Music: Comedy/Spoken Word

March 10, 2011

Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Missy Elliott, More: Napster Playlists Featuring Women

As we continue our celebration of Women's History Month, we thought it would be nice to highlight some of the many Napster playlists focused on music made by women. These are from all different genres and styles, so have a look, click on whatever sounds good to you, and let's hear it from the ladies!

American Women American Women Popular roots music and country hits from some of the top female artists in America. Includes songs from June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Sheryl Crow.

Hot R&B Female Vocalists Hot R&B: Female Vocalists: Some of the hottest tracks and biggest hits from major stars, including songs from Keyshia Cole, Fantasia, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé.

Essential Lite Female Vocalists Essential Lite: Female Vocalists: Great soft pop and ballads from many eras, featuring artists such as Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie, and Roberta Flack.

Women of Comedy Women of Comedy: Hilarious bits from the funniest females in stand-up comedy, including Ellen Degeneres, Sarah Silverman, Sandra Bernhard, and Lisa Lampanelli.

Legendary Ladies of Country Legendary Ladies of Country: Unforgettable female stars of the '60s and '70s who paved the way for today's generations. Includes Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn.

Grrrl Power Grrrl Power: Celebrate the women of alternative rock with a slew of classic tracks from such mainstays as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, PJ Harvey, and more.

Pioneering Women of the Blues Pioneering Women of the Blues: Though blues artists tend to be men, a surprising number of women have made a crucial impact, including Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ida Cox.

Pop Divas The '80s Pop Divas: The '80s: A platinum setting of hits from some of the decade's most glittering solo female superstars, including Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Gibson, and more.

Female Jazz Vocalists of Today Female Jazz Vocalists of Today: Music from stellar comtemporary vocalists informed by both traditional and modern jazz. Features Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, and Diana Krall.

Composing Women Composing Women: Works from female composers working in what was once a male-dominated field. Includes Barbara Strozzi, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Meredith Monk.

Women of Contemporary Christian Music Women of Contemporary Christian Music: The most uplifting tracks from female artists leading the way in CCM, featuring Francesca Battistelli, Bethany Dillon, and Heather Hedley.

Ladies First Female MCs Ladies First: Female MCs: Get in touch with the first ladies of hip-hop. But don't expect them to go easy on you—these MCs, including Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, are fierce.

Femmes Fatales Femmes Fatales: Devastatingly seductive sounds from the dark side of alternative music, including music by Björk, PJ Harvey, Portishead, Morcheeba, and more.

Bookmark and Share

March 07, 2011

Comedian Mike DeStefano Dies

Mike DeStefano, OK Karma There he goes, one of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. —Hunter S. Thompson

Mike DeStefano, the street-wise comedian and alumnus of Last Comic Standing, died last night of a heart attack at age 44. Growing up surrounded by mobsters and addicts in the Bronx, DeStefano was exposed to heroin at 12 and contracted HIV in the 1980s. After losing his wife to the disease in 1995 and successfully getting clean, he became a drug counselor, helping others overcome the same demons he had faced down. He turned to comedy relatively late in life and discovered in it his true calling, a medium that provided catharsis and gave him a pulpit from which to share the unvarnished truths he had uncovered during a difficult life, while always finding the thread connecting the starkly sad to the sublimely funny. His ability to convert pain and suffering into uproarious laughter was reminiscent of Richard Pryor's, another stand-up so brazenly honest about his harrowing life that he completely disarmed his audiences and touched their souls. DeStefano released his only stand-up album, OK Karma, in June 2010, but many other recordings of him exist on the Internet, including this excellent interview on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. May he rest in peace.

