New York's Ra Ra Riot opened for Regina Spektor Thursday night at the Bowery. Their latest LP, The Rhumb Line, is worth a few listens, so was looking forward to taking a friend to their live performance. As the concert started, the band immediately put forward the excuse of not having performed in a few months — never a good sign. Maybe that made me expect them not to be good, and sure enough, the band's energy left something to be desired. Each of the six bandmembers seemed excited and enthusiastic, but that energy didn't translate into a cohesive set, which is precisely is what a band at Ra Ra Riot's level needs to do. They have a relatively big fanbase and the blogosphere certainly knows them, but they haven't quite broken through yet. However, after a few more shows, hopefully they will find their rhythm. If The Rhumb Line is any indication of what is to come, the future looks bright.
(by David Harrison)
WESTWOOD, California — When you have artists like Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy and Gym Class Heroes backing you, life is pretty darn good. So it goes for Tyga, cousin of Travis McCoy from Gym Class Heroes and the newest MC to come straight outta Compton. Tyga's debut album, No Introduction, dropped last week and the first single "Coconut Juice" is already blowing up on the charts and the radio. Not bad for an 18 year old.
We caught up with Tyga at his album launch party at Whiskey Blue where he told us about all of his mixes, remixes and re-remixes, making him just about the busiest teenager I've ever met. You may already know Tyga from the original remix of Lil Wayne's "A Millie," although he'll be the first to admit that even though Chris Brown, Fabolous and Jay-Z all have good versions, nobody can kill it like Wayne did on the original. Tyga also spoke of a "Coconut Juice" remix, and we can only keep our fingers crossed that Wayne will return the favor ("Congratulations, big homie," he added about Lil Wayne earning the #1 spot this week).
The night was capped off by a performance by Tyga, complete with a special appearance from McCoy, because as the "Juice" lyrics go, "it runs in the family." Expect much more from Tyga, as he plans on releasing a second single in the fall.
Akshay Bhansali reports:
Last night I cut over to Porch (thanks to Sonia and Nick!) in New York's Alphabet City to cop my first live look at Rye Rye, an MC whose hit, "Shake It to the Ground," has made her a Baltimore-hipster darling.
She's already toured with M.I.A. and is being promoted by Hollertronix king Diplo and his label, Mad Decent. Yesterday she arrived by train to New York City at 10 p.m. with her mom at her side. She performed. And then, as quickly as she came, she got on a train at 3 a.m. so that she could arrive back home at 6 a.m. After all, she can't afford to be late for high school. She's only 17!
I have to say, it was interesting to see mom tenderly dote on daughter — combing her hair and making sure everything was in order, only to have Rye Rye erupt into a sweat-infused crump frenzy! She's pure energy, combining rhymes over gutter B'more house cuts and busting electric dance moves. She performed "Gangsta Girl," "Shake It to the Ground" and "Wassup Wassap," among others, and they're all available on the Internetz.
Last night, after their sold-out show at the 1,200-seat Wiltern Theatre in LA, the Kooks treated fans to an acoustic set inside the tiny Kibitz Room at the famed Canter's Deli. The performance was a culmination of a day full of street performances (or “busking,” for you hobo types) all around the city.
For those not lucky enough to make it to the special show, the band has sent MTV News this treat for you: an mp3 of a track that was only available on the first 20,000 copies of their new album, Konk.
"NO LONGER" - THE KOOKS
And to read more about last night’s show, head over to You R Here.
There’s a moment at the beginning of the NKOTB’s reunion single “Summertime” where Joe McIntyre utters the words “Jones Beach, 1988.” Weird. That is almost exactly the time and place that I first met New Kids on the Block. They were one of the earliest interviews I ever did for MTV News, and there were plenty of interviews, news pieces, and even a half-hour show after that. But now, 15 years after they went their separate ways -- branching off into acting (Donnie), solo careers (Jordan, Joe, Danny), real estate (Jon), and families with “new kids” of their own (several of them) -- I think the last thing I ever expected was to be talking to them again, as a group.
