DRUMS ARE CRAZY AND I LIKE THE KIDS ON THE HOOK. THERE NEW ALBUM IS CALLED "LIVING THING" ..... WITH ALL THAT SAID I DON'T KNOW THE NAME OF THE SONG... LOL!!!... I'M GONNA ASSUME IT'S CALLED, "NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT"
"NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT" is the name of track four. Full tracklist, and all tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Peter Bjorn and John's new album, an MP3, Kanye West, Primal Scream, SXSW & other tour dates"

by Ryan Barkan

Cloud Cult

10. CLOUD CULT: "LUCKY TODAY" - ESURANCE.COM
It's a music video! It's an ad! It's a music videad! It's the band Cloud Cult, fully animated in a TV spot for Esurance, but there isn't a sales pitch to be found. The Minneapolis psychedelic-pop band had traditionally shunned marketers, but the DTC insurance company won them over with some hard-fought green credentials. The result is a charming spot that not only fits in with the visual style of the band, but also features one of Cloud Cult's best songs.
[Ad Age Ad Songs of the Year]
This commercial came out late in 2008...though I think I only saw it one or two times. But thanks to an increase in rotation (January is the busiest month for car insurance!) partially influenced by the above placement in Ad Age, Esurance's Cloud Cult cartoon commercial has been on TV heavily over the past few weeks. The band shows up as animated characters in what comes off more as a music video for their 2005 song "Lucky Today", than as a sales pitch for insurance. A quick jump to Esurance's website and you can find a special Cloud Cult microsite where you can watch the commercial, stream/download a few songs, read why the band finds similarities in their and Esurance's love for being green, and learn how to be more eco-friendly.

According to SoundScan, the band sold more individual digital downloads of "Lucky Today" (1,400) in the last week than they usually sell in a month from all albums...combined.

Other Notable Licensing News:

RadioheadRadiohead gave gratis (aka free) permission to the National Coalition For The Homeless to use the song "MK1" in a spot that attempts to show homelessness can happen to anyone. (via Songs For Soap). This was their first commercial license ever. Watch the spot below.

Michael Stipe was cool with giving a gratis license for Amnesty International to use REM's "Until the Day Is Done" in a powerful new spot. Watch that below as well.

"In fact, it seems like the one thriving corner of the music business is ad placement. The only people making any money are the artists landing their songs in TV commercials and the royalties that come along with that, so the most successful bands this year will be the ones whose songs are most conducive to selling shit. Which means that Santogold is your Artist of the Year for 2009. Once the shampoo companies find out about 'I'm a Lady', forget about it. It's a wrap." [Tom Breihan in the new L Magazine]

Santogold says 'aha' a lot in the new commercial for the Samsung Pixon phone with her song, "Say Aha". Watch it here.

Audi goes old school in the new spot for the Q5, breaking out Woodie Guthrie's fun "Car Song."

Another car manufacturer went NOT-old school - Volkswagen stayed local (German) with the Berlin electro-group Team on their new (clearly inspired by the movie The Matrix) spot for the Golf. Watch below.

Vancouver band, Readymade, has a song used by Unilever in their new Sun spot, highlighting "Human Potential."

Apples in StereoI'm addicted to Diet Pepsi. It's my friend-mesis. Pepsi has rebranded my favorite drink and its overall image with a new "smile" logo. The brand launched its commercial campaign with a spot featuring the music of The Apples In Stereo (Via YANPicasso).

Papa John's sponsored an NCAA football bowl game last month. During said bowl game, the pizza maker debuted a commercial celebrating their 25th anniversary featuring Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".

John Lennon may not be alive, but that didn't stop Yoko Ono from lending his voice to a good cause. Watch the OLPC PSA below.

Walmart promotes the football season with a commercial using Queen's anthem "We Will Rock You".

Fashionista Kanye West is teaming up with one of his favorite designers, Luis Vuitton, to create six shoes for the brand. You may have also noticed Kanye's song "Flashing Lights" in the Season 6 promo to the F/X channel's show "Nip/Tuck". Commercial below.

continued, with videos, below...

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing"