THIS WEEK IN MUSIC: TSWIZZLE, NICKI, GERARD, AND HAIM

What a week it was in the world of pop music. Quite a few new singles dropped; records were announced, and people besides Taylor Swift did things too. There were at least a dozen notable artists who each gave us another three-minute reason to stay on YouTube, so we’ve chosen a few to review as objectively as we can. Let’s get started.

[via The Wannabes]  
 

TAYLOR SWIFT, “SHAKE IT OFF”

The Story: Tay doesn’t fit into any stereotype. She’s a dork! She just likes to have fun and remind everybody that it doesn’t matter how much you hate her, she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
Execution: Perfect. The audience gets the point and sides with her in the first few seconds.
Cons: It’s insanely obnoxious, and she’s shown how much she doesn’t fit in before. And yes, many people (myself included) have expressed their disdain for her music, but it doesn’t change the fact that the most popular girl at the party is complaining that she’s so out of place.
Pros: She has never looked better than she does in that black outfit. Mad props to her stylist. Girl looks FLY. Also, this is an official, long-overdue break with Country music. She’s finally admitted herself to the world of Pop.
Overall Score: 6/10
 
 

NICKI MINAJ, “ANACONDA”

The Story: Nicki Minaj wants you to see her butt. For it is large. And she is quite capable of moving it rapidly.
Execution: Very well done. I have done what she’s told me to and stared at her ass for three minutes.
Cons: I don’t really understand the necessity of kitchen scene. It’s a simple message; there’s no need for excess props. Just shake it.
Pros: THAT DRAKE SCENE. If you can watch that scene without laughing, you possess no sense of humor. She’s all up on him, which is funny enough, but after throwing her legs around him and grinding, she gets annoyed when he tries to touch.
Overall Score: 7/10
 
 

GERARD WAY, “NO SHOWS”

The Story: Gerard Way is a singer who’s making his intergalactic debut on a space late-night talk show. This is not explained further.
Execution: Fine I guess? It’s so difficult, because he was the frontman for My Chemical Romance, one of the most dramatic bands of the generation, but this is just dull. I don’t know if he’s trying to go as far from MCR as he possible, but man. It’s just so mediocre. It looks like a pre-“Thriller” music video.
Cons: Mostly everything. The song isn’t even that great. And it would be so much better if he’d just upped the vocals a bit. Also, the fashion looks like a mix of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and a bad ’70s lookbook. I wanted to love this so much.
Pros: He’s making music! And this is announcing an album, so hopefully the whole thing won’t be as beige.
Overall Score: 2/10
 
 

HAIM FT. A$AP FERG, “MY SONG 5″

The Story: It’s an episode of the fictional “Dallas Murphy Show,” an imitation Jerry Springer-type show hosted by Vanessa Bayer.
Execution: Spot on. The sisters were able to pull in a few famous friends, and the added A$AP Ferg verse fits better than I could’ve dreamed.
Cons: I am not a Haim sister. That is a major con.
Pros: It’s hilarious. It’s not the best HAIM video, but it’s almost impossible to beat “Forever” and “The Wire,” so you can’t hold those against them.
Overall Score: 9/10

CASEY JANE ELLISON HAS A CULT NOW. SORT OF…

LAC Clubhouse pal, comedian, VFILES regular, and newly inaugurated cult leader Casey Jane Ellison continues to awkwardly woo us with her maroon lipstick ways. Peep the launch of CASEY IS YOUR CULT, a mock-cult dedicated to teaching the Ellison “way of life.”

[Via Marina Galperina | ANIMAL]

My work is about life, equality, ruin, genderlessness, prettiness, societal ills, being chill, group sex.These things are life and they are my work.

A demented mix of Anna Wintour and The Source Family overlord, watch the video above and see Casey demonstrate to her four lovers/cultees that they don’t actually really, really want to leave. Stop trying to get away.

Casey Jane Ellison has shown work at at the New Museum, MoMA PS1 and the Museum of Art and Design in New York. She also curates Aboveground Animation, which presented a showcase at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles last year.

THE SCOOP: 20 F̶O̶O̶T̶B̶A̶L̶L̶ SOCCER COMMERCIALS TO GET YOU PUMPED FOR THE WORLD CUP OPENING CEREMONY

What’s that? The Clippers couldn’t hang against OKC? The Dodgers are charging ahead in their all-too-familiar mediocrity?
Well, suit up, nerds: IT’S SOCCER SEASON. With nod adieu to LA’s regular and often lackluster sports season (save for those Kings!), we are excitedly switching gears for a some play time on the world stage. This glorious, gripping, international tournament filled to the brim with sanctimonious pledges of national pride, bandwagon fans, and an insane cavalcade of talent has finally reared its head again. The World Cup has got us in a tizzy, and we are counting down the days before the epic tourney completely sidelines our social calendar for the next month (not to mention the secret, bootleg, live streaming sessions we’ve got on lock on that minimized internet browser on our work computer. Sorry, boss.).

This year, Brazil’s main TV network has already racked up over $600 million in sponsorship plugs, creating some of the best advertising hype we’ve since since last year’s Super Bowl. While we anxiously anticipate USA’s first game against Ghana on June 16th (insert iconic Macaulay Culkin face here), peep our picks of some of the best commercials to gear you up for the World Cup 2014.

Nike, “Risk Everything”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Nike, which is not, in fact, a World Cup partner, is shattering Adidas’ soccer supremacy with these new batch of ads for Brazil’s 2014 World Cup. Created by Wieden + Kennedy and directed by Jonathan Glazer, the 60-second spot below portrays Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar and England’s Wayne Rooney preparing for the World Cup under intense psychic stresses of soccer superstardom and an ominous, compelling, stopwatch score. Welcome to the pressure-cooker, boys. We’re watching.
 
 
 

ESPN, “The World Cup Comes Home”

[via Sean Bulvo | The 93rd minute] The commercial conveniently forgot about the barrios, kidnappings, and massive gang-violence but who cares, because, after watching this, I want to buy a ticket to Brazil immediately. Those girls are beautiful. . . and I think I saw soccer in their somewhere. I was a little distracted.
 
 
 

Pepsi, “Now Is What You Make It”

Agency: 180 Los Angeles

First off, this is the nicest favela I’ve ever seen.
Secondly, Who is this Stony kid?? I officially hate him. Nonchalantly ripping a newspaper out of Lionel Messi’s hand? No biggie. Putting your grimy drumsticks all over David Luiz’s soda? This guy. Stony, DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE RIGHT NOW? Messi, I will personally stitch your paper back together and read it to you personally if I can get in the next ad.

Aside from this oblivious, ungrateful youth, the commercial also stands out because of its interactive features: Viewers can click to “dive deeper into Stony’s world” by unlocking additional features. Other featured players include Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere, Sergio Aguero, Sergio Ramos, and, oh, Janelle Monae as struggling, side-hustling, street performer (take a peak at the behind-the-scenes footage here).
 
 
 

Nike, “Winner Stays”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Nike gets it’s sense of humor back with a star-studded, four-minute TV spot, featuring Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney, Ibrahimović, Higuaín, Piqué, Iniesta, David Luiz, Tim Howard, and many others. Plenty of great comic relief and explosive action shots. Be sure to tune in at 2:24 when Kobe Bryant drops yet another Jumping-On-The-FIFA-Bandwagon-Because-I-Secretly-Always-Wanted-To-Be-A-Professional-Soccer-Player cameo.
 
 
 

Adidas, “Brazuca”

Agency: TBWACHIATDAY

Sorry Adidas—as good as this clip is, Nike kinda trumped you in it’s World Cup brand awareness. Nevertheless, the ad is a great addition to the pool. Set the The Kinks, “All Day And All Of The Night” the ad introduces Brazuca, the match ball of the 2014 World Cup, and life from Brazuca’s point of view. More than one million Brazilian fans voted to name the ball brazuca, which “is used by Brazilians to describe national pride in the Brazilian way of life. Mirroring their approach to football, it symbolizes emotion, pride and goodwill to all.”
 
 
 

Visa, “Everyone Is Welcome”

Agency: BBDO

A FIFA World Cup in Brazil is just like Visa. Everyone is welcome. We’ll see about that.
 
 
 

Gatorade, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”

Agency: Lew’LaraTBWA, Brazil

Daaammnn, Gatorade went and got that Disney money. The ad cleverly pairs Lionel Messi, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos, and Landon Donovan with the soundtrack from Cinderella (masterfully remixed by David Banner), showcasing the magic and hard work that go into creating amazing soccer moments.
 
 
 

ESPN, “I Believe”

Don’t get me wrong, I will be rocking my USA jersey hard throughout this tourney, but there’s a difference between “believing” and actually winning. This ad could use a lot more actual scoring highlights and a little less of the cheesy “I Believe” fan chant. R. Kelly believed he could fly, and look where that landed him (unless soaring directly to prison counts?). Nevertheless, we can’t help but love any and all USA plugs, so it makes our list for the pure hopefulness of it all.
 
 
 

Powerade, “Nico’s Story”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

This one is sure to tug at your heart strings. Powerade, the official beverage partner for the FIFA World Cup, shares the amazing story and strength of Nico Calabria, an athlete born with one leg. The short documentary campaign portrays the raw and inspiring willpower of a young man who refuses to let any challenge stand in his way.
 
 
 

Adidas, “Samba Collection”

Agency: United States of Fans / TBWA

Woah. Induce epileptic seizure now. But great music by Buraka Som Sistema.
 
 
 

ESPN, “Global Issues”

In their latest installment of commercials, ESPN produced this little devil—a short, sweet, and hilarious ad with an ending we can all commiserate with.
 
 
 

Emirates, “All-Time Greats”

Agency: IMPACT BBDO

The new Emirates commercial is kind of genius. The spot features soccer icons, Brazilian Pele and Portuguese Ronaldo on their swanky, first-class flight, where both of them have their own set of fans. Take a gander, we wont ruin it for you.
 
 
 

Adidas, “The Dream”

Agency: TBWACHIATDAY

Directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and launched during the UEFA Champions League final, the clip depicts Lionel Messi experiencing an edgy World Cup dream—all set to a killer new Kanye track, “God Level.” Other featured players include Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Suárez, Xavi, Jordi Alba, Mesut Özil, Robin van Persie, and David Villa.
 
 
 

ESPN, “Time Zones”

ESPN is really hitting the nail on the head with these charming, entirely relatable clips of what soccer fandom truly encapsulates. I’m already breathing a sigh of relief that I won’t have to wake up at 4 AM this time around just to watch Ghana dash our World Cup dreams (I’m lookin at you, Asamoah Gyan…)
 
 
 

TAM, “Catimba”

Agency: Y&R Brasil

The clip stars Brazilian national team players David Luiz, Thiago Silva, and Marcelo dribbling, driving, crossing, and battling the odds to make their flights home. Go, you Brazilian kings, go!
 
 
 

Budweiser, “Believe As One”

Agency: Anomaly

Part of Budweiser’s “Rise As One” campaign, the new commercial features lush black and white scenes of fans around the world getting hyped for the game, interspersed with dazzling gold bottle shots of the brew. All set to an anthemic, orchestral score that will surely make you forget how shitty this beer actually is.

The campaign also includes an online documentary series co-produced with Vice, as well as a six-part documentary to be broadcast on Fox.
 
 
 

McDonalds, “GOL!”

Agency: DDB

McDonald’s does viral, trick-shot videos now. In the new TV spot, soccer enthusiast of all ages come together to perform their best trick shots. Along with the commercial, McDonald’s is planning on outfitting its french fry packaging with a fresh augmented reality, World Cup-themed design and a new app that somehow seamlessly connects fries with soccer. Organic branding, y’all. Organic.
 
 
 

Panini, “Who Do You Collect?”

Agency: Conscious-Minds

We get it Kobe, you’re amazing at everything. But real talk, you are a grown ass man—with body hair, a high-profile career, and the ability to vote. And you wanna tell me you sit around swapping World Cup stickers with Andrew Luck? Get it together, man.
 
