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Laura Jane Grace on Donald Trump’s Transgender Action: ‘F–k Off’

February 24th, 2017 · Guitar

In the years since Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender, she has become one of music’s most outspoken voices for trans rights. On Wednesday night, the Trump administration sent a letter to public schools asking them to annul special protections for transgender students. The action was the result of a struggle between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the latter of whom opposed it and only reluctantly signed off on it. 

To Grace, the action symbolizes a bleak future for the way the administration works with transgender people. As the dust settled, the singer – whose band will be touring with Green Day beginning March 1st – spoke with Rolling Stone to share her views on how she thinks it will affect the transgender community.

What was your first reaction to Trump’s action?
The knee-jerk thought is “fucking figures.” It’s fucking stupid. It’s unfortunately not surprising to me at all, and it’s kind of predictable and seems so transparent that this is an administration that doesn’t fucking care about transgender people.

The previous administration was the first to even acknowledge transgender people and that was really an amazing feeling, like, “Whoa. The government has your back as a transgender person or is even acknowledging your existence.” There’s something that’s somehow more evil about an administration actively going out and trying to take away rights as opposed to the previous administrations before the Obama administration that just didn’t do anything. There’s just something that much more fucked up about going out of your way to be like, “We’re taking that protection away from you.”

“This is an administration that doesn’t fucking care about transgender people.”

Last June, Trump tweeted his support of the LGBT community and when he was campaigning, he said Caitlyn Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted in Trump Tower. He’s flip-flopping on his personal views for his cabinet.
Right, but again, it’s not surprising to me. It echoes most of the transgender community’s criticism of Caitlyn Jenner’s naïveté for thinking that Trump or the Republican administration will give a shit or do anything to protect LGBT people, never mind going out of their way to take back protections.

Conversely, The New York Times reported that Betsy DeVos – whose family has given money to anti-gay organizations – opposed the action, citing the suicide rate among trans students.
My understanding is that she was voicing opposition to this and that it was Sessions and ultimately Trump who were like, “Nope. Go ahead and let’s go along with this.” But it just goes to show that she’s kind of a pushover and that he’s surrounding himself with people who will ultimately do his bidding; people he can steamroll who aren’t going to oppose his ultimate agenda.

And it’s not just this action by the administration toward transgender people that’s scary. It’s the overall agenda of making certain groups of people seem less than other groups of people and how that contributes to discrimination and allows people to treat other people as subhuman. You are stating, “These people are not equal to these other people. They don’t deserve protection.” And it’s just fucked up.

Interestingly, DeVos included a provision saying that the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights should investigate attacks “against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.”
I don’t think it’s enough. And I know that enforcing protections, for the most part, is being left up to the states now. But I don’t think it’s enough. I don’t think suicide hotlines are enough. I don’t think that waiting until it’s that much of a problem is enough. I just think it’s ridiculous in this day and age.

Can states handle these decisions?
Saying it’s a states’ rights thing essentially means OK-ing what’s happening in like North Carolina with bills similar to HB2. You’re giving the state the right to discriminate them.

What would you like to see happen next, legally, with regard to this action?
I just think it’s a continual battle for education. So many people are ignorant when it comes to gender identity and what it means to be trans. So many people are ignorant around the bathroom issue in particular.

It’s insane that it’s something that’s so heated or so misunderstood. It’s insane that it’s a reality for transgender people, that it’s my reality. Most of the time, I will just wait to use the fucking bathroom, and not do it in public. I feel so strongly about it being an issue for students because I remember there always being traumatic issues around restrooms in elementary school when I was growing up, and this is not even being out as a transgender person but just the experience of being a student and using a locker room or a bathroom and already feeling unprotected. You’re creating that much more dangerous of an environment for transgender students.

What organizations do you work with regarding trans rights?
Most of the charity work I’ve been doing has been funneled through Gender Is Over. The focus of where the funds go to is always different, but it’s always a trans-centered legal organization, or they send books to prisoners or something.

