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Tag: Attack of the '90s (11-20 of 90)

Spacehog's Royston Langdon on getting the band back together, auditioning for Velvet Revolver, and one fateful motorcycle ride

If you remember 1995, you remember the neo-glam modern-rock radio smash “In the Meantime” — and the band that made it, the Langdon-brothers-helmed Spacehog.

After the breakout success of their debut, Resident Alien, the group followed with a critically-beloved cult classic, The Chinese Album, that failed to catch on commercially, and then The Hogyssey before going their separate ways. Along the way, they experimented with different bands, went over rocky personal paths (including frontman Royston Langdon’s marriage and subsequent divorce from actress Liv Tyler), and generally tried to find their way.

Now older and wiser but still obsessed with glam sweetness, Spacehog are back. They released their long-awaited fourth album As It Is on Earth last month, and they’re currently on the road in support of it. EW caught up with frontman Royston Langdon to discuss his long hiatus, how he nearly became the singer of Velvet Revolver, and how he feels about “In the Meantime” nearly two decades later.

Entertainment Weekly: The Hogyssey came out all the way back in 2001. How did Spacehog dissipate?
Royston Langdon: It was a lot of things. We’d spent a lot of time touring intensely for the first two or three years, after the release of Resident AlienThe Chinese Album came pretty easily and was a similar kind of experience to the first record, and it was pretty critically well-received but not so well-received commercially. So then we spent some time in the wilderness without a label. When we finally made The Hogyssey, there was a lot of creative differences with the label and within the group. I’ve never really been happy with that record, so touring that record in 2001 was hard work. We were pulling in all different directions, which is not good for a band. Our show final show was supposed to be on the eighth of September in 2011. READ FULL STORY

Record Store Day 2013: What's on your must-have list for the annual vinyl bonanza? Here's ours

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This Saturday, April 20, a great yearly tradition arrives once again.

No, not that one. We’re talking about the sixth annual Record Store Day, which pays tribute to the independently-owned record stores that were once ubiquitous but are often now fighting just to stay afloat in in the iTunes and Amazon age.

The day is more than just a tribute to the fetishization of vinyl; it also honors the sense of community that comes when a bunch of music obsessives get together to talk about their favorite stuff — and kick-fight in the aisles over a limited-edition Roky Erikson 7-inch, or whatever their coveted object may be. (Check out the impressively large list of stores that are participating in this year’s festivities.)

Though there are plenty of live in-store performances, signings, and giveaways, the main attraction has become the vinyl releases that surface for one day only (and then for an eternity on eBay). This year’s list doesn’t have the same parade of heavy hitters as last year’s, but there are still plenty of goodies worth seeking.

I love Record Store Day, mostly because I just love record stores. I’ll be celebrating this year at my home base during my high school years, and here’s what I’ll be searching for:  READ FULL STORY

What is the best '90s alt-rock one-hit wonder?

Earlier this week, the brand new reissue of Blind Melon’s self-titled debut album arrived in the EW offices. After giving it a few spins and discussing its worth, a handful of us in the music department came to the same conclusion many of us did back when this thing first landed in record stores: It’s terrible. “No Rain” is the only good song on there, and “No Rain” is just the worst.

However, a lot of people will defend “No Rain” simply because of nostalgia. If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s now, it’s entirely possible that “No Rain” was in super-heavy rotation when you first discovered MTV, and even if you didn’t like the song, it’s certainly a part of you now. There’s plenty of ’90s canonization going on right now, partially based on the fact that the people who were in high school in 1998 now have all of the disposable income, and partially because the Internet has made it way easier for artists well past their maximum saturation points to hold onto the fans who could develop into lifers.

Thus, we’ve been getting comebacks from ’90s icons of all sorts, from New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys to Lisa Loeb and everybody on those Sugar Ray package tours. Of course, the great artists from that era have stuck with us (or moved on to other, better projects), but there are a handful of welcome comebacks, including Spacehog.

After some time spent on side projects and re-charging some batteries, Spacehog are back with a new album called As It Is On Earth coming out on April 16, and they played a tiny cobweb-shaking show at New York’s Mercury Lounge last month. I always loved them—as a huge fan of David Bowie, I always enjoyed their glam-centric approach to alt-rock.

