Duran Duran Hub




MUSIC NEWS: Sigur Rós, R.E.M., Kele, Tegan and Sara, Kylie Minogue, Little Boots, Duran Duran, Patrick Wolf, Feist, Ellie Goulding

Sigur-Rós

BY NORMAN BRANNON

Guestblogger 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.

EXTENDED PLAY:

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-1982-2011R.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 HunterKele 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.

SigurRos InniSigur 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.

Get-AlongTegan & 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.

THE DISPATCH:

KylieRoad 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."

Road 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-loveRoad 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.

Road 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.

Black-cardsRoad 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.

Road 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."

Road 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.



Supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Eva Herzigova Play Duran Duran in 'Girl Panic': VIDEO

Girlpanic

Jonas Akerlund's new video for Duran Duran is a MAJOR hot Supermodel flashback.

Watch "Girl Panic", AFTER THE JUMP...

Campbell

Continue reading "Supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Eva Herzigova Play Duran Duran in 'Girl Panic': VIDEO" »


What do Duran Duran, Kelis, and David Lynch Have in Common?

Duranduran

This strange and stunning performance of "The Man Who Stole a Leopard" at last night's "Unstaged" concert in Los Angeles. It was directed by Lynch and is punctuated by various Lynchian oddities like floating heads and an animated radio.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "What do Duran Duran, Kelis, and David Lynch Have in Common?" »


MUSIC NEWS: Jennifer Hudson, Pet Shop Boys, Kelly Clarkson, Faithless, Panic At The Disco, Duran Duran, Derrick Carter

Jennifer-Hudson

NORMAN BRANNON

Guestblogger 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.

ESSENTIAL NEW MUSIC:

Jennifer-Hudson-I-Remember-Me Jennifer Hudson I Remember Me (Arista)

For Jennifer Hudson to begin her sophomore album with the lyric "I've been through some things" is to point out the obvious. If by "some things" she is referring to getting married, giving birth to her first son, dropping five dress sizes, and then having to mourn the murders of her mother, brother, and nephew — allegedly at the hands of her estranged brother-in-law — then, by all means, she's been through it. But while tragedy does not cast a pall over I Remember Me, it certainly informs it: Hudson's performance is more pointed and determined than ever before, whether she's in swagger mode ("I Got This"), retrospective mode ("I Remember Me"), or self-assuring disco anthem mode ("Everybody Needs Love"), and it's this newfound urgency that takes her into even higher levels of artistry. Still, it's almost impossible to ignore the naked sentiment behind re-recording Natasha Bedingfield's "Still Here" and Brooks & Dunn's "Believe" — two songs that both, in their own way, attempt to bridge the gap between loss and healing. Hudson might still be somewhere in between the two, but this album's sheer faith and optimism clearly point towards the light.

The_Most_Incredible_Thing Pet Shop Boys The Most Incredible Thing: Original Score (Astralwerks/EMI)

It turns out that the conception that Pet Shop Boys are "composing a ballet" is somewhat misleading: The score for The Most Incredible Thing, which comes out this week as a double-disc collection, is not exactly The Rite of Spring. Which means that while the opening "Prologue" begins with an orthodox orchestral movement that Stravinsky may have even smiled upon, convention is quickly subverted by the album's second minute when "The Grind" introduces a Kraftwerk-for-choreography motif that goes on to dominate the mostly instrumental set. It's a stylistic maneuver that is both consistent and consistently baffling — the opening waltz of "The Risk" somehow makes way for a spell of pulsing guitar rock, while "The Challenge" finds itself somewhere between Pet Shop Boys, a Paris is Burning runway soundtrack, and Star Wars composer John Williams — and yet there's a never a sense that Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have lost control. On the contrary, it's their ability to express restraint amid the necessary histrionic musical moments that makes The Most Incredible Thing actually quite incredible. The physicality of a Pet Shop Boys record has always been there, but without Tennant's vocal, the band's otherwise linear, emotive narrative has all the freedom to become a little bit unhinged — primal, even.