My attitude has always been that as an activist who’s a musician, the best thing that I can do is to contribute financially and have those funds directed to places that I know are going to be out there fighting for change on a legal level, like the Transgender Legal Defense Fund, because I’m just not personally in the position where I can be pursuing change on a legal level. I’m a person in a band, you know? I’m going on fucking tour with Green Day. So the best thing I can do is talk about it and try to educate people and then whatever funds I can raise, to direct that towards the people who are doing work on a legal level to create change in that way. You have to come at it from as many angles as you can.

Since you have the great platform of touring with Green Day, will be you be distributing information or educational materials via your merch table?
Well, we’re going back to North Carolina. Whenever we’re there, I invite any local groups that want to come out and flyer to do so. A part of the punk-show history or culture is having organizations out there and having them present. So I’m still encouraging anyone who wants to hand out information on what you can do on a local community level to do so. Other than that, I’ll be speaking directly to it onstage.

Do you have a personal message to Donald Trump?
“Fuck off.” [Laughs]. No, a personal message to Trump … I don’t even know where to begin. He seems so unrelatable. The simplistic idea of saying, “Oh, everyone deserves equal rights and equal protections” … I don’t even know. I just wish this wasn’t a reality.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/laura-jane-grace-on-trumps-transgender-action-fuck-off-w468560

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Watch Migos, 2 Chainz Attend Morbid Funeral in ‘Deadz’ Video

February 24th, 2017 · Guitar

Migos and 2 Chainz take hip-hop’s apocryphal “dead presidents” trope to an outrageous extreme in the new video for “Deadz.”

In the video, the Atlanta trio resurrected George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin by tossing stacks of money into their open caskets. The outrageous “Deadz” clip features pallbearers in diamond-studded masks and 2 Chainz, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff spitting their equally extravagant verses from a balcony overlooking a chamber orchestra performing the song’s sweeping instrumentals.

“Deadz” appears Migos’ new album, Culture, which arrived in January and debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 album chart. The “Deadz” clip follows previously released videos for “T-Shirt,” “Call Casting,” and the trio’s chart-topping single with Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Offset spoke about the day he came up with the song’s “raindrop/drop-top” hook, saying, “I had some little situations going on with life, family stuff going down, so I went downstairs to record. Sometimes that’s the best time to get music off – you might be mad, make some crazy shit.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-migos-2-chainz-attend-morbid-funeral-in-deadz-video-w468581

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How Zedd’s Star-Studded ACLU Benefit Came Together in 72 Hours

February 24th, 2017 · Guitar

America is the third country Anton Zaslavski has called home. The Grammy-winning producer, who performs as Zedd, was born in Russia and raised in Germany. He now resides in Los Angeles – in his “studio bubble” – where he’s amassed professional credits that read like the table of contents of a tabloid: Lady Gaga, Kesha, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, to name a few.

The 27-year-old producer is hardly a political artist, but when the Trump administration unveiled the contentious travel ban, the visa-reliant musician felt compelled to do something more visibly empowering than “tweet and donate.” En route to his show in Salt Lake City, Zaslavski decided to plan a benefit concert for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He had no experience securing venues or performers. But within three days, he had both.

On April 3rd, 13 acts, including ex-Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello, Imagine Dragons (who are taking a special jet just to attend), Macklemore, Incubus, Tinashe and his bestie Skrillex, will perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for free. It’s the largest-scale, youngest-skewing benefit concert organized in North America since the election and the only recent concert organized by a non-U.S. citizen who is also a millennial.

“I think you could get artists to perform for free much more if it’s for something that’s connected to the world,” Zaslavski tells Rolling Stone. The precocious musician also spoke about his workhorse professional style (“I’m kind of a pain in the ass to work with”) and his longtime love of Incubus.

As someone who grew up outside of America, do you feel you have a unique perspective on the travel ban?
To be honest, [the travel ban] hasn’t directly affected me in any way. I also realize we’re only a couple weeks into this presidency. But coming from someone who was born in one country, lived in another and then in another – without a visa or a green card – I do feel a personal connection to what’s happening. And I like what the ACLU stands for. It’s not necessarily anti-Trump. It fights for everyone’s liberties. With this concert, I just want to reach people and make them more aware; let them make their own decisions. 

What band are you especially proud of booking for the concert?
It was really important to me that this wasn’t just an EDM show. I wanted the lineup to be multicultural and to have each genre equally represented – some rap, electronic, rock, pop. Skrillex was obviously the first to respond – he’s my best friend. But Incubus, for example, is a band I grew up with. [They were] part of my musical education. I used to watch their Alive at Red Rocks DVD all the time, so I grew up wanting to play that stage the most. “Drive” really grabbed me and my friends. And A Crow Left of The Murder is one of my favorite albums.

The Crow single “Megalomaniac” certainly seems like an appropriate song choice.
Yeah, and do you remember the video? I was really confused by it at the time, but if you go back and watch, it’s more relevant now than when it came out.

What other bands did you listen to growing up?
Genesis, Yes, King Crimson. I tend to enjoy music with a lot of thought in it.

You decided to work with Justin Bieber on “Beauty and the Beat” because you were impressed he came to the studio on time. Are you a strict producer?
I can be hard to work with. Like, for vocals some people will be in and out after three takes. I prefer 10 to 15 times at the very least. I’m a perfectionist. With singing, each breath changes the expression of the word. Caring about every detail is an advantage and a disadvantage. I can be a pain in the ass because I’m so particular about details that don’t matter to anyone else but me. I’ll push an entire release if a detail is wrong that I know no one will see or hear. But it’s also how I achieve a really clean sound.

How did your perfectionism come out in organizing this show?
When we were designing the show poster, we went through a ton of revisions until I felt each artist was represented equally. You know, some logos appear larger than others because of the font and style. I was playing with the logo sizes until an hour and a half before the announcement. I tend to overthink things [Laughs]. 

There’s a YouTube video of you at age nine playing piano. Your parents are both career musicians. What was your practice regimen like when you were a kid?
My mom taught me how to play the piano and my dad was always recording us. They set it up where learning music was like a competition, which motivated me. I wanted to prove to them I could learn a song in a week. When I got older and lazier, they got me a piano teacher. But around age 12, I made a cold break and started playing drums instead.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you onstage?
When my English was really bad, I didn’t use the microphone at all. And Skrillex, who I toured with a lot, was like, “You have to talk to the crowd.” But even asking people to shine their [cell phone] lights was a lot for me [Laughs]. It took me a long time before I felt comfortable. One time, I addressed the crowd as Los Angeles when I played New York. It was really embarrassing. 

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/how-zedds-star-studded-aclu-benefit-came-together-in-72-hours-w467840

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Watch the 2017 BRIT Awards Live Stream

February 23rd, 2017 · Guitar

The 2017 BRIT Awards are live-streaming in the above YouTube video. The ceremony, hosted at London’s O2 Arena, includes performances by Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, the 1975, Emeli Sandé and more, along with a tribute to the late George Michael.

David Bowie, the 1975 and Rihanna each earned multiple nominations at the event, which honors music related both in the U.K. and worldwide. Little Mix and Mercury Prize-winning grime artist Skepta lead the nominees with three nods apiece.

Bowie’s Blackstar and the 1975′s I Like It When You Sleep for You Are Beautiful Yet so Unaware of It are both nominated for British Album of the Year, alongside Skepta’s Konnichiwa, Michael Kiwanuka’s Love Hate and Kano’s Made in the Manor. Bowie, who was honored at last year’s ceremony in a tribute featuring Lorde’s version of “Life on Mars,” is also nominated for British Male Solo Artist.

Radiohead are nominated in the British Group category against the 1975, Bastille, Biffy Clyro and Little Mix.

A full nominee list is available at the Brit Awards website.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-the-2017-brit-awards-live-stream-w468326

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The Mountain Goats Announce New Album ‘Goths’

February 23rd, 2017 · Guitar

The Mountain Goats have announced their forthcoming album. The follow-up to 2015′s Beat the Champ, Goths will arrive this spring. The group also unveiled the LP’s first single, “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds.”

