What To Look Forward To

27 September, 2014 All, Music No comments

Since the end of the year is quickly creeping upon us, we’re bound to get an abundance of new great releases across all genres.

Here are ten albums to look out for for the remainder of the year:

1. Steve Aoki - Neon Future (September 30)

The second studio album of Steve Aoki’s will be released this week, with an amazing tracklist. With features consisting of: Fall Out Boy, Waka Flocka Flame, Flux Pavilion, and Will.I.Am, most of the songs should find themselves being played at almost every night club.

2. Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright In The End (October 7)

The 9th studio album by the band will be released this year, and the anticipation grows as the release nears. This is their first album since 2010, and according to Rivers Cuomo, the band considered over 200 songs for the album, recorded 20 and then cut it down to 11. This album should find its way at the top of the Billboard charts after its first week.

3. Hozier - Hozier (October 7)

Hozier is by far one of my favorite new bands. The debut album has already been released in Ireland, but isn’t far away form its release worldwide. After hearing “Take Me To Church” earlier this year I fell in love. A soulful, emotion packed voice won me over after my first listen, and soon will win over the rest of the world after this album.

4. Jessie Ware - Tough Love (October 21)

Her second studio album will be released in just under a month, and she’s ready to make an impact in the music industry. Her debut album, Devotion, was released in 2012 and reached number 5 in the U.K., but didn’t make that much of a splash anywhere else. This album she hopes it’ll change. There are no features on the album, but the writers she worked with will make this album amazing. She brought in Miguel, Ed Sheeran, Jimmy Napier, and James Ford, so I am excited to hear the well-written love ballads sang by Jessie Ware.

5. Taylor Swift – 1989 (October 27)

She announced that she was going to step away from “country” and work on a pop album for her next release. After hearing her first single “Shake It Off,” it sounds like she has stepped away from her guitar driven love pop/country songs, and will sound like more traditional pop. The song is catchy, and I often find myself singing along whenever I hear it. It’ll be interesting to hear how different this album was to hers in the past.

6. She & Him - Classics (October 27)

American singer-songwriter duo consisting of Matthew Ward and Zoey Deschanel, will release their fifth studio album this fall. They actually met on the set of the film The Go Getter, and were asked to sing a duet for the end credits, and now have their fifth album recorded together. Definitely a great story behind the duo, and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

7. Lil Wayne - The Carter V (October 28)

A lot of people have claimed that Lil Wayne has “fallen off” but there’s no doubting he’s one of the most influential artists in today’s era of hip hop. His eleventh studio album, and reportedly his last, comes out October 28 after being pushed back multiple times. I would love to see him go out with a bang, returning to his roots and show people that he hasn’t lost his touch.

8. Copeland - Ixora (October 31)

In 2008 Copeland released their last album You Are My Sunshine, which was soon followed by the band parting ways. Earlier this year they announced that the hiatus was over and had a new album releasing on Halloween. Along with the announcement, they released their new single “Ordinary,” and was absolutely beautiful. Nobody knows what to expect from this album, but if it sounds at all like their first single, it’ll be a huge success.

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 Soundtrack (November 18)

All of the details regarding this soundtrack are still up in the air, and are a mystery to most. The soundtrack will be curated by Lorde, which makes the mystery factor so much higher. She’s a mysterious artist, and if you’ve seen her live, or just pictures of her live performances you’ll agree. She’s also providing the soundtrack its lead single, “Yellow Flicker Beat,” which will be released on September 29.

10. Kanye West’s 8th Studio Album – Release Date TBD

No release date set in stone just yet, but Yeezy season is quickly approaching us. After he signed a deal with Adidas, a snipper of a new song “All In,” was heard on their World Cup commercial. Kanye has said that a new single will be released soon, and shouldn’t be long until all of the details are released. Earlier this week he was in Paris for an official album listening party. So its confirmed that the album is finished, and won’t be long until its in our album rotation.

My Favorite Music Documentaries

26 September, 2014 All, Music No comments

Movies, and music. Two of the most cherished forms of happiness in today’s society. My most cherished form of happiness in pop culture is the combination of two, specifically music documentaries. There’s just some awesome feeling that comes across me when watching them. Getting that behind the scenes look into my love and passion is so interesting, and rewarding. I learn more and more from each documentary and most importantly I can apply what I learned into my career.

I, personally, can never watch enough music films, especially documentaries. So I’ve decided to write about my favorite three, as well as one upcoming documentary that I’m absolutely dying to see!

