Katy Perry as the Master of Disguise

Katy Perry

Photo courtesy of vancitybuzz.com

From the costumes to the wigs Katy Perry is known for being versatile with her image, but I don’t think anyone has ever seen her quite like this. She introduces us to her “insane friends” in “World’s Worst Birthday Party Entertainers,” a teaser video for her next single “Birthday.”

She transforms into several laughable characters: Goldie The Dancer, Yosef Shulem The MC, Kriss The Clown, Ace The Animal Trainer, and Princess Mandee. Together they form the last individuals you would want to see at any birthday party. Creepy or hilarious? You be the judge.

“Birthday” is the fourth single from her album Prism. The video is set to premiere tomorrow (4/24) and she’s been hyping up the release in every way possible. Monday she described her video for the single as “the most insane one I’ve ever done” to her 52 million+ followers on Twitter. Earlier this month she posted a lyric video, which of course sticks with the birthday theme as it is centered around celebratory sweets.

Major props to the makeup and wardrobe teams responsible for making Katy Perry completely unrecognizable. She’s known for pushing the envelope and some are calling her stereotypical portrayal of Yosef offensive. (Could this be a repeat of the “Dark Horse” controversy?) One thing is clear- Katy’s no one-trick pony.

Fallon Showcases Brian Williams’ Mad Skillz!

Brian Williams on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (photo courtesy NBC)

Brian Williams on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (photo courtesy NBC)

Jimmy Fallon is at it again! Famous for his comedic tributes to music with skits like the History of Rap with Justin Timberlake and the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing with Will Smith, Jimmy has also featured NBC Nightly News’ very own Brian Williams in a series of re-mixed news broadcasts set to popular hip-hop tracks. Thanks to Fallon’s tech-wizards on Monday night (4/21) Williams was laid back, sippin’ on “Gin and Juice.”

While Williams is highly respected as a news journalist, the thing about pop-culture is that you also become famous for whatever the pubic decides you’re famous for. “It’s all anyone mentions to me anymore,” he told Fallon in an interview Monday night on the Tonight Show. According to Williams, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. approached him at a New York Rangers game and informed him that he, Williams, was now a “huge figure in the rap and hip-hop community.”

The Snoop Dogg remix is only the most recent in what has become an ongoing series featuring “B-Dubs,” one of the many nicknames Fallon has given to the prolific news man. Among others, Williams has also covered Sugar Hill Gang‘s “Rapper’s Delight” (with an assist by fellow anchor Lester Holt) and “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

I love how Fallon regularly mixes music with comedy. Not only are the skits funny as hell, but they also help to pique interest in various music genres and remind people that yesterday’s music was pretty dang awesome!

Males Dominate Music Fests

Summer festival, crowd

Photo courtesy of dahday.com

‘Tis the season for music festivals! All across the country artists and fans are gearing up for summer shows. There are numerous festivals to look forward to this year such as Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Hot 97′s Summer Jam, Lollapalooza, and The Governors Ball. Whether you are a fan of hip hop, edm, indie-rock, country, or folk, there is a festival for you. Coachella kicked off the fest mania this month and though considered one of the best there seems to be something missing- female acts.

Thousands of music lovers raided Indio, CA for the Coachella Music Valley and Arts Festival. Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire headlined the three-day, two-weekend festival. There have been numerous conversations about the lack of female representation at Coachella and other major festivals. According to Buzzfeed since its inception in 1999 only about 16% of the total bill are female-driven acts. Statistics go on to show that there has never been a year with more than a 25% lineup of female artists. Björk seems to have achieved the impossible when she headlined in 2002 and 2007. Besides Bjork only two groups, Portishead in 2009 and Arcade Fire, place females in the headlining slot in the history of Coachella. How can a musically diverse festival be so one-sided in terms of gender?

There were some memorable moments from women at Coachella this year. Beyoncé made a surprise cameo during Solange’s set. The crowd went wild as the two sisters danced together through smiles and big hair. Lana Del Rey debuted her new single “West Coast” during her set. The performance created a positive buzz and anticipation for the release of the studio version. In addition LordeBANKS, and Jhene Aiko all put on impressive shows displaying their promise and potential. But the question still remains: Will female acts remain underrepresented at Coachella?

If you won’t be able to attend your favorite artists set at a festival do the next best thing- put on a show of your own! Download the songs you love from Karaoke Cloud and get Sing-N-Jam, a karaoke mini-mixer that allows you to sing, play your guitar or keyboard, and record!

