"Today the climate changes!" proclaimed Busta Rhymes to a horde of Hollywood hipsteratti and actor/model types inside the gaudy, graffiti-swathed walls of street artist Mr. Brainwash's new pop-up gallery on La Brea Ave.
Rhymes wasn't talking about global warming, but the launch of Google Music. The new online service from the search engine beamoth is aiming big, with a focused intent to mesh social media like never before and take us all away from iTunes or Spotify.
Naturally the launch bash -- co-thrown by T-Mobile -- in Los Angeles had to be huge, and it was. After Rhymes raging rap attack, two pop chart toppers took the stage: Maroon 5 and then Drake.
With well-stocked bars, endless greasy bites, the obligatory photo booths placed throughout, and course, Brainwash's bold and busy creations covering every inch of the building, the shindig was sensory overload. At this point, the bounty of amusements is a signature of Bolthouse Productions, who throw pretty much every big Hollywood bash in L.A. at this point.
Maroon 5 opened with their current hit, "Moves Like Jagger." Though it was declared a song that sucks, on this blog, we don't agree. It's a well-crafted pop tune with one of those hooks that you just can't get out of your head. It reminds us of Jamiroqui's "Virtual Insanity," which is not a bad thing.
Unfortunately, Adam Levine's actual moves don't live up to it. In general, Maroon 5 are a solid live band, but even when they played cuts we were familiar with and then were joined Travie MCcoy, we weren't that into it. Maybe it had something to do with the chain-smoking, bootie-bumping babes vying for Levine's attention near the stage where we stood. Either way, midway through their set seemed like a good time to play around on Google Music-equipped kiosks in the room instead.
Review of Drake's performance below.
Drake was celebrating the release of his new record, Take Care, released only the day before. We'll admit that other than the dance floor filler, "Fancy," (which he played last night) we don't know a lot of the dapper rapper's stuff. What we have seen and heard has never driven us to investigate further, either.
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But after seeing him live, we get it. The guy is ridiculously charming. In between playing stuff off the new release and past ones, he chatted up and did some glass clicking cheers with the crowd, namely the ladies. He individually called out several gals and complimented them on their hair and their "cute sweaters."
The crowd seemed to know a lot of the new stuff, perhaps due to much publicized online leaks. We liked what we heard, especially the Lil Wayne collab, "HYFR" (Hell Yeah, Fuckin Right), which kind of blew our mind. So yeah, we'll be downloading some Drake on Google Music today. But the questions is, will we -- and will you -- keep coming back after the novelty wears off?
More info. on Brainwash's soon-open-to-the public "Art Show 2011" at the gallery, here.