Archive | April, 2013

Top 5 April Favorites

30 Apr

Pop Jumper April Favorites

It’s the end of the month, and you know what that means (JK, no, you actually don’t): the first installment of my monthly faves! This is self-explanatory; read on!

5. RiRi Woo

The first product shots of Rihanna’s new lipstick for MAC Costemtics have hit the web! RiRi Woo is a signature red shade based on MAC’s cult fave Ruby Woo – this time formulated to perfectly match the rest of RiRi’s capsule collection AND inscribed with her signature on the product itself. Our girl will be exclusively rocking the collection on her Diamonds World Tour, so fans looking to nab her beauty look will be able to purchase all the same products she’s using on stage. For me, though, the cute packaging is enough to make me want it.

4. Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors”

While the video for this song, also out this month, doesn’t really do it for me, the track itself is on virtually permanent repeat on my Spotify playlist. I’m convinced that producer Timbaland must be some kind of voodoo wizard whose power only extends to JT – not that he’s not ALWAYS a great producer (because he is), but whenever those two come together it’s like you know it’ll be a hit before you even have to hit play (Ahem, “Cry Me a River“/”SexyBack“/”Carry Out“)

3. Ke$ha’s New Look

Ke$ha has morphed into a different human…has anyone else noticed this? Why doesn’t she look crazy anymore? Although I’m literally in love with her new look, something about this is unsettling. This isn’t Ke$ha. Who are you and what have you done with our Jack-teeth-brushing-dying-young party animal?

The photo above is from her recent Jimmy Kimmel appearance (she removes her glasses for the interview, confirming that this is, indeed Ke$ha.) Honestly, if you told me the girl pictured was a celebrity, but didn’t say who, I can’t say I’d be able to ID her. That’s really bad for a music writer, but come on! Look at her!

Check out some more snaps from the past few months below:

Also jumping on the natural beauty train this month (and KILLING IT) is honorable mention Nicki Minaj. Peep her in her “High School” video and Elle cover.

2. AFI Returns(!!!)

2006-era TRL darlings AFI are back after a(n unofficial) hiatus. They posted a teaser trailer to their YouTube video after being 100% inactive across all online media for probably about four years. The thing about it, though, is that it doesn’t say exactly what the teaser is for. Some moody black-and-white shots of front man Davey Havok walking down a hallway with a monologue voice over culminate in title screens saying “A Fire Inside” and “September 2013.”

While various music sites are reporting this as confirmation of the band’s long-awaited ninth album, fans on the official message board (YES, my inner 14-year-old AFI fan club member is showing. So what.) are no where near as optimistic. Maybe a tour. Maybe this is a teaser for a bigger announcement in September (does that even make any sense at all?)

Either way, NOTHING is confirmed, so what I’m basically saying is to ignore the shit other sites are posting about it.

As AFI’s number one fan (if you haven’t already figured it out), I can tell you one thing: this band loves to fuck with fans and use social media and the internet to spread really cryptic (literally) messages and e-treasure hunts that almost never lead to where you think you’re going. (I bold-ed that because you should really click on it.)

1. Jay-Z’s 2013 Made in America Lineup

Well, if my GIF post about this wasn’t enough of a giveaway, I am TOTALLY STOKED on this year’s lineup. Might even warrant a trip to Philly. It really speaks for itself.

The Top 5 Quotes From This Interview With an On-the-Rise 16-Year-Old Swedish Rapper

25 Apr

Yung Lean

Vice‘s Noisey did an exclusive interview with viral phenom Yung Lean, who, to me, is really a mashup of Lil B and the 16-year-old version of Ninja from Die Antwoord, if they were also Swedish (listen to my fave track below).

Despite being an import from half way around the world, Yung Lean has used his East Bay influence to his advantage, and nabbed a contract with E-40‘s son Issue’s Teaholics label. Is this even real? What is real?

Given the current climate of hip-hop, it’s plausible this could become a real thing (this is my nice way of criticizing the way the Internet has made it okay for Brooke Candy to exist.)

Either way, this kid is entertaining as F in this interview, and his beats are ten-hundred-times better than Brooke Candy.

Hear him on SoundCloud and YouTube, and read on to get to know him a little better…(keep in mind this is all coming out of a 16-year-old Swedish boy’s mouth. In case you forgot.)

1. On rap shows in Stockholm: “I’m not 18 so I can’t go to any shows.”

2. On girls: “We have plenty of hoes. That’s all you need to know.”

3. On girls in his district of Stockholm: “…they’re into apple cider. They’re pretty lame. We ain’t about those hoes.”

4. On New York City: “Arizona [Iced Tea] was very cheap, so was Koolaid.”

5. On whether he’s “into drugs”: “This is just very awkward.”

Iggy Azalea Signs with Def Jam

24 Apr

Just a quick bit of news in the overnight for you…

Iggy Azalea

My current fave femcee, Iggy Azalea, announced today (yesterday? April 24.) that she’s just signed her first major label contract with Island Def Jam!

After renouncing her mentor T.I. as the tentative producer of her debut full-length earlier this year, it’ll be interesting to see who Def Jam pairs her up with for what’s definitely a long-awaited album. She’s released a few mixtapes over the past few years, but the Aussie babe’s come a long way (literally), and is so overdue for a proper release with major promotional backing.

You go, Iggy!

Pop Stars React to Boston Marathon Bombing

16 Apr

As some of you may know, this is a Boston-based blog.

I’m not here to rant and rave about yesterday’s events, because there is really not much more to be said. A feeling has swept over the city that is really indescribable – it’s something that anyone who has ever been to Boston, or lived here, would not believe. It takes a lot to get Bostonians down, but what matters is how we get back up.

I want to take a little time to acknowledge and thank those in the global community for the outpour of support to those affected, and share some of our favorite pop stars’ messages to the people of Boston:

Find the latest information on the events unfolding in Boston on Boston.com’s live blog.

Quote of the Week: The Thrift Shop Throat Grabber

13 Apr

Samantha Malson

Samantha Malson, the Colorado woman who was arrested for assaulting her boyfriend because he was singing Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.”

My Reactions to Jay-Z’s ‘Made in America’ Lineup as GIFs

12 Apr
Basically how I felt.

Basically how I felt.

So Jay-Z announced this year’s Made in America (his Philly music fest) lineup this week. The lineup itself is old news by now (find it here) – I just need to talk about the way in which Jay chose to deliver the information to us common people.

Because it wasn’t just some snazzy graphic/e-poster uploaded to the event’s website or a press release or anything like that. Obviously something normal like that is just way too basic for Jay.

No, Made in America is the reason that you would have found me glued to my computer for an HOUR on Wednesday afternoon, watching a SPOTIFY playlist populate with tracks from the artists to be featured at this year’s Made in America. YES.

First of all, I was already impressed by the originality of the overall idea. I don’t think anyone has done this before, and it’s cool to see a business partnership work out as being honestly cool and not forced or weird. It really worked for the benefit of the event and showed off Spotify’s capabilities, and that was just really beautiful to me, okay.

Secondly, there was SERIOUS TACT to this. Someone was clearly paid to devise the plan of who would be added to the playlist when. This was not some willy-nilly order and OBVIOUSLY they couldn’t just publish the complete playlist at once.

So this lineup unveiling became an event in and of itself, full of emotion and suspense that effectively makes me want to travel to Philadelphia just for this one event because I already feel emotionally invested in the Made in America brand, you guys.

So here I am, Spotify open, waiting…

Nine Inch Nails was the first to be announced. Last year Pearl Jam co-headlined with Jay himself (kind of WUT), so I suppose NIN is the new Pearl Jam this year. Fine.

Next was Solange. I was basically like is this a joke. Does anyone care about Solange? Are you just doing this because you have to to please your wife? Are these seriously the first two artists you’re pulling out the hat? Give me a break.

Lady Gaga OK

Then a slew of more acts I didn’t care about popped up, like The Gaslight Anthem, Emeli Sandé (Who is she, really? Does the music industry just feel like they owe her something because she won that Grammy?), Walk the Moon, etc.

I was getting real bored, BUT THEN, Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice,” featuring Drake came up and I was like HELL YES.

HELL YES

I LOVE me some K-Dot lately. It was pretty mean to put a song featuring Drake, though, because he’s not on the bill. So what was that. Don’t mess with grey areas like that, I’m already way more emotional than a person who’s just looking at a Spotify playlist should be.

Next was some more indie acts including electronic producer Wolfgang Gartner, who’s pretty dece. I found early on that the trick to getting through this emotional roller coaster was to distract myself by playing the parts of the playlist I liked, and before I knew it, something else I was interested in would pop up. Tracks were added about two minutes apart, so this worked well.

So I was just chillin’ with “Poetic Justice” on repeat when WIZ KHALIFA showed up to the party. Things were turning around.

Tom Felton Very Good

(Yes, that is Draco Malfoy.)

An EDM duo very dear to my heart, Nero, was announced soon after (for those who don’t know – aka everyone – they were the subject of my extremely disastrous first-ever backstage interview at a music festival, but were so insanely sweet and made me feel not like an idiot and the interview turned out totally fine, etc etc etc. It was all logistic error on the organizer’s fault. OBVIOUSLY I have no flaws).

ANYWAY, that was all fine and good, but then another slew of really boring things started coming one after the other, and I was pretty much like, “This is on the downhill,” “What am I even waiting for anymore,” “Was NIN seriously the biggest thing here, like, come on.” Calvin Harris pops as a second-time Made in America artist and I’m just like really …….. this is all you’re giving me right now.

