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Tag: Charity (41-50 of 64)

Nashville music landmarks devastated by floods; Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, more tweet their status. (Also: info on how to help!)

Nashville-music-floodingImage Credit: John Partipilo/The Tennessean/AP ImagesThe tragic flooding of the Cumberland River in Nashville has taken a toll on the city’s country music scene, with both landmarks and artists being affected as the waters rose after storms that killed 22 people in the Southeast over the weekend. The river is expected to crest today at 11 feet over the flood line; sadly, more damage is expected.

The venerable Grand Ole Opry has been forced to relocate shows for the first time since 1975, due to water damage at its Opryland complex. You can see some photos of the scene on the Opry’s Facebook page, linked here. No confirmation is available on the exact damage to the Opry House itself, though sources say there’s three feet of water covering the stage — UPDATE: Nashvillest posted a heartbreaking photo on their Twitter account (thanks, commenter Janna) – and ten feet of floodwater filled the Opryland Hotel yesterday. Although the Ryman Auditorium downtown is safe (and will host one of the relocated Opry shows this week), the bars and clubs on 2nd Avenue are underwater, as is Sommet Center Bridgestone Arena, home to the annual CMA and CMT Awards shows. Across the street, the Country Music Hall of Fame reports five feet of water in a mechanical room, and some damage to a theater in their building. The Tennessean is posting updates to venue closings, as well as fundraising efforts already underway.

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to the Nashville Symphony, has 15 feet of water in the basement putting instruments at risk; they’ve reportedly already lost two pianos and their organ. (The flooding of symphonies is a tragedy that hits particularly close to home for your blogger.)

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Regina Spektor covers Radiohead's 'No Surprises' for charity

Regina-SpektorRegina Spektor has just released a cover of Radiohead’s “No Surprises” to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders. The 1997 original is very close to a perfect song, and for me it’s hard to imagine anyone but Thom Yorke singing it right. Spektor’s spare version, just her and a piano, has just about won me over, though. She’s smart enough not to distract from that heartbreakingly beautiful melody with any production tricks or vocal theatrics. Well done.

100 percent of the proceeds (both Spektor’s and Radiohead’s) are going to a very worthy cause: Doctors Without Borders provides crucial medical care to the victims of earthquakes, war, and other disasters around the world. So check out Spektor’s “No Surprises” after the jump (clip via Stereogum). Then, if you like it, please do consider spending $1.29 on it at iTunes. READ FULL STORY

Jack Johnson talks new album, new tour, new (lack of) haircut

Jack-JohnsonImage Credit: Ben Hider/Getty ImagesThe last time I met Jack Johnson, just before the release his platinum-selling 2008 CD Sleep Through the Static, the singer-songwriter’s hair was just a whisker’s width away from being an all out skinhead. But when EW caught up with him yesterday at SIRIUS XM’s New York HQ—where he was recording one of the radio network’s Artist Confidential performance shows— Johnson was sporting a noticeably shaggier ‘do. “Do you want to give me a trim?” he asked, when the subject was raised. “We’ve gotten some scissors around somewhere.  My wife usually tells me when to get my hair cut. She seems to have forgotten recently. I know I’m old enough to remember these things myself, but I’ve gotten out of the habit.”

Johnson’s wife Kim is also one of the main reasons he is currently out and about doing promotion for a new CD, To the Sea, and not actually in the sea surfing, as is the Hawaii-dwelling superstar’s habit. “I wasn’t going to do an album this year,” he explains. “My wife said it might be nice to take the kids on the road.” Nevertheless, the singer could hardly be more enthusiastic about the result, which he recorded at his home studio just this January and is out June 1: “By the time I start talking about my songs I’ve usually had enough time to hear all the mistakes. But this time I’m still excited about them.”

Johnson made his fifth studio CD with his usual musical compadres—drummer Adam Topol, bassist Merlo Podlewski and Animal Liberation Orchestra keyboardist Zach Gill. The latter was also in town yesterday to accompany Johnson on Artist Confidential, which will be broadcast in the spring. In addition to playing older cuts such as “Banana Pancakes” and the ALO tune “Girl I Wanna Lay You Down,” the pair also debuted the new tracks “My Little Girl” and likely single “You And Your Heart.” The latter is an almost Pavement-ish rocker and the first real recorded evidence to back up Johnson’s repeated assertion that, before he became the king of low-key but upbeat acoustic choogling, the singer was a teenage fan of such punk acts as Fugazi and Minor Threat. “Sometimes people say all my stuff sounds the same, and usually that makes me want to make my music even more the same,” he chuckles. “But I got fed up saying that I just liked those bands. I thought it was time to show it in my music a little bit.”

In truth, “You and Your Heart” is only a teensie-weensie bit punk-rock and seems unlikely to scare off Johnson’s army of fans. Those supporters will also be delighted to know that the singer will tour the CD this summer, with profits going to support an array of environmental, art, and music organizations. Wait—isn’t playing shows the only way musicians make money these days? If Johnson gives all his touring profits away, how will he able to afford shoes (not, of course, that Johnson is exactly known for his love of shoes)? “We’re lucky, because we still make money from CDs,” he says. “But I promise that if I ever can’t afford to buy any shoes at all, then I’ll start keeping some of the profits.”

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Gorillaz battle Bruce Willis in ‘Stylo’ video
Chilly B of Newcleus dies at age 47
‘Glee’ cast hits the road this spring: Live tour dates announced

Johnny Depp, Chrissie Hynde, many more on Haiti tribute, 'I Put a Spell on You': Watch the video

Step back, Babs and Beiber: In a new Haiti tribute single, Celtic rock icon (and dental legend) Shane McGowan is joined by friends like Johnny Depp, the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Nick Cave, Paloma Faith, Clash guitarist Mick Jones, the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock, Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie, and more an all-star cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s 1956 blues torcher “I Put a Spell on You”

Pre-order the single, profits of which go directly to Concern Worldwide‘s work in Haiti, here. And tell us: as uncharitable as it may be to judge, well, efforts devoted to charity, where would you place McGowan and co.’s contribution in the recent music-for-Haiti outpouring (e.g.“We Are the World,” “Everybody Hurts,” Linkin Park’s “Not Alone”)?

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
‘We Are the World’ remake for Haiti debuts during Olympics opening ceremony: What did you think?
Linkin Park’s stark Haiti video: Watch ‘Not Alone’ here
Ke$ha’s middle-school performance gives hope to gawky tweens
‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ soundtrack details
Sade fends off Lady Antebellum to rule the albums chart again

'We Are the World' remake for Haiti debuts during Olympics opening ceremony: What did you think?

The all-star twenty-fifth anniversary cover of “We Are the World” just debuted on NBC as part of the opening ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. At last, we got to hear the sound of everyone from Barbra Streisand to Kanye West to Vince Vaughn lifting their voices as one to help raise funds for earthquake relief in Haiti. Director Paul Haggis (Crash) filmed the production. Clearly, there was no shortage of talent involved, and it was for a most deserving cause. So how did the new “World” turn out?

The proceedings opened on a weak note, to this critic’s ears at least, with pint-sized pop star Justin Bieber’s thin voice. (Sorry, Bieber fans.) Things improved somewhat as soon as Jennifer Hudson came in on the following line. And then we were off: Josh Groban! Jennifer Nettles! Nicole Scherzinger?! Seeing Michael Jackson duet posthumously with his sister Janet (using old footage from the original “We Are the World”) should have been touching but felt a little uncomfortable instead. Soon, Lil Wayne Auto-Tune wheezed his way through Bob Dylan’s lines from the original, something I’ve been waiting to hear since I read that it was coming; Weezy didn’t disappoint, delivering the remake’s most memorable moment by far, though admittedly in a WTF sort of way. As for the random huddle of rappers that followed — will.i.am, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J and more all chanting some bland lyrics together — the less said of that, the better. Finally, as the song drew to a close, Kanye West and will.i.am exchanged some well-meant if underwhelming rhymes (“Feeling like the world’s end, we can make the world win”). Some more choral vocals, a few eloquent cries from Wyclef Jean, and that was it. Vince Vaughn did not get a solo turn, which is a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective.

All in all, I can’t say this new “We Are the World” measured up to the 1985 version. But perhaps you’ll disagree? Watch an extended version of the performance below, buy the song on iTunes, or visit the We Are the World Foundation online to donate to Haiti relief. Then let us know what you thought of “We Are the World” in the comments, below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Tonight’s “We Are the World” update: Watch footage from inside the recording
John Mayer is very sorry about his explicit sexual and racial comments; do you believe him?
Janelle Monae walks a funky ‘Tightrope’ with Big Boi
Sugarland’s new Olympic single goes for the gold: Watch an exclusive preview here!
Linkin Park’s stark Haiti video: Watch ‘Not Alone’ here

Linkin Park's stark Haiti video: Watch 'Not Alone' here

Linkin Park was among the first artists to respond to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti last month, heading up a charity album, Download to Donate, within a week. Now the band has released a video for “Not Alone,” the previously unreleased song they gave to the compilation. It’s a stark, mostly black-and-white clip that switches between images of the immense destruction in Haiti, some of them fairly graphic, and footage of Linkin Park recording “Not Alone” in a studio. Between the indoors sunglasses and the earnest messaging, Chester Bennington has never reminded me so much of Bono.

Watch “Not Alone” below, visit Music for Relief or another charity to donate to earthquake relief in Haiti, then let us know what you think of this video.



(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
How Linkin Park put together their Haiti charity album in just one week
Rihanna throws a crazy, colorful party in her “Rude Boy” video
Tom DeLonge on Angels & Airwaves’ free LOVE, the blink-182 reunion, and more
Dixie Chicks sisters announce details of new project, Court Yard Hounds
Bonnaroo 2010 lineup finalized: Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, and Stevie Wonder to headline

'Everybody Hurts': the new video for Simon Cowell's Haiti-relief song will make you cry

Last week, dozens of bold-faced names gathered to sing a new edition of “We Are the World,” but the music industry’s outpouring of support for the devastation in Haiti doesn’t stop there. The star-studded, Simon Cowell-produced remake of the R.E.M. classic, “Everybody Hurts,” hit U.K. radio last week. The song is melancholy and inspiring, especially considering the contributions from such folks as diverse as Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Susan Boyle, Rod Stewart, and Jon Bon Jovi. But it’s the recently released video, which is filled with tragic images from the mess in Haiti, that will get your waterworks really going:

How many times during that six minutes did you whip out your cell phone and text $10 for Haitian relief? Yah, that’s what I thought. I can’t wait to see my cell phone bill this month.

