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Nicki Minaj freestyles with Shaq, Grant Hill, and Kenny Smith watch
Dec 19, 2014 10:35am | Cosequence Of Sound

Nicki Minaj is making the rounds in support of her new album, The Pinkprint. Already she’s performed on Saturday Night Live, Ellen, and Jimmy Fallon, plus sat down with Elliott Wilson for an extensive Q&A. But it was her appearance on last night’s edition of Inside the NBA that proved most entertaining.

Minaj teamed with former NBA stars and current TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill, and Kenny Smith, along with host Ernie Johnson, for a very special hip-hop cypher. Smith undoubtedly stole the show with a surprisingly solid freestyle, Hill flamed out (in true Duke Blue Devils fashion), and Shaq took us back to the golden era of music, aka 1993’s Shaq Diesel. Johnson’s mic drop was also pretty awesome. Watch the full thing in full below.

Marilyn Manson Deep Six Video
Dec 19, 2014 10:33am | StereoGum

The video for Marilyn Manson’s crunching, seething new single “Deep Six” is about an undulating CGI black worm with Marilyn Manson’s face. Or maybe it’s about an undulating CGI black worm who swallows Marilyn Manson. Either explanation seems plausible. Also, that worm swallows a woman who doesn’t have any nipples. That’s pretty much all you need to know to figure out whether you should watch this strange and possibly upsetting video. Good song, anyway. Bart Hess directs. Watch it below.


TEEN & Klaus Johann Grobe list their favorite LPs of 2014
Dec 19, 2014 10:29am | Brooklyn Vegan

intro by Bill Pearis

Klaus Johann Grobe

Swiss duo Klauss Johann Grobe released their second album, Im Sinne de Zeit near the start of the year via Trouble in Mind and I'm pretty sure there's only been a handful of days since that I haven't listened to it. With only organ, bass and drums (and vocals in Swiss-German), they merge krautrock drive and tropicalia's spirit into one of 2014's grooviest albums. You can stream the whole thing via Spotify, and check out a video, below.

The band, which includes a third member on bass live, just wrapped up a European tour opening for Temples and spent most of the rest of 2014 playing festivals and touring the album. Hopefully, they'll head to North America in 2015, we shall see. KJG have given us their Top 10 LPs of the year, telling us, "These couple of records helped us make all the touring a bit more comfortable in 2014." You can check out their list with commentary, below.


Brooklyn's TEEN, who released their second album this year, included KJG's Im Sinne der Zeit on their Best LPs of 2014 list, after being wowed by them at the Netherlands' Valkhof Festival this summer. You can check out their whole list of the year's favorites below. TEEN spent most of their 2014 on tour, had all their gear stolen (and launched a successful PledgeMusic campaign to help them keep touring), and are currently on break...

Pink Mountaintops Asleep With An Angel
Dec 19, 2014 10:16am | StereoGum

Black Mountain frontman Stephen McBean also leads the sometimes-great side project Pink Mountaintops, and they released a deeply strange album called Get Back earlier this year. The French lifestyle website April 77 just recruited the band to release a new two-song 7″. The A-side is a bleary, twangy rocker called “Asleep With An Angel.” It doesn’t quite return the band to the heights of their incredible, underrated 2009 album Outside Love, but it’s a step away from the L.A.-style melted black plastic of Get Back. Listen below.


Torres listed her favorite LPs of 2014, playing a free NYC show
Dec 19, 2014 10:10am | Brooklyn Vegan

Grunge-folk singer Torres wrapped up a short tour with Strand of Oaks earlier this month that hit NYC on 12/4 at Bowery Ballroom. Anyone catch that? That's a picture of her and Strand of Oaks hanging out the NYC show, above. Her next NYC show is a free one, happening January 30 at Brooklyn Night Bazaar with Mainland and Ancient Ocean (aka John Bohannon, who's in Torres' live band). That's her only announced date at the moment.

She also posted a list of her favorite albums of 2014, which (like Strand of Oaks' list) includes her friend/collaborator Sharon Van Etten. (While we're talking about collaborators, both Sharon Van Etten and Strand of Oaks also happen to be J Mascis collaborators.)

Find out who else made her list, and watch a video of Torres & SVE's 2014 single "New Skin," below...

Continue reading "Torres listed her favorite LPs of 2014, playing a free NYC show" at brooklynvegan

Watch Real Estate Play Rarity In My Car In Brooklyn
Dec 19, 2014 10:06am | StereoGum

Real Estate played the Music Hall Of Williamsburg in Brooklyn last night, and they performed Smuggler’s Way obscurity “In My Car” — described by Alex Bleeker as “a beautiful, sephardic tune” — for the first time in a few years. Stereogum reader Joey Garza shot some video from the balcony. Watch below.