Lady Gaga

Phoenix is added next, and I’m like “Alright. That’s not so bad…FOR A MUSIC FEST IN TWO-THOUSAND-AND-NINE.”

But really, considering how expertly Jay brought together urban, pop, EDM and alternative artists last year, I was happy someone as good as Phoenix would be appearing to represent their respective genre. Good.

Porter Robinson, another EDM artists was added – I started to (and still) fear this this is going to be a little heavy on the “rave”y artists, but I guess you have to follow trends to make money, amiright.

Well whatever, none of this matters because MF-ing 2 CHAINZ IS GONNA BE THERE. When “I’m Different” popped up as I was listening to something else on the list I metaphorically jumped. I mean, I was laying in bed, but in my head maybe I could have done a simultaneous horizontal hover. Or something.

Can't Even Explain

–> –> NEXT WAS MACKLEMORE. <– <–

Cat OMG

HOW COME THEY DECIDED TO DO TWO BIG ONES IN A ROW. I didn’t know, but I was glad things were starting to heat up, because the beginning would have been enough to make me leave and come back when it was over. Except I did have to watch it in real time because my other job was paying me to do that. Aka reporting.

Next, a few more, including: Public Enemy (cool), Queens of the Stone Age (again with the “TWO-THOUSAND-AND-NINE” comment) and Deadmau5 (again with the “‘rave’y” comment).

I want to add, too, that at this point it had been about an hour. When will it end? Where’s the other headliner? Is it supposed to be one of these rappers already mentioned? Is Jay performing like he did last year? Finally, the last artist was added, and…

NOPE.

UM.

NO JAY.

ONLY JUST

MRS. JAY

AKA

BEYONCÉ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lady Gaga Honey B

Then they also threw Miguel on the end and then repositioned the track into the middle of the playlist because they forgot about it! Miguel!!!!! “Adorn”!!!!!

So even amongst all the things I didn’t even mention because I don’t think I care about them, we still have all these great people taking the stage this year, an awesome mix of genres, and an opportunity to get to know the people I don’t think I care about, because they’re probably all great too!

Raise a glass to Jay for saving the best for last, I suppose.

Skrillex’s ‘Spring Breakers’ Score Wasn’t Horrible

10 Apr

In fact, I’d even call myself a fan.

Skrillex Spring Breakers

When I first heard that Skrillex would be scoring Spring Breakers, I cringed. As an EDM fan, Skrillex’s involvement in anything I would have otherwise liked is like a death wish.

Before the announcement, I dreamed of Harmony Korine‘s perfect all-star lineup of Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Selena Gomez shedding their Disney halos as they were pulled into obscurity by James Franco in a Floridian Gummo.

It was supposed to be an epic satire of American youth – a youth that loves shitty rave DJs like Skrillex and Avicii.

So how on Earth could you involve one of those aforementioned musical acts in something that only aimed to make fun of him?

This film is supposed to satirize Skrillex, not indulge him by letting him in on the joke.

The Disney girls were cast because they are part of the culture Spring Breakers examines, and were lauded by the media for taking such “serious” roles and being able to abandon their images for the sake of these characters.

I just couldn’t buy, though, that Skrillex could possibly be self-aware enough to understand his role in the production. That they clearly didn’t want him because he makes good music, but because his music is essential in setting the scene for the exposing the shitty realities of youth culture.

Or so I thought.

Spring Breakers Soundtrack

The thing is, I guess, that I need to give Skrillex more credit. After seeing the movie, he is more self-aware and decent than I ever could have imagined.

Just how the Disney Girls played up their “good-girl” images for years to capitalize on America’s teeny boppers, I suppose Skrillex continues pumping out the horrible, overdone, Americanized “dubstep” at EDC every year because he can still make money (and fans) on it. So why not.

I hope Skrillex fans watch this movie and realize that they are no more than Korine’s characters, except that instead of being actors in a movie, this is real life.

Anyway, as for the rest of the soundtrack, it’s basically a masterpiece. Gucci Mane (who’s featured in the film) and Skrillex tracks serve as the backbone of the album score, which was also worked on by Cliff Martinez (of Drive fame.)

However, the pop hits from Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, M.I.A., Flo Rida, Nelly that are masterfully interwoven into the plot by Korine really put the thing over the edge. They suddenly go from trashy chart toppers to real, honest-to-god, art when inserted into the Spring Breakers universe.

Most memorable of them all is Spears’ “Everytime,” which is now, nine years after its In the Zone release, a part of cinematic history that will be referenced for years to come:

If you haven’t seen it yet, this is a great spot to leave you at and tell you to go pay the $12 to see it at your local cinema. Skip a couple Starbucks and you’ll be even. Oh, and you can pick up the soundtrack here.