While their previous album was a concept LP on wrestling, Goths focuses on its namesake’s culture with the added perspective of time. “While [frontman] John [Darnielle] writes the songs, as he always has, it feels more than ever like he’s speaking for all of us in the band, erstwhile goths (raises hand) or otherwise,” bassist Peter Hughes said in a statement about the album’s theme. “For these are songs that approach an identity most often associated with youth from a perspective that is inescapably adult.”

On their reflective new song, “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds,” Darnielle tells the imagined story of the Sisters of Mercy frontman returning to the town of their youth where the band first formed. “Nobody ever gets away,” Darnielle sings. “Even the best of us come back someday/ to the unmarked rooms/ where the dry dust breeds.”

“His friends give him a hard time about ending up back where he started, but not because they’re mad; it’s good to see an old friend wearing the marks of time on his hands and face like well-loved tattoos,” Darnielle said in a statement about the lyrics that address one of his teenage heroes. “So shall it be in these times: your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions, and Andrew Eldritch, whose music has reached spirits in every corner of the globe, will move back to Leeds.”

Goths arrives on May 19th via Merge and is available for pre-order.

Goths Track List

1. “Rain in Soho”
2. “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds”
3. “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”
4. “We do it Different on the West Coast”
5. “Unicorn Tolerance”
6. “Stench of the Unburied”
7. “Wear Black”
8. “Paid in Cocaine”
9. “Rage of Travers”
10. “Shelved”
11. “For the Portuguese Goth Metal Bands”
12. “Abandoned Flesh”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-mountain-goats-announce-new-album-goths-w468442

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See Duncan Jones, Michael C. Hall Accept BRIT Awards for David Bowie

February 23rd, 2017 · Guitar

David Bowie‘s son Duncan Jones and actor Michael C. Hall accepted awards on behalf of the late legend during the BRIT Awards on Wednesday. Jones collected his father’s Album of the Year award for 2016′s Blackstar and Hall received Bowie’s Best Male Solo Artist award.

Noel Gallagher, who referred to Bowie as “the king,” presented the Album of the Year award to Jones. Bowie’s filmmaker son reflected on family legacy during his acceptance speech.

“I lost my dad last year, but I also became a dad and I was spending a lot of time, after getting over the shock, of trying to work out what would I want my son to know about his granddad,” he said. “And I think it would be the same thing that most of my dad’s fans have taken over the last 50 years: That he’s always been there supporting people who think they’re a little bit weird or a little bit strange – a little bit different.

“And he’s always been there for them,” he continued. “So this award is for all the kooks and all the people who make the kooks.”

Hall drew on humor to open his acceptance speech. “If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn’t be here tonight,” Hall said. Hall starred in Bowie’s musical Lazarus and has previously performed Bowie tributes including “Lazarus” and “Changes.”

The actor, who also said Bowie inspired him to be a better man, accepted the award on behalf of the singer and his family and said he would “accept this testament to a man beholden to nothing but his own boundless imagination and daring whose ever expanding artistic vitality simultaneously soothes us and sears us and astonishes us,” Hall said, then looking skyward added, “Maybe he is here tonight, I don’t know.”

The BRITs also featured tributes to George Michael, which included a speech from Michael’s Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley and their backing singers Pepsi Shirlie, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed “A Different Corner” while archival footage of Michael was shown.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/duncan-jones-michael-hall-accept-david-bowies-brit-awards-w468460

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Review: Future Still Swimming in Dark Waters on Self-Titled Fifth Album

February 23rd, 2017 · Guitar

Two years after his sepulchral watermark DS2, the dual sides of Future‘s artistic persona appear to be set in stone. There is the pill-popping trap king whose hypnotic and watery tones seem to reflect a darkness of the soul. Then there is the jumpy, ecstatic Atlanta kid who just wants to fuck up some commas, whether he’s stunting on the sidelines of an Atlanta Falcons playoff rout, or dabbing alongside frequent collaborators DJ Esco and Metro Boomin on BET Jams.

