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Tag: Rock (91-100 of 524)

What's on 'New Girl' star Hannah Simone's iPod: Canadian classics and Compton covers

You probably know Hannah Simone best as Cece, best friend to Zooey Deschanel’s Jess on New Girl — but Simone got her first on-camera exposure as a host on Canada’s MuchMusic.

“The great thing about a job like that is you’re talking to people about their passion and about what they love, so I don’t think I ever had an interview that I didn’t really enjoy,” said Simone of her experience on the Canadian music network.

Not surprisingly, she has carried a lot of great Canadian artists around with her on her iPod, though there’s also room for Cat Stevens and a novelty cover of a Snoop Dogg song.

Leonard Cohen, “Bird On A Wire”
“I just spent the weekend with my family, and our whole conversation seemed to revolve around Leonard Cohen. I’m crazy about him, and I have been for a long time. I’ve bought every album he’s ever had and every book of his poetry. I went to Coachella once, and it was only to go see Leonard Cohen. I got in the car and sat through all the crazy traffic in L.A. to get there—instead of a two hour drive it takes like six hours. Then I watched his set and turned around and left. I just so wanted to see him perform in the desert.

The other time I saw him was when I was in Toronto, and a friend surprised me with tickets. I went on my own and sat by myself. It was like being at church. Everybody sat pin-drop silent. I love the song ‘Bird on a Wire’ — It’s an amazing lyric: ‘Like a drunk in a midnight choir.’ He’s so incredible, and a Canadian to boot.”

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Pearl Jam's excellent 'Lightning Bolt' now streaming on iTunes a week early

It has struck: Lightning Bolt, Pearl Jam’s excellent 10th album, is now streaming on iTunes, eight days before its Oct. 15 release.

You may have already heard the album’s first two singles, “Mind Your Manners” and the very pretty “Sirens.” But you haven’t heard “Infallible,” which I think is the best song. Read my thoughts on that and the rest of this “muscular and tender” album here.

Pearl Jam haven’t merely enlisted iTunes elves to promote Lightning Bolt. They also got a few of their famous friends—like Carrie Brownstein—to interview them. If we were Pearl Jam, we’d probably do the same thing.

See The Avett Brothers' 'Another Is Waiting' music video -- EXCLUSIVE

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Americana mainstays The Avett Brothers are gearing up for the release of their eighth full-length album Magpie and the Dandelion, which will arrive in stores on Oct. 15 — just one year after their critically acclaimed disc The Carpenter reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

Today, the band is premiering the music video for “Another is Waiting,” the rollicking first single from their new collection, right here on EW. Scott Avett co-directed the clip, which follows a fresh-faced young lady’s journey through a high-pressure modeling world where the beauties are all, in fact, skeletal.

It’s a commentary, of course, on the dangers of the chew-you-up-spit-you-out entertainment business (Notice the sign at the entrance of the modeling agency: “Pricuf Aim” = “Price of fame”), and it finds the banjo-plucking boys warning the girl, “You got to get yourself off that conveyor belt.”

Does she heed their advice? Find out in the video below. (FYI, this clip may not work on some mobile devices.) READ FULL STORY

The introspective rock dude: Deer Tick and Bill Callahan revive the (much-needed) archetype

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What happened to the introspective rock dude? It seems strange that there should be a shortage of them. Maybe it’s even stranger to complain about it. After all, hasn’t this type long dominated the indie scene? And aren’t Drake and Kanye West ruminating enough for everybody right now? And yet it’s disappointing how little soul searching man bands are up for these days. The Arctic Monkeys, first heralded in large part for their thoughtful lyrics, just broke into the top 10 with a new album more focused on macho riffage. Vampire Weekend, who hit number one (again) earlier this year, were never ones to brood. And Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is now serving heaping scoops of doggerel (like “sexing all your parliament”) with Volcano Choir.

John Mayer’s one of the few guys rooting around in his feelings as a project, but what he turns up on his recent album reveals an acute case of “nice guy” syndrome. Paradise Valley is gentle, inviting, even poetic—until it becomes petulant and entitled, as on “Dear Marie,” where a former teen flame is informed, with exquisitely sensitive condescension, “I got my dream—but you got family.”

The real white knights have only just arrived, and no, you shouldn’t actually think of them that way. Last week Bill Callahan (formerly known as Smog)  released Dream River, the fourth album under his own name. This week Deer Tick delivered their fifth one, Negativity. Callahan and Deer Tick’s singer John McCauley have a few things in common: A love—or at least a fondness for evoking—Americana; a precision-tuned sense of self-awareness; and a profound lack of concern for what other people might think of as cheesy—like unleashing flute and saxophone solos, or lines like “all I want to do is make love to you” and “a baby cries, and an old man dies.”

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Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, and the long legacy of album sequels

This week saw the early streaming release of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 – you can listen to the whole thing in its entirety over at iTunes right now (and then read the official EW review). 

2 of 2 is the sequel to March’s The 20/20 Experience, Timberlake’s long-awaited return to pop music. It’s also the latest in a relatively recent phenomenon: The album sequel. (Add Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 coming in November, to the list.) If movies can do it, why can’t the music world?

With these releases in mind, it’s time to look back at the best examples of album sequels. They don’t all work (in fact, a lot of them do not—be wary of rappers returning to old titles that weren’t that good in the first place), but these are the 10 best, in no particular order.

