Tag : best
Tag : best
Troye Sivan, Happy Little Pill
Troye popped up out of nowhere a couple of months ago, and because I’ve had this post in drafts for so long now, he’s probably a name you’ve already heard. You’re probably all like, shutup Alphabet Pony, he’s like totes mainstream by now. Well YOU shutup, reader, and let’s just enjoy his latest single together in appreciative silence.
Meg Mac, Roll Up Your Sleeves
This is a girl with a big voice, and she knows how to help you kick off your afternoon vibes with some serious groove pop. Roll Up Your Sleeves starts a little slow and low, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded. Meg is on tour this September – check out her website for more info.
Brooke Fraser, Psychosocial
I was introduced to Brooke Fraser many, many years ago by a friend who was into that particular brand of lo-fi pop that the naughties threw up in spades – it was her hit single Lifeline, and her voice stuck in my head for months afterwards. And now, all these years later, it’s great to see the New Zealander return with a more mature sound a-la our very own rock goddess Abbe May. It’s dark, it’s dirty, and I’m digging it.
Banoffee, Got It
I am impressed more and more every day by the sheer amount of talent Australia is pumping out – and Banoffee, Melbourne based singer and producer Martha Brown, sits firmly in the centre of that new crop of talent. Her latest self titled EP is co-produced by another supremely talented Melburnian, Oscar Key Sung, and the combination is inspired. Catch her touring in September.
You’ve probably seen the latest spate of articles about Kanye West’s latest interview with GQ. And you’ve probably noticed that most of these articles are lists of the funniest quotes from said interview. It’s not surprising: West is usually about as quotable as a Will Ferrell movie. One of which he incidentally quoted in N***as In Paris.
It would be incredibly easy to list the most hilarious/weird things Yeezy busted out during the interview (no, seriously, it would be really, really easy. I mean, he referred to himself as a blowfish). But in the end, that’s just what the interview is actually all about: The addictive trend of throwing shade at Kanye West’s increasingly obscure references to his ‘art’.
Perhaps we don’t think of hip hop stars as art provocateurs; God knows when Gaga put on an ArtRave featuring a live demonstration of her levitating in a flying dress, we were all like ‘ok, yeah.’
But is pop and hip hop exclusive anymore? Surely the sheer amount of #1 hits, and hefty swag of Grammys, says that ‘Ye is now totes mainstream. So why the surprise when he wears a diamond encrusted face mask? Or, conversely, when he marries a reality star?
But a hip hop star – well, we probably expect them to all stay as cool (and publicly understated) as Jay Z. There has always been that dichotomy with Kanye: Too mainstream for the fashion elite, but too out-there for the average joe. Jay on the other hand… he’s, well, easier to digest. Easier to understand.
Even Kanye notes this distinction in the GQ interview, saying: “That’s what I like about Jay. He has longevity. He’s still at the top of relevancy from the way he moves, the way he interacts with people, his ability to brush things off of his shoulder and just win at life. He’s the poster child of winning. And I think I was the poster child of, like, fighting and winning. But you always saw the fight. And with Jay, you always saw the win.”
It’s a quote that speaks of a surprisingly self-reflective Kanye, a man that is perhaps maturing. Seeing things from the outside, looking in. Understanding that no one really understands him.
But there is one thing we do totally understand about Kanye: His personal brand. A brand that has now merged with Kim Kardashian’s personal brand. And arguably, #Kimye is a force stronger than both of them combined. Kind of like Captain Planet.
And just like Kim K, Kanye’s seemingly random ramblings are probably more considered than the media would have you believe.
“Both me and Kim had to learn how to communicate as a team. These are two LeBrons, you know? …It’s interesting, as I’m delving into being married: Like, what is my verbal creative communication? That’s another thing I really like about clothing and film—you could still communicate with a film, because it’s not you. But when you’re a reality star or a rapper, you are the film.”
Basically, he’s saying shit got personal. And when you have the media reporting that you delivered a 45 minute wedding toast to yourself, or creating #sadkanye memes, or even finding the most obscure quotes from what appears to be a pretty insightful interview to deliver to hungry trolls, it’s a hard fight to deliver the carefully crafted message that you’re a thinking human being.
“What I talked about in [the wedding speech] was the idea of celebrity… My feelings don’t matter anymore.”
