« July 2006 | Main | September 2006 »

MTV Video Music Awards: Getting Pumped with Temposhark

Screenshot_17

I'm getting ready for tomorrow's big musical tour de force better known as the MTV Video Music Awards, that lovely little shindig at Radio City Music Hall. It will be pushing and shoving on the Red Carpet, competing with those cutesy chicks from People and InStyle and screaming like the dudes of Z100. It will be a mad house, but in a good way.

This is my fourth VMAs and I'm really excited that this year (for the first time) fellow bloggers Perez and Trent will be at the event as well. I'm not good at touting my own horn, but I do pride myself for being the first blogger to ever get credentials for an MTV Awards show. On Thursday, I will not be posting. Expect my reports here on Friday.

In the meantime, I will leave you with a very special version of "Joy" by my friends of Temposhark. The track was remixed by Melnyk who recently did a mix of Pet Shop Boys "I'm With Stupid." This mix definitely gets me pumped. Just what I need right now. You can buy the tune at Temposhark's online store. Let's dance, kids.

Stream Temposhark "Joy" (Melnyk's 'Mirth' Remix)

August 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3)

MTV Video Music Awards: Arjan on Radio 538

Screenshot_15
Screenshot_16_1

Everybody is going ga-ga over the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. Also the Dutch want to get in on all the action and I am going to give it to them! Arjan will be appearing live and direct from NYC on the hugely popular Radio 538 radio channel on Friday together with hotter than hot DJs Niels and Froukje. If you are in the Netherlands, make sure to tune in to Radio 538 during your evening commute (between 18:00 and 19:00). Americans can stream the show on the the Radio 538 web site between noon and 1 p.m. ET. (The show will be in Dutch though, but you can still make out the fun banter and enjoy those rocking European tunes.)

August 30, 2006 in VMA 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

MTV Music Video Awards Update

New York City is going a little insane today. And so am I! Will be back with regular posting soon.

August 30, 2006 in VMA 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3)

MTV Video Music Awards 2006: Got Questions?

Arjanwrites_vma06_logo

Only two more days until the annual MTV Video Music Awards will take over Radio City Music Hall in New York City. I will be attending the show, working the arrivals area and spending lots of time backstage. I have been trying to come up with cool ideas to make Arjanwrites.com readers part of this unqiue experience. I've thought about live blogging the event with a Sidekick, shooting photos or even taking questions for celebrities through instant messaging. But to be honest, my primary focus needs to be on getting face time with artists not on all kinds of distracting gadgets. But no worries, I have a few others suprises that you will see on this blog after the show.

In my effort to make the VMAs more fun for you, I invite Arjanwrites.com readers to email me questions. Ask about the event or the backstage experience, and if you want you can also email me questions for your favorite celebrities. I will randomly pick a few questions and attempt to get them answered. It is not like I'm lazy, but this will be such a cool show that I'd love to make you a part of it. I can't promise you will get an answer from your favorite celeb, but I will do my best.

Email me your questions before Thursday noon ET.

August 29, 2006 in VMA 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sneak Peek: Justin Timberlake "FutureSex/LoveSounds"

Arjanwrites_jt_albumcover

The pop world has gone a little mad. A few artists who are considered major stars and could do nothing wrong in the recent past are now being marginalized by mediocre album releases that simply are not living up to expectations. Take for example Beyonce who seems to have gotten totally off track in the studio with a sound that is chaotic, overproduced and simply oversung. Another example is Christina Aguilera who deserves kudos for thinking out of the box, but has not delivered the goods her core fan base was hoping for, and is disconnected from the pop loving crowd that propelled her to fame. And let's not forgot Janet Jackson's stalling comeback effort.

But I have good news for you. There is one exception to all the madness this season. Justin Timberlake's new record "FutureSex/LoveSounds" is a triumphant effort that successfully combines contemporary pop sensibilities while satisfying the singer's own desire for innovation. It is not necessarily the most original achievement, but it pushes a few buttons that will surely get many into the groove. Thankfully, we don't have to rely on Jessica Simpson to move the pop genre a little forward.

