The Hype: When am I going to learn? If it’s Stubb’s and it’s late night, then the rumors must be flying. This time, the hot 1 a.m. super-secret guest appearance rumor had troubled popped star Britney Spears joining Pharrell Williams’ N¤E¤R¤D during their night closing set. Getting to see a N¤E¤R¤D set is special enough, but a Britney sighting outside of a convenience store bathroom or the emergency room? Priceless. The show: Needless to say, Brit was a no-show. And frankly, that’s the best thing that could have happened, because N¤E¤R¤D had plenty going on with a six-piece live band (including two drummers) and Williams’ boundless energy. A note to any hip-hop artist out there who still thinks putting on a show means packing the stage with a posse and playing canned beats: Pharrell’s got something for your ass.
With a wildly eclectic sound reminiscent of funk legend George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic orchestra, Williams led N¤E¤R¤D through punk-funk versions of “Brain,” “Back Seat Love” and “Maybe,” with the latter propelled by military drums, psychedelic funk keyboard runs and a trippy, Beatles-esque vibe. “Rock Star” lived up to its billing, with Pharrell practicing his high-kicking mosh pit moves and the stage filling up with nearly two dozen friends who thrashed around with the producer and co-rapper Shay Haley. After a drum solo and an almost-punk-rock-sounding new tune, the set ended with a raucous “Lapdance,” “Everyone Nose” and “She Wants to Move,” which morphed briefly into Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust.” The Verdict: N¤E¤R¤D should definitely tour more often because they rock as hard as any rock band out there and Pharrell clearly loves performing live with a band.
No Words To Describe Unique N¤E¤R¤D Single
The first single off the Pharrell-fronted group’s third album “Seeing Sounds” is one of those songs you have to hear to understand. The song is an audio throwback with a hint of the ’90s, yet is plastered with modern sound. It’s virtually indescribable, which is expected from N¤E¤R¤D. If this song is a taste of what the third CD will sound like, I’m in. Paired with the Glow In The Dark Tour with Kanye West, Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco, N¤E¤R¤D is back in the game. However, I hope this time the other two guys (Chad Hugo and Shay Haley) get some credit – because how many more solo Pharrell songs do we have to hear?
“It’s like auditory Red Bull,” Pharrell Williams tells the S.S., sitting behind a console at Electric Lady studios in Manhattan before introducing the new N¤E¤R¤D track “Everybody Nose,” which clocks in at a breakneck pace of 140 beats per minute. “This song’s about when all the hot chicks disappear from the dinner table — you know where they’re going.” The new N¤E¤R¤D disc, Seeing Sounds — their first in four years — features a cut about attention-deficit disorder (”Anti-Matter”) plus “Spazz,” which will certainly inspire clubgoers to spazz. Williams is stoked about N¤E¤R¤D’s slot on the Glow In the Dark Tour, launching in April, with Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Rihanna: “We’re gonna bring some energy to the game. It’s gonna be retarded!”
N¤E¤R¤D’s new single “Everybody Nose,” which depicts a club-hopper’s drug use, could be the theme song for out-of-control party girls on the celebrity circuit. But frontman Pharrell Williams says the song is not chastising people for their questionable habits. “The message is just making an observation. It’s not us condoning or glorifying it or talking about people who do it,” the superproducer told The Associated Press on Friday. “We’re just saying America, look at what’s going on … this is what it’s like this is what this girl does.” “Everybody Nose” is the first new music from the eclectic trio in years. The group _ which includes Williams’ Neptunes production partner Chad Hugo and friend Shay Hayley _ haven’t released an album since 2004, and were debuting some of their new music at performances at the South by Southwest music festival. Williams said the group took so long because they were “waiting for the right moment.” “There’s a lack thereof of energy, so we just wanted to be one of the bands that would re-install that energetic feeling,” said Williams, who along with Hugo has produced for acts ranging from Beyonce to Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake. “I think it sounds more aggressive, more focused on emotional buildup and just way hotter, it’s way better _ its louder, and it’s more texturized,” said Hugo of their sound, which ranges from hip-hop to punk sounds.
