Take 5 Friday: Michael Jackson + Mélat + Maya Rudolph + Anushka + Sinead Harnett

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reheating leftovers of the week...



Xscapism
Michael Jackson rose from the grave this week at this Sunday's Billboard Music Awards, or rather the King of Pop came back as a hologram, dancing with living and breathing dancers to his latest groover, "Slave To The Rhythm". Pretty much the hologram freaked out folk, made people draw out crosses, and dagnabbit it made Jackie Jackson cry. Yes, Michael Jackson as a hologram was extremely uncomfortable, but oddly intriguing, I mean, science! What is funny is how even as a damn hologram, it was the best thing going at the Billboard Music Awards (Jennifer Lopez receiving an award with the word 'icon' in it? Robin Thicke begging for his wife back? The lame ragging of Kendall Jenner's need for Hooked On Phonics?) They could have flopped Michael's corpse up there for all I care and he still would've been the best thing there. Don't lie. You know it's true. Morbidity aside, the real Ouija board that conjures the King of Pop back is the Xscape project, and well I'm cuddling this cash cow. Even Mediocre Jackson is Engaging Jackson, as there are a couple of good cuts there as I'm favoring "A Place With No Name", "Blue Gangster" and yes, the Justin Timberlake-infiltrated "Love Never Felt So Good" at the moment. It's a little haphazard, kinda intrusive, and strange, but bottom line, it's new-ish Michael Jackson so let's all have fun. But just stop with the holograms. Just stop. [Watch] [Listen]



Join The Fanclub
As a Texan it's my noble duty to rep my lone star peeps, and here I go repping Melat who first snagged my attention with none other than a vocally pleasing cover of Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time". It came out of left field and I couldn't help but catch feelings. She's got some more stuff boiling on the pot for her Side B project (which you can learn more about on her site), but at current, the Jansport J-produced "Fanclub" is her latest installment. Very enamored with this one as it's feels like Kaleidoscope-era Kelis, as it twinkles in a dew of chimes and slow churning boom-bap R&B. [Listen]



Chasing Maya Rudolph 
Did anybody watch this? I was embroiled in a intense viewing of the San Antonio Spurs versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, but apparently I made the right decision to spend Monday night cursing and cheering on my Spurs, because the reviews were not favorable of Maya Rudolph's revival of the variety show. Variety shows are kind of a lost art these days as our tastes today have shifted drastically from what construed as entertainment in yesteryear. As for the musically inclined shows, it's all about Glee and all those singing and dancing talent shows that seem to be more about the judges than the actual contestants (are there even winners on The Voice?). So the idea of Maya Rudolph's show is a breath of fresh and jovial air in our smoggy reality show and shock drama world. I went back and watched it, and eh, hmmm, yeah, it just wasn't what I thought it was going to be, and maybe that was my mistake --- assuming. Charming, yes, harmless, yes, but a wee bit hollow with flat jokes and pancake-y music performances. Poor Janelle Monae was wedged in there, somewhere, performing "Electric Lady", but it wasn't something I'm going to re-watch much less remember. Look I like Maya Rudolph, adore her really as she's makes Beyonce enjoyable with her dead-on impressions of her, and the woman is in a Prince cover band for crepes sake, she's awesome, but that awesome just didn't translate to the show. Dry run aside, I'm rooting for things to get better, and things are fixable. Sure it wasn't The Carol Burnett Show (and I don't want it to be), but it certainly wasn't a rekindling of Pink Lady and Jeff (seriously, look.that.mess.up), Rudolph, hopefully, has a chance to iron out some kinks. [Watch]


Tear Down The Mansions
Anuskha are of rarity as I haven't been disappointed with anything they've put out so far. Without a glitch these two. On July 7th they'll release their debut album, Broken Circuit, and one track from it, "Mansions" has gotten the tease release treatment, and yes, they are still dropping stunners. Pumping up their usual House repertoire with laser shooting synths and crackling percussion, they go for a dizzying, jumping bean dance romp that cups Victoria Port's jazz-minded vocals quite lovingly. Yeah, let's go have some fun! [Listen]


No Other Way
Sinead Harnett has got a voice on her. It was evident when she hopped aboard Rudimental's "Baby", sharing space and vocal time with MNEK, and the two of them just collided like the stars. It was just celestial House heaven. Harnett is bringing her solo game with her latest, "No Other Way" a smoothie cool soul number produced by Snakehips that nestles in some lush late-'90s sea-like grooves. This is all in prep for her upcoming N.O.W. EP which is something I'm very very very much looking forward to. [Listen]

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