Led Zeppelin, one of the very last iconic bands to withhold their songs from streaming services, finally caved. Spotify added the first two albums today and will continue adding two releases per day until Sunday, when the rest of the catalogue will be added. Strange strategy, but terribly exciting for the 450 people who've been waiting their entire teenage lives to hear Led Zeppelin while wanting to do it chronologically, record by record, without paying any money, while also experiencing at least a little of the between-albums anticipation fans must have felt in real time. I guess. (Despite the rollout weirdness, it's great news. If you've got all the Zep records in your iTunes but use Spotify much more [hi!], this changes everything/some of your playlists.)
Drake's current concert tour, which hits arenas in 39 cities across the U.S. and Canada and features Miguel and Future, is off to an inauspicious start, and it's only just begun. More than an hour after Saturday's Philadelphia show was slated to start, the set was canceled because of "an unexpected technical issue" (reportedly a catwalk snafu) and rescheduled for December 18. Fans were upset, having waited for hours (with many having already taken their seats) before being informed to hold on, for they were going home. At least Miguel, artist of the people/artist falling all over the people, went on to perform a consolation concert at another Philadelphia venue after tweeting his surprise that the show had been canceled.
Big day for Miley. Let's start with the above music video, for the silly, fun, insanely listenable "23," her collaboration with frequent producer/rumored bf Mike WiLL Made It, Juicy J, and Wiz Khalifa. It's basically a Saved by the Bell high school party fantasy transported to what one has to assume is the Chicago suburbs, complete with outraged principal and girls' bathroom shenanigans. It's glorious, Miley looks fantastic, and everyone wins. Our girl also had a big cover story out in Rolling Stone today, in which she calls Kanye West her "homie" (he bought her five pairs of fur Céline slippers, she now calls him for fashion advice, he's probably thrilled to have such a willing sartorial acolyte), and reveals she may or may not have been watching Breaking Bad closely enough to "literally cook her own meth." Also, Floyd Mayweather wants her to escort him into the ring for his next fight.
All of this makes one wonder, what could possibly be left for the next Miley Cyrus Day? Probably a hologram, a Virgin Galactic flight, and an eight-part Ken Burns documentary, not necessarily in that order.
"I used to be a way better writer and a rapper when I used to want a black Carmengia.
Now a n---- speedin' in a Porsche, feeling like I'm going off of course."
— André 3000
Three notes here:
The one obvious criticism: I really don't like how André 3000 is TOTES ripping off Kendrick Lamar's style here.
Chill, bro. That's a joke. Stay out of my inbox about it.
By the time you get to the end of this song, chances are you'll forget that T.I. is even alive because André 3000 is GODDAMN TOUGH here, son. If you're a rapper and you're on a song with him and he starts doing that hyper-nasally sing-song thing that only he and God can do, then just fuck your life. You're taking that L, that's all there is to it.
Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg made a movie. It's called Mac & Devin Go to High School. It's one of those straight-to-DVD/VOD affairs. And I rented it and watched it because it's part of my job because I am not very good at being alive.
M&DGtHS is an indie film. It came out this most recent Tuesday. As mentioned, it stars Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg. They play high school kids. Fundamentally, it's no different than, say, Kid 'n Play's 1992 movie Class Act (smart kid has to team up with bad kid so the bad kid can learn to be smart and the smart kid can learn to be bad and they both learn life lessons along the way). But let's run through a few gems from it anyway. One per grade level:
There are only three reasons to listen to the Billboard Top 10 on a continuous loop for 10 hours:
1. You're 13 years old.
2. You love pop music.
3. You're a masochist.
Options 2 and 3 would apply to me. I'm not the type of masochist who locks himself in a room and blasts these 10 songs on a loop because he has nothing else to do but listen and cry. I'm the type who has the entire music library at his disposal, but decides to spend his long workday blasting the 10 most popular songs in America into his ears. That's me. The songs:
How is Amber Rose still famous? Kanye West plucked her out of ex-stripper obscurity during his nuttiest era, and she became the most visible representation of "crazy pariah ‘Ye’": They wore matching furs, they passed the Henny bottle back and forth, they took some truly preposterous photos. Logic would dictate, though, that when they broke up, Rose would slink right back into obscurity. Somehow, stubbornly, Amber held on. She found herself a new rap boyfriend, the young and boring Wiz Khalifa. She dutifully churned out gossip fodder. (If you hadn’t heard, Kim Kardashian is a home wrecker. Also, “I have people throwing things at me in the street because they're fans of Kanye,” which, like, I would love to meet the person whose reaction upon seeing Amber Rose in the street is to just chuck the rest of their Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe at her). And, somewhere along the way, Amber Rose became a famous-because-she’s-famous celebrity all on her own. Seriously: She’s even put out a vanity single! From arm candy to independent famous-for-being-famous power player: Hers is a manner and quality of steely-eyed resilience you must respect.
All of which is a long-winded way of bringing us to the above clip. It’s a preview from a Western called Gang of Roses 2. It's got horses. It's got guns. It's got bandannas. It’s got Amber. It’s got Wiz. They play cowboys. It’s … it’s perfect.
The keyword for the Billboard chart in 2011 was "ANTHEMS." Anti-bullying anthems (Selena Gomez, "Who Says"; Katy Perry, "Firework"; Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"), party rock anthems, anthems for regular weekday night non-rock pre-work partying. Tons of pop-rap pap where diet-inspirational verses were soldered awkwardly to soaring adult-contemporary choruses. Videos with cinematic spoken intros (The Script, "For The First Time"; Katy Perry, "The One That Got Away"; Rihanna, "We Found Love") and further attempts, some very successful, to make VEVO the baby big screen it wants to be. These are my personal picks for a top ten from the Billboard 2011 Top 100 chart.
Every week we ask Molly Lambert to dive deep on one of the Billboard top ten songs of the week charts. This week's victim? The R&B and Hip Hop list, which Molly kindly transformed into film adaptations before grading.
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West, "Ni**as in Paris"
Wizards In Paris (G): A CGI-saturated family adventure about Apples (Jay-Z) and Grapes (Kanye West), two koalas on the loose in the City of Lights after stowing away on a luxury cruise (where they romance gold-digging squirrels, upend a millionaires' buffet and eat so many shrimp). Arriving in Paris on a chilly snowy night, the rascally marsupials face racist cabdrivers, a steep conversion rate, and evil time-traveling steampunk stage magicians. The movie climaxes with an exciting chase through the Chanel flagship store and an epic tumble into the catacombs to face off with both the metropolis's fabled wizards and their own fragile furry mortality. Listen:Here Grade: A