THE DISPATCH:

Omd_march2011Road So what happened at this year's South by Southwest? A crane fell into the audience at an OMD show, a riot broke out at a secret reunion show for Death From Above 1979, and Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel struck a female audience member after she hit him in the face with ice and spit on him. Unreal.

Road Kelly Clarkson's forthcoming fifth album is complete, but according to the singer, it will not see the light of day until September. "I realize that's a long time," she says, "but that's the best time to release it apparently." Details about the album are scarce, but we do know that Clarkson has recorded a version of Eric Hutchinson's blues-tinged "Why Don't You Try."

Road UK house icons Faithless have announced that, immediately following their last scheduled show on April 8 in London, the group will disband. In an official statement prepared by the group, Maxi Jazz explains, "After 15 years and six albums, I think we've probably made our collective point by now and that it's time to close the book and return the library." The band's final album, The Dance, was released last year.

Teddybears-band Road Sweden's Teddybears have rereleased a song from 2010's Devil's Music with a new singer: The freshly revamped "Cardiac Arrest" features Robyn on vocals and is available from iTunes now.

Road In 1983 Queen singer Freddie Mercury collaborated with Michael Jackson on at least three songs — only one of which, "State Of Shock," was ever released. (A Mercury-less version became a top-ten hit for the Jacksons in 1984.) This week, Queen's Roger Taylor confirms that the tracks are currently being "worked on," but declines to expand on any further details for a release. "I'm not allowed to say too much about it," he told NME, "but they sound incredible."

Ellie-goulding1 Road Ellie Goulding recently returned to BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge for a session, and as is the custom on the show, she performed a never-before heard cover: Check out Goulding's version of The Knife's "Heartbeats" — which, if you'll remember, was also given a very different, but effective acoustic treatment by José Gonzalez in 2006.

Road Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn has announced his latest project: Doctor Dee is a new piece of musical theater based on "the life of the 16th Century alchemist, astrologer, and spy John Dee," and is set to premiere in July. Albarn will write and star in the show, which has been scheduled to run at the English National Opera.

Road Back in January, the legendary songwriter, musician, and producer Nile Rodgers disclosed that he had been fighting an "aggressive cancer" since October, saying, "everything in my happy-music universe imploded." This week, however, we're happy to report that the happy-music universe is back in business: Rodgers' latest test results are cancer-free.

COMING OUT:

Panic vices Of all of the post-Pete Wentz guyliner bands, Panic at the Disco always stood out for their elaborate instrumentation, verbose song titles, and dramatic sense of style. They also made an incredibly underrated album in 2008 called Pretty. Odd., which showcased a newfound love for British invasion bands like the Kinks and primed Panic well for life after emo. This week, they release Vices & Virtues — their third album overall and first as a duo, following the departure of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker in 2009. Whatever it lacks in consistency is made up for in experimentation, which one can only assume is the only way to go when half your band finds the door. Songs like "The Calendar" and "Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)" recall the best parts of their first two records without too much nostalgia, but Vices is, at its core, seemingly more of a transition record than an endpoint.

Duran-Duran-All-You-Need-Is-Now Duran Duran's last record — produced primarily by Danja and Timbaland — was, to be honest, a bit out of their lane. Which is part of the reason why their Mark Ronson–helmed thirteenth album, All You Need Is Now, really delivers: The title track is indicative of the album's overall intent, balancing modern electronic aesthetics with classic Simon LeBon hooks that wouldn't seem out of place on a classic Duran Duran album. (One of its most successful bids, "Girl Panic!", is really only once-removed from "Girls On Film" — which, to be honest, probably needed a modern successor anyway.) Guest spots from Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic, Kelis, and Arcade Fire's Owen Pallett round out the effort, which — despite its digital release in December — finally sees its physical release today.

Derrick_Carter-Fabric_56-2011 In spite of the circuit haze of Peter Rauhofer and Junior Vasquez, Chicago's legendary (and openly gay) Derrick Carter has been pushing his distinct house style — which he lovingly calls "Boompty" — as a DJ, producer, and record label impresario for more than twenty years. This week he releases a 17-track mix for London's Fabric DJ series featuring Chicago staples like Justin Long, Cajmere, and Lego, in addition to longtime likeminded folk like DJ Sneak and Iz & Diz. Clubbers who don't enjoy being clubbed over the head all night with stark-and-dark tribal will find reprieve in Carter's room-enveloping sound.