[Insert aforementioned #sadkanye meme]
“Ask a boxer: ‘In the third round, when he hit you from the side on your ear, how did that specifically feel?’ You wouldn’t ask a boxer that. Because you know they’re there to fight. Meaning now you know I’m here to fight. I’m here to fight for the re-education of what celebrity is. To say, ‘Yes, we are celebrities, but yes, we’re also innovators, we’re also inventors, we’re also thoughtful.’ ”
And it seems that the merging of these two major personal brands have paid off: The picture of them on their wedding day became the most liked photo on Instagram of all time. OF ALL TIME.
[Insert Taylor Swift interruption meme]
“It’s because of Kim. Meaning there’s no photo that I would have put up by myself, or next to one of my smarty friends, that would have got that amount of likes. So now you take this photo that has that amount of likes, and it has a flower wall from the same guy who does the Lanvin shows, and it has a couture Givenchy dress and Givenchy tuxedo in it. That’s the point. Now the thing that is the most popular is also communicating the highest level of creativity. The concept of Kimye has more cultural significance than what Page Six could write.”
You know what, he’s probably right.
Like it or not kids, your generation will hereafter be known for selfies, normcore, and Kimye. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s amazing, or incredibly depressing.
-Bianca O’Neill / Twitter @musicjourno Instagram @alphabetponymag
From Lady Gaga’s cuckoo for coconuts mini film, to M.I.A’s GIF-tastic social commentary, to an inexplicable Wizard of Oz reference in a video that has Snoop Dogg and Psy pairing up in Korea, this year has been seen a bumper crop of WTF/game changing moments in music videos.
So as we approach that time when we see our accountant, screaming BUT MY DAILY LATTE IS A WORK EXPENSE whilst making paper angels amongst 1,543 scrunched up receipts on the floor of their office, we look back on the 15 best videos of the year so far… Enjoy!
M.I.A, Double Bubble Trouble
One of my faves of the year: 3D printing, political commentary, and much GIF-tastic amazingness.
OKGo, The Writing’s On The Wall
It’s hardly surprising that serial viral video pests/savants OKGo have delivered yet another hit that keeps YouTube’s business model going.
Black Lips, Boys In The Wood
Winner for most disturbing, NSFW video of the year. Congrats!
Black Keys, Fever
Who knew Dan Auerbach could be cast so perfectly as a sweating, greasy TV minister? We were gunning for a Patrick Carney-as-IT-Crowd-special-guest ourselves.
Arcade Fire, We Exist
I hate Andrew Garfield (Garfield!), and love-hate Arcade Fire, but I fully endorse this message. #conflicted
St Vincent, Digital Witness
This year’s clear winner so far for most awesome set design in a video. We want to be in the cell next to St Vincent please.
Yet another epic pop song from our favourite invisible star, Sia. This Maddie kid from US reality show Dance Moms is incredible. Her mum probs isn’t though hey.
Alison Wonderland, I Want U
An ode to The Shining crossed with The Exorcist, only Alison Wonderland is a hell of a lot better looking than a crazed Jack Nicholson. Or Jack Nicholson full stop.
Kimbra, 90s Music
We may have been a little dubious about this track, but there’s no denying that this video is pretty awesome. Where are my GIFs, internet?
Lady Gaga, G.U.Y
Oh Gaga, you never fail to deliver on your elaborately crafted persona.
Clearly the sexiest video of the year. A masterclass in how to make marriage look hotter than being single.
Nicki Minaj, Lookin Ass Nigga
That time when Nicki stopped working with Guetta, dyed her hair a normal colour, and reminded us how much of a boss bitch she really is, and we were all happy again.
Katy Perry, Dark Horse
If we’re going to talk mammoth-budget pop videos, this is clearly the best of the year. You gotta give it to Katy Perry: She knows how to deliver epic themed vids, much like MJ before her.
Psy and Snoop Dogg, Hangover
I can’t explain why, except to lead you to our previous post on this.
Charli XCX ft. Iggy Azalea, Fancy
I mean, they made an ode to the BEST TEEN MOVIE OF ALL TIME.
-Bianca O’Neill / @musicjourno
So overnight VH1’s social media manager (who is clearly brilliant) and Robin Thicke’s PR (who is clearly an idiot) decided it would be the perfect time to ask the internet to ask Robin Thicke about how he’s such a classic douchebag.
It started like this, which again proves with the use of the apt term ‘burning’ that VH1 are innocently pre-trolling:
— VH1 (@VH1) June 30, 2014
And so it continued throughout the furthest reaches of the interwebz, as the Twitter trolls expended the midnight oil thinking up their best 140 character #burn. Today, we bring you our favourites, in what we’d like to call ‘How to effectively troll Robin Thicke: The Internet-ening’.
