Another song to throw into the summer mix is "Feeling Electric" from Parade of Lights. The anthemic electro-pop track is a soaring piece of ear candy that deserves to be played everywhere this holiday weekend.
As we near the end of June, many pop music pundits have yet to decide on an official Song of Summer for this year. And while I have plenty of suggestions up my sleeve (Seriously, have you not checked out Tinie Tempah and Jess Glynne's fantastic "Not Letting Go"?), I'd like to direct your attention to a song that has continued to mesmerize me during this steamy season: "Body Talk" by British songstress Foxes.
The 80s-flavored, mid-tempo jam just got a music video, and it is a colorfully gritty piece that suits the song well. See why some of us can't resist this slice of pop perfection:
For those of you eagerly awaiting the return of Miss Jackson, now's your chance to soak up the mid-tempo groove of her debut single, "No Sleeep," from her highly anticipated untitled album coming out this fall.
What can we say about it? It's classic Janet, courtesy of her longtime collaborators, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. We're feeling the silky, rhythmic jam, especially when her vocals kick in at the 2:27 mark, reminding us of the sexiness that was 1993's "That's The Way Love Goes."
Bonnie McKee's newest single, "Bombastic," gets the gloriously over-the-top 80s aerobics-video treatment (right down to the glitchy-VHS look), and we're loving every David Richardson-directed frame of it.
Somewhere in downtown L.A. (at the corner of E. Olympic and S. Santa Fe, to be exact) there's a warehouse where the late 90s and early aughts are alive and well -- thanks to a rollicking production based on one of the most influential rock bands of the past 20 years.
Crafted from the iconic Grammy-winning album by Green Day, the stage adaptation of American Idiot chronicles the frustration, anger, and dreams of a lost American generation as they struggle to find meaning in a post 9/11 world. Directed by Topher Rhys and Jen Oundjian, with musical direction by Elmo Zapp, the high-octane, 90-minute show is an immersive experience that never lets go of its audience, thanks to the powerhouse performances that charge every inch of the industrial venue.
Among those memorable performances are a couple of showstoppers from Payson Lewis and Lindsay Pearce. You may have caught their YoutTube cover of the band's classic "Basket Case." Or maybe you've already caught one of their electrifying turns in For The Record, the cabaret-like troupe that has been taking West Hollywood by storm over at DBA. And if you haven't, then once you catch American Idiot (now through June 7), you'll become a fan.
And here's what happened when we caught up with the talented twosome...
HIH: What was the first Green Day song you remember hearing?
Lindsay Pearce (LP): I feel like it was "When I Come Around." I think that played on the alt-rock station at least three times a week in my hometown.
Payson Lewis (PL): "BASKET CASE!" I loved the song right away. In fact, it made me go out and buy Dookie which was my very first CD!
What is it about the music of American Idiot that resonates with you?
LP: For me, it's timeless. And it touches a spectrum of emotion that really gets me right in my gut. I love that they've added strings in the musical, and the arrangements are beautiful.
PL: I just love the Green Day sound. There's nothing else like it in musical theater. It's just so exciting to get to tell a story with a pop-punk soundtrack!
Do you have any pre-show rituals you do before a performance?
LP: I'm one of those that takes two hours to get ready for a show. I would freak out if I had less time. I like to warm up and have tea and make sure everything is set. Sometimes I'll do some physical exercises, and I do this weird thing where I hide water bottles in spots where I know I'll be holding so I can chug it all during the show. I feel like when I'm rushed, I forget things!
PL: Well, we all like to dance backstage before the show. And we tend to like late 90s and early 2000s hip-hop. Ludacris, Blackstreet, Jay-Z...Gets us pumped!
What's your dream gig?
LP: Indiana Jones. Always. (Broadway)
PL: I would love to be a series regular on a TV show by day...and a gigging musician/songwriter by night!
What are 3 embarrassing songs we might find in your iTunes?
LP: Just three? I mean, I have every soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so there's that. I have this amazing symphonic metal cover of the "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" theme song, definitely have "Let It Go" from Frozen in there somewhere, and if this hasn't been enough of a laugh, I have six different covers of "Wonderwall" by different artists, NOT including Oasis. Go ahead. Swipe right.
PL: Man, my entire iTunes library is embarrassing. I'm a total sucker for smash pop hits. I won't be specific but I will admit to having more than one One Direction song in my library!
What's one embarrassing tweet you regret?
LP: Oh God. I honestly don't know. I'm sure I've tweeted some stupid stuff. I remember one time, I tweeted about trying to flirt with a guy at the grocery store, and that when I got home, I realized I still had zit cream on my pimples. And I'm bringing it up again now. I slaved over how to get the characters down to 140, too.
PL: One time I went bowling and was in a lane next to Nick Jonas. We got to talking...and when I went home I tweeted an invitation to him to bowl again sometime...it was..awkward.
Any post-show treats you like to indulge in?
LP: After opening night of American Idiot, I ate a bowl of mac and cheese. So that was awesome. But if there's ever a taco truck or a burrito place around, that's usually what I go for. Or French fries. Then copious amounts of sleep. My brothers are going to be really proud of these answers.
PL: French fries, french fries, and a side of French fries. They're just TOO delicious.
If you've been living under a social media rock for the past couple of days, you should know that the annual, take-off-your-shirt-and-get-sweaty-under-a-tent musicfest that is Coachella has officially kicked off for the next two weekends in the sweltering Southern California desert.
And here are some past and present opportunities to ogle the tight torsos and sunburnt beefcake that tends to populate the festival grounds...
It may not be Thursday, but we're sensing some serious TBT realness after watching this fantastic display of showmanship.
Not only does an 11-year-old, pre-Mickey Mouse Club Ryan Gosling manage to give us face in a brief close-up, he demonstrates a swagger we wish we had at that age! And all of it done to a remix of Cathy Dennis's "Touch Me (All Night Long)"!
February 15 marked the 30th anniversary of one of our all-time favorite movies, and we couldn't have imagined a better way to celebrate the milestone.
The Breakfast Club is just one of the many movies gloriously retold through song in For The Record's Dear John Hughes, a marvelous musical tribute to the director who gave the world one unforgettable oeuvre...and The Brat Pack. The cabaret-style show is one giant mashup of memorable scenes from his most popular films, punctuated by a series of endlessly entertaining Reagan-era tunes.
HIH was honored to be invited to the opening night of this spectacular show at DBA Hollywood. (It was our fifth time attending the troupe's showcase, so you may have heard us rave about them before.) Needless to say, the 80s nostalgia was in full effect. Every performance was a powerhouse, including our Best New Crush of 2014, Payson Lewis, making this one of the hottest tickets in town. (Spotted several seats away from us? Glee's Chris Colfer.)
And yes, there was cake at the afterparty where we got to meet 80s icon Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Some Kind of Wonderful). Talk about one degree of separation: our friends at Bello Mag had done a spread on her daughter, Zoey Deutsch, last year.
The surprise of the night? Evan Rachel Wood killing it as both Ally Sheedy in TBC and Mary Stuart Masterson in Some Kind of Wonderful.
We can honestly say this is one of the best live musical experiences in Los Angeles. Get your tickets here now.
You can also sample some of the knockout performances here:
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