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album picks

Album Review: The Courteeners - Concrete Love
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Album Review: Gentle Bones
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Album Review: Troye Sivan - TRXYE
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He’s been Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, and Snoopzilla. Now, he’s pulled a Michael Jackson (sort of) and presented to his Instagram followers a white guy named Todd.

There’s nothing you can do but laugh at his long, blonde wig, his barely-there bangs, his grandpa glasses, and the hilarious amount of cakey, skin-lightening powder he’s slapped onto his face. Oh, and let’s not overlook the turtleneck he’s sporting as his newest alter ego.

We don’t know if Todd raps, but he’s an avid supporter of a fictional dating site called White Guys Connect. On top of that, nerdy Todd enjoys crochet, paintball and spoken word poetry. But maybe he’s not so nerdy after all, having declared in a video that he likes “driving, swerving, dipping and whipping” as well. God knows what that means…

Odd as it seems, Snoop Dogg makes for a pretty exceptional Caucasian. So, what in the world is he up to?

 

Theory #1: New Album

The last time something like this happened, Nick Cannon went white as Connor Smallnut to promote his album, White People Party Music. But there’s been no word yet on Snoop or Todd cutting a new record.

 

Theory #2: New Talk Show Segment

If you don’t already know, he’s the host with the most at the Double G News (GGN), a talk show where Snoop interviews personalities and smokes incessantly at the same time. Who knows? Todd could be getting five minutes of fame on each episode, or better yet, a new show altogether.

 

Theory #3: Too Much Weed

What’s there to say? Snoop’s a bizarro fella with a lifetime supply of “getting high”.

 

What’s your theory for his transformation? Let us know! Meanwhile, here's a clip of Snoop as alter ego Todd.

 

Photo credits: Snoop Dogg/Instagram

We are only 5 days away from the highly-anticipated, previously-bemoaned debut of You Me At Six in Singapore. Just saying that out loud a few months ago would have been wishful thinking at best - an echo of a seemingly long lost hope that feebly resuscitated itself every time the Weybridge band were in the not-so distant vicinity of Singapore.

Now that the date has been set, lost time (Take Off Your Colours was released in 2008) will be accounted for but the only remaining dilemma is the unfortunate and inevitable shortening of the setlist to accommodate either the band’s athletic tour life or the finite boundaries of time. Seeing that it is the first YMAS show held on our shores after an impressive lack of punctuality, it’s only fair that the boys compensate with some of the following lesser-played tracks… right?

 

1. Fireworks

While You Me At Six may have attained full-fledged rock star status with the release of Cavalier Youth, the quintet is equally adept at easing out slow-burning ballads capable of administering a potent dose of the feels. The band’s very personal connection with Fireworks cannot be understated – yet the universality of separation and change is made most poignant with this Hold Me Down gem.

 

2. The Rumour

At the peak of their TOYC days of old when lush straightened haircuts were still cool, The Rumour was a setlist favourite and with good reason too. Spunky, resentful and a hook that demanded a chorus of audience participation, it's said that frontman Josh Franceschi used to give the bridge a screaming finish. Raw YMAS is best YMAS, we say.

 

3. Always Attract

A duet that originally featured another of the Franceschi clan, Paramore's very own Hayley Williams once gave this delicate tune a vitalizing breath of life. With or without the dulcet tones of a female vocalist, this sentimental ballad is sure to make many swoon. Just ask anyone who was present at Wembley Arena for The Final Night of Sin.

 

4. Time Is Money

Easily one of the band's most aggressive anthems ever (even Bite My Tongue pales slightly in comparison), Franceschi seems to be constantly on the verge of growling and we love it. Every note smashed out by Dan Flint feels like a punch to the gut and the rapidly fierce riffs are bound only to ignite circle pits of epic proportions. How mad would it be to see Franceschi branch out further to (Parkway Drive's) Winston McCall territory?

 

5. There’s No Such Thing As Accidental Infidelity

Hardly the most talked-about YMAS track, there's something about its deliciously passive-aggressive quality that accentuates Franceschi's anguish. Chris Miller's guitar work is a tantalising tease that ropes in the listener from the get-go, slowly morphing into a dejected round of gang vocals.

 

 

6. Gossip 

 

Photo credit: GETDELUXE

The divas of the music industry like to play (with clothes) and it’s no surprise. Many of them do it well, landing themselves free publicity time and time again. Today, we place the magnifying glass over one, in particular.

For the love of our fans, we grant a Spin or Bin Music reader’s wish (shout out to Radh E. Linden) for us to write about five of Rihanna’s most iconic ensembles. Ten selections were given; five were shortlisted. And here they are.

 

5. The Tuxedo

Throngs of fashion-forward female celebrities have been sporting the androgynous tuxedo for a while now. So, it’s no big deal seeing another lady without her usual dress. But Rihanna brings it up a notch at the 2009 Met Ball by pumping up the puff-shoulders, slipping on a pair of gloves, cuffing up the pants, and pinning on a bow tie for an eccentric touch.

