Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Plague Releases New Song "Fallen"

The Plague has released a new song in the form a lyrical video called “Fallen”. Check it HERE.


THE LURKING FEAR Launch First Single "Vortex Spawn"

The Lurking Fear has released a new single called “Vortex Spawn”. Check it HERE.


Celldweller Releases New Song "The Great Divide"

Electronic-rock artist/producer Celldweller has released “The Great Divide,” the first single from his upcoming album “Offworld.” Check it out right over HERE.


Montreux Jazz Festival, Where Legends Inspire Young Talents and MONTREUX, Switzerland, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —
Clarendelle, exclusive foreign wine partner of the Montreux Jazz Festival
Clarendelle joins the Montreux Jazz Festival by supporting the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation in its mission to accompany the young talents…


How Jay-Z's '4:44' and Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Redefine Black Love, Fame

A year ago, the idea of Jay-Z releasing his own musical response to Beyoncé‘s Lemonade felt banal. Fans of the couple immediately had reservations as to why anyone needed to hear his side of the story – a story made perfectly clear with his wife’s musical manifesto of grief and betrayal in the face of infidelity

Thankfully, Jay-Z never released that album. Instead, he crafted 4:44, which among other things, is a stunning, raw and mature apology that’s as much an ode to partnership and family as it is an example of how vulnerability can make for truly excellent art.

The album’s title track is the most specific and touching. In the song, Jay-Z notes that the birth of his daughter Blue Ivy helped him change his ways and “see through a woman’s eyes.” In the heart-wrenching final verse, he ponders how he would explain his mistakes to his children, the moment when “the mask goes away and Santa Claus is fake.”

On “Kill Jay Z,” he takes responsibility for the 2015 Met Gala fiasco, when leaked footage showed his sister-in-law Solange Knowles physically attacking him in an elevator as Beyoncé stood in the corner. The event itself was a rare break in the pristine public image the couple presented to the world, and the infamous photos of the trio exiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed Beyoncé smiling, her sister scowling and her husband clutching his unmarked face and notably bruised ego. With class, he admits to egging on the protective younger sibling, noting the bigger picture of his mistakes.

Like his wife, however, Jay-Z is keenly self-aware. He knows that as a black man married to a black woman – both of whom rose from working-class roots to become a billionaire couple – there is a schadenfreude-driven desire from the whitest corners of America to watch them fail. People memed and devoured the Met Gala story for that very reason, basking in the revelation of cracks in their perfect family portrait.

So while Beyoncé gave Lemonade listeners a mystery to unfold by dropping lines about “Becky” – which many connected to the presence of designer and rumored Jay-Z mistress Rachel Roy on that fateful Met Gala night – and hinting at the level of betrayal she felt, she wrapped her personal story in a greater narrative of black womanhood. As many wondered how the world’s most powerful and respected female artist could feel so dismissed, she provided a thesis-level analysis of the ways black women have been forgotten and subdued.

Jay-Z maintains a similar strategy, candidly addressing the reality of his faults between searing takes and advice on how to be black in the business world. It’s the type of perspective that could only come from someone who has risen up in the face of a world that doesn’t want to see someone like him progress beyond the level of a stock character. It’s the same motivation he addresses in both the lyrics and video for “The Story of O.J.” where he plays upon the racist minstrel cartoons that were meant to further subjugate and indict the black community as lazy, among other still prevalent stereotypes.

Together, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have spent their entire relationship countering a public desire to see them slip up and to tear them down. They courted each other quietly in the early millennium, only playing up their fairytale romance for songs like “Crazy in Love” and “’03 Bonnie and Clyde” before marrying with little fanfare in 2008 and keeping their union private for a few weeks before the public found out.

The Knowles-Carters are the rare power couple to make the rumors and gossip about them seem tedious and nearly mythical, sharing on their own terms, and quite sparingly at that. Even the birth of their twins has been shrouded in confusion, their family staying silent outside of a vague congratulations on social media from the newborns’ maternal grandfather. As honest and raw as Beyoncé was on Lemonade, there was still skepticism about how real the infidelity was, with many wondering if she was crafting a supposedly autobiographical story for the sake of an album narrative – a common tactic for artists and storytellers to employ.

Privacy bought them flexibility. Jay-Z’s business pursuits with Roc Nation clearly took off and Beyoncé built herself into one of the most recognizable and celebrated performers in the world on her own terms and with her own team. They made themselves palatable to a world where the opportunities for black performers and businesspeople were still narrow. Their love story became that of the sweet, Southern Christian girl reforming the thug rapper with a criminal record into a husband and a father. They gamed a system built on using respectability politics to keep black entertainers subdued and found a real partnership and connection.

Everything the Knowles-Carter family wants us to know is on Lemonade and 4:44. Beyoncé has not and may never explain her process or her songs further. For an iHeartRadio exclusive, Jay-Z “explained” the meaning behind each song on his album but still remained elusive. He doesn’t even touch the soul-searching on “4:44” but does call it “one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

Beyoncé does actually make an appearance on 4:44, singing the gospel-style backing vocals on the cheekily named “Family Feud,” which directly follows the fateful title track. But the context shows how both have moved on, with the rapper now addressing tensions in the hip-hop community instead of his relationship with his wife. And that is ostensibly the final word he needs to give on where their union stands.

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Neil Young Celebrates Fourth of July With Patriotic New Video

Neil Young and Promise of the Real have unveiled the video for their surprise new song “Children of Destiny.”

The video, directed by Young’s Shakey Pictures, combines footage of recent large-scale protests alongside patriotic imagery like children waving American flags and Fourth of July cookouts. 

“Preserve the land and save the seas for the children of destiny / The children of you and me,” Young sings on the track. “Stand up for what you believe / Resist the powers that be / Preserve the ways of democracy so the children can be free.”

Young recorded the song at Hollywood, California’s famed Capitol Studios alongside his frequent collaborators Promise of the Real – featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson – and a 56-piece orchestra; in total, 62 musicians played on the track.

The rocker and Micah Nelson announced “Children of Destiny” in a celebratory Facebook Live video:

“Children of Destiny” is available to purchase or stream at all major digital retailers and streaming sites. It’s unclear whether the song is a one-off single or part of a larger project.

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Review: Unreleased Radiohead Tracks Provide More Complete Picture of 'OK Computer'

Great records can conjure the illusion of being tailored specifically to whatever era the listener is in. Declaring “Karma police, arrest this man!” alongside couplets like “Ambition makes you look pretty ugly/Kicking, squealing Gucci little piggy,” as transcendent melodies vie with outbursts of anxiety, depression and technological hate-fucking, OK Computer sounds pretty relevant right about now. Over the past 20 years, it always has.

The news of this reissue – remastered to no great improvement over its prior masterful version – is a trio of unreleased songs long-awaited by Radiohead heads. All were recorded around the time of OK Computer; all are unimpeachably first-rate; and yet, all were sensibly left off the original. Nevertheless, they complete the picture of one of rock’s greatest bands cresting their first creative peak.

“I Promise” is a simple pledge of devotion, set to steel-string acoustic guitar with a frosting of Mellotron and some tremendous falsetto swoops by Thom Yorke; drummer Ed O’Brien once likened it to a Roy Orbison song, which is about right. It probably would’ve been too straightforward for the LP, and might have competed with the gleaming “No Surprises” as the set’s crown jewel, minus the emotional bitters.

“Man of War” made a fragmented appearance as a work-in-progress, with slightly different lyrics, in the band documentary Meeting People Is Easy, and has been a mule-kick live number since 1995, when it was known as “Big Boots,” Yorke slurring the “drunken confessions” section and erupting with howls to match the crushing guitars (see the Italian TV broadcast clip bouncing around YouTube). With a trace theme that seems to be about fame’s poison, it would’ve made for a weird narrative fit on OKC. But with its sparkling tick-tock rhythm (Dark Side of the Moon, especially “Time,” looms large), Jonny Greenwood’s swaggering rock-dude guitar squeals, and one of Yorke’s greatest bits of lyrical surrealism (“When you come home, I’ll bake you a cake, made of all their eyes”), it’s an after-the-fact classic.

