Category Archives: News

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

The acclaimed singer died today at 48. A terrible loss.

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You:

-Melissa

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Jam of the Day – Black Keys Brothers Duke it Out for Love

Brothers, The Black Keys‘ highly anticipated new album, will hit stores today. To mark the occasion, Nonesuch Records partnered with the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in New York City to create the Black Keys pop-up store. The store will be located in the front of Housing Works and will only be open from today through Thursday. On sale will be merch from The Black Keys, including the limited-edition collectible hardbound book/deluxe edition of Brothers, and a portion of the proceeds from all merch sold will go directly to the Housing Works charity. The Keys are scheduled to play an intimate performance at the store tomorrow night, May 19th, from which 100% of ticket proceeds will go directly to Housing Works, Inc., to benefit New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

They debuted the new official video “Tighten Up,” today on MySpace, check it out.

The Black Keys – Tighten Up:

-Melissa

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Jam of the Day – N. Carolina Beach Town Hates Sisqo

In the clearest sign yet that Sisqo’s reign at the top ended a long, long time ago, a North Carolina beach town recently encated a law making it illegal “for any person being naked or insufficiently clothed … to bathe or swim in the Atlantic Ocean.” The code goes on to specifically single out “thong bathing suits or similar attire” as banned items. What’s the deal, Kure Beach? Why is Mayor Dean Lambeth so concerned about thongs? Cut it out.

What do you think? Watch this video of a beach full of thongs and decide where you stand on the issue!

Sisqo – Thong Song:

-Drew

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Jam of the Day – The Difference Between Free Whales and Freelance Whales

Yesterday, BBC News reported that Japan’s whaling fleet had returned to port with about half the number of whales that they had “expected” to catch (whatever that means), meaning that the aggressive tactics of the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society had paid off. It seems crazy that even though, as the article notes, “commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1986,” Japan’s whalers can try to justify catching 1,000 whales for “scientific purposes” when it is pretty clear that most of that whale meat just ends up in restaurants (like this one in Santa Monica that was recently shut down). But just to wrap up this abundance of whale news with something less somber, I recommend checking out Matt Kish’s project of making one drawing for every page of Moby Dick.

Speaking of whales (seriously?), Freelance Whales played a sold out show last night at Bowery Ballroom, along with the Shout Out Louds and one of our new favorite bands, Sherlock’s Daughter (our interview with the charming Aussies will be posted shortly). Even though they’ve obviously been touched musicall by the Postal Service as much as, say, Owl City, and further have also appropriated Ben Gibbard’s penchant for vocalizing even the most mundane details, there are moments when the band really shines on their first LP, Weathervanes, which came out yesterday on Frenchkiss Records. This guy’s review of the record is pretty spot-on, and I agree that “Hannah” and “The Great Estates” are probably the hottest offerings on the record. So have a listen to Jam of the Day “Hannah” (no video yet).

Freelance Whales – Hannah:

But definitely the most interesting discovery I made while reading up on the band today was a video created by this Vimeo user Austin Conroy, which captures the Freelance Whales performing like a 20 minute set on the Bedford Ave. L platform. The guy walks off the train already filming so I’m guessing he knew it was going on ahead of time (and there are a lot of people with cameras already there). Watch out for the early near-collision of the two women at the beginning (it looks like they’re about to have a “Get the fuck out of my way,” “No, you get the fuck out of the way” kind of conversation until they see the camera), as well as the cops telling the band they need to move because playing music on the platform is “too dangerous.” Once the cameraman actually gets situated, the band sounds pretty great. If you only have time to listen to one track from this, I’d recommend jumping ahead to about 15 minutes 30 seconds in the video for the subway-track version of “The Great Estates.”

-Drew

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Jam of the Day – France to Transsexuals: “It’s Your Thing, Do What You Wanna Do,” Sort Of

They may have been almost 3 weeks later than the NYTimes in writing about it, but yesterday Time reported that France had become “the first country in the world to remove transsexualism from its official list of mental disorders.” But while this move by France’s Health Minister, Roselyne Bachelot, has been heralded by some for promoting the rights of sexual minorities, others, especially transgendered individuals living in France, worry that the move is largely an empty symbolic gesture. Such individuals point out that removing “transsexualism” from the country’s list of mental illnesses “will do little to improve their legal or medical rights in the country. For example, transsexuals are still required to have a sex-change operation before they can change their gender in the eyes of the law. And to get the green light for surgery, they must still undergo extensive medical and psychiatric evaluations.” This type of discrimination just seems ridiculous to me, like the idea of denying gay couples the right to marriage (congratulations to Washington, D.C., by the way!!). Why should the state (or any state) care what you do with your junk (or lack of junk)?

I prefer the opinion expressed so eloquently by The Isley Brothers in “It’s Your Thing,” their 1969 funk classic: “It’s your thing/Do what you wanna do/I can’t tell you/Who to sock it to.” Word is bond, Ronald.

Recorded partly as a parting shot to Barry Gordy after the Isley Brothers left Motown Records for what they felt was a lack of love and promotion from the label, it’s also the first Isley Brothers record to feature young Ernie Isley on bass. Check out this funny video of the song, featuring Elaine’s “Little Kicks” dance from Seinfeld.

The Isley Brothers – It’s Your Thing:

-Drew

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Jam of the Day – Don’t Blame Coco

It’s looking like the last night of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien will be tonight. After signing a deal that will reportedly make him a very rich man, O’Brien is leaving the show and Jay Leno is coming back. Having seen a taping of the old Late Night with Conan O’Brien here in New York, I know that he is really funny on-screen and off. So don’t blame Coco that the new Tonight Show didn’t work out and don’t feel too bad for him either, 32.5 million is a hell of a severance package.

Ironically timed, the release of British band I Blame Coco‘s new video dropped earlier this week. I Blame Coco is headed by Coco Sumner (Sting’s daughter) and her voice sounds promising. I look forward to hearing more tracks. The song features a guest appearance by Robyn (a big Swedish sensation) and the vinyl of “Caesar” will be out February 1st. The mega-DJ Diplo is producing Robyn’s new album and he’s already done a remix of “Caesar” which you can listen to below. The song is good but the remix is better.

I Blame Coco feat Robyn – Caesar:

I Blame Coco f. Robyn, – Caesar (Diplo Remix): (via A Tribe Called Next)

-Melissa

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Jam of the Day – Caring is NOT Creepy

What is there to say about the current situation in Haiti? It’s horrible, unthinkable, and heart-breaking for New Yorkers with relatives there. Here is one way to help.

This mournful Jam comes from the Shins off of their 2001 album, Oh Inverted World. We hope the situation there improves dramatically soon, these people need all the help they can get.

The Shins – Caring is Creepy:

-Melissa

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