 

4. The Super Black

As you may suspect, this pop princess doesn’t seem to be a fan of covering up. Lacing it up at the Jean Paul Gaultier fashion show, Rihanna goes black (completed with gothic lips) with a touch of posh around her neck.

 

3. The Secret of Victoria

Fun, flirtatious and feminine, the Barbadian beauty struts down the 2012 Victoria’s Secret runway in what can only be described as lingerie for the great outdoors. Sure, you could probably sleep in those baby pink laces. But for this fashion icon, she could buy groceries in that outfit and the world would thank her for it.

 

2. The “Whiter Than Will Smith’s Choppers”

The 26-year-old might as well whip out a halo and a pair of wings for this Stella McCartney number. Her hair’s tossed up in a messy bun; her torso’s ever toned; and her train flows like satin milk. What is perfection? This is.

 

1. The Nearly Naked

Now, this is what I call being over-dressed and under-dressed at the same time. The work of designer Adam Selman, RiRi’s twenties-inspired dress (sprinkled with over 230,000 Swarovski crystals) is roaring “scandalously sexy” from tip to toe – No doubt a field day for the reporters and photographers at this year’s CFDA awards. It tops our list of her most iconic apparel, which will definitely be talked about for years to come.

Who else do you want to see in a “Top 5” feature? Let us know and we just might write about it!

 

Photo credits: EPA, Just Jared, Axelle, Charles Sykes, Kevin Mazur/Wire Image, Rex

I’ll admit. I was much too desensitised by the craziness of Mother Monster’s choice of dressing and accessorising to realise her oxygen mask was not a fashion statement.

Apparently, Lady Gaga went from her Denver artRAVE tour to the hospital after suffering an attack of altitude sickness. But relax! She’s safe and back to normal – as you can see from her Instagram oxygen mask selfie. Boy, does she look great when she’s ill.

And who knows? Perhaps, one day, she will rock more oxygen masks in the name of outlandish fashion. After all, she is known for sporting weird thingamajigs on her head/face. Here’s five of her strangest.

 

1. The “warrior mask”

 

2. The pinhead-inspired headdress

 

3. The partial shield

 

4. This… wig?

 

5. The lobster

Photo credit: Instagram/Lady Gaga, Xposure Photos, Kristin Callagan, Splash News, Gigwise

Amongst the many articles that have steadily piled over the years, one inherent characteristic remains salient – the overt desire for an up-and-coming musician or band (presumably through either divine intervention or relentless tweets) to somehow miraculously land on our barren shores for that one coveted evening of live music.  So what’s the point of having an instantaneous reach to a whopping 30k+ followers on Twitter alone if not to plug one’s own wish-list for purely selfish reasons (while benefitting the masses in the process)?

 

You Me At Six

In the case of our favourite Weybridge lads, this isn’t a case of the “young, promising band” sort. For too long have we suffered from tragically misleading tweets, teasing tour videos and Australian tours that conveniently avoided the region altogether. But for the first time in a while, the perpetual crisis might just be taking a turn for the better. A couple of days ago, local promoter Pennylane Events confirmed that they would be bringing You Me At Six to Singapore on September 3!

 

Neck Deep / State Champs

We can’t emphasise this enough: We LOVE Neck Deep and everything they’ve put out so far. From sped up Green Day covers to sentimental acoustic numbers, pop punk is well and alive in the abrasive hands of a sprightly ND.

Similarly, their New York counterparts in State Champs have been kicking up an equally potent storm within the scene. Injecting a compelling sense of accessibility into no frills instrumentals, the band’s irresistible likeability should propel them far.

Whoever paired the two for their upcoming Australian tour is a genius. Ben Barlow even felt that Singapore was Instagram-worthy on the last layover - why not stop by this September?

 

Echosmith

First appearing on our radar last year amongst the Warped Tour Bands You Should Check Out, the Californian indie pop quartet (touted by MTV as their Artist to Watch) has been making a name for themselves within the Warped circuit and more. Emerging with a remarkable debut album which sounds beyond their youth, local promoters have expressed interest in said record so perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that Echosmith is slated for Manila’s Bazooka Rocks festival later this year.

 

The Wonder Years

Not only is The Greatest Generation a statement that challenges the very term and its post-WWII origins, it was invariably one of 2013’s most profound records. While frontman Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell may be busy continuing to kill it solo in Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties, TWY will also be touring the Land Down Under in September. For those who missed them in 2011, this could be a redeeming opportunity.

 

We Are The In Crowd

When we last saw the Poughkeepsie pop punk act, they were slowly but surely gaining footing as a reputable band who had only recently released their first studio album. With Weird Kids out and more than two years of absence from Singaporean soil, time has never been riper for WATIC to return triumphant.

Photo credit: Tom Welsh, Hopeless Records, Static Magazine