If a Mount Rushmore-style monument existed for metalheads, the late Ronnie James Dio would certainly be on it. As the frontman of Dio, Rainbow, and Black Sabbath (and a bunch of others), he’s more than earned his spot. And even if you don’t care much about smashes like “Holy Diver” or “The Mob Rules,” you have to give Dio credit for giving the world the metal horns.
Tag: Rock (11-20 of 495)
Sure, the forthcoming Wu-Tang Clan album The Wu: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin… will only be available to one person and is “presented in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahy,” but how does this one of a kind musical artifact stack up against some of the other, crazier box sets in music history? (Or even the Wu-Tang bike?)
Check out some of the most extreme (and extremely expensive) box sets in history:
For years, the members of Fleetwood Mac have been touring as Fleetwood Mac, but hardcore fans have been missing one thing: Keyboardist Christine McVie, who hasn’t been with the group since 1998.
But now she’s back, and the classic Mac lineup—McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood—has new music and is headed out on the road again. Dates are still coming together, but the first show will be September 29 in Minneapolis.
McVie and Buckingham are working on new songs for an album, which would be the first recording with the classic Fleetwood Mac lineup since Tango In The Night, which came out all the way back in 1987.
In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, I ruminate over the anniversary of the death of one of the last great rock stars with a simple question: Had he not died in April 1994, what might Kurt Cobain’s music have sounded like now?
In order to find some possible answers, I talked to Cobain’s friends and collaborators about his potential musical directions; the master playlist craftspeople at Beats Audio took those cues and built a batch of songs that help extrapolate what Cobain might have sounded like had he lived.
“Cobain always seemed like an old soul and I agree that he would have continued to explore more acoustic music, as opposed to electric,” says Beats’ Scott Plagenhoef. “He wrote personal lyrics but they were opaque and non-linear and he never wrote narratives. There is also a temptation to assume major creative forces like Cobain would remain progressive into their older age but the fact of the matter is that was never a quality that he displayed even during his lifetime. There is no indication he would have embraced electronic music, for example.”
The playlist includes a handful of tracks that seem like inevitable Cobain compositions (Elliott Smith’s “Waltz No. 2 (XO),” Wilco’s “How To Fight Loneliness,” The White Stripes’ “We’re Going To Be Friends”), as well as some reasonable stretches (EMA’s “California,” Cat Power’s “He War,” Lambchop’s “My Face Your Ass”). Spin the whole thing here while you consider what might have been.
What do you think Kurt Cobain would have sounded like in 2014? Let us know in the comments.
A few weeks ago, a dude named Frederick Scott tickled Nine Inch Nails fans with “This Is A Trent Reznor Song,” a loving tribute to the NIN frontman’s songwriting and performance tics. It was awesome, and one of the better musical parodies on the entirety of the Internet.
Now comes the next stage: Scott’s video for “This Is A Trent Reznor Song,” which borrows elements from the clips for Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and “The Hand That Feeds.” Once again Scott nails it, with the same kind of video effects from “The Hand That Feeds” and the commitment to spooky photography and weird lighting from the classic “Closer.”
It’s a little more outwardly funny than the song itself—the reaction shot Scott gives to the bottle of milk is particularly fantastic—but it still retains the same kind of reverence for Reznor’s work as the track.
Check out the video below. And while you’re at it, check out some of the clips from Nine Inch Nails’ Tension tour, one of the better live music experiences from last year.
Scott Asheton, the drummer for punk icons the Stooges, has died at 64. The immediate cause was not disclosed, but he had suffered a major stroke in 2011 after a live performance in France.
Aside from Iggy Pop, Asheton was the last remaining core member of the band; his older brother Ron, the guitarist, passed away in 2009, and bassist Dave Alexander died in 1975.
The Stooges’ initial run fit the punk-rock ethos of burning bright and fast: They released a trio of now-classic albums beginning with their self-titled debut in 1969 and followed by 1970′s Fun House and 1973′s Raw Power, before breaking up in 1974 in part because of Pop’s heroin addiction.
Scott went on to play drums in Fred “Sonic” Smith’s Sonic Rendezvouz, and later in Scot’s Pirates, Sonny Vincent’s Rat Race Choir, and his own band Rock Action. He rejoined the Stooges in 2003. The group was famously nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame seven times before finally being inducted in 2010 by fellow Michigan native Madonna.
Pop posted a message on his official Facebook page yesterday: READ FULL STORY
Who wears the leather pants in music these days? Men still turn out smash songs by singing over guitars. But not since Mumford & Sons strapped on their suspenders have any rock hitmakers broken out as true stars, famous for anything other than scaling the charts. What do you know about the guys in Bastille or OneRepublic, the two bands currently sitting pretty in the Hot 100 top 10? Maybe you can name their singles (“Pompeii” and “Counting Stars,” respectively). But they don’t give off even a glimmer of the cherished emblems of the classic Rock Star: turbulent souls, incendiary lyrics, boa-draped fashion statements, dangerous good looks.
Instead, we’re saddled with mock stars: guys with paltry backstories, little apparent fire under their asses, and indifferent bedhead. And dudes these recent chart-cloggers be. In addition to Bastille and OneRepublic, there’s Imagine Dragons, Capital Cities, AWOLNATION, and Foster the People—all entirely male. They are not entirely terrible. Their modern rock does sound approachably modern, folding in synths and drum machines, with hooks that resonate rather than kick you directly in the acorns. These songs live in the rock fan’s friend zone: ever present, not unpleasant, but deeply unsexy.
L.A. trio Foster the People (pictured) were responsible for one of the biggest and most compelling mock-star smashes to date: “Pumped Up Kicks,” from their debut Torches, has sold more than 5 million copies since the song’s release in 2010. The deceptively sunny track, which frontman Mark Foster made as a demo and never rerecorded, takes the perspective of an unhinged, gun-toting kid; it’s like “Jeremy,” Pearl Jam’s schoolboy-psycho song, minus the anguish and that poor recess lady.
Spandau Ballet put on insanely good show (seriously) at their first U.S. appearance in 28 years at SXSW
As one of their publicists pointed out to me just as they were taking the stage at the reconstituted Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, I was not even born when Spandau Ballet took their maiden voyage from London to New York to play Danceteria and essentially import England’s New Romantic scene to these shores. It’s been a while since their debut, and it has been almost as long in between U.S. tour stops.
Wednesday night, Spandau Ballet played their first U.S. show in 28 years, and it cannot be overstated: they slayed. In town to promote the forthcoming biopic about their rise to fame in the early ’80s, the band took it upon themselves to re-introduce their tunes to a fresh army of ears. READ FULL STORY
Taylor Swift is fantastically popular, a cultural juggernaut whose ubiquity has never seemed to quench the populace’s thirst for more. But as plenty of fame-soaked cautionary tales have taught us, that level of exposure doesn’t always equal financial solvency.
Of course, Swift doesn’t have that problem. At all. According to a list just published by Billboard, Swift was the top-earning musician in 2013, raking in $39,699,575.60 (specific!) based on album sales, touring revenue, publishing fees, and royalties from airplay, digital streaming and downloads.
That does not include any money Swift might have collected from sponsorship deals, corporate gigs, or whatever back end she still may be earning from Valentine’s Day. Also, because Billboard uses a standard methodology for all artists across the board (assuming, for example, a 20 percent artists’ take on album sales), it’s easy to believe that Swift’s intake was even higher, as she most likely has a better royalty rate than your average country-pop megastar. Another thing to note? She gives a lot of it away. READ FULL STORY
The annual South By Southwest festival/conference/conventio-con is underway, with the music getting started in earnest on Tuesday and rolling headlong through Saturday night.
This year’s event has its share of big name visitors: Lady Gaga will be delivering the keynote address and performing, and the likes of Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, and Pitbull will be headlining a series of shows as part of the iTunes Festival.
But SXSW was originally designed as a showcase for new music, a place where baby bands could get their first big taste of exposure and where those artists who were about to break finally actually broke. EW will be on the ground covering acts both big and small, including these 20 on-the-cusp artists we’re going out of our way to check out.
Temples: Throwback psychedelia is hard to do, but this British quartet blends just the right amount of crushing beauty and off-kilter left turns.
Angel Olsen: In the grand tradition of PJ Harvey, Olsen marries muscular guitar with her delicate warble for blow-away blasts of folk-rock and power blues.
Perfect Pussy: Despite their censor-baiting name (and what honestly seems like a pretty standard-issue fuzz-punk sound), there’s a lot of buzz on this Syracuse foursome.
Sleepy Kitty: For fans of Sleigh Bells — but sub in post-grunge jangle for noisecore.
Cloud Nothings: Noisy Cleveland-based anarchists nearly made it big with their exceptional 2012 album Attack on Memory. Could the bigger, badder, forthcoming Here and Nowhere Else put them over the top?
Vertical Scratchers: Ultra-fuzzy indie jangle care of a pair of blissed out Californians.
SKATERS: Four New Yorkers who split the difference between driving punk surges and carefully-curated sonic tapestries, all wrapped in a whatever-man sneer.
ScHoolboy Q: Sure, he topped the charts with his latest album OxyMoron, but the top lieutenant in Kendrick Lamar’s army is ready to take the next step into household name-ness.
Chet Faker: The Australian’s downtempo bedroom R&B that would swerve dangerously into the cheese lane were it not for bearded mastermind Nick Murphy’s convincingly syrupy baritone.
You Blew It!: Don’t look now, but an emo revival is about to kick into gear, and this Orlando-based combo are the finest purveyors of the new pollution.
Oh Honey: Nothing but positive jams for this strummy, soulful Brooklyn duo. Like Matt & Kim with better production values.
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