You might know Courtney Taylor-Taylor from his position as the front man for popular band the Dandy Warhols. However, when not playing guitar or singing for the alternative rock band, he acts as the creator and writer of graphic novel One Model Nation. A music man by trade, Taylor designed the graphic novel to be accompanied by an album that would be released in conjunction with the comic, along with illustrative music videos. One Model Nation was conceived in 2000 by Taylor-Taylor and Donovan Leitch, whose original vision for the series revolved around a fictional German band operating in the year 1977. The pair assert that the music for the series was completed within three days, yet the final development of the storyline took over 10 years to perfect, with the finished result having only recently become available in wide release.
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The recent Grammy Awards show saw its shares of highs and lows. From Nicki Minkaj’s completely unexpected and utterly baffling performance of “Roman Takes a Holiday”, to Adele’s fairly predictable sweeping of pretty much every major category out there. Arguably, the show’s biggest “Aww” moment, however, came on the red carpet. Between E! interrogating artists about what shade of nail polish they were wearing and LL Cool J hyping up the waiting crowd, stood two interviewers of slightly… lower profile (literally). Sophia Grace Brownlee and her cousin Rosie Grace McClelland, who have been featured several times on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and served as correspondents for her at the American Music Awards, represented her show at the Grammys, where they held court with celebrities like Rihanna and Maroon 5.
The pair, who hail from England, rose to fame when a video of them performing Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” took YouTube by storm (it now has over 31 million views). Since then, the precocious pair—Sophia Grace is eight, and Rosie is five, have appeared on Ellen to perform “Super Bass” as well as Keri Hilson’s “Turn My Swag On” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”. Sophia Grace acts as the vocals for the duo, while Rosie is her “hype girl”, meaning she dances to Sophia’s songs and provides moral support. While Rosie is a woman of few words, Sophia Grace’s personality is larger than life, with vocals to match, and both girls impress and entertain the audience with their American accent impressions and enthusiastic discussions about Princess costuming.
Wildlife Control is quite literally, a band of brothers. And not your average one at that. Formed in late 2009/early 2010, Wildlife Control is an indie rock band, made up of brothers Neil and Sumul Shah, originally from Northeast Pennsylvania, who came together because they both felt that music like theirs had to be made. Part of what makes them so unique is that the brothers live and operate on different coasts, Neil being based in Brooklyn, and Sumul calling San Francisco home. Somehow, though, they manage to play shows, during which they switch on and off with different instruments, sharing vocals and incorporating drums, guitar, and piano (they also have a long time friend who cameos on bass). What makes Wildlife Control even more unconventional? They’re lack of a record label. Having premiered their first single “Analog or Digital” in December, they’re due to debut their first EP, “Spin” in March. The brothers are also looking to release a full LP later in 2012, all while being unsigned. Responsible for their own recording process, any song you hear of theirs could just as easily have been laid down in a stairwell or local park as in an actual recording studio.
Today brings the newest entry in Converse’s “3 Artists, 1 Song” promotional program—a fun, quirky dance track by Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), Andre 3000 (OutKast) and James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem). According to Pitchfork, “DoYaThing” was recorded live in Albarn’s London studio after three days together, and this four and a half minute version will be followed by a full length, twelve minute version. There will also be a video debut on February 29 to keep the traffic flowing to the Converse website. The marketing tie-in involves three Limited Edition Chuck Taylor designs by Gorillaz Co-Creator Jamie Hewitt, featuring the colorful camo print associated with the band.
With the opening keyboard chord, “DoYaThing” folds into electronic blips and a one-take opening by Albarn, typically smooth and sultry. Andre 3000 hits the ground running for his one-take rap, taking us back to the happy zone with a bloop de bloop. All that’s missing is some nice crooning by Murphy, although the uplifting choral harmonies towards the end create a classic LCD Soundsystem moment anyway. Download the song here.
I must be getting older, seriously. It’s taking me way longer to get a buzz on these days: “Done that gig, heard those riffs. Yawn.” Then, quite out of the blue, I got hit by a tune this morning that’s had me riding the replay button ever since.
It’s a track called “Cherry Ripe”.
Can’t say I know a great deal about the duo responsible: except they’re called Elijah and Ava Wolf. Equally, I can’t tell you much more than: this is a demo, apparently. So it’s not even got a video clip to hypnotize.
All I know is: someone, somewhere, slipped Elijah Wolf’s “Cherry Ripe” to someone else. Then they liked it enough to stick it on in the background of some TV show – which went out and I caught last night. After which, the damn track’s been caught in my head ever since. One Google later: and the full harmonies have been stuck in my brain ever since.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article