Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe raps Blackalicious' Alphabet Aerobics... perfectly

From Gandalf in a George Ezra video to Harry Potter perfectly performing one of the trickiest, fastest (and best) rap songs of all time... The blog has gone all fantasy role-play today.

This performance is lifted from last night's Jimmy Fallon show in the US - where Daniel Radcliffe joined The Roots to show off his rap skills on a 100% live cover of Alphabet Aerobics, originally a collaboration between Blackalicious and Jurassic 5's Cut Chemist in 1999.

I didn't see this coming, but (wizard) hats off - it's amazing.

And, for comparison, here's the original.

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Watch Ian McKellen lip-syncing to George Ezra's new single

Well, as celebrity cameos in music videos go, this certainly trumps a guest spot from Nicki Minaj.

It's only bloody Gandalf, hamming it up beside George Ezra in the video for Listen To The Man, the fourth single from his chart-topping album Wanted On Voyage.

The set-up is reminiscent of "Waiting For Godot", as Ian McKellen plonks down beside our deep-voiced troubador on a stage, empty except for a bus stop, a park bench and a backdrop. But this isn't an existential experiment in the theatre of nothing - it's more like Morecambe & Wise in one of their musical stand-offs.

"He [Ian] just keeps butting in and pissing me off," Ezra told the Mirror earlier this month. "And stealing the camera. In real life, I hate being on camera but in the video, that frustrates me.

"It was nerve-racking trying to act beside him. I’m not an actor, and he’s phenomenal."

Even if this wasn't a good song (which it is) this would be worth four minutes of your day. But imagine how much better it would have been if Nicki Minaj had turned up too...

George Ezra - Listen To The Man

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monsieur Adi remixes Lana Del Rey's Brooklyn Baby

And the results are spectacular.

That is all.

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Mary J Blige's London Sessions continue to impress

Mary J Blige loves London. She loves London so much that the "J" now stands for "jolly good". And the latest track from her London Sessions album is jolly good, too.

But here's the strange thing - even though Therapy was written with Baron Samuel Terence Mountjoy Smithington III (pictured above), the bluesy, doo-wop and backing track sounds much more American than anything else she's previewed from the record.

Lyrically, too, her stiff upper lip has started to wobble. "Why would I spend the rest of my days unhappy... when I can go to therapy two times a day?" sings Mary, in a most unbecoming manner. She sounds far too excitable for polite society, wailing and cussing like a lady's maid having an attack of the vapors. Tsk Tsk.

Good song, though.

Mary J Blige - Therapy

Therapy is one of those "instant gratification" tracks, so you can own it today if you pre-order The London Sessions on iTunes. Or just listen to it on YouTube like I just did.

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Video: OK Go - I Won't Let You Down

At this point, I feel like we should just appoint OK Go as the visual directors of every Olympic, World Cup and Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, as well as Presidential Inauguration and Coronation from now right through to 2050.

Someone else can take care of the music, though.

OK Go - I Won't Let You Down

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Willow Smith is back - and sounding like a cross between Drake and Jill Scott

No-one born in the year 2000 should be allowed to release music yet, let alone music called "Female Energy", but I suppose if your dad is Will Smith some of the boundaries get blurred.

So here she is, "Whip My Hair" hitmaker Willow Smith with a surprisingly supine slice of late night R&B called Female Energy. The first thing you'll notice is that, for a 13-year-old, her command of her voice is astonishing. By turns she sounds weary, thoughtful, cynical, croaky, dismissive and mature. Ok, four of those qualities are common to all teenagers, but how many can convey that into a vocal performance?

The cod-mystic lyrics, on the other hand, aren't so great: "I bet you have questions, like where did I come from? I come from the planets," she coos as the track begins. Later, when she describes "conversing with our bodies", you have to pray that her dad isn't listening.

Oh, and if you didn't think this was precocious enough, it was entirely improvised.

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