Tuesday, November 14, 2023

André 3000 Resurfaces with 'New Blue Sun': Debut Solo Album Promises Experimental Musical Odyssey

Courtesy Epic Records 
In a much-anticipated return to the music scene, André 3000, the acclaimed singer and rapper, is set to drop his debut solo album, "New Blue Sun," on Friday.

The Where's Waldo of hip-hop, known as much for random sightings in the wild by fans as his musical legacy, made the announcement on Instagram today.

Photo Credit: Instagram/andre3000
This marks André 3000's first solo project in over 17 years.

Renowned for his role in the influential duo Outkast, last released an album with "Idlewild" in 2006. Now, at 48 years old, he is ready to unveil a new musical chapter that diverges from his earlier works.

In a recent interview with NPR, André 3000 provided insights into the upcoming album, revealing that "New Blue Sun" consists of eight experimental tracks showcasing his skills with the flute and other wind instruments. The songs, described as "spontaneous compositions," were recorded after a fortuitous meeting with music producer and musician Carlos Niño.

The tracklist for "New Blue Sun" offers a glimpse into André 3000's innovative approach. Each track promises a unique and experimental musical journey, showcasing André 3000's versatility and creativity. Collaborators on the album include Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, Diego Gaeta, Matthewdavid, V.C.R, Jesse Peterson and Mia Doi Todd.

New Blue Sun Tracklist:
  1. I Swear, I Really Wanted To Make A "Rap" Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time
  2. The Slang Word P(*)ssy Rolls Off The Tongue With Far Better Ease Than The Proper Word Vagina. Do You Agree?
  3. That Night In Hawaii When I Turned Into A Panther And Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn't Control... Sh¥t Was Wild
  4. BuyPoloDisorder’s Daughter Wears A 3000™ Button Down Embroidered
  5. Ninety Three 'Til Infinity And Beyoncé
  6. Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Your Lord & Savior J.C. / Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, And John Wayne Gacy
  7. Ants To You, Gods To Who?
  8. Dreams Once Buried Beneath The Dungeon Floor Slowly Sprout Into Undying Gardens

Conny Van Dyke, Trailblazing Motown Artist, Dies at 78

Conny Van Dyke, one of the first white artists signed to Motown Records, has passed away at the age of 78.

Van Dyke, who also battled colon cancer during her lifetime and suffered a stroke in 2008 that partially paralyzed her and ended her career, died of complications from vascular dementia in her Los Angeles home on Saturday.Her son, Bronson Page, confirmed the news to Variety.

The former Miss Teen USA was born in Cape Charles, Virginia, but raised in Detroit. Her entertainment career began at the age of 15 when she starred in the movie Among the Thorns opposite Tom Laughlin, Bill Wellman Jr. and Stephanie Powers.

She signed with Motown Records in 1961 after being discovered performing at a drive-in theater concession stand. Her first two singles, “Oh, Freddy,” written by Smokey Robinson, and “It Hurt Me Too,” previously written and recorded by Marvin Gaye, were released in 1963. She would later go on to release two country albums, Conny Van Dyke and Conny Van Dyke Sings for You.

“I had Marvin Gaye playing the piano for me, Stevie Wonder playing the bongos. He really was 12 years old,” Van Dyke said in an interview with comedian Skip E. Lowe, recalling her days in Motown’s recording studios. “And then I some backup singers, some girls I learned a lot from. They were a couple years older than me, not much older. … The Supremes and also Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.”

Van Dyke's talents extended beyond music. She had a succesfull acting career as well. Most notably starring as Betsy, Jeremy Slate’s love interest, in the outlaw biker film Hell’s Angels '69 in 1969. Her other film roles include W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and Framed.

She also appeared on Adam-12, Nakia, and Police Woman, and on several game shows in the 1970s, including Match Game, You Don’t Say, The Cross-Wits, The Hollywood Squares, Tattletales and The Gong Show.

Friday, November 10, 2023

SZA Dominates Grammy Nominations With Nine Nods

SZA is the leading nominee for the 66th annual Grammy Awards with nine nominations
In a sweeping acknowledgment of her musical brilliance, SZA takes center stage as the leading nominee for the 66th annual Grammy Awards, securing an impressive nine nominations, as unveiled by the Recording Academy on Friday.

The R&B singer-songwriter's sophomore album, "SOS," emerges as a formidable contender for Album of the Year, while her chart-topping single "Kill Bill" stakes its claim in the prestigious categories of Record and Song of the Year.

Sharing the spotlight in these sought-after categories are other notable artists, including Miley Cyrus with "Flowers," Olivia Rodrigo with "Vampire," Taylor Swift's "Anti-Hero," Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?" and Jon Batiste with "Worship" for Record of the Year and "Butterfly" for Song of the Year. Each with six nominations, the competition heats up in Album, Song, and Record of the Year.

Other top nominees announced by The Recording Academy include indie rock sensation Phoebe Bridgers, who not only clinched several nominations with her group boygenius but also earned recognition for a collaborative effort with SZA. Also gracing this musical celebration are R&B virtuoso Victoria Monet and accomplished audio engineer Serban Ghenea, each accumulating an impressive seven nominations.

In the league of six-time nominees, renowned producer Jack Antonoff, country songstress Brandy Clark, and the dynamic trio boygenius, comprising Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, add their voices to the symphony of recognition.

Billie Eilish, having previously dominated the Grammy Awards in 2020 with her debut album "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?," makes a triumphant return with six nominations, five of which are attributed to her contribution to the soundtrack of the summer blockbuster Barbie movie with the track "What Was I Made For." Notably, the Barbie movie soundtrack itself amassed seven additional nominations, primarily in categories celebrating music crafted for visual media. Collectively, "Barbie: The Album" emerges as a strong contender for the title of the most celebrated album of the year.

Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. expressed his excitement, stating, "From emerging artists to seasoned legends, the array of musicians recognized for their outstanding contributions to today's music is truly remarkable." The grand culmination of this celebration of musical excellence is scheduled to unfold at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024.

Click here for a complete list of nominees.