 
 

Visa, “Everywhere You Want To Be”

Agency: ALMAP BBDO

It’s been eight years since French soccer star Zinedine Zidane dropped a head-butt on his Itailan rival to turn a boring tie-game World Cup Final into a hilariously memorable and meme-worthy World Cup Final. In the clip, Marco Materazzi (headbutt-ee) is replaced with Italian World Cup Champion Fabio Cannavaro (who was on the field playing for Italy at the time of said head-butt) for a light-hearted reunion of rivals.
 
 
 

Nike, “Take It To The Next Level”

Agency: 72andSunny

Yah, we know, this ad is likely five years old by now. But it might be the best of Nike’s bunch, and totally worth another nod. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the ad depicts the roller-coaster ride of a young soccer player from his beginnings competing at the highest level for his country from a first-hand perspective. All before GoPros were actually a thing.
 
 
Know of any other great adverts? Comment below with you picks.

SKATEBOARD, SURFBOARD, TOM FORD: ANGEL HAZE’S TAKE ON DRUNK IN LOVE

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It’s no secret that we’re still blasting Beyoncè’s album and watching her videos every chance we get, but we may have a new girl fighting for our attention. Singer slash emcee Angel Haze took to the mic to give us another cover of an already good song and well, made it perfect. Taking the playfulness of one of the best songs on Bey’s album, Drunk in Love, Haze switches up lyrics, sings the chorus perfectly, and gives a better version of Jay’s verse – she decides against the misogyny. She may have just took over our headphones and our hearts.

SARTORIAL PORN: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SS14

The house of McQueen finally collaborates with supermodel Kate Moss to deliver a SS14 campaign that is filled with dark hues, horror, and mini-moss dolls. The collection was influenced by twentieth century colors and graphic shapes of the avant-garde, while Steven Klein pulled from the 1960’s thriller, Peeping Tom, as inspiration for both the short and the campaign photos. The short’s POV journey through the streets of East London are gritty with mass amounts of sex appeal. Basically, at 40, Kate still gives great face (even when it is a little alienesque).

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A LOVE LETTER TO LA: COLIN RICH’S CITY LIGHTS

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Filmmaker Colin Rich has written a love letter to L.A. in the form of a haunting visual poem that captures what is scenically mesmerizing about our often-overlooked city of lights. The short time-lapse video is a disorienting montage of glimmering landscape images of our tinsel town fittingly set to the grandiose score of M83’s “Outro.” Colin’s video is a disagreement to the cliché that L.A. is a lonesome place – it’s a reminder that within the intricacies of freeways, buildings, and our own hectic lives, we’re all in this city collectively. And whether you live in it as if it’s your own long-stay playground or just a temporary place while you coast – seeing the city breath so vividly in such unison will leave any Angeleno awestricken to call this place what it is, their home.

The video had originally been made for M83 to use as their visual for a Hollywood performance. However, that was a slightly different version. Seeing how impressive the official and final video is, LAC had to ask Colin a few questions about the making of it.

LA CANVAS: How long did it take to shoot?

COLIN RICH: I had been shooting on and off for about a year but really began to ramp up shooting in the past couple of months. I was asked by the band M83 to create some visuals for their Hollywood Bowl show where they were accompanied by the LA phil. It blew my mind that they wanted me to be a part of the experience especially for the song Outro, which in my mind is an emotionally tuned euphony that literally gave me goosebumps when I first heard it. I really wanted to create an homage to LA (and also a final piece in my trilogy of light,and the song fit so perfectly). Anthony truly is one of the most talented musicians out there. Unfortunately I was in the North Pole working on my next project when they asked me to cut the piece together (I’ll get to that in a bit) so I literally had like 3 days to put something together and upload it (the interweb is so amazing).

LAC: Most difficult shot to take?

CR: They’re all equally challenging. I would say the crown shot of LA was especially difficult to do because the the lens was such a long focal length (1200mm) that any slight vibrations (wind or impact) would greatly affect the shot. Couple this with the long exposure time needed to bring out the rich colors of the city… I was 27 miles away from downtown LA and needed to wait for the perfect night to get the clarity I required. I ended up going up into the Angeles National Forest when it was about 27 degrees out so the air was ideal for shooting. When the shot came out, I was pretty happy with it but it took about 3 attempts to get it perfect.

