Tag Archives: RollingStone

'NSync, Backstreet Boys Tapped for Lou Pearlman Documentary

Members of ‘NSync and the Backstreet Boys will participate in a new documentary about the notorious boy band impresario, Lou Pearlman. The film, tentatively titled The Lou Pearlman Project, is expected to premiere on YouTube Red this year.

The film will chronicle Perlman’s remarkable rise and fall, from one of the most powerful players in the music industry to a convicted felon. The Lou Pearlman Project will feature extensive interviews with members of Pearlman’s biggest acts including ‘NSync’s J.C. Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass, the Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean, O-Town’s Ashley Parker Angel and Aaron Carter, solo artist and brother of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter. Bass’ mother Diane Bass will also participate, as will Justin Timberlake’s mother, Lynn Bomar Harless.

“I’ve always wanted to tell the story of the rise and fall of Lou Pearlman; I thought I knew most of the story since I had a front row seat,” said Bass, who will also serve as an executive producer. “I was fascinated to learn so much more through the eyes of other artists that were also subjected to Pearlman and his nefarious operation.”

Pearlman built his boy band empire in the mid-Nineties, forming pop heavyweights the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync, and managing similar groups like LFO, Take 5 and O-Town. His career was undone, however, by shady business practices, and in 2008 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for overseeing a $300 million Ponzi scheme. Pearlman was also dogged by allegations of molestation and abuse, which first surfaced in a 2007 Vanity Fair profile. He died in 2016 at the age of 62.

A release date for the documentary has yet to be announced.

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The Innovator: How Jlin Is Altering Dance Music's DNA

If you’re ever feeling bored with new music, like you’ve heard it all before, don’t give up – just hit play on a Jlin track. The 30-year-old Gary, Indiana, electronic musician is evolving faster than the world can keep up. A few years ago, she was a rising star associated with footwork, a high-tempo house variant born in Chicago clubs. Then, with her second LP, 2017’s wildly innovative Black Origami, she pummeled apart the very idea of dance music and found weird beauty in the shards. And on her next project – an original score for British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s group-performance piece Autobiography, due to be released as Jlin’s third album this fall – she backflips from there into ambient psychedelic space and beyond.

“I’m not a footwork artist,” says Jlin, who’s known offstage as Jerrilynn Patton. “If you listen to this ballet and you can’t figure that out, I question your credibility.”

She’s an early riser, as she explains over a 9 a.m. granola breakfast at New York’s Ace Hotel, 12 hours before a performance at a mini-festival in a Times Square multiplex. In her red-and-yellow Cleveland Cavaliers hat and hoodie, matching red sweatpants and Timberland boots, she has a relaxed, unflashy look, aside from a sleek black-and-gold Tissot wristwatch that she picked up on tour in Krakow, Poland last fall. “I had just finished my ballet, and I was leaving to go to Amsterdam,” she says. “So I treated myself. It was expensive!”

When she started work last on the music for Autobiography – in which McGregor’s company of toned dancers writhe, tangle and jab in patterns inspired by the choreographer’s recently sequenced genome – Jlin felt lost. “Sometimes you have a mental block at the worst possible time,” she says. She went vegan in an effort to detox her body and mind, and found her way to 13 tracks that range from eerie minimalism to lurid celebration. “I was pulling from all directions,” she says. “There are pieces in there that don’t even sound like me.”

The score peaks with a claustrophobic collage called “The Abyss of Doubt,” where sampled shrieks and synth stabs do battle with ominous dialogue from the 1976 film Carrie (“They’re all gonna laugh at you!”). It comes across as a funhouse-mirror reflection of her experience as a verbally bullied high school student. Back then, she turned to math as an escape; she loved the way AP Calculus taught her to think backwards and forwards at once. “That’s the way I create my music now,” she says. “I have all the answers – now what is the question?”

Jlin says she’s tired of the assumptions that some people make when they learn she’s from Gary: “People have this cliché, stereotypical thought that you grew up in the hood and you make it out. My life wasn’t like that. Actually, my life was very sheltered.” Her mother, who worked in upper management at Nabisco when Jlin was younger, remains one of her closest confidants. She was there when Jlin provided a live score for the London premiere of Autobiography last October. “She was proud,” Jlin says. “I went to my dressing room, and on the door it said, ‘Composer: Jerrilynn Patton.’ Like, Oh, my god. It’s real.

