Category Archives: Music

We’ve Moved!!

Hello Lovelies,

I am sure you have been wondering what has happened to OfTheNow, it may have seemed that we have abandoned you, but I assure nothing could be further from the truth! OfTheNow is better than ever before with a new look and new address, yes that’s right we have moved! Please update your readers, RSS feeds and blog rolls to http://ofthenow.ca

We are much prettier now too…here’s a little peak at the new home page:

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The Boys With The Broken Halos–The Black Keys

Image ©The Black Keys

I almost don’t want to write about The Black Keys, their sixth album, Brothers, and the show they put on last night at Toronto’s KoolHaus. I almost don’t want to write about them because I cannot be objective and I also do not think anything I could write could possibly capture just how good vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer/producer Patrick Carney are on stage. But, I’ll give it a shot.

The Black Keys played two back-to-back sold out shows, and for good reason, they are one of those bands that sound just as good live (possibly better) as they do on the studio album. They are not over-produced, they do not have fancy bells and whistles, there is no auto-tune, they are just damn good by themselves.

Image via Chart Attack

There is passion in Auerbach’s voice that is equally matched by the way Carney bashes his kit. It is mesmerizing to watch and hear. The night was once again thick with heat in Toronto and the stage lights were unforgiving, soaking the duo in hot light and sweat. But they didn’t seem to mind as they blasted out raw and soulful blues-infused rock that the audience simply could not get enough of. But Auerbach and Carney don’t get so lost in their music that they can’t see what is going on around them.

At last night’s show Auerbach stopped singing early in the set, walked over to Carney , who then also stopped playing. Auerbach walked back to his mic stand and berated a group of unruly guys who didn’t know how to behave in public.

“You guys got to act like you have been around girls before. You’re acting like a couple of drunk frat boys. You got to chill out alright. ‘Cuz you are fucking this up for me,” began Auerbach as he told them to smarten up or he would get security to throw them out. He refused to continue playing Stack Shot Billy and let the rest of us know we could blame the guys in the front. To which the crowd booed, but cheered Auerbach for saying, “Don’t push girls. I saw what you did there. I saw what you did to that girl in front of you.”

Not only do this duo from Akron Ohio make some of the best music around, it appears their mothers also raised them right. The Black Keys got 100 bonus points for that, not that they needed them.

While watching the band intently I couldn’t help but think and smile at the aptness of the lyric “Fuck the white ones, The Black Keys got so much soul,” from Blakroc‘s Dollaz & Sense track featuring RZA & Pharoahe Monch.

For those of you that don’t know, Blakroc is an album The Black Keys made with legendary hip-hop heavyweight Damon Dash–who is also a self-professed The Black Keys fan. Dash and The Keys worked with 11 of hip hops most influential artists, including Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Jim Jones. The album was  released on Black Friday of 2009. It is impeccably crafted often plays on repeat through my headphones. And luckily for us The Black Keys are currently working on another Blakroc album with guests including Chicago-based hip hop duo The Cool Kids and  Jay Electronica among others. Here is a little bit of the story…

But back to the show, some of the night’s highlight tracks included the first single off the new Brothers album, “Tighten Up,” as well as “Howlin’ For You,” “Everlasting Light,” “She’s Long Gone” and “Ten Cent Pistol.” The boys also played crowd favourites “I Got Mine” and “Strange Times” among a gaggle of other gritty and thoroughly enjoyable tunes.

It was a night that was pretty close to musical perfection, and with videos like this one for Tighten Up  how can you not fall in love with The Black Keys?

The only thing missing from the show was my one of my personal favourite songs from the band’s 2008,  fifth album, Attack & Release, “Lies.” Maybe next time…For now I will leave you with the first few lines: “You said the moon was ours, to hell with the day, the sunlight is only going to take love away.”

Discography:

Studio releases

Collaboration albums

De La Soul and Kid Sister Bring the Fun Back to Hip Hop @ Dundas Square

Kid Sister @ Yonge/Dundas Square

Well, NXNE is over and OfTheNow caught the last little bit of it (and my breath!) but what a little bit it was!

If you don’t know who Kid Sister is yet, you better look that girl up! She is probably one of the best female MC’s since Queen Latifah and she knows how to get the party going the right way. Kid Sister broke out in 2008 with her party track “Pro Nails.” It’s the kind of song you hear and you can’t help moving with. It was her first single, and when Kanye heard it via his DJ/Kid Sister’s boyfriend A-Trak he jumped on it. She’s that good.

