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Category: Books (11-19 of 19)

'Fifty Shades of Grey' mention spikes sales of 16th-century classical composer


In addition to single-handedly carrying the publishing world on its candle-wax-scorched back, Fifty Shades of Grey has gone ahead and boosted the music business as well.

According to The Guardian, the mention of a Thomas Tallis choral work called “Spem In Alium” amidst the pages of the finest S&M masterwork since that last thing you read on the Internet has rocketed the piece up the British classical music charts (rocketed being of course a relative term).

The 40-voice epic, composed around 1570 and recorded in 1985, has elbowed chart heavyweight Luciano Pavarotti from the top perch. Go ahead and sample it below.


Simone Felice: The ex-Felice Brothers member on his new album, near-death experience, and Courtney Love


In May of 2010, singer-songwriter Simon Felice should have been feeling on top of the world. His band The Duke & the King was preparing to release their second album Long Live the Duke & the King, the follow-up to 2009’s critically admired Nothing Gold Can Stay, And Felice’s wife was heavily pregnant with their first child, a double blessing given the couple had previously suffered a late-term miscarriage the previous year.

But Felice, who first gained a following playing alongside his siblings in folk-rock act The Felice Brothers, was not feeling on top of the world in the early summer of 2010. In fact, he was feeling like hell warmed over. “If you look at pictures of me, I was just pale and grey,” says the singer, 35, over the phone from his home “on a cliff” in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains. “I didn’t have insurance, I never went to the doctor. I didn’t know it, but I was slowly dying.”


Keith Richards apologizes to Mick Jagger for slamming him in autobiography

Is Keith Richards going soft in his autumnal years? According to Rolling Stone magazine, the guitarist has apologized to his band mate Mick Jagger for criticizing him in Richards’ bestselling 2011 autobiography Life.

The rare mea culpa appears in a forthcoming documentary about the band’s now half century-long career. “It was my story and it was very raw, as I meant it to be,” Richards says in the film, “but I know that some parts of it and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that.”


Keith Richards' memoir to become a movie -- so who should play him onscreen?

Earlier this week, Keith Richards revealed that there are plans afoot to turn his bestselling autobiography Life into a movie, according to British newspaper the Telegraph. But which actor possesses the requisite rock’n’roll swagger to embody the Human Riff?

One obvious choice is, of course, Richards’ buddy Johnny Depp, whose four Keef-inspired performances in the Pirates of Caribbean quadrilogy could be regarded as one long audition tape for the project.

Depp can also play guitar, is currently at work on a documentary about the Rolling Stones legend, and has the added advantage of being one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.

But there are a number of Richards’ fellow Brits who might consider themselves in with a chance of getting the gig, from David Tennant to Jason Isaacs to Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch. And let’s not forget Robert Pattinson, another hugely famous, guitar-playing thesp — and one who has experience playing a character with mixed feelings about direct sunlight.

Who would you like to see playing Keith (and, for that matter, Mick)? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more:
Johnny Depp talks about filming his Keith Richards documentary
‘You can’t do blow if you’re had a brain hemorrhage': And nine other ‘Life’ lessons from Keith Richards’ new autobiography

Bob Dylan was addicted to heroin in early '60s, old interview tape reveals

Bob Dylan’s achievement in reaching the age of 70 today seems doubly impressive given the news that he was addicted to heroin in the early ’60s.

According to the BBC, the rock legend talked about his former drug problem to writer Robert Shelton in the course of an interview which took place in March 1966. “I kicked a heroin habit in New York City,” Dylan said. “I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.”


'Give Peace a Chance'? 'Fight the Power'? 'American Idiot'? What's the best protest song of all-time?

If there’s one thing rock stars like more than driving expensive cars into swimming pools while on angel dust, it’s writing tunes about how gosh darned unfair society can be. The history of the latter tendency is exhaustively tracked in British music writer Dorian Lynskey’s new tome, 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holliday to Green Day, which is out this week.


Bob Dylan reportedly signs six-book deal

bob-dylanImage Credit: Douglas R. Gilbert/Redferns/Getty ImagesBob Dylan is putting pen to paper again. Crain’s New York Business reports that the great singer-songwriter has signed a six-book deal with Simon & Schuster. The deal would reportedly cover two more volumes of Dylan’s Chronicles memoir series, another book based on his Sirius XM satellite radio show, and three more unspecified books. READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z tells us all about his new memoir, 'Decoded': 'It's a conversation between worlds'

NYPL-jay-zImage Credit: Jori KleinLast night at the New York Public Library, Jay-Z and noted scholar Cornel West talked for two hours about the rapper’s new memoir, Decoded. Their free-wheeling discussion began with Jay-Z’s life and lyrics and expanded to touch on issues of history, culture, and race in America. They were joined on stage by the Library’s Paul Holdengräber, an eager, earnest fellow with a strong Belgian accent who confessed his relative ignorance of rap before reading Decoded.

Holdengräber’s presence felt slightly awkward at times, but it tied into one of Jay-Z’s chief aims with Decoded: explaining the significance of his words, and of hip-hop as a whole, to outsiders who might not otherwise understand. “It’s a conversation between worlds,” Jay told me as we sat in another opulent chamber of the Library a few minutes before the talk began. “Because at the end of the day, we’re all the same, when you take away the titles of who we are. We all have the same emotions, the same feelings. We’ve got so much more in common than we don’t.”

Jay-Z first announced that he was working on a memoir around the time of 2003’s The Black Album, but he ultimately chose not to publish that early attempt at laying out his life in book form. He sees Decoded as a project of another kind entirely. “This book [is] much more than just an autobiography,” he said. “It’s basically about music and about the power of words — rap as poetry. Then it told the story of a generation of kids. It gave a voice to what we were feeling, emotions we were going through. So it was much more important than just a story about me.” READ FULL STORY

Broken Bells bring 'The Ghost Inside' to Sirius XM: Watch here

No Christina Hendricks, no space suits, no computer-generated alien landscapes — unlike Broken Bells’ official video for “The Ghost Inside,” this performance clip just features James Mercer, Danger Mouse, and a couple of backing players jamming on their tight-wound single in a Sirius XM satellite radio studio. If that music video was, in Mercer’s words, “like our song showing up in a stretch Hummer,” this clip is more like the guys jogging into town on foot. Turns out they sell the tune just fine without all those extras.

This clip comes from Broken Bells’ SIRIUS XMU Session, which airs July 8 at 9 p.m. EST on SIRIUS XMU (Sirius channel 26/XM channel 43). The duo will also be co-hosting that alt-centered station all next week in the afternoons. Will you be tuning in?


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