New Music Friday

The hit single used to be the instigator for us to want to buy the entire album.  Of course we all know first  iTunes took over and we started picking and choosing our songs of choice.  Now streaming services are the dominate player and curated playlists.  However there are a two singles out right now that are so intriguing that I want to hear the albums in their entirety.  Those albums are now available

The first is  The Weeknd. The album is  “Beauty Behind The Madness“.  For some reason people like to declare the song of the summer and no one can agree.  This summer however saw the release of “Can’t Feel My Face” and all bets were off as this song has dominated the charts since it was released.  The Weeknd are playing the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday and I expect the song to get another jolt  as those that don’t even listen to hit-driven music are now exposed to this song.  This is going to be “Happy” and “Get Lucky” type huge.  Soon the name Abel Tesfaye (The singer/songwriter/producer behind The Weeknd) will be a household name

Sample the songs from the album here

The Weeknd "Beauty Behind The Madness"

On a smaller scale, the song “New Americana” by Halsey has also garnered interest with her declaration of the New Millennials.

We are the new Americana,
High on legal marijuana,
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana,
We are the new Americana.

Does she have more to say?  Will she be the spokeswoman for this generation?   She is all of 20 years of age.  I’ll have to give a listen to Badlands and see what else is on Ashley Nicolette Frangipane aka Halsey’s mind. By the way, doesn’t anyone use their real name anymore?

Halsey is a restless soul as this song “Hurricane” declares “Don’t belong to no city. Don’t belong to no man…I’m a Hurricane”

Halsey "BADLANDS"

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Get Out

Sad that you missed Taylor Swift announce “Please welcome to the stage Beck and St. Vincent” as they ripped into Beck’s “Dreams”?

St. Vincent

Erykah Badu

Well fear not as St. Vincent remains in Los Angeles for her show this Sunday at The Hollywood Bowl. This time instead of Beck the musical protege is paired with R&B chanteuse Erykah Badu. Erykah has not released an album in over 5 years so who knows what to expect from this ever changing artist. She did release this mixtape a month ago to give you some idea of where her head is at musically. It should be an amazing night.

In case you need a different type of dynamic duo, may I suggest you head to Irvine Meadows for some Hall & Oates.  Enjoy!

Hall & Oates 1970s

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Born To Run turns 40

Bruce Springsteen "Born To Run"

Born To Run was released on August 25, 1975.  It was Bruce Springsteen‘s third album.  The first two records, while critically acclaimed, did not sell very well.  I think most industry experts would agree that in today’s market, Springsteen would have been dropped by Columbia probably after the first album and definitely after the second record.  “He’s a live act that can’t make a hit record.” I can imagine them saying.  

In today’s market Bruce Springsteen and The E Street band would be popular on the festival circuit but would probably have a hard time selling records. They would most likely be on an independent label or slugging it out on their own. Let’s just say, I’m happy that Born To Run came out in 1975 instead of 2015.  

It’s still one of my favorite albums to this day.  I can still feel the restlessness Springsteen must have been feeling in the deliver of the music and lyrics.  He had to prove himself worthy.  

This was probably his last shot and he knew it.  “The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive!” Hearing “Born To Run” now, it sounds like a love letter and a promise to his fans. “We’re going to get to that place that we really want to go”.  I think this is why sometimes his more popular songs are not played at shows but “Born To Run is practically guaranteed to be played.   He got to that place and has been taking us on that “walk in the sun” ever since.

On a lighter note, I also think the cover is the most famous elbow photo ever, imho (Thanks Clarence!)

Even Sesame Street had the good sense to include Cookie Monster on the front cover.  Although Bert as Bruce?  I think Bruce’s amazing ability to count should have landed The Count as Bruce or Grover’s frenetic energy might have been a good Springsteen.

 

Because Bruce is still a vital live act. Let’s post eight live versions of each song.  Only eight songs and less than 40 minutes in length! Can you imagine someone doing that today?   I wish they still would.  Born to Run remains one of the few albums in which I could probably quote all the lyrics.  So show a little faith! Are you ready? Ah One! Two! Three! Four!

Side 1
1) Thunder Road: If you watch only one of these videos. Watch this one. It’s probably one of my favorite live clips of Springsteen. This is from The Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland on August 15, 1978

2) 10th Avenue Freeze-Out: Bad Scooter Bruce Springsteen. Same initials. Same guy? Hammersmith Odeon 1975

3) Night: Show 10 of 10 at Giants Stadium, Aug 31st 2003

4) Backstreets: Solo piano. Still powerful without the band
November 22, 2005 – Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, NJ

Side 2

5) Born To Run: Video I believe from 1985

6) “She’s The One” Datch Forum in Milan, Italy on November 28, 2007.

7) “Meeting Across The River A song for Eddie and the guys in the Bronx

8) Jungleland: First performance without Clarence “Big Man” Clemons Gothenborg July 28, 2012.  I get emotional every time I watch Clarence’s nephew Jake Clemons bust into the sax solo.

Born To Run outtake photos

Born To Run outtake photos

Born To Run outtake photos

Born To Run outtake photos

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2 for 2uesday

Two new songs I’ve had on repeat this week.