43 million Pandora streams of Happy earned Pharrell Williams a measly $2,700
Dec 19, 2014 9:55am | Cosequence Of Sound

Photo by Cathy Poulton

Pharrell Williams “Happy” was one of 2014’s hottest, most ubiquitous singles. It not only set charts and radio stations ablaze, but its corresponding music video went on to spawn countless parodies and even earn the R&B singer a coveted Grammy nomination. One would assume that a song of such caliber one that so heavily defined the year in pop music, as well as Williams’ own mighty comeback would have raked in millions from a streaming service like Pandora, right? Think again.

As Digital Music News reports (via Fusion), an email from Sony/ATV head Martin Bandier tells quite a different story. According to the CEO, a whopping 43 million streams of “Happy” on Pandora yielded only a measly $2,700 in royalties. This translates roughly into $60 for every one million plays. Take a minute and let that data sink in.

The numbers, which come from the first quarter of 2014, paint a dark, dark picture for Pandora. And as Pandora is currently the most used music streaming service on the market, these “Happy” (or unhappy, really) figures cast an even more daunting shadow on the streaming music system itself. For comparison’s sake, a 2013 report noted that Spotify paid a paltry $0.006-0.0084 per stream.

While Bandier’s email is a shocking revelation, it’s one that likely won’t surprise artists like Dave Grohl, Pink Floyd, Thom Yorke...

La Dispute Woman (Reading) Video
Dec 19, 2014 9:51am | StereoGum

The clanging, expressive Michigan post-hardcore band La Dispute released a very good album called Rooms Of A House earlier this year, and they’re heading out on tour in a few months with like-minded road warriors Title Fight and the Hotelier. They’ve also just shared a video for the intense, slow-building “Woman (Reading).” Director Niall Coffey filmed dancer Julie Ann Minaai executing some impressive moves in various locations around London. Watch it below.


Listen To Miguels New Surprise EP
Dec 19, 2014 9:50am | CMJ

Lonely winter kids, rejoice! Miguel has decided to make your week by casually dropping a new 3-track EP onto the internet this morning. The Prince-esque Nwa features a dark leather verse from Kurupt, Hollywooddreams sounds like a cut from Kaleidoscope Dream’s heavier parts and Coffee is classic, catchy Miguel pillow talk. Listen to the whole thing below.

The post Listen To Miguel’s New Surprise EP appeared first on CMJ.

The 10 Best Music Podcasts of 2014
Dec 19, 2014 9:44am | Chart Attack

It was a big year for podcasts. The breakout success of This American Life spinoff Serial finally gave the internet fodder to give a podcast the same kind of obsessive, episodic coverage as True Detective and create an institutionalized canon for the medium. Though it's still mostly known for public radio-style storytelling, comedy and longform interviews, there were a number of music themed podcasts that caught our attention this year. Some are full-time music podcasts, some are other podcasts that found interesting stories to tell about music, riff on new albums or delve deep into music criticism (or, in one case, meta-criticism). I tried to create an even balance in the list below. Even Serial makes the cut.

You can listen to most of the podcasts below. I've also provided links to the individual showpages, where you can download the podcasts, fill your iPhone, and kill some of those endless holiday commutes. Enjoy!

Turned Out A Punk, "Meredith Graves (Perfect Pussy)"

listen to Episode 4 - Meredith Graves (Perfect Pussy) on audioBoom

Anyone who's ever interviewed Fucked Up or watched The Wedge, (R.I.P.) knows&...

DonChristian, Le1f, Rahel, lsdxoxo, Cakes Da Killa & others collaborating (stream), playing shows together & separately
Dec 19, 2014 9:32am | Brooklyn Vegan

by Andrew Sacher

Le1f-associated rapper/singer DonChristian released his album Renzo Piano earlier this year, which features Le1f, fellow avant-rapper Antwon, production from The-Drum's Jeremiah Meece, frequent Le1f collaborator Boody, FACT year-end list maker lsdxoxo and others. If you're into the kind of dark, left-field stuff of Le1f and Antwon, you'll likely dig DonChristian too. You can stream the album and watch the video for its track "Clerk" below, and download it for free here.

DonChristian headlines a NYC show TONIGHT (12/19) at Cameo, which Le1f DJs. Also on the bill is Tigga Calore, Joey Labeija b2b False Witness, Shyboi and Geng. Tickets are still available.

