When Fall Out Boy ended a four-year hiatus this spring with the release of fifth album Save Rock and Roll , audiences and critics were clearly happy to hear their unique blend of verbose, baroque pop-punk on the airwaves again. (Lead single “ My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up) ” hit No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 – rarified air for a rock band in the 2010s.) If you’d told fans they’d follow up Save Rock and Roll with a taut, grimy EP of punk tunes, it might’ve been hard to believe. [...]
New Wave legends Tears for Fears surprised fans with their first new recording in nine years: a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start.” It might be crazy to call a band with 16 U.K. Top 40 hits “underrated,” but Tears for Fears – to this writer – have only seemed to earn the respect they truly deserve in recent times. In the last decade, Gary Jules and Michael Andrews had a U.K. chart-topper with a mournful cover of the band’s “ Mad World ,” [...]
The release of Man of Steel – the latest attempt to tell the story of comic book legend Superman – fills me with an excitement I can’t quite articulate. The chance to see my favorite mythological figure in American history grace the silver screen again is a cause for celebration – which is astounding, considering how little I wanted to do with this particular tale mere months ago. Since the last son of Krypton flew into my life, I’ve had one very specific picture of him in [...]
Prepare to be Stung…again.
When last we heard from Julian Velard, one of the best and most underrated singer-songwriters in the pop game, he’d dashed off a quick but captivating EP, Person of Interest , last fall. Since then, he’s kept a low profile, popping up as musical entertainment on a few NPR shows here and there and performing with fellow singer-songwriter Ari Hest as part of the soft-rock cover act The Jewbadours . The silence finally ends this month, with a forthcoming album out this year and a [...]
If you like music and you’ve been on the Internet in the past few weeks, you can’t go far without seeing Daft Punk’s name in print. The French dance duo came back in a big way this month with the release of Random Access Memories , a stirringly retro dance album and their first proper studio album in eight years (a live album and the soundtrack to TRON: Legacy have all appeared in the interim). Deftly zigging where an EDM-fueled crowd expected them to [...]
Who wants a new drug?
Blame the incredibly long shadow of “Weird Al” Yankovic or the crop of so many dime-a-dozen parodists dropping quickly-crafted goofs on YouTube, but it always feels that The Lonely Island are criminally underrated. Sure, the trio of writer/actors Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccome and Akiva Schaeffer have earned plenty of acclaim for their daffy song satire, thanks to their beloved Digital Shorts on Saturday Night Live , where Samberg acted and Taccome wrote for several years. Some of these clips, including the ’90s R&B pastiche “ Dick in a Box ” [...]
15 years from now, someone will pull this article up and ask “What’s a blog?”
An electronic musician from New Jersey makes catchy pop about heartbreak and suburbia. What’s not to like?
The name Deke Richards may not strike you immediately if you’re not a Motown fanatic. But if you’ve got any love for the works of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 (and, of course, if you read this site, surely you must), the news of Richards’ passing is indeed a bittersweet note. Richards, born Dennis Lussier, was one-quarter of two of Motown’s most famous songwriting collectives in the post-Holland-Dozier-Holland era. First there was The Clan with Pam Sawyer, Frank Wilson and R. Dean Taylor; together, [...]
Ahhh, the 25th anniversary edition. There’s no quicker way to crush us under the wheels of time. The quarter century mark is usually the first really legitimate proof that a film or album is going to stand the test of time for someone – and this week, someone’s certainly going to be happy over the release of a 25th anniversary edition of the modern classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit, making its debut on Blu-Ray. Based on a wacky pulp novel by Gary [...]