City And Colour “Love Come Back”

Ontario based singer-songwriter Dallas Green does his country proud as he continues his string of melodic melancholy with this gem.  The new album out in October is entitled “If I Should Go Before You” (see more melancholy!)

City and Colour "If I Should Go Before You"

When I first heard this I thought James Murphy has brought back LCD Soundsystem. It is in fact, Seattle based band Telekinesis. Michael Lerner found himself in a similar predicament as James Murphy as after a number of successful albums was having trouble reinventing himself. But instead of blowing up his band like Murphy, Lerner went back to his beginnings and played around with the synthesizer sound of the 80s to find his muse This first single is a very good sign that the new album will be another winner. The album Ad Infinitum comes out September 18.

Telekinesis "Ad Infinitum"

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Bands on hiatus

On Sunday August 23, 2015 a day that will live in infamy the boys in One Direction announced they are going on hiatus starting in March 2016.

The group, which is now made up of Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinsonand and Niall Horan, has mutually agreed to take at least a year long break from the band to pursue their own projects, a source confirms to PEOPLE.

One Direction to Take an Extended Hiatus in March

Harry , Liam, Louis and Niall of 1D

But what does hiatus mean? Is it a breakup or will we ever see the boys back together, including Zayn Malik who left the group back in March of 2015? Only time will tell but thanks to Wikipedia I can look up a list of bands that went on hiatus and see if they did ever get back together.

Phish go on hiatus in 2000, get together again New Year’s Eve of 2002. Go back on hiatus in 2004 and reformed in 2009. They are still touring together

Black Crowes: After a hiatus between 2002 and 2005, the band released Warpaint, which hit number 5 on the Billboard chart.After the release of a double album, the greatest hits-like and mostly acoustic Croweology in August 2010, the band started a 20th anniversary tour that was followed by an ongoing second hiatus. The band announced that they would return in early 2013 but that December they returned to hiatus status with no specific return date. They announced their break-up in 2015.

Blink-182:  Tom DeLonge leaves the group in 2005, sending the band into what was termed an “indefinite hiatus”. The trio reunited in 2009, producing their sixth album, Neighborhoods (2011). In 2015, DeLonge again exited, and was replaced by Alkaline Trio guitarist and vocalist Matt Skiba.

The Backsteet Boys came back (alright!) in 2005 after a 5 year hiatus and released their fifth studio album in Never Gone. After the conclusion of the Never Gone Tour in 2006, Kevin Richardson left the group to pursue other interests. The group then released two albums as a quartet: Unbreakable (2007) and This Is Us (2009). In 2012, the group announced that Richardson had rejoined them permanently.

Weezer: The band goes into hiatus after their second album Pinkerton is released from 1997-1999. They reunite in 2000 and continue to make records. In 2006 Rivers Cuomo confirms that Weezer is now on hiatus again. Commenting on the band’s future he said, “I’m not certain we’ll ever make a record again, unless it becomes really obvious to me that we need to do one.” They put out albums in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2014. They continue to tour.

Starting in 2007, Wikipedia created a section especially for bands announcing their hiatus.  Here are a few of the major players that needed a break.

Evanescence (currently touring)
Nickel Creek (reformed in 2014)
Train (reformed in 2009)
Outkast (toured in 2014, future TBD)

2008
Red Hot Chili Peppers (reformed 2010)
Incubus (reformed 2011)

2009
Dixie Chicks (still hiatus but have been know to play some corporate gigs)
Foo Fighters (back in 2011)
Nine Inch Nails (back in 2014)
Fall Out Boy (indefinite hiatus lasted until 2012)
TV On The Radio (reformed 2011)

2010
The Killers (reformed 2011)

2011
Jonas Brothers (broke up officially in 2013

2013
Mumford & Sons (reformed in 2015)

2014
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (still on hiatus from December 2014 announcement)

2015

fun. (announced hiatus in February)

2016

One Direction (only time will tell)

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New Music Friday “Star Wars” The Wilco CD

Jeff Tweedy is not talking about “Star Wars” the album that is available on CD today but the next album Wilco may someday release (maybe next week, maybe next year, maybe never).  He seems to be having fun with his band.  He’s been mentioning the word “fun” a lot lately

“… it felt like it would be fun. What’s more fun than a surprise?” ” said Jeff at the time via Instagram.

Jeff clearly loves his new record.  Wilco has been playing “Star Wars” in it’s entirety at practically every show since it was released for free to the public on July 16.

 

More fun stuff. Wilco’s first single is called Random Name Generator. Here’s Jeff Tweedy’s Star Wars name.

Now comes the interesting part.  How many people will pony up money for better sounding version of an album they already own?

In case you decide not to purchase the CD. You can read this lovely note from the band and find something else to enjoy.

We consider ourselves lucky to be in the position to give you this music free of charge, but we do so knowing not every band, label or studio can do the same. Much of the “music business” relies on physical sales to keep the lights on and the mics up. Without that support, well, it gets tougher and tougher to make it all work.

