Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Michael Jackson Email Health This Is It AEG Lawsuit Danger

    Promoter Knew of Michael Jackson's Fading Health Days Before His Death, Emails Show

    An email sent from a stage manager to a concert executive who both worked on Michael Jackson's ill-fated "This Is It" show run supports claims that the pop icon's business associates were aware of his deteriorating mental and physical health in the days leading up to his death. The message was submitted as evidence on Thursday (May 23) in mother Katherine Jackson's lawsuit against AEG Live, which accuses the events promoter of gross negligence in pursuit of profits."I have watched him deteriorate in front of my eyes over the last eight weeks," John Hougdahl wrote directly to AEG CEO Randy Phillips "My laymen's degree tells me he needs a shrink to get mentally prepared to get on stage and then a trainer to get him in physical shape." Billboard also quotes a later portion of the email that puts the situation into more frank terms.

  • Mykki Blanco 'Feeling Special' Live Video Glasslands

    Mykki Blanco Unstuffs Her Bra in Sweaty 'Feeling Special' Video

    On Mykki Blanco's just-out EP Betty Rubble: The Initiation, the New York MC proves herself to be as fascinating as Lil Wayne "in that in-between, still-rapping, Auto-Tune overdose mode" (as SPIN's Brandon Soderberg put it). She raps in Latin, gets "Bugged Out" with Supreme Cuts, and generally bucks heteronormative trends with an all-bets-are-off attitude. So yeah, she should be "Feeling Special" these days. In the live clip above, Blanco performs that very track to a packed-in crowd at Brooklyn's Glasslands. At the beginning of the video, she un-stuffs her sports bra, clearly readying herself for the action ahead. Mykki raps hard, working up a serious sweat over the minimal Matrixxman-produced beat. The track goes a little long, but her ad-libbing only seems to emphasize the athletic effort and intense emotion that goes into the performance.

  • The Smiths Morrissey Live Video Wolverhampton Civic Hall 1988

    Watch the Smiths Back Morrissey at His First Solo Gig in 1988

    Morrissey's birthday just passed but the gifts keep coming. First we got the entire oral history of the man read by a robot, and now we've got something that's actually useful: Moz's first solo performance, which also happened to be a Smiths show, at England's Wolverhampton Civic Hall on December 22, 1988, filmed in its entirety and now streaming in all of its grainy glory on YouTube. Morrissey was 29 years old at the time and and had just released Viva Hate.As the user who uploaded the 40-minute video explains, Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon back Moz for the gig, which "was also meant as a farewell Smiths concert ... The set list was a mix of new Morrissey solo tracks with Smiths tracks from 1987, none of which had been performed in front of a live audience before.

  • Angel Haze Iggy Azalea 'Otis' Kanye West Jay-Z

    Angel Haze and Iggy Azalea Usurp the Throne With 'Otis' Cover

    With Kanye West out paving the way for the coming of Yeezus and Jay-Z busy running defense for his babymama's baby drama, who's watching the throne? As it turns out, the answer is Harlem MC Angel Haze and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. As Rap-Up reports, the pair performed their own version of Jay and Ye's collaborative single "Otis" at a show in London earlier this month.They just happened to record it, too, and Haze has now shared the song via her reliably active SoundCloud account. While the rehearsal version below features the original sample, the pair contribute their own bars. We'll let Angel take us out: "Damn Iggy and Haze, where the hell you been?/ Chillin' out in Italy, India on an elephant/ Stuntin' on these bitches who strugglin' to be relevant." 

  • Ryan Hemsworth 'Still Awake' EP Download Stream

    Stream Ryan Hemsworth's Upbeat and Beautiful 'Still Awake' EP

    Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth has been steadily cracking skulls of late with his Kells-favoring, diverse, and purple-dipped mixes, but it's high time the dude delivered a new set of original material. (It's been, what, eight whole months since the Last Words EP?) Earlier this month we got to preview his brand new Still Awake EP via the electronipop wonder, "Perfectly." Now we've got the rest of the crisp and pretty seven-song set to consider. With a proclivity for upbeat rhythms and rich textures, the just-out extended play is a light but rewarding listen refreshingly free of au courant electronic trends.

