A week ago, Arcade Fire brought out Blondie‘s Debbie Harry to perform “Heart of Glass” for the band’s first headlining set at Coachella, adding to the number of high-profile guests at this year’s festival. During the second weekend, though, a duo dressed as Daft Punk crashed the Montreal band’s set for a slo-mo version of their comeback single “Get Lucky.” Frontman Win Butler stormed the stage. “What the fuck is happening? What is this? What is this guys, seriously?” he said.
Of course, Beck would actually join Arcade Fire later to cover Prince‘s 1981 single “Controversy.”
Before Arcade Fire teased the crowd, and as Butler likely figured, Coachella saw a slew of surprise guests. A giddy Kid Cudi invited Haim and favorite band MGMT to help perform songs like “Pursuit of Happyness.” Later, Nas continued to celebrate his legacy (his iconic debut Illmatic just turned 20) with help from Lauryn Hill. Hill’s return to music may have been drawn-out and frustrating at times, but she seemed to stop time with her fiery performance in “Ready or Not” alone, proving that she’s still in fighting shape.
Surprise guests may be now totally expected at Coachella, but they’re always welcome. See clips from Arcade Fire, Nas and Kid Cudi’s performances after the jump. More »
Pharrell set the bar high for himself during the first weekend of Coachella, as he invited hip-hop and pop stars like Nelly, Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani to perform Neptunes-featured and -produced hits. For his second weekend set, though, the Virginia Beach hit-maker managed to top himself. Jay Z joined his pal and busted out a hits medley while Usher, T.I. and Pusha T performed song to shrieks from the crowd.
Pharrell himself sang the hooks for Jay Z songs “Excuse Me Miss,” “La La La (Excuse Me Miss Again)” and “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”), while he also crooned Robin Thicke‘s lyrics in “Blurred Lines” before T.I. unleashed his GIF-worthy shuffle. The “Happy” singer also played hype man to Pusha T’s breakout verses from Clipse‘s “Grindin’.” For said international hit “Happy,” Pharrell pulled Earl Sweatshirt, Fonzworth Bentley (!) and Haim up on stage to dance alongside him.
Plus, after hinting of Stefani’s solo return last week, Pharrell hyped the crowd up for Usher’s follow-up to 2012′s excellent Looking 4 Myself. “Please get ready for this man’s next album,” he said. “It’s so amazing.” It was yet another reminder of how crucial he’s become to the music industry…as if the crowd needed one.
See clips of the star-studded set after the jump. More »
Fresh off his MTV Movie Awards performance of chart-topping single “The Monster” with Rihanna, Eminem has hinted that he’s got something major in the works for Texas, a state that prides itself on everything being bigger and, thus, arguably better within its border. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 MC posted the above pic on Instagram the other day, and it depicts him as a Wild West-era cowboy roaming the prairie on his trusty steed. Em in chaps with his trademark scowl perched underneath a wide-brimmed hat make for a pretty hilarious picture, no?
“Texas – ‘Square Dance’ with me! Announcement coming 4/22,” Eminem wrote on Instagram when posting the shot. Our guess — and we’ve been wrong before — is that he’s going to be headlining this fall’s Austin City Limits fest at Zilker Park. Last year the announcement for ACL’s 2013 lineup came in early May, so ’tis the season for this type of revelation. Also, Em will already be in full festival mode by that point, as he’s headlining Lollapalooza in early August, just ahead of his trio of Monster Tour dates with Rihanna. More »
As is often the case, hindsight is 20/20, and this has several Kylie Minogue fans pondering why scrapped Kiss Me Once track “Golden Boy” — once destined to be a Japanese bonus track — was relegated to a Record Store Day-only release, on single-sided 7″ vinyl. The global holiday for customers to show their support for brick and mortar music retailers came and went this past Saturday (April 19), and a few of those lucky enough to get their hands on the Kylie 7″ (there were only 1000 copies pressed) popped the tune online.
Give bright dance-pop gem “Golden Boy” a listen below, and see if you think it could have replaced any of the tracks that did make the cut for Minogue’s Kiss Me Once LP. More »
Following the release of Coldplay‘s single “Magic,” it’s easy to forget that the actual first taste we all got of the band’s upcoming album Ghost Stories (out May 6) was the experimental “Midnight,” which surfaced back in February. But if you need your memory jarred on just how moody the latter is, check out the remix by electronic music maestro Giorgio Moroder, which runs nearly nine minutes long.
Here Moroder lays a hypnotic click-click-click disco beat below the Kid A-esque atmosphere of the track, and the whole thing eventually builds into a tornado of majestic synths and menacing piano chords. And, of course, no modern day remix by Giorgio Moroder would be complete without the addition of his own ghostly robot vocals.
