Daily Archives: May 6, 2017

Jack White Gives Tour Inside Third Man Records Factory on 'CBS This Morning'

Jack White appeared on CBS This Morning Saturday to give a rare look inside his recently opened Third Man Records factory as well as discuss his vinyl magnate aspirations.

“One day, I want this place to be like what I had heard about Henry Ford wanted for the Ford Motor Company, which was you pour in all your raw materials on this side, and out the other side of the factory pop out cars,” White said.

“We’re close now. The only thing we’re not doing is plating and making the sleeves.” White’s new Detroit factory also boasts “all new presses, new boilers, new hydraulics, new piping. Everything is brand new.”

White’s Third Man Records has earned a reputation for their inventive approach toward vinyl, going back to 2010 and the “triple decker” 7″-within-a-12″ single for the Dead Weather’s “Blue Blood Blues,” with copies now commanding upwards of $1,500 at auction.

Since then, Third Man Records has done everything from a platinum-coated release for The Great Gatsby soundtrack to pressing actual flower pedals inside the wax to a glow-in-the-dark “cosmic slop” release for Carl Sagan’s “A Glorious Dawn.”

“Some things that were gimmicky, some things that were beautiful; anything to capture the attention of people to bring back to the physical product and get away from invisible music and disposable music,” White said, adding that the adventurousness has paid off, since Third Man has always been profitable.

“You know, I sometimes sort of lay in bed thinking a lot of it is a waste of my time. Because I don’t know how much of it really connects and follows through, and especially in the day and age I was dropped on planet Earth, to work in the day and age where people – music is the last thing on their mind after their cellphone, Netflix, Internet.”

In addition to the Third Man tour, CBS This Morning also hosted a performance by the label’s newest signee, fiddler and Jack White touring member Lillie Mae:

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Miley Cyrus Responds to Backlash Over Hip-Hop Remarks

Miley Cyrus has responded to the backlash that followed the singer’s controversial remarks in a recent interview about the current state of hip-hop.

Speaking to Billboard ahead of her new single “Malibu” – which leans closer to country than the Mike Will Made-It bangers Cyrus has released in recent years – the singer said she likes Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” “because it’s not ‘Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock.’ I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock’ – I am so not that.”

Cyrus, who has faced cultural appropriation accusations in the past, was roundly criticized for her new stance on the genre she previously reaped the benefits of.

In an Instagram post Friday night, Cyrus addressed the backlash from her Billboard comments.

“When articles are read it isn’t always considered that for hours I’ve spoken with a journalist about my life, where my heart is, my perspective at that time, and the next step in my career,” Cyrus said. “Unfortunately only a portion of that interview makes it to print, & a lot of the time publications like to focus on the most sensationalized part of the conversation. So, to be clear I respect ALL artists who speak their truth and appreciate ALL genres of music.”

Cyrus also clarified her feelings about hip-hop, saying that she now prefers “uplifting, conscious rap,” like Lamar.

“I have always and will continue to love and celebrate hip-hop as I’ve collaborated with some of the very best,” Cyrus added. “At this point in my life I am expanding personally/musically and gravitating more towards uplifting, conscious rap! As I get older I understand the effect music has on the world & seeing where we are today I feel the younger generation needs to hear positive powerful lyrics!”

“Malibu” is expected out May 11th. Read Cyrus’ full Instagram comment below:

When articles are read it isn’t always considered that for hours I’ve spoken with a journalist about my life , where my heart is, my perspective at that time, and the next step in my career. Unfortunately only a portion of that interview makes it to print, & A lot of the time publications like to focus on the most sensationalized part of the conversation. So, to be clear I respect ALL artists who speak their truth and appreciate ALL genres of music (country , pop , alternative …. but in this particular interview I was asked about rap) I have always and will continue to love and celebrate hip hop as I’ve collaborated with some of the very best! At this point in my life I am expanding personally/musically and gravitating more towards uplifting, conscious rap! As I get older I understand the effect music has on the world & Seeing where we are today I feel the younger generation needs to hear positive powerful lyrics! I am proud to be an artist with out borders and thankful for the opportunity to explore so many different styles/ sounds! I hope my words (sung or spoken) always encourage others to LOVE…. Laugh…. Live fully…. to be there for one another… to unify, and to fight for what’s right (human , animal , or environmental ) Sending peace to all! Look forward to sharing my new tunes with you soon! – MC

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on May 5, 2017 at 10:36pm PDT

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Teddy Riley Talks Honing New Jack Swing, Learning From Michael Jackson

The “New Jack Swing” label is commonly used to pigeonhole a specific strain of R&B – characterized by gun-shot snare drums, cluster bombs of hi-hat triplets and imperious singers like Keith Sweat and Bobby Brown – that was popularized in 1987 and peaked with the release of Michael Jackson‘s Dangerous album in 1991.

But Teddy Riley, an architect of the sound as a producer for Sweat, Brown and Jackson, will tell you that thinking of the term in such a way is both narrow-minded and short-sighted. It’s better to split pop music into two categories: the stuff that came out before New Jack Swing and the stuff released after it.

