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Tag: Randy Newman (1-3 of 3)

Andrew Bird on playing Jazz Fest, talking writer's block with Randy Newman

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird played an inspired set at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last weekend, full of both old-time charm and new-age sounds — and, of course, whistling. He played a show packed with songs from 2012’s Hands of Glory, as well as jam-heavy songs like “Imitosis” from 2007’s Armchair Apocrypha and the lighter “Eyeoneye” off Break it Yourself. EW caught up with Bird before his show at the legendary music hall Tipitina’s and talked about New Orleans, his ties to classical music, and how he connects to his growing worldwide fan base.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve spent a lot of time in New Orleans. What’s special about this city and playing here?
ANDREW BIRD: This is my first time at Jazz Fest. I never really lived here but I almost did. I spent a lot of time here in the late ’90s working at Kingsway [Studios]. It always felt like I got out just in time. It is just such a heavy place. Just touring in the south, you always have more stories to come back with.

I used to run around and play with a lot of street musicians. [New Orleans] attracts a lot of people from all over that have an ear for that old country blues, traditional music, and these guys just run around and play on street corners and at bars for tips, and I kind of fell into that scene a bit. That was when I was deeply into it; the guys here really knew the field.

On the scene: Rush embraces cool factor at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

Rush — the Canadian prog icons whose fans have passionately decried their lack of inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for years — finally got their (over)due moment Thursday night when they were inducted to wild applause at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Oprah was chilling with Quincy Jones. Jack Nicholson was wearing red sunglasses. Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith was rocking an orange backwards baseball cap. The Foo Fighters, Don Henley, Jennifer Hudson,  John Mayer, and many more famous faces were all in attendance to celebrate the band and their fellow inductees Public Enemy, Lou Adler, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones, Albert King, and Heart on Thursday night.

“When did Rush become cool…?” Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl asked the crowd during his induction speech. “Rush are a band that has balls,” said Grohl. “They’ve always been cool.” He and Taylor Hawkins – who also performed a mock-Rush drum riff while dressed like the band in their ’70s heyday – cheered the trio for building their fame off of fans and fans alone.

(To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a band must have passed the 25-year milestone since the release of their first album; Rush waited nearly 40 years. For the first time, this year fans were allowed to vote in the induction process, finally clinching the deal for a band powered by fans from the start.) READ FULL STORY

Randy Newman releases satirical election song 'I'm Dreaming': Hear it here

When he isn’t crooning about friendship for Pixar or getting made fun of on Family Guy, Randy Newman is a pretty political guy, and he’s tossed his hat into the 2012 presidential election conversation with his new song “I’m Dreaming.”

The track tongue-in-cheekily features the refrain, “I’m dreaming of a white president.” The accompanying video is pretty scathing, aiming barbs at George W. Bush and a handful of absurd moments caught on tape (including an awesome sequence of Richard Nixon bowling).

On his website, Newman explained the song thusly: “I think there are a lot of people who find it jarring to have a black man in the White House and they want him out. They just can’t believe that there’s not a more qualified white man. You won’t get anyone, and I do mean anyone, to admit it.”

In addition to being a direct attack on racists, there’s an extended joke about how fat William Howard Taft is, as well as the lyric “Buh buh buh buh.” It’s the Randy Newman deluxe package, and you can check it out below: READ FULL STORY

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