Hear the souped-up rendition of Coldplay’s “Midnight” below. More »
Florida duo X priest X operates in a dream world ruled by Drive-style synth textures and pats on the back from John Hughes as he tells you everything will be fine. But they aren’t merely an ’80s-indebted synth-pop act. Dave Kazyk’s arrangements exhibit a calming restraint that’s so pleasant it almost seems subversive compared to that decade’s quirkiness and this decade’s clattering bombast. These are icy and delicate soundscapes, and combined with Madeline Priest’s quietly assured voice, the result is something utterly weightless, that swirls with a breezy melodicism.
Last week marked the release of X priest X’s debut EP, Samurai (out now on iTunes), which boasts micro-anthems like “Sophie K” and “Isn’t It So.” To get some insight into how a new band landed on such a consistent and inviting sound for their debut (and to clarify that inscrutable name), we hit up Madeline over email.
Check out our Q&A with the singer below, along with a stream of the EP. More »
Did You Hear?
:: Has Mariah Carey delayed the release of The Art of Letting Go, again? While originally due out May 6 — and following her new single (and several remixes of) “You’re Mine (Eternal)”— the album has been quietly removed from her label Island’s release schedule. [Popdust]
:: Michelle Obama will appear alongside American Idol alum Kellie Pickler in the penultimate episode of Nashville, which airs May 6. As she has in talk shows and award shows, Obama will appear as herself. [ABC]
:: Canadian magazine Fashion denies touching up Lorde‘s nose for a cover story shoot, despite the Royals artist’s claims. “Sometimes lighting or camera angles can give the impression that things look smaller, larger or different than they really are,” editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra said. [E!]
:: Drake‘s sports commentary poked fun at Jay Z during an NBA playoff game between their hometown teams. “This is the people’s team out here tonight,” Drake said of the Toronto Raptors, adding, “Jay Z’s somewhere eating a fondue plate.” [Rolling Stone]
:: Miley Cyrus has decided to give away Moonie, the puppy that her mother Tish gifted her following the death of the Bangerz tour-featured Floyd. “It’s just to [sic] soon for me right now,” she says. [Us Weekly]
After the jump, find out what music you can catch on TV today. More »
Christina Aguilera confirmed that a new album (and, therefore, follow-up to #JusticeforBionic) is in the works. “So blissful in taking this time for creating all things blossoming new on the horizon…album, baby & beautiful music to come,” she said on Twitter.
Aguilera’s career saw a resurgence last year, as the returning Voice coach teamed with A Great Big World for surprise hit “Say Something” and Lady Gaga in a feud-ending, game-changing performance of “Do What U Want.” With her recent engagement and announcement of her second pregnancy, though, the Lotus diva appeared as if she was preparing to take time off. New reports say that Gwen Stefani will replace Aguilera on The Voice. More »
On April 18, Prince announced a new studio album, Purple Rain reissue and deal with Warner Bros. Records. Less than a day later, he surprised fans with a new single, power ballad “The Breakdown.” There, Prince recalls the excess he used to desire, his falsetto hovering closely over a spare keyboard, female back-up vocals and laser sound effects. “I used to throw the party every New Year’s Eve / first one intoxicated, last one to leave,” he sings.
Just a month ago, Prince stopped by The Arsenio Hall Show to talk Princestagram (the revolution will be televised) and new music. He mentioned that “The Breakdown” was his current favorite song to play, while host Arsenio Hall reminisced over how he and Prince used to party together, sorta. “I remember one time we went down the way south of Wilshire [Boulevard, Los Angeles], and we went to an after-hours spot and hung out and partied. That’s something – ”
In response, Prince stood up and started to walk away, as if totally disinterested in going there. As “The Breakdown” gives away, though, Hall wasn’t the only one thinking about how much has changed. Hear Prince’s surprise new single and see the Arsenio Hall chat after the jump. More »
Miley Cyrus has postponed the remaining U.S. dates of her Bangerz tour, following the “extreme allergic reaction” she suffered on April 17. Tickets will be honored on the new dates, including for previously canceled and postponed shows, while two dates for Pittsburgh and Chicago were added.
The “Adore You” star was to perform in Philadelphia, Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and in Long Island, N.Y., next week; for now, the latter two have yet to be rescheduled. Meanwhile, her official site says that the European leg of her tour will go on as scheduled, so starting May 2 in Amsterdam. Shows in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kansas City and St. Louis were canceled after Cyrus was hospitalized for her allergic reaction to antibiotic Cephalexin, which can last from five to 27 days according to a rep.
See the rescheduled dates (so far) after the jump. More »