Friday, June 26, 2009
The countless outpouring of emotion across the entertainment community today has been touching. Here are what some of Michael's famous fans had to say...
Via their Twitter account, Coldplay wrote: "MJ was the best of the best. His music and performances made the world a brighter place. His light will shine on forever. Coldplay."
?uestlove of the Roots via Twitter: "I know we make light of me never getting sleep and overworking. But I'll say that he didn't go in vain. I will do my best to slow down as to not overwork myself to the point in which I can't even enjoy life anymore. I am devastated over this but we all have memories. I just hope that he will get due justice in all the press memorials and whatnot. I know he was mired in controversy the last decade of his life but I think it's time we let him rest in peace and learn to separate the ART and the ARTIST. That is the MJ I will forever remember. Elvis got revisionist media treatment. I expect the friggin same for my hero."
Saul Williams via Twitter: "I received a MJ scholarship from the 25 million he gave UNCF for performing arts students. Thank u MJ 4 inspiring & funding my dreams & education."
Clipse's Malice via Twitter: "1983 Malice Christmas List... A White Suit and a Tiger"
Paul McCartney via Press Statement: “I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.”
Justin Timberlake via Press Statement: “We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only Pop music but of all music. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him on stage and all of the things I learned about music from him and the time we spent together. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.”
Steven Spielberg via Entertainment Weekly: “Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson. His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him legend.”
MIA Via Twitter: "MICHAEL JACKSON the first 2 english words i eva spoke . the future sucx!"
P Diddy Via Twitter: "Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!"
Chris Cornell Via NME.com: "Superstar at 12. What promise. He had magic! It was by chance that I recorded and rearranged his song 'Billie Jean' and have been amazed at the response it gets when I perform it every night. He was amazingly talented and largely misunderstood. "I hope that the media will be kind and celebrate the genius instead of cashing in on the tabloid angles that made him a prisoner. I think he deserves that."
Cornell famously and brilliantly covered and reworked "Billie Jean," for his 2007 record Carry On, take a listen to the song below.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I hope Jackson finds the peace and solace that he was searching for while he was with us. With his later years in life being plagued by financial troubles, tabloid hell and controversy. Whatever had gone on in Jackson's personal life was his own business and we exploited it to see a train wreck happen in front of us for entertainment and curiosity. What Michael gave us was undeniable talent and brilliant music. I will never forget that the first CD I ever owned (not album) was his 1991 release, Dangerous. Dangerous featured the singles "Black or White," and "Remember the Time," with its mysterious cover and controversial videos, Dangerous was an instant classic. Michael gave us the moonwalk, the most iconic music videos and of course Thriller, both the amazing video and record. A Universal star, a true artist, Jackson will be missed.
Jackson was in LA rehearsing for his 50 date run at London's O2 Arena set to begin with 10 shows this July. The concert's entitled "This Is It!" were originally postponed due to "massive and technically complex” according to concert promoter AEG Live. The 50 dates sold out in record time and were going to be Michael's final European dates with the possibility of a New York City, Vegas and LA run.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
There are a few people I need to thank who helped me reach this point, from bands to labels to publicists. Thank you so much for taking your time to support this site, either with an interview, tickets, music, everything counts. In the last 100 posts, a very special thanks to Cliff Sarcona of As Tall As Lions, Mark Palgy from VHS or Beta, Steven Chen of Airborne Toxic Event, Pete Galli, Adam Lucaus from Vonrenzo, Alison Prouty, Dan Haggis of The Wombats, Simon Bobbett, David Dargah of The Postelles, Daren Baber and EMI. Most importantly I would like to THANK YOU THE READERS FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN AND SPREADING THE WORD!!
This site has taken on a life of its own, spawning readers in Indonesia, all over the UK, Germany, Canada, Philippines, Japan, China, Ireland, Thailand, India, France and Chile to name a few. Thank you to all my friends, my readers and the people making music today for inspiring me to write more and more and go to concerts and spending money I do not have ;) ! Keep spreading the love and the site!
On the same day that the new Arctic Monkeys drops, so does Beastie Boy's much anticipated new album Hot Sauce Committee. The Beasties just revealed the track listing to the record which is out August 24, take a look!
