Author Archives: M Fund

J. Mascis, Waxahatchee Tapped for Elliott Smith Tribute Album

J. Mascis, Waxahatchee, Lou Barlow, The Breeders/Belly’s Tanya Donelly and Juliana Hatfield are among the artists that will be featured on the forthcoming Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith album. It will be released on American Laundromat Records in the fall.

The compilation houses previously unreleased cover songs, with the exception of Hatfield’s rendition of “Needle in the Hay,” which first appeared on 2014’s I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson

Pre-order is available via American Laundromat Records’ website, and there are four bundles, which comprise a CD bundle, LP bundle, CD and LP bundle, and one that packages CD, LP, cassette and digital download formats together. 

Last month, the soundtrack for the Elliott Smith documentary, Heaven Adores You, was released. Another Smith tribute album, Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, was released last year. 

Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith is due out on October 14th. 

Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith track list (alphabetized by song)

“Angeles” – Waxahatchee
“Ballad of Big Nothing” – Julien Baker
“Between the Bars” – Tanya Donelly
“Bled White” – Yuck
“Condor Ave” – Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
“Division Day” – Lou Barlow
“Easy Way Out” – Wild Sun
“Miss Misery” – Tomo Nakayama
“Needle in the Hay” – Juliana Hatfield
“No Name #3” – Caroline Says
“Oh Well, Okay” – Adam Franklin
“Pictures of Me” – Amanda Palmer
“Say Yes” – William Fitzsimmons
“Waltz #1” – Escondido
“Waltz #2” – J. Mascis

La estrella de la música latina Luis Coronel y Empire Productions ganan en sentencia federal sobre derechos de autor

LOS ÁNGELES, 3 de marzo de 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Una corte federal de California acaba de desestimar por completo las demandas por violación de derechos de autor e incumplimiento de contrato presentadas contra Luis Coronel, el Nuevo Artista del Año 2014…



SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, announced today that Tom Bennett is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Bravado, its global merchandising division, effective…


Luke Bryan Set for 'CMT Crossroads,' New 'Dude Perfect Show'

CMT will resume its long-running Crossroads series this spring, continuing the show’s tradition of pairing country stars with artists from other genres for one-off performances and unlikely duets.

First up is the pairing of Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles with upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick, who will kick off Crossroads‘ 14th year on March 24th. Later in the spring, Rob Thomas and Charles Kelley — two singers who’ve enjoyed careers as solo artists as well as members of different bands — will team up for the year’s second episode, with a match-up between Luke Bryan and R&B star Jason Derulo scheduled to hit the airwaves during the summer. Also set for an upcoming Crossroads are Nick Jonas and Thomas Rhett. 

The oldest series on the CMT network, Crossroads aired its first shows in 2002, pairing together artists like Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams and Elton John, and the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor during its first 12 months. During its run, the show has helped set the stage for multiple country-leaning projects by artists from other genres, including the Doobie Brothers’ Southbound — an album that paired the rock band with 14 different country singers, inspired by the Doobies’ Crossroads performance with Luke Bryan in 2011 — and Steven Tyler’s solo career, whose country twang is more aligned with his 2012 Crossroads match-up with Carrie Underwood than his career with Aerosmith. 

Crossroads isn’t the only CMT program returning to the airwaves. I Love Kellie Pickler has been renewed for a second season, with episodes starting in August. Meanwhile, the network is doubling its original programming in 2016, thanks to live events like Concert of the Summer, shows like Billy Ray Cyrus’s Still the King and a TV adaptation of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet.

There’s also a new reality offering: The Dude Perfect Show, adapted from the popular YouTube sports-comedy series. Its debut season of sports tricks and Jackass-worthy shenanigans features cameos by Luke Bryan, Aaron Rodgers and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Government of Mongolia Announce New Cultural Partnership

Gathered left to right in SFRC (Senate Foreign Relations Committee) room S-116 at the United States Capitol are Vice President for Orchestra Advancement Ryan Fleur, Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Robert Cafaro, Philadelphia Orchestra Vice President for Global Initiatives and Government Relations Craig Hamilton, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, Mongolian Ambassador to the U.S. Bulgaa Altangerel, Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore, horsehead fiddle player Khatanbold Urlagbaatar, U.S. Representative Joe Pitts, and North America-Mongolia Business Council member Ronald Deutch. Photo: Scott SuchmanPHILADELPHIA, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — At 10 AM on the morning of Thursday, March 3, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Government of Mongolia formalized a groundbreaking new relationship during an event in SFRC (Senate Foreign Relations Committee) room S-116 at the United…


M&M'S® Turns 75 Years Young and Launches Year-Long Celebration for Fans

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — M&M’S® Milk Chocolate Candies are the people’s chocolate. Since March 3, 1941, it is the fans who have made M&M’S the most popular chocolate candies on earth. To celebrate their anniversary, M&M’S is bringing the…


Latin Music Star Luis Coronel, Empire Productions Win Federal Copyright Ruling

LOS ANGELES, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A California federal court has issued a complete dismissal of copyright infringement and breach of contract claims filed against Luis Coronel, the 2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards New Artist of the Year, and his record company, Empire…


Hear 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne Team Up on Dark, Synthy 'Gotta Lotta'

Following Kanye West’s Twitter announcement that 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne‘s collaborative project ColleGrove would be released this Friday, the pair have released another new track, “Gotta Lotta,” from the album on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show.

The synth-y trap song fuses together the eccentric styles of the two rappers with a little bit of autotune as they repeat “we gotta lotta dope” on the chorus. The druggy track follows “Rolls Royce Weather Everyday,” which the pair debuted on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in February with help from the Roots and Florida duo Black Violin. On Instagram, 2 Chainz promised to premiere even more new songs from the project on Beats 1 tonight with help from DJ Drama, Mannie Fresh, DJ Self and DJ E Sudd.

Last year, 2 Chainz released two mixtapes: Felt Like Cappin and Trap-A-Velli Tres. Lil Wayne released a few projects — Free Weezy Album, Sorry 4 the Wait 2 and No Ceilings 2 — in the midst of dealing with label drama and a feud with mentor Birdman. In February, he launched the second half of his Dedication tour with openers Rae Sremmurd.

Nina Simone Estate Slams Biopic Star Zoe Saldana

The estate of Nina Simone took umbrage with a quote tweeted by actress Zoe Saldana, who will portray the late singer in a controversial, upcoming biopic.

Saldana has faced immense criticism over her casting in Nina due to her lack of both singing experience and resemblance to the singer and civil rights activist. She reportedly darkened her face with make-up and wore a prosthetic nose during the shoot. Upon the release of the first trailer for the long-delayed film, Saldana tweeted a Simone quote, “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me — No Fear … I mean really, no fear.”

Simone’s estate replied on Twitter, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.” Not long after, the account added: “Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now…”

A representative for the estate was not immediately available for comment.

In response to the controversy, Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of RLJ Entertainment, which will distribute Nina, said: “Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent. The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness. Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance.”

Nina has received little support from Simone’s estate since the film’s inception. In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, Simone’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, said of Saldana’s casting: “My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide [and] her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise, this is not the best choice.” (Simone Kelly would go on to work on the acclaimed Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?)

Nina is now set to arrive in theaters and video-on-demand April 22nd, after its December 2015 release was pushed back. The film was written and directed by Cynthia Mort and focuses on Simone’s struggles to balance social activism with her celebrated music career. It also touches on her time living alone in France, where she met her assistant Clifton Henderson, played by David Oyelowo.

Along with its most recent pushback, Nina has been plagued by numerous delays throughout its production. Singer-actress Mary J. Blige was initially signed-on to play the singer in 2010, but backed out due to scheduling conflicts. In 2014, Mort filed a lawsuit against the film’s U.K. producer, Ealing Studios Enterprises Limited, claiming the company had breached the terms of her directorial deal.

Kip Moore on Struggle for Success: 'I Don't Want to Play a Character'

“I don’t purposefully go against the grain,” says Kip Moore, seated in a Nashville conference room in a Dakine hat and a little more scruff than his usual five o’clock shadow, looking up after a long and heavy pause. It’s something he tends to do a lot over the course of a conversation when things turn more personal — it’s not that he’s hesitating; he’s just taking a moment to make sure he articulates himself just as he likes. “A lot of times, my team gets frustrated because they think I am trying to buck. I’m not trying to buck. I just see things in a different way.”

It’s not always easy, in today’s country climate, to follow an alternative point of view. The Georgia-born Moore would know, after the entire follow-up to his now gold debut LP Up All Night was shelved when its lead single didn’t make an impression on radio. It was an experience that spiraled the singer into a period of depression, but also birthed the excellent, emotionally charged Wild Ones. Since the album was released in August, it’s scored heaps of critical praise, reinforced his near cultish fanbase and allowed him to extend his headlining tour as far as Australia, where he’ll play a series of dates Down Under beginning this weekend.

