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Tag: Rock (51-60 of 522)

Coldplay drop surprise 'Midnight' single and video: Watch it here!

Let’s get this out of the way first: When a big artist comes up with a surprise release seemingly out of nowhere, can we agree not to call it “Pulling a Beyoncé”? That sounds alternately dirty and painful.

From here on out, whenever a group like Coldplay drops a brand new single and music video on our doorstep—as they did today with the release of “Midnight”—let’s just call it a “Stealth Drop” or a “Surprise Party” or “Throwing the Old Barkley.” Anything but the creepy “Pulling a Beyoncé.”

Anyway, “Midnight” is a very moody piece of business that relies a lot on keyboard hums and electronic squiggles. It takes a few listens to set in, but one thing that really stands out is the vocal performance of Chris Martin, who has been gradually honing his instrument into quite a soulful thing (though it’s ironic that there’s also a ton of vocal effects on “Midnight”).

The video, directed by Mary Wigmore (who also directed the band’s clip for “The Hardest Part” and helmed the excellent documentary Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives), matches the mood of the tune, with a lot of negative space and some ominous wolves. Enjoy its subtle spookiness below.  READ FULL STORY

On the Charts: Eric Church rules, Beatles get a bump, Imagine Dragons break a record

Though the year is still young, Eric Church has established himself as the 2014 music sales king. His just-released fifth album The Outsiders debuted with a walloping 288,000 copies in its opening week. That’s Church’s second number one debut and his biggest sales week ever (his previous high was his fourth album Chief, which moved 145,000 units on its way to a chart-topping bow back in 2011).

Church didn’t have much competition at the marketplace, as there were not any other top 10 debuts this week—the next highest debut was the new album by Glitch Mob, which came in at number 13 with 22,000 copies sold. But elsewhere on the Billboard 200, there was one clear trend: the rise of the Beatles. READ FULL STORY

Devo guitarist Bob Casale has died -- REPORT

According to online reports, Bob Casale, guitarist for new wave icons Devo, has died at 61. The cause was complications stemming from heart failure. His brother Gerald, also a member of the band, confirmed the news on Twitter:

“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” Gerald told TMZ. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer, and talented audio engineer — always giving more than he got.”

The Ohio-bred fivesome, formed in 1972, were known for their sardonic humor and signature flowerpot hats. Their early albums, including Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Freedom of Choice made them underground heroes — and even mainstream stars for a brief moment in the early ’80s, thanks to new-wave classics like “Whip It” and “Girl U Want.”

Casale was predeceased in the band by drummer Alan Meyers, who passed away last June at age 58 following a battle with stomach cancer. Frontman and cofounder Mark Mothersbaugh, who went on to score a number of popular films and TV shows, has been in the news recently for his work in The Lego Movie, currently the no. 1 film in the country.

U2's new 'Invisible' video brings on the light show, big round microphones: Watch it here

Invisible.jpg

If this was 1994 and U2 were still in their crazy art project phase, the video for “Invisible” would probably be a series of shots of an empty stage, or just a static four minutes of darkness. Because, you see, it’d be invisible.

Thankfully, the video for the band’s new single is not that literal. In stately black and white, the band cranks out their latest with the aid of some impressive backlight effects (good thing Bono wears those sunglasses!) and a wacky circular microphone that hangs from the ceiling. Like most 21st-century U2 projects, it’s well executed without being blow-away impressive, though “Invisible” continues to improve as a song with each subsequent listen.

Check out the video below: READ FULL STORY

The eternal appeal of 311, the '90s bro-band that never burned out

I remember the jacket: a wide-lapeled, three-quarter length brown leather “pimp” coat which, in the mid-’90s, when I saw frosted-tipped 311 frontman Nick Hexum wearing it onstage, represented the ne plus ultra of vintage-store finds. At that time I wore my own statement piece, one perhaps even more emblematic of the era—a 311 t-shirt that hijacked a famous corporate logo (I don’t recall which one). Or maybe my older brother owned the logo shirt. It’s him who, before we went with his friends to see 311 play that night in Providence, wondered whether he should start wearing his wallet chain again.

I describe these fleeting fashions and fugitive memories because 311—the Omaha fivesome who moved to L.A. in 1991 and strung together rap-rock, reggae-pop, and allusions to Aleister Crowley for a stoned-romantic brand of Californication—have a new single, “Five of Everything,” and their 11th album, Stereolithic, coming on March 11. Which will also mark the fourteenth annual concert event known as “311 Day.” Add to these evocative figures the PR data on their last album—it entered the album chart at number 7, becoming their eighth straight top 10 debut—and you see that instead of receding with the ’90s in a haze of hydroponic smoke, the band have taken the “do what thou wilt” credo deep into the new age of carry-out cannabis.

READ FULL STORY

Blondie says 'Nyet' to Sochi - Debbie Harry and co. reject invitation to perform at the Olympics

Sorry, Olympics visitors, but you will not be able to shout along to a live version of “Rip Her to Shreds” during your stay in Sochi.

Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry took to Twitter over the weekend to post the offer the group received from Red Rocks Festival Sochi, a free concert event scheduled for this Thursday at Sochi Medals Plaza. According to the document, Blondie would have been paid a five-figure fee for a 45 minute set, but Harry rejected the opportunity by scrawling, “PASS — HUMAN RIGHTS” over it.

