Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mumford & Sons on Letterman

Watch Mumford & Sons perform "Believe" on The Late Show before they kicked-off the final series of Legends on Letterman.

Best Coast on Conan

Watch Best Coast perform "Feeling OK" on Conan!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

FFS on Jools

Watch FFS (Franz Ferdinand & Sparks) make their TV debut on Later..with Jools Holland.

Alabama Shakes on Later...with Jools Holland

Watch Alabama Shakes perform "Don't Wanna Fight" on Later...with Jools Holland!

Live Review: Mumford & Sons @ Ed Sullivan Theater

This month marks the final time David Letterman will host The Late Show after 34 years. It will be hard to imagine what late night TV will be like without the man who changed it forever. But, Letterman's channel, CBS, is making sure their legend goes out with a bang. The acclaimed Live on Letterman web series returned tonight after a nine month hiatus and feature Mumford and Sons for the kick-off as the series has been renamed Legends on Letterman.

Mumford and Sons, who just released their latest record, Wilder Mind, celebrated their new sound, album, and Letterman in a special performance for fans around the globe and the lucky ones inside the iconic Ed Sullivan Theater.

Wilder Mind is Mumford going electric and with their new sound, they are coming with a new attitude. They dress like members of Interpol but still bring the same heart and intensity to their craft they did when they were striking their acoustic instruments, now they just get to do it louder and wilder. Backed by a drummer, a horn section, and a violinist, the band resembled The National more than the Mumford and Sons fans know but that is the progression they are looking to make and they were going to make their mark in this special concert. After all, it was David Letterman who gave the band a shot in 2011 and put them on TV for the first time, now, it was time to repay the favor, one last time.

Opening with the new track, "Snake Eyes," the band showed what they were made off. An angst-filled rock anthem that shows their new plugged in persona is the real deal. Singer Marcus Mumford thanked the crowd for coming and also gave a shout out to the new record which he is "glad is finally fucking out," before jumping into "Ditmas." It was then into fan favorites like "The Cave" and "Little Lion Man," that had the crowd thumping. But it was back to the new material and ending with "The Wolf." Marcus even took time out to thank Letterman and his staff, "We know there are a lot of changes here. We know David Letterman is leaving and he will be fine, but a lot of his crew may face uncertainty and we just want to thank them for all of their support and help." This new direction for Mumford and Sons is not only welcomed but surprising, and it couldn't have come alive in a better place.

Avett Brothers & Brandi Carlile on Letterman

Watch The Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile duet on The Late Show!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Blur Share 'Magic Whip' Documentary / 'Tender' with Fallon

Blur returned with their No.1 album, The Magic Whip, their first in 13 years last week. Now, the band are sharing a 30-minute making of documentary, which you can watch above.

Read: Live Review of Blur at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Also, the folks at The Tonight Show posted a clip of the band performing "Tender" with host Jimmy Fallon backstage before the taping of the show. The band were the musical guest last week. Take a look:

Quick News

Kanye West has confirmed that his new album won't be called So Help Me God, but instead will be called SWISH.

According to Montage of Heck director Brett Morgan, a Kurt Cobain solo album will arrive this summer. No confirmation from Cobain's estate on this or an actual release date has been set.

Damon Albarn recently dropped a hint that he and Noel Gallagher discussed the possibility of working together. Now, Noel is disputing the claim in a recent Reddit AMA session, when asked about the idea, he said, "The thing with Damon was a flippant comment as casually thrown around as 'We should go for a drink.' As for makin' an album, I would be amazed if either of us ever had the time to make that work."

While we wait for that possibility, one of Blur's biggest critics, Noel's brother Liam, has taken to Twitter to praise Blur's single "Lonesome Street." Liam tweeted:

The documentary Buena Vista Social Club is getting a sequel. The 1999 Oscar nominated film followed the past of legendary Cuban musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana, as they reassemble and perform in New York and out of Cuba for the first time. Now, Buena Vista Social Club - Adios, will begin filming in July and will follow the band on their farewell tour this summer and fall.

Miguel will release his new album, Wildheart, this summer.

While this will come as a surprise and no surprise at all, Miley Cyrus and The Flaming Lips are releasing a collaborative seven-song album later this year. Wayne Coyne of The Lips told Rolling Stone "Some of it reminds me of Pink Floyd and Portishead."

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Singer / songwriters always have something to say, even when they are not performing. Something is always on their mind and generally their stories are some of the most fascinating. One singer / songwriter in particular is South Carolina native KaiL Baxley, who will release his new album, A Light That Never Dies, next month. Baxley, who was abandoned by his parents when he was a child was raised by his grandfather and would constantly move around. He is a musical nomad that tells his tales in his music and his tales are some of the most fascinating you will hear. We got a chance to experience them first hand in our interview with Baxley where he discussed his upbringing, new record, his grandfather, and that time he danced in front of The Godfather of Soul - James Brown. Take a look at our interview with him, below:

Your back story is utterly inspiring and fascinating. How does a boxer go from the ring to becoming a singer / songwriter?

I suppose they both help release the demons so to speak. Music was always more of a secret hobby of mine. I never had any aspirations of pursuing a career in it. When I was a young man my dream was to box in the Olympics. I dedicated myself to it. Unfortunately I got into a spot of legal trouble and that dream was crushed.

 I’m the type of person that needs an outlet. Music filled that need and gave me a place to direct my “passions” for lack of a better word.

Legend has it that you had dance-off's with the one and only James Brown. How did that happen? What was that experience like going in front of Mr. Dynamite!?