I feel like this piece offests the horrific Charles Saatchi story we posted earlier this week very nicely indeed. Enjoy!
#AskThicke How can I remove pesky chloroform stains from a polyester pocket square?
— Kate Iselin (@kateiselin) July 1, 2014
“What if I did an #AskThicke hashtag on twitter?” “Robin that’s a terrible idea. No don’t do it.” “I’m hearing yes.” “No.” “Yes.”
— Josh William Evans (@JoshEvans_) July 1, 2014
On a scale of R. Kelly to Phil Spector, how do you intend to “Get Her Back?” #AskThicke
— Rachel McKibbens (@RachelMcKibbens) June 30, 2014
— Graham Love (@GLove39) July 1, 2014
#askThicke what makes a better hat? A cabbage or a hat?
— Chris Skinner (@producerchris) July 1, 2014
Can we do another session of #AskThicke soon? I think it went pretty well! Lol
— Sneaker Addict (@28Stinni) July 1, 2014
As you were, internet. #soproud
-Bianca O’Neill / @musicjourno
So Snoop Dogg and Psy paired up for a melodic ode to that annoying trilogy we all hate, and it was FANTASTIC. The clip is clearly everything right with the world and the internet at the moment, so we’ve pulled together 5 essential Snoop Dogg and Psy GIFs to help you get through this fake Monday. And now it’s time for Hangover: The GIFening.
1. That moment when I wasn’t sure if Snoop was hitting Psy on the back as he threw up, or was smacking him on the booty as he twerked. Still not sure.
2. That moment when Snoop and Psy go to a karaoke bar and slow dance with old Asian ladies as an unknown twink takes over the mic.
3. That moment when the foursome reenact The Wizard Of Oz (but which one is Dorothy?), and it’s clearly the happiest moment in Snoop’s life THUS FAR.
4. That moment when Snoop raps, and Psy is totally into his noodles. It’s the exact dance I do when I’m eating really great noodles, so now I clearly want to be Psy’s friend.
And a bonus one for the road, before you go:
Just in case you still feel like you need to watch the entire clip (you crazy kid, you), here it is in all its glory:
-Bianca O’Neill / @musicjourno
Nathan Jolly takes us on a ride through Childish Gambino’s back catalogue, identifying the 15 best tracks (so far) in his groundbreaking and inspiring hip hop canon – we even created a playlist of them so you don’t have to. Here are just 15 of the many reasons why we think the rapper and actor is excellent: See him at Splendour, won’t you?
The Worst Guys
Because The Internet
Gambino skips all over a shifting time signature on The Worst Guys, which features his most impressive vocal performance and production work to date – not to mention Chance The Rapper. Glover’s musical partner Ludwig Goransson is in fine form too, with his Pet Sounds touches in the breakdown, and a shredding solo that is more Hendrix than Hennessey. Hypnotic, honest and immaculately produced.
Because The Internet
A lot of Glover’s music deals with sees him put work before love – there’s a reason Community creator Dan Harmon has jokingly referred to him as MC Workaholic – and Telegraph Ave. finds Glover driving to a lover in Oakland, as fears she might “get him to stay” flood his head. This is a touching song about distance, shifting priorities, and growing older.
Coming off the back of the well-received Royalty mixture, the delightfully-titled Yaphet Kotto opens with a blast of rather gymnastic spitfire rapping, before sliding into an impressive ayahuasca-inspired middle section. Beware though: the trip soon sours as violence and paranoia creeps in.
We Ain’t Them
The Royalty mixtape was the moment that detractors had to admit that Glover, if not their cup of tea, certainly wasn’t a novelty act. The opening track sets the bar high and makes the mission statement clear: Glover isn’t fucking about anymore.
Because The Internet
One of Glover’s more avant garde tracks (which is saying a lot), a lazy beat and laconic delivery are routinely interrupted by blasts of static, the ‘Worldstar’ chant, and even a phone call, before it all drifts away upon a sax solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on a mid-’70s Stevie Wonder record.
If hearing Beck rap “centrifugal force pulling me off course, in a horse race” isn’t enough of an incentive to listen to this track, then the plodding production (handled by both Glover and Beck), and the strangely complementary rapping styles of both should be.
Freaks and Geeks
Juvenile word play floods the lead single from Gambino’s EP, the precursor to his major label debut Camp. Despite, or perhaps due to, the lyrical content, this is Gambino’s first top notch hip hop track – fierce and fun.