Later this month, he opens Le1f's Kwanzaa show at SOB's on 12/28, which also features singer Rahel (who's on Renzo Piano as well), Boody, Abdu Ali, Juliana Huxtable, Joey Labeija and more special guests. Tickets for that are still available too.

In addition to guesting on Renzo Piano, Rahel also has a song with Jeremiah Meece, and she's featured on that FACT-approved lsdxoxo album, whorecore, which also features another great left-field NYC rapper Cakes Da Killa. You can stream that album below.

Cakes Da Killa also had lsdxoxo produce multiple tracks on this year's Hunger Pangs, and he'...

David Fincher working on Entourage-styled show about 80s music video industry
Dec 19, 2014 9:29am | Fact Magazine

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The director returns to a world with which he’s intimately familiar.

Before directing films like Gone Girl, The Social Network, Fight Club and Seven, David Fincher was a music video director who worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Paula Abdul, George Michael and more.

The budding music industry of the 1980s is the subject of Living On Video, a project based on an idea by Fincher, who is also expected to direct. HBO is developing the half-hour comedy, which is written by Rich Wilkes and Bob Stevenson.

The show is set in Los Angeles in 1983 and focuses on Bobby, “a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic” but ends up as a PA for a music video company. Deadline compares the behind-the-scenes setting to that of HBO’s entourage.

While the script has been completed, the pilot has not been officially greenlighted by HBO. However, it’s not the only music show in the works on the channel: Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter are producing a series about New York’s ’70s music scene.

Spotify reveals the secret to having a hit single
Dec 19, 2014 9:20am | Fact Magazine

Data nerds discover that weirder is better.

Looking back at this year’s biggest songs and aside from the obvious gluteal themes running through hits by Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj  it’s hard to hear a strong similarity between the likes of ‘Fancy’, ‘Happy’ and ‘Dark Horse’

But researchers from Spotify’s data lab The Echo Nest reckon they’ve worked out the trick to having a hit single. In short, to make it to the top, a song should sound different from anything else on the charts, but no so different that it falls off the radar entirely.

The team analysed the audio attributes of over 25,000 songs on the Billboard 100 from 1958 to 2013 to create a new metric called Song Conventionality. They found that songs at the top of the charts are more likely to sound unconventional than songs in the middle.

Songs in the top 20 are the least conventional of any section of the Billboard Hot 100 over time. If a song is too weird its unlikely to make the charts at all, but within the charts it looks like the weirder the song, the better it performs.

The graph shows that the top songs of the past 60 years tend to be the least conventional of the top 10, and in turn, the top 10 are less conventional than the top 20. That certainly seems to apply to this year’s motley crop of chart-toppers who could’ve predicted that a bubbl...

Broken Social Scene share unreleased song Golden Facelift listen
Dec 19, 2014 9:20am | Cosequence Of Sound

For the most part, Broken Social Scene has been on an indefinite hiatus for the last four years, only reuniting briefly for a pair of performances at Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip Festival in 2013 and 2014, and joining forces with fellow Canadian rockers Years for the 2013 single “Day of the Kid”. Today marks another brief spurt in BSS activity, as the band has shared a previously unreleased song called “Golden Facelift”.

Though the track dates back to the sessions for 2010s Forgiveness Rock Record, its only now being released as part of Broadsheet Music: A Year in Review, a compilation album of songs inspired by the biggest news stories in 2014.

In a statement, BSS said “Golden Facelift” draws upon themes of “reclamation and human accountability,” adding, “It is a song we as a band all felt strongly about lyrically and musically and we wanted to give it a proper unveiling when the time was right. We feel that chance is now as this year draws to a close. 2014 has not been without its beauty, but it has also been a year of incredible brutality and all of humanity has a great deal to answer for. As songwriters and creative artists we want the world to know Broken Social Scenes aim is to be a voice that will champion underdogs and the idea of goodness on this planet upon which we all take up valuable space.”

“Golden Facelift&rd...

33 Inside Stuff (Liars Remix) (Stereogum Premiere)
Dec 19, 2014 9:16am | StereoGum

33 is Los Angeles musician Mary Pearson, formerly one-half of Brooklyn tropical electronic psych experimentalists and old-school Band To Watch High Places. She released her debut single “Inside Stuff” earlier this month, and today fellow LA imports and basketball fans Liars have delivered a typically ominous remix. What had been a beat-driven minimal daydream is now a darkly aggressive series of clicks, gurgles, and forward motion. Stream the remix and watch the video for the original version below.


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