With that in mind, Wilco has put together a list of some of their favorite recent releases. We encourage you to explore it (and beyond) and yep, even march down to your neighborhood record shop and BUY. There’s a lot of great music out there, lets all try to support it. After all, it’s the years of support (and purchases) of Wilco’s music that allowed us to do what we did last week.

AdronOrganismo
Cibo MattoHotel Valentine
Empyrean AtlasInner Circle
Eleventh Dream DayWorks for Tomorrow
Full of Hell, MerzbowFull of Hell & Merzbow
Game TheoryReal Nighttime
GirlpoolBefore the World Was Big
Invisible FamiliarsDisturbing Wildlife
LandladyUpright Behavior
LulucPasserby
Ned DohenyHard Candy
Parquet CourtsContent Nausea
Richard JulianFleur de Lis
Scott Walker + Sunn O)))Soused
Speedy OrtizFoil Deer
Steve GunnWay Out Weather
William TylerDeseret Canyon

Thanks for listening (and sometimes buying),

Wilco "Star Wars"

 

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Please welcome to the stage….

Taylor Swift

Let’s not get carried away but T Swizzle is coming to LA for a glorious 5 night stand at Staples Center.  Haim will be the opening act so it’s going to be like one giant slumber party.  Although I do enjoy the music I will not be anywhere near this event.  It is clearly not meant for parents.  We still don’t understand.

In any event, who knows who Taylor will invite to her party?  In San Francisco it was the dynamic duo of legendary singer songwriter Joan Baez and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts.


So far Taylor has brought out her BFFs to join her Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid as well as musical guests like Little Mix, Fetty Wap, Nick Jonas, Lorde and Fifth Harmony.You can’t make this stuff up

Actually you can.  Someone got creative and made this amazing video of potential guests at the upcoming shows.  Please enjoy!

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Songwriters

You may have heard that Rolling Stone issued their 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.  You may have also heard the usual well deserved griping (too old, too white, too male).  While all the people on this list certainly deserved to be there, I think many of the songwriters that have had tremendous success writing songs for other artists should have been emphasized.  It’s expected that artists write songs for themselves now.  It’s a real skill to create a hit song for someone else.

I think karaoke-ability is also a huge factor in finding a good songwriter.  We love to sing along to all these songs.

Here are three examples of highly successful songwriters that should have been on the Rolling Stone list

Sia

Sia-Besides writing her own songs specifically “Chandelier” she wrote songs for Beyoncé, Flo Rida and Rihanna.  She had a top 5 hit with David Guetta

Linda Perry Some might know her from her band 4 Non Blondes and the song “What’s Up” but she’s also created numerous hits for a wide variety of artists including massive hits for Gwen Stefani “What You Waiting For” and Christina Aguilera “Beautiful”.

Robert John “Mutt” Lange-Not just a producer extraordinaire but also wrote songs for Bryan Adams, Def Leppard, Heart and Huey Lewis & The News. How could Rolling Stone have missed this guy? I should also mention his tremendous success with his ex-wife Shania Twain. This just goes to show you sometimes lyrics can be silly but it works if the songwriter has created a great melodic hook

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2 for 2uesday

Two artists that happened upon my desk this past week and made me prick up my ears.  Coincidently,  even thought their music is vastly different they both come from the heartland of America.

Joni Payne "Must Have"

Joni Payne “Must Have”

Hails from Dayton, Ohio

Reminds me of the noirish vibe from Lana Del Rey mixed the jazzy vocal stylings of Lianne La Havas.  It’s a love song but it’s delivered so cooly I think she may still be trying to convince herself this is who she really wants.  The lyrics lay out like a movie.

“Alright, let’s talk
Maybe we should go for a walk
‘Cuz this room makes it hard for me to hear my own thoughts”

Spoiler alert.  They don’t go for that walk.

I look forward to hearing more from Joni.

Lucas Jack "Before I Forget"

Lucas Jack “Don’t Get Carried Away”

Hails from Kalamazoo, MI

Reminds me of Ben Folds and Billy Joel and any other classic pop/rock artist you can think of that uses the piano as the lead instrument.  I also imagine Lucas has also witnessed a few Broadway musicals in his lifetime.  Like all musicals, you may initially resist the music but it always draws you in with the melody and hooks.  I would not be surprised if Lucas has a musical idea in his back pocket ready to spring on the right producer. My advice, don’t get carried away…yet.  You’ve got a potential solo career ahead of you.

 

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Sweating musicians

It’s the dog days of Summer and I don’t feel like moving around at all…and that includes typing so in honor of sweat, I present my favorite sweat songs and musicians.

Let’s start with the obvious #1 Funk sensation, James Brown

Sweaty James Brown

Sweaty James Brown

Prince “Black Sweat”

Sweaty Prince

Sweaty Prince

C+C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) ft. Freedom Williams

Thin Lizzy “Cold Sweat”

Of course I should salute that guy who “in the day…sweat it out on the streets” and is probably one of the sweatiest performers out there.

Sweaty Bruce Springsteen

Sweaty Bruce Springsteen

 

Unfortunately Blood Sweat and Tears and Keith Sweat don’t have any sweat songs.

and now everyone sing along “to the windows, to the walls…”

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