Michael Jackson‘s forthcoming posthumous album Xscape is set to contain collaborations with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Questlove and D’Angelo, though the title track, which has surfaced online in full, features MJ going it alone.
Kudos to whomever spruced up the driving beat here, because it does resemble the “classic” Jackson sound, somewhat. But overall, the melody in “Xscape” is pretty much barren of hooks and the chorus is missing that old King-Of-Pop magic. It’s not hard to see why this original demo never went any further, previously…and it doesn’t exactly leave us wanting more from this project.
Bottom line: it’s probably time to put the lid on these reheated Michael Jackson leftovers. Give “Xscape” a listen below and see if you agree.
For more on Michael Jackson, watch Akon reflect on working with the King Of Pop:
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
i love this song i love this performance i love this arrangement i love that SZA loves it too
This was the first time I saw myself in someone musically. I remember watching this video over and over and over again to look for seams. .. To look for how she does it. How is she so relaxed? She’s bjork where’s the costume? The noise? The lights? …that’s when I realized … She’s a queen she doesn’t require any of it. She takes you to where SHE’S at. So subtle so light but sooo powerful! Just moseying around about the stage in chucks and denim skirt singing her fucking heart out! The original Don da da — SZA
so bisexuals 'lost' jessie j today and gained debbie harry. UPGRADE!
i'm mad that i'm going to have to watch someone with ryan murphy's name on it :/
i saw casey a million years ago at the crumbiest little coffee shop in fitchburg, she gave me a cute little handmade cd-r of her recordings. i wish i still had it but i probably don't. anyway, she is great! listen!
I interviewed Casey Dienel for a piece about White Hinterland I’m writing for BuzzFeed yesterday, and she mentioned that one of the things that pushed her towards singing in a loud, emphatic R&B/gospel style was an experience where she sorta reluctantly sang a Beyoncé song at a karaoke party and totally nailed it. She used to sing more like this when she was younger, but had strayed from it out of embarrassment or a need to express a different sort of feeling, but it felt good to her, and physically comfortable. You can really hear that in “Sickle No Sword” – her earlier work was more restrained, but this sounds like a person who is completely at ease with themselves and not afraid to really belt it out. I think one of the reasons this style of singing endures and connects with so many people is that there’s just no way to hedge on emotion – you can’t go halfway with this, and you can’t put up a wall between yourself and the listener. It’s not simply about a display of technical prowess, though that’s in the mix. You hear a song like this – or a song by Beyoncé, or Aretha Franklin, or Otis Redding, or whoever – and you’re listening to someone be brave in their expression. I think we’d all like to be that way, or at least experience it vicariously.
Buy it from Amazon.
look at this perfect walk cycle of princess diana i made
this makes me so happy :')
We already saw Kesha belting out “Drunk In Love” in the back of a car, so we knew she was in good spirits over the weekend, but now we can see just how glowing she was, as she stepped out for the Humane Society Of The United States’ 60th Anniversary Gala on Saturday (March 29). It was the pop star’s first red carpet appearance of the year following her stint in rehab for an eating disorder, and she looked radiant in a sheer black gown.
And for anyone worried that with the loss of the $ in her name would come the loss of her wild streak, fear not — she was still rocking that trademark gold tooth and a green streak of hair.
Check out all the glamour in the gallery up top.
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
The UK’s very own house music wonder-child BREACH, who brought us the game changing, and mind melting single ‘Jack last year has returned to limelight once again – this time with a brand new remix of KELIS’ latest single ‘Rumble’.
Forget everything you know about ’Rumble’. Well, almost everything… The insane remixing abilities belonging to BREACH are certainly out in full force on this one, ladies and gents.
Forget the organic and acoustic nature of the original swingin’ R&B instrumental and replace it with a smooth, hip-shaking, hand-clapping slice of BREACH-branded house music, with the lovely vocal styling of KELIS cut and sliced all throughout. It really is a dream come true.