Before she makes another solo album, she says, she’d like to catch up with Karen Lee, her favorite math teacher from high school: “When I have the time, I’m going to ask her to retrain my brain.” First, though, she needs to finish her next prestigious composing gig – a commission from the avant-classical Kronos Quartet – and make a few last tweaks to the bonus tracks for the McGregor score.

As she’s finishing her granola, her phone rings. “Thank you, Mom,” she says. “I will.” She hangs up and smiles: “She was calling to tell me to knock ’em dead tonight.”

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Spotify Is Giving Away Even More Music for Free

Spotify, despite the critics, is doubling down on its commitment to free music. In its first major move since going public earlier this month, the music-streaming company Tuesday unveiled a new version of its mobile app that unlocks certain premium features for free users. Previously, users on the free, advertisement-supported tier could only listen to songs on shuffle on the mobile app. Now, they can listen on demand to about 750 songs that appear across Spotify’s 15 personalized discovery playlists, which include Discover Weekly, Daily Mix and Today’s Top Hits. The company said it negotiated new deals with record labels to be able to offer these tracks for free.

At a press event in New York’s Gramercy Theater announcing the new feature among a handful of other tweaks, chief R&D officer Gustav Söderström said the company is trying to do for the music industry what broadcast radio did in the 1990s: motivate people to buy music by first giving it away for free.

Spotify’s 90 million free users will be pleased – but others, less so. Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine, for one, has voiced skepticism for years about giving away music for free, recently calling it a “massive problem” for streaming services. And the music industry at large is reluctant to embrace Spotify’s optimistic vision for the record business. While the company stands behind the promise that many of its free users will eventually convert into paying subscribers on the premium tier, artists and record labels are less sure; moreover, they worry that the meager royalty payouts from free music are impeding the industry’s rocky recovery.

But it was streaming, and Spotify in particular, that led to that recovery in the first place. Thanks to the boom of streaming in recent years, music is finally coming out of its two-decade slump. The United States posted music revenue of $8.7 billion last year – a 17% year-over-year increase that took the industry back up to its 2008 levels.

Spotify, whose first earnings report as a public company is slated for May 2nd, is now starting to dream bigger than being a mere music delivery platform. Its other announcements today included an improved system of mobile data usage, deeper user personalization and a so-called “self-driving playlist” feature that will automatically add songs to playlists based on the music users have already inputted. “We want to be the R&D department for the entire music industry,” Söderström told the crowd. “We don’t think the industry has ever had an R&D department before. And we’re it.”

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See Kevin Hart Struggle With Scandal in J. Cole's 'Kevin's Heart' Video

Kevin Hart plays himself in J. Cole‘s new video for “Kevin’s Heart.” The track appears on the rapper’s new album, KOD.

On “Kevin’s Heart,” J. Cole alludes to Hart’s past infidelities, and in the video, the comedian gamely portrays himself as he deals with the repercussions of his actions and life in the public eye. He endures smug stares at the grocery store, fends off pick-up attempts and takes an outrageously awkward selfie with a mom while shopping for a stroller (J. Cole makes a brief cameo in that scene, struggling with a similar stroller one aisle over).

The J. Cole and Scott Lazer-directed clip boasts a quietly comedic tone that builds to a big laugh when Hart receives a simple life lesson from a stranger in the bathroom. After the man puts a compassionate hand on Hart’s shoulder, the comedian considers his advice for a moment before cracking, “He didn’t wash his hands. I got dick hands on my jacket now.”

J. Cole released KOD last week. The record marks his fifth studio album and follows 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only

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Shawn Mendes Braves Storm in Aching New 'In My Blood' Video

Shawn Mendes endures literal and figurative storms in the new video for his anguished new single,”In My Blood.” The track marks the first single off the singer’s forthcoming third album.

The Jay Martin-directed clip is centered around a single shot of Mendes lying on the ground and belting the heart-rending pop-rock ballad as rocks, snow and rain pour down around him. As “In My Blood” reaches its cathartic end, a new light finally appears and a lush field of grass and flowers sprouts up around Mendes.

Mendes released “In My Blood” in March, following it up immediately with another new track, “Lost in Japan.” Both songs are expected to appear on Mendes’ upcoming LP, though a release date and title have yet to be announced. Mendes’ last album, Illuminate, arrived in 2016.

In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Mendes said “In My Blood” was indicative of his new album’s more rock-oriented direction. “I was like, I want to make a Kings of Leon record – I want to go more rock,” Mendes said. “The only way we’re going to step up … and get better … is if it’s more honest. Like, how raw can we get?” 

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Bebe Buell Talks Carrying Steven Tyler Home and Her Secret Bet With Hugh Hefner

When NYC singer-model Bebe Buell moved south to Nashville five years ago, she brought a blast of rock & roll swagger to the still mainly country-music capital – as well as some of the best rock tales ever told, all of them witnessed firsthand by a woman who calls herself a “female Forrest Gump with a high IQ.” But while Buell may be best known for her modeling days, including a 1974 Playboy spread, and the long-haired guys she’s loved – she gave birth to daughter Liv Tyler with Steven Tyler in 1977 while also involved with Todd Rundgren – she’s had her own share of rock successes. With the new album Baring It All: Greetings From Nashbury Park, out now, Buell returns to her musical ambitions.

But the 12-track album, produced by her husband, former Das Damen guitarist Jim Wallerstein, is far from a sashay through old glories. Rather, it’s an invigorating record, mixing the icy New York cool Buell learned from hanging out at Max’s Kansas City (the defiant “Cross My Legs”) with the Nashville geniality she picked up in Tennessee (“Hello Music City”). Lead track “By a Woman” finds Buell praising powerful ladies, with verve that belies her 64 years.

“Ageism is one of my crusades,” says Buell, picking at a salad at her favorite Nashville coffee shop. “I don’t think people should have an age. It’s not really important. What’s important is where you go and how you go.”

We talked to Buell, who will bring her live show to New York’s Joe’s Pub on April 29th, about writing her new album, playing Monopoly with Hugh Hefner and the time she carried Steven Tyler home.

You developed a love for rock & roll well before you became a model. Do you remember when that began?
As early as five I’d stick my leg out in a rock stance for family pictures. I was obsessed with Mick Jagger. I’d stand in front of the mirror and copy him, and I’d put a sock down my pants so I had a nice bulge. I didn’t know what that was. I just thought it was part of the uniform.

Eventually, you ended up dating Mick.
Yeah. My first four dates were with Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Mick.

Your relationship with Todd was legendary. How did you meet?
I met this guy on the modeling circuit, who was gay and not interested in any of the models. He’d take us out dancing in New York and one night he was taking me to see Man of La Mancha, and said, “I have to stop by my friend’s house and drop off some tapes.” And it was Todd Rundgren. I said, “Who’s that?” He happened to have an issue of Rolling Stone in the car and they had just done a story on Todd. I looked at him and said, “Wow, he’s fantastic.” So we pulled up to 13th Street between Second and Third, and in those days, that neighborhood was dangerous. The scene in Taxi Driver where Jodie Foster is leaning up against the door? That’s right there. You had to throw a penny at Todd’s window because he didn’t have a doorbell and he lived on the second floor. He came down and Todd and I made eye contact and there was an immediate connection that you can’t deny. I was 18 and he was 23. I very quickly became rock royalty: There was Mick and Bianca, Angie and David, Bebe and Todd. We were one of the trinity.

How did you start writing songs?
I wrote poems a lot and instantly became friends with Patti Smith, who had dated Todd. She and I hit it off like a house on fire. We’d show each other our poems. She wasn’t a singer yet, but I’d go over to her loft on 23rd Street and she had this big mirror and together we’d put on Raw Power and pretend to be rock stars. She was super smart. She took one hit of pot and what would come out of her mouth was like heaven drenched in chocolate. The chick was brilliant. She was my first strong female influence.

You praise all the strong women in your life in the song “By a Woman.”
I wrote that four years ago. I’ve been battling labels and name-calling and shaming for a long time. When you’re a successful model and then you do Playboy, and then turn around and say you’re more of a singer than a model, people roll their eyes.

How did you end up in Playboy?
That was another accident. The brilliant photographer Lynn Goldsmith was over at our townhouse one day and we were having some wine together and she said, “Let’s take some arty pictures.” Meaning, let’s take some nudes. And we did. She asked if she could show them to magazines and I said, “Only Playboy.” They wanted to meet me. So that’s how I got to Chicago and stayed at the original Playboy mansion and played Monopoly with Hugh Hefner. I made a bet with him that I had to keep secret my whole life.

What was it?
Now that he’s passed away I can tell it. He bet me I could not beat him at Monopoly. Playmates got $5,000 then and I said, “If I beat you, I have to be the first Playmate that you pay $10,000.” He said, “It’s a deal, but if you win, I have to pay you that money privately or else the other Playmates will expect it too.” I had to sign an NDA. He stayed up all night because he was drinking Pepsi and smoking a pipe. It was a fluke that I won. I think he got tired. He gave me the money in cash. I remember flying home with it.

Do you remember the first time you met Steven Tyler?
Todd and I were flown up to Boston when Aerosmith were considering Todd as producer. It was around ’74 and they flew us to this outdoor show. It was pouring down rain and mud everywhere and I was dressed in a long white dress and espadrilles and didn’t want to step over the mud. Todd was going, “Bebe, stop it.” Steven could see what was going on and he comes leaping over, throws his coat over the puddle and picks me up and carries me across. I thought it was hilarious, and very gallant. Like a knight in shining leopard.

Another time he was in New York for some basketball game and I was at my friend Liz Derringer’s apartment. She was married to Rick Derringer and I used to sleep there when Todd was on the road. At 3 o’clock in the morning, Steven calls and says, “Bebe, come get me. I’m at the Pierre hotel and I can’t walk. And I’m the only white person in the room.” I said, “You can handle that.” He said, “No, you don’t understand, they can do a lot more drugs than I can.” So I went up there, knocked on the door and it was a room full of seven-foot-tall men. Steven really could not walk and I had just taken this fireman training class, because Todd was worried if we ever had a fire how I would get out of our townhouse. I threw Steven over my shoulder and took him to Liz’s and we threw him in the bathtub. Finally, he woke up and Liz said go sleep in our room. I always joke that I think my daughter was conceived in Liz and Rick’s bed.

You, Todd and Steven decided to not tell Liv who her real father was until she turned 18, but she figured it out early. You address that in the song “Can You Forgive?”
I’m not secretive about that song being for Todd Rundgren. We made a pact that he would be Liv’s father and if it ever became an issue, we’d tell her at 18. But fate had something else up its sleeve and she had a hunch as early as nine years old, but it wasn’t until August 1988 when she turned 11 that she put it together and confronted me. It’s not like I could lie to her.

You perform frequently in Nashville, and show off some awfully rock star moves with your mic stand.
It’s in my DNA. When I was a kid I was teaching the other kids how to dance the “Dirty Dog.” I figured they must call it the “Dirty Dog” cause a dog humps, so I mixed a little dog with Jagger. When I got home, one of the neighbors knocked on my mom’s door: “Your daughter is teaching my child how to dance vulgarly!” At least I didn’t send ’em home with a sock down their pants.

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Moby Selling Over 100 Pieces of Equipment for Charity

Moby is selling a variety of musical equipment and gear he’s used throughout his career to raise money for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The sale launches Thursday, April 26th, on Reverb.com.

“This is the equipment I’ve used to make all my records,” Moby said. “I have so much equipment and almost all of it has profound sentimental value to me, including synthesizers I started using in the Eighties. But rather than keep it all in storage, I want to sell it for a good cause.”

In a video, Moby offers a detailed rundown of the items in his shop, explaining their sentimental value and noting how he used them to create certain songs.

Among the lots is the Eighties-era Ibanez guitar Moby used as his his primary live guitar between 1984 and 1998, and on his 1999 album, Play. The musician is also offering up the “crown jewel” of his synth collection, a Roland Jupiter-6 that originally belonged to techno legend Joey Beltram. Moby used the Jupiter-6 on some of his earliest records, including “Go,” “U.H.F.” and “Thousand.”

Other notable pieces include a Yamaha SY22 Vector synth, which Moby used on “Go” to replay and rework the track’s sample of “Laura Palmer’s Theme” from Twin Peaks. Moby is also selling the Roland Juno-106 synth he used on “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” and “We Are All Made of Stars,” and a Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable that comes with a rare Moby slipmat.

The sale will also feature a few left-field items, like the Gibson EB-3 bass Moby used when he played in a reggae jazz fusion band in the mid-Eighties. He’s also selling a Hawaiian-style slide guitar similar to the one he gifted David Lynch, and the two sombreros he and the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne wore in the video for “The Perfect Life.”

The complete inventory is available to pursue on the sale’s website, which also features a video of Moby discussing the shop. 

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A Perfect Circle Plot North American Tour

A Perfect Circle will embark on a North American tour this fall in support of their new album, Eat the Elephant

The trek kicks off October 20th at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, Utah and includes stops in Denver, Austin, Atlanta, Nashville, New York and Las Vegas. The trek wraps November 20th at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tickets for A Perfect Circle’s fall tour go on sale April 27th at 10 a.m. local time. Complete information is available on the band’s website.

A Perfect Circle will embark on a shorter North American trek this spring that starts May 12th in Somerset, Wisconsin and wraps May 26th in Dallas. The group also has European runs planned for June and December.

Eat the Elephant marks A Perfect Circle’s first album in 14 years, following 2004’s Emotive. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, singer Maynard James Keenan explained the group’s lengthy hiatus. “Part of it was me having to step away for a while. Part of it was my winery and trying to get Tool nudged forward, and Puscifer. All those things were going on simultaneously and I just lost track of time, honestly.” 

He added of the band’s future: “Anything’s possible now, and we’re able to blow the dust off that and go, ‘Oh, yeah, we can do this.’ And [guitarist] Billy [Howerdel] always has material up his sleeve.”

A Perfect Circle Tour Dates

October 20 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Maverik Center
October 22 – Denver, CO @Red Rocks Amphitheater
October 24 – Austin, TX Austin @ 360 Amphitheatre
October 29 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
October 30 – Orlando, FL @ CFE Arena
November 1 – Charlotte, NC @ Bojangles’ Coliseum
November 2 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
November 6 – New York, NY @ The Theater at Madison Square Garden
November 17 – Anaheim, CA @ The Theatre at Honda Center
November 18 – Las Vegas, NV @The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Chelsea
November 20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatr

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My Bloody Valentine Plot First U.S. Tour in Five Years

My Bloody Valentine will stage their first U.S. shows in five years with a seven-date summer run. The trek, their first run of American gigs since their tour promoting 2013’s m b v, kicks off July 17th in Seattle and concludes August 1st in New York City.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 27th at 10 a.m. local time – except for the New York show, which will be on sale at 11 am. ET.

The shoegaze band previously announced an upcoming performance at the FYF Festival, scheduled for July 21st and 22nd at Exposition Park in downtown Los Angeles. The band’s festival slate also includes slots at Robert Smith’s Meltdown in London, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival and Japan’s Sonicmania.

In 2017, My Bloody Valentine released pure analog vinyl remasters of their acclaimed first two LPs, 1988’s Isn’t Anything? and 1991’s Loveless. Singer-guitarist Kevin Shields detailed the painstaking process of creating those reissues in a wide-ranging Rolling Stone interview, and he also teased the band’s progress on their fourth LP. 

Shields originally planned to release their next material as an EP, but he changed course after changing his creative focus. “In some respects, some of it is a bit straightforward,” he said of the songs. “The m b v album that we did in 2013 feels more meandery and not as concise. This one is like if somebody took that and dropped some acid on it or created a dimensional clash or something. It’s more all over the place.”

My Bloody Valentine U.S. 2018 Tour Dates

July 17 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount
July 19 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
July 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
July 25 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
July 27 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
July 30 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
August 1 – New York, NY @Hammerstein Ballroom
August 17 – Makuhari Messe, JP @ Sonicmania

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'Carpool Karaoke': Christina Aguilera Gives Diva Lessons to James Corden

Christina Aguilera belted her hits, gave diva singing lessons and dished about her former Mickey Mouse Club costars during her appearance on The Late, Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special on Monday.

In an extended clip from the show, the singer and host James Corden launched into 2002’s “Fighter” from Stripped. Corden marveled at Aguilera’s gritty vocalizations. “That’s an angsty thing,” Aguilera explained about achieving the song’s growling parts. “You’ve got to get your fighter on.”

“I just sounds like I got something trapped in my throat,” Corden joked.

Corden inquired about Aguilera’s Mouseketeer days, when she, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling were simultaneously on The Mickey Mouse Club. Corden asked if she found herself getting lost in Gosling’s eyes.

“I think there were crushes, but I wasn’t on the train,” she said. When the host asked if she was on the Timberlake train, the singer stammered. “I think there was a – me and Britney were, you know – that well, now, you know,” she laughed. “Oh my God, you’re going in! It was a good time.” She added, “He had swag.”

The pair then sang Stripped single “Dirrty,” along with some help from surprise guest Melissa McCarthy, who adeptly rapped Redman’s verse. The trio also took on Aguilera’s 1999 hit, “Genie in a Bottle.” Corden asked Aguilera to give them diva singing lessons and provided bedazzled microphones for the task. They fittingly closed with a heartfelt rendition of “Beautiful.”

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