Today, Janelle Monae released the video for her song "Electric Lady," the fourth single off last year's album The Electric Lady. The video features Monae as a sorority girl at one of the swankiest Greek life parties we've ever seen, complete with towers of cupcakes, a marching band, and some sort of video-conference center featuring celeb pals — including Kimbra, Estelle, and T-Boz — on screens that we assume are provided by Samsung (there is a lot of Samsung product placement in this video). Anyway, it all looks way more fun than playing beer-pong and drinking out of a funnel.
While we don’t condone violence, it looks like Orlando Bloom officially did something to redeem himself for Elizabethtown. This incident, which we will forever deem “Miranda Kerr? Really?” had a crowd of celebs literally cheering (according to source) after Bloom took a swing at King Baby Justin Bieber at Cipriani Ibiza. Owned. Here are six other reason why Orlando Bloom will always win this fight.
How can you make any sense of a life ending? Richard Nichols, who managed the Roots since the beginning, since before the beginning, passed away on July 17 after a long battle with leukemia (CMML). Rich was 55. Our culture calls for certain forms of expression in the wake of an event like this: We’re supposed to compose a declaration of devotion to the departed, offer testimony regarding his lasting importance, make a simple statement of the sadness that has settled over us all. There is no declaration or testimony big enough to fill the life of Rich. But there is a simple statement, and this is it: There is only one Richard Nichols. I know what ya’ll are thinking: "There is only one of each of us." But it's truer than true in this case.
In the video for "Ultraviolence," Lana Del Rey is a bride. Specifically: a zombie bride, with hints of child bride ... and Priscilla Presley. Either way, it's ultracreepy — especially when a disembodied hand (Jim? Is that you?) reaches out and caresses her face. Cool wedding.
A new 'N Sync album was released today: It's called The Essential *NSYNC, and it's a two-disc compilation featuring both unreleased tracks and greatest hits, as well as some delightfully nostalgic cover art. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have informed the band that the album existed until now. As Lance Bass tweeted yesterday: "I love when the record label doesn't even tell you they are releasing a new 'NSYNC album tomorrow #theycare." (More like Lance Sass, right?)
It's time for part two of our ongoing feature Jack White Displays Emotion at Major League Baseball Games, and today's emotion is: happy! The Detroit-born rock star threw out the first pitch at a Tigers game today, and he looked like he was having a ball (okay, well, up until the part where he actually threw the ball and then he got sad again, but he clearly just suffers from a particularly aggressive form of bitchy resting face). We can't wait for next week, when footage leaks of White looking confused while trying to eat a stadium hot dog.
Every week, members of the Vulture staff will highlight their favorite new songs. They might be loud, quiet, long, short, dance-y, rawkin', hip, square, rap, punk, jazz, some sort of jazz-punk-rap fusion — whatever works for the given person in that given week. Read our picks below and please tell us yours in the comments. Enjoy!
The best TMZ video in quite a while is this one of DMX on a Sling Shot ride in Orlando, one that "catapults [you] out at a force of 3-5 G’s". Genuinely scary! DMX handles it all with courage, grace, and so many of his signature yelps — even when he and his ride companion notice the camera. Don't know about y'all, but I cannot wait for the next DMX single, "Sling Shot (Get It)."
Ever since fans caught wind of Hilary Duff's impending new album last fall, there's been a surprising amount of talk about what it would sound like. Well, speculate no more — lead single "Chasing the Sun" was released just yesterday. Duff's been quiet for more than five years, so we've compiled an audio history of her dozen years in the music industry, from her duets with Christina Milian and Lil Romeo to her "edgier" work with superproducer Kara DioGuardi. Take a walk down memory lane with us.
Did the world demand more jazz from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett? Well, that's what the world's gonna get. Cheek to Cheek, out September 23, will have a slew of classics (including "It Don't Mean a Thing [If It Ain't Got That Swing]," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," and "Lush Life") and one original song written by Gaga called "Paradise." First, their cover of "Anything Goes," done as traditionally as Gaga can — although she does wear a piano caftan at 0:26.
In August, a Bob Dylan album may well arrive in stores concrete and virtual. It may be called Shadows in the Night. It may have a song called “Full Moon & Empty Arms” on it; a stream of the tune was released without comment on his website a couple of months ago. Why Dylan chose to record a cover of an old Sinatra track isn’t clear; it may, or may not, be a clue that the purported album will consist of covers. Dylan has just finished shows in Japan, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia; will head next to Australia and New Zealand; and may or may not be preparing for a swing through the U.S. in the fall.
