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The Daily Crunch: Maroon 5, Scissor Sisters, Goldfrapp, Andre 30000, Pink

Maroon-crunch

 Peak at Maroon 5's new music video (MTV Buzzworthy)
Charice covers Shania Twain (Homorazzi
"You And I" and My Cool Nebraska Guy (Popnography)
 Goldfrapp kicked ass at the Hollywood Bowl (Popbytes)
 Watch Scissor Sisters News with Kelly and Amanda (Towleroad)
 Watch Andre 3000 "All Together Now" (808)
 Ryan Kwanten looking good in True Blood (Oh La La)
 New Robin Thicke "My Life" (Couch Sessions
 Aloe Blacc's "I Need A Dollar" is TV's best theme song (Spinner)
 Pink drops in on Alton Towers theme park (Idolator)
 RAC produces Music Nina Lazy Sunday mixtape (TMN)
 M.I.A. out at the Creators Project (Vulture)

June 29, 2010 in The Daily Crunch | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free MP3 Download: Andy Bell "Call On Me" (Hey Champ Remix)

Heychamp_mp3

To celebrate the July 13th release of their debut album "Star," Chicago synth-pop trio Hey Champ are sharing their flashy disco pop remix of Erasure's Andy Bell's latest single "Call On Me" that is taken from his second solo album, "Non Stop." I'm excited that Bell continues to bring new music to fans, tireless as he is, but I think this is a great opportunity to introduce you to an exciting new act as well.

Hey Champ are Saam Hagshenas (vocals, guitar), Jonathan Marks (drums) and Pete Dougherty (synths). The three share an eclectic series of influences, ranging from classical music and jazz to the power-pop of hometown heroes Cheap Trick and the synth-heavy productions of Giorgio Moroder and Trevor Horn.

The group's biggest claim to fame to date is their dancefloor anthem "Cold Dust Girl," which came with a video that racked up over 250,000 views on YouTube. One of the early viewers was none other than fellow Chicagoan Lupe Fiasco. Impressed by what he heard and saw, he invited Hey Champ on a nationwide tour with him. Since then they have remixed songs for Mike Posner, Passion Pit, The Sounds and The Cool Kids, while working on cuts for their own full-length effort.

Get a taste of what they can do with this cool little remix of "Call On Me."

Andy Bell "Call On Me" (Hey Champ Remix)

June 28, 2010 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Watch Marina & The Diamonds "Oh No!"

C'est superfraiche! Marina & The Diamonds' new video for "Oh No!" is an explosion of saturated colors that perfectly match the singer's brash personality and the wildly fun, über-confident sensibilities of the song. Also, check out Grum's starry remix of her new single. If you're on the West Coast make sure to catch Marina & The Diamonds in Los Angeles (7/6), San Francisco (7/8) and in Irvine where she will join Lillith Fair for one night on 7/10. (Support new pop and download Marina & The Diamonds debut LP on iTunes.)

Marina & The Diamonds "Oh No!" (Grum Remix)

June 28, 2010 in Marina & The Diamonds | Permalink | Comments (0)

On the Couch With... Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars - Pub 4 - Harper Smith - 400

Bruno Mars is one pop's brightest new stars. Most of you will know him from his chart-topping collaborations with B.o.B ("Nothin' On You") and Travie McCoy ("Billionaire"), but this Hawaii-born wonder boy has a lot more on his sleeves. After focusing primarily on writing and producing for other artists (including Flo Rida’s "Right Round," and K’Naan’s "Waving Flags") together with his pals of the Smeezingtons, he recently stepped into the spotlight as the lead singer of his own material. 

You must check out his debut EP "It's Better If You Don't Understand" that showcases his genuine talent for delivering a soulful, contemporary pop sound with irresistible hooks. But don't expect him to "ride unicorns" any time soon to get attention. Currently in the studio with Cee-Lo and Mike Posner, his full-length effort will focus on quality songwriting, mashing high-energy tracks with sweet balladry. He is ready to "blow some faces off" with his forthcoming debut outing that he considers a "I told ya so" after nay-sayers discouraged him from trying for years.

Bruno and I recently met up to talk about his rise to fame and his songwriting chops. His ultimate goal is to write and perform songs that are timeless and still sound good twenty years from now. "I don't want the audience to feel embarrassed that they liked the song back in the day," he explains. Check out our entire chat after the jump.

Congrats with the release of your EP.
Yeah, thanks man. We just put it out. It is no big release or anything. I hope people enjoy to hear me sing a full song for change [smiles]

Most people are getting to know you for the first time as a singer, but you have been writing hit songs for a long time. Love to chat with you more about writing songs. You know how to write a solid hook. Who are people that inspired you as a young songwriter?
I'm inspired by people ranging from The Beatles to T-Pain and Kanye West. The Beatles especially - the songs they had were so simple. Or take John Lennon's "Imagine" for example - it is such a simple song but his performance on it is amazing and every single word on that song is accounted for. I can't help to not feel it. That's what I want to do with my music, I really want to make people feel something. Like with "Nothing On You" I wanted to touch the hearts of people all over the world. I also wanted to do something different, I mean how often have people put "girls" and "world" in a song, but it is the words that come after you it, like "I could be chasing, but my time would be wasted, because they got nothing on you," so it's already coming from an honest, genuine perspective and you're telling the truth to this woman.

By mentioning "Imagine" as an example, you set the bar really high for your own work. When you write a song do automatically strive for that level of perfection?
I think that song is a perfect example of what a combination of melody, chords and words can do. It's a timeless song that you can play today even though it was written a long time ago, and still gives you the exact same feeling. Everybody wants to write a song like that. When I write a song, I just hope I can still perform it 20 years from now and still have the same effect on people. I don't want the audience to feel embarrassed that they liked the song back in the day [laughs]

When you write music, what comes first? Melody or lyrics?
It is always different. Sometimes it can be a phrase, like "Talking To The Moon" on my EP that may make listeners wonder, "why the hell is he talking to moon?" Hopefully, when they listen to the song they know I'm going crazy and I'm basically talking to myself. With "Somewhere In Brooklyn" I just got the melody [he sings the chorus to demonstrate] and made a song out of it. It is always different. That's why I love doing music. I have so many ideas. I never know what melody will hit me today.

Are you constantly "on" getting melodies, lyrics and ideas?
Yeah, I can't turn it off. It's a bit like a blessing and a curse.

After successfully writing hits for other people, you now step out in the spotlight as a singer and performer with your EP. Why did you decide to make that move?
I always wanted to be a singer. That's why I moved to Los Angeles from Hawaii to make a career as a singer and performer. But things were hard initially and I started out in production. At a certain point somebody wanted a song that I wrote for myself for their artist. At the time I was so broke, and as much as I didn't want to sell my songs, it is something I had to do. But looking back it was the smartest thing I could have done. To put the artist thing on the side and just pray that one day somebody is going to hear me sing this demo and say "why don't we have this kid sing it?" And that is exactly what happened.

Do you consider writing Flo'rida and Ke$ha's "Right Round" a turning point for you?
I think you can say that. It was just telling us we were doing something right. We can't take full responsibility for writing that song because it was mostly a cover that we turned into a hip hop version of it. It just showed us we were on the right track and found a sound people enjoyed around the world.

So after giving us a taste with your EP are you planning to work on a full album, and when can we expect that?
Fortunately, "Billionaire" [by Travie McCoy] is really taking off so I have to do shows and travel, so it is postponing some of the writing on my album. but at the end of the month we are locking up some time to work on it. If you see the show, you'll see it is really high energy. That's what we really are going to focus on - to get some high energy songs that I can sing the shit out of [laughs]. The EP features a lot of sweet songs, but there's another side that I really want to explore.

You're really the man of the moment. Are you having a lot of artists knocking on your door to write for them?
Actually, I'm in the studio right now with Cee-Lo and Mike Posner. But moving ahead, I'm really going to focus on my own music. I don't want to put out crap because I have two big songs on the radio right now. This is my first album, you know. I want to blow some faces off! [laughs]

What's is it like to be with Cee-Lo in the studio. Any tips he's giving you?
I'm learning so much from him. He has that thing. There's people that can sing and there's people that can sang, if you know what I mean. He's that guy. I'm sure he's never had training. He just has that thing in his voice that you can hear his soul and feel that shit. I'm a big fan. He does what he wants. If he wants to write a song about being a transformer, and he does it and it is awesome. It's that mentality of I'm going to do what the fuck I'm going to do. I admire that about him.

That may be easier then said that done for most. If you're a young artist, how do you stand your ground with so many people around you telling you what to do?
I'm in a great situation because my team at the label really believes in me and they know that I can do it - I can write a song. They have a lot of faith in me. They are not trying to stylize me, or let me ride unicorns or give me some kind of gimmick. [laughs]

Now that things are taking off for you in a big way, what do you make of the fame that is part of that?
Well, for me it is a "I told you so." I told you I can do it and I told you I can write a song for the world. For a long time, people stopped believing in me or had their doubts about me. I never signed up for this to be famous, all I know to do is music. So that's what I want to do. That these songs are working is justice for me. I got through the fire and living my dream.

June 28, 2010 in Bruno Mars, On The Couch With... | Permalink | Comments (3)

Video: Kylie Minogue Joins Scissor Sisters On Stage at Glastonbury

Kylie-ss

"Jake, sting me like a bee!"

Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears and Ana Matronic got their falsetto on this weekend when the Aussie pop singer joined their friends of Scissor Sisters for their headlining gig at the annual Glastonbury Festival. Glorious! Together they performed "Any Which Way" that is taken from Scissor Sisters' new album "Night Work" that is out on Tuesday. (Photo by Kevin)

June 27, 2010 in Kylie Minogue, Scissor Sisters | Permalink | Comments (0)