Did you happen to wake up this morning thinking You know what would really get me through this week is if a buoyant IDGAF Beyoncé banger leaked? Good news, then! "Grown Woman" — the track that Miss Knowles has already been playing on her Mrs. Carter world tour, and that appeared, in snippet form, in her Pepsi commercial — has now entered the world in full.
There's still no official word on any thing to do with the fifth Beyoncé album, and so no certainty that "Grown Woman" is even on it. But what is a sure thing is that "Grown Woman" is here, right now, for you to rock with. Produced by Timbaland and co-written by The-Dream, it's a joyous little shoulder-shake affair, all chutzpah and freedom and sex-pace preferences. ("I can be bad if I want / I can say what I want / I can live fast if I want / I can go slow all night long.") When titans like Beyoncé release lead singles, they're supposed to be world-changing, face-melting, traditions-of-music-history-shattering affairs. And if "Grown Woman" does end up being that lead single, we'll have to scrutinize it as such. For now, though, we get to enjoy it in the fuzzy comforts of lowered expectations.
Bowie's new video depicts, among other things, priests partying and a touch of stigmata; as you might have expected, the Catholic League was not amused. Writes the League's prez Bill Donohue, "The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women ... in short, the video reflects the artist — it is a mess." I might be reading this wrong, but is it at all possible — considering the strangely jovial and florid word choices above — that Bill Donohue is all aggy right now because his MP3 blog never took off?
Bob’s Burgers, Fox’s cutesy (in a good way) cartoon comedy, flattened Annie Clark out to 2D, and had her sing a jaunty punk-rock tune about good girls going bad (but like, by fighting with their moms, not by rolling blunts on the top of their security guard’s heads). You know, when I was a younger man, the best parts about being a rock star seemed like it would be all the girls and the money and the free cheese pizzas. These days, though, it's more these kind of things — getting a fun animated version of yourself; you know, something you can frame and hold in your hands, and one day look back and reflect on — that seem to be the real perks. And now if you'll excuse me, I have some milk to warm.
After the Grammys it's the Grammys After-Party and after the Grammys After-Party it's the um, Post-Grammy News Roundup. One of these things is not as inherently scintillating as the others! But please, read on: It's been less than 48 hours since the big bash, and already all manner of mind-boggling music-biz news is brewing. Who'll be the big winner at next year's Grammys (if it wasn't for the fact that the Grammys' super-strange cut-off period means the big winners in 2014 will be people who put out music in 2012)? Let's find out!
The illustriously shirtless Trey Songz — the R&B paramour behind such bedroom jams as "Love Faces," "Neighbors Know My Name," and "I Invented Sex" — is making his movie debut this weekend in Texas Chainsaw 3D, the latest installment of the pluckily resilient horror franchise. This time, a young lady road-trips with her friends to a small Texas town to claim a mysterious inheritance from a newly discovered grandma, and — surprise! — Leatherface shows up to do some chainsaw massacrin'. Songz plays the young lady's boyfriend, and is barely in the trailer ... although he does get to drop an instantly immortal line of dialogue: "Look like Granny liked to play a little pool." And, somehow, it all makes perfect sense: There's something about the lasciviousness of Songz and the human-skin-mask-making of 'Face that just goes together. And so the primary question going forward is: Which R&B heartthrob should go the slasher flick route next? A few suggested pairings, below.
On their brilliant 2008 debut Antidotes, Brit whiz kids Foals went all breathless math rock, smashing through a jumble of jerky riffs as fast as possible, as if at any minute they were gonna get called down for dinner. In 2010 they came back with Total Life Forever and blew enough spacey epicness into their jams that they ended up in an Entourage commercial. Now, with third album Holy Fire, front man Yannis Phillippakis explains, they're going Curtis Mayfield: "[O]nce the four-to-the-floor, hi-hat indie disco stuff's dead and buried with a chain of garlic around its neck, that feels like a really fertile place to go."
June has been a strange month in Los Angeles, with Lindsay Lohan crashing rented Porsches and the Kings winning the Stanley Cup. But nothing was as rare and fleeting as the situation the co-hosts of the Hollywood Prospectus Podcast found themselves in last week. Not only were we in the same place at the same time, but fellow cultural scribbler Rembert Browne was there to boot. So we did what any three able-bodied young men would do in a similar situation: We locked ourselves in a studio with David Jacoby and argued about the annual phenomenon known as the summer jam. As you'll hear, the qualifications are a little vague — something about car windows and barbecues and a deep sense of pre-nostalgia — but all three of us had strong opinions about our picks for the song of the summer of 2012. Was Chris right about Gaslight Anthem? Has Rembert tapped into the human condition with his love of Meek Mill and Justin Bieber? And is Andy trying to have it both ways by hyping both the mainstream The-Dream and the as-yet-unreleased Twin Shadow? (Answer: yes.) Only time — and the delicate passing of the seasons (tear!) — will tell.
This Bad-era demo will be seeing release on another posthumous MJ album dropping in September, this one a purposefully unfinished collection of odds and ends. According to Jackson’s recording engineer Matt Forger, “One of the main intentions is to show that these are works in progress. To pull the curtain back. To actually see Michael in his natural work environment, how he directs, his sense of humor, his focus ... His spirit and emotion are totally there. He knew in demos he didn't have to be totally perfect in his execution. So he'd be loose. He'd throw in ad libs and dance or sing or pop his fingers or clap his hands. You just hear him enjoying himself.” Sounds great: Instead of trolling for one more radio hit, as they did with 2009’s Michael — where Akon was pulled in to awkwardly plug in the many holes of maligned lead single “Hold My Hand” — the MJ estate now seems cool with just letting this stuff out, letting it be prodded and poked just as it is. More of that, please.
DJ Khaled featuring Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lil Kim, and Nicki Minaj, “Take It to the Head”
DJ Khaled’s talent at collecting all-star posse cuts is directly inversely to his talent at making promo videos where he looks badass. Exhibit A: To push his new single, he got a speedboat and headed out into the ocean and filmed himself, but the swaggiest thing he does is ask some lady offscreen to hand him a Gatorade. Then he dives into the ocean with his shoes on. Those are ruined now!
Is it weird that The-Dream uses the spelling of the word “rock” so closely associated with his former Def Jam boss Jay-Z? Yes, sort of. In response, Jay-Z should make a song about how good he is at doing sex.
1. James Blake and Bon Iver, "Fall Creek Boys Choir"
Indie-rock power couple James Blake and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon announced their union just last week, but we already get a taste. “Fall Creek Boys Choir” — featuring Vernon’s falsetto over a skeletal Blake piano run, and also some dog bark type noises — is as predictable as it is perfect. According to the never-wrong YouTube information box, it’ll be followed, in October, with something called Enough Thunder.