Little Mix Gives a Salute to Their First US Tour

Categories: Interviews

Columbia Records
Little Mix from L-to-R: Perrie, Leigh-Anne, Jesy, and Jade.
"Ladies all across the world, listen up, we're looking for recruits" is the opening lyric on Little Mix's second album Salute, and it absolutely sets the tone for a collection of empower pop ballads and anthems from the UK's rapidly growing girl group. The winners of the eighth series of UK's The X-Factor were the first all-female group since the Pussycat Dolls to hit the Billboard Top 100's Top 5 with their debut DNA in 2012, but this year will be their first North American stadium tour as they join Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony for 27 dates across the US and Canada.

This week marked the official US release of their second album, and Perrie, Leigh-Anne, Jesy and Jade have kept themselves busy promoting on GMA, Watch What Happens Live, and several album signings on the east coast before starting the Neon Lights Tour on February 9th in Vancouver. Jesy took some time out to speak with us about the more mature sound on their latest album and how they want to empower their young, female fans.

See also: No One Trusts the Tastes of Teenage Girls, But Should: Why Justin Bieber Is the Next Beatles

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The Super Bowl's Biggest Winner: Jon Daly's Chili Peppers Parody

Categories: Interviews

Jon Daly as BillCosby Bukowski
On Wednesday morning, a cavalcade of comedians and musicians started posting a link to the site, claiming that it hosted a brand new single by Super Bowl halftime performers Red Hot Chili Peppers. The song, titled "Abracadabralifornia" is a spot on parody of the non-sensical lyrics and festishizing of California we've come to expect from a band that is allergic to both shirts and the ability to make a straight face in a photograph.

The fact that the song was the result of a March 2013 Comedy! Bang! Bang! bit featuring comedian Jon Daly (Kroll Show) didn't prevent a large chunk of the internet from assuming the song and its website were real. The collaboration between Daly and musician Cyrus Ghahremani went viral almost instantly. The following conversation with Daly took place at 5 p.m. on Friday, and by that point he claimed the song had been downloaded 300,000 times and the site had already racked up millions of hits.

See also: We Made Eagulls Get Drunken Tattoos

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Johnny Flynn Extras: Leftover Quotes and Anecdotes

Categories: Interviews

Credit: Luke Montgomery
This week we interviewed British folk musician Johnny Flynn, who hits Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday at the start of a U.S. solo tour. The multi-instrumentalist and Shakespearean actor recently did some dates supporting Mumford & Sons and co-stars in Anne Hathaway's new movie Song One, premiering this month at Sundance. Over a couple of hours, we talked fatherhood, rebellion, working with a movie star, and Jenny Lewis.

See also: (Nearly) in Like Flynn

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Albert Hammond Jr. Comes Clean About His Drug Addiction

Categories: Interviews

Albert Hammond Jr.

Albert Hammond Jr. is back–it just took him a little while to get here. Earlier this year the rhythm guitarist for the Strokes opened up about his years-long addiction to cocaine, heroin, and ketamine that finally overwhelmed him during the recording sessions for 2011's Angles at his One Way Studios in upstate New York. There, while spending thousands of dollars a weekend on drugs, he realized he needed to go to rehab. "For some people it works fine," Hammond Jr. tells me over the phone after a European tour with British singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, whom he'll perform with this Friday at Terminal 5. The musician is thoughtful and diplomatic when it comes to his drug abuse, carefully wording his answers so as not to condemn anyone's choices but his own. "The path I went down was not doing anything and getting fucked up, or doing something and not."

See also: The Strokes Are Playing Madison Square Garden The Night Before LCD Soundsystem

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Interview: Meet Rap's New Antihero, Fredo Santana

Categories: Interviews

Fredo Santana
Rashid Samuel/Versus and Co.
Fredo Santana
Who is Fredo Santana? The 23 year-old rapper doesn't really do interviews. He's earned a reputation for having a short fuse and gives zero fucks, especially when journalists ask him stupid questions. Still unsigned, he's not enamored by the spoils of the music industry and is wary of any kind of fawning.

His distrust is warranted. Hardened by his upbringing in Chicago -- dubbed "Chiraq" because of its similarity to wartime Iraq -- his tender age belies a life of battle scars. His lengthy rap sheet includes drug dealing as an adolescent and several jail stints and harkens back to the age of 12, when he was arrested for kicking down a bus door on Halloween. Even today, his brown eyes, separated by a small cross tattoo, often register an opaque vacancy. He's impossible to read.

