Report from Lady Gaga CD Release Party
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.
Semi-Precious Weapons Totally Loves You
Semi-Precious Weapons, the winners of the MTV Logo ArjanWrites Award, release their debut album "We Love You" today. It is a raw and rambunctious collection of infectious "kunty" punk pop that has fans in a frenzy. The album was produced by long-time Bowie collaborator, Tony Visconti. Not too shabby for a Brooklyn start-up.
"We Love You" will be available in three formats: single CD, single CD with necklace, and double jewel case with limited edition gun USB jewelry necklace (pictured below). The re-writable USB will include bonus content – two full length music videos, liner notes, photos, and wallpaper.
The inspiration for the USB package comes from SPW's crazy fun and uber-fabulous lead vocalist Justin Tranter’s hugely successful rock-inspired jewelry line, Fetty. The line is available at Urban Outfitters, Fred Segal and Hot Topic; an exclusive high-end version is also sold at Barneys.
"I started my jewelry line as band merchandise. It blew up and took on an amazing life of its own," explains Tranter. "Having a USB necklace that we made ourselves brings it full circle. Kunty rock n’ roll jewelry that contains actual SPW rock n’ roll content. It’s like I made it up, it’s so fabulous, but it’s real!" (Click here to download "We Love You" on iTunes.)
The Killers to Duet with Elton John
British music mag NME reports that The Killers will be releasing another Christmas single this year together with Elton John. The track is reportedly titled "Joseph, Better You Than Me." The song follows their earlier Christmas tracks "A Great Big Sled" and 'Don't Shoot Me Santa', which were both released as charity singles. Check out a brief interview with Brandon Flowers in which he talks a little bit about the single plans. (via Heartbeat Glide)
Free Download: David Swinburn "Wrong Shoes" (Frankmusik Remix)
David Swinburn first contacted me a year ago when I was out in Los Angeles to share a demo track he recorded as a voice mail message using his mobile phone. Totally lo-fi, a little eerie and definitely memorable. The Liverpool-based pop singer now returns with a brand-new brew, titled "Wrong Shoes," a song that is much slicker than the voice recording I heard previously.
The song was inspired by a personal experience Swinburn writes me in an email. "I wrote "Wrong Shoes" towards the end of last year," Swinburn comments. "It's about liking someone who you can't have. Someone who's already attached. I think the lyrics are pretty self-explanatory once you get that bit. The inspiration was me really liking a boy, who got a boyfriend just as I was about to announce my undying love for him. I dunno know the shoe analogy came from."
Swinburn asked a bunch of young DJs and producers to remix "Wrong Shoes" and give the tune a little more dancefloor cred. One of the people that reworked the song is Frankmusik who is an emerging new pop phenom in his own right (get a free download of his single "Done, Done"). He fuses the pop sensibilities of Mylo with the vocals stylings of William Besson. He's a talent to look out for. In the meantime, the pairing of Swinburn and Frankmusik makes for a solid slice of electro that is positioned somewhere on the wide, wild junction of pop and dance music that has me thirsty for more.
Hercules & Love Affair Featured in The New York Times
While on the topic of dance music and Hercules & Love Affair, head over to the New York Times web site to read an interesting background feature about Andy Butler's disco project. Butler talks specifically about his hit single "Blind" that features his pal Antony Hagarty.
"'Blind' was about growing up a gay kid, my immediate family and social group rejecting me, and asking why I was born into this situation," he writes The New York Times in an e-mail message. "But knowing that as soon as I could escape, I would, and that I would find freedom and solace (. . . ) As an adult, however, I found a life full of excess and other wounded people and confusion. Thus, I felt blind."
Fellow producer Justin Wang comments, "With 'Blind' I thought: 'Hit, hit, hit! Queer, queer, queer!' (. . . )The voice of Antony is so undeniably queer. It's so melodramatic yet expressive, and clearly not belonging to any normal heterosexual, macho male. To put that over a disco beat, it’s like Sylvester meets Ute Lemper. It's a perfect pop combination."