Courtney Love will 'NJOY' herself wherever she damn well pleases.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Courtney Love will 'NJOY' herself wherever she damn well pleases.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Johnny Depp has produced a pirate-themed album called Son of Rogue's Gallery which comes out next week and a few tracks have already hit the web, including this sea chantey called "Rio Grande" from Courtney Love and Michael Stipe (his first piece of music since R.E.M. dissolved.
Walk the plank, AFTER THE JUMP...
VIRGINIA FOXX: North Carolina lawmaker condemns student loans. “I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that. We live in an opportunity society and people are forgetting that.”
COURTNEY LOVE: The reunion of Hole at an after-party at Williamsburg's Public Assembly for Hit So Hard, a documentary about former Hole drummer Patty Schemel.
MARK DUMAS: The only man in the world who can touch (and swim with) a polar bear.
ONE DIRECTION: The hottest boy band in the world hits Melbourne.
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Norman Brannon is a pop critic, musician, and author based in New York City. He presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad and writes regularly at Nervous Acid.
Follow Norman on Twitter at @nervousacid.
It's not every day that you look at the new release schedule for a given week and find out that at least four new albums being issued this week arrive courtesy of artistically venerable — and commercially successful! — artists who are, almost incidentally, openly gay. But what's really interesting is the diversity we find in those four artists: a 50-year-old iconic elder statesman from Georgia, a young man from London born to Nigerian parents, a pair of Canadian identical twins, and a thirty-something-year-old vegan from Reykjavík, Iceland, who sings predominantly in a language he made up. That they're all gay, one might argue, is the least interesting thing about them. That they're all approaching their art with honesty and a certain level of transparency, however, is more significant. It's not that we're "post-gay" — as some might prematurely suggest — but that, perhaps, there is a growing appreciation for the valuable perspective that is unique to the openly gay artist. Being out only adds to this cultural resonance, and it seemed important to point that out.
R.E.M. Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982–2011 (Warner Bros.)
WHO'S OUT: Michael Stipe
ON THE INSIDE: A career-spanning retrospective that leaves few stones unturned, the final R.E.M. collection features 40 tracks — including three new songs — and, if you're over 30 years old, it might surprise you: This band soundtracked your life more than you ever thought possible. To deny the sheer range of influence that R.E.M. has had on American rock music is impossible.
Kele The Hunter EP (Witchita)
WHO'S OUT: Kele Okereke
ON THE INSIDE: The follow up to 2010's The Boxer, Kele's latest EP without Bloc Party is more succinct and a whole lot more confident. "What Did I Do?" — the London dubstep-tinged lead single that introduces us to guest vocalist Lucy Taylor — is a good place to start, while his cover of Q Lazzarus's classic "Goodbye Horses" almost rewrites ownership of the song. Also impossible to ignore: Somebody's been hitting the gym lately.
Sigur Rós Inni (XL)
WHO'S OUT: Singer Jonsí Birgisson
ON THE INSIDE: A double-live album is, in almost all but the rarest of circumstances, a contract-filler or an ego boost. But in the case of Sigur Rós, it's an opportunity: The entire album (and full-length DVD movie) is performed as a four-piece, which brings an almost ascetic quality to the majesty of the original recordings — an equally as satisfying, but differentiated listening experience that reveals how layered these songs really are.
Tegan & Sara Get Along (Warner Bros.)
WHO'S OUT: Tegan and Sara Quin
ON THE INSIDE: After six full-length albums, Tegan and Sara's eponymous band release a full-length concert CD/DVD — including a pair of short documentary films — that span the duo's twelve-year career. It's as earnest as you'd imagine. The live set is something like an episode of VH1 Storytellers, and if you've ever been to a Tegan and Sara show, you know: There quite possibly isn't a better format to see them.
In addition to releasing Aphrodite Les Folies: Live In London on CD and DVD on November 29th — in which she covers the Eurythmics! — the indefatigable Kylie Minogue has also announced a new album on deck for 2012. The singer is currently in the studio to rework a number of her classic songs for a 25th anniversary compilation to celebrate the release of her debut single, "Locomotion."
Ellie Goulding is finally gaining traction on American radio with "Lights," but she's clearly trying to keep the songs fresh: The singer will release a new EP, Live at Amoeba, in honor of Record Store Day on November 25. The four-song set was recorded in April at San Francisco's famed Amoeba Records on Haight Street.
Courtney Love's new version of Hole eggs on Brazilian crowd to chant "Foo Fighters are gay," clearly forgets Kurt Cobain's explicit denouncement of homophobia and high-school-jock-speech. Love later claims, "I'm allowed to use the word 'fag' because I'm a gay icon," clearly forgets that no, she isn't.
A live collaboration between Feist and out Grizzly Bear vocalist Ed Droste — singing "Cicadas & Gulls" from the former's new album Metals — appeared this week, as did the first new Feist remix I've heard this year: London's Clock Opera, who many of you will recognize as That Band I've Been Raving About All Year, transformed "How Come You Never Go There?" into a vintage house cut with electro sensibilities and Salsoul horns.
Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has been playing it low-key with his new band, Black Cards, but this week, the lyricist gets into the studio chair for a big-room remix of Rihanna's latest single "We Found Love." The result? Sounds like he's been listening to Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner lately.