After being name-checked in his cousin Chief Keef's cold-blooded "I Don't Like" in 2012, Fredo began taking rap seriously, releasing three mixtapes and one album just this year. The neophyte's "Jealous" with Kendrick Lamar (off his Trappin' Ain't Dead) is remarkably good and Drake personally asked him to star in "Hold On, We're Going Home." The menacing, albeit brief, music video cameo ranks as one of pop's most indelible images this year, no doubt spawning its share of nightmares.

Fredo hit another milestone by headlining his first New York City show at Santos Party House last week. Fans gathered on Lafayette Street for hours on a chilly night, many of them staying for the $100 meet-and-greet to get face time afterwards. As one journalist said to me during the show, the music was ancillary, the bigger deal was that the elusive rapper was actually here, in our city. The following day, Fredo invited Sound of the City to his Chelsea crash pad for a lengthy conversation.

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Joe Moses Brings His Holiday Showses Back to New York City

Courtesy of HMG Public Relations
Joe Moses
In 2009, Joe Moses joined forces with his college friends and peers in Team StarKid to effectively blow up the internet with their YouTube parody musical titled A Very Potter Musical. Playing a hilariously drawling, gliding, and deliciously wicked version of Severus Snape, Moses showed off his comedic chops and gained a new fandom in the process.

Having moved to Los Angeles after being based in New York for a few years, he's continued making a name for himself with his sketch comedy show titled the 'Joe Moses Showses' that would regularly perform in NYC but went national with a tour over the summer, with a DVD highlighting a couple of those performances now available to purchase. Putting on his show for the first time since the tour ended in August, Moses is preparing his third annual 'Holiday Showses,' which this year features special guests Clark Baxtresser (TalkFine), Tessa Netting (Billy Elliott, Glee) and Broadway icon Anthony Rapp (RENT). "There's something great about having a really vague theme like the holidays," says Moses. "It's so exciting to write for that. Ideas come up that I wouldn't think of during the course of the year."

We spoke with the performer about what to expect for his holiday shows this weekend, his love of pandas, and getting confused with a rapper who shares his name.

See also: Live: Team Starkid Bring The Internet To Life At The Gramercy Theatre

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Chase N. Cashe: "Troy Ave Has the Best Rap Album of 2013"

Categories: Interviews

Chase N. Chase
Chase N. Cashe may be the most popular guy in hip-hop. In a few short years, the New Orleans rapper/producer has ingratiated himself with seemingly everyone; being memorably name-checked by Drake on "9 am in Dallas," winning Grammy Awards, clocking production credits with the likes of Beyonce and Lil Wayne and generally just being kind of everywhere. I met Chase for the first time at a random book club that rapper Pusha T invited me to and we spent most of the night arguing about the parallels of Animal Farm and the Third World. Long story.

See also: Troy Ave Promises New York City Is a Classic Album (or Your Money Back)

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Big Ups: Jam Band Weedeaters and Jesus Lizard Fanatics

Categories: Interviews, Phish

Photo Danny Krug
Big Ups
The twenty-something, NYU-bred noise-rocking brainiacs in Brooklyn's Big Ups are nestled in a corner booth at Greenpoint's Manhattan Inn, downing Buds while barely looking old enough to drink, cracking wise-ass all the way. They shoot down their own goofy name ("It's a really bad band name"), squash the hardcore punk comparisons (Black Flag? They "don't hear it at all') and they even bestowed a silly nickname upon guitarist Amar Lal he's not exactly fond of (or wants printed here).

See also: The 10 Best Bars in Greenpoint

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Chinx Drugz on Stack Bundles' Legacy and I'll Take It From Here

Categories: Interviews

Chinx Drugz
Courtesy of Coke Boys
Chinx Drugz
Chinx Drugz is running on empty right now. The rapper's been up for hours after an all-night recording session at Diddy's Daddy's House Recording Studio in Midtown, which at one point included French Montana, Travis Scott, Harry Fraud and strangely, a hookah-puffing Macklemore.

See also: Jim Jones and Dame Dash Harness the Power of Words

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Mary Lambert on Critics of Macklemore's "Same Love": "I'm Gay and Part of the Song, Too!"

Categories: Interviews

Credit: Debora Spencer
Though Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" technically dropped in 2012, the song really hit its stride this year when it became an anthem for LGBTQ rights as well as a hot topic. Mary Lambert-- the singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, and heartwrenchingly silken vocals behind the song's beautiful chorus--has been along for the ride with her fellow Seattle artists and has even joined them on their successful fall tour to sing along to the song that's helped make her a rising artist outside of just her local scene.

Last month, we spoke with Lambert about "Same Love" and her solo art just before she kicked off the tour with Macklemore. Now, she and the boys are in New York City, and when she's not uptown with them, she'll be making an appearance downtown, stepping out on her own with messages worth listening to.

See also: Critics Need to Lay Off Macklemore

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