Daily Archives: May 11, 2017

Rolling Stone at 50: When the Editors Took on the Eagles in Softball

It began with a single sentence in the September 8th, 1977, issue of Rolling Stone. Tucked into a Random Notes item about Joe Walsh’s new solo album was this line by writer Charles M. Young: “The rest of the Eagles, on their first vacation in three years, seem more interested in finding a softball team they can beat – having lost in recent weeks to teams fielded by Andrew Gold, Jimmy Buffett, employees of several San Francisco radio stations and their own road crew.”

Singer-guitarist Glenn Frey fired off a response in the magazine. “What you have failed to mention is that the Eagles won two out of three games against Jimmy Buffett,” he wrote. “Anytime you pencil-pushing desk jockeys want to put on your spikes, we’ll kick your ass, too.” The challenge was accepted immediately.

Over the years, the Eagles have had a mostly positive relationship with the magazine. But the band often found itself on the wrong side of the East Coast–based rock-critic establishment, sometimes in Rolling Stone. (“[The Eagles] flaunt no athletic grace – if anything, they loiter,” read a review of a 1977 show.) The game was a chance to settle the score.

It would be played in May 1978 at Dedeaux Field on the campus of the University of Southern California, with the losing team paying $5,000 to UNICEF. Rolling Stone editor and publisher Jann S. Wenner flew his team – which featured writers and editors like Young, Cameron Crowe and Ben Fong-Torres and was dubbed the Gonzos – in from New York. When they showed up, they found the Eagles had packed the stands with screaming fans and friends such as Chevy Chase, Joni Mitchell and California Gov. Jerry Brown. “I felt like I was walking into the Roman Colosseum,” said Young, who died in 2014, “and was about to be eaten by lions.”

Tension broke out before the game even began because the Eagles had shown up wearing metal cleats. “Someone might get hurt,” Wenner yelled to Eagles manager Irving Azoff. “How exciting,” said Azoff, who wore a jersey that read is JANN WENNER IS TRAGICALLY HIP? “Do your writers ever think about that?”

The game wasn’t much of a contest. The Gonzos managed eight runs off pitcher Don Henley, but the more experienced Eagles won easily, 15-8. “In the end, it was the errors that cost RS the game,” Henley and Frey wrote in the magazine a few weeks later. “Their first error was to call the Eagles sissies in Random Notes.”

Afterward, the teams made peace at Dan Tana’srestaurant. Young would write the definitive Eagles profile the next year. “Inspite of how Chuck Young and I may differ in our musical opinions,”recalled Frey, who died in 2016, “when the game was over, he said, ‘Hey,you guys aren’t really sissies.’ ”

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Review: Pwr Bttm's 'Pageant' Is Wild-Hearted Glam-Punk Subversion

A glammy punk duo from upstate New York, Pwr Bttm mix Bowie-esque gender/genre subversion with wild-hearted vulnerability: “When you are queer you are always 19,” Ben Hopkins sings against operatic backing vocals and slamming guitars on “LOL.” He rips Eddie Van Halen peals on the haplessly romantic “Silly,” while drummer Liv Bruce wrings shout-along comedy out of modern-dating insecurity on “Answer My Text.” The corker is “Big Beautiful Day,” an anthem for oppressed queer kids that bursts with rage and empathy. 

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Review: Zac Brown Band Anxiously Return to Their Roots on 'Welcome Home'

Zac Brown Band has spent the better part of their career oscillating between their dual reputations as classic country traditionalists and experimental genre-pushers. “I’m Southern as can be,” Brown said in 2015, “but I’m a traveler of the world also.” Lately, that tension has come to a head: Two years after colliding jazz, dance-pop, hard rock and reggae on 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde, Zac Brown Band returns with a back-to-basics collection of odes to the band’s musically humble roots.

The origins of Brown’s new album can be traced to a one-off song Brown recorded for producer Dave Cobb’s 2016 concept album Southern Family, a collection of paint-by-numbers tributes to familial piety. On Welcome Home, ZBB once again teams up with Cobb for a largely acoustic album of songs about missing home, idolizing one’s father and relishing in stable monogamy. At this point, ZBB is best at flexing their muscular country-rock fusion, and the most affecting songs on Welcome Home follow in the tradition of the band’s 2015 hit “Homegrown,” a song that walked the line between down-home humility and delightful radio-pop fodder. High points “Roots” and “Her Majesty,” likewise, are some of the most highly produced, least rootsy moments on the album.

