Fedora-loving, Def Jam crooner Ne-Yo has returned with the first single off his upcoming album, Libra Scale. With “Beautiful Monster”, Ne-Yo, like so many of his current pop cohorts, seems to be making the move from electronic-influenced R&B to full on Ibiza-style dance music. While earlier hits like “Ms. Independent” mixed gleamy synths with his trademark harps and acoustic guitars, “Beautiful Monster” is a full-on slice of Euro-pop, built by Ne-Yo and his production friends, Stargate, entirely out of trance-y keyboard lines and a throbbing drumbeat. Ne-Yo’s Michael Jackson-esque wails and screams are still in full effect, however, so expect to hear this one blasting out of the speakers at pretty much every club for the rest of the summer.
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The audition process can be a harrowing and embarrassing experience for any young actor, but at least young unknowns don’t have to worry about some botched tryouts leaking to the web. And then there’s poor Chris Klein. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Klein is usually a supporting player in hit movies like the American Pie movies and… I’m sure there’s another one somewhere, but he’s never really caught the public eye in a big way. He’s just famous enough for this terrible audition for Mama Mia to make serious rounds in the meme-verse (has that been used before? Can I coin it? Probably shouldn’t? OK). It really is a must watch. Klein’s usual affable oafishness is put to the test when he tries to “emote”, for the lack of a better word. And those eyes, my god, those eyes.
But like any good sport, Klein took the opportunity to get in on the joke. He recently appeared in this Funny Or Die video showing more of his leaked “auditions”. That’s some redemption right there.
Sometime last week, Titusandronic.us, a great fan site for the equally great Titus Andronicus, posted an unofficial album of previously-unreleased, or out-of-print, recordings from the band, including a few live cuts. If you thought their studio work sounded scrappy, wait till you hear some of the nearly-inscrutable, stereo blow-outs on Feats of Strength. Or don’t. Newbies should go for The Monitor, their phenomenal (and wrongly dismissed, by this very website) Civil War concept album from earlier this year. The devastating version of “To Old Friends and New” on The Monitor, the first of which appeared on the first Titus Andronicus EP and reappears here, is a fitting illustration of how far the band has come in just half a decade.
As lead singer Patrick Stickles says on his band’s official blog, it’ll give you a chance to “tell all yr [sic] friends, ‘See? I told you they sucked!’” That being said, serious devotees might get a kick out of their rambunctious cover of the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner”, and Stickles’ solo version of “No Future”, from Titus Andronicus’ first full-length, The Airing of Grievances, strips naked a ballad that was emotionally bare to begin with. In any case, the curious should go download it for free here.
This week, Canadian-bred emcee D-Sisive let loose of his latest single, “Ray Charles (Looking for a Star”, which features a fantastic closing verse from King Reign. Ever since hearing D’s solo LP last year, Let The Children Die, I have been craving more. Luckily, we won’t have to wait much longer for some new material, as we also get word that D-Sisive will be dropping Vaudeville on June 22 in Canada, and July 27 in the US. I know it is difficult to check up on every new piece of music these days, especially from artists you have never heard of. But if you are going to check out any hip-hop project this year, I urge that you throw Vaudeville on that list. If you are open to a progressive and refreshing sound, then this is definitely something for you to check out. You better watch out US emcees, Canada is knockin’.
A playfully weird take on classic tarot images, this project reinvents divination cards with such images as “The Molar Beetle” and the “Znakir of Thrax”.
“I describe my pictures as key frames or storyboards for some sort of bizarre movie,” says artist Ellis Nadler. “Or perhaps as stage sets for an opera I shall write some day.” I would love to see a full deck of these evocative cards in real-life. Imagine the strange fortunes people would tell. [via A Journey Round My Skull]
// Moving Pixels
"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.READ the article