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LAC: Your personal favorite location?

CR: Its hard to say because each one offers their own perspective on the city. I think getting to the spots are the best experiences. Its all about the journey.

LAC: Are you staying in LA?

CR: I am staying in LA! I love my city. But I do travel a lot for work and pleasure.

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LAC: What’s next?  

CR: I recently came back from a five week excursion from Svalbard, an archipelago located above the arctic circle (near the north pole) where I was working on my first documentary about energy policy in the 21st century and how it will affect the Arctic. The place is amazing but is also ground zero when it comes to global warming. The first day in, I was required to get a polar bear rifle to protect myself from said creatures so it was one of the more interesting shoots. We spent time with Russian and Norwegian miners and folks who live up there regarding the changes they are seeing and exploring what the 21st century will bring to the arctic (changing sea routes due to melting ice, pollution, energy exploration in the Barents Sea). I’m currently looking to raise some money and return to Svalbard to finish the piece.

WELSH WHIMSY: CATE LE BON


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It’s not often you come along an LA-based Welsh singer-songwriter. And one who sings of morbid themes at that. Cate Le Bon arrived on our sunny shores earlier this year and with her she’s brought a wealth of intricate sounds and a whimsicality that makes for an interesting juxtaposition against the emotional and sometimes haunting lyrics of her songs. Ahead of her show at the Bootleg this Saturday, we invited Cate Le Bon to play for us at the LA CANVAS headquarters for a #clubhousesession. Check out the video below and don’t forget to purchase tickets for her show here. 

Photo source: Cate Le Bon

21 QUESTIONS: LISSIE

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Lissie is the epitome of a rockstar, in the sense that she breaks the rules, and doesn’t seem to give a fuck about playing the fame game. She’s been compared to Stevie Nicks, but fiercer (yeah, we didn’t think it was possible either, but have been proven wrong). Her take on the sounds of the 70s and 80s is done just right–it’s seductive, sultry, and even a little mean. Her latest album, Back to Forever, has yet to disappoint.
We catch up with Lissie as she takes some time out of touring to answer a few (or 21) of our questions.

So, what’s up?
Hanging out in Denver about to play at twist and shout record store before our gig tonight.

Can we get you something to drink?
Always!

Favorite thing to look at?
Pretty nature bliss

Do anything last night?
Yes drinks and bowling with old friends!

Meals or snacks?
Meals

Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen?
Bruce

If life could resemble any film…any film score?
Labyrinth

Your biggest fan?
My family or this nice guy Ryan who gets me tattooed on him

Listening to anything right now?
Yes but I don’t know what it is

Who would you commission to take/paint/draw your portrait?
William Eggleston to photograph

When was the last time you really froke out at someone?
Froke?

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?
My vocal exercises which are like bubbling my lips while singing scales

Last 3 google searches?
Bahn me sandwich restaurant
The Crocodile in Seattle
Pretty Lights

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East or west coast? Biggie or Tupac?
West – Tupac

What’s the most embarrassing song that you know all the words to?
Friday by Rebecca black

Favorite book?
The Clan of the Cave Bear

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?
Food and red wine

Cats or dogs? Why?
Dogs, I’m allergic to cats

If you woke up as the opposite sex, what’s the first thing you would do?
Check out my peen

What are you doing later?
Playing at the Gothic Theatre in Denver then driving to Salt Lake City

Can we come?
Sure!