And just to really drive the good vibrations home, the lovely folk at NINJA TUNE records have enabled this tune for free download. Rejoice! All you have to do to get your hot lil’ hands all over this track’s free download link is simple:
(Option 5 unskippable).
BREACH’s remix of KELIS’ ‘Rumble’, taken from her ‘Rumble’ single, will be released 14 April 2014 via NINJA TUNE RECORDS.
Words by Nick Luke
friends who are you unfollowing and why?
I’m a big fan of Chicago based artist and designer Cody Hudson so this collaboration he did with Case Studyo is high on my list of art objects I’m craving. It’s called Vibes Melt Down 2043, a ceramic skull that doubles as art piece and incense burner which comes in white, silver, and gold versions. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity, and the fact that I think it would look really rad on my desk.
Les Aimes de Place Blanche by Christer Strömholm
Publisher: Dewi Lewis
i would call that feeling 'timeless' as opposed to dated but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
“Sexy Love” is such a Kylie Minogue song that when I first heard it, I thought she was literally recycling a riff from two albums ago. It’s hard to imagine anyone else performing this song, and the rest of the tracks on Kiss Me Once feel about the same – wheelhouse Kylie, with little variation and no surprises. This is good in that even if she’s working with a few dozen writers and producers, she has a very defined aesthetic, but it’s kinda bad in that I really like Kylie but find the record to be sort of a dull listen as a whole. It all just feels like something I’ve heard before, but not as compelling. “Sexy Love” is good enough to stand out as a quality pop tune, but it doesn’t quite stand up to stuff like “Wow,” “Love At First Sight,” and “Sweet Music” even if it has a lot of superficial similarities. I don’t think I’d really want Kylie to make an effort to sound un-Kylie, but I suppose I’d at least like the tonality of the track to not feel so familiar. Even just some subtle textural difference would go a long way towards making this feel like 2014 instead of 2003.
Buy it from Amazon.
Madame Peripetie, a London based photographer, has created a series of incredibl photos which feature boundary breaking fashion and styling. Working with art director Eugen Laitenberger, the two of them have collected these images in a book called Dream Sequence which features some of the most stunning costumes and fashion that I’ve ever seen. There are science fiction inspired headpieces, extravagant hair, pops of flowers everywhere, and tons of different patterns. Beautiful, bizarre, and brilliant.
You can see more of the book and the images by clicking here.
lol the bad dancer
Or, at least, that's what this video, compiled by researchers at Northumbria University and the University of Gottingen, is saying to me: the study had 30 men dance for 30 seconds and then animated a "featureless, gender-neutral" dancer into the clips you see below. First up: 'good' dancing:
After the jump, 'bad' dancing:2 Comments
surprisingly accurate in my opinion (ENFJ aka Sailor Moon last time i checked)
Back when your three-ring binder was covered in Imperium Silver Crystals stickers and badly-translated kanji, chances are you had serious discussions with your friends over which Sailor Moon character was your counterpart. The Sailor Scout you related to most was truly an existential dilemma. Were you a brain like Mercury? A diva like Venus? A metaphor for the temporality of life like Saturn? These questions may still plague you, so here’s an easy way to approach the problem: the Myers-Briggs Test. Find out your MBTI personality type, and then match it to the corresponding Sailor Moon character below. It’s so easy, a meatball head could do it.
No one has ever accused you of being a one-trick pony. Like Sailor Jupiter, you can bring a Death Buster to its knees with one swift kick to the ghost gonads, all the while keeping an encyclopedic knowledge of muffin recipes in that bright little head of yours. Though you’re not often patient—you have far too much energy—you go through life based on experience and can take care of yourself. You may be the Soldier of Thunder and Strength, but you’ve got a soft side, too.
ESFP — Sailor Venus
There’s a reason Sailor V was famous before Sailor Moon. Homegirl was a model, singer, and actress before she decided to add “defender of the universe” to her resume. Lover of life, liberty, and the pursuit of volumizing hair products, you blaze through life like a tiara hurtling at Negascum. People gravitate towards you, just as Sailor Venus was second-in-command of the Sailor Scouts. It doesn’t hurt that you’re a total babe, too.
