Six Ways James Blunt Could Make Up for That Horrid Travesty 'You're Beautiful'

Categories: Lists

Screenshot from the video for that unlistenable piece of garbage.
Recently, in an interview with Hello! magazine, that sappy dude with Ashton Kutcher hair, James Blunt, apologized for his double-platinum song "Beautiful." Referring to it as "force-fed down people's throats" and "annoying," Blunt has openly admitted his grim misdeed in writing the 2005 anthem for the parade of the horribles.

While the right thing to do would be to forgive our friend with the dope-smoking last name and possibly even check out his more recent material, we are not fair and righteous people. We are petty, callous, and vindictive. More importantly, we hated that song and still have to hear it in elevators and while waiting on hold in telephone hell as we attempt to negotiate medical-bill payment plans.

See also: Six Punk Bands We Don't Need to Talk About Anymore

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The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 10/27/14

Categories: Feature

Mötley Crüe
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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Good News: It's OK to Like Weezer Again

Categories: Coolio, Weezer

Photo by Emily Shur
"Take me back," singer Rivers Cuomo intones in the chorus of Weezer's latest hit single, "Back to the Shack." It's a familiar sentiment from him, going all the way back to the early portion of his career when he sang, "I've got to get back" in Pinkerton classic "The Good Life."

Is "Back to the Shack" the return to form he's pining for in the track's own self-referential lyrics? Not quite. It's maybe the worst out of the recently released singles from the band's new record, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, yet it does a pretty damn good job of sounding like the old Weezer, something the band has consistently failed at for the last decade.

See also: Weezer's Top Five Most Iconic Videos

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Was Iggy Azalea's SNL Performance the Worst in the Show's History?

First things first: Rita Ora's backing vocals? Not the Realest, and she still managed to upstage Iggy Azalea for her big Saturday Night Live debut.

Before we begin, let us stipulate that Azalea's chart and headline domination in 2014 is irrefutable. Between "Fancy," "Black Widow," "Problem," and the collection of awards-show performances and festival engagements under her belt, the radiant rapper has had an excellent year, chock-full of star-spangled collaborations and oft-repeated verses. It's a good time to be Iggy Azalea. Or it was until she made her way to SNL.

See also: Sorry, Haters: Maroon 5 Rocked SNL

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A Chance Encounter With Alice Cooper Changed My Life

Categories: Essay, Feature

Once upon a time in Phoenix, in the fall of 1980, my high school journalism teacher, Mrs. Finerman, was standing before the class, her voice thick with Willy Wonka mystery.

"This is a very special room," she told us. "Years ago, right here, a man by the name of Vincent Furnier wrote for this school newspaper."

We all shrugged, unimpressed.

"Annnd...?" someone finally asked in a polite why-should-we-care tone.

It was the first week of my junior year at Cortez High School. I had no purpose in life at the time, except to daydream about being a bestie to the lead singers of my favorite bands -- Heart, Blondie, the Cars. Basically any group on KUPD's rotation.

I loved to write and figured joining the newspaper staff with my best friend, Dana, would be a way to exercise my blooming creativity.

Mrs. Finerman's dramatic intro certainly piqued my interest.

"Vincent Furnier...changed his name to...Alice Cooper," she revealed, smiling brightly through her shiny frosty pink lipstick. "And up on top of that bookcase," she informed, pointing across the room, "you can see where he scratched in his name in the wood."

As a chubby, shy, rock 'n' roll-loving chica on a mostly Anglo campus, I didn't exactly have a social comfort zone. In this era of my life, I (stupidly) boycotted all things related to my culture -- the food, quinceañeras, and most definitely anything related to low riders. I just wanted to be what I thought was a "normal" 16-year-old. However, I was too geeky for the Mexican-American clique and too insecure about my super-curly hair, olive skin, and the "Kathy CHIcano" name jokes.

See also: Alice Cooper's Best Songs...According to Alice Cooper

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The 10 Best Prog-Metal Bands

Categories: Lists

Dream Theater
Progressive metal, unlike other subgenres, borrows heavily from hard rock, classical rock, and early heavy-metal influences. Although several of the bands on this list might not technically be considered metal, we group hard rock and metal under the same umbrella for the sake of clarity. Progressive metal (prog metal, for short) is less about brutality and speed, as is the case with extreme metal or thrash. And the focus is not so much on evil or satanic themes, like black metal. Instead, listeners can hear everything from classical music, symphonic metal, speed metal, power metal, and traditional heavy metal in many prog-metal bands. The focus in this subgenre has always been on the proficiency of the musicians, epic songwriting, and sounds that aren't neatly categorized into only one type of metal. As this list will show, even extreme-metal bands can lean more toward the prog side. We now present our list of the 10 Best Progressive Metal/Hard Rock bands.

See also: Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

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Meet the Only Rapper on Earth Who's Collaborated With Nas and the Dalai Lama

Categories: CMJ

The Syndicate
There's only one rapper on the entire face of the Earth who has collaborated with both Nas and the Dalai Lama, and his name is Dwagie. A living legend, Dwagie is widely credited with releasing the first all-Chinese rap album, 2002's Lotus From the Tongue. His latest, Refuse to Listen, further bridges the gap between Taiwan's and America's hip-hop scenes, boasting both an appearance by Nas, on the title track, and production from DJ Premier. The Taiwanese MC is playing a rare American show Friday at Highline Ballroom along with his country's two other biggest music stars, A-Lin and Ascent, and an additional show Saturday at Coco 66. We spoke to Dwagie about having pioneered a hip-hop scene in Taiwan, as well as if it was harder to get the Dalai Lama or Nas on a track.

See also: Meet Logic, the Punctual, Seinfeld-Loving Rapper Who Turned Down a Deal With Nas

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The 10 Best Concerts This Weekend, 10/24/14

Categories: Weekend

For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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The Kills' Alison Mosshart: 'New York Is a Real Part of Us'

Categories: The Kills

Possibly an incarnation of all things rock 'n' roll, Alison Mosshart, frontwoman of the Kills (and the Dead Weather), is known for her onstage presence, unfaltering aesthetic, and ability to consistently defy cliché and convention as a performer. Details about the Kills' follow-up to 2011's Blood Pressures are still for the most part unknown, aside from the fact that the record is forthcoming. Despite this, anticipation builds for fans.

 In advance of the Kills' performance Thursday at the Bowery Ballroom, Mosshart talked about why movement aids her creative process, why evolution and change are essential to the Kills, and why she missed the Bowery.

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Why Taylor Swift's 'Welcome to New York' Is Bullshit

Categories: Taylor Swift

The first thing you notice about Taylor Swift's New York is that the East River has somehow been turned into a 16-mile-long flowing trench of frozen yogurt. Is it Pinkberry? Is it Red Mango? It's impossible to tell, but don't get close enough to find out, because if you fall in, there's no escaping. It's just frozen yogurt in your nose and your ears and your eyes until everything becomes a cloyingly sweet nothingness.

This is, or might as well be, the New York in Taylor Swift's single "Welcome to New York," a place where anything interesting or difficult is smoothed away into digital handclaps and Auto-Tune. The New York of "Welcome to New York" is what you would get if you populated it entirely with humans raised in the Times Square Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., then let them out into the world with only a penthouse apartment, an Amex black card, and leopard-print Prada luggage to guide them.

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