The Bird Is The Word:

In case you were not one of the 111 million viewers expected to tune into the Super Bowl yesterday, Madonna‘s Halftime pop spectacular drew some divisive opinions, on account of Sri Lankan hip-hop firecracker M.I.A. and her little middle finger slip during her buzzed about cameo on MDNA single “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” preceded by a booty drop and that line where she says how much she doesn’t give a shit. NBC of course issued a statement of apology claiming a “failure” in its “delay system.” And the show was an Egyptian-themed “world peace” success considering the woman’s age – 53 – and her refusal to lip-synch. Cee-Lo was even on key and entertaining. So what’s worse, a nipple or a middle finger, or a phoned-in performance?


Neo-soul comeback kid D’Angelo is rising something spectacular, with an impending new album this year and a few celebrated return-to-stage moments since 2000 in Stockholm last month. Meanwhile, dubstep protégée James Blake reworked Voodoo classic “Left & Right” during a guest DJ set on BBC Radio 1 over the weekend. Give it a whirl, should you dig drum machines and haze-psych remix treatments. Bonus: D’Angelo’s croon actually remains in falsetto focus (via Pitchfork).

Yo! MTV Raps:

Yo! MTV Raps, the iconic hip-hop spotlight from the glory days of the infamous television channel’s years of actual music video broadcasts – 1988-’95 – is getting a second revival on MTV2 the network announced today (via SPIN). Following a segment in December, repackaging the show as Yo! MTV Raps Classic Cuts, Sunday February 19 will see the second installment, of which will highlight N.W.A.‘s “Straight Outta Compton,” Naughty by Nature‘s “O.P.P.,” and Common‘s “I Used to Love HER.” Consider it a rare opportunity to find out who’s down with O.P.P. without Google.


The latest incarnation of James Mercer’s Shins is gearing up to drop its fourth effort Port Of Morrow come March 20. A few weeks back we were treated to said record’s first single “Simple Song,” an expansive reverb swell of that Pacific Northwest indie rock vocal stamp only Mercer can deliver. Now as a second teaser, on the back side of “Simple Song” the 7”, due on Valentines Day, will be the more subdued acoustic number “September,” of which Mercer teamed up with Record Store Day to cut this floating lyric video, complete with all sorts of sexy needle-injecting-vinyl moments.




Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and supreme late-career wierdo, Axl Rose, turns 50 today. But despite his braided ponytail decent, there will always be “Paradise City” circa ’88, when he and Slash still got along, his hips were in their snake-charmer prime and the grass was always “green” and the “girls are pretty.” Take us home, Axl.