"Little Miss Sunshine" Oscar nominees return with thrilling pop/rock
There's nothing like being at home for members of DeVotchKa. So it's a bit sobering to discover that success has kept the band, including frontman Nick Urata, far away from their Colorado homes.
An Oscar nomination for the score for "Little Miss Sunshine" in 2006 took DeVotchKa quite suddenly into the big leagues, with world tours, huge festival audiences and plenty of new film work awaiting in Los Angeles. Their follow-up 2008 album, "A Mad and Faithful Telling," more than delivered on the promise of their early work. The latest album, "100 Lovers," is in stores now. It's a taut piece, with 10 tight songs and two musical interludes. The semi-title cut, "One Hundred Other Lovers," is an infectious piece of pop that should be an instant radio hit.
Urata and bandmates Tom Hagerman, Shawn King and Jeanie Schroder were joined by members of Calexico and more as they recorded "100 Lovers" in Tucson, Arizona, just as that state was becoming ground zero for the immigration debate and violent political rhetoric.
Urata, back in Denver briefly for a hometown live show before the release of "100 Lovers," spoke about the band's ride and the work that went into the new disc.The band also found time to participate in "The Music of Neil Young" where they and bands like Dinosaur Jr. interpreted Young songs, from the classic to the obscure, at Carnegie Hall.
Kinks reunion without Dave Davies?
Ray Davies is considering re-forming the Kinks without his estranged brother, according to a new interview. Tired of waiting for Dave Davies to warm to a reunion tour, Ray suggested that he and some of the group's other alumni may go it alone. "We'll do it without him if we have to," Ray said. "The music is the issue."
It is almost 15 years since the Kinks disbanded – and the Davies brothers are still feuding. "I'm a little more based on planet Earth than certain other members of my family," Ray said in a new interview with Q. Dave, who founded the Kinks with Pete Quaife in 1963, has opposed a reunion: it would be like "a bad remake of Night of the Living Dead" he said in 2008.
But Ray has pushed forward with numerous Kinks schemes, re-recording hits as duets and with a choir. After the death of Quaife last year, he tried to reconcile with Dave for a memorial performance. "Even the mafia get together and make up when someone dies," Ray told Uncut at the time. Dave has called such projects "karaoke Kinks". "I can understand what [Dave's] trying to say," Ray conceded this week. "I think it's a reference to comebacks in general."
At the moment, Ray is more concerned with a bullet-wound he suffered in 2004 while chasing a bag-snatcher in New Orleans. "To put it politely, I don't think [the wound] was handled very well at the time," he told Q (via Contact Music). "Partly because the hospital was busy, and partly due to the nature of the wound." In November, Ray was forced to cancel four gigs due to complications from the injury. "It's been pretty bad, actually," he said. "I got quite sick before Christmas from residue that is still in the leg and which formed a clot. It made me quite ill and I was hospitalised for a bit."
Ray Davies curates this year's Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in London in June.
A: They both won Oscars last night!
Everyone's talking about how boring and bad the Oscar ceremony was last night, and who are we to disagree? Two highlights, however, came when two pop musicians, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Randy Newman of Randy Newman walked home with golden statues—Reznor (and Atticus Finch) for their score to The Social Network, Newman for his song "We Belong Together' from Toy Story 3.
Randy Newman picked up the award for Best Original Song at the 2011 Academy Award ceremony for his composition of We Belong Together which featured in Toy Story 3. The songwriter was in a self-deprecating mood as he collected his 2nd award in 20 nominations; highlighting the inconsistency in category nominations as he did.
“Cinematography has five. What? They couldn’t find a fifth song?” he asked with tongue firmly planted in cheek. A grateful Newman delivered the punch line added that if there had been a fifth contender they’d most certainly have beaten him.
Whilst reporters frantically huddled around a composed Newman after the awards were over he told them that he thought the song was “not the most consequential” piece he’d ever written and that he felt that his music for previous films such as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 andAwakenings had much more impact on the movie’s atmosphere.
“Last year I knew I wouldn’t win,” Newman offered as he rightly predicted a win for T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham. “This time I thought I might have a chance. I still didn’t prepare!”
Toy Story 3 picked up the award for Best Animated Feature Oscar along with Newman’s Best Song award.