You’d think Lou Reed would be a nearly impossible act to follow, but N¤E¤R¤D grabbed the crowd by the collar and gave ’em one hell of a sharp, loud and sexy throttling. Musically intelligent and lyrically adolescent, N¤E¤R¤D is the brainchild of star producers Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams (aka The Neptunes), with their Virginia Beach childhood friend Shae Haley. Though the group hasn’t toured much compared to other bands on its level, N¤E¤R¤D put on a confident, top-caliber live show, mixing together rock, hip-hop and funk into pure party stew. The group’s backup band of instrumentally virtuosic dudes in clothes that would get them turned away at the door of downtown nightclubs (read: urban) was fucking unbelievable. The talent on that stage — it almost made your brain explode.
After an excruciatingly long wait while banks of keyboards were assembled, probably the biggest non-baby-boomer celebrity at the festival came bounding out in front of a lusty crowd. Pharrell doesn’t wear a ton of bling or otherwise resemble a music industry figure who has Jay-Z on speed dial, but he’s not what you’d call selfless, and even though there are other people in the band, the set that followed was very much The Pharrell Show with Special Guests. Though he was generous in letting the expensive-sounding session players backing him up get their solo jones on over N¤E¤R¤D’s nu-metal Fishbone vibe, he also tended to monopolize the crowd’s attention even while the spotlight was on his band or his co-MC Shay. And while the band were plenty tight and got bodies moving, loud but undercooked songs like “Rock Star” and a new one with a chorus that went “All The Girls In The Line To The Bathroom” wore out their welcome. There were hints of the genius that is The Neptunes, but for the most part N¤E¤R¤D is its own entity and not a uniquely compelling one at that.
Baller Status Article
Pharrell Williams’ Neptunes spin-off, N¤E¤R¤D, debuted new music from the trio’s forthcoming third album, Seeing Sounds, on Thursday night (March 13) including a new single. The trio comprised of Pharrell, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley performed several songs from the new album, mixed with some of their previous stuff including singles such as “Lapdance” and “Rock Star.” During their set at Austin, Texas’ Fader Fort, N¤E¤R¤D debuted “Everyone Nose,” which Pharrell revealed would be the first single from the upcoming album, according to NME.com. “We’re giving this to radio soon,” Pharrell told the crowd, “so I thought we should give it to you guys first.” There is currently release date for the Seeing Sounds. Their last album, 2004’s Fly Or Die, bowed at no. 6 on the Billboard 200 and sold 412,000 copies within the U.S.
N¤E¤R¤D which they formed with childhood friend Shay Haley in 2000. The group is preparing to release their third album, Seeing Sounds, later this year. N¤E¤R¤D is currently on tour and performed at Liberty Hall, 642 Massachusetts St., on Tuesday to promote its new disc. “Musically, it’s like a car that turns into a robot like Optimus Prime,” Williams says. Williams compares the new songs to the Transformers character because he says most of the songs on the new album started out with one sound but ended with another. “It’s a can of Red Bull with growth hormones,” Williams says of the record, which starts off up-tempo, but slows down by the end. The trio is excited to join Kanye West’s Glow In The Dark Tour this summer alongside rapper Lupe Fiasco and singer Rihanna. Pharrell Williams of N¤E¤R¤D Kanye and I had been talking about it for a year now,” Williams says of the tour. “We finally were able to figure it out and it’s going to be fun.”
Williams and West collaborated in 2006 on Williams’ song “Number One,” but Williams did his most recent collaborations with West’s mentor, rapper Jay-Z. Williams produced the tracks “I Know” and “Blue Magic” for Jay-Z’s most recent album, American Gangster. Previous efforts between Jay-Z and The Neptunes include the hits “I Just Wanna Love U,” “Excuse Me Miss,” “Frontin’” and “Young Girl.” Hugo says collaborations with Jay-Z were all about feeling comfortable with the sound. “When we record, he’s in the vocal booth and we mix and match different sounds until we get the right vibe,” Hugo says. Williams says that although collaborations with Jay-Z had been successful in the past, the artists don’t focus on making hit records when they work together as much as they focus on making unique ones. Switching from doing the production duties of The Neptunes to getting behind the mic for N¤E¤R¤D is never a problem, Williams says.“You can have a conversation with friends in the streets but also be religious—there are different sides to a personality created,” Williams says. “ N¤E¤R¤D is who we are. The Neptunes are what we do.” After the Glow In The Dark Tour this summer, the trio will travel to Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe to continue their own tour and promoting Seeing Sounds. “Expect energy and emotion,” Williams says of the album.