Daily Archives: October 6, 2017

Austin's Sound on Sound Festival Canceled Due to 'Roadblocks'

Austin, Texas’ Sound on Sound Festival, which was set to host artists like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Iggy Pop, Grizzly Bear and more in November, canceled the three-day fest Friday due to “recent roadblocks.” Ticket buyers were promised 100-percent refunds.

“We are extremely saddened to announce today that Sound On Sound Fest 2017 is being cancelled,” the festival said in a statement. “This is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. Due to several recent roadblocks outside of our control and in an effort to do right by our fans, the decision to cancel the event was our only real option.”

While the Sound on Sound fest, which held its inaugural festival in 2016 at the Sherwood Forest Faire, didn’t specify why the festival was canceled a month before it was scheduled to take place, the Austin Chronicle reports that one of the organizers’ primary investors pulled out for unknown reasons. Even though ticket sales for the fest were “on track,” it’s possible that artists asking for more money up front in the aftermath of the infamous Fyre Festival also potentially played a role.

Despite the festival’s cancellation, the “majority of the artists” involved were working with local promoters to perform in Austin the weekend of November 10th through 12th, organizers added.

“We are planning to book these shows at venues throughout Austin,” organizers wrote on the fest’s site. “Sound On Sound Fest ticket holders will have first access to purchase tickets to the newly booked shows and will be emailed a link to buy in advance of the public show announcement.”

The Sound on Sound Festival was also among four dates the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had scheduled in support of their upcoming Fever to Tell reissue; it’s unclear if the band will schedule a different Austin date. “Like many of you we JUST heard the news that [Sound on Sound] has been cancelled,” the band wrote on Instagram. “We are majorly bumming hard. Just processing this now, more soon…”

According to the fest’s site, “There are no current plans to continue the festival” in 2018.

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Leonard Cohen's Final Poetry Book Gets Release Date

Leonard Cohen‘s final book of poetry, The Flame, will be published in October 2018, the Guardian reports. Cohen finished the book just months before his death, in November 2016, at age 82.

The collection will include mostly new material, according to the publisher, Canongate. Cohen’s former manager and the trustee of his estate, Robert Kory, said in a statement that completing The Flame was one of the artist’s main objectives prior to his death. He culled material from unpublished poems, selections from his notebooks that commented on “the flame and how our culture threatened its extinction,” said Kory.

Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist before turning to music. His first book, Let Us Compare Mythologies, came out in 1956, followed by The Spice-Box of Earth (1961) and Flowers for Hitler (1964). His first album as a singer-songwriter came out in 1967, when he was in his early thirties. 

In addition to prose pieces, illustrations and intimate sections of his notebooks, The Flame will include the full lyrics of his three final albums and lyrics he wrote for Blue Art, by frequent collaborator, Anjani, Canongate said. 

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Review: Marilyn Manson Gets Back to His Shock-Rock Roots

Two years after releasing the surprisingly mature goth-metal offering The Pale Emperor, Marilyn Manson has returned to straight-ahead shock. “I write songs to fight and to fuck to,” he sings on “Je$u$ Cri$i$,” from his 10th LP, over spiky, electro-hard-rock riffs that occasionally recall his glammy Mechanical Animals period. That old black magic often sounds forced, but he makes up for it with a few more melancholy tracks, the best of which, “Saturnalia,” is an eight-minute ode to orgiastic revelry that feels like a long-lost descendant of Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

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Ricky Martin on Puerto Rico: 'It Looks Like They Nuked Us'

Ricky Martin returned to Ellen Friday to discuss his recent trip to Puerto Rico, where the singer distributed basic necessities to those affected by Hurricane Maria.

“I don’t wanna be pessimistic, I just want to be realistic: The images don’t do justice to what really happened in Puerto Rico. It looks like they nuked us,” Martin said. “Regardless of what people say, right now Puerto Rico is still struggling, and I don’t see light at the tunnel.”

Martin added that he was returning to the island on Sunday with a FedEx plane filled with basic necessities for those still recovering from Hurricane Maria. Martin also thanked Ellen viewers for assisting in his YouCaring relief efforts, which saw its donations increase from $200,000 to $1.8 million following his last appearance on the show.