- Bob Dylan - "My Wife's Hometown"
- Incubus - "Black Heart Inertia"
- Dave Matthews Band - "Time Bomb"
- Yeah Yeah Yeah's - "Zero"
- White Lies - "Death"
- Jarvis Cocker - "Slush"
- Green Day - "21 Guns"
- Richard Hell and the Voidoids - "The Kid with the Detachable Head"
- Iggy Pop - "Success"
- Clipse feat. Kanye West - "Kind of Like a Big Deal"
- Our Lady Peace - "All You Did Was Save My Life"
- Lenny Kravitz - "Let Love Rule 2009" (JUSTICE Remix)
- Wolfmother - "Back Round"
- Hockey - "Learn to Lose"
- The Postelles - "123 Stop"
Saturday, June 20, 2009
It has been a nasty week for David Letterman with the whole Sarah Palin daughter joke thing. However, Dave sure knows how to move on and have a good time and one way to do it is with a great band. Here is France's Phoenix who's latest fantastic record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix has gotten tremendous acclaim the world over. Take a look at the clip above and check out the band's album!
For more info on the making of the album, check out my EXCLUSIVE interview with Drummer Cliff Sarcona from April. Take a look at the interview HERE
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This new update is both very exciting and ambiguous, at the Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen premiere in London Monday night, Shia LaBeauf told the BBC "Steven [Spielberg] just said that he cracked the story on it before I left and I think they're gearing that up." It has also been announced from producer Frank Marshall to Empire Magazine that "We're not going to wait another 20 years. We'd all love to make another one. I'm anxious to hear the idea!" then through the magic of Twitter, Marshall posted "The story for Indy5 is progressing. It is still in the research phase."
Kings of Leon have finally taken their own country by storm and are now going to be starting their own record label. The label will be in conjunction with a small LA based company called Bug Music, the first band signed to the band's label is a Tennessee act called The Features.
Jon Fratelli, lead singer and guitarist for Scottish trio The Fratelli's is starting a side project from his namesake with a burlesque dancer. Yep, a burlesque dancer! Fratelli is working with burlesque performer Lou Hickey for their collaboration called Codeine Breakfast Club. Fratelli got to know Hickey because he sings and dances at the club Fratelli's wife Chelsea Dagger (Who the song is named after) dances at in Scotland.
They did it last year and are doing it again, Bloc Party will launch a surprise single, "One More Chance," on August 10. The Jacknife Lee produced track has never before been released.
Glasvegas has played in some pretty interesting spots recently in the US. They played a small church in Vegas, and this past weekend a cemetery in LA. Check out the clip above of Rab and James Allen doing "Daddy's Gone," acoustic. Its haunting and gorgeous!
Monday, June 15, 2009
1) How is the recording for the full length shaping up?
It's been a really great experience. We've had more studio time then we've ever had so we can really perfect everything to be exactly how we imagined it.
2) What is it like to have someone such as Albert Hammond Jr wanting to work with you and lend a hand to your music?
Working with Albert was amazing. Growing up The Strokes were one of our favorite bands and so it was really cool to work with one of your idols.
3) What has your experience with Hammond taught you?
He showed us how a true professional works. We are still young and learning as we go on but he's been in one of the biggest bands around and he showed us that in the way he plays guitar to the way he records music.
4) As a young band coming from NYC with much attention, how do you respond to the hype and critics?
I think you have to just let it happen. If you get too caught up in it you'll go crazy. We're really thrilled that we've been getting an exciting response and can't wait for everyone to hear our album.
5) Playing festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo and this summers All Points West. What is the experience like getting on such a big stage and playing to so many faces in front of you?Playing at a festival is an amazing feeling because everyone there is in a great mindset. They are all happy and checking out a bunch of bands so peoples ears are really open to checking out a new band. We definitely can feed off of a great crowd like that. The bigger the audience the more inspiring it is for you as an artist because you realize your music is effecting more people.
6) Your sound is very unique and retro. Explain the direction and style behind your songwriting process?
