Daily Archives: September 21, 2017

Hear Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon, the Roots' 'Wonderful Christmastime'

Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots kick off the holiday season with a giddy remake of the former Beatle’s 1980 track, “Wonderful Christmastime.” The song will appear on Holidays Rule, Vol. 2, a new compilation out October 13th via Capitol Records.

McCartney, Fallon and the Roots premiered a version of their take on “Wonderful Christmastime” on The Tonight Show in 2016, enlisting the cast of the animated movie Sing to provide extra vocals. The version that will appear on Holidays Rule still finds the Roots building a spirited a cappella instrumental – with some seasonal bells thrown in – while Fallon and McCartney share lead vocals. 

Holidays Rule boasts an array of artists covering familiar holiday tunes and a few deep cuts. Rosanne Cash covers Louis Jordan’s “May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas,” Albin Lee Meldau remakes Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Judah and the Lion perform “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire)” and MUNA reworks McCartney’s “Pipes of Peace.” The compilation also features a new song from Grace Potter, “Christmas Moon,” as well as Norah Jones’ holiday-tinged cover of Horace Silver’s “Peace” and the Decemberists’ cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ.”

The first Holidays Rule compilation arrived in 2012 and featured music from McCartney, Rufus Wainwright, the Shins, the Head and the Heart, Andrew Bird and more.

Holidays Rule, Vol. 2 Track List

1. Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots – “Wonderful Christmastime”
2. Barns Courtney feat. Lennon Stella – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
3. Albin Lee Meldau – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
4. Calum Scott – “It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas”
5. Kandace Springs – “(Everybody’s Waitin For) The Man With The Bag”
6. Norah Jones – “Peace” (Live at the Sheen Center)
7. Grace Potter – “Christmas Moon”
8. Rosanne Cash – “May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas”
9. Judah & The Lion – “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”
10. The Decemberists – “Jesus Christ”
11. Lake Street Dive – “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”
12. Flor De Toloache – “That’s What I Want For Christmas”
13. Vera Blue – “A Winter Romance”
14. MUNA – “Pipes of Peace”
15. US Girls – “Blue Christmas”
16. Andrew McMahon – “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”

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See Tim Heidecker, Andrew Bird Perform 'Trump Talkin' Nukes' as Ballad

Tim Heidecker, the comedian turned musician, joined violinist Andrew Bird for a Facebook Live broadcast of the latter’s Live From the Great Room series, where they discussed the relationship between music and comedy. They also discussed Heidecker’s history in music, since he released his debut album, In Glendale, last year. 

Pitchfork reports that during the hour-long broadcast, they performed In Glendale’s “Central Air,” Bird’s “Fiery Crash,” Heidecker’s Our First 100 Days contribution “Trump Talkin’ Nukes” and Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee,” as well as a couple of new songs.

Regarding “Trump Talkin’ Nukes,” which begins around 25:25, Heidecker expressed anxiety about President Trump’s bellicose Twitter statements. “Really, Jesus, this is like the least funny thing I’ve ever written,” he said of the tune he put out earlier this year. “What made me so mad is I’m 41 … and I grew up with the end of the Cold War thing in my life and that felt like it went away to some degree. And then I was looking at Twitter and of course Trump tweets something, I think it was before the inauguration but it was after he was elected, but it was like, ‘We’re going to increase the size of our nuclear arsenal by 10-fold.’ He said something shocking and disturbing, and it was like, ‘Oh, that’s back.’ … So I sat down and wrote this song from that perspective of me talking about nukes, and that was six months ago and it feels even more resonant now with North Korea.”

Heidecker also discussed his musical history. “I had bands in high school and Eric had bands in high school and college,” he said, referring to his Awesome Show partner Eric Wareham. “And we also never thought of ourselves as comedians in that sort of traditional sense. … For a long time, I didn’t really have much to say lyrically that wasn’t meant to be absurd or ironic. And as I kept making music as a hobby, stuff in my life would creep up to be maybe I could write a song. But I still treat it as a hobby or a really pleasurable thing to do, because you can’t live off it anymore.” He paused and said, “Well, you can,” to Bird, who smiled.

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Leyendas del rock de los 80 electrizarán el escenario dos días seguidos en el Segundo RockFest 80's Anual

Leyendas del rock de los 80 electrizarán el escenario dos días seguidos en el Segundo RockFest 80's AnualPEMBROKE PINES, Florida, 21 de septiembre de 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Prepárate para rendirte ante la implacable presentación de la realeza del rock que electrizará al Sur de la Florida este otoño en el Segundo RockFest 80’s Anual. El épico evento de dos días llega al Parque…


Inside the New Wave of Rock Musicals

Christine Russell, one of the producers of the hit Carole King Broadway musical Beautiful, remembers her first reaction when she was pitched on a new pop-oriented production. The show is based on The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, a 16th-century tale of mistaken identity and jealous lovers that was later turned into a play, The Arcadia. The twist of the show, starting with its name, Head Over Heels, is its score: It’s entirely set to songs by the Go-Go’s. “I thought, ‘Huh, really?'” Russell says. “I asked [Go-Go’s guitarist] Charlotte Caffey about it and that it seemed so left field, and she said, ‘That’s why we like it – it’s weird and off the wall, just like our band.'”