So is “Lift” – maybe more so, with its gently strummed guitar intro, soaring melodic ascents and tenderly avuncular outro (“Today is the first day of the rest of your days/So lighten up, squirt”). Another song the group couldn’t quite perfect in the studio, it was supposedly ditched for fear it’d become a straightjacketing hit like “Creep.” Fair enough. When Yorke crooned “We’ve been trying to reach you, Thom,” it was both a cheeky nod to Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” swapping the space capsule for an elevator, and the first (thus far only) time he’d used his name in a lyric. It’s an amazing moment, and fans went bonkers when the band began playing it live. One imagines it instantly assumed the proportions of a song one might have to sing to hungry fans for the rest of ones life – a daunting prospect, especially if you’re Thom Yorke.

The rest of the bonus disc is packed with worthy B-sides and rarities from the same period, during which the band groped towards the electronic music epiphany of 2000’s Kid A. You hear hints of it on “Palo Alto,” a sort of krautrock R.E.M. exercise; and maybe most explicitly on “Meeting in the Aisle,” an all-electronic instrumental that was put together with help from Sia’s old cronies in Zero 7, the British downtempo outfit among the mid-Nineties wave of artists blurring the line between rock, club music and hip-hop sample stitching. Soon Radiohead would take that ball and run with it, hard.

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Jay-Z's Mother Comes Out on '4:44' Song 'Smile'

Jay-Z‘s mother Gloria Carter revealed for the first time that she is a lesbian on the 4:44 track “Smile,” with the rapper also opening up about his mother’s sexuality.

“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” Jay-Z said on the track.

“Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take / Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”

Following Jay-Z’s verses on “Smile,” Gloria Carter delivers a moving monologue about “living in the shadows” and her eventual coming out.

“Living in the shadow. Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live? In the shadows people see you as happy and free, because that’s what you want them to see. Living two lifes, happy but not free. You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or someone you love,” Jay-Z’s mother said on “Smile.”

“The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free,” she adds. “But you live with the fear of just being me. Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be. No harm for them, no harm for me. But life is short, and it’s time to be free. Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued a statement praising Gloria Carter’s revelation. “Lesbian women are all too often erased or excluded from narratives surrounding LGBTQ people,” she wrote. “By sharing her truth with the world, Gloria Carter is increasing visibility of lesbian women of color at a critical time and sending a powerful message of empowerment to the entire LGBTQ community that is perfectly timed with the end of Pride Month.”

In a 2012 interview with CNN, Jay-Z spoke out in support of same-sex marriage, the Huffington Post notes.

“I’ve always thought [not allowing same-sex marriages] was still holding the country back,” Jay-Z said at the time. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”

The rapper’s deeply personal 4:44 also finds him apologizing to Beyonce over his past infidelities and lashing out at the Prince estate.

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Beyoncé Partners With UNICEF to Bring Safe Water to Children in Remote Areas in Burundi, East Africa

A family in Burundi, East Africa, after gathering water.  Burundi is in the midst of a water crisis.NEW ORLEANS, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Global entertainer and humanitarian, Beyoncé has teamed up with UNICEF through her BeyGOOD philanthropic arm to announce the launch of BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, a multi-year partnership to provide safe water to the most vulnerable children in Burundi,…


10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors' Picks

Jay-Z, 4:44
Brooklyn’s reigning mogul drops his ego on an album that finds him questioning himself (and apologizing to his wife) while taking a cocked-eyebrow view of the world surrounding him.
Read Our Guide: Jay-Z’s 4:44: A Track-by-Track Guide
Hear: Tidal