Pharrell Williams – Man of the Year

Pharrell, Pharrell Williams

Photo courtesy of thehollywoodshuffle.com

If you didn’t know who Pharrell Williams was a year ago I bet you do now. He’s the man behind the hat, your favorite artists’ favorite producer, and the voice behind the feel good songs you can’t seem to get out of your head. Pharrell’s been in the music industry for nearly two decades, but in the past year has taken the world by storm. And things only seem to be getting bigger and better for Skateboard P.

You can call him the renaissance man of music; he raps, sings, writes, and produces. Pharrell and Chad Hugo formed The Neptunes, a production duo responsible for hit songs from numerous hip hop, pop, and R&B artists such as Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Usher, and Kelis. The two also founded the record label Star Trak under Universal Music Group and linked up with Shay Haley to create the group N.E.R.D. It wasn’t until 2003 that Pharrell released his first solo track, “Frontin’.”

So how exactly has he dominated 2013 and 2014? Well, he produced and was featured on the anthem of the summer, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” He collaborated with Daft Punk on their single “Get Lucky” which won Record of the Year at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Last but not least “Happy” (which has received the ultimate cover treatment) from Despicable Me 2 scored Pharrell an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.


Continue reading

No Rest For The Wicked! AC/DC stamps out retirement speculations

Brian Johnson, Angus Young

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Angus Young doing what they do best (photo: blogs.app.com)

In 1973 one of the most prolific and beloved bands in rock and roll history was formed. Forty years and 14 studio albums later, AC/DC is still going strong and, thankfully, putting an end to speculation that the band is ready to retire.

While it has been confirmed that rhythm guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is stepping aside due to serious health issues (our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family), the band has released a statement on its website confirming that their days of driving the bus along the “Highway To Hell” are not yet at an end:

“After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.

“In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.”

We wish all the best to Malcolm Young and his family (photo: flickr.com)

We wish all the best to Malcolm Young and his family (photo: flickr.com)

The “continue to make music” bit has fans excited over the thought of not only more live performances, but maybe even the possibility of a new album. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, frontman Brian Johnson stated, “We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver. We’re going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we’ll record it.”

On a personal note, I’ve been an AC/DC fan since junior high school. For me nothing will ever rival their Highway To Hell (1979) and Back In Black (1980) albums. When I heard the rumors of Malcolm’s illness and the possibility of the band’s demise my heart dropped. Now, after learning that Brian and the boys are pushing forward I have no doubt that this is what Malcolm wants and my fingers are crossed that they’ve got one more good album left in them.

Perfect “Pitch” – MLB players karaoke for children’s charity

 

Liga Nacional Serie de Campeonato de Juego 4 en St. Louis

Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright (photo courtesy of thatbaseballblog.com)

Professional athletes and charity events have gone hand-in-hand for years. Some charitable events are cake-walks with the athletes having to do little more than show up, shake some hands, say a few kind words, then enjoy whatever festivities follow. While this is still admirable, it’s those who are willing to go that little extra mile that really draw attention, especially when that extra mile might include the possibility of personal embarrassment. :-)

In this regard, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal pitched a perfect game at a recent charity event to benefit a local children’s hospital. The twin flamethrowers joined forces to perform a karaoke duet of “Love Is An Open Door” from the hit animated Disney film Frozen.

Though their performance conjures up more images of Abbott and Costello than Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, their willingness to “leave it all on the field” for charity is awesome. Gentlemen, we here at Karaoke Cloud salute you!

Past, Present, Future: The Women of Hip Hop

Female rappers, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj

Photo courtesy of bet.com

It’s a man’s world. That could easily be the slogan for the male-dominated industry of hip hop. As an aspiring female rapper it takes skill, drive, and a certain ‘it’ factor to break through. Consistency, a solid fan base, and surviving the ups and downs of the business keeps you relevant.

In honor of women’s history month, Billboard featured a female MC each day during March. The end result is a list of the 31 greatest female hip hop artists of all time. From pioneers like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, to women like Lil Kim and Trina who owned their sexuality, to groundbreaking artists like Missy Elliot, they all had an impact on the genre and culture. Through each generation women rappers have offered the female perspective. None have done it quite like Salt-N-Pepa, Lauryn Hill, and Nicki Minaj.

Salt-N-Pepa

Photo courtesy of arktimes.com

When you think of female rap in the 80′s Salt-N-Pepa should automatically come to mind. Hits like “Push It,” “Shoop,” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” solidified their position as the best-selling female rap group of all time. Their distinctive style, energetic vibe, and empowering female anthems made members Salt, Pepa, and Spinderella icons. They served as a voice for women of their time. They joined forces with R&B group En Vogue on “Whatta Man” for a smash hit collaboration that was true to their essence. They undoubtedly helped pave the way for future female MC’s.


Continue reading