Hanson webcasts to finish up tonight and Friday
We told you the other day about Hanson doing five albums in five nights, live on the web from New York City, all starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time sharp. It turns out these are no shoddy affairs -- great-sounding, sharply produced shows that seem to stream flawlessly. Tonight the album "The Walk" gets its turn, performed in its entirety. The series wraps up Friday night with the band giving the world premiere of its new album, "Shout It Out." Worth your bandwidth.
Also, Courtney Love, the Hold Steady and how music can keep you alive
So which is it? On one hand you’ve got Donald Trump
practically writing Bret Michaels’ obit after the Poison singer's brain hemorrhage. Then you’ve
got USA Today reporting that his chances are “quite good.” The only reason to give Trump any weight is that Michaels is on his "Celebrity Apprentice" show.
There’s speculation (again, from Trump) that Michaels’ mishap on the Tony Awards where he was clocked with a piece of scenery could have contributed to the hemorrhage. Here’s hoping everything turns out OK.
Too bad you weren’t at SXSW. You missed the exquisite vocal styling of Miss Courtney LoveShe's been posting crazy stuff up on Facebook - or not, she's now claiming fraud. Billy Corgan has, for the 20th time, had enough of Love's antics and is Tweeting fairly viciously about her. Some excerpts:
thought #3:maybe you should go someone nice+live off your husband's money, u know the money he made for writing all those great songs.
Thought #5: the world is aware of your lack of responsibility, as seen in the gov't taking away your parental right. Only you could abandon!
The new Hold Steady album, "Heaven is Whenever," is streaming live in its entirety on NPR. The good news: The band has given up its quest to sound, sing and write like Bruce Springsteen and sound more like themselves than ever. Give a listen.
Missed this earlier this month -- Slash went on Jay Leno's recently reclaimed "Tonight Show" sporting a button on his guitar strap supporting Conan O'Brien. Blink and you'll miss it, but that's the beauty of Tivo.
Finally, this ain't exactly rock 'n' roll, but it's some pretty good proof that music can help keep you alive and well.
You can watch the live stream of five long-sold-out NYC shows
Success can always come back to bite you in the butt. Even though Robert Plant can’t stand it anymore, “Stairway to Heaven” will always be Led Zeppelin’s biggest song.
With Hanson, the single “MMMBop” and the album “Middle of Nowhere” made them an instant international success. But its poppy tilt, combined with the Hanson brothers’ youth (and the fact that they’re three brothers in a band) had many people writing them off as a one-hit gimmick.
The brothers learned to deal with it years ago.
“Success is a double-edged sword,” Zac Hanson said. “You get in the position where people go ‘This is what they are.’ … having that record be successful gave us the ability to put out the records we’re putting out now.”
In the meantime, Isaac, Taylor and Zac have gone on to make a string of studio albums (including the upcoming “Shout It Out,”) have done charitable work fighting AIDS and HIV in Africa, and they’ve got a new single, “Thinking ‘bout Something” with a new video that goofs on their own image and that of other musicians.
Starting tonight, Hanson’s doing five sold-out shows in a row at the Gramercy Theater in New York City, doing five of their albums in their entirety. Tonight is “Middle of Nowhere.” Tuesday is “This Time Around,” followed by “Underneath,” “The Walk” and the premiere of the new album, “Shout It Out,” on Friday night.
Why do you care? Because
they’re streaming these shows live as they’re being performed. The video below will take you to all the shows.
Whether it's your taste or not, you've got to give them points for confidence and giving the fans what they want. And if you tune in you just might be surprised about those preconceptions of yours.
Annie Lennox wears HIV Positive T-Shirt, is not HIV positive. Discuss
A lot of heads were turned last night when Annie Lennox showed up on “Idol Gives Back” wearing a t-shirt with the words “HIV POSITIVE” emblazoned on the front (she also wore the shirt to events last year, including the 2009 Edinburgh Festival of Politics and the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert in New York last October). The good news is she herself is not HIV positive, but simply showing solidarity with the millions of people who are.
In the video below, which was actually created last November, Lennox explains that she first saw someone wearing a bold “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirt in South Africa in 2004, and she thought it was such a “clever, brilliant” idea, she decided to run with it herself. “In a country like South Africa, where HIV is so prevalent, and yet you have stigma where people are afraid to openly come out and say that they’re HIV positive,” she says, ”this t-shirt, whoever wears it, is making a statement of solidarity, and they’re saying, ‘We’re coming out from behind the shadows. We’re trying to normalize what is a preventable thing. It doesn’t need to have the stigma.’”
Plus Joni dogs Madonna, and XTC is now ex-XTC
Who fans, mark next Tuesday on your calendar. That’s when Wolfgang’s Vault puts up the last-ever time the Who performed “Tommy” in its entirety in the U.S. (well, until they did it again in ’89, but that’s a whole other story). You can preview a song from the 1970 concert at Tanglewood in Massachusetts here.
Bruce Springsteen promised fans a DVD of his 2009 tour and hints were dropped that it'd be something with a real twist. Given that he performed a number of albums in their entirety, including "Greetings From Asbury Park" to the sprawling "The River," fans had high hopes. Well, the DVD is coming on June 22 - but it's "London
Calling: Live In Hyde Park," the "Hard Rock Calling" festival from London last June. Good show, but much of it was broadcast on TV and has been in fans' collections ever since. It'll have to tide us over until the deluxe "Darkness on the Edge of Town" is released later this year.