“All these people that are marrying singing with rap or making a song that’s a rap song into a singing song? That’s New Jack Swing,” Riley asserts, speaking on the phone earlier this week before a talk on Friday sponsored by the Red Bull Music Academy. “You have Bruno Mars; you have Drake; you hear Pitbull? That’s all considered New Jack Swing. A lot of people don’t know and don’t understand. That just feel like it’s their sound.”

In other words, the impulse behind Riley’s work – and that of other producers who were exploring a similar meld in the 1980s, notably Jam & Lewis and Babyface and L.A. Reid – ultimately turned out to be even more important than the sound of the initial fusion. Blending hip-hop and R&B to varying degrees has been a constant fixture of both genres ever since; everyone who engages in this practice is to some degree indebted to the wave of producers who led the charge, including Riley.

Riley spoke with the writer Jeff Mao on Friday in front of a small but adulatory crowd in Manhattan. The legendary producer – who also spent time as a singer in several successful R&B groups, including Guy and Blackstreet – played many roles during the conversation: he was a vicious beat-boxer, a gleeful dancer and a gifted impressionist, especially when impersonating Sweat and Jackson. He was also a fan, happily listening to records he produced decades ago as if he had never heard them before.

But most of all, Riley was an enthusiastic, long-winded raconteur; in over two hours, he only made it from his days with Sweat in 1987 to the release of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” in 1996. Those hoping for stories about Riley’s other productions, his subsequent work as a talent scout and advocate for younger artists – he helped discover Pharrell – and his opinions on the recent rise of period-specific New Jack Swing homage from the likes of Bruno Mars will have to pick up the producer’s forthcoming book, possibly due out later this year.

Here are nine things we learned from Riley’s Red Bull Music Academy talk.

1. Always think about the dancers

“When I came up with [Sweat’s “I Want Her” in 1987], I didn’t know what I was doing,” Riley remembered. “I just knew that it would be very interesting to see people dance to it. And it would be very exciting seeing them really get down, just doing what they want. That’s what New Jack Swing did to people. You didn’t have a certain dance you wanted to do. You just did what came to your mind because of the rhythm of the music.”

2. In a beat, detail is crucial

“All those voices are mine,” Riley proclaimed proudly. He was talking about – and reenacting – the “I Want Her” background vocals. “I didn’t want [Sweat] to keep any of those vocals,” Riley explained. “Back then we didn’t have autotune or pitch correction, and a lot of those vocals were kept from my 12-track [that we recorded on in my apartment].” But the shifting backdrop added excitement to “I Want Her”‘s streamlined, relentless thwack, which still succeeded in animating a room full of people on Friday – almost 30 years after it came out.

3. Never neglect the pre-hook

“What really hooks you in a song is not the chorus – it’s actually the pre-chorus that gets you wound up,” Riley asserted. “Then you sing the hook because you’ve already been hooked.”

“The one thing that I put in my songs a lot is something that’s gonna give people the beat instead of the lyrics,” he continued. “If you hear the song ‘New Jack Swing’ [by Wreckx-N-Effect in 1989] there’s a high sound that goes [makes noise like squeaking windshield wipers]. That’s what keeps people going.”

4. Just because you use a drum machine, doesn’t mean you have to program a beat

“I never programmed ‘I Want Her;’ I played it straight down. I played everything straight down. The Guy album [Guy from 1988] – straight down. That’s why it took so long for a lot of these records to come out, ’cause I didn’t have a sequencer, and when I finally got a sequencer, I didn’t work right for me. It didn’t have the off and on swing that I wanted.”

5. “Hurt the people, shock the world”

Riley spent a large portion of his talk holding the crowd rapt with stories about his time working with Michael Jackson. “Getting with Michael, he showed me how to turn music up,” Riley recalled. “He’d always say, ‘I want to hurt ’em.’ He always would go, ‘OK Teddy, turn up the snare. I want you to really turn it up. The most important thing is the backgrounds – it’s gotta be loud. That’s what I want people to remember.’ So I’m playing the music, and he was just going, ‘hurt me!'”

“I don’t know what that means,” Riley quipped. “But I turned that shit up.”

“Bobby [Brown was the] same thing,” the producer continued. “He just wanted to hear the music like it’s gonna sound in the club. Michael would say, ‘we gotta hurt the people, shock the world.’ I’m just so for that.”

6. When it comes to recording vocals, think about your angles

“One thing about Michael: his pitch is amazing. This is what he’s singing? Everything is the same, each stack; what he would do is move around the mic. It’s almost like a photographer – I want to get different angles of you. Michael would go behind the mic and sing the same stack. He would stack five, six, seven, 10 times. Then do the next note. And everything was the same. It was almost like a sampler.

Doing this with him taught me how to get with other singers and show them how to do their own backgrounds and not sound the same. It sounds like people, instead of that’s just you. It’s about your angles, about your dynamics.”

“Melody is king; do not write your lyrics first. Write your melody and get everything out of that melody to make it do what you want it do. Then write your lyrics on top of it.”

