Tag Archives: pop

timberbrit: tragic circus

15 Dec

I spent the majority of my afternoon yesterday watching videos from the semi-staged production of Timberbrit, an opera by Jacob Cooper that tells the fictional story of Britney Spears’s final hours, in which Justin Timberlake comes to win her back / save her.

Here’s why I’m interested: the opera is constructed from the music of Spears and Timberlake, single lines time-stretched until they lose all resemblance to the original song. Behind the wavering vocals is original music that ranges from free jazz to shoegaze.

The conceit might bore or annoy you, but I can’t escape the ache in the music. Slowed down, the songs become the soundtrack for the tragedy that is popular music. And Britney Spears.

Watch the music video for “Worst Fantasy” below and you’ll see what I mean. The real footage they included almost makes me weep.

jelly bean mold

7 Dec

Can’t say I’ll ever be a fan of Kina Grannis, but the making of her “In Your Arms” video captured my attention for a small chunk of the day. They built an entire plaster mold of her, covered it in pink jelly beans, and then cut it apart, all for about three frames of video. You can skip to that part; it’s at the five-minute mark.

benji gets stood up

21 Oct

In one of the most literary pop songs ever written, Benji Hughes gets stood up at a Dairy Queen.

You had a date with me on April 17th. I showed up at the Dairy Queen where we were supposed to meet. I got there at 4:53. We were supposed to meet at 5. I had a Butterfinger Blizzard and some fries. When you didn’t show up, I got worried that you might’ve had a wreck, but some friends of mine said they saw you puking off a parking deck downtown.

biophilia: a brief

11 Oct

Over at Alarm, Biophilia is one of This Week's Best Albums

It would be a shame if people forgot that beneath the chatter is an album. Biophilia may be unique because of its multiplatform release, but that’s not what makes it good.

I was fortunate to be able to pen a few words on Björk’s latest release, the much-hyped Biophilia, out today on Nonesuch. Head to Alarm to read the review and listen to “Crystalline.”

The record’s been making waves for a month or so now due to its extramusical material, which includes an allegedly revolutionary app. I have neither an iPhone nor an iPad, so I’m taking more tech-savvy folks’ word on that. But I will say the concept for this album, including the vision she shared with NPR a week ago, resonates strongly with me.

It helps that the music is really cool, and that she uses one of my favorite instruments, the hang, prominently in “Virus.” Couldn’t help smiling at that. The track is gorgeous too. One of the best things she’s ever written.

Overall, it’s an album that won’t disappoint Björk fans but is surprisingly accessible too—if you’ve been just a bit too weirded out in the past, give “Crystalline” a listen and see how you feel.

More at Alarm. Album via Björk’s universe.

UPDATE: Listening to the bonus track, “Nattura,” for the first time right now, and my heart rate just doubled. Might just be the drummer in me, but this track is probably worth getting on its own if you’re not picking up the whole album.

Gonna go start the song over now.