Tim Burton has directed his second Killers video, “Here With Me” (he also directed “Bones” in 2006). Bonus points for blonde Winona. My favorite part is (obviously) the final scene, in which Gloomy Black-Swaddled Hero and Winona become a pair of bald candle people (or bomb-heads, maybe). Taking inspiration from Mad Love for a Killers video kind of makes me wish that Mr. Brightside had been less Moulin Rouge!, more Un Chien Andalou. I demand more sea urchins and severed hands in my music videos immediately!
• A Lannister always pays his tab: I see no real reason why there isn’t a themed beer for every occasion, and Game of Thrones is as good a place as any to start. The four-beer series from HBO and Brewery Ommegang begins with the introduction of Iron Throne Blonde Ale for Season 3’s premiere at the end of March. I think this sounds much more promising than Tru Blood Beverage, the flavor of which Bon Appétitdescribed as “orange soda/Fresca suicide."
Every year, hordes of overly spirited musicians try to capture Christmas cheer in the studio. While there are some artists who can, in fact, create a respectable modern-day holiday tune, it’s safe to say that they’re few and far between.
Many holiday enthusiasts fail in attempts to cover songs from the Christmas canon, performing lackluster versions of songs such as the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmastime Is Here” or “The Little Drummer Boy” for the millionth time. For the most part, these have nothing new to offer.
Others, knowing they can’t top Burl Ives or Brenda Lee, try to create their own original holiday songs. A select few of these brave souls actually do it right. Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis” and more recently some of Sufjan Stevens’s prolific holiday tidings provide two contemporary examples. Everyone else? Their efforts fall somewhere between getting coal in your stocking and Santa blowing out your eardrums.
Being the holiday sadists that we are, we decided to seek out the worst of the worst contemporary holiday originals. To do so, we used the following criteria:
Here's 2 Chainz, telling Complex about his relationship with his new mentor Kanye West: "I’m not officially signed, paperwork-wise, to G.O.O.D. Music. But I have a great rapport with 'Ye. He called me before Watch the Throne came out. I’m an only child. I've got trust issues. So I don’t have a best friend, a brother, sister — nothing. Stuff was happening in my life that I couldn’t tell nobody. I didn’t have anybody in my life that I could tell, like, "'Ye just called me." Okay, reality show pitch: 2 Chainz's My New BFF?
The most celebrated rock band of 2012, at least critically, is Japandroids, a Canadian duo that, in the words of Chuck Klosterman during a recent B.S. Report, “synthesize[s] the best parts of classic rock and makes it the whole song.” It’s a sped-up style perfectly suited to our short attention span times, an era in which the very idea of seeding an album with “difficult” deep cuts seems almost as fossilized as the idea of an album. But Japandroids are neither the first nor the best purveyors of Fast Forward Rock. That distinction goes to the Killers, the glittery Las Vegas quartet that returned to the stage last night in New York City.
The hiatus is officially over. The Killers announced today that they'll drop Battle Born, their first album since 2008's Day & Age, on September 18. And to mark the occasion, the band has delivered a brand-new jam, "Runaways," full of all the epic aw-shucks-iness we've come to expect. Hooray!
This week on the Hollywood Prospectus podcast, Andy and I welcome back the creeping dread and heathen chemistry of Breaking Bad (3:55). Is this the best show on television right now? Well, it certainly is "right now" (sorry, Newsroom). But what is it that makes Vince Gilligan's profoundly dark, very contemporary vision of teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White so compelling? We get real interior with it to find out. We also take shots at Skyler's breakfast-making skills.
Andy and I then moved on to the big screen (25:48), discussing two newish movies — Magic Mike and Margaret — that are sort of antidotes to the cape, mask, and sequel flicks that are currently flooding the multiplexes. Though if memory serves, there might have been some mask action in Magic Mike. It's hard to recall.
We also chatted about the instant reaction to Frank Ocean's Channel Orange (39:50) album (with a quick detour through Radiohead's latter-day catalog), the new single from The Killers (43:30), and the awesome-looking cover art and awesome-sounding tracklisting for Rick Ross's God Forgives, I Don't (47:30). We wrapped it all up with a trip to the Double Down Book Club (sort of), touching on Willy Vlautin's Northline (49:15). Throw on some headphones and unleash the interiority!
Pusha T feat. Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, and Liva Don, “Ooh”
This song is a billion times better than “Trouble On My Mind,” the last track on which Tyler and Pusha got together, and that is due in large part to Odd Future afterthought Hodgy Beats, whose dope opening verse shouts out both The Most Dangerous Game and Watchmen." Meanwhile, Push turns in his second-greatest reference to opera. (The first is from here, obviously: “Riding Chevys give us room to reload choppers / Gourmet beef, servin’ niggas filet Oscar / so many bitches screamin’, we should promote operas.”) That dude is great at rapping.
A headline from Sunday’s New York Times "Arts & Leisure" section: "Chris Martin of Coldplay Asks: What Would Bruce Do?" In the article, Martin explains he’d been “watching a lot about Darkness on the Edge of Town” and other “real albums” in preparation for Coldplay’s latest, Mylo Xyloto; he also calls Springsteen, along with Jagger and Bono, one of his “great teachers.” So Martin’s caught the Bruce bug! It’s really been going around. In the last five years or so, both pup bands like the Gaslight Anthem and the Hold Steady, as well as megastars like Lady Gaga and the Killers, have recorded albums inspired by Bruce (reportedly, at some point during the Sam’s Town promo tour, for a minute or so, Brandon Flowers actually managed to convince himself he was Bruce Springsteen). Now, it’s Coldplay’s turn.