Bright Light Bright Light keeps hustling along until a tentative February 20th worldwide release date for his long-awaited debut album. This week, he offers up some free downloads of '90s-based mash-ups that he constructed for Another Night, his own monthly party in London: Check out TLC vs. Snap's "Rhythm is a Scrub" and Tori Amos vs. Madonna's "Professional Vogue."
UK electropop favorite Little Boots returns this week with the lead single to her forthcoming as-yet-untitled second album, and it's not your typical three-minute pop song: "Shake" is a six-minute floor-filler produced by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford, geared more for the club than for the radio, but conceivably viable for either. If you're in the neighborhood, Little Boots comes to America for DJ appearances in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco this time next week.
SOUND & VISION:
Timo Maas — "College '84" (feat. Brian Molko)
This one, I must admit, was a grower: Timo Maas is a long-time German techno and progressive house producer who came of age in the Global Underground era of clubland, while Brian Molko has spent the last sixteen years as the androgynous, openly bisexual lead singer of Brit-glam stalwarts Placebo. The video for "College '84" is not what it seems at first, but by the end, you'll see why this collaboration is all about techno-sex.
Duran Duran — "Girl Panic!"
Jonas Akerlund is behind Duran Duran's epic nine-minute clip for "Girl Panic!" — in which all of your favorite legendary supermodels of the world assume the roles of the band and the members of the band play everything from journalists to bellboys. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christenson, Yasmin Le Bon, and Eva Herzigova star, while everyone else takes notes.
Miguel Migs — "Everybody" (feat. Evelyn "Champagne" King)
San Francisco deep house legend Miguel Migs released his latest album, Outside the Skyline, earlier this year, and there was really no getting around it: Of all the guest collaborators on the record — including Bebel Gilberto and Meshell Ndegeocello, among others — the return of disco legend Evelyn "Champagne" King was truly something special. This week, "Everybody" gets the buoyant retro-club video it demands.
Patrick Wolf — "The Falcons"
Lupercalia, the long-awaited fifth album from Patrick Wolf, certainly deserves to find itself across any number of Best of 2011 lists, but "The Falcons" is a pretty awesome string around your finger: Directed by Japanese visual artist Noriko Okaku, Wolf's latest video embodies Lupercalia's joyful energy and airborne tenor. It's the visual equivalent of a weight being lifted.
We're all in agreement that the best thing that ever happened to Neil Patrick Harris (career-wise) was the Harold and Kumar films, right? Just as the former child star was coming out of the closet and reasserting his talents on stage and screen, he was also playing a hilariously wrong version of himself: "Neil Patrick Harris" as an oversexed overdrugged womanizer. Having a sense of humor about oneself is endearing and it suddenly didn't matter if the actor was gay or straight, whether he was once a child star or was suddenly a comeback kid. All that mattered was that he always gives the audience a good time. The third installment HAROLD AND KUMAR'S VERY 3D CHRISTMAS, with the fratboy crude tagline/punchline "Christmas Comes Prematurely" opens tomorrow.
ALSO OPENING: Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy team up for the comedy TOWER HEIST directed by Brett Rattner which is not bad but Rattner's recent announcement that he wants to direct the film version of Broadway's WICKED is kind of my personal nightmare as a rabid fan of the movie musical genre; In the documentary CHARLOTTE RAMPLING: THE LOOK the 60s/70s icon and current queen of icy supporting bitches (wow but she's a meanie in Lars von Trier's Melancholia) reveals a "self portrait through others"; Channing Tatum stars in the cop drama THE SON OF NO ONE.
Speaking of Tatum, his stripper movie Magic Mike is well into filming now. The actress Olivia Munn admits she loves to watch her co-stars in action (can you blame her) and hates being off the set.
"Like, right now, I'm mad. I'm furious that I'm not there watching Matt Bomer shake it, because he can shake it, probably better than most people in the world."
Craig, Best Actor Oscar Buzz, and 'Straight Guys for Weekend' AFTER THE JUMP...
The Situation and Ronnie Magro get into a tussle while filming the latest season of Jersey Shore.
Old Navy to start selling gay pride t-shirts to benefit the "It Gets Better" campaign.
Scientists say they've been able to bring back the quagga, an animal extinct since 1883: "It started when a local taxidermist by the name of Reinhold Rau thought it might be feasible to rebreed the quagga using living plains zebras by choosing some of the lesser-striped ones."
Tiki Barber gets heat for Anne Frank comparison.
Courtney Love on Lady Gaga: "She surrounds herself with this coterie of gay stylists and advisers who've turned her into this weird, sexless Barbie doll."
Brad Pitt has marriage on the mind.
Canadian court refuses to reduce the sentence of gay basher whose attack on a gay man left the victim with brain damage.
A heartbreaking article about the some of the abuses the LGBT community faces in Vietnam.
Blackbeard anchor discovered off the coast off North Carolina: "New evidence about the terrifying and deadly tactics employed by Blackbeard is emerging from the diving expedition on the vessel’s presumed remains. The divers have discovered that weapons used by the pirate were not only intended to kill but were designed to strike terror into survivors and force them into a swift surrender."
Colon cancer awareness billboard with the slogan "What's up your butt?" banned in Washington state."
Police have brought hate crime charges against couple who battered and spewed anti-gay slurs at gay men in Palm Spring. One gay man lost teeth in the attack, which started over a parking spot.