20 May 2011

[video] Panda Bear - "Alsatian Darn"

I would expect nothing less from Panda Bear. Watch the trippy-as-fuck video for the Tomboy standout below:

19 May 2011

Skinny Jeans, Fat Wallets: Summertime Top 40 Hip Hop and R&B Round Up

A "Chopper"

It's hard out here on the cutting edge. Being interested in innovative music and entertainment sometimes shelters our ears from the sounds of the street. We miss out on things like what your mom listens to on her way to work and what the cute girls sing along to at bars. We may be streets ahead with The Weeknd and Tyler, The Creator, but the rest of the world is raging to different tunes. If you're reading this blog, you know how it is. Skinny Jeans, Fat Wallets is an attempt to introduce you to the sounds that everyone else already knows.

(Meant to be read quickly with an "urban" accent over a mild mid tempo funk beat)


What's happening Art/Official? It's ya boy Jeff here with an earth- and ass-shaking top 40 round up for your listening pleasure. *Gunshot sound effect* Up on the docket we got Lil Wayne. Weezy hasn't been sleeping on it since releasing 6 ft 7 ft, which was a song meant to be played at the loudest possible volume while driving around residential neighborhoods. Riker's certaintly didn't snatch this little man's flow away.

After Wayne we got a surprising showing from Diddy. You heard that right. The skinny man dancing weirdly in the back of the videos of all your favorite New York rappers released some tunes and it is decidedly NOT HALF BAD!

We also got Miguel, Ace Hood, Chris Brown, Waka Flocka Flame and more coming at ya.

Chris Brown - Look At Me Now feat. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes

She wax it all off, Mr Miyagi
And them suicide doors, Hari Kari

This song is fucking good. Chris Brown, besides being a pimp-ass dancer, holds his own in a fast rap battle against the champ of fast rap Busta and Lil' Wayne over a stylishly minimal, weeded-out beat. The video's sweet as hell too.

Miguel - Sure Thing

I'm the reporter baby
You could be the news

First off Miguel's taking a cue from Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga with that outfit. I aint hating, not many dudes can pull the robot lesbian dressed as Wesley Snipes look off. I got real mad when I heard this track for the first time, but it grew on me hard. It's got all tropes, like that deep voice shit Ludacris loves, but I paid closer attention to the beat and the lyrics and fell in love. This is the music grown-ups fuck to.

Lil Wayne - John feat. Rick Ross

The guns are drawn and I ain't talking about a sketch
I pay these niggas with a reality check

Rick Ross used to be a corrections officer and I think Lil Wayne can't even look at an Ak-47 without violating his parole, but you can't tell that from the song. This is pure gangsta rap at its finest. I don't get the John Lennon line of the chorus, and those bullshit rap analysis sites are giving whack explanations. There's probably something else to it than a dumb John Lennon reference in a song that definitely aint what Lennon would want his soft-ass name attached to.

Ace Hood - Hustle Hard (Remix feat. Lil Wayne and Rick Ross)

Free my nigga T.I.
Soowoo to the beehive
Got a G6 and a G5

I think I just like the track and the one above it because I have this image of Rick Ross and Lil Wayne as best friends running around eating pizza, going bowling due to the collabs they've been doing recently. Both of them just roll up on this track and casually make Ace Hood look dumb as hell, "I get on anybody track and hit that bitch with that Wayne train." Big ups to Wayne for the correct pronunciation of "pollo."

Diddy - Loving You No More feat. Drake

The way you talk to me but still I say I love you,
I'm ashamed you can see it in my eyes,
Momma always told me to respect the woman,
But what am I to do when her parents do not try,

You can take a look at the history of cool by looking at the evolution of Diddy's name. Puff Daddy came from the glitz of the late 90s and P. Diddy expressed the brevity of a post-9/11 world (that was a joke). The simple name "Diddy" now is all business, striping away the excess. If it weren't for Drake this would be a pretty boring song and there's way too much of "Dirty Money," who are the two hunnies that back Diddy up. Drake's nasal flow goes real well with Diddy's delicateness. Speaking of delicate, this is a great example of the difference between "soft" and "delicate." This is delicate--the proverbial hug after you proverbially slap ya girl (don't slap ya girl, ever). Soft is Wiz Khalifa's "Roll Up." Fuck that track. *Gunshot sound effect*

Mary J. Blige - Someone to Love Me (Remix feat. Diddy and Lil' Wayne)

everybody pushing but I don't fall back
and everybody looking but blind to the fact

I'm pretty sure Mary J. Blige actually does that looping effect with her voice. It ain't computered in--making the track twice as cool as I originally thought. I got a lot of respect for Mary J Blige. She keeps to songs about love and desire and unlike some of her peers (yeah i'm talking about Jill Scott) doesn't cheese out and do nauseating socially conscious music. Here she thugs the fuck out with Weezy and Diddy in what may be a Jefferson Airplane tribute.

That's it, son. Before I go want to say one more thing: Nicki Minaj been sleeping on it and Wiz Khalifa blows. Who the hell writes a song bout banging another dude's girl by being soft and dependable and shit?

Article by Jeffrey Silberman

18 May 2011

Aaron's Leaving! Who Cares?

A whole lot is about to change here at art/official. For one, I am about to move to LA. I got my dream internship with Red Light Management, and plan to use the connections to enhance art/official beyond what we ever could have imagined. This also means a whole new range of musicians to interview and share with all of our fans. Meanwhile back in NOLA, Justen and a team of new writers/photographers/videographers (we are still looking for more so shoot us an email if interested) will take art/official to an entirely new level. Content will be as fresh and original as ever as we work to cover New Orleans more closely than ever before. Our site is about to have a massive revamp as well. Professional web designer and musician (Sun Hotel), Alex Hertz, is working tirelessly to make the transition of art/official as smooth and beautiful as possible. All these new changes will be in full force by the middle of the summer. We can't wait to share them with you.

So tonight is my night. My last chance to gather everyone together to say goodbye before I enbark on my adventure. Come join me at The Saint- 961 St. Mary, to share in laughter/dancing/tears/and goodbyes. I will be DJing my usual mix of indie dance, disco, hip hop, and pop while many other very special guests will be making appearances and playing some tunes. Click here to peep the Facebook event, and look below for a track I can't seem to get out of my head as I anticipate my move.

Lots of love,




16 May 2011

[new] calgary - bon iver

i've been waiting for this a loooong time. calgary is the 8th track on the sophomore release of justin vernon's primary project, bon iver. the entire self-titled album is due out next month via jagjaguwar, but you can have this first taste for the small fee of an email address.


15 May 2011

[live review] Wilco, Arcade Fire, and The Strokes @ JazzFest

You remember JazzFest, right? That huge festival that went down last weekend? Anyway, sorry for the delay, but here's art/official's take on it...

As always, the americana heroes put on an excellent show.


Ashes of American Flags

Bull Black Nova

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart


Handshake Drugs

One Wing
A Shot In The Arm

Impossible Germany

Jesus, Etc. 

Airline To Heaven

You Never Know


I'm the Man Who Loves You

Red-Eyed and Blue

I Got You (At The End of the Century)

Hoodoo Voodoo


Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Heavy Metal Drummer

Jeff Tweedy


As soon as indie giants Arcade Fire took to JazzFest’s Acura Stage last Friday evening, it was clear that they were as happy to see us as we were happy to see them. Win Butler and company seemed very gracious to be in our fair city. Hailing from the recently devastated country of Haiti, Win’s right-hand woman Régine Chassagne felt very at home amidst the camaraderie of New Orleans. For a band that’s got a lot to be pretentious about, they came off as quite humble throughout the performance. But for Arcade Fire, humble does not equal boring — the wildly energetic show was jam-packed with their best songs spanning all three of their albums.