ESTJ — Tuxedo Mask
Admit it: you’re the “dad” of your friend group. You often launch into meandering lectures and rock enough ill-fitting sweaters to make Cosby proud. You may not have the coolest super powers (Lethally sharp roses! And a cane!), but you can always talk sense and comfort people when they need it the most. You can be a bit of overbearing dork (see: top hat), but people love you. In fact, you could say people treat you like a king. (Nudge, nudge.)
ENFJ — Sailor Moon
Wear those meatballs with pride. Your haters may call you a klutz or an airhead or the posterchild for Japanese schoolgirl fetishism, but deep inside, you have reserves of strength. Something about your ability to strive ahead—even when you’re underprepared or outnumbered—inspires people. You may not immediately realize it, but you’re a born leader. In fact, your leadership spans the space-time continuum—something to think about during remedial algebra class.
ENTP — Sailor Chibi Moon
You may be a sweet, little thing, but you have been known to grab the bull by the balls in order to get your way. People underestimate you because of your size or your age, but underneath those cotton candy pigtails, you’ve got the relentlessness of a battle axe. I mean, you take after a little girl who time traveled hundreds of dimensions and galaxies, just to give her future mother a kick in the shins. That’s some next level shit right there.
ENFP — Chibichibi
Okay, we get it: you’re adorable. You bounce through life with carefree ease—occasionally modifying people’s memories in order to suit your needs (but that’s just a minor detail). Like Chibichibi’s presence strengthens Sailor Moon, you radiate positive energy that other’s feed off of. But you’re not just a happy-go-lucky cheerleader. You’re smart in a way that’s not always obvious and those who don’t see that usually end up with a heart-shaped bruise on their forehead.
ESFJ — Diana
We have reached the utmost level of cuteness. You seek out harmony, like a lost kitten seeking her parents. You are unfailingly sweet, and all you need is a warm bowl of milk and an occasional belly rub to keep you happy.
ENTJ — Queen Beryl
Critics may call you a bitch, but you prefer the term “go-getter.” You don’t see the point in wasting your knowledge and power (whether intellectual or intergalactic) on people who are unworthy of your presence. Like the evil queen herself, you have a very clear vision of the future: you, on a throne, made from the bones of your enemies. Is it really such a big deal that you have to crush anyone who gets in the way of that?
ISTJ – Sailor Mars
Let’s all take a moment and bow down. Is there a more flawless Sailor Scout than Mars? Yeah, didn’t think so. Take some time to congratulate yourself on mirroring the same traits as the Soldier of Fire and Passion. You’ve never been one to make a scene. Instead, you radiate quiet confidence, innate sophistication, and superhuman grace. But then you also have the capability to unleash a giant fireball on someone’s ass. While wearing heels. Again: flawless.
ISFJ – Sailor Mercury
You may get overshadowed by your louder, longer-haired friends, but they know that without you, they’d be stranded somewhere in the Negaverse with their pigtails tied in a knot. Like Mercury, your brain never quits, and you make those homeschooled Spelling Bee winners look like dunces. But you are hardly a robot. Along with your intellect, you’re unfailingly kind and loyal, and to top it all off, you rocked blue hair long before Katy Perry.
INFP — Luna
During the superhero’s training montage, you’re in the background guiding them along, teaching them how to catch flies with chopsticks. You’ve always been able to cut through bullshit and see what’s most important. You’re a natural teacher, and you often find yourself as the de-facto therapist among your friends, doling out advice like catnip. You’re can handle any problem with wisdom and grace. Except hairballs. You do not do hairballs.
INTP — Artemis
You’re the brains of the operation, though you don’t always act like it. You’re a bit more easygoing than your partner, INFP, and this can get on their nerves. But that’s just the burden of your genius. You may be assigned to protect these teenage warriors, but that doesn’t stop you from developing a crush on one of them. Did we mention you’re a cat? Yeah, inappropriate.
