As the third album of Devonte Hynes (ake Blood Orange), ‘Freetown Sound’ is written and produced by Hynes himself, and the man further proved his artistic prowess with the video for “I Know,” featuring eye-catching ballet moves that fall far outside the box. Formerly known as “Lightspeed Champion,” Hynes also wrote produced worked for Solange Knowles (among others), including the very memorable track, “Losing You.” His new record follows 2011’s ‘Coastal Grooves’ and 2013’s ‘Cupid Deluxe.’ Watch below.
Nothing pleases me more than watching Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon together. First, Timberlake always delivers, and I’d even go so far as to suggest he become a permanent fixture on The Tonight Show. Second, nearly every person on the planet says Timberlake is both professional and kind, and he often operates without the traditional entourage we so often see with bloated celebrities. Third, who would have thought he’d have the comedic timing to facilitate sketch comedy? And lastly, he might be the only boy-bander in history to move beyond his teeny-bopper status into a legitimate, rich career. Watch below to see the twosome sing “Ironic” at Camp Winnipesaukee.
Reality shows might not ruin relationships, but the types of people who seek them out might not make the best romantic partners. Such is the case with Mariah Carey and James Packer, who have reportedly split as a result of her new show. Tabloids have recently documented the plight of Carey’s career due to her controversial new management, and many have suggested that the decision to star in a reality show just proves that she’s receiving poor guidance. One would think she’d learn a lesson after her much-publicized previous relationships and keep her new romance private, but she has clearly taken another, unfortunate route. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Somewhere deep down there is still a denim-clad, down-to-earth New Yorker, but she’s gotten lost. The only way back is to channel her true self, nix the diamond-bragging, and never use the word “dahhhh-ling.”
Who would have thought that Kelly Ripa’s on-air sidekick might actually be an unknown star in the making? Rumors have long circulated that the producers of ‘Live With Kelly’ hoped to avoid the pitfalls of a polished, greedy co-host for the coveted gig, and instead wanted someone loyal and grateful. Who better to meet those standards than a Perkasie high school teacher of television production? The social-media-contest winner is reportedly in the running, and he will be invited back to test for the full-time job. After watching him in action, I get it. He’s humble, good looking, and a representation of the most important job we’ve got. Plus, it proves that the producers did some actual work to find him and that we don’t need to recycle the same, tired people in this fishbowl we call Hollywood. There’s also something about Ripa that thrives beside an unknown, rather than a long-time friend. It’s almost too familiar with someone like Andy Cohen or Anderson Cooper who, though qualified, are not the best choice. Watch a clip below, and decide for yourself.
I’ve been tough on Lady Gaga’s new album, ‘Joanne,’ but there’s no doubt that it’s peppered with powerful tracks, one of which is “Million Reasons,” which Gaga sang for Howard Stern in one of the best live performances I’ve heard on the show. According to Gaga, she wrote the song for women all over the world, and it’s origin can be attributed to finding a million reasons to leave a relationship, but being lured back by only one good reason to stay. We can all relate. In fact, Robin Quivers related so much she was crying at the end of the song. Listen below.
Independent singer-songwriter Sean Hayes‘ distinct, folksy sound caught my attention years ago, and I’ve been following him ever since. The San Francisco-based musician has toured with Ani DiFranco and the Cold War Kids, in addition to having his music featured on various television shows, films, and commercials. As the SF Weekly puts it, he “succeeds on the tension between warm, resonant soul and dirt-road folk, all laced with a wandering troubadour’s coo.” The genre-defying artist will bring his talents to Los Angeles at The Satellite on November 10, and you can catch the rest of his tour dates below. Check out the video of his latest album, ‘Low Light,’
Sean Hayes Tour Dates
November 2 – Green Frog – Bellingham, WA
November 3 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
November 4 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
November 5 – HiFi – Eugene, OR
November 6 – Brickroom – Ashland, OR
November 9 – SOhO – Santa Barbara, CA
November 10 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
November 11 – San Diego Music Thing – San Diego, CA
November 12 – Moe’s Alley – Santa Cruz, CA
Lady Gaga wanted her new album to be about the music, and she accomplished just that. When you strip away the costumes and dance-heavy tracks, you’ve got “Million Reasons,” “Angel Down” and “Joanne,” and if you want something more up-tempo, you’ve got “Judas” and Perfect Illusion,” etc. Having said that, the record suffers from a split personality disorder. I’m not sure if Mark Ronson is compatible with Father John Misty, nor am I sure Father John is compatible with Lady Gaga. Ronson produced the entire record, and the singer also worked with Beck, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Florence Welch, Father John Misty, and BloodPop. While it might be nice to combine influences, it’s simply not cohesive. Did I mention the covert Ace of Base influences?
It’s fine to reinvent one’s brand, as long the world is aware of what you’re trying to say. And although I like some of what she says, my brain just can’t switch gears so much in between songs. Had she just written the album alone, or chosen co-songwriters in the same genre, the album would be far less disjointed. I’d also like to note that Mark Ronson’s obsessive use of horns feels odd and random.
The Texas-based musician stepped into the spotlight on Season 7 of NBC’s “The Voice”, finishing in the Top 8 with Team Pharrell. Wade has performed alongside Train, Rusted Root, Blue October, Ingrid Michelson, and more. Of his third record, Wade says, “With this album, I was able to use what I’ve learned to be a little more patient, focus on the quality of the songs, the production, and I feel like my vision has really come together.”
Listen to the track below.