Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynolds at the Feb. 23 sold-out show at Roseland in NYC. Photo/Jon Chattman Lou Diamond Phillips is an icon in this business who unjustly hasn’t had a role he could sink his teeth into for years. That is, until now. In their music video for “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons utilize the “La Bamba” and “Young Guns” star’s talents by casting him as the ruthless ring leader of an underground, illegal stuffed animal fight club. Don’t scroll back – you read that right and it may very well be Phillips’ finest hour. It’s like Pink Floyd used to say… “shine on you crazy Lou Diamond Phillips.” Well, they didn’t exactly say that, but we all know they should have. But, let’s refocus on the band whose talent extends far behind killer videos with a killer star.
Photo/ Blake Wood Having toured the world with pop goddess Lady Gaga for over a year (following their debut “You Love You,”) it would have been so easy for Semi Precious Weapons to just sell out for their next album. With a fan base rich in “Little Monsters” as well as their own disciples, it just seemed logical that the band would try to make a commercial pop record. But, it didn’t play out that way. Like Gaga herself, Justin Tranter, Cole Whittle, Dan Crean, and Stevy Pyne are in it for the art and are making music that’s true to themselves first and foremost. Having said that, the song doesn’t remain the same. Whereas “You Love You” was a glamified (I’m making that a word) rock record in the tradition of AC/DC, their new single “Aviation High,” which you can listen to here, and the new album it’ll appear on (released later this year) have a more AFI feel. Along with the new sound comes a new style for the band – so say goodbye to frontman Tranter’s high-heeled platforms (at least I think) and say hello to glamified (take note Conky) suits and ties. I caught up with Tranter this weekend, and asked him about SPW’s growth since their previous record and tour. As I discovered, Los Angeles clearly worked wonders for their evolution. “The basic way of life out here is so breezy that I found myself writing more about love, its dramas and my awesome friends, [...]
Does anyone remember the Genesis song “I Can’t Dance?” It’s okay…they probably don’t either. The song resonated with me when it came out and it still does because I simply can’t bust a move – at least not sober. Robert DeLong, on the other hand, probably can cut a rug quite well (not literally because why would anyone brag about cutting a piece of carpet?) Anyway, with his debut album Just Movement on Glassnote Records, the innovative singer/songwriter/drummer/producer/music master is making speakers his bitch with danceable pop that resonates with alt-rockers and body shakers.
In high school, Valentine’s Day served as a constant reminder that I wasn’t getting any. I’m sure there were many people in that boat and by “boat” I clearly don’t mean an actual boat. I don’t own a boat. Anyway, that “holiday” is sort of a weak occasion. As a matter of fact, even when I was dating somebody and especially now as a married man, it failed and fails to resonate much beyond flowers and a nice, romantic dinner. Again, I know I’m not alone in this sentiment but whatever floats your boat….again, not in the literal sense. I bring up this lovey dovey occasion because this week marks V-Day and this edition of A-Sides Music is chock full of love.
Steve Winwood’s 1986 song “Higher Love” was a smash hit, played over and over again the year the New York Mets won the World Series for their second (and, it feels like, final) time. Whereas the song struck gold, the music video was a disaster of epic proportions thanks to the former Traffic band member’s relentless mullet. Sadly, a YouTube search for this comes up empty so you’ll just have to take my word for it. It was not a pretty sight, but don’t stress over it. It has nothing to do with this post, which focuses on budding star Matt Hires. Yep, “Higher Love” simply entered my mind as I typed “Hires,” and I chose to lead off the story this way. Sure, I could have ignored the song in my head, but since Hires’ songs gloriously spin in my head after I hear them, it just felt right. Call me crazy – actually… don’t. Anyway, let’s get to the Floridian, who drops a new EP of infectious pop songs with substance entitled “Forever” next week.