Martin then shared video from his visit to the hurricane-ravaged island, including the massive amount of damage Puerto Rico experienced. In one town Martin visited, over a thousand homes were destroyed by the storm.

Martin also met with San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who challenged the U.S. government’s relief efforts; her criticism of the government’s response sparked a series of vicious tweets from Donald Trump. Lin-Manuel Miranda and DeGeneres were among the celebrities to come to Cruz’s defense on social media.

“The governor of Puerto Rico said yesterday it will cost us $90 billion to bring Puerto Rico back to where it was,” Martin said, adding that every dollar that goes to his YouCaring page “will make a difference” in helping the island recover.

Since Martin’s latest Ellen appearance, the donations have grown to over $2.1 million.

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Review: Kelela's Forward-Thinking R&B Is Restlessly Innovative

Since her 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me, Kelela has been one of R&B’s most buzzed-about up-and-comers, an enigmatic presence who melds her strong yet acrobatic voice and bottomless fascination with music’s potential into hooky, forthright post-millennial soul. Kelela has, in the last year, dueted with Solange on A Seat at the Table‘s crystalline “Scales” and added her voice to Gorillaz’ cacophony of Humanz. Her debut full-length fuses together jagged textures, vaporous synths and her versatile voice into forward-thinking R&B animated by its restless innovation. She luxuriates in her upper register over the woozy haze and heavy beats of “Jupiter,” funhouse-mirrors her voice around the gulping wobble of “Blue Light” and uses icy arpeggios and unnerving chord changes to soundtrack her soul-wringing on “Take Me Apart.” The nervy “Truth or Dare,” meanwhile, shimmies while Kelela beckons, its robo-electro backbone updating Timbaland’s skittering ideal for the 21st century – and, probably, beyond.

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Review: Open Mike Eagle Offers Impressionistic History Lesson

Motormouthed rapper Open Mike Eagle has gotten ravesfor albums that explore the comedy of neurosis. His new one, easily hisheadiest, is a concept LP built around Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes, a famouslymismanaged housing project destroyed 10 years ago. Eagle impressionisticallyinserts himself into events real and imagined. “We live in a space thatshould have never existed,” he raps. The results add a historical angle tohip-hop’s powerful mix of the personal and political.        

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Demi Lovato Talks Mental Health, Hillary Clinton, Her 'Barney' Days and More

There’s not much that Demi Lovato is unwilling to share. The 25-year-old pop singer discusses everything from her broken relationship with her father to her sexual appetites on her new LP, Tell Me You Love Me, featuring the hit revenge anthem “Sorry Not Sorry.” She’s decided to let her fans in even closer with her new documentary, Simply Complicated, which hits YouTube on October 17th. The film details the making of her ultrapoppy album, and how she went from a depressed teen drug addict to a sober mental-health advocate. “I wanted to be completely vulnerable and honest,” she says.

You sang the national anthem before the Floyd Mayweather Jr.–Conor McGregor fight, in front of more than 100 million people. How were you feeling as you walked into the ring?
I was shaking so much that I had to hold the microphone with both hands. I didn’t want to mess up. It’s a hard song to sing – there’s high notes that you have to hit, and you want to make it your own without adding too much. I think it turned out well. I was going to go to the fight anyway for my birthday. Conor did a really great job, and Floyd’s incredible. It was a great fight.

You talk in the documentary about everything from cocaine addiction to an eating disorder. Is there anything you didn’t want to address?
To be honest, no. I was pretty open with the cameras. The only times I didn’t want the cameras on me were when I was songwriting, because I didn’t want to be distracted. 

You’ve been in recovery for drug addiction for a few years. How does it shape your day-to-day life?
It’s not so much about avoiding drugs and alcohol, because I don’t necessarily put myself in those situations. I don’t go to clubs. It shapes my life in a sense that I do inventories all the time. If I want to flip somebody the bird while driving, I check with myself, like, “Why do I want to do that? Why am I impatient right now?”

Earlier this year, you said you were sick of being labeled bipolar. Why?
I’m not sick of it. If anything, I’m proud to be bipolar and speak about it. Bipolar is a mood disorder. I deal with mood swings, I deal with episodes of mania, and bipolar-depression phases as well. But I’ve used my voice to help others, and I feel proud that I’ve been able to do that.