Get tickets to see Lissie at The Fonda, Monday (12/9) here

REVIEW: MACHINEDRUM AT THE TROUBADOUR

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As Travis Stewart strutted onto the Troubadour’s stage with a red guitar, it would be easy to confuse him for a rock star–doubly so after the night’s two electropop opening acts. But it’s apparent that he’s something entirely different as soon as the music starts: drums worthy of the night’s aggressive Red Bull branding, keys that would fit into the locked grooves of a house DJ set and–yes–that guitar picking away. This blend of ingredients isn’t surprising, as Stewart’s work as Machinedrum has fused the sexy strains of R&B, pulverizing rhythms of jungle and breakneck speed of footwork to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

 

At the Troubadour performance, he was celebrating the release of his ambitious and well received LP, Vapor City. With drummer (and old collaborator) Lane Darrington at his side, Machinedrum expertly chopped up samples and his own live guitar work, played flowing bass lines and let his (surprisingly great) vocals work together to bring Vapor City to life. Visuals by the influential UK-based label and design group LuckyMe provided the backdrop, as they showed glitched-out landscapes depicting each of the record’s tracks, similar to the video for lead single “Eyesdontlie.”

The set’s pacing became more and more frenetic as it went past the album cuts into a world that walked between a wild, party-rocking DJ set and a more polished “live” set. BPMs ticked upwards, both for the tunes and for the audiences’ heart rate as Machinedrum unleashed older tracks from the Room(s) EP and other various remixes (including this corker from San Francisco-based EPROM) Darrington admirably kept pace. People danced harder, screamed louder and basically freaked out. When the house lights went up at the end of the night, people were still riding high from energy and trying to piece together what they had just witnessed: Live set? DJ set? Button-pushing? Debates aside, Machinedrum definitely rocked the crowd and made them dance.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: LOLA BLANC’S PRISMATIC VIDEO DEBUT, “BAD TATTOO”

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Lola Blanc, the trained ventriloquist and music writer to other pop names and genre relevant  producers, debuts her video for “Bad Tattoo” – the epitome of a catchy pop track. The bouncy verses blend perfectly with the colorful – yet a little weird – imagery. Reminiscent of Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” video, but less horrifying and more humorous. Blanc drips blue frosting out of her mouth, grinds on a tiger, takes comfort in a small box, sings into bananas and blue ice cream cones, all while surrounded by pastel, doll-like, babes – one being Lime Crime’s founder, Doe Deere, FYI.

Blanc’ look is a mix of 50s housewife and 90s club kid. Donning platform sneakers, neon colors, Betty Paige bangs, and rocking Jeremy Scott, Blanc’s style is eye-catching with a voice to follow. It is no wonder the pop queens seek her expertise – but they better watch out, they may just get de-throned.

BRAND NEW: ISLANDS – “WAVE FORMS”

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The olive-eating, Canadian-bred band Islands is back with their new video for “Wave Forms.” Directed by Strike Anywhere, the new vid follows Islands as they join a lone roller skater (played by Cory Zacharia) as he rolls through the streets of, ahem, Lancaster. Zacharia has been a recurring character in Mike Ott’s films, including “Littlerock,” “Pearlblossom Highway” and the upcoming “Lake Los Angeles.”

Cheers to a band that can keep our attention since the pimply, ForeverXXI days of 2006.

Check out the video below:

ALBUM OF THE DAY: BEST COAST’S FADE AWAY EP

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Best Coast gives us that lo-fi, west coast sound we love, again. They may be criticized for sounding the same, always, but you have to admit it is iconic. Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno make us wish we were drinking beers and sitting on the beach enjoying the duo’s company. While the themes of  their Fade Away EP (released earlier this week) sound like downers – heartbreak and not knowing about life or yourself – the perkiness of every guitar chord and simple drum beats make dancing around in a bathing suit seem not so far-fetched in October.

While we don’t want Best Coast to change, on this EP you won’t find mod-podged cutouts of lolcats, the California coast and bud leaves making an appearance – the two have matured, some what. On the title track, “Fade Away” the lyrics are reminiscent of a so-called bullied, country singer we’d rather not name, ending the song with, “sick of you being mean, I didn’t do anything.” On “Who Have I become?” we realize we have no idea who we are, and we hate it – “I want to be somebody else. Sick of myself and how I feel,” ughh, life. Also, those tug-of-war relationships we try to not think about make the list – “you can have me everyday or we can go our separate ways”- in the 2nd track “I Wanna Know.”

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While we all may be at the age where a “no fucks given” attitude is said to by now be ingrained into our brains and knowing yourself should be a given, we are mistaken – and Best Coast reminds us of that.  Fade Away is a wonderful contradiction – vulnerable and cheerful at the same time – and, well, we wouldn’t want it any other way.

