Tag Archives: Pop and rock


Usually the awardings show is a chance for those who turn up to walk away with a gong, but this year several acts and presenters took is targeted at the President-elect

Give credit to the American Music Awarding for being honest. The depict, which operated its 44 th edition on Sunday night, eschews best accolades, instead honoring favorite artists and songs; nominees are culled from sales , not artistic pretensions, and the wins are determined by online polling. Its objective? To be a blithe celebration of the root word of pop, dedicating awards to artists who show up.

But 2016 isnt a typical year, and Green Day the Bay Area punks turned alt-rock elder statesmen illuminated up the night with a protest of United States president-elect Donald Trump. During a speedy run-through of their rumbling single Bang Bang, from their recent album Revolution Radio, the band inserted a bit of Born To Die, a 1982 single by the Texas hardcore outfit MDC that was updated a few weeks ago; that songs original opening chant, No war , no KKK , no fascist USA, was amended so that it called out Trump.

References to the current political situation peppered the night: Supermodel Chrissy Teigen made a bleeped-out reference to the really interesting, fucked-up, fucking election while she introduced her husband John Legends performance of the anthem-in-waiting Love Me Now, mogul-slash-reality starring Mark Cuban and brassy-voiced Tony winner Idina Menzel cracked gags about not being invited to the inauguration, Sting accepted his Merit Award with a speech calling himself a musical migrant and co-host Jay Pharoah offered up a few wince-worthy Trump impersonations. But for the most proportion, the night remained reasonably on message, showcasing a clutch of the songs that have been predominating radio playlists and streaming-music charts for much of 2016 amidst awkward adoption speeches and cheesy laugh line delivered by Pharoah and co-host Gigi Hadid.

Bruno Mars kicked off the present with 24 K Magic, the lead single from his just-released album of the same name. That tribute to 80 s robo-funk might be in the model of his mega-collaboration with producer Mark Ronson, Uptown Funk, but its represent one of the few big singles this year to have something resembling a heartbeat and Marss infectious energy and performance chops served as a high bar for the rest of the show.

A couple of moments reached the openers energy. Princes sister, Tyka Nelson, devoted a fiery, teary speech accepting the Top Soundtrack award for Purple Rain, which got a sales jolt when the storied pop genius passed away in April. Selena Gomez accepted favorite pop/ rock female artist with an emotional speech talking about her return from the success-borne verge. Fifth Harmony powered through the girl-power anthem Thats My Girl amid post-apocalyptic rubble.

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( Todo Mundo/ Nonesuch)

For those of us accustomed to thinking of David Byrne as an articulator of American anxiety – his band Talking Heads filled the late 70 s and 80 s with jittery art disguised as pop – his latest album, American Utopia , necessitates some readjustment. Sungs like Every Day Is a Miracle skew largely towards the bright side- a matured and thoughtful reaction to the desperation felt by many in the wake of Trump’s presidency.

This being Byrne, one of pop’s most refreshing intellectuals, it’s not as simple as chipper serenity, however. Bullet, for one, is a superficially lovely song about a bullet finding its mark. Everybody’s Coming to My House( stimulated with longtime foil Brian Eno) is a funky workout in which Byrne finds that” we’re only tourists in this life “.

On Every Day Is a Miracle and Dog’s Mind, by contrast, the album reaches peak “quirk”, as Byrne seeks to explain that” the chicken guess in mysterious routes” and that puppies can’t drive. The message might be that, if we acknowledge that the context created by our perceptions is not the same as truth, and re-examine our distress, it might lessen. Yuval Noah Harari posits something not entirely dissimilar about human myths in Sapiens , but with fewer good tunes.

Listen to Everybody’s Coming to My House by David Byrne .

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US chairpeople exercise soundtrack features mix of funk, pop, stone and hip-hop, including anthems by Sting, Beyonc, Icona Pop, Forro in the Dark and Courtney Barnett

The US Democratic party have championed Barack Obamas hip and eclectic music savour since sharing the nominees iPod playlist during the 2008 campaign. Now, as the president gale down his final word, hes exposed his curatorial powers extend to a particularly 21 st century preoccupation: the well-crafted workout playlist.

For his guest editorship of Novembers Wired magazine, Obamas team released his exercise soundtrack on Tuesday: a mix of funk, pop, stone and hip-hop, with a few curveballs( and cheeseballs) thrown in.

The playlist shares a few commonalities with his 2016 summer soundtrack: theres a celebration of black artists, a few crowdpleasers( last years Good Vibrations is this years Lets Get It Started ), and even a couple of double-ups independent Australian artist Courtney Barnetts Elevator Operator features on both playlists, as does Nina Simones Sinnerman.

Jason M Peck (@ JasonMPeck1)

Obama’s decision to set the Black Eyed Peas next to Nina Simone is unforgivable. https :// BMtDXiBFKV

October 18, 2016

Jay Z gets another look-in, this time with Drake in 2009 s Off That. Its preceded by Get Me Bodied by Beyonc who featured twice on Michelle Obamas workout playlist, released in 2012.

Also featured is Emergency by Swedish electropop duo Icona Pop a more original selection than 2012 s I Love It, which remains unavoidable in gyms around the world; the Isley Friend funk-filled ode to free love, Live It Up; and, from somewhat out of left field, theres Perro Loco by Forro in the Dark a collective of Brazilian musicians who rework the rural forro music for the club scene of New York.

Obama who hosted his first ever music celebration, South by South Lawn( SXSL ), earlier this month proved himself a master of the mixtape where reference is released the White Houses summer playlists in August to broad acclaim. Speaking with Pitchfork at SXSL, the White Houses first chief digital officer Jason Goldman said the choices are all the presidents: I swear it is him who stimulates the playlists. He has personally selected all of those songs and writes them out by hand. He truly loves a diverse range of music.

In 2015, Obama became the first sitting president to visit Jamaica in more than 30 years. Dropping in at the Bob Marley Museum, he told press hed been a big fan since high school. This might explain the gym playlist inclusion of Could You Be Loved which, much like Stingings If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, may be more befitting of a dawdle than a gym drill. But perhaps its one for the warm-down. The playlist does, however , not include Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper, who were recently invited to his Final State Dinner.

Have a listen to his pickings below.

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