You have a song on your new album called “Daddy Issues,” which has you singing about a torrid affair with an older man.
I grew up having a strange relationship with my birth father. It caused relationship issues and certain behaviors in the future. I learned the reasoning behind those behaviors was because of my dad.

Do you mind fans speculating about who you’re having an affair with in the song?
If I did mind it, I wouldn’t put it out there. I’m kind of used to it by now.

You got very involved in the Hillary Clinton campaign. Where were you on election night?
I actually was with the Clinton campaign in New York. It was extremely uncomfortable. Everyone was devastated.

What did working on the campaign teach you?
That it’s better to use your voice and lose fans than to not say anything at all and people-please. I know there’s a risk that comes with that, but I wanted to see a difference made in this country.

Are you confident that a woman will become president in the near future?
I don’t know if it’s in the near future. I think that our country has a lot of growing to do before that can happen, obviously. But it’ll definitely happen.

You were one of the child actors on Barney & Friends. How do you look back on those days?
Very fondly. I was more comfortable around adults there than I was with kids my own age when I went to public school. I got made fun of a lot because I had been on Barney. I look back and I think it was mainly jealousy from kids that wanted to sing and act on TV. I actually learned so much in my time being home-schooled that I was able to teach my math class things.

As a teenager, you also starred in Camp Rock with the Jonas Brothers. Would you rather watch that or one of your Barney episodes?
Definitely Camp Rock. There’s at least some sort of substance. Barney was fun, but the songs and the dancing – it was just too much.

Last year, you said you were taking a break from music and you weren’t “meant for this business.” Why?
I think I cared too much about what people thought of me. I had gotten to a place where I let my insecurities win – I wanted everyone to love me, and I was getting backlash from interviews that were misconstrued and tweets that people read too much into. Now, I just don’t care. I don’t focus so much on people liking me as much as I just want to do my thing and be a musician.

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Review: Liam Gallagher Sticks to Oasis' Brawny Britpop and Beatle-esque Melodies on Solo Debut

It may be the closest Liam Gallagher has come to apology. “In my defense all my intentions were good,” the ex-Oasis singer asserts on his solo debut, in a song that shares its title with Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” “But I am a dreamer by design,” Gallagher adds, as good a description of kamikaze stardom as anything he sang in Oasis, from his brother Noel’s songbook. Eight years after that band’s messy breakup, Liam puts his signature voice on the line in a mostly original set of strut and reflection that sticks to Oasis’ template – brawny Britpop, Beatle-esque ballads – and often invigorates it.

Like hisbrother, Liam openly quotes his inspirations: “She’s so purple haze”(the suitably dreamy “When I’m in Need”); “Angels, gimmeshelter/Cause I’m about to fall” (the harder, thumping “You BetterRun”). There are fresh twists on the classicism too: the slashing-riffcharge and falling-vocal chorus in “Greedy Soul”; Gallagher’sscouring bray swimming through the acid-folk “Chinatown.” As You Were lacks one Oasis specialty –straight-up helter skelter. But if the album is a few steps shy of his oldband’s best, it has Gallagher writing like he means it and singing like hisdream isn’t over. 

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Jeff Lynne's ELO Readies Concert Film 'Wembley or Bust'

Electric Light Orchestra’s triumphant return to London’s Wembley Stadium in June 2017 will be the focus of the upcoming concert film/live album Wembley or Bust.

Due out November 17th, the 23-track album spans Jeff Lynne and company’s entire discography, from first single “10538 Overture” to “Handle With Care” (which Lynne recorded with the Traveling Wilburys) to songs off ELO’s 2015 comeback LP Alone in the Universe.

“It’s the best time I ever had in music… It is beyond anything I could have imagined,” Lynne said of the gig captured on Wembley or Bust, which ELO performed in front of a sold-out audience of 60,000.

Wembley or Bust is available to pre-order now as a 2-CD/Bluray set as well as a 3-LP live album.