Unfortunately, it’s the former guise that Future has clung to the hardest. And who can blame him? Much of Southern rap seems transfixed by the DS2 sound, whether it’s the bleak talk-raps of 21 Savage, the pop-leavened strip-club ditties of Rae Sremmurd, or the hazy lyrical jabberwocky of Migos. However, recent Future projects like 2016′s Purple Reign and Evol sagged from a surfeit of horror-movie synth washes and paranoid, Xanax-coated murmurings. There was too little of the joy that he freely exhibited on cameos and one-off singles like “Used to This,” his infectiously goofy hit single from last fall.

Future’s first album of 2017 doesn’t mark a shift from his recent, downcast offerings. (However, the just-announced Hndrxx, which drops a mere week after Future on February 24th, is rumored to be more radio-friendly.) But give him credit: Future improves upon his 2016 output. Although the 17-track, hour-long affair lasts way too long, Future sounds fully engaged. He pronounces “Good Dope” with gruff, uncharacteristic working-class humility, speaking the chorus as if shrugging, “I do good, though.” He licks off bird chirps on “Zoom,” chants “Scr-scr-scrape” in a lilt on “Scrape,” then harmonizes “Draco season with the bookbag/Rat-tat got a little kick back” on “Draco” as if he were floating down Miami Beach’s Ocean Avenue in a drop-top. When Future’s on, he can conjure the most oddly entrancing vocal melodies this side of Young Thug.

Lyrically, Future vacillates between thug ruthlessness, where he compares himself to Nicky Barnes, Big Meech and other American gangsters (“I need a power of attorney/I’m about to fuck up some M’s”) and a stream-of-trap-consciousness that makes his brief moments of vulnerability stand out (“Gotta be in a rush I can’t be running out of time/What you mean what’s on my mind?”) On “Might as Well,” he recounts his past and present hard times as he raps, “I got real niggas still Crippin’/Child support gettin’ heavy/It’s hard not to get offended.” Meanwhile, there are some fantastic beats, like Southside, Fuse and Illmind’s woozy bounce rhythm on “Zoom,” Metro Boomin’s screwed-and-dusted sample loops on “Masks Off,” and Southside and Jake One’s twanging vibrato effects on “Outta Time.”

However, Future stumbles with a few unnecessary skits – not to mention that moment when he channels President Trump’s sexual assault braggadocio by rapping, “Grabbing that pussy like Donald” on “High Demand.” Or when he says, “Fuck your squad, they some queers” over the digital bleats of “I’m So Groovy.” Or when uses “Rent Money” to slut-shame various RB and rap “bitches.” For this ATL trendsetter, occasionally sounding like a macho jerk is part of a life spent swimming with the sharks.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/review-futures-future-w468302

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Chainsmokers, Coldplay Meld Styles on New Song ‘Something Just Like This’

February 23rd, 2017 · Guitar

The Chainsmokers and Coldplay fuse their respective styles on the new collaborative single “Something Just Like This,” four minutes of breezy EDM grooves and widescreen arena-pop hooks. 

Chris Martin sings about looking for an ordinary love – not “somebody with some superhuman gifts/ some superhero, some fairy tale bliss” – as frothy synth pads swell into a massive chorus. Throughout, the frontman showcases his vocal range, building from a low croon to a higher-octave yelp. Meanwhile, guitarist Jonny Buckland offers a signature, spiraling guitar solo at the track’s climax.

“Something Just Like This” will feature on the Chainsmokers’ debut LP, Memories: Do Not Open, out April 7th. In January, the duo released their first single of the year, “Paris,” which landed at Number Eight on the Billboard Top 40.

The group enlisted Chris Martin to mark the song’s live debut Wednesday at the BRIT Awards:

The Chainsmokers, who broke out with their 2014 single “#Selfie,” recently announced a North American tour launching April 13th in Miami. The trek stretches across the U.S., with a pair of Canadian stops, and closes June 10th in New York City.