Madonna ruined music? Maybe. Bob Dylan is a fraud? Not sure about that. Joni Mitchell gave a rare interview and talked trash about her fellow musicians. But she gets a pass, as she wrote one of the best protest songs of all time.
Most XTC fans knew it in their hearts, but recently band leader Andy Partridge made it official. XTC is now ex-XTC.
Aimee Mann : Ice T :: Tupac : Biggie?
The “hot” modifier seems especially mean and gratuitous. Mann spent her next few Tweets backpedaling,concluding with, “He’s out there doing his job. He doesn’t need any heckling from the peanut gallery. So, I am sorry, Mr. T! You get out there and DO IT!” In the original Tweet, Mann was likely referring to a late-night episode of Law and Order: SVU, since it’s on TV at any given hour, on one network or another. Ice-T’s been on the show since 2000, but he also put in pretty good performances in New Jack City and (especially) Tank Girl.
Yes, it's the greatest music festival in the world
The lesson to take away from Coachella 2010: Side projects are the new headliners. Also: Bobby Womack is a weird dude.
Three of the weekend's most spectacular sets came from offshoot bands: Saturday it was the Dead Weather, featuring, among others, Jack White of the White Stripes and Alison Mosshart of the Kills on the Outdoor Theater stage and, on the main stage, Them Crooked Vultures, comprising John Paul Jones of Led Zep, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.
They weren't official headliners, but Sunday belonged to Atoms for Peace, Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke's brand-new solo project. Yorke and crew—including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea—played a late evening set on the Outdoor Theater stage to an enormous crowd, most of whom hung on every note of ever song from Yorke's 2006 solo album The Eraser. With this new quartet, Yorke has filled in the blank spaces that made The Eraser such a willfully distant, bleak affair—while fully clothed and all but leashed to his spot on the stage, Flea still flogged his bass with his trademark rubber-slap style, boinging spastically behind Yorke's guitar and trebly vocals. Minimalist laptop songs were racheted into emo-funk dancefloor candy and dubbed-out space jams; the crowd, even as far back as a quarter mile from the stage, spun madly. (Special note to prospective Coachella attendees: Due to impossibly large crowds, you probably won't actually see the bands you can to see, but you will hear them. Sound production here is top notch.) Yorke encored by himself and an acoustic guitar with a couple Radiohead tunes: a beautiful "Airbag" and the always-eerie "Everything in Its Right Place." The performance was a reinvention, Atoms for Peace a revelation: Even after 15 years as frontman of the world's most important band, there's much about Yorke we don't know.
Equally inscrutable was Gorillaz festival-closing slot on the main stage. These guys, too, could be considered a side project, albeit a more loosely-knit, intermittent one: Masterminded by Damon Albarn of the defunct Britpop band Blur, Gorillaz have released three albums of sci-fi pop, funk-rock, and instrumental hop-hop, each one featuring a cornucopia of special guests. Their most recent is Plastic Beach, and songs from that record dominated their performance. In a strange way: cameo performances from Snoop and Del the Funky Homosapien were pre-recorded, or merely played from the album, begging the question, what the hell is Del the Funky Homosapien doing on a Sunday night that he couldn't make it to Coachella for what would've been the biggest show of his life? "Welcome to the World of Plastic Beach" and "Clint Eastwood"—Snoop and Del's respective Gorillaz tracks—went down strangely thanks to the replacement of the lead vocalists with video projections.
The band itself was real enough. For previous shows, Albarn et al were concealed behind curtains while animated avatars were projected in their stead. At Coachella, each musician was clearly visible on stage and the animation was beamed onto IMAX-sized backdrop screens. Like Die Antwoord (see yesterday's review), this animated visual aspect is critical to the band's mystique. With Sunday guest appearances by De La Soul and members of the Clash, it seems Albarn is bringing his cartoon band into the real world. He let '70s soul singer Bobby Womack—seated, disheveled in black baseball cap and sweatshirt—close the entire festival with "Cloud of Unknowing" while Naval air disaster footage rolled behind him. Gorillaz post-apocalyptic Toontown aesthetic was a strange way to end the festival, and this tune, which closes Plastic Beach, was stranger still.
As was the fact that Pavement was one of the most rockingest bands at Coachella. Reunited for the first time in ten years, the indie-rock pioneers were unafraid to tear through their catalog, led by solo-happy slacker demigod Stephen Malkmus. Fans—far fewer than expected at the main stage pre-headlining slot—were overjoyed that the band was doing its thing; the band was in champion form for tracks like "Frontwards," "Shady Lane" and "Stereo."
Coachella's other indie-rock elders, Yo La Tengo, turned in an engaging, adventurous set on the main stage earlier in the day that included fan favorite/one of the best indie rock songs ever "Autumn Sweater." Thematically inappropriate on a 90-degree Coachella day but sonically delicious.
French phenoms Phoenix were the lucky recipients of a choice time slot, Sunday evening's sunset set. Though members of their technical crew were missing due to the Icelandic volcano, the band slayed the Outdoor Stage crowd with typical verve. "I can't see the back of this," singer Thomas Mars said of the crowd. "I can't see the end." Fittingly, the back of the crowd couldn't see him either. Despite the distance, songs like "Consolation Prize" flaunted the band's classic rock roots as much as their penchant for slick, shiny pop.
A note on the Sly Stone performance: He showed up five hours late. By that time giving him the honor of attending his set felt like enabling. At Coachella, there's too much other stuff, world-class stuff, going on to permit any dallying.