Wembley or Bust Track List

1. “Standin’ In The Rain”
2. “Evil Woman”
3. “All Over The World”
4. “Showdown”
5. “Livin’ Thing”
6. “Do Ya”
7. “When I Was A Boy”
8. “Handle With Care”
9. “Last Train to London”
10. “Xanadu”
11. “Rockaria!”
12. “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”
13. “10538 Overture”
14. “Twilight”
15. “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle”
16. “Shine A Little Love”
17. “Wild West Hero”
18. “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”
19. “Telephone Line”
20. “Turn To Stone”
21. “Don’t Bring Me Down”
22. “Mr. Blue Sky “
23. “Roll Over Beethoven”

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Taylor Swift's New Album 'Reputation': Everything We Know, Everything We Want

The Old Taylor can’t come to the phone? Long live the New Taylor. Reputation is one of this fall’s most tightly guarded secrets; Taylor Swift‘s sixth album is her first in three years, her longest vacation ever. So far, each Swift LP has been a major musical departure. But this time, she isn’t letting any secrets slip, declining interviews and, somehow, avoiding paparazzi detection wherever she may be. All we have to go on is a quote from a source close to the project who tells Rolling Stone, “Reputation is lyrically sharper and more emotionally complex than 1989. This music has and will continue to speak for itself.”

So what do we know about Reputation? We know it has 15 songs; “…Ready For It?” will be the first track and “Look What You Made Me Do” will be the sixth. We know it drops on November 10th, which happens to be Richard Burton’s birthday. (What if that makes Reputation the Burton to Taylor’s Taylor? What if she is about to marry herself and embrace her muse as her soulmate?) It’s one day before the nine-year anniversary of Fearless, which came out in 2008 on November 11th, whereas she usually prefers to pounce in late October, as she did with Speak Now, Red and 1989. So here’s a rundown of all the clues to the burning mysteries around Reputation – what we know for sure, what we wonder, what we want, what we hope.

The sound. The first two singles are moody electro-pop: the Hot Topic quasi-goth blare of “Look What You Made Me Do” (produced by Jack Antonoff) and the hip-hop island breeze of “…Ready for It?” (produced by Max Martin, Shellback and Ali Payami). “Look What You Made Me Do” is Sal-Tay in supervillain mode; “…Ready for It?” is sultrier and far superior. Neither sounds like any of her previous work. But drastic swerves are what Swift does. All five of her previous LPs have developed a sound she could have milked for years – but she’s never made the same record twice, even when that’s what everybody wanted, from her record company to her fans.

Last time the world was hoping for Red II: Fifty Shades Redder, Red III: Revenge of the Scarf or Red IV: Maple Latte Massacre, but instead she made 1989, an album as far from Red as Speak Now was from Fearless. Nobody sane would have advised her, “You know what you should do next? Make an album that sounds nothing like Red, but exactly like Erasure or the Pet Shop Boys.” Yet Swift followed her own muse and turned out to be right – when it comes to high-risk moves that pay off, she’s gone five for five. So whatever she tries on Reputation, it won’t be what she did last time.

The romance. The line that jumps out from “…Ready For It?” is “He could be my jailer / Burton to this Taylor.” Not her usual kind of love story. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor got married and divorced twice, which by 1970s standards made them the ultimate glamour couple – even Sonny and Cher only got to break up once. Their boozy jet-set affair lasted a total of (hmmm) 13 years, despite the fact that they basically loathed each other. Burton was fond of referring to Liz as “MGM’s Little Miss Mammary,” while she called him “the Frank Sinatra of Shakespeare.” By the time Liz was Swift’s age, she was on Husband Four; Burton was Five (and Six). So Liz and Dick weren’t exactly Romeo and Juliet – their Shakespearean duet was a 1967 film adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. Fans have speculated the song is her ode to her beau of the past year, British actor Joe Alwyn – currently filming Mary Queen of Scots, where he plays the lover of Queen Elizabeth. Burton once got an Oscar nomination playing her father, King Henry VIII.

The playlist. Her Spotify playlist “Songs Taylor Loves” is loaded with sad weepy ballads – the side of her music missing from the two new singles. It’s also full of younger artists – from pals like Selena Gomez and Ed Sheeran to country upstarts like Maren Morris and Brett Young to indie brooders like the National and Bon Iver. But none of the legendary names Swift usually loves to invoke – the girl named after James Taylor isn’t bumping “Fire and Rain” these days. Is the playlist representative of her new music? Or is she digging these tearful ballads because she’s no longer writing them?