But it’s hard not to hear Welcome Home as an anxious defense of fame and fortune, a reactionary right-turn in response to the mixed reviews the band received for their most recent global pop-grab. Both “Roots” and “2 Places at 1 Time” find the singer reckoning with his profound fame and his even more profound disconnect from the very roots he spends the rest of the record trying his best to exalt. A decade after “Chicken Fried,” Zac Brown is laboring strenuously to ensure everyone that he still drinks cold beer on a Friday night, apologizing for a musical adventurousness that he’d be better off simply embracing.

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Martin Shkreli / Hip-Hop Parody Musical to Premiere Off-Broadway

PharmaBro: An American DouchicalNEW YORK, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — PharmaBro: An American Douchical! will premiere Off-Broadway with a limited engagement, six-week run at the Players Theatre from May 11th to June 18th, 2017. Formerly titled Martin Shkreli’s Game, the musical had its world premiere in July 2016 with…


Miley Cyrus Debuts Breezy Pop-Rock Song (and Fresh-Faced New Look) in 'Malibu' Video

Miley Cyrus unveiled her spritely new pop-rock sound with “Malibu,” the first offering from her as-yet-untitled LP, which is expected to arrive later this year.

The stripped-down song boasts a plucky guitar vamp and steady thumping drums that buoy Cyrus’ simple vocals and lovestruck lyrics. “I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me,” she sings. “I’d be here writing this song/ But here I am, next to you/ The sky’s more blue in Malibu.” Cyrus also shared a video for “Malibu,” in which she performs the song and dances along the beach and other sunny locales.

Cyrus recorded her new album with producer/multi-instrumentalist Oren Yoel. In an extensive interview with Billboard, the musician discussed returning to her rock and country roots after her hip-hop heavy 2013 effort, Bangerz, and her 2015 psych romp with the Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. Cyrus noted that the deliberate aesthetic shift was partly inspired by the current political climate – there are reportedly songs about Hillary Clinton and women in the workplace – but also a desire reach those outside her bubble. 

“This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a fuck, but right now is not a time to not give a fuck about people,” Cyrus said. “I’m ­giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good – I love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”

From leaked photos to accusations of racism, here are the former Disney starlet’s most controversial, image-shifting moments. Watch here.

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Audio Engineering Society to Join The 2018 NAMM Show in New Format: AES at NAMM

CARLSBAD, Calif., May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With a vision to continue to strengthen the music and pro audio industries, The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and The Audio Engineering Society (AES) have announced a new collaborative alliance which will integrate…


The National Detail Seventh LP 'Sleep Well Beast,' Plot World Tour

The National unveiled a foreboding new track, “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” from their upcoming seventh LP, Sleep Well Beast, out September 8th via 4AD.

“The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” blends elements of the National’s signature indie rock anthems with a shot of disco funk. A shuffling drum beat and a grimy guitar loop mix with a slow-burning blend of piano, synths and horns that rise at the end with Matt Berninger’s rousing plea, “I can’t explain it/ Any other, any other way.” The National also shared a video for “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” in which simple scenic shots are frantically warped into glitchy pictures.

Sleep Well Beast marks the National’s first album since their 2013 record, Trouble Will Find Me. The band recorded the album primarily at guitarist Aaron Dessner’s studio, Long Pond, in Hudson Valley, New York, while additional sessions took place in Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles. Dessner produced the record with his brother, guitarist Bryce Dessner, and Berninger.

Sleep Well Beast is available to pre-order digitally, as well as on CD and double LP.

The National have two international festival dates scheduled for this summer and will kick off a world tour in support of Sleep Well Beast with a slate of U.K. dates in September. The band will embark on a quick North American tour October 5th at the Wang Theatre in Boston, close out the month in Europe and then return to the U.S. for another run November 27th in Portland. Tickets go on sale May 19th, while a pre-sale begins May 15th.

Sleep Well Beast Track List

1. “Nobody Else Will Be There”
2. “Day I Die”
3. “Walk It Back”
4. “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”
5. “Born to Beg”
6. “Turtleneck”
7. “Empire Line”
8. “I’ll Still Destroy You”
9. “Guilty Party”
10. “Carin at the Liquor Store”
11. “Dark Side of the Gym”
12. “Sleep Well Beast”

The National Tour Dates

October 5 – Boston, MA @ Wang Theatre
October 6 – New York, NY @ Forest Hills Stadium
October 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
October 12 – San Diego, CA @ CalCoast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
October 14 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
November 27 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
November 28 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
November 29 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
December 1 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 2 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 4 – Philadelphia, PA @ Verizon Hall
December 7 – Montréal, Québec @ Metropolis
December 8 – Montréal, Québec @ Metropolis
December 9 – Toronto, Ontario @ Sony Centre
December 10 – Hamilton, Ontario @ Hamilton Place Theatre
December 12 – Chicago, IL @ Civic Opera House
December 13 – Chicago, IL @ Civic Opera House  

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Inside Pink Floyd's Immersive New Museum Exhibit

Pink Floyd has never been a band that operates on a small scale. Whether it’s creating a full-on theatrical stage show for The Wall or flying an out-of-control inflatable pig over Battersea Power Station, the British psychedelic-rock heroes have always done everything with grandeur. That was the challenge that faced Aubrey “Po” Powell, the group’s creative director, when it came time to build a museum exhibition devoted to the band.

The idea for a comprehensive retrospective was initially conceived by the late Storm Thorgerson, who designed many of Pink Floyd’s album covers and imagery alongside Powell as Hipgnosis. After Thorgerson’s death in 2013, Powell took the project on.

“I said, ‘Look, I know how we can do it, and the scale we’ve got to do it on has got to be huge,'” Powell told Rolling Stone. “I said, ‘It’s got to be the biggest exhibition anyone’s ever put on, in the same way the stage shows are.’ It had to be of that dimension – otherwise there was no point in doing it.”

That idea served as the guiding principle for “Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains,” a new exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, which arrives nearly 50 years to the date after the group’s groundbreaking Games for May performance – the first-ever surround-sound concert – at Queen Elizabeth Hall. The exhibit, which opens to the public on Saturday and runs through October 1st, reflects back on those past five decades, charting the band’s music and legacy both in Britain and on a global scale. It contains over 350 artifacts and objects, many previously unseen, and takes up 17,000 square feet.

Powell began building the exhibition in 2014 with the blessing of the surviving band members – David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters – and their management. The original idea was to open it in Milan, but when that didn’t work out Powell approached the Victoria & Albert Museum, which had recently wrapped its David Bowie retrospective “David Bowie is.” It took Powell, alongside Stufish Entertainment Architects and curator Paula Webb Stainton, 18 months to put the exhibition together within the museum’s space. They tapped Sennheiser to install the audio experience that follows visitors throughout the rooms, which unfold chronologically and thematically.

“I tried to make the exhibition very much like Pink Floyd,” Powell said. “Larger than life. Like an Alice in Wonderland trip. It’s a celebration of 50 years of Pink Floyd, so what I decided was needed was to have a person have an immersive experience in it. You want to follow the band all the way through their career. Pink Floyd were very inventive in terms of how they progressed with technology and how they progressed with the stage visuals. They were innovative right up to the present day and hopefully this exhibition shows that.”

You arrive into “Their Mortal Remains” via a life-size replica of the band’s Bedford van, their black-and-white touring vehicle in the mid-Sixties. The lighting in the exhibition rooms is low, and the music shifts in your headphones as you move to different display areas. The story is told by letters, drawings, posters, video footage, newspaper clippings, music instruments, ticket stubs and odd objects, some of them replicas. There’s everything from Roger Waters’ technical drawings of the Cambridge railway station from 1962 to the Rank Aldis Tutor projector used by the band’s lighting technician Peter Wynne Wilson in 1967 (who, apparently, “sometimes used stretched condoms” to create colored effects). The amount of detail can be overwhelming. If you fail to look up in the early rooms you may miss the rotating flower-petal mirror ball or Syd Barrett’s red-orange bicycle.

There are explanations on the writing and recording processes of seminal tracks, as well as video footage describing how various album covers were shot. For instance, stuntman Ronnie Rondell was set on fire a terrifying 15 times on the Warner Bros. backlot to create the cover of Wish You Were Here. Eventually you arrive in a massive room that contains part of The Wall‘s wall, several giant inflatables and a replica of Battersea Power Station with a pig soaring overhead. The Division Bell metal heads take up another room, which also lays out various statistics about the band’s touring history (their Division Bell stage show took three days to build each time). Throughout, the exhibition offers glimpses into the psychology behind the band’s creative process. Powell explains the infamous “Teacher” character in The Wall by showcasing the actual cane used on Waters during his early years. 