I think our sound comes as a result of the music all the band members really love. We don't really try to specifically write songs to sound retro it just happens naturally. We love the Motown era of music as well as NYC Rock like The Velvet Underground and Ramones.
7) What are your biggest influences on you music?
Sam Cooke, The Temptations, The Beatles, The Clash are definitely some of the biggest.
8) Where would you like your music to take you?
Hopefully around the world, twice.
The Postelles Live at Santos Party House 6/4/09
Special thanks to David, Darren Baber and EMI for everything!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It really is a shame there are not many outlets these days for great music videos aside from the web because Depeche Mode may have made two of the years best. After releasing the astonishing video for "Wrong," the band up the anty with "Peace," from their latest Sounds of the Universe. The video directed by Jonas & Francois, depicts a woman coming back from war to return to normal life in what seems to be a former Bloc nation. Take a look at the clip above and be prepared for something great, also look around the video for Depeche Mode logo's and trademarks.
With all this talk of the band possibly getting back together, I remember the first time I ever saw them on TV. Back in 2001 on The Late Show with David Letterman and destroying the Ed Sullivan theater, take a look at the clip above.
They came and went, but they came and went with a bang and after years of rumors and speculation, El Paso rockers At The Drive-In may soon be reforming. The nasty split in the band came at the height of their popularity in 2001 and caused members of the band to create Mars Volta and Sparta. In an interview with Drowned in the Sound, Mars Volta and former At the Drive-In front man Cedric Bixler admitted "I wouldn't mind it [a reformation]. It might happen, we just have to iron out a lot of personal things. A lot of it we've dealt with already and I've apologised for a lot of things I've said and the way it ended... we'll see what happens." God make this happen!
Australian rockers Jet have given details about their third much anticipated record. The band had gone a brief hiatus after the release of 2006's Shine On, but at the end of last year they came back together to record Shaka Rock. The album will be out this summer and they will be hitting the US road real hard, so check your listings as the band if the band is coming to you! Take a look at the track listing below:
'K.I.A (Killed In Action)'
'Beat On Repeat'
'She's A Genius'
'Black Hearts (On Fire)'
'La Di Da'
'Times Like This'
'Let Me Out'
'Start The Show'
'She Holds A Grudge'
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
1) How are the sessions going for the new album?
The second album is coming along nicely, after taking a 6 weeks or so to relax after our 'never ending' (about 2/3yrs) 1st album tour finished we started writing and recording demos for the new album. At first it was strange just being in the practice room all the time and not having a tour manager telling us stage times etc and being creative as opposed to performing but after a few practices things got going! Now we've got about 10 songs and we're all really happy with them, some more than others obviously but it's all really exciting for us. We just can't wait to finish writing and rehearsing and record the album properly and get the songs out to other people's ears.
2) Do you feel any pressure to outdo the success of your debut?
Of course there is some pressure but our only goal is to make the best album we possibly can, as we did for our 1st album, and hope that people are as happy as we are when it's finished. The main source of pressure comes from our own heads I guess! 2nd albums can't make or break bands can they??oh dear..as Glen Frey once said 'the heat is on..' haha!
3) It has been reported that fellow Liverpool native and legend, Sir Paul McCartney would like to produce your next album. How do you respond to such high acclaim for someone of his caliber would like to work with you?
It has indeed been reported but it was more of a rumour than anything. He apparently said in an interview with the BBC that if he were to start producing again he would like to work with some new up and coming bands such as the Wombats, or words to those effect. We have since interviewed Sir Paul when we took over from Zane Lowe for a show on radio 1 in January which was an amazing experience. Just to have been mentioned by him with regards to music he likes is just incredible for us. He's such a nice guy too, he made our interview with him sound good!!
4) Would you let Paul take the reigns of your next project or any project for that matter?
I'm sure we would definitely be up for trying something with Sir Paul one day but for now our main concern is writing the best album we can and enjoying ourselves in the process. We haven't started shortlisting producers to work with just yet.
5) What is it like having your wildest dreams come true, from forming a band in school to playing major festivals to touring the world and having your music loved the Globe over?
Being in a band was always something friends and family (and oneself deep down) called a hobby and the idea of becoming well known and touring the world over like your hero's was just a pipe dream but to suddenly find yourself backstage at a sold out show in Sydney with people chanting our name was when I think we all had a moment of realisation. Of how far we'd come in a relatively short space of time. It's strange though because you just have to deal with it,there's no other way so it somehow becomes 'normal'. It was only when we all got back to Liverpool for a few weeks that we started to realise what we had achieved.
6) With bands coming out of the UK like yours and Coldplay, Glasvegas and the Fratellis to name a few. Do you feel we are experiencing a third British Invasion? I guess if you feel like that's happening then it must be. There are lots of good bands coming out of the UK but we don't really know how well they do in the US. We haven't really extensively toured the states yet. We've dipped our little paws in the water and want to jump in headfirst and swim till we can't feel our arms because it is a blummin'(very) big swimming y'all got over there! Don't worry though, we've got bright orange arm bands and tord and murph often share a dinghy with me kicking behind so my thighs get a good work out. They tell me it'll help get rid of my chicken legs.
7) Will the band be coming to the US anytime soon?
As soon as our album is finished, which will hopefully before the end of this year, we will be over there sooner than you can say 'bottoms up' but no tours set in stone yet.
8) Is making it in the US still a big deal for a European musician?
The US is responsible for so much incredible music that I think every band would love to make it big enough in the states to be able to tour all over and to get to know the place that gave us so many genre defining artists. For us, from our experience so far it has been intense. Lots of hours on the road and not much sleep but it is definitely worth it and we are hoping to build on our 1st album success over there. See you soon..
(Top: "Let's Dance to Joy Division," Live at NME 2008 / Below: "Kill the Director" Acoustic for Italian Radio)
Special thanks to Dan Haggis and Simon Bobbett for the interview!
Taking the stage around 10pm and playing a 90 minute tour de force set, The Hold Steady were delighted and grateful to host such a party. The band has become the road dogs of rock and roll this year, with a non stop touring schedule that has taken them back and forth to Europe, opening for The Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band and many festival slots like Hyde Park Calling, Mountain Jam and Rothbury. Yet last night, non of that seemed to matter because they wanted to please New York and kick things off right. It didn't matter that they have been on tour all year and will not let up till the fall, they didn't look exhausted, they didn't look like they had any signs of stopping. The only thing they looked like was that they were having the time of their lives and so was the crowd. I think I must have lost a few pounds after jumping around and sweating my ass off so much in the front pit, as my body aches today it is just a reminder of how much fun this band is.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Of the two headliners, going on first was Nine Inch Nails. A much more stripped down stage set up from when I have seen them in the past (2006's With Teeth tour and 2008's Lights in the Sky tour at Lollapalooza), surrounded by walls of strobe lights and instruments, Trent Reznor and Co fire stormed a set of deep cuts and hits. From the moment they came on stage Nine Inch Nails brought an intensity unlike I have ever seen. The crowd, whose movements were restricted due to seats, still managed to have a great time tearing the amphitheater apart. The crowd didn't hear much from Reznor in between songs, except for a "thank you," here and there. Yet, three quarters into the set Reznor explained "I want to cut all the bullshit and cram as much music as I can in with such little time, thanks for all the support through the years." He accomplished his goal with a 90 minute, 20 plus song set that even included covers like Gary Numan's "Metal," and David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans," a song Reznor both co wrote and produced with Bowie in the mid 90's. Nine Inch Nails are truly one of those unforgettable live bands, and it is unfortunate Trent is waving goodbye to his fans but the legacy of such a powerful band will live on in memory.
After a pulse pounding slam from NIN, I pity any band to go on after them. Jane's Addiction, who I have seen twice before, in 2001 on their second reunion and then in 2003 headlining Lollapalooza, are either hit or miss and I was curious what to expect. In 2001 they were just on fire and truly amazing, in 2003 not so much. Last night they hit the mark. Opening with a montage of film clips and frolicking on stage, the legendary LA quartet took the stage like kings. Perrey Farrell dressed as a biker that Sascha Baron Coen's Bruno would love, the flamboyant front man graced the stage like the rock royalty that he is. Guitarist Dave Navarro, one of my all time favorites, never disappoints and drummer Steven Perkins looked like he was having the time of his life. Yet most of the focus on the evening came from bassist Eric Avery, who has not been with the band since 1991. 18 long years have passed and the hatchet has been buried, with his heavy bass playing and the vibrations going through each audience member, he made his presence known and made everyone realize why they missed him. I don't think I could ever seen Jane's Addiction in any other setting but Jones Beach, they are the essential summer band and with a majority of their songs about nature and the ocean, having the floating stage and the moon creating such an ambiance that this is the only way to kick off the summer!
