There’s a genuine magic to Gwen Stefani’s new album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like, which she wrote in the wake of her divorce with Gavin Rossdale and blossoming Blake Shelton romance. Tinged with the pain of love lost and dusted with the promise of something better, Stefani created the LP from a place of lyrical honesty, successfully skirting the pressures of chasing trends in today’s fast-paced music industry.
The project is timeless and transparent, though Stefani’s admirable authenticity has thus far sacrificed some of the glossy style flaunted during her previous projects, The Sweet Escape and Love. Angel. Music. Baby. “Used To Love You” was raw and slimmed-down with nearly no fashion in sight beyond a peeping electric blue bra strap; “Make Me Like You” amped things up a bit, but felt inevitably empty because of the live, one-shot Target-endorsed format.
On her third music video, this time for current single, “Misery,” Stefani finally reclaims style icon status with a full range of outfits that could easily be lifted from a glossy fashion editorial. Staged against gritty backdrops—an abandoned bar, industrial elevator and empty parking ramp—the result is a fantastic juxtaposition that visually reflects her own emotional state—control against chaos, beauty against ugly, love against pain. Watch, below:
Although Gwen Stefani has taken some time off from her L.A.M.B. clothing line to work on No Doubt’s big comeback, that doesn’t mean that she can’t spread her sartorial seed elsewhere. Today WWD reports that her and her band have teamed up with British fashion brand Fred Perry to create a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by their "ska and reggae roots" and "Fred Perry’s relationship with subculture."
The Telegraph has a sneak peek of the capsule, which features a slim-fit shirt for both men and women ($95), a tartan V-neck sweater ($170) and a pretty sweat bomber jacket ($250). The collection is scheduled to hit US stores in January and will also be sold online. Who collab’d with Fred Perry best: No Doubt or the late Amy Winehouse?
Be still, my 16-year-old girl self! Pink joined No Doubt onstage at the IHeartMustic Festival for a duet of I’m Just A Girl with Gwen Stefani and if that’s not enough girl power mojo to turn your engine on then I don’t know what to do with you.
Gwen Stefani started singing the song by herself, then all of sudden introduce Pink, who ran onstage and the two started affectionately kissing. (Maybe if Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day had seen that he wouldn’t have had a temper tantrum.) Watching these two perform together and feed off each other’s live wire energy I’m surprised they haven’t performed together earlier.
Now if we can just get Jessie J and Marina and the Diamonds in on this empowered lady love fest, I don’t think I would need Spotify ever again.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.
Just what elements make up the radio-averse running time of leadoff song “Settle Down”?
0:00-0:45 — Got some weird things happening here. Lots of zig-zaggy strings and tinkly percussion, like a more playful set of orchestral warmups. Deliberately vague as to where this band’s resurrection might take us.
0:46-1:32 — Classic, bouncy ska-pop beat kicks in, assuming ska-pop is a thing. Gwen does a verse with a modicum of sass to it.
1:33-1:51 — Big lift, almost like a chorus but then what the hell, fakeout.
1:52-2:01 — Okay, I think that was the chorus? I mean, it’s where she says the title of the song. But it seems awful short.
2:02-2:39 — Same thing as 0:46-1:32.
2:49-3:05 — Same thing as 1:52-2:01.
3:06-3:24 — Oh god: minor-key Middle Eastern flourish and now we are off in some weird-ass bridge that winds around until …
3:25-3:43 — Gwen chants “I’m a rough-and-tough / I’m a rough-and-tough / And nothing’s gonna knock this girl down” for a while.
3:44-4:16 — See 1:33-1:51.
4:17-4:45 — A very long version of 1:52-2:01.
4:46-6:01 — Wait, it’s still going … sort of echoing … threatening to end … but doesn’t. Ah, there we go. I’m off to the DMV; pretty sure my license expired sometime in the middle of that.
No Doubt will host a fundraiser for the Obama 2012 campaign at Gwen Stefani’s Beverly Hills home as part of a "Families For Obama" event. The band, their families, and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the August 12 event and guests can enjoy bounce houses, face painting, and kid musicians. Please tell me there are going to be photographs of Michelle in a bouncey castle.
Tickets will set a family of four back $2,500, will will only get you into Gwen Stefani’s house. To actually have your picture taken with the First Lady, you have to cough up some extra dough. No Doubt won’t actually take photos "or meet and greet" during the fundraiser.
Stefani is just one of many celebs to host fundraisers for Obama during the campaign: most notably, Sarah Jessica Parker held a fundraiser at her West Village home with Vogue editor Anna Wintour and George Clooney hosted a dinner.