  • Charli XCX 'Take My Hand' Video True Romance

    Charli XCX Woozily Wanders Through a Dingy Club in 'Take My Hand' Video

    English pop upstart Charli XCX isn't the sort to sit still. In the last three weeks, she's released a brand new collaboration with Marina & the Diamonds, remixed Lindstrøm with an assist from TWIN iDoL, and even covered the Backstreet Boys, so it's nice to be reminded that she released a promising new album, True Romance, only a month ago. One of that sets' clear standouts is "Take My Hand," which SPIN's Puja Patel describes as "a shimmery throwback that reflects on happier days, where tales of sweet hand-holding leave her yearning for sleepless nights and cosmic head-rushes." Indeed, the takeaway seems to be, "Don't go to sleep, just go out," and the brand new Ryan Andrews-directed video explores that theme as a woozy Charli wanders through a surreal club scene complete with cheerleaders, headbangers, electronics-smashing, and flagrant smooching.

  • Boards of Canada 'Reach for the Dead' Video Tomorrow's Harvest

    Watch Boards of Canada's Gorgeously Eerie 'Reach for the Dead' Video

    Boards of Canada pulled a Kanye yesterday (May 22) when they broadcast the first sounds of their forthcoming fourth album Tomorrow's Harvest on the streets of Tokyo. Now they've shared the rest of that song, titled "Reach for the Dead," along with a music video that matches gorgeous nature-doc style footage to the song's strong panoramic feel. The grainy film mimics the Scottish duo's warm analog approach to the electronic arts, and as the track begins with ambient hum and an intermittent kick-drum thud, we see sweeping helicopter shots of a beautiful desert. The music slowly progresses with the addition of glistening synth sequences and glitchy percussion, while the video incorporates eerie tours through abandoned buildings that bring to mind the sort that surround California's famed Salton Sea.

  • Disclosure 'When a Fire Starts to Burn' Stream Settle

    Hear Disclosure's Dance Floor Sizzler 'When a Fire Starts to Burn'

    Recent Breaking Out beat beasts Disclosure are gearing up to release their full-length debut, Settle, in their native U.K. on June 3. While an American release date has yet to be set, we still stand to benefit plenty from the excitement. Last week we heard the house-quaking kiss-off "F for You" and a couple of weeks before that the Lawrence brothers shared the gorgeous "You & Me" video. Now Stereogum has shared "When a Fire Starts to Burn," an undeniable dance jam that combines bloopy techno groove with house atmospherics and a decidedly sassy sample. At four and a half minutes, it doesn't seem nearly long enough. Let the remixes commence. Preorder Settle at the Disclosure store to nab an exclusive song.

  • Arctic Monkeys 'Do I Wanna Know?' Live Video

    See Arctic Monkeys Perform Hefty New Song 'Do I Wanna Know?'

    The Arctic Monkeys have been holed up in California's Palm Desert working on their fifth album if the mother of drummer Matt Helders is to be believed (probably a safe bet). But the English quartet snuck out last night (May 22) to play a show at the Venture Theater where they debuted a brand new song. The track is either called "Do I Wanna Know?" or "Crawling Back to You," according to conflicting reports. Regardless, it's a hefty piece of work with a seductive edge (let the screams testify to that) that could've originated in the same session that gave us Queens of the Stone Age's "If I Had a Tail," which of course features Monkeys guitarist-singer Alex Turner. Last we heard from the band was Record Store Day 2012 when they delivered a pair of unreleased holdovers — "R U Mine?" and "Electricity" — from 2011's typically solid Suck It and See.

  • The Roots Mural Philadelphia South Street CAPA

    The Next Monument: The Roots Set to Unveil Philadelphia Mural

    The Roots will be on hand for the unveiling of a new mural painted in their honor in their hometown of Philadelphia. The dedication ceremony is set to take place May 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the World Communications Charter School. The City of Brotherly Love is known for its myriad colorful public paintings, many of which exist thanks to the Mural Arts Program, a graffiti abatement initiative that started all the way back in 1986. MAP is also responsible for this tribute to these "hometown hip hop trailblazers."The new mural is located near the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), where Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter started the group as classmates. "To have it along South Street, near the same corners we were kicked off of for playing our music, is fantastic," said Questo in an early press release.

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