Daily Archives: May 9, 2017

'Rolling Stone Music Now' Podcast: Legendary John Lennon Interview

The latest episode of the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast is now available. Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or check it out below.

In December 1970, Rolling Stone founder and publisher Jann Wenner sat down with John Lennon in New York City as the ex-Beatle prepared to release his solo debut. It became one of the most legendary rock interviews ever, thanks to Lennon’s brutally honest thoughts on the Beatles’ then-recent breakup and much, much more. The first part of the interview was published in issue 74 on January 21st, 1971. This is part one of the audio, presented in celebration of Rolling Stone‘s 50th anniversary.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Spotify and tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show live on Sirius XM’s Volume Channel.

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Daddy Yankee Talks 'Despacito' Success, Radiohead Meme

By the time Justin Bieber hopped on a remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s sexy, catchy “Despacito,” the song was already well en route to becoming the song of the summer. In the 97 days following its release, it became the second fastest YouTube video to reach a billion views, beat only by Adele’s “Hello.” In the wake of Bieber’s magic touch, the Spanglish hit cracked the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 after months of dominating the Latin charts, becoming the first mostly Spanish song to achieve that feat since “Macarena” in 1996. As of this week, the song has already risen to Number Three. 

“It’s such a blessing,” Daddy Yankee tells Rolling Stone via phone from his home of Puerto Rico. Last year, fellow Puerto Rico native Fonsi had reached out with his concept for “Despacito” and the pair went to Miami to record the soon-to-be hit.

The alluring track had already become successful in clubs across Latin America, which is how it reached Bieber. “What I heard is that he was in the club in Colombia and heard the song,” Yankee reveals. “He liked it and jumped on it. Justin Bieber always does a great job when it comes to interpretation. I like the way he makes music.”

For Yankee, watching “Despacito” become a global hit reminds him of what he experienced in the early Aughts with “Gasolina” and “Rompe,” two mostly Spanish reggaeton hits that helped bring the genre into the American mainstream. “Gasolina” in particular has been one of the most enduring songs of Yankee’s career. Around the time “Despacito” jumped to the top of the charts, the older song soundtracked a viral video featuring the erratic stage dancing of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, which made it seem as though the rock band had covered the song.

“When I saw the video, I was like, ‘Is that real?!'” Yankee says with a massive laugh. “It was a great video, even though I thought it was real. I have a ton of respect for Radiohead. They’re a great, amazing band.”

As he sees “Despacito” reach even greater heights than “Gasolina” did at the time, looking back on the reach of his very first single reminds him of what is possible. “It feels like I just dropped [‘Gasolina’] yesterday,” he reflects. “In EDM festivals, every time a DJ plays the song, the crowd goes crazy. It’s one of those songs you have in your career where you’re like, ‘OK, I had a worldwide hit.’ I’m one of the few artists that can say that.”

Currently, Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” and another Bieber feature — DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” — are standing in the way of Fonsi and Yankee hitting Number One with “Despacito.” But Yankee is thrilled about what the song has already accomplished. “Right now we’re surpassing the numbers for ‘Macarena,'” he says. “So our names are going to be part of music history.”

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Watch Red Hot Chili Peppers' Heavy 'Goodbye Angels' Video

The Red Hot Chili Peppers soundtrack a young woman’s epic high and brutal comedown in the new video for “Goodbye Angels.” The track appears on the Chili Peppers’ 2016 record, The Getaway.

The clip opens with a blend of shots of the girl partying with friends in an empty parking lot and the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing the slow-building hard rocker onstage. Eventually, the girl outruns a security guard, steals a bike and pedals to the arena where the band is performing.

At the show, the woman swipes someone’s beer, sneaks backstage – where she shares a momentary glance with Anthony Kiedis – then swaps spit and pills with a random woman in a bathroom. While the concert and the closing bass blitz of “Goodbye Angels” elicits plenty of euphoria, the woman soon finds herself crashing hard as crew members clear out the empty arena.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have a handful of festival dates scheduled in support of The Getaway, including appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and Meadows Festival. The group will also embark on the next leg of their North American tour May 11th in Pittsburgh.

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Watch Iggy Pop Narrate Alt-J's Gruesome 'In Cold Blood' Video

Iggy Pop is like a punk rock David Attenborough in the grisly new video for Alt-J‘s “In Cold Blood.” The song will appear on the British outfit’s upcoming third LP, Relaxer, out June 2nd.