They always deserved to be bigger than they were, but their one famous contribution to radio culture, “In the Meantime,” holds up exceptionally well. It manages to successfully merge sci-fi soul with post-grunge radio crunch, and the hook is absolutely killer. Before the show, I was with a few friends of mine at a bar, and somebody else queued up “In the Meantime” on the jukebox. As we listened to it there, and then a second time at the show, my friend turned to me and said, “This very well might be the best one-hit wonder of the ’90s.”

He may in fact be right (it’s certainly better than “No Rain”), but in order to come to some kind of conclusion, it’s necessary to examine some of the other contenders and to apply a little bit of science. READ FULL STORY

Mad Season's Barrett Martin on the new reissue of the grunge classic 'Above'

Back in 1995 when grunge was arguably at its height, a Seattle supergroup dropped its first — and what would turn out to be their only — album.

Though it consisted of 75 percent scene luminaries (Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin), Mad Season were actually more of a next-generation blues band.

That album, Above, went gold on the back of the single “River of Deceit,” and was vital to the development of the four musicians in the group (bassist John Baker Saunders rounded out the lineup), all of whom had struggled with substance abuse but managed to clean themselves up. “There was a spiritual elevation that we all felt when we played together,” Martin tells EW. “Part of that was because we were all sober at the time. There was a real heightened awareness in that band. Everything seemed to awaken within us when we played together.”

The group only played a handful of shows, and though they began work on their second album in 1996, Above was Mad Season’s only album. (Saunders passed away in 1999; Staley passed in 2002.) But a handful of recordings from those second sessions have made it onto Above: Deluxe Edition, the new multi-disc package celebrating one of the great all-star acts of the alt-rock ’90s. In addition to a handful of previously unreleased bonus tracks, with vocals provided by Mark Lanegan in place of the late Staley, there is also a live recording of a legendary live performance in Seattle from 1995, as well as a DVD featuring video footage of that show plus a handful of other thrilling live moments.

Martin, who worked with McCready and original Above producer Brett Eliason on the reissue (and also wrote the extensive liner notes), talked to EW about the band’s origins, its legacy, and its unusual chemistry.

Entertainment Weekly: How did Mad Season first come together in 1994?
Barrett Martin: Mike called me and said he wanted to do a side project with this bass player that he had met when he was in rehab, and I said absolutely. READ FULL STORY

Michelle Shocked apologizes: 'I do not believe that God hates homosexuals'

Last weekend, Michelle Shocked burst back into the public consciousness with a hideous anti-gay rant during a concert in San Francisco. “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back,” she reportedly told the crowd. “You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates f—s.’”

Most of her upcoming tour dates were canceled in the wake of the controversy. Wednesday, Shocked (born Karen Johnston) issued a statement that rolled back (or at least clarified) her statements from the weekend. “I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else),” Shocked wrote. “When I said “Twitter that Michelle Shocked says ‘God hates f—–s,’ I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted.”

Check out the entirety of the statement below.  READ FULL STORY

Spacehog return with 'Wish You Well': Hear it here - EXCLUSIVE

Back in 1995, Spacehog—four dudes from England who formed a band in New York City—landed on the rock moonscape with “In the Meantime,” one of the greatest alt-rock singularities of the post-Cobain radio universe.

Bathed in glammy goodness and sleek ’70s swagger, “In the Meantime” set the tone for Spacehog’s debut album, Resident Alien, which contained much more of the same. Along with the band’s sophomore release The Chinese Album, Spacehog crafted one of the most underrated discographies of the end of the last century.

They haven’t made an album since 2001′s The Hogyssey, and after a long hiatus and a handful of side projects, the group has returned with their fourth album As It Is On Earth, which will be released on April 16. In reuniting with producer Bryce Goggin (who helmed their ’90s output), the band has recreated the same kind of star-kissed energy that they brought on their debut.

Listen to “Wish You Well” exclusively below, and do your own judging:

READ FULL STORY

Scott Weiland 'terminated' from Stone Temple Pilots [UPDATE]

This morning, we received a one-sentence e-mail stating the current status of one of the members of a seminal ’90s alt-rock band.

The message, in its entirety: “Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland.”