The first documentary I’ll write about is Ray. It’s the story of the life and career of Ray Charles, covering everything from the moment he lost his vision, to covering his amazing career. The two leads in this movie are Jamie Foxx (Ray) and Kerry Washington (Della), and both are phenomenal in their roles. At first I wasn’t sure how Jamie Foxx would perform in this role, as I could only see him in comedic roles, but he impressed me a lot. For him to portray one of the greatest musicians in history, and do it so well and accurate, surprised me. I think it was a good idea not to have Foxx, or anyone else, recreate Charles’ vocals for the film, as nobody could do him justice. If you haven’t seen this film, I definitely advise you to watch this one first before the others, because it truly is amazing.

I’ll stick to soul and R&B for my next documentary, which is Charles Bradley: Soul of America. Unlike Ray, this is solely a documentary, and not a biopic. This film is about the rise of Charles Bradley’s career, didn’t hit its peak until 2011, which unlike most careers, is when Bradley was at the age of 62. Nobody expects a musician of that age to really become successful, but he proves everyone wrong with his debut album landing in Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of 2011! I actually stumbled across this on Netflix one night, without knowing anything about his career, or his music. I went into it with no opinion on him which was great, and let me learn a lot on his career, and the struggles he overcame to get where he is today. If you want to learn something new about a musician’s career, or just love the success he’s shown, go watch this movie. Even if you’re not a fan of his music, there’s no doubt that you’ll become a fan of his as a person.

Now, I get to one of my favorite music documentaries, quite possibly my ultimate favorite. Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, came out in 2012, and I remember I was sitting in my dorm room when I saw the preview and I became instantly excited. I was turned on to hip hop and rap through my schoolmates at a young age, as a result of going to an extremely cultural diverse school. Now the amount of stars in this film is ridiculous. First, its directed by Ice-T. Awesome, right? Then in the film, it features commentary and film from: Bun B, Joe Budden, Common, Ice Cube, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Nas, Kanye West, and many many more. Getting to hear from the biggest names in the genre themselves, this film offers great insight on the prominence and rise of hip-hop; not only as a genre of music, but as a culture as well. This film is currently on Netflix, so you should go watch it before it is replaced.

Now, the film that I am most excited for…

Jimi: All Is By My Side, a biopic on the life and career of Jimi Hendrix, is soon to be released, with a premier date of October 24, 2014. This film actually debuted at SXSW this past Spring, and as a music badge holder, I was saddened to hear I couldn’t see this film while I was there. First off, Andre 3000 stars as Jimi Hendrix, which is a perfect casting. Not only does Andre 3000 look similar to Jimi, but Andre’s musical abilities and knowledge are out of this world, something Jimi was always recognized for. Also, starring in this movie is Imogen Poots, who plays Linda Keith, one of the biggest influences on both Jimi’s career and life. Ever since this movie was announced I’ve been checking the entirety of the Internet to find anymore details about this film. Less than a month, this film will hit movie theaters nationwide, and hopefully do the legend justice.

If you have any more documentaries or biopics to check out, leave them in the comments and I can’t wait to watch them!

Featured Artist: Jon Bellion

23 September, 2014 All, Music No comments

I wrote about Jon Bellion a little in my previous post regarding artists you need to know. It was hard for me not to write everything on my mind right then and there, but I had to wait. His new album, The Definition, was just released this afternoon, and I’m absolutely in love. Last year he released an album, The Separation, which I loved, but his new album blows it out of the park. The Definition, is his fourth free album released, which is rare to see one album given away for free now, yet alone four!

In my previous story, I mentioned Jon has seen a lot of success from songwriting. He wrote the chorus for “Monster” by Eminem and Rihanna. He also co-wrote and produced Jason Derulo’s “Trumpets.” Both reached the top of the charts in the last year and a half. He’s seen great monetary success from these two opportunities, and many others, that allow him to release his albums for free. The money he makes from songwriting gets recycled back into his music, whether it be buying new instruments, new studio gear, or bringing in other musicians, he is making sure to spend the money wisely. In his Reddit AMA (ask me anything) he tells one fan that he’s done making free music. This is pretty exciting because he was improving so much, using money  just from songwriting and touring, but now he will have more money to recycle back into his creation process.

Signed to Visionary Music Group, home of rappers Logic and QuESt, Jon brings a nice change of pace to the roster. One of the most unique artists I’ve listened to, combines pop elements and vocals, with picture-painting storytelling, and all combined with the production heard on top hip hop classics. This is why I love his music. He combines every element of music, and makes it his own. He started off producing at the age of 14, and then just recently started singing and rapping on his own productions. If only he had discovered those skills even sooner…

Jon states his top 5 albums of all time are:

Cease To Begin – Band of Horses

Transatlanticism – Death Cab For Cutie

Donuts – J Dilla

Graduation – Kanye West

For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver

You can definitely hear each album’s influence in his music. Imagine the production of Kanye and J Dilla mixed with the vocals of Death Cab, and the storytelling of Band of Horses and Bon Iver (Justin Vernon). So imagine that combination plus much much more, and then you have Jon Bellion, a musical genius. I can’t even grasp how his mind works musically, but luckily, he makes YouTube videos of how he created each song, and is an absolute delight to get a glimpse into his musical mind. 

Now I’ll get into some of my favorites from his new album The Definition:

“Pre-Occupied” – The song starts off “Wu-Tang raised me, Death Cab changed me…” both two of his biggest musical influences. This is a very honest song by Jon, he says everything on his chest regarding the music industry. The first verse definitely sounds angry, where he addresses the motives behind most publishers and producers. He then also brings up two more of his influences, J Dilla and Paul Simon. All of a sudden after this angry rant, a very bright and cheerful chorus comes in, where Jon doesn’t hold back his vocals at all, letting all listeners to appreciate his artistry.

“A Haunted House” – The first thing you hear on this song is an electrifying harmony created by Jon’s vocals laid on top of each other. Then comes in the piano and Jon singing about his past loves and current love. He tells a story about a new love in his life, allowing him to feel comfortable and safe in this world. “I’ve been saved, watch them all fall back into the grave.” He is referring to the ‘ghosts’ of his past loves that he would stay in touch with whenever he was lost, and now that he’s found love again, he doesn’t have to deal with his past any longer.

“Ooh” – This is one of my favorite songs because of the mood it puts you in while listening. The instrumentation is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. About a minute into the song, Jon says “these lines won’t make sense,” and while you hear them, you hear Jon laugh. Just a moment for him to be himself and have fun with this song, while still staying true to his creativity and musical talents. Christianne Jensen sings backup vocals to Jon in this song and midway through, you get to hear mainly her sing and paired with Jon’s production, it is stunning.

“Luxury” – This song features Audra Mae, the great-great-neice of Judy Garland, and musical talent definitely runs through their family genes. This is the outro to the album, in complete juxtaposition of the intro “Munny Right.” In this intro Jon is almost bragging about this luxurious lifestyle he’s created for himself, and how his life has changed because of the money. But in “Luxury,” Jon and Audra sing about staying true to themselves and still staying modest despite the success. One of the most beautiful moments on this album is when Audra sings the outro to the song, “don’t let my soul drown in in the luxury.” It gave me chills the first time I listened to it.

In addition to the album, and behind the scenes videos, Jon made an animated short film to accompany his song “Luxury.” It shows the main character, who is an animated version of Jon, become tempted by many different things/people as he grows up. The candle is a symbol for faith and that no matter the temptation, its a must for him to keep his faith and not let the temptations get to him.

He makes it clear that he stays true to himself in all of his works, and I have not yet been disappointed with any of his releases.

Go listen to his new album, The Definition, here: http://open.spotify.com/artist/50JJSqHUf2RQ9xsHs0KMHg

 

Obsessed: How Hollywood’s Hottest Dads Celebrate Father’s Day

As we all know, yesterday was father’s day and we all gathered to celebrate our amazing dads, obviously. However, now it’s time to check out the many celebrity dads who were celebrated by their families via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Here’s a list of our favorite hot dads that also happen to be pretty famous.

First off, Prince William with son Prince George and Kate Middleton while they cheer him on during a polo match.

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Gavin Rossdale’s adorable picture was posted by non other than wife Gwen Stefani who captioned the picture, “I always thought you’d be a good dad.” (Cue audience “awww” noise).

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Fergie’s hottie husband, Josh Duhamel posted this picture to Instagram with the caption “Proud to be this kid’s dad. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.”

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Kim K posted this picture of husband Kanye West with daughter North, who’s first birthday was also yesterday!

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Kendall Jenner took some time to post this picture of her an Bruce Jenner to Instagram as well letting her dad know she was thinking of him.

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One of Hollywood’s newest daddy’s, Kevin Jonas, celebrated father’s day yesterday with his father, Kevin Jonas Sr., and daughter, Alena Rose. Too cute.

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Finally, we have Kourtney Kardashian post of this adorable picture to Instagram of Scott Disick with their children, Penelope and Mason.

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Images via glamourmagazine.co.uk

 

 

The Highly Anticipated ‘Kimye’ Wedding Finally Arrived

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West finally said their ‘I Do’s’ on Saturday in their multi-million dollar wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy. The internationally acclaimed rapper and reality super star created a stir in the media, hosting the most talked about wedding this year, and yet managed to keep it pretty nicely under wraps. Who knew the Kardashians could keep such a big secret and make details of the event as low key as possible?

Ever since Kanye put a ring on it, the most highly anticipated moment was which designer Kim would choose to wear on her big day. The 33-year-old bride stunned us all in a gorgeous custom-made Givenchy Haute Couture gown designed by Riccardo Tisci as the couple tied the knot earlier this weekend at the Forte Di Belvedere in Florence in front of a 200-person crowd of close family and friends.

We here at Annex send the newly weds much luck and love in their marriage. And may this one fully last them their lifetimes.

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photos courtesy of E! Online

Instabombed by Kim K and Her Bachelorette Party

The biggest wedding of the year is on the verge of taking place. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been enjoying their time in France with their loved ones, in celebration of their soon-to-be nuptials. Lucky for us, the Kardashian clan is not at all shy about posting pictures to their various social media sites. Quite the opposite, the family and their friends have been quite post happy.

Here’s the latest pictures of the bachelorette party, the cards sent out by Kim and Kanye, Lana Del Rey rehearsing for her performance at the event and the latest shots of the wedding happenings.

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Images via hollywoodlife.com

ATTENTION: The Kimye Wedding Seating Chart Revealed… According to Refinery 29

Like them or not, the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian wedding is going to be one of the biggest social events of the year. The media has tediously been following the event in the hopes of getting any, and all, details about the location, the dress, the guests, etc. The hope is Kanye will interrupt Kim during her vows a la 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and that the infamous 360 cam from E!’s red carpet interviews will be there as well to document the guest arrivals. That being said, once the ceremony is over and the reception begins, the question is who will sit where, and next to who??? Here’s a of potential Kimye’s wedding seating chart drafted by Refinery 29!

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Image via refinery29.com

Throwback Thursday: “All Falls Down” ft. Syleena Johnson- Kanye West

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With his wedding date just days away, the Yeezus singer has been making quite a few headlines this week. Kimye will be tying the knot on May 24 in their rumored destination wedding location, Versailles.
Before Kanye says I do, its seems fitting that we reflect on an old favorite of ours: “All Falls Down.” This song was released on West’s debut album The College Dropout. It features singer Syleena Johnson who sampled Lauryn Hill’s “Mystery of Iniquity.”Listening to this song makes us realize how far Kanye West has come in his career. We wish him the best at his wedding on Saturday!

images via google images

Kimye’s Wedding: Fact vs. Fiction

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In a world where celebrity weddings seem to inspire more debates than presidential elections, it’s no surprise that the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West has been the high topic of speculation for months, now.

Oddly enough, the attention loving Kardashian klan is doing a superb job of keeping the Big Day under wraps. So how do all of us detail-hungry gossipers respond? By making up a ton of crazy rumors, of course! But now the time has come to separate the real facts from the not-so facts.

With the wedding just a few short days away, Annex Magazine breaks down the few details that we know for certain:

Fact: The couple will be wed this Friday, May 23rd

Fact: Italian designer Ermanno Scervino has been helping Kimya plan the event

Speculation: Could Kim possibly be walking down the aisle in a Balmain gown? She posted a pic with creative director, Olivier Rousteing, a few weeks ago…

Fact: Unlike her previous wedding, this one will not be filmed for television.

Speculation: Was Ray J actually invited to Kim wedding?? Rumors swirl about a potential gift he might be sending the couple

Fact: Lana Del Rey is set to perform at the ceremony

Fact: Kim will have her princess wedding as they will be having their wedding at a chateau in Florence.

Fact: Guests will be flown out in a private jet after a tour of Versailles

Fact: Vogue is the only media outlet that will be allowed to cover the brunch on Friday, before the ceremony

Fact: The Belvedere Fort in Florence was rented out by the couple for $410,000

Fact: Guests will be receiving private security and private cell phones to increase secrecy

Speculation: Kanye had everyone involved in the wedding preparations sign a 15 page confidentiality agreement

Fact: Mario Dedivanovic, celebrity makeup artist, will be handling Kim’s face for the big day

Fact: Wedding Brunch will be held on Friday at Valentino’s Chateau de Wideville

Speculation: Kim underwent a $550 facial in LA before leaving Paris

Speculation: Kanye has reportedly constulted with A.P.C creative director Jean Touitou in regards to his own attire

Vogue is Getting Sued and Kanye West is to Blame?

Looks like Vogue may be regretting their decision to feature Kimye in their magazine. The April shoot, which meant a long awaited cover for Kim Kardashian, has seemed to bring down some trouble on Anna Wintour and her team at Vogue. According to The Post, Rickey Spicer, who has already sued West before, is now trying to sue the magazine for supposedly using one of his songs in their behind-the-scenes video of the shoot.

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Spicer’s rep stated that, “his voice is used substantially throughout the video, comprising approximately 44 percent of the lyrics” and that all this took place without consent or authorization. Kanye West apparently lobbied Anna Wintour into getting Kim on the cover stating that she was “more relevant to fashion” than Michelle Obama. Wintour may have thought it a good idea at the time, but the repercussions may be causing more trouble than the cover was worth.

Images via nypost.com, urbanislandz.com