Harry and her bandmates have joined ranks with the likes of Madonna, Elton John, and the myriad artists,  who stood up at last week’s Amnesty International concert in Brooklyn to speak out against Russia’s institutional treatment of minorities, specifically those in the LGBT community.

Blondie was last seen ringing in the new year with Ryan Seacrest in Times Square. The 2014 Winter Olympics launched last week and will seemingly continue unabated until the end of time.

Shaun White's iPod: Jay Z, Black Lips, and David Bowie provide Olympic inspiration

He may have just withdrawn from the inaugural Olympic Slope Style event in Sochi, but two-time gold medalist Shaun White will still need musical motivation to drive him to a third gold in the Halfpipe.

For his third and final Olympics, the 27-year-old snowboarder and guitarist for Bad Things has been tapping into Jay Z, the Black Lips, and David Bowie to get him amped for the Games, which kick off tomorrow (though White’s halfpipe competition won’t be until February 10). He opened up his Olympic playlist for EW.

Jay Z, “My First Song”
“I’m going to the Olympics for the third time, and I’m trying to find that motivation to still continue in something like this. Jay talks about treating everything like it’s your first, or like it’s the last time you’re ever gonna do it. I really like that. You gotta treat it like, dig deep and find that reason you really wanted it in the first place. He goes on some funny rant at the end, like ‘S—, I’mma go golfing,’ like, what he’s gonna do after? And I’m like, ‘Cool, that’s my whole deal too’ — just put my head down and work hard like I did when I was younger and good things will come from that. I’m not much of a golfer, but I get the reference.” READ FULL STORY

If the Red Hot Chili Peppers weren't plugged in during the Super Bowl, does it matter?

Sunday night’s Super Bowl Halftime Show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers was reasonably entertaining, if unremarkable. Still, that didn’t stop it from being the most watched halftime show in history, beating out the numbers for more memorable performances by Madonna and Beyoncé.

Inevitably, close watchers of the broadcast noticed that neither Flea’s bass nor Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar appeared to be plugged in to anything. It was first pointed out by Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, who tweeted “That guitar is plugged into NOTHING” during the show. Photo evidence seemed to back him up, and though there was a stirring online debate about whether or not the Peppers could have been using wireless transmitters, Reid set the world straight. “There were NO wireless packs,” he tweeted. “Which would be a nightmare given the huge amount of wireless channels. They leave NOTHING to chance.”

His last point is the most pertinent: For a show in an outdoor stadium that size, and with so little time to turn everything around, prerecording in those settings has been the norm for decades. Vocals are a little easier to deal with, but it’s near-impossible to wrangle multiple instruments thanks to delay and echo-related complications. (People were also pointing out that Mars’ horn section wasn’t actually making noise either.) And it’s not like a completely different group of musicians recorded “Give It Away” for the Chili Peppers—in these situations, they usually record a version live to perform to.

Not that there’s been much outrage over the revelation that Flea was playing air bass. Remember when Beyoncé lip-synced “The Star-Spangled Banner” and everybody lost their minds? READ FULL STORY

Ingrid Michaelson plays her own Robert Palmer in new 'Girls Chase Boys' video - EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE

Ingrid-Michaelson.jpg

Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson famously channeled a handful of classic rock stars  — including John Lennon, David Bowie, and Gene Simmons — in her 2012 clip for “Blood Brothers.” Now, for her new single “Girls Chase Boys,” she’s tipping her Patrick Nagel-painted hat to Robert Palmer.

The track is the first single from Michaelson’s brand new album Lights Out, due April 15. It’s a darker, more complicated side of the singer, she told EW: “‘Girls Chase Boys’ started out as a break up song but took on a deeper meaning as I continued writing. More than just being about my experience, its focus shifted to include the idea that, no matter who or how we love, we are all the same. The video takes that idea one step further, and attempts to turn stereotypical gender roles on their head. Girls don’t exclusively chase boys. We all know this. We all chase each other and in the end we are all chasing after the same thing: love.”

The clip is a gender-tweaking homage to Palmer’s  1988 video for “Simply Irresistible,” one of the more iconic clips of the decade. Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

On the Scene at the Howard Stern Birthday Bash

The Hammerstein Ballroom was originally constructed as an opera house and, in the eyes of founder Oscar Hammerstein, was meant to return a stuffy art form back to the people. On Friday night, a reversal occurred when Howard Stern, the definitive American radio personality for two generations, found his populist form elevated by a staggering stream of boldfaced names who paid tribute to him on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Hosted and broadcast live via SiriusXM, Stern’s home for the last eight years, the Howard Stern Birthday Bash filled the Ballroom with famous faces and crowded its stage with comedians, musicians, and fellow broadcasters to celebrate Stern’s life and career, which has evolved from the juvenile rabble-rousing of his early terrestrial life to the statelier (but still brutally honest) conversations of the satellite era. Sure, the Wack Pack was in the building, but so was Robert Downey, Jr., Larry King, Barbara Walters, Harvey Weinstein, and Hilary Swank — and that was mostly at one table.  READ FULL STORY

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