But, Music Mixers, what are you thinking of this R.E.M. remake? Are does it move you to give? Buy? Do you think that this is better than the forthcoming “We Are the World” remake will be?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Super Bowl goes indie: Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear soundtrack ads
Super Bowl XLIV halftime show: Were the Who football wizards?
Carrie Underwood’s Super Bowl ‘National Anthem’
Ke$ha did not vandalize the Hollywood Sign, officials confirm. Come on.
Frances Bean Cobain to make recording debut
Kelly Clarkson responds to Taylor Swift’s record-label defense: ‘Take a lesson’

Lady Antebellum tops the albums chart

The biggest band in the country this week is officially Lady Antebellum. The country trio sold a very nice 481,000 copies of their sophomore album Need You Now, according to Nielsen SoundScan, securing the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart. As Billboard notes, that’s the biggest opening week anyone has managed since Susan Boyle’s blockbuster 701,000 bow last November.

Lady Antebellum’s success was the only thing preventing the all-star Hope for Haiti Now charity compilation from staying a second week at the top of the chart. Instead the digital-only set dropped to No. 2 after selling another 143,000 downloads, only a slight decrease from the 171,000 that put it at No. 1 the previous week.

Barry Manilow made it to No. 5 with The Greatest Love Songs of All Time, his latest covers project. This one sold 57,000, a decent number on its own but a step down from the bows made by The Greatest Songs of the Eighties (78,000) and The Greatest Songs of the Seventies (113,000) in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Corinne Bailey Rae sold 53,000 copies of The Sea, good enough for a No. 7 entry. That’s an improvement on the 40,000 her 2006 debut sold in its first week before eventually going double platinum.

Down at No. 9, Celtic Woman moved 42,000 units of their Songs From the Heart. Kidz Bop 17, meanwhile, shifted 36,000 for a No. 12 finish.

And that was it for Top 20 debuts this week. What do you think of those results? Did you buy any of these new releases? Sound off in the comments below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Hope for Haiti Now tops the albums chart, outselling Susan Boyle
2010 Oscars for Best Song: Worst nominations ever?
Hear Simon Cowell’s All-Star Haiti benefit single, ‘Everybody Hurts’
“We Are the World” for Haiti benefit features Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West, Justin Bieber…

Quincy Jones plans 'We Are the World 25' for Haiti

Quincy Jones is assembling an all-star sequel to 1985′s “We Are the World” to raise funds for earthquake relief in Haiti, EW has confirmed. A rep for Jones says the legendary producer will preside over a recording session for “We Are the World 25″ this Monday, Feb. 1, at Hollywood’s A&M Recording Studios, where the original charity single was recorded a quarter-century ago. Additionally, a rep for Paul Haggis confirms that the Crash director will film the proceedings. Initial word of the project first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

The lineup of performers for “We Are the World 25″ — the same song as “We Are the World,” sung by a new group of artists — has yet to be finalized. The original single, which raised money for famine victims in Africa, featured a stellar roster led by co-writers Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and also including Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, and many more. Watch it again below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
New Mariah Carey video, ‘Up Out My Face’: Finally, Mimi does it right!
Matt Morris: Justin Timberlake’s “Hallelujah” duet partner talks Haiti telethon, Justin’s next move
Kanye West: New album sooner than expected?
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Matt Morris: Justin Timberlake's 'Hallelujah' duet partner talks Haiti telethon and Justin's next move

Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris’ slow, heartfelt cover of Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” was a definite highlight of Jan. 22′s Hope for Haiti Now telethon. It was also the first time millions of TV viewers met Morris, an old friend of Timberlake’s who recently put out his debut, When Everything Breaks Open, on the pop star’s Tennman Records. We got Morris on the phone to talk about the telethon, his album — and when we can expect new music from his pal Justin.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did your participation in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon come together?
MATT MORRIS: I was in Los Angeles, promoting When Everything Breaks Open, when everything was coming together for the telethon. Justin asked if I would like to sing with him. I said, “Of course, in a heartbeat.”

Had he already picked which song to sing?
No. We brainstormed. He suggested it as an idea. We chewed on that for a minute. I had shot a video of me singing “Help!”, a ballad version of the Beatles song, which I posted last year on my YouTube page. He called me a few days prior and said, “Maybe we should think about performing ‘Help!’” So we took both of those songs to the rehearsal space and played through them. “Hallelujah” just felt right. The arrangement came together quickly and naturally.

It’s a song that’s been memorably covered by many artists.
It is a much-covered song, indeed. It’s a great song for it. It has the classic melody. It cuts to the heart. There have been some epic covers, some simple covers. I’m honored to be on the list of people who got a chance to cover the song, you know?

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