411 Music Fact or Fiction: Was ’24K Magic’ As Good As ‘Uptown Funk’?
Welcome to the 411 Music Fact or Fiction! This week, Andy Rackauskas takes on Jeremy Thomas.
Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” is a disappointing follow-up to “Uptown Funk.”
Andy Rackauskas: FACT – Yes, “24K Magic” is a fun party jam. It’s got all the bling one would want and then some. All that glitters isn’t necessarily gold. Bruno’s vocals even sound a little too processed here. It fun, but it’s not nearly as fun or as good as “Uptown Funk”. “Uptown Funk”, also very fun, is also cool. It’s got a funk that would make Prince proud. It’s simply a better jam than “24K Magic”
Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – It’s certainly not as catchy as “Uptown Funk” and I don’t expect it to be as big of a hit, but I don’t know that I’d call it disappointing. It’s just a different flavor of song. I’d say that I prefer “Uptown Funk” but there’s a fun feel to this one too. I would have appreciated it a touch more if they hadn’t started the whole thing off with an Auto-Tuned to hell line and any song with “#blessed” used unironically is fighting an uphill battle. Outside of those I kinda dug this even if I doubt it will hit my regular playlist — but then, neither did “Uptown Funk.”
It’s unlikely there will be new Nine Inch Nails music this year.
Andy Rackauskas: FACT – This is simple law of averages in effect. The odds of Trent releasing something soon under his NIN moniker is simply unlikely. He takes his time. Odds are he’s working on 10 different projects at the same time! Will we see some NIN material? I do think so. It’ll just be later than sooner I feel. And I can’t wait to hear it.
Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – Trent Reznor seems to be sure there will be and I have no reason to doubt him on this. I think there are a couple big thing to keep in mind here, though. The first is that he’s promised new music, not a new album. That could be just a track, even just something on a soundtrack. He’s already released a song off his and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack for Before the Flood, which is out next week. That’s not new Nine Inch Nails but the point is that he does love his working with films these days. The other thing to keep in mind is that even if it is an album, it could be something more along the lines of Ghosts Vol I – IV than Hesitation Marks or other “proper” studio albums. Whatever form it takes though, I expect will get some new NIN by the end of the year.
Lady Gaga’s dive bar tour is a great idea that more music acts should use.
Andy Rackauskas: FACT – Well, kind of fact. Her dive bar tour is an excellent idea! There’s nothing like seeing an artist in a small venue. Given her extravagance, seeing her in such small venues should be interesting. However, the second part of the statement throws me a bit. It is a great idea…but I don’t necessarily feel that “more music acts should use” the idea. They should come up with their own fresh idea to reach a smaller audience base. I don’t know what that is. But, this industry to too laden with copycats to begin with. Be original!
Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – I think it’s a great idea, I just don’t think more acts (at least more pop music acts) should necessarily use it. Gaga gets away with it because, essentially, she’s Gaga. No one doubts when she starts touring dive bars that she’s doing it because she wants to, as opposed to doing it because she has to. And it sounds like something she would do, so it fits in her “brand” so to speak. Rihanna might be able to get away with it but if the likes of Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry or Beyonce did it for example, it would just be off-putting. I could see this working for metal or rock group, but that’s not the same thing as what Gaga is doing here because metal and rock acts tour in smaller bar venues all the time. Touring bars is one thing, but Gaga’s specific idea here isn’t one I think a lot of acts could pull off.
Gorillaz’ new “visual story” about Russel Hobbs was entertaining.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT – I’m always pretty down when Gorillaz expands the world of their fictional group members and this was pretty fun stuff. I know there are people who feel like the group’s whole gimmick is cheesy and/or pretentious but I’ve always liked the idea behind it, and Hobbs’ tale of what he’s been doing since the group was last together was fun and well-put together. I wish they’d done it all in one YouTube video or the like instead of a series of tweets, but that’s a minor complaint all in all.
Andy Rackauskas: FACT – The Gorillaz’s Russell Hobbs animated tale is definitely interesting. It simply brings to life the Gorillaz Mystique. These guys are having fun with their image, and they are doing it seriously.
Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa are at fault for the rail collapse at their concert.
Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – I’m assuming we’re talking liability in the lawsuit filed against them here, which is where I go “Fiction.” Are they partially responsible? Yes, that’s far to say. I don’t think that it’s their “fault” though. Listen, Snoop and Wiz aren’t engineers. They didn’t set up the railing and I don’t think they could have reasonably known that the railing would collapse because like most rational people who aren’t engineers, they relied on the idea that the venue had things built for safety and appropriate warning signs. I do think the venue is at fault because maintaining that kind of safety is their responsibility, and I imagine that Live Nation is going to pay out the nose for this. The rappers, however, aren’t.
Andy Rackauskas: FICTION – How exactly are the artists responsible for the shoddy platform? That’s on the venue and the tour manager. From the footage I saw, I did not see either artist rile the crowd up into a frenzy or a riot. They were just trying to put on their show. Even if it were Slayer busting out into “War Ensemble” putting the crowd into a mosh pit tornado…the fail is still on the venue and tour manager.
You enjoyed Weezer’s video for “I Love the USA.”
Jeremy Thomas: FACT When a video fades in and the first thing you see is Patton Oswalt, it’s better than even odds that I’m going to end up liking it. Make it a Weezer music video and those odds go up considerably, and I really enjoy the song to boot. I can see why some people might not like but, but it definitely has a sense of being “all in good fun” and I don’t think it’s intended as any kind of serious critique. I approve.
Andy Rackauskas: FACT – Weezer’s “I Love the USA” is fun. It’s hard to not like. just about any Weezer video for that matter. Seeing Patton Oswalt just in the darn fanny pack alone got me laughing. All that said, the jam just isn’t all that great.
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