Goosebumps circulated through the crowd as the band tore into the appropriately titled opener “Ready To Start” from their Grammy award-winning album from last year, The Suburbs. Following that came Funeral dark horse “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)” to the delight of longtime fans, followed by Neon Bible’s catchy gem “Keep The Car Running.” This set the tone for the rest of sunset-laden concert. Later on in the set, before galloping into “The Suburbs,” Win explained that he and Régine wrote the song while driving around the South, and that the process was influenced directly or indirectly by the proximity to New Orleans. The last songs were even stronger than the first ones. The beginning of the end started when Win began to joke about a song that took place “in a far off land where white stuff falls out of the sky,” of course referring to the sincere and snowy sentiment found within “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels).” Next came to the loud and evocative “We Used To Wait,” then the raw power of “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),” and finally the give-and-take "oooh’s" of fist-pumper “Rebellion (Lies).”

Encores are never sure things at festivals, but Wilco had done one the day before in the same timeslot, so I figured Arcade Fire had something up their sleeves. What the band delivered is a super rare performance of their deep cut b-side “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” from the pre-debut 7” that was only released in rural Sweden. What a treat for the audience! And on top of that (as if it could get any better), Arcade Fire founding member Cyndi Lauper joined them onstage for it! Truly one for the indie rock record books, folks. After that was written in stone, Cyndi stuck around to accompany Régine on The Suburbs standout “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” Finally, in true Arcade Fire form, they finished with “Wake Up,” their epic hit of hits.

Arcade Fire put on a headlining show of great proportions. The eight men and women of the Canadian band are on top of the world right now. Without a doubt, they will be remembered as one of the most important bands of our generation. That fact was proven last Friday, and embodied perfectly in their exceptional set.


After five years of silence post-First Impressions of Earth in 2006, The Strokes are back on tour with Angles, bringing their distinctive New York garage rock to festivals across the globe. Their Jazz Fest gig followed knock-out performances by Wilco and Arcade Fire the previous two days, inevitably setting the bar very high. As more seasoned festival fogies jammed out to Jimmy Buffet on the main Acura Stage, thousands welcomed The Strokes into the ungodly Louisiana heat. The quintet kicked off their set with “Gratisfaction,” a gem off their latest album. This tune seemed an appropriate opener, perhaps soothing the crowd for waiting all this time with the its first line, “Oh baby don’t you be so mad because I barely remember…” I, however, was disappointed that they failed to include “Machu Picchu” with its danceable steel-drum-esque backdrop. Regardless, the rest of the 18-song set was peppered with the necessary favorites: sexy “Juicebox” and “Reptilia” (which lead singer Julian Casablancas referred to as “reptilica”), a drawling “Is This It”, and that snarky groove “New York City Cops.” The instrumentation was tight, and Nick Valensi’s guitar solos could have been straight off a recording (in the best way).

Although the band receives criticism for their stage presence, (Who likes a band for their charisma anyway? But I digress…) all five Strokes seemed to be feeling good. Even Julian was making self-deprecating attempts to talk about jazz during technical difficulties.

The set ended suddenly with “Take It or Leave It,” which was again, appropriate, since they practically ran off the stage afterwards. The crowd held their breath for an encore, but things were looking bleak as soon as background music came on and roadies began unplugging equipment. I snagged a setlist after chatting up a security guy and then headed straight for the Gentilly Stage Artist Drop-Off. Eventually, the Strokes five came down the ramp. During our brief interactions I facetiously asked Julian to enlighten me more about New Orleans Jazz. He mused, “Well jazz funerals…” and then laughed. Upon questioning bassist Nikolai Fraiture about the abrupt exit, he shrugged bashfully.
What can ya do? For this starry-eyed fangirl, hearing the older hits was enough. Maybe hopeful Strokesies can look to Bonnaroo next month for
retribution. Between playing short sets, mumbly band banter, waiting five years between albums, and foregoing an encore, it is evident that The Strokes will only do The Strokes.

Wilco Photos, Arcade Fire Article, and Composition by: Connor Crawford
Arcade Fire Photos, Strokes Article, and Strokes Photos by: Justine Bird