"FutureSex/LoveSounds" is an impressive blend of '80 inspired pop, R&B, funk, soul and rock that echoes Michael Jackson, Prince and, yes, James Brown. Timberlake produced all twelve songs on the album together with Timbaland, will.i.am and Rick Rubin who is mostly know from his work with Johnny Cash and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Undisputed highlight on the album is "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows" that is nearly 8 minutes longs. The song progresses from a bouncy R&B jive into an epic tune that truly blew me away. If you think that "Sexyback" is on the bleeding edge of what Timberlake can serve up, you are grossly mistaken.

The only drawback of Timberlake's music is a lack of lyrical depth. Most of his songs deal with relationships and sex, but not in clever or thought-provoking ways. I believe that Timberlake's sound is mostly music that you feel and tap to led by his soulful crooning. There is one striking exception to my observation. The song "Losing My Way" is a gripping and unambiguous tale about drugs and addiction that will surely shock many of his teenage fans.

"FutureSex/Love Sounds" is in stores in two weeks from now, on September 12. I have written up a brief song-by-song review after the jump.

"FutureSex/LoveSound": A slow, throbbing groove with bouncy '80s-style synth bass that is basically a tongue in cheek song about making love. A signature Timbaland tune with a chorus that is somewhat reminiscent of Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous."

"SexyBack": Unmistakably the first singe, of course, with that oddly infectious static sound element. I'm still hearing Janet Jackson saying "yes" during the chorus of the song. But that's probably my wishful thinking.

"Sexy Ladies/Let Me Talk to You Prelude": A sexy funk stomper with a rippling bass line that invokes memories of early '80s Prince. Not only because of the song's production stylings, but also due to Timberlake's vocal inflection.

"My Love" (featuring T.I.): This mid-tempo jam is the second single that will be lifted from the album. Similar production values as "SexyBack" but has more melodious, soulful vocal parts. Cute is the addition of Justin's human beat box that is sampled throughout the track.

"LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude": By far the best track on the album that is almost 8 minutes long. It really is one song with two different chapters, starting out fun and frisky with a delicious bass line (mark my words) and turning into an epic, propulsive pop rock anthem with a haunting string section and electric guitars around the 5 minutes mark. The last few minutes sent chills downs my spine. Really good stuff.

"What Goes Around/Comes Around Interlude": When I first heard Justin perform this track in Amsterdam I dubbed this his new "Cry Me River." A mid-tempo ballad in which he sings about heartache and revenge. This is a great single candidate that is more song than groove compared to "SexyBack" and "My Love." "What Goes Up" will have you humming along wheter you want it or not.

Chop Me Up (ft. Timbaland, Three 6 Mafia): Menacing hip-hop tune with multi-layered chorus of rap and vocals. Chaotic and overproduced. Timbaland should leave the soundboard alone once in a while. Enough is enough.

"Damn Girl" (ft. will.i.am): Hot track sang almost entirely in falsetto by Timberlake. Production has a sweet, vintage soul vibe. I dare say he sounds like a young James Brown including the oohs and aahs.

"Summer Love/Set The Mood Prelude": Another hot jam with heavy percussion and sizzling synth bass. The song progresses in a sensual ballad with gospel-type background singers.

"Until The End Of Time" (ft. Benjamin Orchestra Wright): This is a pure soul ballad that is perfect for Timberlake's distinct falsetto ad-libs. I recognize elements of the "Purple Rain" percussion that Prince made famous back in the day.

"Losing My Way": It appears Timberlake is singing about drug addiction on this track. "Hi, my name is Rob and I work at my job making 40 something dollars a day.  I used to be the man in my hometown until I started losing my way," he sings. "Now I got a problem with that little white rock. And I can't put down the pipe. It is breaking me down." Nice touch is the children's choir at the end of the song, which turns it into a full-out prayer.

"(Another Song) All Over Again": This song was produced by Rick Rubin. But there is nothing rocky or grungy about it. Instead it invokes memories of a dark, smokey jazz lounge with Timberlake singing this homage to his favorite singer Donny Hathaway. This song is a worthy effort, but I prefer having the young Timberlake. This song makes him sound 20 years older.

(Click here to pre-order "FutureSex/LoveSounds" on Amazon.)

August 29, 2006 in Sneak Peek | Permalink | Comments (18)