Kid Sister @ Yonge/Dundas Square

It’s no surprise when she hit the stage just after 8 pm on Sunday night at Yonge/Dundas Square the crowd ate her up. Kid Sister gave back everything to the crowd she was getting. Her energy was tangible and she is so cute, you just want to smush her in your pocket and keep her for later, or just hang out with her.

If you haven’t heard Pro Nails check it out here and then go find her album Ultraviolet.

The vibe Kid Sister led off only got better once the legendary veterans of hip hop jumped on stage. And yes, I am talking about the one and ONLY De La Soul! Trugoy, Posdnous and Maseo made us all remember why we fell in love with hip hop way back when “3 Feet High And Rising” came out.

© De La Soul

Even if you weren’t listening to De La when this album came out in 1989 (I was a bit young for it then too) and you heard it now, you would still find all the charm, smarts and energy the De La became known for.

De La was one of those groups that criticized the violent, careless direction that hip hop was heading in at the time, but they still kept the light, fun absurdly funny energy to their music. The guys of De La are what most people would call past their prime, but do they ever know how to put on a show!

De La Soul @ Yonge/Dundas Square

The trio pumped out classics from De La Soul Is Dead (their second album, released in 1991) including crowd favourites “A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”” and “Ring, Ring, Ring (Ha Ha Hey)” . People were belting out the lyrics with them, throwing their hands in the air and dancing like crazy, because let’s be honest, De La Soul outside on a beautiful day and for free, how can you not have fun?

De La Soul is NOT Dead.

De La Soul @ Yonge/Dundas Square

Are You Ready To Virtual Moonwalk?

© Michael Jackson

Who could forget an entire graveyard of zombies doing a collective dance? Or how your jaw dropped to the floor the first time you saw the King of Pop do the moonwalk? No matter what your opinion is of Michael Jackson, there is no denying his influence in the music world, or the world of dance.

I can still remember how giddy I was when I saw him light up the sidewalk in the video for Billy Jean. He was a visionary, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

We all wanted to dance like MJ, we wanted to glide across the floor, scream “Ho! Who’s Bad?” and summon our virtual whips. Well Ubisoft has just announced that it is introducing a video game, to be unveiled November 2011, (to coincide with a new MJ album)  that will allow us to do just that. The game has not been named just yet, but if your goal is to dance like MJ, this is the game for you.

© Michael Jackson

And as an added bonus/method of torture to you and those around you, you also get to test out your vocal skills. It’s a family friendly game, but I have a lingering feeling this game will be come out when some cocktails are had!

The unnamed game will be one of the first of its kind to use motion detection technology to ‘rate’ how players dance like MJ.

“No artist can energize a dance floor in the spirit of fun like Michael Jackson. His God-given gifts for music and dance are something new generations of fans will appreciate even more. This game is a natural extension of what he would be doing today to raise his artistry to even greater heights for his fans of all generations. It is a game that the entire family can experience and enjoy together and this is something that would please Michael tremendously,” noted Michael Jackson Estate Co-Executor John McClain.

**The game will be available for “Project Natal” for Xbox 360, PlayStation3 with PlayStation Move support, PlayStation Portbale, Nintendo’s Wii system and Nintendo DS.

M.I.A Does Not Equal Subtle

If you haven’t heard about M.I.A and New York Times writer Lynn Hirschberg‘s recent feud, you haven’t been paying enough attention to current music news.

Here is a quick snapshot: Hirschberg wrote a lengthy profile on M.I.A for the NY Times Magazine, M.I.A found it, unflattering, to say the least.

M.I.A is not one to back down from a fight and promptly posted Hirschberg’s personal phone number to her twitter page.

Note to all: do not get on Maya Arulpragasam’s bad side, she’s a firey one, and a true provaocateur, which Hirschberg noted to The New York Observer’s John Koblin, when he contacted her about the situation.

“It’s a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don’t think it’s surprising,” she told him. “She’s a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative.”

But she also is someone who uses every opportunity to be creative. Just this past Sunday, M.I.A released a new song she recorded in retaliation to Hirschberg’s piece.  The song is aptly titled “Haters,” you can listen to it here. She also posted two unedited audio clips from one of her interviews with Hirschberg, to her record label’s blog.

In all honesty, the whole thing is rather silly, but at least we got a new song out of it. and who would M.I.A be if she didn’t act this way?

Something to Love…Sunshine

It’s another beautiful day, so I thought this little ditty was more than fitting!

Enjoy lovelies!

It’s so nice, I have to post it twice, two different versions though!

New York, I Love You….

OfTheNow is in NYC today until Monday…get ready for lots of New York treats!

But for now I will leave you with this little ditty: