Daily Archives: April 13, 2017

Hear TLC's Sleek New Song 'Way Back'

TLC have unveiled new single “Way Back” from their forthcoming fifth and final album, which does not yet have a title. iHeartRadio premiered the track on Thursday. While T-Boz tweeted that the full song features Snoop Dogg, the tune that iHeartRadio debuted on Thursday does not include his vocals.

As the title suggests, “Way Back” recalls the group’s classic Nineties R&B sound gliding beneath T-Boz and Chilli reminiscing about good times, hanging with old friends and high school.

“Don’t you ever think/ Back on all that other shit we went through/ You know I remember,” they sing. “Don’t you ever wish/ One day we could reminisce/ It feels like we were just together/ ‘Cause we go way back.” They also namecheck Prince, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Michael Jackson.

TLC turned to Kickstarter to fund their “last and final album.” To date, they’ve raised more than $430,000. It will be the group’s first LP solely featuring T-Boz and Chilli. Member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in 2002, seven months before their previous 3D album was released.

Earlier this month, TLC announced their album would be released on June 30th, but they do not yet have a title for it. “We need your help… let’s hear your suggestions for the album title! Tionne and Chilli are still undecided so looking to you for inspiration,” their manager Bill Diggins posted on Kickstarter. Album name suggestions can be made in the comment section of the post.

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Jack Antonoff Details Bleachers' 'Gone Now' LP

Jack Antonoff has announced the title of Bleachers‘ sophomore album. The follow-up to 2014’s Strange DesireGone Now will be released in June.

The singer unveiled the cover art, which features a black-and-white photo of Antonoff, along with the track list via Instagram. In a series of tweets he also revealed he’s been working on the album for the past two years in a small studio he built in his apartment.

“The album sounds exactly what it was,” he tweeted. “Someone alone in a room trying to make sense of loss and how to move on.” He also added that the album features “an amazing cast of friends and idols who pop in for moments or send me things.”

While the 12-song track list he posted does not detail who those guests might be, it does include his previously released single “Don’t Take the Money,” which was crafted with the help of former Depeche Mode keyboardist-songwriter Vince Clarke and Lorde. Antonoff is co-producing Lorde’s forthcoming Melodrama LP. He also co-wrote “Green Light,” the first single from Melodrama.

“I wanted to write [“Don’t Take the Money”] from the perspective of two incredibly complicated people who are dealing with loss and anxiety and depression,” Antonoff told Rolling Stone. “You have these crazy fights, and after you go all the way to the bottom, everything is so clear,” he said.

He added that the Gone Now‘s lyrics address memories of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the death of his sister from cancer soon after. “That loss is a filter that goes through your whole life,” he said. “It’s not about not moving on. It changes you. It changes your relationships, it changes how you see yourself, the way you see your work. I really wanted to be in all that as I made this album.”

Gone Now will be released on June 2nd.

Gone Now Track List

1. “Dream of Mickey Mantle”
2. “Goodmorning”
3. “Hate That You Know Me”
4. “Don’t Take the Money”
5. “All My Heroes”
6. “Everybody Lost Somebody”
7. “Let’s Get Married”
8. “Goodbye”
9. “I Miss Those Days”
10. “Nothing is U”
11. “I’m Ready to Move on/ Mickey Mantle Reprise”
12. “Foreign Girls”

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'Dear White People': Watch Sharp, Confrontational Trailer

The first full trailer for Netflix’s adaptation of Justin Simien’s Dear White People embraces the raw humor and feel of the acclaimed indie film. The series will premiere on April 28th.

Set at an Ivy League college, a group of black students aim to face white privilege on campus. Samantha White, played by Logan Browning, is a biracial student and the host of the college’s subversive radio show titled Dear White People. “Having a black vibrator does not count as an interracial relationship,” she jokes on-air early in the trailer. Over the course of the clip, Samantha and her peers tackle both implicit and explicit of racist transgressions, including blackface parties and the protagonist’s secret relationship with a white classmate.

While the show features a new set of actors portraying Simien’s characters, Brandon P. Bell reprises his role as Troy Fairbanks, a politics student campaigning to become the first black student president at the school. Simien also returned to write and direct several episodes of the series, which has already been deemed “anti-white” by members of the alt-right.

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Royal Blood Preview New LP With Striking 'Lights Out' Video

British rock duo Royal Blood unveiled a striking video for “Lights Out,” the lead single off their upcoming album, How Did We Get So Dark?, out June 16th via Warner Bros. Records.

The clip finds bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher performing the song in an empty room that slowly fills with water. As the pair hit the first chorus of “Lights Out,” a horde of bodies burst out of invisible pools on the floor, ceiling and walls. During a raucous instrumental section, the room is cast in a deep red light and Thatcher and Kerr continue to play in the waist high water as dancers move around them.

How Did We Get So Dark? follows Royal Blood’s 2014 self-titled debut, which debuted in the Top Five of the Billboard 200 and made fast fans out of Jimmy Page and the Foo Fighters, who tapped the band as an opener on their 2015 tour.

Royal Blood wrote the instrumentals for How Did We Get So Dark? during sessions in Brighton, England, Los Angeles and Nashville. The band began cutting the album in Brussels last November with producer Joylon Thomas and finished it London with co-producer Tom Dalgety. How Did We Get So Dark? is available to pre-order digitally, and on CD, vinyl and cassette.

Royal Blood have several U.S. festival dates scheduled for this summer, including stops at Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands.

How Did We Get So Dark? Track List

1. “How Did We Get So Dark?”
2. “Lights Out”
3. “I Only Lie When I Love You”
4. “She’s Creeping”
5. “Look Like You Know”
6. “Where Are You Now?”
7. “Don’t Tell”
8. “Hook, Line and Sinker”
9. “Hole In Your Heart”
10. “Sleep”

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Review: Chainsmokers' 'Memories' Is a Drab, Monotonous Whinge

Last year, the duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart – known, collectively, as the Chainsmokers – were the ruling bro kings of pop. After breaking through in the early 2010s with the smirking novelty banger “#SELFIE,” they chilled out and looked inward, to great reward. The makeup-sex prelude “Closer” spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and became 2016’s most defining song, establishing the commercial potential of EDM’s soft “future bass” sound and utilizing Tumblr alt-pop upstart Halsey. They achieved chart dominance without releasing a proper full-length and could probably have bobbed along pop’s waves for another year or so with EPs of self-serious moping.

What’s actually serious for an artist, though, is an album, and so last week brought the duo’s official debut, Memories … Do Not Open. Riddled with resentment and lyrics that land with a self-serious thud, Memories is a stunningly drab record. For the most part songs plod along at a strenuously mid-tempo pace, and are mostly lacking in any sonic detail that would reward closer listening. The few stylistic flourishes that break up the trudge – robo-funk backing choruses on “Young,” a wobbly synth break on “It Won’t Kill Ya,” the dreaded, made-for-festival-singalongs “whoa-whoa-whoa-who-o-o-a” break on “Honest” – sound like sops to potential trends more than anything else. The slightly more uptempo “Break Up Every Night” suffers from the same “women be crazy” anomie that made “Closer”‘s omnipresence so wearying.

Similar to how the spunky Halsey was whittled down to a sulky whine on “Closer,” Memories‘ guest vocalists, – narcotized R&B singer Jhené Aiko on the trapped-out existential lament “Wake Up Alone,” the hired-gun songwriter Emily Warren on two tracks – could have been brought in off the street to mimicking the bawling denizens who dominate pop right now. Country duo Florida Georgia Line, who appear on the pseudo-inspirational album closer “The Last Day Alive,” are turned into a rubbery backing-vocal blur. Only Coldplay’s Chris Martin stands out in any way, his trembling contribution to the current hit “Something Just Like This” breaking from the sad-boy and mopey-girl monotony.

The anonymizing of everyone who stopped by theChainsmokers’ studio would at least be understandable if Taggart’s vocals wereworthy of the spotlight, or if his lyrics betrayed even a hint of insight. Buthis bleat, which brings to mind the wounded wail of a third-tier Warped Touract, is nothing special; and his lyrics, which resemble hastily texted missivesfrom a friend who never asks you how you’re doing while endlessly railing aboutthe woes of his not-really-that-bad life, are artless pouts about fame beinghard and about feeling being misunderstood. While the human impulse to feel foranother person’s pain does flare up now and again, the combination of lyricslike “I’m supposed to call you, but I don’t know what to say at all/Andthere’s this girl, she wants me to take her home/She don’t really love methough, I’m just on the radio” with the Chainsmokers’ overly ponderous,yet somehow underbaked pseudo-balladry makes for a crushingly un-fun listeningexperience.

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Ex-Pearl Jam Drummer: Band Didn't Officially Offer Rock Hall Invite

Former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese continued to rail against the band and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without him, and claimed that Pearl Jam never officially invited him to the ceremony.

When Pearl Jam was selected for induction last October, the Rock Hall listed the group’s four core members – Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard – as well as their current drummer, Matt Cameron, and Dave Krusen, who drummed on their debut album, Ten. Abbruzzese – who played on Vs. and Vitalogy – and the group’s other two drummers, Matt Chamberlain and Jack Irons, were not included. Abbruzzese lashed out at the snub, and eventually Pearl Jam posted a note to Twitter inviting every drummer to the induction ceremony. Ultimately, only Cameron, Krusen and Irons attended, with Krusen notably joining the band for a performance of “Alive.”

On Facebook, however, Abbruzzese said Pearl Jam’s statement did not qualify as an official invitation. “The band tweeted that they welcomed the idea of the event granting the possibility of all the drummers to be in the same room. That isn’t an invite.”

Abbruzzese then aired his grievances with Pearl Jam again and pleaded his case as to why he should’ve been inducted. After writing that he had a “deep respect” for all drummers, especially the five that played in Pearl Jam, he wrote: “For the band to put me in the same light as Matt Chamberlain & Dave K really was a slap in the face. Nothing to do with those guys as people or players. Respect … but as a contributor? A band member? A definitive contributor to the energy and power of where the band went? … the sacrifices, the work, the physical and emotional contributions … not to mention the personal weight of carrying on through and after unceremonious and disrespectful way I was fired. I gave this band all I had to give every single moment I was in it.”

Abbruzzese added that if he had been inducted, he would’ve had his drum tech, Jimmy Shoaf Jr., and his daughter, Francesca, say a few words on his behalf. And, he said, if the band had actually invited him to attend the ceremony, he would not have gone anyway. 

“To do that would justify the mistake and disrespect the core fans that took this band to heart back when all we were to become, we had to earn and also, most importantly, we had to prove we deserved every single time we took the stage,” Abbruzzese wrote. “And we did that. We, the Pearl Jam band & original crew, deserved to be inducted & respected. I’m proud of my old friends for managing it all so well. I don’t know if I heard anyone say it, but you’re welcome and thank you, too.”

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Watch Alicia Keys Proclaim 'The Best Art' Will Come From Civil Rights Activism

Alicia Keys received Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award alongside the movement of Indigenous Peoples fighting for their rights in Canada. The award will be officially presented on May 27th during a ceremony in Montreal.

“It’s a huge honor, especially as an activist [and] as a woman here in the world who’s driven to recognize the injustice in the world,” Keys offered in a video statement, via Associated Press. She also predicts that today’s volatile political environment will create “the best art,” motivated by all the movements to protect human rights.

“Everybody feels like ‘I don’t care what it takes or how many times I have to do it. I’m gonna say it, I’m gonna speak it, I’m gonna yell it, I’m gonna march it, I’m gonna scream it until finally there’s no more doubt.'”

In a statement, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty noted that the Conscience Award is the organization’s highest honor. “Both Alicia Keys and the Indigenous rights movement of Canada have in their own ways made inspirational and meaningful contributions to advancing human rights and towards ensuring brighter possibilities for future generations,” Shetty offered. “Crucially, they remind us never to underestimate how far passion and creativity can take us in fighting injustice.”

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See Anthrax's Scott Ian Recall Awkward First Meeting With Donald Trump

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has met any number of celebrities in his life, from the cast of Married … With Children to Public Enemy to the zombies of The Walking Dead. But one that sticks out like a sore, orange thumb – after 30-plus years of slinging rhythm guitars for the thrash-metal firebrands – is President Donald J. Trump.

The guitarist crossed paths with the commander in chief in the late 2000s, when Trump was still best known as the host of The Apprentice. Ian’s friend Annie Duke, a professional poker player, was a contender on the first run of Celebrity Apprentice who made it to the season finale but ultimately lost to Joan Rivers.

One of the tasks on Celebrity Apprentice was for Duke to sell jewelry at high prices to raise money for charity, and that’s when Ian came in. The interaction led to the guitarist getting invited to a black-tie gala – where he came dressed in a T-shirt and a black leather jacket. In the video above, he recalls how Trump was mean-mugging him for a good portion of the event but eventually warmed to him to the point that Ian and the future president posed for a photo together. Ian has since joked that Trump would appoint him “Secretary of Heavy Metal.”

But despite not earning a place in the cabinet, life goes on for Ian. He and his Anthrax bandmates are currently on the road supporting their recently released album, last year’s For All Kings. They’ve also recently reissued the LP as a seven-inch box set, including covers of the White Stripes’ “Black Math” and Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son,” as well as demos of For All Kings tunes. Lastly, they also recently lent their name to a new beer – Anthrax Wardance Pale Ale – which is made by Butternuts Beer & Ale Brewery.

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'Survivor' Contestant's Transgender Outing Sparks Outrage

Survivor contestant Zeke Smith was outed as transgender on Wednesday night’s episode, sparking a backlash against both the contestant who outed him and CBS, The New York Times reports.

Fellow contestant Jeff Varner outed Smith during a tribal council meeting, when the players vote on which contestant will leave the game next. During the meeting, Varner said, “There is deception here,” then, addressing host Jeff Probst, continued, “deception on levels, Jeff, that these guys don’t understand.” He then turned to Smith and asked, “Why haven’t you told anyone you’re transgender?” While Smith remained stunned and silent, the other contestants decried Varner’s comments and ultimately voted him off the island.

The moment immediately caused an uproar among fans and critics, while LGBTQ groups, Smith, Probst and others responded as well. Much of the outrage focused on Varner’s actions, his invasion of Smith’s privacy and the trauma of a public outing. Some also blamed CBS, which filmed the episode months ago and could have edited the segment out, but decided to air it anyway.

In an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, Smith touched on multiple topics, including how Survivor helped him through a period of deep depression and his transition, and the ways he has struggled with how, when, or if, to disclose his gender history to those close to him. He also spoke about his relationship with Varner on Survivor and recalled the events leading up to the tribal council.

“In calling me deceptive, Varner invoked one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people, a stereotype that is often used as an excuse for violence and even murder,” Smith wrote. “In proclaiming ‘Zeke is not the guy you think he is’ and that ‘there is deception on levels y’all don’t understand,’ Varner is saying that I’m not really a man and that simply living as my authentic self is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest self – as is every other transgender person going about their daily lives.”

Nick Adams, the director of GLAAD’s Transgender Media program, echoed Smith’s sentiment in a statement. “Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person,” he said. “It is heartening, however, to see the strong support for Zeke from the other people in his tribe.”

Varner, for his part, apologized to Smith after the tribal council meeting, and posted another apology on social media after the episode aired. “Let me be clear, outing someone is assault,” he said. “It robs a strong, courageous person of their power and protection and opens them up to discrimination and danger. It can leave scars that haunt for a lifetime. I am profoundly sorry. Zeke is a wonderful man and I will forever be amazed and inspired by his forgiveness and compassion.”

In his op-ed, Smith acknowledged Varner’s apology, writing, “Forgiveness does not require friendship. Forgiveness does not require forgetting or excusing his actions. Forgiveness requires hope. Hope that he understands the injury he caused and does not inflict it upon others. Hope that whatever torments his soul will plague him no more. I have hope for Jeff Varner. I just choose to hope from afar, thank you very much.”

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Ticketbud Releases New Podcast For Event Organizers – Ticketing Tidbits

AUSTIN, Texas, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Ticketbud has announced a new podcast series for event organizers called “Ticketbud Tidbits.” The podcast is educational in nature and intended to share event industry best practices with new and existing event organizers. As part of the podcas…