The group earned three top 10 hits throughout 2016, including “Closer,” which spent 12 total weeks at Number One. They also earned a trio of nominations at the 2017 Grammy Awards – including a Best Dance Recording win for “Don’t Let Me Down.” 

Find out five things you didn’t know about the Chainsmokers. Watch here.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/chainsmokers-coldplay-unite-for-something-just-like-this-w468395

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Watch Chris Martin’s Poignant George Michael Tribute at BRIT Awards

February 23rd, 2017 · Guitar

The 2017 BRIT Awards remembered George Michael‘s legacy Wednesday with a pair of tributes as the singer’s Wham! bandmates saluted Michael before Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed his 1986 song “A Different Corner.”

Michael’s Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley and the duo’s backing singers Pepsi Shirlie (real names Helen DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman) came onstage following the In Memoriam portion of the ceremony to eulogize the singer.

“On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era, and my beloved friend, George Michael, was lost,” Ridgeley said in his first non-social media comments following Michael’s death.

“A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished, and it felt like the sky had fallen in. It started out ordinarily enough: In 1975, we were two boys that happened to share a mutual sense of humor, a love of life-affirming music, the records and artists it gave birth to, and a shared sense that we understood it.”

Ridgeley, DeMacque and Holliman then recounted their early days together and personal memories of the late singer. “George’s contribution to the great archive of contemporary music rests alongside the immortals,” Ridgeley added. “His is a legacy of unquestionable brilliance and one that will continue to shine and resonate for generations to come.”

Following the tribute, Coldplay’s Chris Martin took the BRIT Awards stage to sing “A Different Corner.” During the performance, the Brits’ screen showed archival footage of Michael, with the singer admitting, “I never really wanted to be somebody else.”

Following another Martin verse, the screen behind the Coldplay singer again projected Michael, who took over singing “A Different Corner.” Through some immaculate timing, Martin and the archival Michael performance sang together for the remainder of the tribute.

Martin previously remembered Michael with a rendition of “Last Christmas” following the singer’s December 25th death. Adele provided the Michael tribute at the 2017 Grammys.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-chris-martins-george-michael-tribute-at-brit-awards-w468397

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Mariah Carey Talks New Love, Why NYE Performance Was a ‘Chaotic Mess’

February 22nd, 2017 · Guitar

The first thing you expect to see when you walk through the security-access gate of Mariah Carey‘s sprawling rented estate in Beverly Hills, where she moved in just weeks ago, is something excessive. And there it is: two towering pillars of pink, magenta and metallic-colored balloons, swaying in the early afternoon breeze on either side of the main house’s entrance, a holdover two days out from Valentine’s Day. It’s not surprising, really – she loves to be festive. After all, she’s become the reigning queen of Christmas with her evergreen “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and even celebrated the holiday a second time in January 2016, just a week after getting engaged to billionaire James Packer.

Fast-forward to now and Carey started off the year by clearing the cache. She broke off the engagement with Packer in October, and documented some of it on her audacious reality series Mariah’s World, where she connected with her current boyfriend, dancer/choreographer Bryan Tanaka. During Rolling Stone‘s February 16th visit, Tanaka is looming around the estate, pattering after his pup, a tongue-wagging four-year-old pitbull named Mila whom he quarters off in the pool area next to the two-story guest house where “Dem Babies” – codename for Carey’s five-year-old twins – are hanging out. It was just a week prior that Carey released her YG-assisted single “I Don’t,” a sort of musical purging of her ex, emphasized by a music video in which she burns the $250,000 dress that she planned to marry him while wearing.

It makes sense that she would want a fresh start, particularly in this secluded, overgrown Los Angeles home, complete with a tennis court and next-level jungle gym, that’s valued at $100,000 a month and features nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. But she’s clearing her mind and separating herself from the clutter, particularly the storm cloud that currently hovers over her career: a performance on New Year’s Eve that was widely acknowledged as disastrous, one where she sputtered through her hits “We Belong Together” and “Emotions,” which sent her on both a media and social media hiatus in the time since.

