Hot 100 Roundup: Jerrod Niemann Gets Happy, Passion Pit Tells A Sad Story, Karmin Remains Annoying, And More

hot100roundup_september6.jpg
This week the new entries in the Hot 100 attain a near-perfect balance: Two good to great records (Passion Pit and Jerrod Niemann), two terrible ones (Karmin and Macklemore), and a bunch of mediocre stuff in the middle. Over the course of a year, the quality of the Hot 100 usually settles into a normal probability curve, but it's rare to see the entire spectrum in a single week of new arrivals.

More »

'Milk It A Little Longer For Me': Watching The Flaming Lips' Attempt To Make The Record Books

flaminglips_livestream.jpg
Greg Campbell/Getty Images via Text100
When news broke that the Flaming Lips were going to play eight separate shows in 24 hours in an attempt to eclipse a Guinness World Record set by Jay-Z, the collective response was something along the lines of, "Well, of course they are."

The Lips have done so much bonkers shit up to this point in their long career—from releasing a live album on a USB drive encased in a bubblegum-flavored gummy fetus to the release of a 24-hour long song available for sale on a hard drive stuffed inside an actual human skull—that few things they do can really be seen as surprising.

But when I received a press release announcing the world record attempt and the fact that the whole thing was going to be livestreamed, I knew that this ridiculous and gimmicky thing deserved, nay begged for, a ridiculous, gimmicky response: I was going to watch the whole thing, livetweeting the whole way, and keeping notes on my thoughts and what was sure to be my mental collapse around hour 18.

What follows is culled from those notes and my tweets, and timestamped (in PT) for your entertainment and edification. You can surely find videos from the eight Lips shows and everything in between to, I guess, play along at home. I wouldn't recommend it, though. Even though it involved a band I generally admire, it was one hell of a slog.

More »

The 11 Most Infuriating Songs Of 2011, No. 3: [White Person], [White Person Cutely/Seriously Performing Urban-Radio Hit]

karmin_lookatmenow.jpg
The Songs: Karmin, "Super Bass" and "Look At Me Now" and way too many others; Mac Lethal, "Cook Wit Me Now"; Jackson Foote and friends, "Get Low"; Sophia Grace, "Super Bass"; probably more that are shooting up the Reddit charts right now.
The Crimes: Anti-pop snobbery; humorlessness in the name of "musicality"; pandering to the commenting hordes on tech blogs who consider themselves above pop music, but not above being catered to directly and embarrassingly. And let's not forget the racist viral hit of late November, Texts From Bennett, which came from one of the above auteurs.

Internet attention is precious currency for up-and-coming bands, who have to make their way past a torrent of acts both established and brand-new in order to get themselves heard. Those artists who have figured out that a pretty easy way to skip the line, so to speak, is to pander to the world of social-news sites—places like Reddit and Digg that are overwhelmingly male and extremely pop-averse, among other things—have held a depressing competitive advantage over the past few years, with their modest successes breeding breathless "future of the biz" stories that led to even more success and press and so on. There's one other common thread between all these musicians; the geek-beloved strummer Jonathan Coulton, for example, suggests that people listen to his chiming cover of "Baby Got Back" before almost anything else he's recorded; last year, the Bay Area duo Pomplamoose snagged a deal to annoy TV-watching Americans during the holidays after thrilling Digg and with wall-eyed, "real-music" versions of fun songs like "Single Ladies" and "Telephone."

Yes; even though it's been some 27 years since "Rappin' Duke," the "white people turn urban-radio tropes into something more similar to what they might listen to, with hilarity possibly ensuing" tack is still guaranteed to hit pay dirt among certain subgroups of people who consider themselves both musical aesthetes and "geeks." Whether they're cowed by the technologically forward production (irony alert!), unsure of which Urban Dictionary definition to use when figuring out just what the lyrics might mean, or just trying to fight the man, man (never mind that their computers were made by multinational conglomerates), these sorts of covers still get eaten up by YouTube viewers like they're ice-cream sundaes made by dairy geniuses. And thanks to the increased importance of "virality" in 2011, artists who took this tack were often rewarded by showers of likes, buckets of retweets, and hordes of people delighting in the knowledge that there were a lot of people out there whose noses were all upturned at exactly the same angle—which meant that they could only multiply. The four most egregious examples below.


More »

Live: Lady Gaga Is Z100's Homecoming Queen At The Jingle Ball

gagajingleball.jpg
Z100 Jingle Ball: Lady Gaga, Pitbull, David Guetta, Kelly Clarkson, LMFAO, Gym Class Heroes, Demi Lovato, Foster The People, and Hot Chelle Rae w/Karmin, The Script
Madison Square Garden
Friday, December 9

Better than: A lump of coal and a "Firework" CD single.

To begin, let's run down a few key numbers related to the 2011 installment of Z100's Jingle Ball. Friday night's pop extravaganza had 11 sets; 32 full songs; five medleys; two point five holiday-themed songs; two encores; one Coldplay video; one Kardashian; and one member of LMFAO on the disabled list. Things that were present in abundance, so I didn't keep tallies: Screaming; festive attire; between-song ads; shout-outs to New York City.

I begin with statistics, because what is Z100—the East Coast top-40 flagship of the Clear Channel monolith—but a celebration of numbers? At the night's outset, Elvis Duran, host of the morning show, declared, "When you hear a song played on Z100, you know it's a hit." The artists atop the Jingle Ball's bill, with their ability to be reduced to one name—Gaga, Pitbull, Guetta, Kelly, all of whom have spent the month performing atop other Jingle Balls in other cities—bore this theory out in a sense; their sets, brief but longer than those earlier in the evening, contained only "hits," songs that might not have been familiar by title but that were sing-alongable within the first verse.

More »

Six Awful Things About Karmin's "Crash Your Party"

karmin_crashyourparty.jpg
Tonight is Z100's Jingle Ball—headlined by Lady Gaga! with a set by Kelly Clarkson!—and the top-40 station's annual celebration of its playlist's biggest stars will be co-hosted by the duo Karmin, a pair of Berklee-educated musicians from Boston who rose to prominence earlier this year with a competent, semi-serious cover of "Look At Me Now." As you might expect, the "white people performing a self-consciously jokey version of an urban hit" trope was a big hit among those who read the Internet, and Karmin even honored the social-news site Reddit for its support in the video for its cover of Lil Wayne's "6'7'." (This comment on that clip has 60 "likes": "u turn shit in to music." Hooray!) Earlier this fall they released their first major-label single, the Black Sheep-sampling attention-hog dis "Crash Your Party," and, well... imagine a boot covered in pictures of Pomplamoose and Jessie J and the band that white-boy covered "Boyz N The Hood" a few years back stomping on a human face. Forever. Six specific problems with it after the jump.

More »
Loading...