PS. The EP was entirely produced by the band on Cosentino’s new label, Jewel City. She is definitely doing big girl things, and we applaud her.

Take a listen and pay close attention to tracks 1, 3 and 7 – those are our faves.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: JARINA DE MARCO’S “SPELL ON YOU”

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Self-proclaimed bruja, Jarina de Marco, uses Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ classic “I Put a Spell on You” to introduce herself to the world, and it is fitting. Signed to Wyclef Jean’s new independent label, AllHandzOnDeck, the latin songstress gives you english and spanish lines with a fun beat – no need to be bilingual to know this song is catchy.

In her first video, “Spell on You,” director Pablo Lozano uses traditional Dominican vodou imagery to truly embody a witches’ idea of revenge – vodou doll in hand.  DIY plastic rosaries draped in her hair and gold chains hanging from her neck, De Marco sings “Mira pendejo you should know better than mess with a chica a chica like me.” She may look innocent in her two-piece, brightly colored outfits, and flowers in her hair, but she obviously means business – evil business in this case.

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While we shouldn’t invest in chicken parts, dolls, and spells to solve our heartbreak, Jarina de Marco knows how to make it look like a good time. Unfortunately, we aren’t quite sure how many other bad things De Marco can convince us to do because very of her few songs are on the interwebz, so just play the video over and over, you won’t regret it.

VIDEO LOVE: LUKE GILFORD’S “THE FUTURE OF FLESH”

Fashion is usually seen as nothing more than aesthetics, but lately, it has been working with a mixture of artistic mediums. Luke Gilford’s short film, “The Future of Flesh,” opens up with the words (in which Jane Fonda narrates), “We’re glad you made the decision to join us.” From there we see models clad in latex as skin, elongated foreheads, and Prada’s current fall 2013 collection. While we couldn’t help but be a little creeped out by the images mixed with a Jake Shears score, we were also extremely intrigued.

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Gilford discusses age, mimicry, the future and high fashion in only one minute. He also opens up the discussion of the industry moving past their standards of beauty, allowing for other intellectual thought processes – denying the age-old idea of fashion being equivalent to mindlessness. We get more than stereotypical models in the video – faces are covered, features are stretched – which alone made us question the video and its purpose. Add a narration, horror-movie-like score, and fashion, and we suddenly don’t know what to think, but we know we like it.

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Gilford, Fonda, Jake Shears, and Prada are all taking fashion to the next level, and they are doing it through more than just your eyes. They are calling for you to expand your mind, while still being clad in the finest of materials.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: DRAKE’S “HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME”

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In case you were unaware, Drake’s album dropped Tuesday. It’s hard to ignore the man since he has been just about everywhere lately wearing those promotional tees. Anyway, we’ve been feeling a lot like Jaden Smith at the VMA’s since the album leaked and we were excited to see the video for his second single, especially since it features our latest Triple Threat model, Ashley Moore.

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Drake has been in the rap game for awhile now, but he seems to never run too far away from his roots. In “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” he brings back his acting skills, in a white suit, looking real important. It isn’t far from truth, aside from the fact that the video takes place in Miami circa 1985. With A$AP Rocky as his right hand man, they embody the mafia lifestyle. Like all head honchos in mafia movies, the haters try to get you down by taking what you love – is this all just a metaphor for life disguised with bad ’80s attire and mediocre acting, or are we getting ahead of ourselves?

In a Sopranos-esque kidnapping, Drake comes close to losing his woman (a.k.a Ms. Moore). But because we are all suckers for a ::SPOILER:: happy ending, they reconcile with a perfectly passionate make-out sesh.

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He may receive backlash for being the most sensitive rapper in the game, but we like seeing the nice guy finish first. Enjoy the video while we get back to listening to Nothing Was The Same – on loop.