Also out today: Adam Lambert — Glam Nation Live CD/DVD (RCA), Richard Ashcroft — United Nations of Sound (Razor & Tie), The Strokes — Angles (RCA), Ke$ha — I Am The Dance Commander + I Command You To Dance: The Remix Album (RCA), Green Day — Awesome as F**k CD/DVD (Reprise/Warner Bros.)

SOUND & VISION:

CANT, Solange Knowles & Twin Shadow — "Kenya"

While it's impossible to have predicted what a collaboration between Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, indie darling Twin Shadow, and Solange Knowles — sister of Beyoncé — might sound like, it seems equally impossible to have predicted that it could be this good: "Kenya" is a gorgeous and complex record — subtly melodic, carefully layered, ethereally tribal — in which Solange's performance shuns the melismatic runs of her sister's greatest hits for what turns out to be a humbler, gentler Knowles. Proceeds from the single go to benefit the Replenish Africa Initiative.

Katy B — "Broken Record"

As the go-to muse for Rinse FM DJs like Benga and Magnetic Man, Katy B quickly established her presence in London dubstep and garage quarters with last year's top-five single "Katy On A Mission." Her debut album — also titled On A Mission — is due for release on April 4, and third single "Broken Record" shows the singer dabbling with a more commercial terrain. If it weren't for the sub-bass jungle throwback of a chorus, you'd think Stargate was producing.

The Joy Formidable — "Whirring"

Welsh trio The Joy Formidable recently announced "Whirring" as their debut American single, and as far as introductions go, this is a good one: It's like a noise pop Breeders for people who loved Kelley Deal at her least sedated; it's shoegaze for people who never felt My Bloody Valentine were loud enough. If you're looking to find a more enthralling female rock singer than Ritzy Bryan this year, she hasn't shown up yet.

SebastiAn — "Embody"

SebastiAn is best known as the elusive, but popular electro DJ behind a half-dozen wildly successful singles for the Ed Banger label in Paris, but with this clip — for the lead single from Total, SebastiAn's forthcoming debut — he totally takes a backseat to that magic dancing boy. In terms of can't-stop-smiling potential, this kid rates crazy high.



Music News: Timbaland Massacres Duran Duran, Plus Little House: The Musical, OneRepublic, Spice Girls, Ladytron, Kanye West

Onerepublic

GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning weekly music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

Mediabase, the firm that monitors 129 major Top 40 radio stations in the country, noted that Timbaland's mix of OneRepublic's "Apologize" received a total of 10,331 plays last week, making it the biggest Top 40 hit, airplay-wise, since the company began its charts in 1987. Those not yet completely sick of the seemingly tireless producer will thrill at the fact that the single previously holding the title of "biggest Top 40 hit" according to Mediabase was Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous," which was also crafted by Timbaland.

DuranMeanwhile, today sees the release of Duran Duran's new studio album, Red Carpet Massacre, on which the band worked with both Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. Simon Le Bon and Co. are currently in New York for what was orignally to be a 10-night residency at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, but the stagehand strike has caused the group to relocate to the Roseland Ballroom.

In a statement, bassist John Taylor said, ""We know that some people have travelled miles (if not continents) to see us on Broadway... although there is no physical way to replicate some of the production elements in Roseland that we had in the other theatre - the key for us is the music and we are intending to make it as special as every other night."

In case you've missed it, Duran Duran's 7-minute video for "Falling Down" is a send-up of starlets-in-rehab culture.

road.jpg It was probably only a matter of time... Based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, a musical version of Little House On The Prairie will hit the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis next summer. Says director Francesca Zambello, "Our musical focuses on the independent spirit of the teenager Laura Ingalls Wilder and her struggles to become an adult, alongside the story of the land as it becomes the American West." Tony winner Rachel Sheinkin (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) is penning the book, while Oscar Winner Rachel Portman (Emma) is composing the music.

road.jpg Ladytron have signed a new deal with the Nettwerk label, with a new album due in May.

road.jpg Kanye West has issued a statement about the death of his mother over the weekend.

road.jpg Today the Spice Girls Greatest Hits goes on sale exclusively at U.S. Victoria's Secret outlets and on iTunes. Each member will reportedly nab about $2 million a piece (or £1 million) for appearing as the faces of U.K. supermarket chain Tesco this holiday season.

