Marc Hogan



  • Gossip

    See Gossip's Empowering 'Move in the Right Direction' Clip

    Beth Ditto is looking forward on "Move in the Right Direction," a dance-pop ode to perseverance from Gossip's just-released fifth album, A Joyful Noise. What she sees, to judge by the song's starkly rendered video (via MTV), is a black-and-white world full of block-text positive slogans, stylishly choreographed dancers, and intently focused bandmates. The clip shows Ditto cheerfully performing the song, and the shock of her bold red dress eventually spreads across the backdrop to give this self-empowerment anthem an eye-catchingly White Stripes-y color scheme. What doesn't kill you doesn't only make you stronger, whatever Kelly Clarkson said — it makes you more endearing, too.

  • Whitney Houston / Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage

    Whitney Houston's 'Final' Song: Listen to Jordin Sparks Duet 'Celebrate'

    A day after Jordin Sparks paid emotional tribute to Whitney Houston at Sunday's Billboard Music Awards, her collaboration with the late pop virtuoso debuted on Ryan Seacrest's website. "Celebrate," a buoyant dance-pop song written and produced by R. Kelly, is a poignant invitation to move past the tears and embrace the rhythm. It's also reportedly Houston's final recording, though if you're familiar with the posthumous release schedules of pretty much any artist ever, you might want to take that with a huge grain of salt. "Celebrate" undeniably benefits from its historical context, but it would be a surprisingly vital — if more likely to be overlooked — late-'80s/early '90s throwback even if Houston hadn't drowned in February at age 48.

  • Diplo / Sleigh Bells

    Sleigh Bells Unleash Explosive Diplo Remix, 'Demons' Video

    "There's no audience Derek and Alex can't play for," DJ-producer Diplo told us of Sleigh Bells' guitarist-producer Derek Miller and singer Alexis Krauss, in our March/April cover story. That audience has been known to include Diplo himself (who just received a fascinating profile in Sunday's New York Times). Their latest meeting is a remix of Sleigh Bells' nihilistic Reign of Terror fire-starter "Demons," and the results are predictably explosive. Diplo's previous work with Sleigh Bells has tended to draw them toward extremes. He paired the duo with black metal dudes Liturgy in a recent tear through Florida. In a previous remix, he twists the slashing butt-rock guitars of Treats wake-up call "Tell 'Em" into airhorns, pummeling percussion, and mangled vocals, expertly moving the song from indie-rock club to dance party.

  • See Best Coast's Heartbreaking 'No One Like You' Unplugged

    See Best Coast's Heartbreaking 'No One Like You' Unplugged

    Bethany Cosentino lowers her shades at a few crucial spots on Best Coast's sparkling sophomore album, The Only Place, and one of them is the languidly waltzing ballad "No One Like You." With a simplicity, over-the-top sentiment, and sugary melody in the tradition of such girl group classics as Rosie & the Originals' gently swaying "Angel Baby" (which John Lennon called "one of my all-time favorite songs"), the track leaves Cosentino's voice and old-fashioned sensibilities vulnerably exposed. "If I sleep on the floor / Would it make you love me more?" she implores, in one of those head-smacking opening couplets that feels like it should have always existed. Cosentino and bandmate Bobb Bruno recently laid the song even more bare in an unplugged video for Rhapsody (via Crazy for Best Coast).

  • Hot Chip Unveil Two New Songs, Cameo-Filled 'Night and Day' Video

    Hot Chip Unveil Two New Songs, Cameo-Filled 'Night and Day' Video

    Hot Chip's In Our Heads won't be out until June 12, but now you can get a little bit more of it stuck in your head. As Stereogum points out, videos have surfaced of the U.K. electro-poppers performing two previously unheard In Our Head cuts on British show Later... With Jools Holland. And Pitchfork points to the new video for In Our Head single "Night and Day." Let's take the video first. Like "Night and Day" itself, the clip is fantastically ambitious, technically precise, mostly entertaining, and yet still a bit frustrating in its arch impenetrability. Directed by English actor-comedian Peter Serafinowicz, who also oversaw the video for One Life Stand's "I Feel Better," these visuals brim with enough lively ideas — Reggie Watts, egg-worshipping monks, Flight of the Navigator-style spaceships — to match the song's wobbly synths, urgent pulse, and limber hook.