We think of Dylan in a pantheon of great rock stars, at or near the top of a select list that includes the Stones, Springsteen, maybe U2, but not too many other active artists. But he behaves much differently. He’s released more albums than Bruce Springsteen in the past 25 years and played more shows than Springsteen, the Stones, and U2 combined. Yet he hardly ever does interviews and does virtually nothing to publicize his albums or tours. For someone who seems to be in such plain sight, he remains hidden, present but opaque, an open book written in cipher. Normal questions don’t seem to do him justice. You want to ask: What is Bob Dylan? Why is Bob Dylan? After listening to him since I was a kid and seeing him live for—gulp—nearly 40 years, I think I’m beginning to figure it out.
As readers of our Songs of the Week column know, we are very excited for Spoon's new record, They Want My Soul, which is their first record in over four years. It's set to come out on August 5, but you can hear it in full right now, by streaming it through iTunes radio. It's very good and very Spoon.
Listen while it still exists: The new Ariana Grande song, "Bang Bang," featuring Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, has leaked a day before its official release. Jessie J belts; Ariana attempts to enunciate; and Nicki raps about doing karaoke. It's no "Lady Marmalade," but it's catchy enough to make a splash.
Coming off her Oscar nomination for "The Moon Song" from Her, Karen O realized the people have a real appetite for her singing slight, lo-fi, romantic little ditties. With that, this September, she's set to release Crush Songs, a collection of bedroom ballads she wrote and recorded in 2006 and 2007. That is exactly what you get with "Rapt," the song for which she released a video today. O's husband Barney Clay directed the colorful underwater video, with production design by Her's K.K. Barrett. The song and video together are truly dreamlike, assuming the dream is coming during a Quaalude nap.
It's true: Malcolm David Kelly, who once played the illusive Walt on Lost and the ill-fated Lil Saint from You Got Served, is now one half of MKTO. Tony Oller ("TO") is the other half, and together they've got a song you might have already heard on the radio. "Classic" is insanely catchy, the type of song deserving of the Song of Summer title. What's it like having the power to infect the world with an earworm? We asked the boys of MKTO:
The long-awaited comeback of Hilary Duff has begun — but before you get too excited, you should actually listen to her lead single, "Chasing the Sun." Colbie Caillat co-wrote it, and maybe that's why it sounds like Paris Hilton doing Sheryl Crow karaoke? Let's hope there's more to come. Until then, I'll be clinging to my copy of Metamorphosis.
If you don't hang out on Vine, you've likely never hear of Shawn Mendes. So, here's your official Vulture heads-up on the Vine star, whose self-titled EP hit No. 1 only "37 minutes" after its release. It's now sitting pretty at No. 6, but the rocket to No. 1 (with the help of his 2.9 million Vine followers) probably means you should learn his name, or at least read it once. The Canadian 15-year-old (has your Bieber alarm gone off yet?) is also currently on tour with the equally baffling Austin Mahone, if that gives you any insight into his career trajectory. When he's on the top of the actual charts in a few months, don't say we didn't warn you.
Here's one of the Vines that started it all, a cover of Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me". If you loop it more than two times, you might lose your mind:
Jenny Lewis has always been a bright voice in a sea of downers. She’s moved on from her child-star beginnings (The Wizard!) to become a force for good in the indie scene with Rilo Kiley, and now with her solo career. Lewis is one of the more theatrical songwriters this side of Dolly Parton, and her sugary delivery of even the most heartbreaking lines (e.g., “Crawl back into bed to dream of a time / When your heart was open wide / And you loved things just because / Like the sick and the dying”) elicit visions of sunbeams and sparkles. Lewis’s latest album, The Voyager, is out this week, and since it features some of her most mature, insightful, and humorous work to date, Vulture had to call her up for a chat.
Hip-hop's reigning queen of shade has announced that her new single "Anaconda" will be delayed by a week, from tomorrow until next Monday. She broke the news on Instagram, writing: "My darlingz, I've pushed the release of Anaconda to next week, Monday 8/4. I promise you will understand why before the week is out. Loveeeeeeee uuuuuu." At least she included a racy workout photo to soften the blow. Oh, Nicki, we can't stay mad at you.
Jack White was a busy boy this Saturday: After headlining the Newport Folk Festival, Jack White headed over to Beck's gig at the nearby Providence Performing Arts Center, where he joined his old pal onstage for a crowd-pleasing encore that included "Pay No Mind," "Loser," and "Where It's At." White, thankfully, looked like he was having a better time than when we last saw him, despite the fact that at least three people appeared to be filming the concert on their cell phones (something that pisses him off almost as much as baseball). Watch some of the audience footage below: