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The Daily Crunch: Rita Ora, Katy Perry, Marina & The Diamonds, Conor Maynard, Madonna, Little Mix, Amanda Palmer

Conor Maynard

arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Marina And The Diamonds Performs “Teen Idle” In London
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Rita Ora Was Fresh-2-Def Hosting ‘Stereo Saturdays’ In Vegas
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Katy Perry Writes a Sweet Note to Zowie
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) First Listen: This Aaliyah/Gotye Mash-Up Is Amazing! 
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Conor Maynard Does G-A-Y 
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Madonna's Rep Addresses Short Concert + Angry French Fans 
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Amanda Palmer Takes On The Roxy
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Meet New Girl Band Little Mix
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Stunning Olympic Venue by Magma Architecture
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Boys Will Be Boys In This 'Girls' Parody
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Diego Miguel For La Maison Simons
arjanwrites_bullet_small.jpg (7×7) Follow Arjan on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr   

July 30, 2012 | Permalink

Celebrating Pop: Music from London Olympic Ceremony Released on iTunes


London's ambitious Olympic Opening Ceremony was not only a celebration of British heritage and global sportsmanship, it was also a fitting tribute to some of the finest pop music Britain has produced in recent decades. Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, designed the "Isles of Wonder" celebration as a true live and interactive movie experience. He worked with Underworld, the ceremony's musical directors, to carefully select and compose songs to go along with the show's stunning visuals to bring the spectacle fully to live.

The ceremony included a slew of British pop classics, ranging from The Prodigy's "Firestarter" to Tinie Tempah's "Pass Out," and from Sugababes "Push The Button" to Dizzee Rascal's "Bonkers," and from High Contrast's "Moon Watcher" to an instrumental version of Emeli Sande's "Heaven" at the conclusion of the "digital pop culture" sequence. The Parade of Nations that followed featured even more pop classics, including Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls," Bee Gees' "Stayin Alive" and David Bowie's "Heroes" that boomed through the stadium upon arrival of the British athletes.

The ceremony also featured some brand-new original music that provided the overall soundtrack to the ceremony. Released on Decca Records and titled "Isles of Wonder - Music For The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games," the event's music was made available on iTunes, Rdio and Spotify hours after conclusion of the ceremony. The release includes the instrumental score as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Four Nations Choir, plus Arctic Monkeys' cover of "Come Together," Emeli Sande's "Abide With Me," Wretch 32;s "Traktor," Pet Shop Boys' "West Ende Girls" and many others. Underworld also composed new tracks, "And I Will Kiss" and "Caliban’s Dream."

Sande performed "Abide With Me" (lyrics by Henry Francis Lyte, music by William Henry Monk) just moments before the Parade of Nations as a tribute to victims of war and the 2005 London bombings. In anticipation of her performance at the global event (which was a very closely-guarded secret), Sande also sang "Abide With Me" at the Capitol Records studios in Los Angeles in one take with one camera that was released yesterday. It's another beautiful rendition of the song that reminds us once again what an incredible talent Sande is. 

July 29, 2012 | Permalink

[Exclusive] Listen to Madonna featuring Far East Movement 'Turn Up The Radio' (Laidback Luke Remix)


Get ready for Madonna to drop a mighty remix package of her new single "Turn Up The Radio" that is action-packed with four blistering revamps of the Queen of Pop's original tune. The forthcoming digital EP includes remixes from rapidly-rising newcomer R3hab, Offer Nissim, Martin Solveig and Laidback Luke who previously also remixed "Give Me All Your Love."

Madonna also throws her full support behind Far East Movement and invited the Los Angeles group to lay down some brand-new rhymes for the song to give "Turn Up The Radio" a little extra kick. Madonna has always had a knack for having her finger firmly on the pulse of what's new and what's next, so her endorsement of Far East Movement on this new edit of her single is a pretty darn big deal. Also, after featuring artists as diverse as Justin Bieber, LMFAO and Feist on their new album, Far East Movement's work on "Turn Up The Radio" once again underlines that the group doesn't shy away from trying something new to give true meaning to their all-inclusive approach to making music.

Holland's house hero Laidback Luke reworked the new cut of Madonna's "Turn Up The Radio" featuring Far East Movement and dramatically upped the energy by incorporating a raving new groove and punchy synth flourishes that help turn the original into a massive dancefloor filler. (Click here to purchase Madonna "Turn Up The Radio" on iTunes.)

July 27, 2012 | Permalink

Hot New Talent Alert: Watch Chris Wallace 'Remember When (Push Rewind)'


After rocking the scene as the frontman of Chicago pop-rock outfit The White Tie Affair, Chris Wallace has taken matters into his own hands and started work on an exciting solo project that is packed with pop. Check out a totally-guilt free MP3 of Wallace's debut single "Remember When (Push Rewind)" that will give you a good taste for his emerging brand of pop. The song has hit, hit, hit written all over with that irresistibly catchy "push, push, push" pre-chorus that is followed by a radio-ready chorus that packs a massive punch.

As Chris embarks on his solo career, he explains in a press release that he has a few guidelines for his new music. "The songs I write and release now all have to have three things that make up my ‘musical DNA," he explains. "They all have to be honest – I have to feel them. Second, they have to have a melody that moves me and third, they need to hit hard!" This new "Remember When (Push Rewind)" sure goes full-throttle on all of these criteria.

Like any good pop song, the inspiration for "Remember When" comes from a very truthful place. "I was dating this girl when I was in my band who I really thought was the one," Wallace explains. "But as my musical career started taking off, it became clear that we were in different places and we eventually broke up. 'Remember When' talks about that time when all you really want to do is go back, push rewind, and start all over again." 

July 26, 2012 | Permalink

The Killers Premiere 'Runaways' Video, Directed by Warren Fu [Video Review]

7-26-2012 10-11-20 AM

Hot the heels of their triumphant return to the concert stage this month, The Killers serve up the much-anticipated video for their new single, "Runaways," this morning. Set in the wide open space of a starry virtual universe, the video shows The Killers performing the song while the camera pans from side to side, zooming in on each of the band members.

The group's performance footage is interspersed with scenes of frontman Flowers superimposed on images of a glowing, Tron-like neon highway, a cloudy night sky and the bustling Las Vegas Strip while holding on to a custom-made red Rebel neon mic stand. All of those powerful visual ingredients add just the right amount of glitter and glam to the song's performance that fits its soaring qualities perfectly.

The video's futuristic aesthetic gives fans a few more clues about the visual direction and overall styling of the "Battle Born" project. The Vegas four have always had a strong eye on how their music is being packaged and presented, and after working with designer Paul Normansell on the mosaic design for "Day & Age," the group teamed up with Los Angeles designer Warren Fu to craft the imagery for "Battle Born."

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Fu started his career as a graffiti artist with a huge passion for everything '80s. Fu's life changed when he interned at Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic, and was hired as an art director to help George Lucas on the production of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. "It was an 80s kid's dream, basically," Fu tells the Guardian about his work at Lucasfilm.

Working at Lucasfilm helped shape Fu's love for blending neon hues with slick space imagery and lots of '80s sci-fi effects to create a point of view that's best described as "retro-futuristic." Fu explains, "I love the past's vision of the future, there's something so charming about it." After leaving Lucasfilm, the young graphic designer dabbled in music video production that ultimately led to high-profile work for The StrokesNeroDaft Punk and Mark Ronson.

Fu masterfully applies his retro-futuristic design point of view to this new Killers video that shines in simplicity. Instead of going for plain and simple desert scenery (as many anticipated), Fu took his vision to a soundstage to boost the visceral qualities of "Runaways" by creating a galaxy from far, far away. He accentuates the group's electrifying performance by incorporating neon-lit, inter-galactic touches and other special effects that matches the song's grand atmospherics. 

July 26, 2012 | Permalink