● No-show Katy Perry and Harry Potter (and it’s mostly absent stars), won big at last night’s People’s Choice Awards, raking up five and four wins respectively. [AP]
● 50 Cent made something (not so nice) for Babyoncé. [Us]
● Rumor has it that Kelly Clarkson will be singing the National Anthem before this year’s Super Bowl. [AP]
● Blue Ivy Carter is the youngest to ever be credited on Billboard, with "Glory" — officially featuring "B.I.C." — debuting at #74 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. [Billboard]
● Britain’s Daily Mail photo editor says he sees up to 400 pictures of Pipa Middleton a day, even though most days he doesn’t even know what to do with just one. [CBS]
● Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stopped by the White House while in town for a screening of Angelina’s movie about Bosnian war crimes. [Gawker]
● Rise Against, No Doubt and Nicole Scherzinger’s Twitter accounts were all hacked by Ron Paul supporters perhaps eager to win a more diverse audience for their chosen one. Kelly Clarkson’s Twitter endorsement of Paul, on the other hand, was genuine. [Billboard]
● Lindsay Lohan says she can’t afford to pay for her court-ordered psychological treatment. Or, more likely, she’d just rather not have to. [People] ● Painter Lucian Freud, grandson to Sigmund and psychological portraitist extraordinaire, has died at age 88. [NYT] ● No Doubt has called in Major Lazer to the studio, we imagine to show them what the kids these days are listening to while they ready their first album in ten years. [P4K]
● Simon & Schuster is happy to publish Snooki’s second book, this time a novel about “the sexiest summer ever,” because the publishing industry is pretty desperate and her first book sold a ton of copies. [Celebuzz] ● Guys, James Franco is finally single! He blames his inconceivable schedule for his split with longtime girlfriend Ahna O’Reily. “Then I signed up for more school at Yale,” he says. “I think that was it for her.” [NYDN] ● Rohan Marley left his longtime – and expecting! – girlfriend Lauryn Hill and their five children for a Brazilian model, who went on to tweet the news. Is this just a silly game, Lauryn must be asking. [MTO]
● David Duchovny and Tea Leoni are “taking time apart” after 14 years of marriage — minus the few months back in 2008 when Duchovny checked into sex-rehab. [TMZ] ● Shia LaBeouf “nodded affirmatively” when asked if he hooked up with Megan Fox while working on Transformers. “I think you can see the chemistry onscreen,” he said. “It was what it was.” True or not, he’s totally cool with you thinking that he did. [Details] ● Ten years after their debut, No Doubt are readying a new album that’s slated for the end of summer. Rolling Stone reports that the still-untitled album is a “party-ready reggae blast featuring Stefani’s toasting skills.” Which, except for the part where everyone in the band is ten years older, sounds a lot like a No Doubt album. [RS]
● Tom Petty really wishes Michele Bachmann would quit using “American Girl” as her campaign song. And thus begins the season of embarrassed musicians and even more embarrassed politicians. [Politico] ● Lady Gaga’s launched a Tumblr, where she’s been posting photos and quotes. Have at those “likes,” little monsters. [AmenFashion] ● Rachel Zoe’s baby already dresses better than you. This photo of him in sunglasses is surely just the beginning. [E!]
No Doubt did the same stupid thing Nirvana’s people did when they signed up their songs and likeness to be in the latest installment of Guitar Hero (Band Hero). Naturally, players are allowed to take the avatars of Gwen Stefani and Co. and make them sing songs they probably never want to sing, ever. Like “Everything Zen.” Naturally, the band or the band’s people were too stupid to realize this, and now, they’re suing the stupid people behind Band Hero. How pissed are they? Pissed! After all, the makers of Band Hero are now responsible for breaking No Doubt up.
“They agreed to play three No Doubt songs as a band,” Jim Guerinot, the group’s manager, tells the L.A. Times. “Activision then went and put them in 62 other songs and broke the band up (and) never even asked.”
In response to the suit, Activision released a statement to the Times and other outlets saying the publisher “is within its legal rights with respect to the use and portrayal of the band members in the game and that this lawsuit is without merit.”
OMG YOU GUYZZZZZ GUITAR HERO SLASH BAND HERO BROKE UP NO DOUBT!!!11!!!!
Again: a likely story. This is an example of a band or a band’s management causing a fuss over something entirely preventable and ridiculous and what essentially amounts to (a) a foreseeable problem and (b) a made-up problem. Sorry, No Doubt, if you’re entangled in some legal Spiderwebs, but leave a message, and maybe someone will call you back and feel bad for you. In the mean time, we’re replacing Slash with Gwen and we’re swapping out a guy with a giant eyeball for a head for your drummer.