INFJ – Sailor Pluto
In kindergarten, you were probably the kid who was allowed to take the class hamster home for the weekend. People have no problem trusting you. In fact, you’d probably be totally fine guarding the gates of time at the end of the universe for all eternity. It’s a lonely job, but you’ve always made sacrifices for the sake of others. You may come off as a little aloof, but once people get to know you, they idolize you. Planet or not, Pluto is a quiet badass.
INTJ – Sailor Uranus
A quiet assassin, you slash through life like a Space Sword through a block of PC-friendly cheese. You cherish your independence and have few friends – but those few friends are your life. You’ve never been easy to categorize, whether if it’s by your fashion sense, loyalty, or even your gender. You’ve never tried to shock people, but it just seems to happen naturally. You’re just too advanced for us mortal beings, who still can’t say your planetary name without giggling.
ISTP – Sailor Neptune
Like the Soldier of Water, you’re tolerant and flexible but deceptively strong. You look at problems from all angles first rather than tackling it head-on. You’re drawn to those who are your opposite, as you enjoy the challenge of butting heads and seeing things from new perspectives. It’s no wonder that such keen observational skills make Neptune’s weapon of choice of a mirror. Beside, you need something to keep that turquoise dye job intact.
ISFP – Sailor Saturn
Not going to lie: you scare people. Though you’re polite, kind, and sweet, you give off an aura that seems to say, “Cross my path, and I will blow up your planet.” But hey, you had a rough childhood, so what do you expect? Like the soldier of Death and Rebirth, your parents were a little “off” (like, mad scientist “off”) and you spent too much time alone. So in the end, it makes perfect sense that your one superpower is to blow up entire galaxies to smithereens.
Previously: 7 Haikus For Failed Hip Hop Clothing Lines
Photo via pasukaru76/flickr.
Kate Gavino is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the Huffington Post, The Toast, xoJane, and HelloGiggles, and she runs the blog Last Night's Reading. Follow her on Twitter @kategavino.9 Comments
Woke up over the weekend with a hangover and this cradled under my arm, which I apparently stole from subway. Pride of place.
We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year. We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.
fuck yeah! fuck their dumb fucking parade anyway.
This is part of a week-long series celebrating the 45th birthdays of characters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Heather never told the Cowboy about the abortion. As he slept, she sat up and listened to the hotel’s air conditioner turn off and on until morning. She knew immediately, but didn’t make an appointment for two months. There’s a dull pain of something like regret but mostly like sadness that resurfaces at night, just before bed, but it’s never enough to keep her awake. It’s just there. A decision. A memory. She should have told him. All she would have done differently is make a phone call, but she never contacted him again after that night. He was weird, though so was she. He didn’t speak much, though neither did she. These little hypocrisies that ended most of her relationships before they began were the same ones that eventually led to her biggest ideas.
Wanting to quit smoking without actually quitting smoking led her to invest in a Chinese company that perfected smokeless nicotine delivery devices called “electronic cigarettes.” In 2006 she decided to cease production of regular Lady Fair cigarettes and go all-electronic. “All the flavor and none of the fuss for the gal who says no.” It was a risky move, especially then, but when it came to business, Heather’s instincts were unmatched. Her customers quickly embraced the change and Lady Fair still remains the #1 e-cig brand in the world. (That includes, of course, their more masculine line: The Cowboy.)
In 2008 she was healthy, successful, single and happy – but not everyone always believed the last part. “You should try Match.com,” the wife of a coworker told her. “Plenty of my friends met their husbands on it.”
“But the stigma’s mostly gone!”
Conversations like that happened regularly, and Heather usually brushed them off. Or complained to Sandy about them on the phone. (She and Sandy Frink connected on LinkedIn in 2004 and became long distance friends. Completely platonic, of course.)
“Can you believe the nerve of people?”
“There’s nothing I hate more than someone telling me I don’t know myself. Assuming they know me better than I do. Or worse! Presuming I am denying myself something I want! It’s bullshit!”
“It is bullshit!”
“I know! That’s what I’m saying! It’s bullshit!”
