"Three-quarters of a century ago, Swedish authorities tried to put a stop to the pernicious encroachment of international pop music, and instead they accidentally built a hothouse where it flourished."
The song of the summer is easy to spot. You hear it in the softer-louder-softer of passing cars, dripping out of clothes stores, wafting up from block parties. It's inescapable. Think of last year's Katy Perry ode to boobs and hatefully nonstandard spelling, "California Gurls." (The Far*East Movement's "Like a G6" would have been the song of last summer, as it was released last April, but the single push didn't happen until late August, and it rode the charts high all through October and November.) Remember Beyonce and Jay-Z's domination of 2004 with their declaration of car-exploding mutual adoration, "Crazy In Love"? And there's the recent mother of them [...]
The cover to Alabama rapper Yelawolf's new mixtape exemplifies two schools of artwork that we've investigated here at The Awl. 1) The prominent-sunglasses album cover and 2) Rappers with American flags. But, oddly, the above image is reminiscent of nothing so much as traditionalist troubadour Leon Redbone.
Kanye West With Justin Bieber and Raekwon, "Runaway Love (Remix);" Kanye West With Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver, "Monster"
The busy, busy Kanye West took a pretty simple approach to his much-hyped bringing together of teeny-bopper Justin Bieber and the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon: he basically recorded Rae and himself rapping over the grimy finger-snap beat from the 1993's "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit" (funny that, when Rae was so careful to write lyrics appropriate for his 16-year-old co-star), and laid clips of Bieber's vocal track overtop for the chorus. But in the way that shows how simple is so often best, it sounds pretty great. It definitely has the feel of the mid-'90s heyday of hip-hop/R&B mashups. You could almost imagine hearing it between [...]
Here is the problem in a nutshell with the "idea fellows" of our time: consider this lengthy analysis of Whole Foods as a customer-centric institution, as a perfect example of "customer capitalism." (Not a terrifically good coinage, but hey, you pump out what you can while you're working on your TED talk.) Nowhere in this treatise does the fact appear that, um, one way Whole Foods interacts with capitalism and customers is that, while some prices make a lot of sense, SOME OTHER PRICES AT WHOLE FOODS ARE LITERALLY AS MUCH AS DOUBLE WHAT THEY ARE ELSEWHERE. And other prices are easily 30% to 50% more, for the [...]
Rap Radar points us to this youtube clip of Beyonce performing "Crazy In Love" at a recent concert in Singapore. It's amazing to watch someone so on top of her game. Her relationship with the song-which is already a generation-defining standard-and her horns, and her drums, and her guitarist, and her back-up singers and dancers, and the lighting, and the wind-machine and the audience: she has every element on lock.