James Brown was one hell of a guy! When I was 8 years old, my mother was locked up in a place called the State Park Correctional Center - a minimal security coed prison in South Carolina. James was in at the same time for something or another. So for a couple years when I’d go to visit, we’d see James out on the visitation grounds. He took a liking to me, I think, and would always come over and speak. I think he was trying to steal my dance moves! Haha! He always had to do the little step to get me started. “Whatcha got for Mr.Brown today, lil’MikaiL (Micheal),“ he’d ask.  And I’d do my steps. My grandfather insisted that I call him “Mr. Brown” out of respect, and I did every time I saw him for the rest of his life. I never got to see him in concert, but sometimes he would lead the church services at the prisonand it was just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen

When you left South Carolina, you ended up doing a bit of traveling, how did that inspire your music?

Oh, lots of ways. I tend to absorb my surroundings. I actually prefer to travel and write and still do as often as possible. Going to unfamiliar places forces you out of your comfort zone. It kickstarts the mind and before you know it, new sounds and old memories you didn’t even know you remembered start to appear.

Do you approach music the same way you did as boxing?

I do. I approach everything I’m serious about the same way I approach boxing. It’s the only way I’ve learned discipline.  And the two go hand-and-hand with me. I still wake up and train every morning at 9am at one of the top gyms in the nation here in Los Angeles. When mid-day rolls around, I hang up the gloves and pick up the guitar and work on music until dinner. I try and stick to a disciplined routine. Boxing is an anchor for me. It always has been. When I’m in the gym I’m not in the bars. I’ve finally got the system down. Haha!

In June you will release your new album, A Light that Never Dies, what can you tell us about that?

Well it’s been a labor of love over the past year. I’m excited to get it out and share it with people. I think it will speak for itself.

What is your light, your spark that never dies and keeps you going?

Probably my need to express a thing I can’t quite describe.

The record was made in LA, New York, and Charleston, how did the change in atmosphere from each city influence the album?

It was a great musical adventure. I’ve lived in each of those cities and they all have their own unique inspirational color. Los Angeles gives me a kind of ‘me against the world’ attitude towards things. New York is a gritty, sexy, pure swagger - the subways light up my imagination. And Charleston, well Charleston is home. It gives me a comfortable warmth. The history seeps into my skin and I sort of get swept up into the romance of the whole thing. Plus I got to record with some of my dearest friends in all of those cities and I’m very happy they were all a part of it.

You were raised by your grandfather growing up, how much of him are on these songs and what you do?

My grandfather’s in everything I do. Every action, every decision I make goes through the moral compass that he instilled in me. He was my best friend and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him in some way.

Was he a musician? Did you have musical roots?

Not really, he could carry a tune for sure. He sounded a bit like Johnny Cash when he sang, but he didn’t play an instrument or anything. His brother, my great uncle William, was the musician. He’d come over and play the piano that belonged to my grandmother. The two of them would sit in the parlor and harmonize those old time-y tunes from the 40’s.

Your first album, Heatstroke / The Wind and War, was presented as a double EP, a yin and yang, as it has been described. What was it like crafting the new record as one straight album?

Well, I kinda consider “A Light That Never Dies” my first real album for that exact reason. You come at it from a different angle when you’re putting together one fluid body of work. I prefer it actually. But you have to be careful not to chase the white rabbit into the road. Meaning that at some point, you have to let the record be done or you could kill it. If it wasn’t for Eric Corne who co-produced this album with me saying “I think we’re done,” then it may have been another year if I even put it out at all.

What is next for you after the record arrives?

Hitt’N the road! Hopefully to a town near you and I can’t wait!

***Photo Credit: Kristina Lisa***

Live Review: Spandau Ballet @ Beacon Theater

The last time London New Romantic New Wave band Spandau Ballet performed in New York City, Ed Koch was Mayor, Reagan was president, the Twin Towers proudly stood, clubs like Danceteria, Studio 54, 2001, and The Ritz were the hot spots, and Cats was only one year into it's long running Broadway performance at The Winter Garden Theater, and AIDS was still a new disease that many didn't understand. It was certainly a different New York. Hell, even the author of this article wasn't even born yet!

Now, 32 years later, Spandau Ballet returned and came back in grand fashion. The band, who reformed in 2009 after a 20 year hiatus, were in town to promote their new documentary Soul Boys of the Western World, which chronicles their rise, fall, and reunion. With no opening act, at 8:20, the band arrived on the famous stage and as the tidal wave of fans rose out of their seats and out onto their feet, it was the moment the band and New York had been waiting for. Opening with "Soul Boy," the band set the standard as to what was to come for the rest of the night -- a chance for them to flex their musical skills and take everyone back to the time when New York's nightlife was the center of the world thanks to the music Spandau and their colleagues were making at that time.

The band look older, naturally, but their musical skills have not changed. Singer Tony Hadley's voice is still as impressive as it ever was. Looking dapper on stage, the English New Wave crooner told the crowd, "32 bloody years! It is good to see you," before jumping into "How Many Lies?" While the night could have been a total nostalgia trip, the band remained defiant to showcase that this reunion isn't for the money or the past but also to forge ahead. New songs like "Steal" and "Once More," show that the band are sticking to their signature sound but for a whole new generation.

With the audience inside the beautiful Beacon dancing the night away, songs like "Lifeline," "True," and "Gold," obviously gained the most praise but in the band's two-hour set it showed they were much more than their singles.

As they took their final bows, Hadley said “We didn’t know what to expect, but we didn’t expect this. Thank you.” Guitarist Gary Kemp echoed that sentiment as he took the mic saying, "Hopefully, it is not another 30 years until we see each other again!" Hadley then took the mic again and began singing Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," a fitting end to a top night.