Then they laugh and become silent while flipping through their emails, breathing heavily into the mic so the other knows they’re still on the line. They talk about the good stuff – it’s mostly good stuff, you know – and giggle at news from old friends. Something about Toby. Something about Christy. Something about how hot it is in Tucson. And then she hangs up and moves on to the next day.
Last week she saw a man sitting alone at the coffee shop. About her age. Handsome. Heather watched him as he sipped his latte and sent what looked like dozens of emails. At one point he reached in his breast pocket and pulled out a Cowboy e-cig. Her eyes brightened as he inhaled – seemed like he enjoyed it. She picked up her coffee and began walking to her car. As she approached the door, her phone buzzed. A text from Michelle. “Happy 45 you old hag! See you tonight!” She unlocked the door and looked up at the predictable perfection of a Los Angeles sky.
"God," she thought. "I still love it here."
Bobby Finger will just have two burgers, fries, and Diet Cokes because he's in a hurry.5 Comments
track 3, so far so good :3
We’re now only a week off from the March 18 release of Kylie Minogue‘s 12th studio album Kiss Me Once. We recently interviewed the Australian pop queen, who had this to say about the LP’s co-executive-producer Sia: “I didn’t know if it was something she had done or was interested in, or if maybe she just preferred writing and doing her own music. Anyway, she said yes immediately and I was thrilled, because I really admire her.”
Kiss Me Once is now streaming in full over at the Guardian‘s website. It opens with lead single “Into The Blue,” then carries on through Kylie’s collaborations with such songwriters and producers as Ariel Rechtshaid, Pharrell Williams, MNEK, Metro and, of course, Sia. We have a feeling this is one album you’ll be kissing several times over, for some time to come. Go give it a spin.
LOVING THIS SHOW
this is cool but it goes SO FAST my poor little brain.
How To Read A 223-Page Novel In Just 77 Minutes
Spritz is a company that makes a speed-reading technology which allows you to get through a mass of text, reading every word, in a fraction of the time it would take if you were turning the pages of a book or swiping through a Kindle.
The basis of Spritz concept is that much of the time spend reading is “wasted” on moving your eyes from side to side, from one word to the next. By flashing the words quickly, one after the other, all in the same place, eye movement is reduced almost to zero. All that’s left is the time you take to process the word before the next one appears.
The company is selling licenses for other companies who might want to use the technology in operating systems, applications, wearables, and websites. Obviously, the tiny screen of a smart watch instantly springs to mind.
But the real revelation of Spritz is in trying it yourself.
Um this is awesome
i like this guy!
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.
When you watch Lorde giving one of her trance-like performances, or hear Lady Gaga philosophizing in an interview, it’s easy to think, “Hey, chill out, it’s just pop music.” But if this era of poptimism has taught us anything, it’s that pop music can be just as transportive and transformative as the most subversive rock or euphoric electro or revolutionary rap. I haven’t seen 25-year-old Dutch musician Thomas Azier perform, but after talking to him, it’s clear he also comes from the Pop Is A Very Serious Matter school of thought.
Of course, once you accept the seriousness of the genre, it’s easy to be playful within that framework. For instance, Azier, who has lived in Berlin since he was 19, jokingly refers to his music as GDR&B, as in, R&B spawned in communist East Germany. And he’s right about that — his epic synth-pop debut, Hylas (out March 10), has some of the hooks and raw emotion of R&B, mixed with the synthetic churn and metallic clanging of ’80s European electro.
Azier recently stopped by our New York studio on what was, very literally, the sloppiest day of this disgusting, demoralizing NYC winter, but he handled the slushy trek from Brooklyn to midtown with the stoic efficiency you may expect from a Berliner. We chatted about his debut album, the factory he recorded it in and the thin line between love and pain. Shit got deep. Check out the interview up top, and read on for more about the pan-European pop wiz.
ORIGIN: Azier was born in a small town near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. “There was nothing out there other than a bunch of cows and endless green fields,” he told me. “I don’t know if you ever been to Holland, but you can look kilometers ahead and there’s nothing there. We lived in a town with like 5,000 people. So there was not that much other than my music. That was what I did actually until I moved to Berlin.”