Bruce Springsteen may be heading to Broadway in October for his one-man show, but in the next year or two, so will a slew of new pop musicals that incorporate the music of the Go-Go’s, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Alanis Morissette, Cher, and the Temptations – a veritable jukebox-musical gold rush. That’s not including Girl From the North Country, an authorized Bob Dylan–connected show currently playing in London that should eventually be U.S.-bound, and Bat Out of Hell, based on Jim Steinman’s songs from that and other Meat Loaf albums. “You’re going to see more and more of these,” says producer and promoter Michael Cohl, who is behind Bat Out of Hell and was also involved with the hair-metal musical Rock of Ages. “There’s a saying that if you can get people to sing the songs on their way into a show, you have a hit.”

In one form or another, rock-themed musicals have been around for decades – remember the Broadway Tommy in the Nineties? – but the recent wave of profitable productions, like Jersey Boys, the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!, Motown: The Musical and Beautiful (which recently gave its 1,500th performance), signified a turning point. These shows don’t simply appeal to tourists, who account for 60 percent of the Broadway audience, but to artists and music industry types. With CD sales decimated and streaming not bringing in comparable revenue, the idea of a long-lasting musical is a potential new form of revenue. “The music industry is troubled, so any qualified representative is trying to find additional revenue streams for their artists,” says Vivek Tiwary, one of the producers of the in-the-works Jagged Little Pill musical.

Debuting next month Off-Broadway is Red Roses, Green Gold, a “comedic tale” of a family looking to con its way to fortune in Maryland in the Twenties, featuring songs by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. The characters have names like “The Candy Man” and “Bertha,” and for added jam-band authenticity, Furthur and Dead & Co. keyboardist Jeff Chimenti was hired as musical director. Coming to Broadway in March is Return to Margaritaville, a musical about a part-time singer/bartender who falls for a female tourist, all set to Buffett hits like “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Margaritaville” and “Come Monday” (along with new songs written exclusively for the show). Early next year, Bat Out of Hell – which started out in the Seventies as Neverland, when Steinman wrote the songs for a pre–Bat Out of Hell musical – departs London and head for Toronto, with the possibility of an eventual Broadway production. Cohl describes it as “Romeo and Juliet meets West Side Story and Blade Runner.” Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations just opened to good reviews at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in the Bay Area.

In development in the world of “catalog musicals” (the term “jukebox musical” is generally frowned upon in the theater world) are The Cher Show, which tells the story of the pop icon from her marriage to Sonny Bono and up through her own career; the songs stretch from “I Got You Babe” to “If I Could Turn Back Time.” (Rick Elice, who wrote the book for Jersey Boys, is handling similar duties here.) The show could open on the Great White Way next year. Jagged Little Pill will feature songs from Morissette’s iconic album (“You Oughta Know,” “Ironic,” “Hand in My Pocket”) along with select tracks from later albums and brand-new tunes. Right now, plans call for the show to open at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge this spring, with Broadway most likely to follow. Featuring a book written by Diablo Cody, the show, says Tiwary, is set in an affluent suburb and deals with a family confronting current social issues like “sexual assault, sexual identity and racism.”

Head Over Heels, the Go-Go’s-connected show, will be directed by Michael Mayer, who also helmed the American Idiot musical based around that Green Day album, another influential milestone. “American Idiot knocked down a lot of doors,” says Tiwary. “That wasn’t a ‘jukebox musical’ but based around an album. Jagged Little Pill isn’t a concept album, but there are thematic similarities in the songs. And the songs don’t sound dated. They sound so epic in scope and feel. They’re the definition of great musical-theater songs. They play to the back of the theater but make you feel you’re right inside someone’s head.”

As anyone involved with such shows realizes, the success of these productions is hardly guaranteed. Producers usually have to raise anywhere between $10 and 15 million for out-of-town tune-ups and the show itself. “It’s always hard to find investors,” says Russell, “but it’s easier when you have a brand, something to hang your hat on.” The cost of the songs can also complicate matters. When reviving a standard like My Fair Lady or South Pacific, producers generally deal with what are called package rights that include music, lyrics and book. Since pop musicals often involve songs written not just by the artists but also collaborators, producers must wrangle with each one of those co-songwriters (and their publishers) for the rights to use his or her song.

And even when those issues are settled, these shows aren’t surefire successes. About 10 years ago, Ring of Fire (which used Johnny Cash songs) and Good Vibrations (built around Beach Boys hits) were bombs, as was Twyla Tharp’s shot at a Dylan show, The Times They Are A-Changin‘. “It has to do with the story,” Tiwary says. “You can’t just take a great record and assume it’s going to be great.” Yet the potential payoff is too good for the music business to ignore, especially in these revenue-depleted days. “A revival is simpler to do, but they have a built-in expiration date,” says one theatrical insider. “Most of them only run a year. But Beautiful could run forever.” 