VIDEO LOVE: SOLANGE’S “LOVERS IN THE PARKING LOT”

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Solange is doing swap-meet chic meets disco-queen in her new video for “Lovers in the Parking Lot” off her True EP. Wearing metallics, bright pinks and hot pants, Solange dances as if no one is watching – very reminiscent of Robyn a la the Call Your Girlfriend music video. In this nearly deserted Houston, Texas (baby) mini mall, we get cameo’s of Bun B and Mannie Fresh, attempting to keep up with the quirky dance moves Solange executes so well.

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“Lovers in the Parking Lot” is an ode to truly not knowing what you got ’til it’s gone. She’s vying for her lover back, and obviously knows no other way to accomplish that task than to just be flat out adorable. Hey, it works on us.

 

VIDEO LOVE: WATCH MACEO PAISLEY’S “VACATION”

Longtime friend of the LAC clubhouse and self-proclaimed dork, Maceo Paisley kicks up the tempo and into the most sweltering heat of deep summer with his new video, “Vacation.” The dancer/rapper/sock designer (how’s that for a slashie?) takes to the LA River in a playful and charming attempt to convince a girl to take some time off with him. Whether his charismatic approaches work or not, we’ll never know, but the tune is sure to get stuck in your head on your drive home from work. And can we breathe a collective sigh of “awww” for the world’s cutest mini-Maceos in this video?

 

oh and this:

Maceo Paisley Beatboxes for an Awesome Kid from Hali Kazu Gardella on Vimeo

VIDEO LOVE: WATCH FIONA APPLE’S “HOT KNIFE”

After a long-awaited 13 months, Fiona Apple reunites with filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson for the deceptively simple, vintage-looking video for The Idler Wheel track “Hot Knife.” The video, which includes older sis Maude Maggart who also sings on the track, portrays an ever so slight Maya Deren-esque, surreleast triptych of her harmonies. We’re fans and totally diggin’ this over the whole octopus thing

Watch the new video below:

VIDEO: WESTON JAMES – “LOVE BY CHRISTINA MASTERSON”

Love by Christina Masterson | Weston. James from Weston. James on Vimeo.

The emotion of love could be categorized as one of those existential and undefinable emotions that are relative to the person they capture. In Weston James’s latest short film we watch as actress Christina Masterson takes on the challenge of defining the four letter word, and analogies ensue.

Masterson, dressed in a fur coat, begins by telling us what love is and does. As she goes on to explain that being in love is like being a collector, scenes of her in a floor length white gown scouring a beach at sunset for shells accompany her asides. All of this comes with added charm, as Beach House’s Victoria Legrand croons in the background via the duo’s song “Turtle Island.” Whether the short hits a chic editorial note, or asks you to question your own definition of the word “love”, James’s cinematography and ability to peek our interests never ceases.

Watch the video above, and check out the rest of James’ work here.

 

VIDEO: KENDRICK LAMAR – “POETIC JUSTICE” FT. DRAKE

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Kendrick Lamar has certainly blown up since appearing in our Downtown Issue last May, especially following the hype of his summer hit with Dr. Dre, “The Recipe.” But that was by no means the only jam or big-name cameo from his sophomore album good kid, m.A.A.d city.

The album’s latest single, “Poetic Justice,” features a little help from Kendrick’s friend Drake, who delivers his rhymes via phone from a hotel room, where he sits next to an angelically passed-out-post-coital woman (every man’s fantasy). Meanwhile, Kendrick looks dapper in a square-print button-down as the tragic love story unfolds. Up to you to decide whether the bloody ending is indeed poetic and just.

FIRST LISTEN: SHLOHMO – “DON’T SAY NO” FT. HOW TO DRESS WELL

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LA native and beatmaker Henry Laufer, aka Shlohmo, has hit on so many genres—electronic, hip-hop, dream-pop—all mixed into catchy psychedelic tracks. In his latest single from his much anticipated EP Laid Out, he collaborates with experimental-pop act How To Dress Well for a slow, soulful R&B track mixed with some consuming electronic beats. This will definitely leave you wanting more, but do not fret! The EP is to be released March 4th, with a special vinyl copy available April 2nd, and from our sneak peak we can guarantee that you’ll want to make sure to grab this one.

Listen to the new single below and look out for Shlohmo live on April 6th at the Fonda Theatre.