Marc Hogan

writer

Biography

  • Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder Stands His Ground, Boycotts Florida After Trayvon Martin Verdict

    The "not guilty" verdict in Trayvon Martin's shooting death has begun to draw the type of musical advocacy it deserves. On Saturday night, a jury acquitted George Zimmerman in a case that had become something of a national referendum on race, and a couple of artists wasted no time releasing Martin-inspired songs. But Wyclef Jean crooning that the 17-year-old Martin "could have been the next president" didn't even make sense factually, let alone musically. Enter the great Stevie Wonder.Wonder is boycotting Florida and any other states with "stand your ground" laws, the self-defense rules that came into focus in the case. "I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida I will never perform there again," Wonder said Sunday in a concert in Quebec City, Canada.

  • Mazzy Star

    Hear Mazzy Star's 'California,' From Their First Album in 17 Years

    "I think I'm going back to California," Hope Sandoval sings on "California," the first advance track from Mazzy Star's first new album since 1996's Among My Swan. Her halting delivery suggests it'll be a long, strange trip, and indeed, the eerie opening strums are only gradually joined by bass, keys, and pattering percussion. A folksy, finger-picked conclusion can't help but bring to mind Led Zeppelin's hopeful "Going to California," but this Los Angeles band's California was never a place for making a new start. Although best known for the sighing smolder of sleeper hit "Fade Into You," from 1993's So Tonight That I Might See, Mazzy Star got their allure in part by residing in the same dark-psychedelic shadows as the Velvet Underground or the Doors.

  • Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Is Closer to Going to Jail Than Ever

    Chris Brown is the closest he's been to possible jail time since pleading guilty four years ago to beating his girlfriend Rihanna. As CNN reports, a judge has revoked Brown's probation for allegedly failing to share his drivers' license and insurance details with another motorist after a small fender-bender. The 24-year-old singer will be free pending a trial. Before the traffic case came up, Brown's probation was already under scrutiny after prosecutors claimed he failed to do the community service required under his 2009 felony assault conviction.Brown will probably be just fine. According to a rep, the singer predicts his probation will be put back in place and the traffic charges will be waived.

  • Austra,

    Watch Austra's Wonderfully Creepy 'Painful Like' Video

    Austra's Kate Stelmanis told SPIN recently that the Toronto electronic pop group wanted to break away from much of what characterized their Polaris Prize-shortlisted 2011 debut, Feel It Break on new sophomore album, Olympia. "Painful Like," from Olympia, evidences Austra's Kate Bush inspiration, but its percolating luminescence is also the product of a move away from programming and sampling. An ominious streak remains, and the subject matter is weighty: The band said the song was inspired by "the disillusionment of growing up gay in a small town and finding solace in the arms of a lover."The video brilliantly defies the expectations that might be set by this powerful theme, instead following glowing ooze, neon-lit figures, and a small TV screen en route to a Krang-like creature.

  • James Brooks

    Elite Gymnastics' James Brooks Airs Must-Read Rant Against Industry of 'Coked Out White Guys'

    A worthwhile conversation that sheds lights on the flaws of the music industry has recently opened up among some of the most online-savvy independent artists. This April, Grimes' Claire Boucher wrote a long, brave tirade against industry chauvinism. Now, Brooklyn-based artist James Brooks, who until recently recorded as Elite Gymnastics and this year covered Taylor Swift (with some Justin Bieber) for Grimes' birthday, has contributed his own epic rant to the genre. And no matter where you may — or may not — find disagreements with it, his thoughtful comments are, like, Grimes' earlier post, essential reading.In a Tumblr post, Brooks targets an industry he describes as sexist, yes, but he frames that as part of a broader "boys' club" mentality that privileges already established artists and a culture based around alcohol, drugs, and immature behavior.

  • Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z

    Two Men Stabbed at Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake's 'Legends of the Summer' Preview

    Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake's reign over London's three-day Wireless festival included the first-ever live performances of new tracks, but it also carried with it a sadder note. According to the BBC, two men were hospitalized after being stabbed at the festival, and Scotland Yard said one of the men was in critical condition. Both men were thought to be in their mid-20s, and the other was said to be in stable condition. Police didn't announce any arrests.The Magna Carta Holy Grail rapper and The 20/20 Experience singer each performed solo sets on the festival's opening nights before joining forces last night in a preview of their upcoming Legends of the Summer tour.

  • Carly Rae Jepsen first pitch

    Don't Call Carly Rae Jepsen From the Bullpen, Maybe

    Give Carly Rae Jepsen props for being a good sport. Just don't necessarily give her credit for being good at sports. The Canadian pop singer gamely threw out the first pitch during a recent Major League Baseball game pitting the Tampa Bay Rays against the visiting Houston Astros. Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, hosts plenty of pop stars to perform after games, and this was her turn.To a degree nearly as unforgettable as the tune from Jepsen's much-memed 2012 hit "Call Me Maybe," what she threw barely left her hand before flopping onto the ground. Behold this magnificent GIF from Business Insider:And don't feel too bad about savoring this non-pitch's amazing awfulness: As Sports Illustrated notes, she threw a first pitch right over the plate in Baltimore earlier this season, and besides, no one seems to be laughing more than Jepsen herself.

  • Postiljonen

    Stream Postiljonen's Unabashedly Smooth 'Skyer' Album

    Skyer means what it sounds like: The title of Postiljonen's debut is the Norwegian word for "clouds." While dreamy, dewy pop has been the rule rather than the exception in recent years, this Scandinavian trio feels more like the successor to a specific regional tradition that includes Swedes the Embassy, Air France, and jj.

  • Zoos of Berlin

    Stream Zoos of Berlin's Ornately Cosmopolitan Album 'Lucifer in the Rain'

    Zoos of Berlin are a Michigan band whose urbane but skewed style of art-pop has few immediate peers, though Roxy Music, the Sea & Cake, Destroyer, and Berlin-era David Bowie are clearly in their family tree. Zoos of Berlin's 2009 album Taxis introduced the group's meticulous omnivorousness, stitching up glam, jazz, Afrobeat, postpunk, krautrock, and more into its baroque tapestry.Lucifer in the Rain, out July 16 via Time No Place and Kompakt, turns those varied influences in a more sweetly melodic direction, as you may have heard on twinkling, ascending opener "Above the Air" (via Stereogum) and majestically jittery "I Went Too Shapeless in the Night" (via Brooklyn Vegan), which, like many songs here, has harmonies recalling the Zombies. Listen to the whole album exclusively below.

  • The Weeknd,

    The Weeknd Trolls Portishead for Long, Dark 'Belong to the World' Video

    The Weeknd's haute taste in samples may have finally run him into trouble. The shadowy R&B lothario known as Abel Tesfaye has drawn on music from the Smiths, Beach House, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Aaliyah. When he debuted "Belong to the World" last month live, we noted that the forthcoming Kiss Land track used Portishead's "Machine Gun" percussion. Now the Weeknd has shared a netherworldly eight-minute video for the song (via MTV), and considering the video's length and grandiose inscrutability, it's only natural the sample is generating the most discussion.Portishead's Geoff Barrow has indicated via Twitter that he refused the Weeknd permission to use the sample. "I think it's a load of bollox," Barrow wrote.

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