But there are things it hasn’t yielded, too, like a Number One single, massive record sales (it’s moved around 75k so far) or nominations at the CMAs, ACMs or Grammys — and one could make a case that the often introspective, Nineties-glossed Wild Ones deserved to float in the same category as albums like Kacey Musgraves’ Pageant Material. Or that his powerful, raspy howl warranted a best vocalist nod. But Moore passed through awards season largely unrecognized, something he’ll only really talk about with more of those weighted pauses than words.

“On this one, I probably need to hold my tongue,” he says after several seconds of silence. “All I can control is my art. I didn’t get into this to win awards. I got into this because I love to write and play music. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that any artist, when they are putting their heart into something, they want people to appreciate their work. So, you know, it is what it is. That’s my answer.”

While it’s true that country radio and awards shows have both become somewhat friendlier to those who roam away from pop or bro-country (Chris Stapleton, case in point), it has also created a strange gray area for people like Moore. Stapleton and Musgraves have both benefited from the ability to balance indie-cred with mainstream appeal — they’re “cool country,” so to speak, and along with Sturgill Simpson, have been able to resurrect a modern spin on that pure, vintage twang lost in the Auto-Tune, party-song clouds. Moore doesn’t quite fit there, but he’s not your typical leading man of the genre, either — compared to Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, Moore is borderline emo, singing, perhaps, with far more visceral passion in his voice than many radio programmers might be comfortable. Moore’s no hipster poster boy, but he’s certainly evolved away from anything “bro,” and it’s made for a difficult ride.

“I try to be authentic in everything I do, because I never want to put on another hat,” he says. “And it bites me in the ass sometimes. People will say, ‘If you do a collaboration with this pop or R&B act, you’ll get to play on this show.’ No. It’s not like I dislike what that other artist does, it just doesn’t fit with what I do. I don’t want to go up there and do some song and dance and play some character just to get a couple million people to see me on TV. I’ll just do it the hard way. “

“I’m the guy playing the songs, but we all face the same internal battles.”

Though some of this has made airplay a struggle (though, for the record, Moore is very diplomatic on the topic of radio), it hasn’t posed a problem when it comes to touring. His Wild Ones run sold out consistently, creating so much demand in Europe that he had to upsize his venues, and he managed to lead a 20,000-capacity crowd at London’s O2 Arena, part of 2015’s C2C: Country to Country Festival, through a sing-along of “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” But the 1996 Oasis hit isn’t the only song crowds chant along with. Moore was surprised when fans both home and abroad seemed to know every single lyric of Wild Ones, album tracks and all — and the fact Moore wrote or co-wrote the entire album seemed to propel the obsession even more.

“When people would come up to me in bars, they were always talking about my lyrics,” he says of his experience in England, where the fans seemed to tap into his confessional side. “I thought it was very interesting that over there, they really made a connection with the passion and the lyrics. They’d start talking to me about them and telling me what they think they meant. They appreciated the singer-songwriter side of things.”

Though there’s a lot of big-show, arena-rock presentation in Moore’s stage presence and on Wild Ones, at his core he considers himself to be that very singer-songwriter. His newest single “Running for You” is a vulnerable power ballad, happy to confess his romantic weaknesses, and he’s been open about that depression — a tactic that might be status quo for, say, Conor Oberst, but it’s not exactly something recommended to project a country-star machismo.

“No, I haven’t been shy in opening up about the depression I fell into between Up All Night and Wild Ones,” he says, “where I would keep myself locked up for a couple days just writing music and couldn’t sleep. I’m the guy playing the songs, but we all face the same internal battles. I realized through the conversations fans have had with me about songs like ‘Complicated,’ saying they had divorce papers ready but that song kept their marriage together — you realized the power of what you’re doing.”

So for now, he’s focused on the road and reaching those fans, joining Miranda Lambert’s Keeper of the Flame Tour alongside Brothers Osborne, and continuing with headlining and festival dates at home and overseas. But he’s also writing, and though he won’t share exact details yet, he has plans for a new project (or projects, perhaps). “I definitely have something up my sleeve that nobody knows about,” he says, cracking a smile. “We’re going to try and do something different, and the record itself, we’re going to do it in a very different way. I have about three different projects, three different bodies of work in the can, and they are all completely separate from each other. I’m just trying to figure it out.”

“Different” isn’t always good when it comes to the mainstream country game, but Moore shrugs. “I may never be the guy playing arenas,” he says. “I may never be the guy with the Number One songs. And I have come to this place, where as much as I hope to have hit songs, and as much as I always hope radio is going to play them, I now feel comfortable writing the kind of music I want to write. I’m more comfortable knowing I can be me. And that’s enough.”