The cover. She’s wearing black lipstick, clearly a sign that Old Taylor is dead, given her affection for the red-lip classic thing. She gazes blearily through newspaper headlines spelling her name – math experts have counted her name on the cover 899 times. The cover’s weirdest detail: the Richard Hell-like torn sweatshirt, stitched up to create five triangular peaks, one for each previous album.

The magazines. The exclusive Target edition comes with two different 72-page magazines full of Swift’s poetry, watercolor paintings, handwritten lyrics and fashion photography. (Oh, pop stars – always secretly fantasizing about being editors of print magazines.) Judging from the cover of Reputation magazine, the typographical sensibility evokes the famously experimental (and often illegible) 1990s music mag Ray Gun.

There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Aug 25, 2017 at 4:54am PDT

The snakes. She’s teased the album with serpentine imagery – want to buy a $60 Gold Snake Ring? Either she’s a budding herpetologist or she’s reviving her Kimye feud. You remember – from last summer, before Kanye’s 5150 or his rock-bottom moment ass-kissing the new President. But it’s safe to surmise the feud factor will be the least intriguing aspect of Reputation, since her celebrity conflicts have been fruitless musically for all the artists involved. “Look What You Made Me Do” is much stronger than Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” or Kanye’s “Famous,” but that’s hardly an achievement given how those remarkably wretched gaffes sandbagged the albums they were intended to launch. All evidence indicates that we’re in a post-beef era where nobody cares about pop-star feuds, since we’ve got more pressing problems. Swift sending Cardi B flowers to congratulate her on “Bodak Yellow” hitting Number One – even though it replaced “Look What You Made Me Do” – is much more in step with the 2017 zeitgeist than snake emojis, which are so last year. And you have to love how Cardi B made sure to document the flowers on Instagram, to thwart any would-be Cardor truthers.

The Drake factor. Be on guard for Drizzy content. Last year, while the rumor mill was full of reports of them hanging out and possibly working together, the two did linked Apple Music ads, one with Taylor lip-synching the Drake/Future collabo “Jumpman” and the other with Drake doing “Bad Blood.” Since Aubrey Graham is the only pop star on earth who can approach Tay’s feelings-per-minute ratio, the mind reels at how they might sound together – let’s just say they could go from zero to 100 real quick.

The shirt. The “Look What You Made Me Do” video ends with an attention-grabbing shot of Swift in a “Junior Jewels” t-shirt decorated with her friends’ names. Squadologists plotzed at the roll call, from Patrick Stewart (he’s on it twice? Make it so!) to Abigail (the “Fifteen” bestie whose wedding had Swift as a bridesmaid last month). Who’s lurking on the back of the shirt? And who’s a blank space? The most high-profile absence was Karlie Kloss, currently seen in a new Cole Haan ad campaign with well-that-escalated-quickly pal Christy Turlington. (In Elle a few weeks ago, K.K. gushed, “I am surrounded by extraordinary women – from my mom and sisters to role models like Christy Turlington, Melinda Gates, and Sheryl Sandberg, and many more.”) Will Reputation offer a state-of-the-squad update?

The exes. Just because Swift seems to be in a functional relationship, is that any reason she should keep a dignified silence about her Long List of Ex-Lovers? Dignified silence is not this lady’s style. Between Tom Hiddleston and Calvin Harris, she has some real content opportunities. In the new video, Zombie Tay digs a grave marked “Nils Sjoberg,” her ghostwriting pen name; there’s also an empty engagement-ring box. Perhaps she’s mocking Harris for both his career and love life, given that Nils Sjoberg is an anagram for “Jobless Ring”? Or maybe she’s accusing him of swiping her work, since it’s also an anagram for “Robs Jingles”? Or maybe – just maybe – anagrams are meaningless and dumb coincidences?

The tour. One thing Swift has made clear over the years – she’s not into looking back. In the spirit of Madonna or Bowie, when she tours, she focuses on the new songs, not the hits of yesteryear. It was a shocker when she left “All Too Well” off most stops of the 1989 tour, just as she left “Enchanted” and “Long Live” off the Red tour. But given the choice between reprising the oldies or showing off her new songs, she’ll go new every time. And that goes for her albums as well – she’s never been an artist who repeats herself. Don’t expect her to start now. “Honey, I rise up from the dead, I do it all the time”? Bring on the New Tay-stament.

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