Bookmark and Share

Miley Cyrus and The Strokes on SNL

Miley Cyrus (as Justin Bieber) Whether you're a fan or not, you have to hand it to Miley Cyrus for being a good sport and having a laugh on this past weekend's Saturday Night Live. As host, she was cast in skits and did some singing (including one where she played Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas) and gently mocked her fellow teen singer/actors. She impersonated Linday Lohan, performed on the "Miley Cyrus Show" not as herself but as Justin Bieber (check her out in the picture), and starred in a send-up of her Hannah Montana days with a "Disney Channel Acting School" skit. Meanwhile, in the actual "musical guest" slot were The Strokes, who performed "Under Cover of Darkness" (the first single from their upcoming album Angels) and new song "Life Is Simple in the Moonlight." The combination of host and band made for a nicely music-heavy SNL this week, which always makes it more entertaining for us.

Bookmark and Share

March 01, 2011

New Lonely Island Album Pushed Back to May

The Lonely Island Fans of comedic powerhouse trio The Lonely Island will have to wait just a little longer for the new album, which was announced back in Oct. 2010. Originally scheduled for release in April, the date has been pushed to May in order to allow more time for all the DVD features to be completed. In the meantime, we can help tide you over with the new album's first single, the smash hit "I Just Had Sex" featuring Akon, and the recently released follow-up, "The Creep," with hip-hop princess Nicki Minaj guesting. Stay strong, Lonely Islanders.

Bookmark and Share

February 22, 2011

Doug Benson, Eddie Izzard, Whitney Cummings: Reel Laughs (Napster Playlist)

Reel Laughs (Napster Playlist) I love movies. Over the summer, these big blockbuster action movies come out. And you'll read about one one of these movies, and it'll say that it cost something like 100 million dollars. Whenever I read that, I think, yeah, you didn't need to make a movie with that money. I would've bought a ticket just to see 100 million dollars.John Mulaney

With the Oscars just around the corner, it's a perfect time to roll out "Reel Laughs," a Napster playlist that features comedians taking on Hollywood and its stars. There's a lot of material there, folks—and we don't even get into any of Ricky Gervais' Golden Globes set. Doug Benson, who hosts the very popular podcast "Doug Loves Movies," is an obvious authority on the subject, and he riffs on War of the Worlds, Kill Bill, and The Pelican Brief in "I Love Movies." Eddie Izzard talks about the differences between British and American films and recreates scenes from Star Wars in "I'm a Film Nut." Patton Oswalt fantasizes about nipping the recent Star Wars prequel films in the bud in "At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas with a Shovel." John Mulaney (quoted above) questions the wisdom of admiring Scarface's anti-hero Tony Montana and offers an alternative to actually making multimillion-dollar blockbusters in "Scarface, Amnesia, and One Hundred Million Dollars." And Whitney Cummings compares men's fascination with porn to women's love of romantic comedies in "Romantic Comedies." So take your time and listen to your heart's content; we promise not to play you off, Oscars-style.

Bookmark and Share

February 10, 2011

Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, Flight of the Conchords: My Funny Valentine, Vol. 2 (Napster Playlist)

My Funny Valentine Vol 2What do women say they look for first in a potential mate? Answer: A sense of humor. What's tops for guys? Looks. It's also usually second, third, and fifth (after "loves sports"). How do we bridge this conflict of interests? With jokes, of course, and the funnier, the better. Luckily, Napster's "My Funny Valentine, Vol. 2" playlist is chock full of jokes that will have you laughing knowingly with your significant other as you're engulfed in a delightful sense of schadenfreude courtesy of hilarious comics' tales of unfortunate romance. Relationship gurus like Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, Flight of the Conchords, Larry the Cable Guy, Bo Burnham, Iliza Shlesinger and Brian Posehn share advice about boyfriends, dating, married sex, and even the unrealistic expectations women have of men in the age of Twilight. Warning: Do not substitute this playlist for your regular "mood music." Nah, go ahead. Let us know how that works out for you.

Bookmark and Share

February 08, 2011

R&B Love, Lovers Rock Hits, Classic Rock Valentine, and more: New Valentine's Day Napster Playlists

We've got a ton of new playlists for you to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year, and you've gotta love that, right? So cuddle up with that someone special and take your pick of these romantic collections:

R&B Love (Napster Playlist) R&B Love: Major R&B hits with a common theme. Features classics from Mariah Carey, Keyshia Cole, DeBarge, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, and more.