Opening the show was Tom Morrello's new band Street Sweeper Social Club. I was very excited and curious to see what Morrello would have in store with this new act. I have seen each of Morrello's bands but the nightwatchmen and loved them all. Street Sweeper Social Club fronted by Boots Riley, were a disappointment. Morrello is the only thing to watch on that stage and he is backing a generic rap / rock band that just kept making me think of Limp Bizkit. An awful band with the guitarist being the only talented one. Even the band's cover of MIA's "Paper Planes," could not be saved. A disappointment, but with NIN and Jane's the reason for the ticket, the night will be remembered. A night of one band waving goodbye and another saying hello again.
Nine Inch Nails Jones Beach 6/7/09 Setlist:
The Beginning Of The End
March Of The Pigs
The Line Begins To Blur
The Big Come Down
I'm Afraid of Americans
Banged And Blown Through
The Downward Spiral
Mr. Self Destruct
The Day The World Went Away
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole
Jane’s Addiction Jones Beach 6/7/09 Setlist:
Ain’t No Right
Pigs in Zen
Then She Did…
Had a Dad
Been Caught Stealing
Ted, Just Admit it…
Friday, June 5, 2009
After much and much discussion and rumors as to when Jay-Z will finally give us The Blueprint 3, word came out it will be officially released this August and will feature the singles "Jockin Jay-Z" featuring Kanye West and "Brooklyn We Go Hard," featuring Sanitgold.
Another one of the UK's finest, The Arctic Monkeys have been locked up in a New York studio putting the finishing touches to their third release, Humbug. Speaking to NME magazine, they unveiling the track listing to new album. Humbug was produced by Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme and will hit stores in August. Take a look at the track listing below:
'Fire And The Thud'
'Dance Little Liar'
'The Jeweller's Hands'
What a way to kick off a new show! Pearl Jam came out swinging on Conan O'Brien's first night of hosting The Tonight Show and the band debuted their latest single "Get Some," off their forthcoming fall release Backspacer.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Vonrenzo is a sacred word of pure imagination… The Italian motif of the album is a tribute to my muse…
If I step back I find my songs seem to be very influenced by a sense of longing; either to be understood, desired, needed, or adored ‘what therapy?’
From a songwriters point of view certainly heartbreak, there is a certain energy that yearning inspires that is unlike anything else. However, love is the most powerful element that exists. Love is stronger than heartbreak, at least I keep telling myself that…
Kyle is the most musically gifted person I have met in this lifetime. Making music with him has been among one of my many great blessings. This experience was simply Divine.
Intention was a collection of all types of sounds and moods. In contrast Indica captured a specific vibe. This could be because Indica had a distinct passion behind it or that I grew into it a bit deeper as an artist. I actually see Indica as the solution to Intention rather than an opposite. Any drastic change was probably a result of more time and experience at being alive.
By the release of Intention I was suffering from a healthy dose of depression and found myself quite lost. The simple answer is heartache, the more complex is realizing I had no one but myself to blame for the choices I had made. In the end it was a good thing to see clearly that being numb is not a solution.
I think the nature of emotion is to change, so it is hard to say where I am regarding something so impulsive. Musically I would have to say I am growing and continuing to cultivate this drive toward going further…
I am honestly not sure I know enough about the crowd to answer... Are you asking me to be mean?
Well as long as we are dreaming I would have to say sharing a stage with Sigur Ros would be fascinating.
On a date
It may have been the night that Bruno teabagging Eminem that people will remember, but the Kings of Leon held tight to their throne at the annual MTV movie bash in California this past weekend.