Here's the commercial which began airing this past week:

Sawdustroad.jpg TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:

The Killers' B-sides and rarities collection, Sawdust.

Alicia Keys' As I Am, which also features John Mayer and Linda Perry.

Taking Chances, the new studio set from Celine Dion.

The Black And White Album, by Swedish rockers The Hives.

Seal's System, on which the singer worked with Madonna collaborator Stuart Price.

Trisha Yearwood's 12th album, Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love.


Music News: Amazon Goes Digital, Plus Duran Duran, Kurt Cobain, Madonna Rihanna, Ne-Yo

Earbud_2GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

Venison, artichoke tapenade and Doritos? I guess at this point we shouldn't be surprised Amazon.com's got these items for sale. And starting today, one-stop shopping at the online store could be fully realized with the launch of Amazon MP3 Beta, a service offering MP3 files compatible with iTunes and Windows Media Player, free of Digital Rights Management restrictions (meaning you can play the tracks on iPods or any MP3 player, use them on multiple computers and burn them onto CDs as many times as you like). Amazon is offering up a library of more than 2 million songs, with their Top 100 downloads priced at 89 cents, while most others are 99 cents. The Top 100 albums are $8.99, while other albums range from $5.99 to $9.99.

Not all artists and labels are on board, though...especially not ones still requiring the DRM restrictions. A search for Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, for instance, prompts a disclaimer noting that while Amazon doesn't offer these catalogs as MP3s, "more titles are being added daily". You're then presented with the offer to go back into the ol'-fashioned Amazon music store, where your Justin or Britney tunes are sure enough available on trusty CD. Just don't forget to throw the Doritos in your shopping cart.

Kurtroad.jpg Duran Duran's new single "Falling Down," featuring and produced by Justin Timberlake, is available as of today from the U.S. iTunes store. The press release for DD's forthcoming Red Carpet Massacre album is up now on the band's official site, which reveals the writing and production credits for each track.

road.jpg Kurt Cobain: About A Son, a documentary focusing on the late Nirvana frontman (pictured left), will see its U.S. premiere at the Los Angeles AFI Film Festival in early November. A year before his death in 1994, Cobain was featured in a cover story for The Advocate. Though he often had a penchant for exaggerating and twisting the truth in interviews, he did reveal the following: "I used to pretend I was gay just to fuck with people. I've had the reputation of being a homosexual every since I was 14. It was really cool, because I found a couple of gay friends in Aberdeen [Washington] - which is almost impossible. How I could ever come across a gay person in Aberdeen is amazing! But I had some really good friends that way. I got beat up a lot, of course, because of my association with them."

road.jpg The New York Post is claiming that Madonna just might embark on a world tour starting late next summer, to coincide with her 50th birthday. This rumor wouldn't be too much of a stretch, given that she'll have no doubt released a new studio album long before that.

road.jpg Ne-Yo has written songs for some of today's young crop of twentysomething divas: Beyonce, Britney Spears, himself. Below is the classy video for his duet with Rihanna, "Hate That I Love You," in which she flounces about half-naked on a bed and he strolls around town decked out like Cary Grant.

200pxgimme_more_2road.jpg TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:

Foo Fighters' Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, produced by Gil Norton, who worked with the band on their 1997 album, The Colour And The Shape.

Songs About Girls, the first solo album from Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am.

Melissa Etheridge's The Awakening, her ninth studio album, and first post-breast cancer.

Sub Pop act Iron And Wine's The Shepherd's Dog.

"Gimme More," Britney Spears' new single. Originally to be released next week , perhaps Jive thought they'd better capitalize on the wave of publicity -- albeit negative -- while they can.

"Tattoo," the first single from American Idol winner Jordin Sparks' upcoming November release.


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