“I don’t even want to bring this up too much, but whatever, we’re obviously talking about it, the New Year’s Eve situation – that couldn’t be helped,” she says, talking to Rolling Stone inside her home. In person, she’s glamorous, her hoop earrings studded with glimmering diamonds, gold buttons accenting her black dress, a butterfly ring cozying up to her gleaming silver nail polish. She stares at you directly in the eyes the entire time she talks, except when she rolls her eyes at a question she doesn’t love, in classic Mimi form.

Her explanation for NYE today matches the statement she released shortly after the fiasco, to combat Dick Clark Production’s refutation that they ignored her request to fix a problem with her in-ear monitors prior to the show. “It’s just something where if I can’t explain it to the entire world, then they’re not going to understand it, because it’s not what they do. Just like I wouldn’t understand somebody who had a desk job and how to do that. I couldn’t. I literally am incapable of being in the real world and surviving.”

It’s a rare press day for Carey, her first in the near months since the clock ticked into 2017, and a day after she debuted “I Don’t” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! For the performance, she was singing without a backing track, her vocals mint; it was largely hailed as a triumphant return to form. Some even said that she “redeemed” herself, an admittedly condescending assessment that largely discounts her 18 Number One singles and earned accolades, like becoming the third-best-selling female artist in the U.S. behind Barbra Streisand and Madonna. She’s had decades and decades of stellar performances throughout her career – “Don’t add that many decades,” she says – and only a handful of public mishaps, none of which got nearly as much attention as the New Year’s Eve mishap.

So how does she deal with controversy in 2017? “I used to get upset by things,” she says. “This was out of my control, and had everything not been such a total chaotic mess, then I would have been able to make something happen. Even the dancers should have stopped dancing and helped me off the fucking stage. I’m sorry. It was a mess, and I blame everybody, and I blame myself for not leaving after rehearsal.”

Her focus turned to family, particularly cultivating her relationship with Tanaka. It seemed relatively fast that they started publicly cozying up following her split from Packer, but their friendship stems back to 2006, when he was a dancer for Carey on tour, and culminated in a widely circulated clip from Mariah’s World where he asks if she really wants to marry Packer in what many speculated was a scripted scene. Most recently, Carey posted an Instagram picture of them knee-to-knee in a bathtub on Valentine’s Day; she still considers their relationship mostly sealed off.

“I don’t think we’re being public in a way that my relationships have been public before,” she says. “I really don’t. To me, the best thing of this is to keep it a little more private. But I’m not going to not go places with him and enjoy our lives because everybody thinks, ‘Oh, it’s too soon!’ kind of thing. We all saw the freakin’ show. This is not a surprise.”

As it stands, Carey seems to be relishing her freedom as a musician to record at ease. “I Don’t” is a standalone single that reinterpolates and samples Donell Jones’ “Where I Wanna Be” in Carey tradition. She’s been ahead of the curve in that way – some of her best remixes mine from songs like “Pure Imagination” for “I Still Believe” and Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” which she swept up for the remix to “H.A.T.E. U” and saw a resurgence last year thanks to the Running Man Challenge. “The thing is, right now, it is a trend, and a trend that I’m very familiar with, making songs go around working with different samples, that’s what I do. Doesn’t matter if you’re inspired by songs from the 1980s, 1990s.”

Carey has no plans to record the follow-up to 2014′s sorely underrated Me. I Am Mariah… the Elusive Chanteuse, though she’s hashed out “conceptual stuff” with DJ Khaled and Travis Scott in the studio. Instead, she says, she plans on recording singles when she isn’t on the road with Lionel Richie on their upcoming joint tour. She’s particularly intent on making her home an actual home – it feels somewhat empty, a fireplace accented by a few pictures of her in a red skin suit on vacation with her twins, and a bare hallway leading to where she’s spending the day doing interviews. “People who have an opinion about me, some of them feel like, ‘Oh, she’s not entitled to the same rules as someone else,’” she says. “I try my hardest.”

Mariah Carey said she was “mortified” by her disastrous New Year’s Eve performance, which was marred by technical difficulties. Watch here.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/mariah-carey-on-chaotic-new-years-performance-w467631

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