The Nativity, The Passion, The Pascha Pop Soul of Lady Gaga’s “The Cure”

Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Mind Flow

Live from the Calvary that is Coachella, welcome to this Pop Communion that is The Cure …

The-Cure

Feels, on, reals.

So it is and, again, here we are… and #againagain I don’t really know where to begin or end with this one as again again again there is no beginning or end to the perpetual Pascha that is “The Cure.” I still haven’t figured it out yet, but I enjoy musing in the meantime… #fortherecord #noneofthisisbinding #itsalljustmakebelieve #dontciteme

On the seventh day, Gaga had finished this work of creation, so she put to rest this Famous curse…

The Pretense

So, “The Cure.” I guess, broadly, briefly, it feels like… surrendering into the unknown abyss after a forty-day desert trek, only to find… that the hard-fought rock bottom was but a bridge, all along, before that luminous cloud rocket number nine.

The De Jure, The De Facto, The Glory of Britney Spears’ Tribal Gospel

Soundtrek, TK:LA

First things first: #HOWCANYOUREADTHISTHERESNOPICTURES
Second things next: Sort it out, education is the motivation #Literacy #ImaginationPassport #GetToWork
Here's a motion picture, focus and find your chill #letsread

Here’s a motion picture, focus and find your chill #letsread

*And now: our regularly scheduled programming*

So… in the two years and miscellany of months since Britney Jean… many dramatic learning scenarios have unfolded… for the shown world, and both a one Miss Britney Jean Spears, and mutually exclusively, myself #swiperitsnotaboutyou #iknow #itsalwaysbeenaboutdora #yesiknow #everypopstarisdora #igetit #keepitmoving #peoplearetryingtoreadhere #wellnotherehere #noonereadsthis #probablybecausetherestoomanyinsecurehashtags #anyway

Much like Britney Jean, said Spears nor myself have anything to prove in this latest iteration… except the reality that we live our lives as tales to be told, we record said lives to manifest alchemical gold, and beyond any and all else, we eclipse the great with the good, and actively oppose the established fallacy that human lives are nothing more than fails to be sold… which, effectually, is the everything; because Glory finds and founds itself in the amplified actualization of De Facto over De Jure Millennial Pop music culture identity, it breeds: I applaud and advocate for Glory; because I, along with a camaraderie of unbeknownst-to-us-then-undeniable-to-the-world-now Army officials, find and found the self in this relentlessly resilient tribe of born-and-bred Millennial Pop music culture creatives, I proceed.

Britney Tweets 2007: Ep. 2

Popisodics, TK:LA

because if ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no betta work for tinker’s hands, because pink wigs birthed millennial whiplash, because it’s the rhyme behind seasonal reason, because you’re not B and will never see it her way… because Britney didn’t have Twitter in 2007, because the traphaus was birthed in the wake of Kevin, because Miss Spears will remain the bad bxxch you’ll never know, because they shouldn’t have let her blackout the ‘net #work: nouveau decided to put on a show #luckystarswipgolden

II

because there was no twitterverse then

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because once upon a time there were haircuts

Scene Canvassing: Olka Osadzińska

art, TK:LA

Superlative scenes of contemporary brand culture artistry courtesy of Poland’s Pop Illustrator-in-Residence #warsawhol – welcome Olka Osadzińska

 

A young artist from Poland, Olka has worked on various national and international art projects.

 

1

Her artistic experience spans across clothing, fashion and lifestyle as well as online through a collaboration with the influential magazines and websites for which she draws illustrations.

#POPCANONS The Anatomical Zeitgeist No. 8, Est. 2013

Soundtrek, Vinyl Cut Prose

Here’s a little story that I made up, so let’s make believe: four years ago I had a party that was too much fun for me…

– “I’ve Just Begun (Having My Fun)

#basically

Back in 2009, I had a little fun drafting up my list of the top twelve Pop artists from the first decade of the millennium (I get bored, it happens). I made up a little narrative of the icons that lived the blueprint for a global lifestyle – more than a genre, an ongoing epic poem defining the general public of that elusive scene, scape, soundtrack we like to call Pop. I was fresh out of undergrad; but forever a 90s kid caught in the nostalgia of homecoming kings, queens, and courts, naturally I paired off the lords and ladies of the said vanity fair, in a fitting hommage to the heralded pantheon of celebrity (which is effectually no more than a glamorized high school) #youcantsitwithus Five coupled jesters of the court, a pair of regal deities, and a pair of honorable mentions (because it’s America – so as long as you’re the best loser, there’s space for you on the podium – but don’t get crazy).

The list went a little something like this…

Vinyl Cut Prose: Britney Jean

Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Cut Prose

I’ve spent the past two years since Femme Fatale mastering the art and science of global media and communication with Britney as my canon. I don’t really need to prove anything, and apparently neither does she; because Britney Jean founds and finds itself in that, it breathes … I appreciate Britney Jean.

Holding the thread close to a dream, while intelligence becomes the steal
For what if gold, showed token sold, while manners abright and rightfully bold
Make a wish, a princess dream, unfold the map, a small lil bean
To vanish the air and trace out the new, so scared to love, so soon who knew
Beautiful voice creeps in my head, only one person person can wear this red
Traces behavior, young and small; I see land, I must fall

 – Britney Jean

Linger in the legacy… intelligence as the steal is Britney Jean – no, she is not GaGa, nor Madonna, nor is hers the aspired claim on their cerebral domain, that knowledge which detaches one from visceral humanity… that spark to light the first morning star. Yet, only one can wear the red, the Scarlet Letter Britney dons instead… And so seeing land, she must fall; that grounding rooting the human and iconic plight – from dust we came and to dust we return, no matter how high the peak flight.

131101-britney-spears-musical

This is the record of someone who’s already been where you want her to stay, but that’s the point – you can’t evolve, and still return to that place unchanged. But you’ll never see it that way, because you’re not thee.

Revealing itself much like a sunset over the Hollywood Hills we have an aural venture through lightly hued layers of majestic technicolor faded, ascending as a systematic rise within the naturally spectacular, muted neon chromatic escalating to the heavens, forever rooted in the Canyon, steady upon the capitalized moniker of America’s finest institution – studio stardom.

BlinkkBeats: Britney Spears – “Work BxxCH”

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

Everything was worth it. Everything is worth it. Everything will be exponentially more worth it in increasing measure as the cycles continue – if, you, work bxxch #BRITNEYTAUGHTUSALL

#nowgettowork

BlinkkIt:

Please believe this could be a dissertation #ohwait #hadbeendonethat #twice #becauseitsjustthatnice

Brass tacks: It’s fun. Remixable. Killer hooks. Understandable fodder. Strong focus on the beat, pulse, and bombast Britney claims her role as integrated pneuma, as opposed to overt lyrical / verbal navigator.

I make the governor / Call me the governor

… supports said dissertation #busherayouthsubculturecelebrityicon, and thesis #welcometopostpopmusicentertainmentculture quite nicely. I approve and appreciate.

SIDENOTE: ( I’m not a youth subculture celebrity icon of an era ushered in by an incumbent governor president-elect – but if I were, I would probably hook it with: “I make the governor call me the governor” – I approve, I appreciate, I acknowledge that if ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no #WORK for tinkers’ hands… #luckyguesses #Y2Kforeveryall)

SnappIt:

If, you, want, that life – the glass house, the fame balls, the applause, the roar, the 20/20 experience, the carte blanche to go rogue, the holy grail, the crucifixion, the revolutionary rebirth, the ability to make them go berzerk in a breath,  that ticket to kiss land – you, betta, werk.

VMA Day 2013 – Four Butterflies to Watch #heylookamonarch

Soundtrek

 

Honeymoon isn’t even the furthest stretch of one’s falsified imagination when it comes to the Video Music Awards since 2010 #generous This year, I …. okay, I don’t actually know half of the nominees, and I might not have heard of 75% of the songs, but I can pick up a pattern from a mile away #universallaw #fortherecord

No one can predict the future, but we can recognize the present – and that’s good enough for me. Four butterflies to keep an eye on when watching the monarchy tonight… #theeverythingelse

1.) [T]he renaissance of Pop Art and a Warholian world of blurred lines between reality and fantasy”

 

Sedgwick Germanotta

[T]angent. Point is: Edie said of herself something that resonates so deeply with GaGa tonight, “if you just listened to what I had to say it was sane, but if you just looked at me you wouldn’t bother to listen. And none of them did. God it was a nightmare.” There isn’t that futility with GaGa, but the nightmare is quite apparent. Performance artists live their art — completely. The world is their canvas — truly. Where the art succeeds, the artist suffers, but it is for the sake of art — even if only for art’s sake.

2013:

2.) Jimmy Timberlake 

Ms. Education – Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)

SnapTrakks

MLH NS CM

Neurotic Society

We’re living in a joke time, metaphorical coke time
Commerce and guru men, run the whole world man
Broke world and debauchery, old world brutality
Cold world kills softly
Whole world works savagely
Greedy men and pride fiends program TV screens
Quick-scam and drag queens
Real life blast fiends
Think twice this past dream

Keep Calm and Kari On … with Chester French

Interview, TK:LDN

Skin… is a many layered thing; it is artistic, it is cultural, it is biological, it rests on the fragile fringe of one’s inner and outer space… not to be melodramatic, but we consider it an overlooked focus – an abstract opus – of cultural connective tissue.

So, for Art Nouveau’s Skin issue, we chose a duo who connected all of those elements in a most masterful manner: Chester French – black tears, faced fears, a pair so open-minded about the lovable future that their well-endowed brains have descended upon every listener’s ears. We had a chat with Max and D.A. to get an inside look at how they view those elements that make the epidermis so oddly endearing.

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When we come into this world, our skin is supple and soft, that unhindered remnant of divine design. For artists like Chester French, the first album is of that same fresh design. The label signs you because of that new-new you bring to this world. Musicians wear that skin like a manifestation of the self. Unlike the child though, an artist can craft their own primary skin; now more than ever though, it is getting harder to make that sonic aesthetic a signature different than all others.

KE: How important is it to build your own sonic aesthetic through your music, and what do you think your skin is in the industry?

CF: I think – to answer the first part of the question – I think for us it’s kind of important to try and carve out what is our territory creatively in terms of what we want to make and how we want it to sound. I think there’s so much music and so many people in music feel like they have to constantly be following, either super-new trends or really established ideas about how music should sound at a given moment. For us it’s way more important to find a sound that’s unique to us, than it is to “fit in” to any group, necessarily…

KE: Basically, my thing is this: skin is functional and fashionable. It is the first line of defense, but musically it is that very foundation of artistic identity which requires the greatest defense of all.

It’s one thing to look good, a freshman feat that Love the Future achieved, but it’s another entirely to make that good look last: enter Music 4 TNGRS.

KE: What is a TNGR, and what is this music you’re making for them from this standpoint?

The Re-Branding of America: Kid and Sean Pen a PSA…

TK:LA

Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording, as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation.

Let me tell you dudes what I do to protect this: I shoot at you actors like movie directors [laughing] This ain’t a movie dog

Kid Rock and Sean Penn would like to borrow a moment of your time and illustrate the grave importance of overlooking the narcissism of minor superficial demographic differences in light of the larger union we share as an American people… that while the differences we hold as private citizens are what made this country great, it is the collective freedom granted to the public which defines those who call the United States home… celebrities: because they’re just like U.S.

The Re-Branding of America: On the curious case of Mitt & Paris’ Publicized Privacy

TK:LA

“Mitt Romney” and “Paris Hilton” are going hard-press-in-the-paint right now. Note the quotations, because when it comes to celebrity and public figuration: there’s the brand, and then there’s the (wo)man… here, beyond the (yet-to-be-determined) human factor behind the individuals, their enterprises are functioning like well-oiled machines.

It’s kind of like best week ever, right?

Paris is a mistress of the mishap-turned-publicity-masterpiece, Romney is not far behind in his ability to grab headlines with oddly well-staged gaffes.

The past week has seen both go viral with unsurprisingly on-par brand pushes: Romney doesn’t care about untaxed people, and Paris “Puddle of AIDS” Hilton thinks gays are gross… in other news: citizen paparazzi caught The Cookie Monster smuggling Snickerdoodles packaged as Sprouts’ Summer Squash into his Sesame Street penthouse…

So how does one figure these “mishaps” and “private conversations” gone public play as brand determinants and not character detriments… let’s delve a bit #itsaprocess

Quick and Dirty: Pre-VMA 2012 #andanotherthing

Uncategorized

This year has been quite a year… Diesel like 90s WWF Denim – needless to say the VMA have been millions of miles away from my spectral proximity: that said, it’s in my blood… no matter how few nominees I know, no matter how irrelevant the proceedings, no matter how cruxed upon pop cultural cannibalism – a festival of juggernauted feasting upon the legends and legacy of old – I will always have an opinion, and the VMA will always have a story and a place in contemporary culture. Though I know a record low number of nominees this year – and hold an even more subterranean affinity, or regard at all, for the nominees of which I do have some cognizance – this year is epic and masterful for so many subtle reasons: the first and last, the alpha and omega of which revolve around this year’s pulse player – The Bajan Queen of Body Parts: Rihanna.

VMA are obviously critical this year though… I’d wager to guess the biggest point is the revisitation of 2007. #neverforget

SnappScenes: “Shot You Down” – Florrie

A.V Hub, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

This is just… quite good really – in, many many ways; albeit, many simplistic ways, but simplistic ways necessary in an otherwise unnecessarily muddled music scene… Check out Florrie’s latest: “Shot You Down”

Nice progression, smooth – milk smooth #isthataphrase – bass riding through the track. I’m obviously a fiend for most electro-acoustic hybrids – by that I mean, any melodic melange capable of bringing out the best of synthesized effects in tandem with (not drowning out or exploitatively distorting #notinthegooddistortionway acoustic instrumentation) and the soul of live instruments. I’m even more fiendish for that most tangible and raw of instruments – los tambores, le batterie, الطبول, Gǔ, – the drums.

The Re-Branding of America: Fame, it is the New Black

TK:LDN, Vinyl Mind Flow

Fame… and it goes a little something like this

… and it smells a little something like cette

How to Make it in Famerica

 

FAME, as compounded by Lady Gaga:

Tears of Belladonna: One part government hooker #tearsontap, one part femme fatale #looselytranslated, one part Donna sans the Ma #bellathemonsterball, consummated in a nocturnal matrimony #nightshade and equally beautiful death #jumpingoutthewindow, wrapped in the skin of the most Luciferian fruit #suchaholyfood

Atropa belladonna or Atropa bella-donna, commonly known as BelladonnaDevil’s BerriesDeath Cherries or Deadly Nightshade, is a perennialherbaceous plant in the family Solanaceae, native to EuropeNorth Africa, and Western Asia. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing tropane alkaloids. These toxins include scopolamine and hyoscyamine which cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations, and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics. The drug atropine is derived from the plant.

Biorhythmic: Chester French – Music 4 TNGRS

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

This album cover is the story… of a girl named Sally TNGR; and this album is the electro-acoustic soundtrack of her self, and her TNG scene, from her highschool suitors. Music 4 TNGRSRequiem for the Teenage Dream, courtesy of Generation Adamant Abbreviated Extended Adolescence.

Ah, Chester French… one part Milwaukee-bred, lead singer and songwriter David-Andrew “But You Can Call Me D.A.” Wallach, one part Boston-born-bred-and-boarded multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Max Drummey. Named after Daniel Chester French, the band doesn’t veer far from their namesake’s affinity for sculpting. Though, where Daniel carved stone, this duo dwells more in the place of subcultural sculpting through soundtracking the scene of the twenty-something teen.

Welcome, TNGRS. Not quite teenagers, not quite teens, never a tween, TNGRS are a specific demographic. We have self-esteem, Chester French knows this; thus is likely why the opening track on M4TNGRS is entitled: “Next Big Thing.” You have to believe in you, or no one else will.

The eleven-track collection is a reflection of this generation, that demographic caught beneath the gifted curse of being able to know everything, without direction on how to make proper sense of anything – drowning in information, starving for knowledge.  Yet and still, as products of this abbreviated era, Wallach and Drummey managed to soundtrack said uncertainty with a near-perfect identity LP for those twenteenagers in search of the throne.

Cowboy Boots on the Sunset Strip, Chop the Roof Off the German Whip… Party in the U.S.A.

Soundtrek

Quick little playlist to pulse the summer pavement… like when Blow Pops met the blacktop, or Hov met Hannah Montana #andajayzsongwason

IMG_8169

Cowboy boots on the Sunset Strip, scalp the roof off the German whip… fringe element patriots don’t need you or your brand new Benz, or your bourgie friends… numb to love, blinded by diamonds… from Parisian royalty to glitterbombed PWT, these stars’ scars stay shining… plummeting to new depths of depravity, fame is the new america… classless, priceless, from the brink of Bed Stuy to the belly of the map, a playlist fit for Plymouth Roc, a bacchanalian beat for Benedict Arnold #whentheunitedwentcrack

***

I hopped off the plane at L.A.X.
With a dream and my cardigan…

On the curious case of celebrity and contemporary culture…

TK:LA

Celebrity serves the purpose of highlighting otherwise opaque social relations, conflicts, concerns, and realities. That which is the fueling, seemingly banal everyday existence of the masses doesn’t manifest itself into anything of social significance until an icon framed to represent and vividly portray the beautiful burden of an attributed demographic brings it into public discourse.

The celebrity brings with it an entire economy. It is the commodity, the product and property of a corporate entity, a media monarch within the greater sphere of private ownership of a public institution – a public figure within capitalist society. Money, power, and reference run through iconographies.

Equally, celebrity brings with it an entire ideology. It is the character, the product and property of a ruling class. It may reinforce, resist, reject, or repudiate the standing social order. It is also the product and property of the masses from which it emerged, and which it directly influences and impacts – it is the manipulated mouthpiece of an increasingly superficially divided monoculture.

Collectively, the celebrity is the glue which holds together the real and ideal, the producer and the product, the dominant and resistant, the private and the public.

The celebrity sphere is a stage; lone figures act as pieces of a not so much puzzle as a chess board – white/black, soldier/sovereign, pawns and monarchs as symbols of the social classes to which they have the role of playing dual servants: as owners and as slaves.

What celebrities do are not personal acts, they are public displays of hidden banal behaviors. Epithets, for instance, are contemporary conversation pieces, slander is the modern standard language. What was a moot point, what was an actively apathetically accepted atrocity, and debatable defamation pulsed postmodern society in the form of language – that most vulgar, the vernacular.

SnappScenes: “No Church in the Wild,” The Throne

A.V Hub, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

The Throne… Black Jesus walks in the wild… Where there is no church, just a primal society of spectacular sinners in the magnificent monde a la mode… Amen fashion… London is looting, Paris is burning, New York is occupied, victors are vilified, and the beasts are the beautiful beacons of a new world… Postcolonial cultural institutions, Neo-capitalism beneath the civilly disobedient liberated lady, soundtracks run through the veins and veneer of a blind Justice Judy… Mitochondrial thieves, sons of Reagan’s mythological Welfare Queens, tears on the mausoleum floor, lies on the lips of a priest… Faustus grants voices, viles of victorious libations, and a hand to grasp to the thug’s prayers reached…. Human beings to a mob, what’s a mob to a king, what’s a king to a god, what’s a god to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything… #preach

December 22, 2011

Lyrically Speaking: “Baptized in Blacklight” – Kenna

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

Lyrically Speaking: Stevie Wonder – “Living for the City”

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi
Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong moving in the right direction
Living just enough, just enough for the city…

Why New Blood, Why Now? Nine Minutes with Morgan Spurlock

Interview, TK:LDN

As a bit of a Pop fiend, it was a pleasure to discuss New Blood with Morgan Spurlock; as a bit of a Pop theorist, it’s something of a marvel to ponder the nine-minute manifesto… 

Why New Blood, why now?

I don’t know if it was a question of now, or if I just felt like there was a need to show – I feel like there’s still this shifty new movement in the art space where the people who kind of launched this whole “low brow” art movement, this street art movement are now inspiring this whole new generation of artists; y’know these new kinds of Pop graffiti artists who are kind of coming up in their wake, and I find that to be really fascinating. You gotta think it wasn’t that long ago when low brow art and street art was being relegated to the lowest smallest of the fringe galleries, to now where these paintings are being put up in the cornerstones of the modern art movement. So I think to see where that ripple effect is continuing to affect, not only our generation, but the next generation of artists is really inspiring.

TrapperKeeper: Danger produces dark ages; Danja produces requiems and renaissances

TK:LA

Danger produces dark ages; Danja produces requiems and renaissances. #blackoutsandbadgirls

Danja’s tracks open from a place of uncertainty, but an acceptance at whatever is to come. Everything builds: the bass drop’s density, the synth pitches, the hi-hat tisk, the snare pops, but more importantly: Danja’s slurred, suggestive coercions. From 2007-2012 here are seven of Art Nouveau‘s favorite Danja tracks.

TrapperKeeper: MDNA – Madonna

Soundtrek

MDNA… the last time I wrote those letters in said sequence was, well, four years ago when I was at AU studying Advanced Bio; proper Madonna album debut… the last time I sat down to indulge in one of those was, well, four years ago when I was in life living Advanced Pop. Those were different days, simpler days. Days where Hard Candy was a passable stab at soundtracking Pop’s sticky-and-sweet soul, until a few years later when we’re in the midst of the reality that it was more a passable set of fillings in the cavity-laden mouth of Mod Pop.

M-D-N-A… the last time I chanted those letters in said sequence was but a few moments ago when Pure Pop emerged from the cultural tar pits of Detroit born-and-bred, Euro wed-and-bedded electronic sublime filth that is “I’m Addicted” – that is the cosmic bass stealth anthem from the primary piece of modern Pop’s genome: M.D.N.A.

TrapperKeeper: MDNA, Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Best Friends, and Revelations

Uncategorized

Wonderful Monday on our hands. Sun is shining and a brand-spanking-new addition to the Pop family has graced us with its bouncing beautiful baby presence.

As I’m still coming to terms with my equally brand new bouncing baby quarterlife crisis (Aside: leave it to Madonna to wait four years to release an album, that upon completing the first full listen, one realizes IT’S BEEN FOUR YEARS. Leaving subsequent questions such as: “What have I done the past four years?” “What has Timbaland done in the past four years?” “We have Healthcare reform, we’re out of Iraq, bin Laden and Gaddafi are no more, and people are looking to Gingrich?!” “What is a Lady GaGa?” “Did I leave the front door open?” All coalescing to the inevitable answer: “I’m old.”) I’ve decided to put together a quick trip down Memory Lane this Monday (no, the other one, after the left at Drury Road – sorted) compliments of MDNA #biologicalpopbuildingblocks

TrapperKeeper: We the Fortunate Sons…

Uncategorized

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you
Lord, it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son
Son, it ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Incredible… Madonna doesn’t know how to love

SnapTrakks

Easily one of the best produced Madonna tracks of her extensive catalog, the Pharrell masterpiece “Incredible” was just that – an incredible diamond in the rough desert that was 2008’s saccharin infused Hard Candy. I left the album for awhile, I’ve had my bouts, but a fresh set of ears delivered a 2012 revelation of apocalyptic sorts… “Incredible,” Hard Candy, this in all of its “thisness” that is going on now #lookitup is a most honest and sincere plea from the place of the detached deity…

Lyrically Speaking: “i” – Nicola Roberts

TK:LA

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

I’m scared of dying and not trying, scared of getting old.
I’m scared of telling lies ’cause karma comes and eats me whole.
I’m scared to think about the devil ’cause he takes my soul.
I’m scared of parties, scared of nightmares, scared I’ll lose control.
I don’t like druggies, don’t like bad men, don’t like bitchy girls.
Don’t think it’s healthy holding grudges that won’t save the world.
I don’t like nasty words, they hurt me like you never know.
But don’t think I won’t put on a smiley face and do the show.

Night in the Sweype: Florrie – HMV’s Next Big Thing, Barfly Camden, London

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

Pop. Out. My. Ears. #yes

The Siren: Florrie Arnold

The Scene: Snow, ice, pints, and Summer Nights… on the outside: London’s first snow of the year, on the inside: the strobed sublime of HMV’s Next Big Thing – snowballs and disco balls make for a splendid sonic nightcap. Roughly speaking, Barfly hosted a beautiful melange of art gallery purveyor types, thirty-something Euro/Dance Pop aficionados, twenty-something knit hooded hipsters, Camden characters, low-key Diesel-and-cardigan donning Pop fiends, raven-haired East London teens… moustaches, brown leather satchels and black rimmed glasses, cocktail dresses, red lipstick and suede heels, scarves and sailor stripes… On the floor: an Anglophilic audience with a distinct taste for Xenomania; at the helm: a doe-eyed, denim-donning neo-disco diamond in the rough behind a pulsing pokerface bluff, and the beat of her own drum #litrally

The Sound: All the best bits of Brit-and-Synth-Pop – period. Much like a fine wine, or the Fugees break-up, Florrie’s stint as an unsigned artist yields a product that gets better with time. Saturday’s set list covered her relatively brief back solo catalogue, spanning both her Introduction (“Left too Late,” “Summer Nights,” “Give Me Your Love“) and Experiments (“Begging Me,” “I Took A Little Something,” “Experimenting with Rugs,” “What You Doing This For”) EPs, and throwing some new tracks in the mix (“Without A Trace,” “Go“).

SnappScenes: “Bad Girls” – M.I.A.

A.V Hub, TK:LDN

Live fast, die young… #badgirlsdoitwell… Maya Arulpragasm like the Mayans – had it right… even when wrong:

It turns out that the Mayans had it right. History is a giant alarm clock. As the bell starts to ring, we awaken from the dream, and remember who we are.

Bad Girls… from Eve and Mary (and Magdalene), to Cleopatra and Nefertiti, from Frida and Josephine, to Eleanor and Marilyn – are the backbone of wake-up calls and real talk, courtesy of rogue revelry. #doitwell

Top-to-Bottom two cents #topback: History is a giant alarm clock, and discographies are giant phonographs… as the bell starts to ring, and the needle hits the groove, we awaken from the scene, and remember who we are… This year, Maya got back into the groove: Kala style.

SnappScenes: “Give Me All Your Luvin'” ft. Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. – Madonna

A.V Hub, Soundtrek, TK:LDN, Vinyl Mind Flow

Oh that Madge… I can’t help it, I’ve got the biggest Cheshire grin plastered above my chin right now…

See the thing about it is, I wanted to not like this video – hear me out: I wanted to not like this video because after the hoopla and hype, after the media blitzes and reductionism, this era was gearing up to be the bark of Confessions with the bite of Hard Candy #notgreat then, there’s the distractions and the white noise pulling attention from the product at hand and towards the peripheral gossip… in a nutshell: I was ready to not like this video for the same reason I was gearing up to not like Born This Way – because people were going Gaga over Madonna; but lo and behold… Pop never lets you down.

Lyrically Speaking: Jay-Z – “Beach Chair” ft. Chris Martin & “Glory” ft. Blue Ivy

SnapTrakks

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

Life is but a dream to me, I don’t wanna wake up
Thirty odd years without having my cake up
So I’m about my paper: 24/7, 365,366 in a leap year
I don’t know why we here, since we gotta be here
Life is but a beach chair
Went from having shabby clothes, crossing over Abbey Roads
Hear my angels singing to me: “Are you happy HOV?”
I just hope I’m hearing right, Karma’s got me fearing life
Colleek are you praying for me

See I got demons in my past, so I got daughters on the way
If the prophecy’s correct, then the child should have to pay
for the sins of a father; so I barter my tomorrows against my yesterdays
In hopes that she’ll be OK
And when I’m no longer here, to shade her face from the glare
I’ll give her my share of Carol’s Daughter and a new beach chair…

The Parisian Throne [Work Tape]

TK:LA

Pretense: This one never really sorted its scope, or structure for that matter, never quite got around to cementing its fundamental triumph beyond the blasphemous battleground, thus released as a work-in-progress (thus, the current “[Work Tape]” nomination), but for the sake of since-it-was-released… the first-take-suzeey riff

***

8E1CFF09-207C-4AEF-A22B-AF099515C69E

As much the Four Evangelists as they are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga – our proud and prestigious pillars of Pop – stood tall and held rapturous court this year as the cause and cure for our ailing culture…

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Born This Way

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“The Edge of Glory,” “Judas” – Born This Way – Lady Gaga

But, first, a word from our sponsor…

… and now back to our regularly scheduled Popgramming

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Watch The Throne

Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“No Church in the Wild” ft. Frank Ocean and The-Dream – Watch the Throne – Jay-Z & Kanye West

We formed a new religion: no sins as long as there’s permission, and deception is the only felony…

The Throne… Black Jesus walks in the wild… Where there is no church, just a primal society of spectacular sinners in the magnificent monde a la mode… Amen fashion… London is looting, Paris is burning, New York is occupied, victors are vilified, and the beasts are the beautiful beacons of a new world… Postcolonial cultural institutions, Neo-liberal capitalism beneath the civilly disobedient liberated lady, soundtracks run through the veins and veneer of a blind Justice Judy… Mitochondiral thieves, sons of Reagan’s mythological Welfare Queens, tears on the mausoleum floor, lies on the lips of a priest… Faustus grants voices, viles of victorious libations, and a hand to grasp to the thug’s prayers reached…. Human beings to a mob, what’s a mob to a king, what’s a king to a god, what’s a god to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything… When pop is the pre-eminent place of worship and The Throne makes room for Jo Calderone… what’s Queen Bee to Minaj, what’s Minaj to a Bey, what’s Britney to GaGa, what’s GaGa to the tot Belieber who don’t believe in anything… #preach

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Audio, Video, Disco.

Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“Civilization” – Audio, Video, Disco. – Justice

From Brazil’s Christ Redeemer to B.o.B, Stonehenge to the endless Sk8er Boi party, Madonna Litta eclipsed by the Purrs of California’s Kitty Lolita, Easter Island, Themis, The Sphinx, man-made structures bordering on the divine – resurrected here if only to remind us of what we left behind… All Day I Dream About Significance, Society, Substance, Something – anything more… Mount Rushmore cashed out, Noah’s Ark now nothing more than a two-by-tomb, while the ruins of civilization go all in, stumble, and settle in the Mediated Mesopotamian womb… From behind the veil of the ever present bottom line, sights of the American celebrity to drown out the French artisan’s sound… when culture is dependent upon commerce, justice remains forever blind: Anything less would be uncivilized #allin

TrapperKeeper – Best of 2011: Subway in Harlem 2: Breakfast in Philly

Soundtrek

Oh, hai “that time of year again,” didn’t hear you come in – well, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’m not spectacular at year-end reviews… I prefer life like I prefer my albums: gapless. That said, I hat-tipped five artists, songs, and albums that made me pause and take time to jot the time and place – year included – over the last 300-someodd days; and five creations that embodied and encapsulated sonic aesthetic for 2011. To the five I take, to have and to hold; forever like a TrapperKeeper, Pop safe in the fold. #enjoi

“SaturdayMorningKungFu” – Subway in Harlem 2: Breakfast in Philly – Savvy Society

Subterranean transportation, morning moods let liberty ring… Savvy Society’s Subway in Harlem 2: Breakfast in Philly was this year’s incognito aural infiltrator. New Jack Swing meets the urban jungle… Deft sampling, staccato kit play, quick hi-hat raps over distant cowbell, claps, and punch-to-pause kick drum… all beneath freestyled jazz piano solo loops… shadowed reendtroductions… In the still of the night Breakfast in Philly runs along like a late 20th century transition soundtrack, between decades, between the 80s and 90s, an understated intermission at the heart of postmodernism… a culture of buppies boomeranging and former b-boys digging warriors and leaving school daze behind…  after the Other creative class crafted a proper niche, before it succumbed to the greed and glitz, when art was pulsed by the lost love in the heart of the city…

Night in the Sweype: Toro Y Moi, The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

The Sire: Chaz “Toro Y Moi” Bundick

The Sound: Chillwave/Eighties Synth-Funk

The Scene: The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London, UK

Toro Y Moi graced East London with the infectious sounds of his South Carolinian synth-wave swelter on Wednesday at Canonbury’s Relentless Garage. The venue packed 600 people in a mingling of Red Stripes and sailor stripes: yuppies, hipsters, blipsters, iPhone photographers, and Instagrandmas on sway in a hazy hole-in-the-wall. The mood was mellow, the bassline ebb, beasted, flowed, and bellowed, as Chaz Bundick brought his signature Southern Hipstertality to Highbury.

SnappScenes: “Marry the Night,” Lady Gaga

A.V Hub, Soundtrek, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

You can reproduce your past, you can rewrite your present, you can dictate your future… beneath the metronomic hum of the running film reel Gaga brings the monster from the hub of the city to the heart and soul of her own fatally fame-laden tale…

If you knight it then you should’ve put a ring on it…

BlinkkIt: #bam Manhattan’s Pop monarch came back after three betrayals to bring Brooklyn’s Finest’s line to fruition… closing out Born This Way with a single that slays the sanctimony of matrimony and raises a glass to the twice-kissed sinners… “Birthdays was the worst days, now we sip champagne when we thirstay;” here’s to all of your future pain being champagne. #cheerstotearsontap

Night in the Sweype: Little Boots “Shake” Launch Party – London

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN

The Siren: Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh

The Sound: Neo-Disco Electro-synth Brit-Pop

The Scene: Black and Gold, Blue-eyed synth soul… Lights, Camera, Passion in an East London Secret Warehouse… Half rave cave, half Factory foyer… Shake it ’til you make it, then make it shake… While you’re at it: shake it ’til your heart breaks and deluges limitless sonic sublime across the scape…

Night in the Sweyepe: Red Hot Chili Peppers & Fool’s Gold Live at The O2

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN

Standin’ in line to see the show tonight, and there’s a light on… heavy glow; by the way, I tried to say I’d be there… waiting for…

November in Britain: cold, dark, a tad bit secluded… but at the end of the day, there’s nothing more electrifying than a Chili night in London…

Lyrically Speaking: “Pigeon Hold,” Port O’Brien

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

There’s a party in the basement, but the door outside is locked
There’s a line all around the corner, and it goes all around the block
And they think they’re acting clever, they think they’re gettin’ wise
They’re a Twenty-First Century rendition of 1969: so pigeonholed

Lyrically Speaking: Lily Allen – “Kabul Sxxt”

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

 

There’s a hole in our logic
There’s a hole in the sky
And one day just like magic
We’re all going to die
‘Cause we didn’t turn the lights off
And we didn’t take the bus
Even though we know we should have
Oh, silly old us

Vinyl Cut Prose: Black Jesus † Amen Fashion (Mugler Remix)

A.V Hub, Soundtrek, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

Sometimes… my heart, sometimes, feels so black…in the dunes of sand… and other days, my heart feels like rainbows. Mugler. Mugler. Amen. Jesus is the new black. I am Mugler woman. I am quiet; I am strong. Amen. Planet Mugler. Mugler. Gaga. I am Mugler Woman. Don’t f*ck with me. Don’t f*ck with Mugler. Don’t f… f… Don’t f*ck with Mugler woman. Mugler. Scheiße. Say a prayer… Take me, Paris. I am Paris; we are Paris. Do not anger a Mugler woman; she will eat you. Planet Mugler. I will eat you. I will eat you… Mugler, Mugler… Jesus is the new black. I am Mugler woman. I am quiet; I am strong. Amen. Welcome to Paris. It’s Fashion Week. We are Paris.

Vinyl Cut Prose: “Beautiful (Inside Out)” Britney Spears x Alexxx (Mash-Up)

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, Uncategorized

Pop is pastiche at its finest; sometimes you need nothing more than to collect the right pieces and be the sound canvas. Half of Pop is creating the story, the other half is capturing the stars in that momentary align when the stories converge to recognize themselves…

#mindvomit The antidote, the venom, the anti-Inside Out… the cause and cure… remove the death and danger by facing the cobra head on… when what you see what you lack, and selfish love goes back to black… it takes but a mere glance in the shattered glass to change one back… Britney manifest here by manipulation – seemingly for the first time ever, for her own good – to see her fragmented self as wholly true and entirely blue… tiful

Sittin in the mirror gettin’ pretty… when the fairest of them all met the most fatally feminine fall…

#xrayedpsychoticlovesickhypnotic

BlinkkBeats: “OTIS,” Kanye West & Jay-Z

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

29883-banner-watchthethrone

Pop is pastiche at its finest; sometimes you need nothing more than to collect the right pieces and be the sound canvas. Half of Pop is creating the story, the other half is capturing the stars in that momentary align when the stories converge to recognize themselves…

Dime Dailies: Ke$ha – “Sleazy” (Remix) ft. Andre 3000

Soundtrek, Uncategorized

2011 keeps getting better with each passing play… off the heels of Ophiuchus comes the tale of two outkasts, as Andre 3000 joins Ke$ha on her bombastic “Sleazy” remix. Sit back and listen to the sounds of Southern scorch – nom: sonic Jambalaya.

Sleazy” was a Cannibal standout, coming in after “We R Who We R,” the title track, and “Blow” as the Apopcalyptic album’s fourth horseman track. Bangladesh brought a true urban feel to “Sleazy,” blending Cannibal‘s Drum N Bass sound with his signature bonafide street tone. Ke$ha enlists on Daddy Fat Stacks himself for the remix to harness that tone and bless her throne. The duo bring a Rhett and Scarlett back-and-forth to the track, with their tangy smooth Southern flow over cold 808 drums and dense jungle bass. It’s a remix, not for the sake of a quick hit, but because this New South needs a pop anthem. The “Sleazy” remix perfectly blends Ke$ha’s Nashville twang with Andre 3000’s Sweet Georgia Brown timbre – these stars drop bars.

This crazy lady named Kesha is guessing my Mercedes
Would be all new and through through, but its the 1980′s
But now that we are cool cool, she sippin’ Irish Baileys
She say “Stacks, you’re true blue?”
I said “Nah, I’m Navy”
I call her Kesha, she like it, because it’s hood to her
She call me Andre 6000 cause I’m good to her

Unforgettable, Vol. 19: Britney Spears – Blackout

Soundtrek, Uncategorized

img00376-20100815-0940

2007 climaxed the greatest American tale since The Civil War, and Britney Spears’ Blackout was our living soundtrack. Just as Spears was our brown-eyed girl of misfortune, Blackout is the requiem of our American Dream. Britney was an ideal created in our own image. Our image, our perception of our self worth, in the past decade was dependent upon fame and projected status. Then, more than ever, our identities were aligned with iconographies: Britney was our Miss American Dream, and in 2007 we saw her strip away her white gown.

At our darkest hour, our brightest supernova wanted nothing more than to go that extra mile for us. We created a monster mistress, a pop iconography reflecting our wildest and greatest desires – embodying our most visceral conquests. She was the broken kingdom, and on behalf of her mortal peers she sacrificed herself for our entertainment. She was our gladiator and our samurai on a kamikaze mission to kill the very same system which produced her. Even with her back against the wall she was our central focus, how something so perfect could be so not – and how such reckless power could destroy our most divine wind. We watched her spiral through insanity, as cameras flashed her dancing deliriously to music only she could hear. Even though we led her to this position of mania, she gave us permission to send her on a suicide mission: before the flashing lights, she was to touch the sky and nosedive in a sacrificial spectacle fit for a fallen empire. She gave more when she had nothing to give, because we asked for it – because the same guys who told us that she was the most valuable dream, told her that her value relied on our affirmation; she Merrill Lynched our Pop selves. Her punishment was her penance, and as much hers as it is ours. The opening is the standing reminder that even after she fades, the irremovable, unstoppable, perpetuating danja remains.

Thinkpieces, Vol. 2: Edie Sedgwick

TK:ATL, Vinyl Cut Prose

Some artists defy the nature of the here today, gone in thirty seconds nature of pop culture, and especially that of the Internet’s role in that cultural development. “Thinkpieces” is a way to get you, the reader to stop, pause and reflect on moments of not just cultural brilliance, and even more so, cultural significance.

“I would like to turn the world on, just for a moment … just for a moment,” so spoke Andy Warhol’s brightest burning – and arguably quickest dimming – Superstar, the girl on fire, the Poor Little Rich Girl, Edie Sedgwick.


As much as April 20th is the unofficial holiday celebrating the blurred, covert cool, touted taboo identity of this Lost Generation; Edie Sedgwick, born on this very day in 1943, is the unofficial harbinger of the Hipster – “It’s not that I’m rebelling. It’s that I’m just trying to find another way.” Everything about Edie was cool, everything about Edie was “now,” everything about Edie was so beautifully disastrous. Her significance is insignificant, if only because it was so superlative, but so temporally isolated; and if only because of that fact: her obituary is our biography those dying to live, and forever living under the shadow of that spectacular demise.