CURRENT HEADQUARTERS: An abandoned bell factory in Berlin, Germany.
EURO PRIDE: ”I really consider myself very European in my sound. And I’m also quite proud of that because I used to grow up with, we are always looking at the UK and the US and we would try to imitate. I was really more excited about what’s happening here and trying to do something with it.” He added: “We have such a rich history in Dutch electronic. Hardcore comes from there, industrial sound, you know. There are guys like Diplo always digging in the Dutch music scene. They are taking stuff and bring it to America. And also the German scene is so rich, the French scene is so rich.”
INFLUENCES: Just as he melds sounds from all over Europe, Azier draws his influences from all over the place, and not necessarily just music. “There’s a lot of stuff. It can be a conversation like the one when we’re having, if I go home and think about some stuff that was interesting,” he said. “Or the architecture in Berlin, the GDR communist architecture really inspires me. And there’s this one book by Ovid called Metamorphoses, it’s all stories about changing, about transforming, the transforming of the body, the transforming of a person. Because that’s the only thing in life we know is true, right? Change, that’s the only thing that will happen. That’s the only thing we can confirm… So that’s what I really started to understand, the process of change during writing the record.”
GDR&B IS NOT GERMAN SEX DUNGEON MUSIC: In America there tends to be a stereotype that, if electronic music is coming out of Germany, it’ll sound like it should be played in a dark basement club full of leather-clad patrons, or perhaps as the score to a slasher flick. Despite his Berlin location and penchant for industrial grind, Azier’s music is warm and melodic, not the stuff of dark, sweaty caves. “You have the hard German club sounds, which I’ll try to combine with beautiful, romantic melodies or a haunting melody,” he said. “I’m just constantly looking for a contrast — cold and warm, aggressive and sweet, electronic and acoustic. So I clash those into each other, that’s what I’m looking for.”
To hear this contrast in action, listen to “Angelene” off his debut album, which pairs tumbling 16-bit bloops with faraway church bells.
DREAM COLLABORATIONS: Production could be on the horizon for Azier, who’s a big fan of hip-hop and R&B’s boundary-pushing sonics of late. ”I feel because I know the process so well, after doing the album, that I’d like to take the helicopter view a little bit for other people, because that’s exactly what I’ve missed over the years.”
WHAT’S NEXT: In addition to touring around Europe for the next six months or so, Azier is already plotting his next release. “I have a lot of new tracks done already. So I’m seeing if I’m gonna use them for next thing, if it’s gonna be part two,” he told me. “We’ll see. There are so many possibilities. I’m writing all the time, it never stops.”
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
VERY HAPPY to hear about the yttling / kurstin / lykke production trio. the lead single is good! not great? i'm still excited for this.
Every song on the album is a power ballad. Like one of those old radio stations. This is a slow dance; a slow burner.
I wrote ["No Rest for the Wicked"] in Sweden when I was packing up my shit, and I’d just gotten out of a relationship and it was a horrible time. I just had the hurt, shame, sadness, guilt, longing. In the verse, I’m referring to myself pleading guilty but I’m referring to all of us.
in case you missed it when popjustice posted a few weeks ago, this is great great great
Remember when Madonna was releasing videos in her early days that depicted a simpler life for a pop star, one spent on the streets of New York, running around with local boys and wearing trendy clothing? Canadian newcomer Kiesza (pronounced Ky-za), a 25-year-old ex-ballerina/ex-Navy member, emulates the fashionable days of Reagan-era street dancing (on the sidewalks of Brooklyn) in her video for “Hideaway,” itself a house track that recalls the best of ’90s club jams.
“Hideaway” comes via indie label Lokal Legend, but give it some time; if Kiesza’s got more delectable dance tracks like this one up her sleeve, we can totally see this budding diva breaking out in a big way, and moving up to more towering heights.
Watch Kiesza’s “Hideaway” video above. The single has an April 14 release date, and it’s truly one of the great new pop discoveries of 2014.