The Electric Lady
The abundantly-talented Janelle Monáe burst onto the scene in 2010 with her full-length debut The ArchAndroid, an ambitious sci-fi neo-soul opera that was my favorite album of that year. For those unfamiliar with Monáe, the Kansas-born R&B star in some ways is sort of an ultra-talented female Bruno Mars: what Mars does in doo-wop and soul revue channeling Jackie Wilson and Frankie Valli, Monáe does in a similar fashion but channels Stevie Wonder, Judy Garland, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Michael Jackson, James Brown, and even George Lucas. Monáe not only has an insane rock ‘n’ roll vocabulary, but she flips from sounding like Jimi Hendrix to James Brown to Judy Garland as effortlessly as an Olympic gymnast. On her second full-length album and third chapter of her sci-fi adventure, The Electric Lady (which shares a name with Hendrix’s famous New York studio), Monáe recruits R&B’s finest for an album that shows more of her versatility but also more of her heart and attitude.
We all love us some Edgar Wright (and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for that matter), so with the opening of The World’s End this weekend, we thought it appropriate to dig up the top ten apocalyptic songs. A few words about The World’s End first though. I am endlessly excited to see this movie, but it just has the worst title ever. The title is not bad in and of itself. It is descriptive. It is succinct. But unfortunately it is too similar to another apocalyptic comedy from earlier this summer (This Is The End) as well as a Pirates of the Caribbean poopcicle (At World’s End). This obviously won’t effect the quality of the movie, but its a pet peeve of mine from a differentiation standpoint.
Now that all that is out of the way, enjoy these top ten tracks for the end of times.
10. Prince – “1999″
Remember in 1982 when 1999 was in the distant future and probably the end of the world? Me neither, I wasn’t born yet. Coming in as the most danceable song on this list, “1999″ is a classic depiction of a party for the end of the world.
Super Bowl halftime shows have had a pretty wide range over the years; starting out with mostly college marching bands and currently sometimes ending up in huge controversy (like the above or M.I.A. last year). For the past twenty years or so, though, the halftime show has settled into two categories for the most part: aging rock star or in-the-moment pop sensations. There just hasn’t been a lot of imagination. I truly believe, and so do Todd and Wes deep down even though they won’t admit it, the combination of Aerosmith, N’Sync, and Nelly was pretty electric, and a legitimate combination of current and aging talents. Alas, they didn’t make the list. Neither did The Who (decrepit), Madonna (mummified), or the Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting combination (puzzling). In fact, this list is not nearly as strong as we would have expected, so I ripped to some degree on several acts. Enjoy, and as always let us know what you think in the comments.
10. 2006 – The Rolling Stones
After the 2004 Janet Jackson debacle (blessing?), the NFL decided to trot out a lot of very “safe” acts for some time. Hence, a bunch of old bags of bones (stones?) took the stage in 2006 and sounded much smaller than the event demands. As a consolation, the stage is phenomenal, and Keith Richards puppet-master continues to get paid for his superb work.
The past 24 hours have been quite the wellspring of music news. From leaky twitter accounts, to legitimate releases, some of the bigger names in music seem to have tracks just dropping from the sky quicker than the snow that is currently falling outside my window. Yesterday, Thom Yorke’s collaborative group Atoms for Peace (consisting of Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco, and of course, Thom) released my favorite track of 2013 thus far. Seeing as how it is only the eighth day of the year this may not seem tough, but give it a listen for yourself and see if you think differently.