The Beach Boys, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow
The latest release from the psych-surf legends’ vaults is a two-disc set with alternate takes from their 1967 albums Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, as well as a slew of live tracks that includes the once-shelved Lei’d In Hawaii.
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
Album Number Five from the Australian super-producer has a guest list that mirrors the charts – Ariana Grande, Migos, Frank Ocean, Future and Nicki Minaj are just a few of the megastars who drop by – and big beats tailor-made for a hot summer night.
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Beach House, B-Sides and Rarities
Fitting into this season’s vault-purging bounty (see the Purple Rain and OK Computer reissues), Baltimore’s dream-pop magicians offer up every previous non-LP studio track they’ve made – 14 in all. The result, unsurprisingly, is another beautifully sculpted, Fifties-goths-in-amber Beach House LP. Which isn’t to say there aren’t surprises like the snarling guitar that transforms the alternate single version of Teen Dream‘s wistful “Used to Be” into something much fiercer. And “Rain in Numbers,” recorded just weeks after the band formed, is the sound of a sound being born. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Kacy Hill, Like a Woman
The debut from this Kanye West protégé stands alone in pop’s crowded field: Hill’s agile soprano has Ariana Grande’s airiness and the unbridled power of the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, and her musical aesthetic combines arena-rock bombast, razor-sharp lyrics and 21st-century minimalism in a way that pays little attention to notions of genre. The DJ Mustard-produced title track (which is absent of an opening “Mustard on the beat, ho” because Hill didn’t want that phrase to open a song about womanhood) is a slip-slide lament anchored by snaps and the occasional piano plink; “Hard to Love” is a plea for reconciliation cloaked in an open-road anthem. The slow-building piano ballad “Clarity” simultaneously recalls Broadcast’s blips, Tori Amos’ knife-edge lyrics and the fist-raising vocal prowess that you’d glimpse when things on American Idol turned serious. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Public Enemy, Nothing Is Quick in the Desert
The politically charged hip-hop collective celebrates their 30th anniversary with a free album packed with incendiary rhymes.
Hear: Bandcamp

Raymond Scott, Three Willow Park: Electronic Music From Inner Space, 1961-1971
Raymond Scott is best known for the quirked-out arrangements that provided music for Bugs, Daffy, Ren, Stimpy and more. As an early pioneer in electronic music, his music and experiments for primitive electronics are no less playful. The 61 sound effects, bubbles, gurgles, poots and twinkles ­– it’s unknown if they were experiments, compositions or works in progress – on this two-disc collection are mostly performed on home-brewed noisemakers like the Electronium, with many tracks bearing names like “Idea #35,” “Nice Sound #3” and “The Sound of Money Being Wasted.” It is raw, elemental and experimental electronic music, but Scott’s cheery, chirpy, wacky energy ensures this historical document of unearthed reels is goofy fun. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Various Artists, Pop Makossa: The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976-1984
American pop star Michael Jackson famously tweaked the “ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-makossa” from Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango’s proto-disco funk bomb “Soul Makossa” around 1982. This collection shows what was happening at the other end of that conversation: the dizzying music that emerged in the Fifties was embracing the burbling basslines of American disco and the sounds of new synth technology. Bill Loko’s “Nen Lambo” sounds ready for the Sugar Hill Gang to rap over it; and Eko’s lively “M’ongele M’am,” which the composer says was a “disco sensation,” recalls the pastiche that was New York’s salsa movement. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Lapalux, Ruinism
Lapalux, a.k.a. U.K. electronic artist Stuart Howard, begins his latest with swirls of orchestral strings that dissolve into synth swooshes and sibilant sylphs. It’s a step beyond his usual R&B abstractions – less James Blake than Burial – but with the restlessness of a stoner determined to rise off the couch. The numerous guest vocalists are obscured in amoebic mixes; on “4EVA,” with Talvi of Toronto’s Prince Innocence, each verse, and sometimes each word, assumes a new digital tone, pitch, style and harmony. It’s a pop fever dream, like much of the set, which has a formlessness that builds remarkable drama. Will Hermes
Hear: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Au.Ra, Cultivations
This cross-continental duo’s second album pairs gauzy guitars with restless loops. The fuzzed-out droop of “Nowhere” resembles a 7-inch by New Zealand indie rockers the Clean played at 33; the gentle pulse of “I Feel You” is accompanied by sparkling synths and a low-end-scraping bassline; and the soaring guitar lines of “Black Hole” add brightness to its blown-out churn. The two-track “Above the Triangle” suite is a longing goodbye and its emotional hangover, with Part II’s gloomy acoustic guitars and swirling echo soaking the listener in sulking. A record made for those rainy days when grey skies turn ordinary greenery into eye-popping attractions. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

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