7. Singers should always be practicing

“A lot of people don’t know that Michael had a really deep voice, and a lot of people don’t know why he talks light. Well, the voice is a muscle. The only way you gonna get the muscles is you gotta keep workin’ ’em out. Him talkin’ high is working his voice every day to stay that high. That’s why his voice is so clear when it’s high, and his falsetto is so silky and pure. It’s because he’s working out every day.”

8. Melody is king

“Melody is king; do not write your lyrics first,” Riley said. “Write your melody and get everything out of that melody to make it do what you want it do. Then write your lyrics on top of it.”

Riley singled out Leon Sylvers – a member of the family vocal group the Sylvers in the ’70s who then went on to a highly successful, if still under-appreciated, production career at the L.A. studio SOLAR Records – for being exceptionally gifted in this area. “[He] is probably the best guy that can curve his lyrics to a melody,” Riley asserted.

9. The producer and the artist are fundamentally at odds

Working with strong personalities – Sweat, Brown, Jackson – helped Riley hone a zen persona in the studio. “I’m always the calm one,” he explained.

But really his mood is dictated by the temperament of the singer he’s working with. “That’s the job of the producer: you gotta be the opposite of your artist,” Riley declared. “If your artist is shy, you gotta get their ass up – come on now! Scream at ’em – What!? Make ’em scared, get ’em nervous. They start sweating, their voice gets moist, then they go in the booth.” 

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See Big Sean Tackle 'Hate, Police Brutality' in Stirring 'Light' Video

Big Sean reflects on “hate, policebrutality and just overall people losing their lives too early” in his movingnew video for “Light.” Although the track isn’t an official I Decided single, the rapper largely paid for the video himself in order to spread its important message.

The video centers around three distressing scenes of senseless violence: A young girl killed in the middle of a drive-by shooting, two kids shot by police after their water guns are mistaken for real weapons and a Muslim woman stabbed by a masked assailant.

In each case, however, at the moment of death, a light descends down from the sky and prevents the body from suffering harm; soon after, Big Sean shows up driving a white van and collects the victims before taking them to a vacant parking lot where the entrance to the heavens is located.

“We shot this video a couple months ago and sucks to see these scenes are still consistently playing out in real life… even down to this week. It’s disheartening sometimes to see that not much has changed when it comes to hate, police brutality [and] just overall people losing their lives too early,” Big Sean said in a statement.

“But when I wrote this song, it was to reassure myself that no matter what happens, they can’t take away our Soul, our confidence, our ideas, [and] all that makes us shine. This song isn’t a single but is still super important to me, so I paid for a lot of this outta pocket to make sure we got this out. Rest in peace to all those who have lost life due to senseless actions. As I always say, each one of us have the power to make a change, it starts within… the inner Light.”

“Light” follows Big Sean’s I Decided videos for “Moves” and “Halfway Off the Balcony.”

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DREAMCAR SHARES NEW SONG "ON THE CHARTS"

Dreamcar have released a new song called “On The Charts”. Check it HERE. http://www.nataliezworld.com/search/label/News

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Siriun’s Alexandre Discusses the Intent of the Chaos

Modern death metal act Siriun, have been hard at work upon their first full-length debut “In Chaos We Trust” with releasing a single turned video for “Intent” beforehand. Frontman vocalist/guitarist Alexandre Castellan discusses the single …Read More

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Linkin Park Releases "Good Goodbye" Video featuring Pusha T and Stormzy

Linkin Park has released a new video for “Good Goodbye” featuring Pusha T and Stormzy. Check it over HERE. http://www.nataliezworld.com/search/label/News

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Return with Three Specials on DVD!

My Little Pony’s spin off series Equestria Girls, will be having three specials all included together on one DVD! The three specials are as follows, “Dance Magic”, “Movie Magic”, and “Mirror Magic”. Bonus features include …Read More

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Watch Gorillaz Perform 'Feel Good Inc.' With Stephen Colbert

A week after Gorillaz visited The Late Show to play Humanz‘ “Let Me Out,” the late-night show posted 30 more musical minutes from Damon Albarn’s star-studded project, including the band’s “Feel Good Inc.,” but with host Stephen Colbert filling in for De La Soul.

The rendition of the Demon Days cut starts off normally, with Albarn megaphoning his verses before the music swells in anticipation of De La Soul’s arrival. However, instead of the rap group, Colbert appeared on the Ed Sullivan Theater’s screens, with the host nimbly delivering the rapid-fire rhymes.

Colbert’s performance garnered a nod of approval from Albarn, who applauded the host.

The Late Show visit marked Gorillaz’ first late-night appearance since 2010, when the group played David Letterman’s Late Show and performed a 45-minute Live at Letterman concert. This time around, in addition to “Let Me Out” and “Feel Good Inc.,” Albarn and his band staged a 30-minute “Bonus Tracks” concert featuring Humanz material.

Also on Friday night, on the other side of the Atlantic, Gorillaz teamed up with former adversary Noel Gallagher and Savages’ Jehnny Beth to perform Humanz closer “We Got the Power” on the Graham Norton Show.

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