  • Jack White / Photo by Jo McCaughey

    Jack White Extends Guinness Book Brouhaha Yet Longer

    Jack White's brouhaha with the Guinness Book of World Records people has reached a whole new level. Metaphorically speaking.

  • Hear Waka Flocka Flame's Plies-Assisted Head-Buster 'Lurkin'

    Hear Waka Flocka Flame's Plies-Assisted Head-Buster 'Lurkin'

    The last time we heard from Waka Flocka Flame, he was rapping in a strip club in Paris. The occasion: a video for "Foreign Shit," a song he had just written and recorded in his hotel room (as part of a session you can read about in SPIN's current cover story). "Lurkin," the latest track to surface from Waka's June 12 Triple F Life, suggests the energetic Atlanta rapper would be comfortable just about anywhere, shouting at the top of his seemingly unimpaired-by-weed lungs over aggressively lurching production from 808 Mafia member TM88. Here Waka's joined by bawdy Florida exhorter Plies, and a recently posted video for the track shows what lurkin' looks like in the studio. Guess what, it's loud — like, to the point of annoying distortion — so we've posted a different, more clearly audible stream below.

  • Arcade Fire and Mick Jagger on 'SNL'

    Dissecting Mick Jagger's All-Star 'SNL' Rockathon, 'Lazy Sunday 2'

    It's only rock'n'roll, but it had a big moment this weekend on Saturday Night Live. Mick Jagger hosted and, as you've probably heard by now, he gave musical performances backed by Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire. At a time when guitar-based music is all but absent from the pop charts, it was a fascinating illustration of what rock'n'roll might mean today — especially considering the episode also included a suitably hilarious sequel to SNL's YouTube-spawning 2005 hip-hop sketch "Lazy Sunday." The Rolling Stones' 1965 hit "The Last Time" has one of the more revealing genealogies in rock history.

  • <i>PDX Pop Now!</i> album art

    Hear 15-Year-Old MC Rose's Track Off PDX Pop Now! Comp

    Every year, Portland nonprofit PDX Pop Now! puts out a compilation that spotlights the city's vibrant local music scene. Along with fundraisers, grants, and donations, sales of the record help the group hold an annual three-day festival and conduct youth-oriented outreach programs. This year's PDX Pop Now! compilation is due out on June 7, and it includes "Ride for My City," a bass-heavy hometown-pride anthem by 15-year-old rapper Rose. Rose will also be performing at PDX Pop Now!'s compilation release show, set for June 7 at Holocene and with a bill that includes Hollywood Tans, Wild Ones, and Sun Angle. She has a mixtape coming out soon, and her tender age is appropriate given the nonprofit's work on music in schools programs and on making all-ages shows possible in Portland. Previous artists who have contributed to PDX Pop Now!

  • Kanye West

    Kanye West's 'Cruel Summer' Album/Film: 5 Safe Assumptions

    Kanye West's upcoming G.O.O.D. Music label compilation will be titled Cruel Summer, and he'll be premiering a film of the same name on May 23 at the Cannes Film Festival in France, Island Def Jam has announced. Created by West and his recently formed fashion venture, Donda, the film will be shown on seven screens and is being touted as a mix of short film and art installation. A poster promoting the event says West directed and co-wrote the film, and it will feature both rapper Kid Cudi and comedian Aziz Ansari. Cruel Summer will be showing for two days, and tickets are available through West's website. The Cannes premiere follows a few weeks after the video for West's "Lost in the World," from 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The film also comes as West ramps up the publicity for his G.O.O.D.

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