“We went back to Roger’s old school in Cambridge and found the original caning book and the cane that was used to beat Roger,” Powell said. “I think it was for throwing water. But also in that book was Syd Barrett and Storm, my partner. He was also caned. Those sort of links between something that happened when Roger was at school and creating The Wall are really important. When you see the inflatable teacher, which is 25 feet tall, and the original cane it all comes together. It makes you realize how a lot of these ideas and concepts in Pink Floyd were created.”

The exhibition concludes in a square room with video screens on all four walls. The finale is a performance of “Comfortably Numb” at the 2005 Live 8 event in London, at which Gilmour, Mason, Waters and Wright reunited for the first time in more than 20 years. The performance has been remixed at Abbey Road Studios by Simon Rhodes, Simon Franglen and Andy Jackson and presented in AMBEO 3D using 18 monitor loudspeakers and seven subwoofers. The result is an intense sensory overload, as well as one of the only times during the exhibition you get to see the faces of the musicians up close. The exhibit is as much a celebration of technology, and sonic and visual evolution, as it is of the band.

“We see this exhibition as a story of British culture, as a story of music, as story of technology, as a story of culture, design and innovation,” said Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A. “And one that is particularly unique in a sense to this country. There is an English pastoral idiom within Pink Floyd, which speaks very well, we think, to this museum. So this exhibition fits very naturally with what we want to do here.”

Powell plans to take “Their Mortal Remains” around the world following its stay at the V&A. It’s designed to travel for 10 years, although the size of the exhibition limits the sorts of museums that could potentially host it. “We’ll see how it goes, but there are plans to take it out pretty much straightaway in 2018,” Powell said.

There is a lot to learn inside the exhibition, regardless of what sort of fan you are. Those who know little about Pink Floyd will walk away with a strong understanding of their history and of what makes them unique, and longtime buffs will likely gain new insight. In the end, you realize that everything Pink Floyd made represented them and their vision completely, which is what “Their Mortal Remains” also strives to do.

“They always put the art first with the hope that the money would come later,” Powell said. “It’s a good adage to put out there to young people, because it ain’t all about money. If you can create the art and then you make money out of that it’s the best way because you’re making something people can really enjoy. That’s the great thing about Pink Floyd. They’ve always given me the freedom to whatever I want, and this exhibition is definitely within the same vein as that.”

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Watch Nicole Kidman, Elisabeth Moss in Harrowing 'Top of the Lake' Clip

Jane Campion’s neo-noir series Top of the Lake will return this September to SundanceTV. Elisabeth Moss will return to her role as Detective Robin Griffin and will be joined by Nicole Kidman, who recently starred in the HBO series Big Little Lies.

Moss’ Griffin returns to Sydney to reconnect with a daughter she gave up for adoption, who was raised by Kidman’s Julia in Top of the Lake: China Girl. A suitcase containing the body of a young Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach. When Griffin realizes that her estranged daughter’s new boyfriend may have worked at the brothel that the deceased girl disappeared from, the detective’s personal and professional lives intersect in a painful way.

The show will also star Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie alongside David Dencik, Alice Englert and Ewen Leslie. New episodes will air weekly on SundanceTV and will be available for streaming the following day on Hulu. Currently, Moss is starring in the Hulu exclusive The Handmaid’s Tale, based off Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel of the same name.

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Don Henley Plots Summer Solo Tour

The Eagles‘ Don Henley will extend his 2017 solo tour with a fresh set of North American dates this June. The trek begins June 6th at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, Massachusetts and wraps June 18th at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Henley will also play a special 70th birthday concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas July 22nd.

JD and the Straight Shot will open for Henley during his eight-date June trek. Tickets are currently on sale via Henley’s website.

Henley’s 70th birthday gig in Dallas will feature several special as-yet-unannounced guests and boast a setlist that includes selections from the musician’s output with the Eagles and as a solo artist. Henley is also offering a limited number of travel packages for the concert that include tickets to the gig plus an additional event with the musician.

Along with his solo trek, Henley will play two gigs with the Eagles, Classic East and West, a new bi-coastal festival taking place in Los Angeles and New York, July 15th and 29th, respectively. The gigs notably mark the Eagles’ first shows without founding member Glenn Frey, who died last January. Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Journey and Earth, Wind & Fire are also set to perform.

Don Henley 2017 North American Tour

June 6 – Boston, MA @ Blue Bills Bank Pavilion
June 8 – Washington, D.C. @ The Theater at MGM National Harbor
June 10 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center
June 11 – Mashantucket, CT @ The Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino
June 13 – Toronto, ONT @ Budweiser Stage
June 15 – Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
June 17 – Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
June 18 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
July 22 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

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