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Free Download: The Hours "See The Light" (Calvin Harris Remix)

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There's a nice backdrop for your Halloween party tonight.

Bedroom studio wizard Calvin Harris put his crafty hands on the new single of British duo The Hours to create a schizophrenic remix with bleepy interludes, a big, pumping chorus and Anthony Genn's emotive vocals. Calvin is taking his poppy soundboard skills into a new direction and I'm not loving his experimentation. Maybe he is just trying too hard.

Haling from Sheffield, England, The Hours were formed in 2004 by Antony Genn and Martin Slattery. Antony Genn previously played with Elastica and Pulp, and also worked as a producer, most notably producing sessions for UNKLE. The band is currently in the studio with Flood recording their sophomore album.

Download The Hours "See The Light" (Calvin Harris Remix)

October 31, 2008 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Free Download: Lykke Li "Little Bit" (Aether Remix)

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San Antonio's Aether (aka Diego Chavez) has put together a fine remix of Lykke Li's "Little Bit" to promote  his forthcoming remix album "Artifacts." Chavez is a versatile producer who is able to mix up rock, downtempo, hip hop, electro and experimental tunes. But his signature sound  is structured around the gritty boom bap sound of East Coast hip hop combined with "a dreamy and romantic soulfulness that inhabits each song," according to a press release. Download his remix of the Swedish songstress' "Little Bit" now. Guilt-free. Totally.

Download Lykke Li "Little Bit" (Aether Remix)

October 31, 2008 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report from Lady Gaga CD Release Party

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ArjanWrites reader Brian B. headed to NYC's Highline Ballroom earlier this week for Lady Gaga's official CD release party. The singer was performing together with a bunch of her pals including Semi-Precious Weapons, The Ones, Fritz Helder, The Daisy Spurs, Cazwell and Amanda Leopore. "I don't know much about Lady Gaga or any of the New York-based acts that opened for her, but the night proved to be fun, sexy, raucous and surprising," Brian writes me. Read on for this report.

The Ones:  Beastie Boys?  Keith Haring-inspired paint smocks?  Thoughts that came to mind.  But they were fun.

The Daisy Spurs + DJ Bill Coleman: I don't know what to think of this group, self-described as "gogocuntrypunkmashupelectrohouse" but I loved them.  So sexy.  Great mix of energy, music, and fun dancing.

Cazwell featuring Amanda Lepore: Several cocktails consumed, things are getting a little fuzzy.  The set featured two memorable moments. First, his hit song "I See Beyonce At Burger King," featuring an uncanny hair-teased look-alike, and a couple songs with the audacious Amanda Lepore.  It was the first time I've seen her perform and not just pout about a club.  She is a mainstay in this scene, and of course her clothes came off in the end.

Semi Precious Weapons: Loved these glam guys.  So much fun.  "Her Hair! Her Hair! Her Hair is on Fire!"  Though they have a big following already, they just earned another one in me.  They were my favorite surprise of the night.  Plus, I developed a big, fat crush on drummer Dan Crean.

Lady Gaga: Finally, Lady Gaga took the stage to a roaring and adoring crowd.  She performed five songs off her new CD including "Paparazzi," "Love Game," "Poker Face," "The Fame" and she closed with her hit, "Just Dance."  I have to say, she commanded the room.  In most concerts, my eyes tend to wander to the back-up dancers, but my eyes remained fixated on her.  Per your recent post, is Lady Gaga the next Kylie or Roisin? Doubt it. Butshe has a good run ahead of her and it will be fun to see her take off.

Arjanwrites_gaga2_highline

October 31, 2008 in GLBT Artists, Guest Blogger, Lady Gaga, Semi-Precious Weapons | Permalink | Comments (2)

Arjan Interviews Michelle Williams

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After having the world at her feet as a member of Destiny's Child, still the best-selling female group of all time, Michelle Williams delivered two solo gospel albums. In 2002, she released "Heart To Yours, which became the best selling gospel album of the year, followed by "Do You Know" in 2004. After a stint on Broadway in Elton John's Aida, Williams returned this month with a brand new album, titled "Unexpected."  It is a record full of fresh, dance-tinged R&B and pop that takes her career in an exciting new direction.