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Lee 'Scratch' Perry Reworks Dub Classic 'Super Ape' for New Album

Reggae and dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry gives his track “Zion’s Blood” a spaced-out update in the latest offering from Super Ape Returns to Conquer. The new record is a complete reworking of the Upsetters’ 1976 classic Super Ape and arrives September 22nd via Subatomic Sound.

On the new iteration of “Zion’s Blood,” Scratch manages to deepen the song’s groove through juiced drums, rich horns, slender guitar and the occasional synth wobble. Perry’s vocals have an older, wizened grit as well, and his voice sifts hypnotically through the dense sonic milieu.

Scratch co-produced Super Ape Returns to Conquer with Subatomic Sound co-founder Emch. The pair recorded the LP at Subatomic Sound Studios in Brooklyn and Scratch’s home studio, the New Ark, in Jamaica. The LP features Troy Shaka Simms and Omar Little on horns, Screechy Dan on vocals and Larry McDonald – who played on the original Super Ape – on drums and percussion. Ari Up, the late singer for the Slits, contributed vocals to “Underground Roots.”

“It is a crazy thing to do to completely remake a classic,” Emch said of Super Ape Returns. “No one has ever dared to do something like that. It prompts the question: What is the motivation if it was already classic? Really, it was to adapt a slow hypnotic album to a hype live show while still maintaining the vibes that make the music special. Like an alternate version.”

Scratch is set to embark on a North American tour October 24th in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Along with “Zion’s Blood,” he shared a reworking of “Chase the Devil” – the track famously sampled by Kanye West for Jay-Z’s “Lucifer” – featuring vocals from Jahdan Blakkamoore and Screechy Dan.

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Review: Leon Russell, 'On a Distant Shore' Is a Powerful Posthumous Goodbye

Onthe growing list of farewell albums by dying rockers, Leon Russell’s contribution– recorded months before his November 2016 passing – may be the mostunflinching yet. “Sounds like a funeral for some person here/And I mightbe the one,” he bemoans; elsewhere he dwells on loneliness and lostlovers. Paradoxically, though, the soul-rock icon hasn’t sounded so alive in years.From the swampy choogle of “Love This Way” to the supper-cluborchestration of “On the Waterfront” to the Cotton Club jazz of “Easyto Love,” he poignantly circles his musical bases one last time.

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Altavoz Names Thaddeus Turner Chicago Ambassador for City Music Deal

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Altavoz Entertainment, Inc. is launching its City Music DealTM in Chicago under the Ambassadorship of Thaddeus Turner, a self-described small business owner with a penchant for discovering great artists.  As music ambassador, the broad shoulders of T…


Ultimate 80's Rock Legends set to electrify the stage for back-to-back days at the Second Annual RockFest 80's

Ultimate 80's Rock Legends set to electrify the stage for back-to-back days at the Second Annual RockFest 80'sPEMBROKE PINES, Fla., Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Get ready to “Surrender” to the relentless rock royalty line up set to ignite South Florida this fall for the Second Annual RockFest 80’s. The epic two-day event is coming to C.B. Smith Park, Saturday November 4, 2017 (Doors open noon…


Watch Macklemore, Kesha's Celebratory 'Good Old Days' Video

Macklemore and Kesha venture into the woods, surrounded by friends, in the serene new video for “Good Old Days.” The song will appear on Macklemore’s upcoming solo album, Gemini.

The Johnny Valencia-directed clip opens with Macklemore and Kesha sitting by the side of the road while the song’s producer, Josh “Budo” Karp, fixes their broken down van. When the crew finally gets the car rolling again, they wind their way through the woods and arrive at a gorgeous campground.

The rest of the clip finds Macklemore and Kesha exploring the surrounding area, playing games, swimming and capturing their day on a Super 8 camera. As night falls and “Good Old Days” floats towards its beatific end, the assembled party gathers for one last fire-lit bash filled with song, dance and some birthday cake too.

“Good Old Days” follows Macklemore’s previously-released Gemini single, “Glorious.” Gemini marks Macklemore’s first full-length solo project since 2005’s The Language of My World. Outside a 2009 mixtape, The Unplanned Mixtape, the Seattle rapper’s last two releases have been collaborations with producer Ryan Lewis, The Heist and This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Macklemore will embark on a North American tour in support of Gemini October 6th in Portland.

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Unparalleled Lineup Of Industry Power Players Revealed For 2017 REVOLT Music Conference

2017 REVOLT Music ConferenceNEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — REVOLT, the multi-platform network from Sean Combs, will once again return to Miami Beach for the fourth annual REVOLT Music Conference (RMC) on October 12-15, 2017 at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort. The first round of featured keynote speakers,…