Lovers Rock Hits (Napster Playlist) Lovers Rock Hits: Romantic reggae bursting with heartfelt emotion. Includes hits from Gregory Isaacs, Luisa Mark, Sugar Minott, and Deborahe Glasgow.

Classic Rock Valentine (Napster Playlist) Classic Rock Valentine: Hits and album cuts fueled by love. A mix of upbeat rockers ballads by Kiss, Bad Company, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, and more.

Modern Love (Napster Playlist) Modern Love: Romance, alternative-style. Includes modern rock from Paramore, Franz Ferdinand, Florence & The Machine, and more.

The Pompatus of Love (Napster Playlist) The Pompatus of Love: Rock, doo-wop, blues, and the mysteries of romance from Steve Miller, The Clovers, The Medallions, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Muddy Waters.

Classical Valentine, Vol. 2 (Napster Playlist) Classical Valentine, Vol. 2: Love-themed instrumentals for the lovers' holiday. Features Berlioz, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Janacek, and more.

Easy Love (Napster Playlist) Easy Love: Romantic ballads and soft-rock beats. Includes love songs from Nat King Cole, Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban.

My Funny Valentine, Vol. 2 (Napster Playlist) My Funny Valentine, Vol. 2: Comedians take an uncensored look at love. Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, and Greg Giraldo hold forth.

Smooth Valentine Love Songs (Napster Playlist) Smooth Valentine Love Songs: Tender R&B/jazz-infused songs from Al Jarreau, Michael Buble, David Sanborn, Harry Connick Jr., Dave Grusin, and more.

Soft Rock Seduction (Napster Playlist) Soft Rock Seduction: Cozy classics made for romance. Features songs by Bill Withers, Karen Carpenter, Bread, Richard Marx, and Peabo Bryson.

Bookmark and Share

January 31, 2011

Patton Oswalt Releases His First Book, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

Patton Oswalt The exceptionally talented stand-up, comedic actor, and nerd-culture hero Patton Oswalt has released his first book, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, and the initial critical reaction has been positive. The book, which serves as a kind of memoir of his formative years growing up in suburban Virginia and his early stand-up career, is supposed to be every bit as ascerbic and hilarious as his onstage work. We say "supposed to be" because (shamefully) we haven't yet read it, but as ardent fans of everything else he's done, it's definitely on our reading short list. Have any of you checked it out? If so, we'd love to hear what you think.

Bookmark and Share

January 28, 2011

Artist to Watch in 2011: Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings Ever since her sparkling performance on Comedy Central's Roast of Joan Rivers, Whitney Cummings has emerged as a mainstream comedy juggernaut. Her first hourlong stand-up special, Money Shot, aired in August 2010 and built on the material from her 2009 debut album, Emotional Ninja. TV viewers probably also recognize her from her frequent appearances on the Chelsea Lately panel, which has provided an ideal platform for her sharp, dark wit. Fine—with so much success already behind her, why should we be watching for this young comic to go supernova in 2011? NBC has just announced that they've picked up Whitney's as-of-yet untitled sitcom pilot, in which she will star. Add to that Two Broke Girls, the CBS series that she's also starring in and co-writing with Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City), and you can see why anyone out there who doesn't already know her name will find it hard to forget in 2011.

Bookmark and Share

January 17, 2011

MLK Remembered (Napster Playlist)

MLK Remembered (Napster Playlist) On this day, our nation celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In honor of his courage and vision, we're featuring our "MLK Remembered" playlist, an inspiring collection of the man's speeches paired with uplifting songs rooted in the civil rights movement. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Pete Seeger, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, and Public Enemy are some of the artists who lend their voices to songs like "Get Up, Stand Up," "We Shall Overcome," "Amazing Grace," "Blowin' in the Wind," and "Fight the Power." We hope you enjoy.

Bookmark and Share