Naturally, that immediately conjured images of the T-100 taking out Weiland in a blaze of liquid-metal glory. (Or as one EW music staffer commented on the brevity of the statement, “This reads like a Hunger Games cannon going off.” Yes, we work at a general entertainment magazine.)

In the meantime, Weiland has become the David Lee Roth of grunge, minus the split kicks. Despite the fact that he’s currently on a solo tour playing STP’s first two albums in their entirety, he has insisted for months that the band was not breaking up. Rumors did circulate about the end of Weiland’s latest tenure, but the singer told Rolling Stone that it was all hearsay.

“STP has not broken up,” Weiland told the magazine in December. “I haven’t quit. I haven’t been fired. We’re talking right now about when we want to tour next. No one has ever fired anybody in STP.”

Weiland has always been the band’s most important and central member, though his presence, notably, has been problematic throughout the course of the group’s history. READ FULL STORY

Lisa Loeb on her new album, the science of songwriting, '90s nostalgia, and the importance of desiring baked goods

Lisa Loeb first ascended to national prominence in 1994, when her single “Stay (I Missed You)” (from the soundtrack to the grunge-era comedy Reality Bites) made Loeb the first (and to date, only) unsigned artist to score that top slot on the chart.

Since that breakthrough, Loeb has released a steady stream of top-shelf singer-songwriter jams that have evolved along with her but still maintain a certain amount of that classic pre-millennial angst.

Her latest album, No Fairy Tale (out today), is her first grown-up album since 2004′s excellent The Way It Really Is. (In the interim, she released two albums’ worth of songs aimed at kids.) It’s perhaps her punchiest album, buoyed by the lively, brisk production at the hand of New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert.

Entertainment Weekly: The title of the album No Fairy Tale sounds kind of dark. Is it meant to be?
Lisa Loeb: It’s not the intention at all. I wrote the song called “No Fairy Tale” with Maia Sharp, and I think the whole point of the song is that life with all its ups and downs is better than this perfect life that a lot of us are raised to think we’re supposed to try to attain—a storybook life, which, who knows what that even means anymore? It doesn’t really mean anything in the end. What really gives you a rich life is living the ups and downs of a normal, real life. So it’s more about the boldness of how much better real life is than a safe fairy tale life. And you have to be sort of adventurous to live life that way. I like to make the album titles somewhat philosophical even if I’m the only one who gets it. Like my album Cake and Pie, with “and” underlined. Yes it’s cute that I get to put cake and pie in a title and it’s delicious sounding, but also it’s the idea that you can have everything. You shouldn’t have to have one or the other.

This is your first proper album since 2004. Since then, you’ve produced a reality show, did a bunch of voice work, put out two kids’ albums, got married, started an eyewear line, and had two kids of your own. What got you back into a place to make this kind of album?
I had never really stopped making these songs. READ FULL STORY

New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men touring together this summer: 'Ladies, we're coming for you'

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NKOTBSB was only the beginning.

New Men Kids on the Block Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, and Danny revealed on The View today that they’ll release a new album, 10, this April. The boys also announced that they’re planning a national tour this summer with a few very special guests — newly reunited boy band 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men, the R&B group single-handedly responsible for 87 percent of babies born in 1995. They’re calling the event “The Package Tour,” because “NKOTB98DB2M” would look weird on a t-shirt. Here’s an actual quote from the press release:

“Ladies, we’re coming for you,” said NKOTB member Donnie Wahlberg. “This is going to be the craziest year yet — the single, the album, the tour with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men … We can’t wait to give fans ‘The Package!’”

READ FULL STORY

Destiny's Child's 'Nuclear': Hear the group's first single in ten years here!

In the music business, as in Hollywood, January is generally not known for blockbuster entertainment moments.

So far in 2013, though we’re expecting the arrival of new music by Justin Timberlake, diving into a brand new David Bowie song, and cranking up the beyond-excellent album by A$AP Rocky. So far, 2013′s musical cup runneth over.

But the biggest news so far belongs (as it so often does) to Beyoncé, who not only has a new solo album on tap and a Super Bowl halftime headlining gig to prep, but also promised the first new Destiny’s Child single in eons.

That song, produced by Pharrell, was co-written by Michelle Williams, is called “Nuclear,” though that explosive adjective may not be quite what you have in mind when you listen to this low-key R&B jam; listen below: READ FULL STORY

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