Jay Z, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life
Jigga has had two different sets of sequels, but his In My Lifetime series is consistently stronger than those albums that contain the title The Blueprint (the original Blueprint is a stone-cold classic, but its two follow-ups are bloated and inconsistent). Vol. 2 was the album that found Jay crossing over into pop territory, as the Annie-sampling single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” gave Jay his first jolt of mainstream popularity—which he has ridden into his status as one of our premiere music stars.

Dr. Dre, 2001
The long-awaited, unofficial sequel to Dre’s landmark solo debut The Chronic (in some circles, it’s still called Chronic 2001, it’s long-rumored working title) hits just as hard as its predecessor and features a handful of tracks (including “What’s the Difference?” and especially “The Next Episode”) that sounded instantly timeless—and have remained so.  READ FULL STORY

Haim cover 'Wrecking Ball,' provide stream of their excellent debut album 'Days Are Gone'

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Haim the trio of California sisters who’ve been swirling through the pop-music hype machine for the better part of a year, are finally on the cusp of releasing their debut, the excellent Days Are Gone.

Days takes ’70s SoCal songcraft—the girls were clearly weaned on a steady diet of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles—and apply modern pop production techniques for a warm, reverb-heavy, hooktacular sound.

But to paraphrase Levar Burton, don’t take our word for it—you can listen to the entirety of Days Are Gone right now, as it’s streaming over at NPR. The album will be in stores this coming Tuesday, September 30.

And if you like the idea of Haim but also don’t want anything that isn’t Miley Cyrus-related in your life right now, there’s a handy solution for that: The group just put together a cover of “Wrecking Ball” for BBC Radio 1. Their performance of the current Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper is below.  READ FULL STORY

Metallica shred through heavy classics at Apollo Theater

Improbably, Metallica are currently at their peak. Though their recorded output in the 21st century has been relatively lackluster, the live experience operates at a level that is far beyond just about any other band on the planet, metal or otherwise. Thirty years after the release of their gloriously nasty debut Kill ‘Em All, they are still making discoveries about how fast and brutal two guitars, a bass, and drums can be.

They’re also still hitting milestones. On Saturday night (September 21), Metallica played the legendary Apollo Theater, in the heart of Harlem in New York City. At only 1,500 seats, it’s a cartoonishly small space for the band in 2013 (their previous trip to New York found them headlining Yankee Stadium), but the intimacy (and lack of pyrotechnics) did not stop the group from turning a few hundred lucky SiriusXM subscribers into a fine ash over the course of their two-plus hour set (which was also simulcast on SiriusXM’s Mandatory Metallica station).

The event was part of the band’s promotion of their about-to-open 3D concert/action flick Metallica Through The Never, which features both Dane DeHaan fighting a horse-riding embodiment of death and a vivid run through some of the most intense jams in the Metallica catalog.

The set list at the Apollo skewed towards those early blasters: Following the band’s now-traditional entrance to Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold” (from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Metallica plowed through a triple-shot of old school shredders in “Hit the Lights,” “Master of Puppets,” and “Ride the Lightning.” READ FULL STORY

Dhani Harrison, Alexa Ray Joel cover dads' songs for Gap ads

Billy Joel’s Grammy-winning song “Just The Way You Are” was famously written for his first wife Elizabeth Weber—a woman he divorced five years later. Joel semi-retired the tune because of that, but it’s about to get a resurrection to sell some jeans.

Tonight will mark the premiere of a new series of TV spots from the Gap that feature the children of legendary musicians—Alexa Ray Joel and Dhani Harrison, son of Beatle George—re-interpreting their dads’ classic tracks. Joel (whose mother is Christie Brinkley) will be tackling “Just the Way You Are,” while Harrison will be performing “For You Blue,” a track from the Beatles’ Let It Be written by George Harrison.

For a brand like ours, built on the ‘generation gap,’ it seemed really rich,” Seth Farbman, Gap’s Chief Marketing Officer, told Ad Age. “We’ve been spending a lot of time really looking at what an iconic brand does and how it acts. … And, as we often do, we were looking backwards, in order to go forwards.”

The spots are scheduled to air during a season premieres (which begin in earnest tonight and will continue over the next few weeks—check out EW’s Fall TV Preview, on stands now, for more) as well as during NFL games.

Or you can just watch them both below, along with some behind-the-scenes video of the shoots.  READ FULL STORY

Violent Femmes talk reunion, Central Park show

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When the organizers of Coachella reached out to the Violent Femmes to play this summer’s event, it had been six years since the much beloved indie-rock trio had performed a show, in part because of intra-band tensions.

“It was an offer that came to us through our booking agent,” singer-guitarist Gordon Gano tells EW. “I think he said in a communication, ‘I know there’s no chance in hell but I’ve got to let you know that there’s this going on.’ But we thought, ‘Yeah, alright, let’s see if we can get together and do this.’”

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Paul McCartney releases single 'New,' announces album for October

Paul McCartney helped construct the greatest album of all time, among other minor accomplishments, so it’s not like the guy has anything left to prove at this point.

And yet at 71 years old, he’s still going hard. Last year, he released a new solo album called Kisses on the Bottom, which was made up mostly of traditional pop covers and re-worked jazz tunes. Now he’s got a batch of freshly-written original material, and he’s ready to unleash it.

According to a press release sent out late last night, McCartney’s new album New will be arriving in stores on October 15. It features 12 new songs and a heaping helping of fresh collaborators, including Mark Ronson, who worked on the title track that also dropped last night.

The album is currently available for pre-order on iTunes, and the single is for sale. Give “New” a listen below.

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