Pop opens the Casper Balsley-directed video with a bit of narration about the wood mouse, a primarily nocturnal creature that feasts on seeds. “The mouse compensates for its poor eyesight, relying on its sense of smell to locate food and to avoid predators,” Pop growls as the camera zooms in on a wood mouse. “It must be cautious. Enemies are everywhere.”

The clip continues to follow the wood mouse as it scurries about the forest, searching for food and avoiding snakes and foxes. But instead of confronting its enemies, the mouse unexpectedly stumbles upon the bloody aftermath of a shootout as “In Cold Blood” lurches ahead with a horn-tinged swagger. The mouse runs around the dead bodies and dismembered limbs, snacking on left-behind French fries and ultimately hitching a ride out of the forest with two lovers who survived the gunfight.

Alt-J’s video for “In Cold Blood” follows their equally eerie clip for “3WW.” Relaxer follows Alt-J’s 2014 album This Is All Yours. The group has a handful of summer concerts planned, with a longer North American tour set to begin in October.

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Korean Violin Virtuoso Kyung Wha Chung Returns to Carnegie Hall to perform The Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by J.S. Bach

Kyung Wha Chung - Bach in London & New York (with English subtitles)NEW YORK, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Korean Cultural Center New York, a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, is pleased provide promotional support for Kyung Wha Chung, one of the world’s most revered violin virtuosos, as she returns to Carnegie…


How Pearl Jam, Obama and Others Helped Brandi Carlile Reinvent 'The Story'

For Brandi Carlile, 2007’s The Story is the record that launched her career. Though it was actually her second full-length, a heart-wrenching placement of the title track on Grey’s Anatomy catapulted the singer-songwriter to a new level of mainstream fame.

At the time Carlile was writing for The Story, she was only 17, getting over a broken heart and failing at school. But the now-36-year-old artist says that her view of the album has evolved as she’s grown up. “I got on the road and started seeing the rest of the world – the rest of the country – and I was influenced by injustice, poverty and a longing for feeling like I belonged somewhere again,” she tells Rolling Stone. “Then it changed right into my love life when I got married and had a child. Every time I hear the songs, it’s weird how they’ve been able to follow me through the years and mean different things, but still be just as relevant.”

Now, The Story is taking on yet another layer of significance. In honor of its 10th anniversary, the LP has been reborn as Cover Stories, a release consisting of (mostly) new covers of each of the seminal album’s songs. And it’s not just the eye-popping cast – which includes Adele, Pearl Jam, Dolly Parton, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and, yes, one Barack Obama – that makes the album special. All proceeds from Cover Stories will go to War Child – an organization that gives children in war zones a chance to start over. 

Carlile is no stranger to activism. She runs the Looking Out Foundation, funding arts, health and community-development organizations that are often overlooked by the public, and she donates one dollar from each concert ticket she sells to one of the many organizations Looking Out has partnered with, including Girls Rock Camp ATL, Charity: Water and the Suicide Prevention Education Alliance. 

The idea for Cover Stories came about when Carlile’s foundation had just finished up a campaign called Fight the Fear, which focused on teaching women and girls in at-risk communities self-defense and self-confidence mechanisms, and she began paying serious attention to the refugee crisis. “I was talking to my wife about it one night just after the baby was born, saying, ‘I don’t think I can tolerate the reality anymore that parents feel this way about their children and they’re having to flee their homes in the middle of the night,'” Carlile says. Conveniently, her wife, Catherine Shepard, ran Paul McCartney’s charity in London and was familiar with War Child. “We knew we wanted to take the 10th anniversary of the record and completely dedicate it to the refugee crisis in some way, so we looked up War Child to see what they were doing, and they had a campaign called ‘The Story,'” notes Carlile. “We took that as a sign, so we contacted them and asked them if they’d support us in supporting them, and they did.”

In a rare set of circumstances, 100 percent of the proceeds from Cover Stories will go to War Child“It’s not just the artists, producers, musicians, management; it’s also the publishing company Warner/Chappell and Sony,” Carlile explains. “[War Child] is really focused on the Syrian refugee crisis both in Jordan and Iraq. They’re going into the refugee camps, and they are basically seeking out families with young children and they’re trying to find out how they can help those particular children. The initial contact would be about food and clothing, but the goal is to advance that contact into counseling.”

To get Cover Stories underway, Carlile reached out to both heroes and friends, beginning with Dolly Parton. “I sent her a handwritten letter and told her the way I was feeling about the children in refugee camps,” describes Carlile. “She wrote me back on Dolly letterhead with her hot pink Dolly signature where the ‘y’ turns into a butterfly, and was like, ‘Yes. Absolutely. Let’s do it.’ And I was shocked.” The result was a sweet, anthemic interpretation of the album’s centerpiece, “The Story.” “No one has ever taken my ass to school like Dolly Parton did,” Carlile continues.

One by one, each of Carlile’s guest artists added another dimension to her 10-year-old record and consistently defied her expectations. “I thought I was going to get really lo-fi … lots of iPhone recordings and GarageBand demos from the back of the tour bus, but I was really surprised when everyone went into proper studios and really put a lot into these songs,” Carlile says. “But what I wanted it to sound like was what each individual artist would want their addition to sound like so that we could engage all different types of people from different demographics. I can’t reach into the refugee crisis and create an awareness that would be based on everyone sounding the same.”

Following Carlile’s connection with Parton, she reached out to Adele, Jim James, Pearl Jam, the Avett Brothers, Indigo Girls and Margo Price to help bring her vision to life. With the exception of Adele’s soulful 2011 rendition of “Hiding My Heart” and Ruby Amanfu’s moody 2015 version of “Shadow on the Wall” (“I really felt like we needed an element of intensity that Ruby has”), Cover Stories was recorded throughout 2016.

The breadth of the talent that signed on was a shock to Carlile. “Probably one of the more significant moments of my life would have been the Pearl Jam addition: That was surreal,” Carlile divulges. “Being a girl from Seattle and hearing Ed [Vedder] singing my lyrics was pretty crazy.” And the rock band didn’t hold back, crafting a punk rendition of “Again Today” to support a cause they truly believed in. “The band guys were all super enthusiastic when I told them about the War Child benefit project, and [band member] Matt Cameron has been a longtime supporter of War Child,” Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready says. “Ed [Vedder] suggested that ‘Again Today’ could be done in a Ramones-type fashion.”

While Pearl Jam’s support for the cause fueled their contributions, Seth Avett’s admiration for Carlile herself led the Avett Brothers to want to cover “Have You Ever.” “Brandi as a person has a lot of power: She has a lot of love, grace and positivity, and I think that comes out in her music,” Avett explains. When it came to shaping their take on “Have You Ever,” he took a minimal approach. “When I first heard [the song] I thought it was perfect, and I could hear our version of the song in my head,” Avett says. “I ended up recording the basic track, the guitar and the vocal in a hotel room right by the Pacific Ocean while we were on tour six months ago. I fought tooth-and-nail to carve out time to get Scott [Avett] to come and add vocals to it. The base [of the song] is guitar, vocals, banjo and some low-end piano. It was a very stripped-down recording, and it was done with love.”

Breakout country star Margo Price didn’t need much to sell her on Carlile’s idea. “I had heard that Dolly [Parton] was going to be on it, and I said, ‘Say no more.'” Price took on the melancholic ballad “Downpour,” giving it a sunnier twang. “Brandi picked [the song] and it was my favorite off of the record, so it was perfect that we both had the same idea in mind,” Price says. “She’s been so supportive of me, so it was the least I could do to repay my gratitude to her. Brandi has been passionate about the refugee crisis long before people even knew it was an issue.”

Just as Carlile saw a sign when she started researching War Child, James felt the same way when he decided to sing “Wasted.” “Strangely enough I had written and was working on my own song entitled ‘Wasted’ at the time, and Brandi asked me if I wanted to cover a song from The Story,” he explains. “I was listening to it and came across her version of ‘Wasted’ and was moved by it, so it seemed like it was meant to be.” As for Carlile, she described James’ interpretation of the original as “extremely unique and weird just like you’d expect it to be.”

To tie the unique project together, Carlile wrote another letter, asking none other than Barack Obama to craft the album’s written foreword. I think he’s a profound person in human history and a civil-rights activist who was able to work within a system that was really impactful for me and my family,” she explains. “I proposed to my wife on the day that [Obama] came out in support of gay marriage. He’s a president and an activist that’s made a really big impact on me, so I told him that, and he helped me support the project to help War Child.”

