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Record Radar

On the Record Radar: Shontelle

Shontelle



According to her bio, Shontelle, of Barbados, attended "Cadets" camp, where she served as drill sergeant over a newcomer named Rihanna. "She was a good cadet, though there was one occasion when I had to make her drop and give me ten push-ups. We laugh about it now. I think she's forgiven me," she says.

Fast forward, Rihanna is a superstar and Shontelle may be a star in the making. Last year she got a little attention from the track T-Shirt. This is Impossible, her new ballad.

Like it?

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Record Radar: Die Antwoord

I fell in love with these guys months ago, along with a lot of other people. And have been waiting for an entire record to come out. Apparently that's happening soon. In the meantime we've had to content ourselves with YouTube videos and instrumental tracks posted on their website.

South Africa's Die Antwoord have gained a HUGE following over the past year, through the power of the interwebs and on the strength of mainly one video clip. The track Enter the Ninja is so catchy I've had Facebook conversations about how the "IeieI I am your butterfly" part gets stuck in your head for days. And I, along with what seemed like my entire neighbourhood, went to see them live in Toronto last week.

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Scarlett Johansson vs. Steel Train

Getty Images Scarlett Johansson is singing again. Oh. Goody.

I guess you have to admire her tenacity, right?

Here she is covering a song called Bullet by a band called Steel Train, that I had never heard of until now and might never have heard of had Scarlett Johansson covered their song.

Their Wiki page says they're from New Jersey and have toured with Tegan and Sara, Ben Folds, The Fray, Silversun Pickups, Hanson, The Format, Gomez, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies and "others." While "Other highlights include performances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and "The Late Show With David Letterman.""

OK Then.

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On the Record Radar: Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae Everybody loves this girl. She's going to be huge. Naturally the press has been glomming onto the question of whether she's a lesbian** but what matters is how unique and awesome she is.

In 2007, now 24-year-old Janelle Monae released an EP titled Metropolis, consisting of four suites. She signed with Diddy's Bad Boy records and got a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the single Many Moons.

She has toured with No Doubt and was featured on the 2009 season finale of American Idol.

Her full-length record, The ArchAndroid, is a sci-fi concept album and was released on 18 May 2010. She has an alter ego, Cindi Mayweather, who becomes a messiah figure to the android community of Metropolis. She apparently plans to shoot a video for each song on The ArchAndroid and create both a movie and graphic novel based on the album.

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On the Record Radar: La Roux

You might have heard the new single from English electropop duo La Roux

They are Eleanor Jackson and Ben Langmaid. The've got an androgynous new wave thing going on and are apparently influenced by 1980s British synthpop like Yazoo, Erasure, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Heaven 17 and Blancmange.

They released their self-titled debut album in 2009 and are currently playing some dates with Lilith Fair.

On the Record Radar: Kate Miller Heidke

KateMillerHeidke This is Australian singer/songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke.

She's funny, and smart and has a lovely voice. She just released her sophomore album and North American debut, Curiouser. She also swears a lot so I've linked to one of her videos on YouTube. Don't click it if you're offended by the F-word. But it's really good. The song Are You F*cking Kidding Me (Facebook Song) was a viral smash.

Then there's Caught in the Crowd below. This song totally made me cry. I wonder if the guy it's about has ever heard it.

Oh, and did I mention she sings opera covers of Britney Spears songs? Yeah. She's pretty cool.

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On the Record Radar: Bruno Mars & Travie McCoy (not together)

Bruno Mars So, how about this Bruno Mars guy who has been featured on hot tracks by B.o.B. (Nothin' On You) and Travie McCoy (Billionaire, see below)? Is he always going to be the other guy?

Bruno has an EP of his own called It's Better if You Don't Understand. Guest rappers include B.o.B. and Cee Lo. He's is really Peter Hernandez and was born and raised in Hawaii. He's also a producer. You dig?

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On the Record Radar: Foxy Shazam

Foxy Shazam

OK, they're a little overly cutesy ironic in a 70s American Apparel hipster ad kind of way. But they're also awesome enough to be my new favourite band of the week in a bombastic, (sometimes) piano driven, Meatloaf, Queen, rock and roll kind of way.

Foxy Shazam are six guys from Cincinnati. Their name comes from a saying in lead singer's high schoo, "cool shoes." If you had cool shoes, apparently kids would say those are "foxy shazam."

They released a self-titled album this year.

Here is a video for the song Oh Lord and an audio of Wanna be Angel.



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Natalie Portman hates this band

OK, so this is my new favourite band of the day. And I never would have discovered them if they hadn't opted to change their name, a decision that was picked up by news outlets everywhere. This is because the Seattle-based indie/electropop group made up of art school kids used to be called Natalie Portman's Shaved Head. Now they're the Brite Futures. I think this is a good idea for two reasons: 1) it got them in the news. 2) Brite Futures is a more saleable name.

They made this hilarious video in which they break the news to Natalie and she doesn't take it very well. It's got bad words in it so, instead of posting it, I'll send you over to see it here. Then come back and watch the video for Ponytail. Kay? See you soon...

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Record Radar: Taio Cruz

TaioCruzMusic.co.uk Taio Cruz is a producer turned performer is in own right, from Britain.

His website says that, at 23, he has "already cut a swathe through the upper echelons of the American music industry. After Dallas Austin picked him out as "the new Babyface", Taio worked with Jazze Pha and Rich Harrison - writing for Usher, Mya and Britney Spears."

You've already heard the single Break Your Heart, feat. Ludacris, released earlier this spring, off his album Rokstarr. Then he released another single, Dirty Picture, feat. Ke$ha. The record scored a very tepid 58 percent on aggregator Metacritic and Rolling Stone called it "generic Eurodisco," which it totally is but that hasn't stopped Break Your Heart from becoming a contender for this year's summer jam.

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