After meeting Michelle at TRL studios in May when she introduced the MTV Logo ArjanWrites Brink Of Fame Award, I met up with her again before her record release party and performance at Splash Bar. We talked briefly about this new record, gay fans and the upcoming U.S. elections.

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Arjan: So Michelle Williams went from R&B to gospel to Broadway to pop. It has been quite a journey.

Michelle: Yes, it has been a journey. [Laughs]

I love the sound on this new record. It's very catchy and new for you. How did it come about?

It’s not something that I planned to do. It just kinda happened, you know, working with the writers and producers that I ended up with.  And I’m glad that I did because it's a fresh sound for me. I'm very excited about this record.

Who are some of the people that you worked with for this record?

I was very happy to work with Stargate who have done so many great records for others lately. I also worked with Rico Love, Andrew Frampton and Wayne Wilkins who are all great. We started recording in December of last year and I'm glad it is finally out for people to hear.

How important is it for you to try new things? Do you think that your past with Destiny's Child makes it harder to venture out because people have certain expectations of what you will bring?

It is very important to me to evolve as an artist. But you're right -  most people will remember me from Destiny's Child. That will always be a part of me. I mean that's just something that I'll be associated with for the rest of my career. In the end, my goal is just to put out good music, you know, I don’t care what you call me or what music it is.

You presented the ArjanWrites Brink of Fame Award at the MTV Logo Awards in June. How important are your gay fans to you?

I remember that! That was so much fun. You know I love my gay fans. I don’t discriminate against any fan. I don't single out a gay fan or a straight fan. I just try to lump everybody together. I don’t feel like, 'Ooo. I have a gay fan' you know. I thank God for my gay fans. They’ve been very rewarding to me. I'm basically colorblind when it comes to my fans. I love all of them.

Are you going to take this record overseas?

Absolutely. That's the plan.

With Destiny's Child you have traveled all over the world to perform and promote. Do you think that there’s a difference between fans in America and fans overseas?  Do they respond differently to the music?

The fans overseas are so appreciative. They appreciate you for coming all the way, performing and thinking of them. 

There have been some excellent remixes of "Break The Dawn," the first single from this new album. How involved are you with the remixes of your song? Do you have a favorite?

Absolutely. My label usually works on getting DJs and producers to create remixes. I listen to all of them and approve then. My favorite? The Karmatronic remix. That's a great one.

Are there any emerging artists that you're really into right now?

I really like Lady Gaga, Keri Hillson and Jazmine Sullivan. I met Lady Gaga at the NewNowNext Awards. I love her.

Are you excited about the U.S. presidential elections?

Very much.

Do you know who you will vote for if I may ask?

Obama. I'm from Chicago you know.

What does Obama represent to you?

He represents a new sense of freedom, a new…just something refreshing and change. Somebody who understands the people, you know. Who gets on our level. I really think he wants to help the people. I would love to do some things for Obama.  We come from the same town, so hopefully I can get more involved and do more things.

Good luck with your gig tonight. Thanks so much for the chat.

Thanks! Good to talk to you again.


October 30, 2008 in Interviews, Michelle Williams | Permalink | Comments (1)

Download Heads We Dance Halloween Mixtape

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Heads We Dance, one of my favorite new bands from the U.K., put together a fun little mixtape in the spirit of Halloween. It features John Carpenter's classic "Halloween Theme" and suitably titled tracks and remixes by Miami Horror, Black Ghosts, Bloody Beetroots, Death In Vegas, The Presets, Midnight Juggernauts, Zombie Zombie, Yuksek plus more horror movie themes including Ghostbusters, Psycho and Friday 13th. Head over to the Head We Dance MySpace page to download the tape.

October 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0)