Daily Archives: April 4, 2017

Calle 13's Residente Talks Exploring Global Roots on Star-Studded Solo Debut

As frontman of alternative-hip-hop group Calle 13, Residente sold hundreds of thousands of records and racked up more Latin Grammys than any other act in history. But when it came time to make his solo debut, the rapper-producer – born René Pérez Joglar – decided he wanted something more.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant,” he tells Rolling Stone over the phone, “but it’s really easy to make another hit. I don’t want to do it because the industry pushes you to do that, so, I decided to travel and trace my DNA … using music.”

A few years ago, Joglar took a DNA test that traced his genes back to 10 vastly different locales – from his native Puerto Rico to Armenia, Ghana to China. An artist long invested in breaking down boundaries of all kinds, Joglar decided that these results would serve as the conceptual framework for his next project – a self-titled LP accompanied by a documentary and book commissioned by Fusion Media Group, a division of Hispanic media conglomerate Univision. 

Residente is Joglar’s first record since disbanding Calle 13, the wildly successful group he shared with his siblings Eduardo Cabra Martínez and Ileana Cabra Joglar. For his own project, the MC amassed new collaborators from 10 different corners of the earth, each artist local to a place of his genetic origin. Indie-pop singer SoKo lends a touch of French melodrama in the star-crossed love song “Desencuentro”; composer Goran Bregović and his Balkan brass band underscore Joglar’s cyborg-ian dystopia in “El Futuro Es Nuestro”; and Niger-born Tuareg guitarist Bombino guests on the slick, funky “La Sombra.”

Though the album finds him breaking away from Calle 13, Residente still turned out to be a family affair: On the album’s opening track, “Intro ADN/DNA,” Hamilton actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda tells the tale of how he and Joglar discovered they were long-lost cousins. A Nuyorican by way of Manhattan’s Washington Heights, Miranda had never crossed paths with Joglar, a Boricua born and raised in San Juan – at least not until the two had long grown up and become fans of each others’ music. Joglar, who later made a guest appearance on 2016’s Hamilton Mixtape, asked Miranda to emcee one of his concerts in Puerto Rico. While communing with Miranda backstage, Joglar’s mother, Flor, identified his lineage with clairvoyant precision: “You have your grandfather’s face,” she told Miranda. “He was my mother’s cousin.”

Joglar, the man Miranda calls a “global artist in residence,” spoke to Rolling Stone about building international solidarity among his fellow musicians, his stance on Puerto Rican independence and the making of Residente.

You’ve always had your own personality, but now that Calle 13 is no more, you’re establishing yourself as a proper solo artist. What has that process been like?
For this record, I had produced the whole album myself. And as always, I wrote all my lyrics. But I was surrounded by great people, very talented people. Great musicians, composers and a great mixer, Tom Elmhirst [Adele, Amy Winehouse].

People still know me by Calle 13, and you know, they stop me on the street. It’s nice, but I just want to start using Residente all the time. I decided to put everything under the name of Residente. The documentary: Residente. The album: Residente. I’m writing a book about the travels and the pictures and all of the creative process, and it’s going to be Residente also.

New York’s Lower East Side is a special place for the Puerto Rican community; it’s also where you worked on your new album. What did that entail?
I did a lot of my pre-production and some of my post-production in a place called the Loisaida Center. It’s a place for the people from there, the Latin community – but they don’t use it often. They let me use one of the rooms. I was working between there and Electric Lady Studios in the West Village. I was walking all the time from the West Village to Lower East Side in Manhattan, and it was nice, you know.

You recently premiered your documentary at South By Southwest. In the film you spent two years visiting places like Spain, Ghana and China – where else did this project lead you?
I visited France and Armenia. Then I went to Ossetia in Georgia, I went to Moscow and Siberia in Russia. I went to Antigua. I went to Burkina Faso in Africa. I went to Niger. Then of course, I spent time in Puerto Rico, my country.

Your music with Calle 13 encompassed so many different genres, and yet for this project, you still found artists who make vastly different music than you – like the opera singers in Beijing.
I wasn’t trying to make a world-music album, but you know, it’s a very unique album. I’m a rapper, and I also make beats, but they’re real beats with real sounds, not samples. The radio right now, I’m in shock, everyone sounds the same. It’s like junk food, you know. The people are eating junk food. You need to eat better or you’re going to die. With music, it’s the same.

International music is still difficult for the music industry to package and sell – to be on the radio you have to be easy for people to digest. But that’s not who you are.
I take my time in order to write things that are accessible to people. To write something that is nice and maybe poetic, and intelligent and creative? It’s difficult to do, but I don’t think my work is difficult to digest. It’s just that – I don’t know – I just don’t think people eat much broccoli. But they need to eat broccoli, because it has protein and it’s good for your health, you see? And I’m not the only vegetable – there are other vegetables around. But labels should help put out those vegetables so people can eat them, because otherwise we’re going to die a slow cultural death.

You have the most Grammys of any Latino artist. But it sounds like you learned a lot of new things while making this record – not just about your genetic heritage, but about music too.
The Grammys are something great – in terms of business it’s good, everything helps. But when I won Record of the Year, I didn’t actually believe that my album was the best of the year, because that’s being naïve. That happens a lot, here in the U.S. They say they have the Best Record of the Year and the most beautiful women in the world, and I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Have you listened to other people’s music from around the world?” They just don’t have the opportunity to show it.

I learned a lot in this album. Like, I’ve never been to a place at war. Five hours from the capital in Armenia, there’s been a war going off and on, in a place called Nagorno-Karabakh, where Armenians live. Azerbaijan was dropping bombs on Nagorno-Karabakh. We recorded some parts there but it was kind of difficult, so we had to leave and record the rest in a church [in Ossetia]. It’s like another level of understanding, war.

Those recordings would become your track “Guerra.”
Yeah! It was tough to meet with the refugees of war and talk to them. And because I had to communicate with a lot of people that speak only one language, it took me a while. Of course music is our universal language, but after these travels, I have a respect for linguistics that I’ve never had before.

What parallels or similarities did you find between Puerto Rico and the places you visited?
We have a lot in common. My country, being a colony of the U.S. … we have a lot in common with other small countries. Bigger countries fuck with small countries and make us serve them. I’m not talking about the people; I’m talking about the governments: U.S., France, China, Russia, all the big countries. They just fuck with the small countries, and that’s something that we have in common.

When listening to this album, it seems like your main objective was to celebrate diversity and migration – but you also show that there’s a dark side, especially in Latin America, where genetic diversity is usually the result of a conflict or a conquest. Can you talk about the first time you started to think critically about your Puerto Rican heritage?
Growing up in a colony, it’s impossible not to be even a little bit political, to have that in your blood. I was educated this way, ever since I was a kid. It’s very easy to be … I don’t want to use that word, ignorant, but a lack of education – that’s the way to maintain a colony. It’s obvious. Like that’s why we’ve been a colony.

The situation of Puerto Rico is kind of complicated for some people; for me it’s simple. We are a colony and we don’t have any rights. Our president is Trump even though we can’t vote for the president. We have two flags all the time. We are a small island in the middle of the Caribbean. We don’t cause trouble or bother anyone but we go to war. In exchange we get a passport.

[Many Puerto Ricans] want to be part of the U.S., because they are fighting for the same rights as you get in the States. But for 100 years we’ve been told that we can’t be by ourselves – and if you believe in independence, then you’re a socialist or a communist, but you know, they say it in a bad way. “You’re gonna be like Cuba,” they say. Cuba has great things and bad things … but it’s the same with the States, same as any other country.

In the opening track, your primo Lin-Manuel Miranda says you are both descended from Gilberto Conception de Gracia, the founder of the Independence Party of Puerto Rico. Activism seems to run in your family.
I grew up in a house with those kinds of values and ideals: helping others and understanding others and sharing your stuff with others, what you have. My mom is an actress; my dad is a worker’s lawyer.

Did you go to protests as a kid?
I remember going with my dad to strike with the electricity workers. I remember writing signs for the protests. One time, there was this dry forest that they were going to bomb; they wanted to kill all the wildlife and build a hotel there. So we camped out there, with my stepmom and my dad for a few days. They never pushed me to do things that I didn’t want to do, but I understood them. Not everyone has that education and I was lucky to have that. Later on I went to the University of Puerto Rico, fighting to lower the cost of education over there.

You’ve always been very provocative, but early on in your career with Calle 13, your reputation as a joker or party animal preceded your reputation as a political activist.
I talk about everything. I talk about parties, sex, but from the very beginning I did a song called, “Dear FBI.” Because they killed a guy [Filiberto Ojeda Ríos] who fought for our independence. The FBI killed him the day that we celebrate the only day that we were independent for eight hours. So they killed him that same day and he was like 74 years old or something like that and with heart problems. They didn’t even call a doctor. So that kind of stuff happens in Puerto Rico and goes way back – the tests they did on our island with the birth-control pills, practicing bombs. There is a lot of stuff that happened that, if [Puerto Ricans] knew, they would support [independence].

With my first album, I just wanted to know how to make a hit, even breaking the rules of Sony. At first they told me that I had too short of hooks – like “Atrévete-te-te” is a 16-bar hook. And it was a huge hit. After that I was just like, “OK, I know how to make a hit’ … Which is boring. The priorities of musicians these days are weird. They don’t see themselves as human beings. They want to be idols. Like you have a TV show called American Idol or whatever. Why you want to be an idol? You’re another worker. You are like a construction worker. You’re lucky that you can travel and know the world and understand it and make music, even make money from music. But you’re still a worker. Of course I’m an artist, but even sometimes I have to remind [myself] that I’m working, this is work. It’s a job that I love and I like it and sometimes you don’t feel that it’s work, but what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to feel like the star. If more artists did the same, their music wouldn’t suck.

You traveled around the world for this project – but then you brought it all back home by recruiting some notable Puerto Ricans. You have your cousin Lin-Manuel Miranda; you got a touch of rock from Omar Rodríguez-López; then you got John Leguizamo to act in your video. How did you connect with them?
They are all friends. Well, Lin is my second cousin – I’m so proud of him. Then John Leguizamo is a good friend; I met him, like, way back. He gave me my first Grammy, actually, for Best Video in 2006. Since then, we’ve been in contact. Omar is a friend of mine; he recorded some guitar for us in Calle 13. When I lived in L.A. for a year, he used to come visit me; we made music together. He’s such a great artist and his girlfriend Teri is an amazing artist too. They are like an art power couple.

Can we talk about the making of the wild video for “Somos Anormales (We Are Abnormal)”?
It’s the first video I’ve done where I’ve been the director. I filmed it in Madrid – it took me four days. I wanted to talk about the beginning of humanity and how we got here. So it started with an egg because I don’t know what happened first – the chicken or the egg? We came from Africa, we came out in all these weird, different shapes and forms – then for some reason we started fighting because we wanted to be the same. Then, while we were fighting, we forgot about what we were fighting about. … Then comes that reproductive mud fest that’s represented in the video at the end.

You didn’t just direct this video, but you were shot singing from the origin of it all – or, more specifically, with your head popping out from inside a synthetic vagina.
I thought it was funny, just seeing it all from there. I think it was maybe the first time for any music video. Also, during this process of humanity they split into the clean ones and the dirty ones; that always happens. The rich ones and the poor ones. Like it is in real life, you have people pushing each other into the mud to stay clean. But then, they all reproduce – clean or dirty, it doesn’t matter – they reproduce and now we are here.

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Fleet Foxes Expand North American Tour

Fleet Foxes have expanded their upcoming North American tour in support of their new album, Crack-Up, out June 16th via Nonesuch Records.

The folk outfit’s first stretch of new dates starts August 8th in Kansas City, Missouri and includes stops in Las Vegas, Tucson, Dallas and two nights at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, August 16th and 17th. This leg will continue a previously-announced East Coast trek that begins in late July and features stops at the Newport Folk Festival and BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.

Fleet Foxes will kick off another tour leg in the fall, centered around previously-announced shows in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Morrison, Colorado (home of Red Rocks Amphitheater). That new stretch begins September 14th with a homecoming show at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle and features stops in Reno, Santa Barbara, San Diego and St. Paul before wrapping October 3rd in Chicago.

Along with their U.S. dates, Fleet Foxes will play a slew of international concerts this summer and fall. The group will kick off their world tour with a string of intimate theater shows May 15th in Missoula, Montana.

Fleet Foxes also shared a new album teaser for Crack-Up, which features several snippets of new music. Crack-Up marks Fleet Foxes’ third album and first since 2011’s Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes Tour Dates

July 27 – Portland, ME @ Thompson’s Point
July 28 – Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival (SOLD OUT)
July 29 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 31 – Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts
August 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival @ the Prospect Park Bandshell (SOLD OUT)
August 2 – Brooklyn, NY @ BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival @ the Prospect Park Bandshell
August 4 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall (SOLD OUT)
August 5 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall (SOLD OUT)
August 6 – Detroit, MI @ The Masonic
August 8 – Kansas City, MO @ The Midland
August 13 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Chelsea @ The Cosmopolitan
August 14 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
August 16 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live @ The Moody Theater
August 17 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live @ The Moody Theater
August 18 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory
September 13 – Vancouver, BC @ Malkin Bowl
September 14 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
September 16 – Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield Concerts
September 18 – Reno, NV @ Grand Theatre @ Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
September 20 – Santa Barbara, CA @ The Arlington Theatre
September 21 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
September 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
September 27 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
September 29 – Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room Outdoors
September 30 – St. Paul, MN @ The Palace Theatre
October 3 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre

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Air Plot First American Tour Since 2010

French electronic duo Air will embark on their first American tour since 2010 this June in support of their 20th anniversary anthology, Twentyears.

The tour begins with a June 4th set at Governors Ball in New York City and includes stops in Boston, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. The trek wraps June 25th at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale April 7th at 10 a.m. local time.

Air released Twentyears last June. The compilation boasts some of the group’s best known songs – such as like “Cherry Blossom Girl,” “Playground Love” and “Sexy Boy” – as well as several rare and unreleased tracks and remixes Air did for other artists. Air’s last studio album was 2014’s Music for Museum, which was commissioned by the Lille Palace of Fine Arts in Lille, France. 

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel formed Air in Versailles, France in 1995 after playing in several other bands together. The group’s first EP, Premiers Symptômes, arrived in 1997, while their breakthrough debut album, Moon Safari, arrived 1998. 

Air Tour Dates

June 4 – New York, NY @ Governors Ball
June 5 – Boston, MA @ Royale
June 6 – Washington, DC @ Strathmore
June 20 – Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
June 23 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
June 24 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
June 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre

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WeBuyGold Launches Music-Focused Lifestyle Brand And Original Programming, Debuts First Show "The Bless Up" With DJ Khaled

LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — WeBuyGold today announced the launch of its new music-focused lifestyle brand that creates original programming with a focus on Stories content. WeBuyGold is developing several original short-form series for multiple platforms with the world’s…


Dave Grohl's Mother Talks New Book on Fellow Rock Moms

Virginia Hanlon Grohl was a high school English teacher from 1959 to 1995. But the first time she needed a substitute was in 1992, when her son, Dave, was making an appearance on national TV. “Nirvana was playing Saturday Night Live, and I went to New York to see them,” she says. “Charles Barkley was the host, and I told my class I’d get him to sign some autographs. But if there were any [bad] reports from the substitute, then they would be null and void.”

Virginia, in her late seventies, has attended dozens of her son’s shows with Nirvana and Foo Fighters over the years, and was always surprised how rarely she ran into other moms out on the road. So she decided to track some down, and ended up interviewing 18 mothers of famous musicians for her book, From Cradle to Stage.

“They all said, ‘Oh, there’s nothing interesting about me except for my son or daughter.’ And then it turned out that wasn’t true at all.”

In Texas, Virginia met Miranda Lambert’s mom, Bev, who used 
to be a private investigator (including on the Paula Jones case
 against Bill Clinton). In Toronto, she talked to Geddy Lee’s mom, Mary Weinrib, a Holocaust survivor who raised a family alone after her husband died. “Mike D’s mom, Hester Diamond, is a very high-powered woman in the art world,” Virginia says. “When Mike wanted to be a Beastie kind of boy, she was totally accepting.”

Most of the women who appear are parents of especially well-adjusted artists (Josh Groban, Adam Levine, Tom Morello). One striking exception is Janis Winehouse, whose attempts to save her daughter, Amy, from addiction inspired the singer’s 2006 hit “Rehab.” “The Amy Winehouse story hits close to home because there are some parallels between Amy and Kurt [Cobain],” says Dave Grohl, who wrote the book’s foreword.

Like Kurt’s mom, Wendy Cobain, Virginia was a single mother. She writes movingly about her relationship with Wendy, and argues that educators can create arts programs that meet the needs of bright kids who don’t quite fit in. “She understands there are some kids who work outside of conventional systems,” Dave says. As for her own son’s legendary good nature, Virginia remains amazed. “I didn’t need to tell him that even when we just had peanut butter and jelly for dinner he should still say thank you,” she recalls. “He thanked me every time.” 

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Watch Joey Bada$$ Perform Bruising 'Land of the Free' on 'Colbert'

Joey Bada$$ brought his new single “Land Of The Free” to The Late Show on Monday night, rapping about mass incarceration, political corruption and the legacy of American slavery as a nimble live band accompanied him. 

Bada$$ took the stage with head bowed, draped in an American flag-like garment. He performed with help from a drummer, keyboard player, bassist and DJ. The four men conjured a funky sound full of nimble, descending runs on bass, jolts of synthesizer and steady percussion. Bada$$ ended the performance in the pose of a supplicant, down on one knee and his eyes raised skyward.

The beat for “Land of the Free” came together during a late-night studio session with producers Kirk Knight and Adam Pallin. “And as soon as my man started going crazy on the keys, I just felt this immense vibe,” Bada$$ told Genius. “A classic feel. Just the way the instruments were sounding, I was like, ‘Kirk, you got to give me these types of drums: the juicy joints. Don’t sample nothing, but just do it like this type of feel.'” 

Bada$$ returned to the song a month later to add lyrics after watching speeches from Doctor Umar Johnson, Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey. “Land of the Free” appears Friday on Bada$$’s new album, All-Amerikkkan Badass.

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Novo documentário sobre Sergio Mendes celebra a vida e a música do legendário maestro brasileiro

BEVERLY HILLS, Califórnia, 4 de abril de 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sérgio Mendes, o produtor, compositor, tecladista, vocalista e compositor brasileiro inovador indicado para o Oscar® será o tema de um novo documentário realizado por John Scheinfeld, que já teve indicações para o Emmy®,…


AC/DC's Brian Johnson Details New Interview, Travel TV Series

AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson will host a new TV show, Brian Johnson’s Life On the Road, which will premiere April 28th on Sky Arts in the U.K., Team Rock reports.

The travel-style program will feature Johnson offering an “exclusive take on one aspect of the rock and roll life – live performance, touring and being on the road.” The singer will interview a different musician each episode, with the Who’s Roger Daltrey set for the first installment. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Sting, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Robert Plant are also set to appear.

Elliott described his appearance on the show, saying Johnson flew to Dublin for the episode. “I was quite humbled to be invited to do it because the guests that he’s got on the show are quite extraordinary. We spent about eight hours shooting the show. We were walking around the Temple Bar area of Dublin in the rain and wind. It was cold and horrible but we did spend most of it indoors at The Porterhouse HQ where he sampled Joe Elliott’s Louder beer.”

Brian Johnson’s Life On the Road follows Johnson’s foray into radio last year when he hosted an interview program called “The Producers,” which featured in-depth interviews with studio masters. The musician’s moves into media come after Johnson was forced to stop performing and leave AC/DC last year or risk “total deafness.”

Last June, Johnson announced that new inner ear technology had made him hopeful that he’ll one day be able to perform again live. However, it’s unclear if there would be an AC/DC to reunite with after bassist Cliff Williams announced his retirement last September

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Bee Gees 'Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits' To Be Released Worldwide April 21

On April 21, Capitol/UMe will release a new career-spanning collection of top hits by one of music's most legendary and acclaimed groups, the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees' 'Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits' features 21 tracks personally selected by Bee Gees co-founder Barry Gibb and sequenced in chronological order. The CD and digital collection spans decades of Bee Gees smash hits. Also on April 21, Capitol/UMe will reissue the remastered 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack worldwide on 2LP vinyl.LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On April 21, Capitol/UMe will release a new career-spanning collection of top hits by one of music’s most legendary and acclaimed groups, the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees’ Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits features 21 tracks personally selected by Be…


Digimarc Highlights How Watermarking Can Improve Rights and Royalty Management for the Music Industry

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/04/digimarc_logo.jpg?p=captionBEAVERTON, Ore., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC) today released a white paper titled, “Watermarking Technology and Blockchains in the Music Industry,” outlining how blockchain technology, when coupled with digital audio watermarks such as Digimarc…