But never say never. Saturday evening, in a backstage dressing room at New Jersey’s Izod Center, there they were, the New 30-Something Men on the Block, getting ready to take the stage as part of radio station Z-100’s annual teen scream extravaganza, Zootopia. We were all a good bit older than the last time I sat down with them, and it was a surreal moment -- but good surreal.
The New Kids on their upcoming tour, the reason for reuniting now, and latest teen phenom the Jonas Brothers, after the jump. Read More...
In early April, Zach Condon announced that the entire Beirut European tour was cancelled, writing on their website, “I promise we’ll be back, in some form.”
Many fans were left wondering if the band, in its current form as a 9- to 12-person orchestra, might be kaput. Our own John Norris posted pics on Newsroom of a wandering Zach playing with mariachis in Mexico. And finally, just last week, Zach gave an interview to Seattle’s “The Stranger” in which he set the record straight: the boy just needed some time off to write new music. “It's funny,” Zach said. “I wanted to make this record, and I realized there was no way I could actually do it if I was still doing these tours.”
So there’s new Beirut material on the way! Maybe by year’s end! An EP’s worth of material already complete…
…some of which was unveiled just last night during a last-minute show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg that we were at. Read More...
There are some things that we don’t understand about our intern Rya. To wit: how is it possible that someone obsessed with “Gossip Girl” can also be a Blockhead? Yes, that’s right -- our "GG" expert is also a huge fan of New Kids on the Block, which explains why she woke up at the crack of dawn this morning:
This morning, Manhattan’s renowned Rockefeller Center became Block-efeller center -- a strip of city blocks packed with grown women who came from all ends of the Earth to witness an event a decade-and-a-half in the making: the triumphant return of the hottest pop group of yesteryear, New Kids on the Block. A month after an older, sleeker incarnation of the five men from Boston was unveiled, another curtain dropped – this time, a banner with the band’s new logo. The band performed a medley of their greatest hits and their newest cut as a part of the “Today” Summer Concert Series.
Naturally, yours truly was on the scene. I was there for the very same reason many other women were in the audience: to see a band that they were far too young to see in concert during their heyday. Quite frankly, I felt all too much like my four-year-old self as I scrambled for a better view (or for that matter, any view), got pushed around my much older fans wearing NKOTB shirts (some threadbare, presumably from being worn in heavy rotation two decades ago), yearned for face time with Joey, and sang along far too loudly to songs I didn’t realize I still knew by heart… Read More...
Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis is set to curate a new summer fest in...Pittsburgh?
The two-day New American Music Union will give attention to 15 new college bands -- and other little-known acts such as the Raconteurs and Gnarls Barkley. The college acts taking part will also be judged (like "American Idol"!), with the winner given a full day of recording in a top LA studio for free. American Eagle, which is sponsoring the fest, will also promote the band's record in their stores.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow.
The lineup thus far -- including the college acts in competition -- after the jump. Read More...
Undeniable, unbelievable. I'm trying not to get caught up in the moment and jump all the way out the window, but Kanye West's show last night at Madison Square Garden may have been the best one-man performance I've ever seen outside of Michael Jackson or Prince. Like he says, Graduation is not just an album name, it’s the trumpeting of his career evolution as the most innovative man in his genre.
The "Glow in the Dark" tour is about Kanye landing on a planet called Universe-City and what he encounters on extraterrestrial soil. You have never seen anything like it before.
Favorite songs of the night were (and it's tough to pick) "Champion" and "Hey Mama."
Scarlett Johansson kept a low profile at the concert among other marquee names such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Diddy, John Legend, and Anthony Anderson. Backstage, many of Kanye's hometown friends joined him in celebration.
Kanye West also appears on the just-released remix to “Lollipop”! Weezy and Yeezy -- what a combination. A few weeks ago, Wayne had told MTV News this might be coming down the line...