The name Childish Gambino came from an online Wu-Tang name generator, so it makes poetic sense that RZA appears on this track. Glover holds his own against the rap legend, and adornment by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a nice touch.
Because The Internet
One of many tracks on Because The Internet that starts and ends in two wildly different sonic spheres. A lazy skipping-stone beat with Glover darting from a laconic rap to a creamy croon soon shifts into an dystopian march.
More an indie pop song than a hip hop track, These Girls sees Gambino again sacrifice love for his career, a common theme in his canon. There’s a great live cover by Community co-star Alison Brie floating around online, too.
Because The Internet
Anxious existentialism masked as a love song. Despite its futuristic title, 3005 is very 2013 – down to the slight EDM flirtation, big Idol-worthy chorus, and FM organ. As a crossover single, it’s still weird as all fuck.
Pound Cake Freestyle
Sway In The Morning
Not strictly a Gambino release, but still a vital part of his recorded canon, this freestyle over the beat from Drake’s Pound Cake for radio show Sway In The Morning is deeply personal, technically impressive, and was, not surprisingly, critically lauded.
Because The Internet
The closest thing to a straight hip hop track on the kaleidoscopic Because The Internet, Sweatpants is a showcase for Glover’s flow, while being a production triumph. The dinner table blow up is vivid and striking, and the spiralling chorus will be caught in your head for weeks.
Eat Your Vegetables
One of a number of bridging tracks dropped online between album Camp and Royalty, Eat Your Vegetables is a harder, straighter hip hop track than his usual fare, although this is beautifully undercut by the glistening Donkey Kong Country soundtrack sample that anchors the entire song.
The most late ‘90s sounding hip hop track in Glover’s canon, this jaunty track was an obvious single from the unfairly derided Camp record – it could have easily been a crossover hit had the stars aligned.
So last night the CFDA (The Council of Fashion Designers of America) had their annual prom, The CFDA Awards. Basically, it’s where American designers pat each other on their impeccably dressed backs, and use the red carpet as an intermittent runway to promote their latest creations via beautiful, famous faces.
The best thing about it is that you get to see what dresses the designers think will impress the other designers. The
worst thing other best thing about it, is that a lot of these dresses are a disaster. To the red carpet… Onward!
Emmy Rossum in this J Mendel chartreuse dress = delicious. It’s a tough thing to pull off lime green and black with lace, but here it looks stunning.
Greta Gerwig looks absolutely fab in this perfectly red, perfectly tailored number, and proves that curvy women can totally rock the red carpet next to those stick thin size 0’s. Totes inspo. Meanwhile, Lupita Nyong’o totally redeems herself after that Met Ball flapper disaster in this gorgeous African print inspired two piece.
Coco Rocha goes vintage in a black and white Christian Siriano dress and hat, and the more I look at it, the more it works. It’s kind of like that part in Gone With The Wind where Scarlett makes a dress out of her curtains and looks FABULOUS.
Solange: Calvin Klein. Done. Olivia Palermo in this gorgeous black number: Done.
And can we just pause for a moment and look at my girl crush, Marion Cotillard, in this 60s number? Can we be best friends already?!
Please remove one thing before you leave the house
Jamie King: WHAT IS WITH THOSE CSI DETECTIVE GLASSES?!? I’m really hoping there’s a black eye under there, because at least there would be a reason for this inexplicable addition.
Serena Van Der Woodsen would never have paired this cute Michael Kors scalloped minidress with pageant hair and suede dusty pink stripper heels. Like, der. Meanwhile, Karlie Kloss looks like she paired a tennis dress with a wedding dress – but it’s not really that bad. Until you see the heels.
Oh Heidi. You look like Delta Goodrem here (not a compliment), and your dress matches your unnecessary spray tan (definitely not a compliment). A disaster in peach. And speaking of a disaster, Busy Phillips: Your face looks like it’s a cupcake perched on top of a frilly red tin liner. And that white necklace. We think you can tell it’s a disaster, as you look totally unimpressed.
As the Fashion Icon 2014 award recipient, it’s probably no wonder Rihanna chose to shock in this custom Adam Selman naked dress. It was, quite literally, a naked dress, with her nipples and full (delicious) ass on display. Look, RiRi has a banging bod and she’s undoubtedly beautiful – but I really don’t think T&A maketh for much style. Spectacle, maybe…
Let’s just revisit RiRi again from behind, shall we? Because, dat ass.
-Bianca O’Neill / @alphabetponymag