Elsewhere in music Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross collected the Best Original Score award for their collaboration on the soundtrack to The Social Network. Reznor was more hmble in his acceptance speech than Newman however.
“Wow. Is this really happening?” Quizzed an astounded Reznor.
“When we finished work on ‘The Social Network,’ we were very proud of our work and happy to just be involved in this film, and to be standing up here in this company is humbling and flattering beyond words.”
Later during post award interviews Reznor was quick to praise David Fincher’s vision in defining how he wanted the score to sound, citing Vangelis’ atmospheric and iconic sounding Blade Runner soundtrack as a point of influence.
“A side of my music with Nine Inch Nails was going instrumental so it was not a huge leap or stretch to try this,” said Reznor on his first foray into the world of movie scores. “The biggest challenge was working with a picture. David Fincher knew exactly what he wanted. It was one of the best experiences of my life from start to finish.”
Late Beatle would have been 68 today
40 biggest earners in music shake their moneymakers
75% of the Monkees Reunite Again
Their fans may have thought reunions were only true in fairytales, meant for someone else, but not for them. But those who have kept the faith will be delighted to hear that 1960s pop group the Monkees, spawned from the television programme of the same name, are back.
The band, originally created for the hit show the Monkees, which charted the experiences of four young men in their quest to become rock'n'roll stars, are reforming to celebrate their 45th anniversary.
For the first time in 12 years the TV band – whose hits include Daydream Believer, I'm a Believer and Last Train to Clarksville – will perform 10 gigs in Britain, kicking off on 12 May at the Liverpool Echo Arena and including a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, in London.
Three of the original Monkees, Americans Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork and Briton Davy Jones, will brave aching knees and dodgy backs for the performances, but Michael Nesmith – who went on to create his own business and became a producer and novelist – will not take part in the tour.
After originally being created in 1966 by writer and producer Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider for the television series, which aired from 1966 to 1968 before re-running extensively in the 1980s, the Monkees gained credibility by taking supervisory control over all their collective musical work.
The show won two Emmy awards in 1967 and propelled its four stars to pop stardom. John Lennon called them "the Marx brothers of rock", but in 1967, The Monkees outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined, and went on to sell 50m records.
New Radiohead album and video, a day ahead of schedule
Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, Nils Lofgren and more team up to fight the hate
With the crass, “I’ve got mine” mentality in the music industry today it’s easy to think everyone’s just in it for their own glory, be it Kanye West’s megalomania or Miley Cyrus’ latest pole-dance.
And then there are those who still give back – Bruce Springsteen’s constant support of community food banks, Dave Matthews instantly deciding to do a benefit show as Hurricane Katrina was happening and more.
In the wake of the horrendous political shootings in Tucson, Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, Nils Lofgren, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Keb’ Mo’ and more have stepped up for a March 10 benefit to tone down the violence and rhetoric.
The press release on Browne’s website notes that “the event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, benefiting the newly established Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding.” It’ll be held at the Tucson Convention Center (also known as the Tucson Arena) and the city is donating the use of the building for free, much like Denver allowed Matthews to use Red Rocks for free for his Katrina benefit.
Also on the bill are Sam Moore, Ozomatli, Calexico and other guests. It’s particularly fitting that two of the headliners, Cooper and Lofgren, call Arizona their home, and Browne co-wrote a particularly famous song about a road trip with a stop in Winslow, Arizona.
The Jan. 8 shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others at a community forum has rocked the state, which has been the subject of national controversy over immigration and violence in politics. Ironically, some of the most politically non-violent acts in music, including Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, come from Arizona as well. Guest speakers will include Mark Kelly, Giffords husband.
Reached by phone today, Cooper - who has kept his career separate from politics - said the benefit was not a political statement but a chance to reach out and help. He was happy to help organize it with Browne and his other musical friends.
"It's home state for us. I don't look at it as political at all. It's humanitarian," Cooper said. "It goes beyond political. It goes to just common sense."
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Arizona time on Saturday, Feb. 19, through Ticketmaster and the convention center’s box office, ranging from $25 to $250.
UPDATE: Tickets are on sale now, and they've adjusted the price so that top tickets are under $100. The link above still works. Get them while they last.
live local music on
Enter your ZIP code to see concerts happening in your area.
Data provided by Zvents