Music

Shortstraw: growing up, staying young

KYLE OBERHOLZER

Johannesburg indie rock sensation Shortstraw have drawn massive crowds to performances with hits like “Bikini weather” and “Good morning, Sunshine”. Perdeby spoke to the band about their latest album, Youthless.

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Notes on love: prominent couples in the music industry

KOJO ESSAH AND ELMARIEKRUGER

Couples are everywhere. We see them in our schools, on the streets, even on our televisions. We know about TV and movie star- couples such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie but when it comes to couples in music we tend to know less about the blossoming relationships that are currently occurring in our music industry. This Valentine’s, Perdeby is going to highlight the famous love-pairs in today’s music world.

Alicia Keys, considered to be one of the greatest R&B singers of our generation is currently married to hip-hop producer Kasseem Dean, better known as Swizz Beatz. Alicia Keys came to musical prominence with the release of her debut music album Songs in a Minor. She has won over 105 awards for both her music and acting. Swizz Beatz has produced many hit singles for popular artists such as Chris Brown and Whitney Houston and has enjoyed success from other ventures. The couple got married in Corsica on 31 July 2010, and have a son called Egypt Daoud.

Read more: Notes on love: prominent couples in the music industry

Die Heuwels Fantasties launch latest album, Ja. Nee. Lekker.

KYLE OBERHOLZER

While most Highveld South Africans were migrating to some or other coastal paradise last December, a small group of people remained behind in Pretoria to assemble at the Atterbury Theatre for the launch of Die Heuwels Fantasties’ latest album, Ja. Nee. Lekker. It was a strange event attended in large part by families and middle aged groups, rather than the head-banging, alcohol-fuelled student crowd that one might normally associate with the electro-pop group. 

Seated venues can tend to detract from the atmosphere of a high energy performance such as this one, however it did not stop the group from introducing many of the songs from the new album and revisiting some older favourites like “Pille vir Kersfees” with as much fervour and enthusiasm as one could ask for. The new album remains entirely Afrikaans, in keeping with the band’s history, and it retains the electro/pop rock sound that they have become known for and which, even in a seated theatre, brought the crowd to their feet for the last few songs.

Ja. Nee. Lekker almost seems to carry a sense of urgency through its 10 songs. It is fast, energetic and made up of many quick-changing, feel-good chord progressions. Synth sounds and extra instrumentation are abundant in the album and help to fill the space and keep the sound together. However, due to a live performance with only 3 guitars (bass, electric and acoustic) and drums, the feel of the album struggles to emerge on stage. Hopefully as the new songs receive more stage time during tours they will gain a live personality that better reflects their album versions.

Read more: Die Heuwels Fantasties launch latest album, Ja. Nee. Lekker.

B4.DA.$$ Joey Badass

 KOJO ESSAH

Joey Badass is an American hip-hop artist who gained worldwide popularity with his critically acclaimed debut mixtape 1999 in 2012. His debut album B4.DA.$$ marks his entry into mainstream music with a compilation teeming with excellent production and meaningful lyrics, even though it suffers from noticeable inconsist­encies.

Read more: B4.DA.$$ Joey Badass

Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

ELMARIE KRUGER

American Beauty/American Psycho is alternative rock outfit Fall Out Boy’s sixth studio album. With their prior albums producing a string of memorable hits, it is only natural for fans to expect that their sixth album would be no different. The Chicago rockers have delivered, with “Centuries”, the first single to be taken from the album, taking only a short time to reach Platinum status.

The album opens with a strong track entitled “Irresistible”, and from the get-go the listener knows that they can expect another explosive delivery from the band. Lead singer Patrick Stump’s clear, robust voice delivers the song’s clever, punchy lyrics without hesitation.

The album’s title track “American Beauty/American Psycho” was co-written by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame. This collaboration becomes clear in the track’s rushed, drum-driven melody.

The first, so far most successful and most recognizable single from the album, “Centuries”, samples Suzanne Vega’s 1987 single, “Tom’s diner”. The song has a Rome-themed music video featuring the band members as gladiators battling a Goliath figure. The song once again prominently features Stump’s powerful vocals and its commanding chorus is what makes it memorable.

Read more: Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

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Perdeby Poll

Will you be attending OppiKoppi this year?

I don't trust the dust, even if there are Mangoes - 59.3%
Oppi is an institution, I wouldn't miss it for the world - 25.9%
But daisies though... - 14.8%

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