It’s clear that for Carlile, Cover Stories is more than just a record. “I think that Cover Stories is just a tool,” she says. “It’s just a way that we can communicate with each other, and it’s the biggest thing I have to give away. Cover Stories is relevant because it’s a conversation – it’s bringing a lot of different people to the table that don’t always come to the table together.

“We’re promoting a conversation between people that love Dolly Parton, people that love Pearl Jam, people that love the Avett Brothers. …,” she continues. “We’re promoting a dialogue between people from the North, South and the U.K., and we’re asking if we can depoliticize children and talk about compassion. That’s what I hope [the project] accomplishes.”  

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Imagine Dragons To Release New Album 'Evolve' On June 23rd Via KIDinaKORNER / Interscope Records – With Evolve Tour Coming This Fall

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/05/Live_Nation_Entertainment_Imagine_Dragons.jpg?p=captionSANTA MONICA, Calif., May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons will release their third album, Evolve, on June 23rd via KIDinaKORNER / Interscope Records. The band will also bring its electrifying live show to arenas across North America this fa…


Watch Harry Styles Unveil Plucky New Song 'Carolina' on 'Today'

Harry Styles debuted a stomping new rocker, “Carolina,” during a performance on Today Tuesday. The track will appear on his forthcoming solo debut, Harry Styles, which arrives May 12th.

The Beatles-esque track boasts a rumbling rhythm section, steady acoustic guitar vamp, a blues-y lead riff and plenty of pristine harmonies to back up Styles’ smoldering vocals. “There’s not a drink that I think could sink her,” Styles sings. “How would I tell her that she’s all I think about/ Well I guess she just found out.”

“Carolina” follows previously released Harry Styles tracks “Sweet Creature,” “Ever Since New York” and “Sign of the Times.” During his Today appearance, Styles also performed the slow-burning ballad “Sign of the Times,” as well as the contemplative folk-tinged tune, “Ever Since New York,” getting an assist from the crowd on the track’s closing refrain, “Oh, tell me something I don’t already know.”

The recent Rolling Stone cover star is set to celebrate the release of Harry Styles with a week-long residency on The Late Late Show With James Corden starting May 15th. Styles will embark on a North American tour in support of the record September 19th in San Francisco. 

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Hear Steven Van Zandt Revive 1977 Song Written With Bruce Springsteen

E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt revived 1977 orchestral rocker “Love On the Wrong Side of Town” that he co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The song first appeared on Southside Johnny’s LP This Time It’s for Real. Van Zandt’s new version will appear on Soulfire, his first solo LP under the Little Steven moniker in nearly two decades.

Van Zandt captures the original marching band stomp of “Love On the Wrong Side of Town” with plenty of blazing brass and sweeping strings. He also pushes the arrangement into arena territory with soulful backing vocals, the steady vamp of his guitar and a wailing solo. “Bye bye baby,” Van Zandt belts, “Our love is tumbling down/ I can’t be hanging around/ Love on the wrong side of town.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Van Zandt recalled writing “Love on the Wrong Side of Town” with Springsteen, saying, “Bruce had that riff, and that’s basically how I collaborate. Somebody will have a riff or a line or a melody or a chorus or a title, and then I just finish the song. Looking back, I wish me and Bruce had done more together, honestly. It was just a song here, a song there, whatever we needed at the time. Of course, Bruce was busy doing his own thing, and at the time you don’t think, ‘Wow, we really should work together more often.'”

“Love On the Wrong Side of Town” follows the previously released title track for Soulfire. The album marks Van Zandt’s first since 1999’s Born Again Savage. The record will include several more tunes Little Steven wrote for Southside Johnny, as well as covers of Etta James and James Brown and a handful of originals, including “Soulfire.”

Van Zandt and his band the Disciples of Soul have a string of European dates scheduled for this summer, while a North American trek in support of Soulfire will be announced soon.

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John Trudell Archives & Inside Recordings Re-Release The Critically Acclaimed 'John Trudell – AKA Grafitti Man' On 180-Gram Vinyl And CD, Available Worldwide On June 2

John Trudell Archives & Inside Recordings Re-Release the Critically Acclaimed 'John Trudell - AKA Grafitti Man' On 180-Gram Vinyl And CD, Available Worldwide On June 2, Available On johntrudell.comLOS ANGELES, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — John Trudell Archives and Inside Recordings announce a re-issue of the critically acclaimed John Trudell release AKA Grafitti Man on 180-gram vinyl and CD, following the successful Record Store Day limited edition release last month.