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Tag: Things That Are Awesome (11-20 of 459)

'Weird Al' Yankovic: The Stories Behind The Songs

For 35 years, “Weird Al” Yankovic has been music’s most reliable satirist, sending up the biggest pop hits and the most iconic artists for the sake of belly laughs. He’s about to release a brand new album called Mandatory Fun on July 15, so to prepare for a fresh batch of tunes we caught up with Yankovic to get the stories behind hits both big and small.  READ FULL STORY

Beck: On the scene at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom

A few months back, I had the distinct pleasure of receiving a phone call from Beck. The connection wasn’t great, though I chalked that up to the fact that he was calling me from a parallel universe—one that was not wholly unlike the one I exist in, but both slightly more contemplative and way more funky.

We discussed the artists, albums, and songs that have informed his life, and more than once he brought up British death metal band Carcass (whose Surgical Steel was one of my favorite albums of 2013). He seemed mostly charmed by their insane-sounding song titles (“Cadaveric Incubator of Endoparasites” was a favorite), but based on Beck’s show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday night, he also digs Carcass because, when given the chance, he likes to shred. READ FULL STORY

Mariah Carey pushing new, 'interactive' 'melodic beverage' called Butterfly

Have you ever wanted to know what the “magic of Mariah Carey” tastes like? If so, the Elusive Chanteuse may have just the thing for you.

At a press conference in New York City Tuesday, Mariah Carey debuted her new non-alcoholic pink-colored beverage Butterfly, which has been described as a “melodic beverage inspired by the magic of Mariah Carey.” Butterfly comes in a curvy pink bottle, and, based on Carey’s presentation on Tuesday, is meant to be enjoyed from a champagne flute. The beverage will be available at Walgreen drugstores nationwide. READ FULL STORY

Song of the Summer? Ariana Grande talks the making of her hit 'Problem'

After moving 438,000 downloads in its first week (the fourth-best-selling debut ever for a female artist), Ariana Grande’s “Problem” is now officially a contender for the 2014 song-of-summer title.

But the 20-year-old pop star originally didn’t think the swagger-fueled jam would be a single. “It was so different from me,” says Grande, who had her breakout hit last year with ’90s throwback “The Way,” featuring rapper Mac Miller, and was best known before that for her roles on the Nickelodeon series Victorious and Sam & Cat. She decided to go with the Max Martin-produced track after getting some advice from her friend Big Sean. READ FULL STORY

That moment when Steven Tyler forgets the words to his own song -- VIDEO

We’ve all been there. You start belting out a song you love — maybe after imbibing a few drinks — and you’re confident. You’re pretty sure you are Annie Lennox. Then comes the forgettable wasteland of the second verse, and you trail off into just making yodeling noises. Er…

That just happened to Steven Tyler — but he was singing his own song. READ FULL STORY

Danny McBride takes on The Black Keys -- read this week's cover story

Note: this is an extended version of the cover story on stands now.

We here at Entertainment Weekly like to think of our jobs as highly specialized. (Not just anyone can push that little voice-recorder button while simultaneously asking questions and nodding wisely, you know.) But when the Black Keys said they wanted to be interviewed by Danny McBride, how could we refuse? After all, the platinum-selling, Grammy-sweeping rock duo just released their eighth studio album, Turn Blue, and will be dominating festivals and headlining arena shows from Croatia to Cleveland this summer.

We asked McBride, 37—so memorable as egomaniacal pitcher Kenny Powers on HBO’s late, lamented Eastbound & Down and as himself in last year’s star-packed apocalyptic meta-comedy This Is the End—to man the tiny microphone for us. While he and drummer Patrick Carney, 34, already knew each other socially, singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach, also 34, hadn’t met McBride before our EW photo shoot. Soon enough, the duct tape appeared, the pants came off, and a friendship was born. Of course, bondage is one thing; hard-hitting journalism is quite another. Does McBride feel up to the task of conducting his first cover-story interview? “To be on this end of it,” he says with Powers-like confidence, “that’s the easy stuff, right?” Well, actually, no. “I will be the judge of that!”

Danny McBride: Entertainment Weekly wants us to kick this off by talking about the first time we came across each other’s work. I’ve been along since the very first album. I was unemployed, living at my parents’ house. I was the person always telling all my friends, “The Black Keys, the Black Keys!” Then we set up our show, Eastbound & Down, and you guys’ music is all that we scored our pilot with.

Dan Auerbach: That’s weird. We have something in common. Because when we made that record, we were unemployed, living at our parents’ houses too. [Laughs] READ FULL STORY

The Stories Behind Five Classic Blondie Songs (and One New Track)

Michael Ochs Archive/Corbis

The immortally cool band that helped bring punk and new wave to the masses celebrates its 40th anniversary this month with a double album, Blondie 4(0) ever. Frontwoman Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein look back—and forward—at their work.

“RIP HER TO SHREDS”

Debbie Harry: We wanted to do something like the Velvet Underground, or a Lou Reed, New York kind of song. “Rip Her to Shreds” was this composite piece about a lot of female people in the scene, and it was kind of a gossipy thing. In that scenario, I’m both doing the ripping and the one being ripped. I was poking fun at other people but also at myself. It’s a tough song.

READ FULL STORY

The Black Keys' Essential Playlist

In honor of this week’s cover stars, we decided to compile an essential (but by no means comprehensive — they have eight studio albums alone) playlist for Akron’s prodigal blues-rock sons.

Stream it in full via Spotify below, and get our full Summer Music Preview, starring the Black Keys and their duct-tape-happy interrogator Danny McBride, on stands tomorrow:

 

Dolly Parton explains her new gospel cover of Bon Jovi's 'Lay Your Hands on Me' (you read that right!)

Dolly Parton releases her 42nd album, Blue Smoke, on May 13, and one song on the track list might surprise you: a cover of Bon Jovi’s 1988 hit “Lay Your Hands on Me.”

“I always loved the song, but the first time I heard it — because I grew up in a Pentecostal church, where people believed in healing hands and laying your hands on someone — I just thought, “Wow, that would make a fantastic gospel song,” Parton tells EW.

Still, she knew the sexualized lyrics would need a bit of an overhaul. “You can’t take liberties with people’s song without running it by them, so I contacted Jon and Richie Sambora, who wrote the song together, and asked them, ‘I would love to do this as a gospel song, would y’all help me put that together?’ They were all for it, and everybody threw in their little ideas, and I threw in mine,” she says. READ FULL STORY

Jay Z and Beyonce's summer 'On The Run' tour: Yes, it's happening

After nearly two weeks of speculation, the most powerful couple in music (and one of the most influential people in the world) have confirmed that they will indeed be spending the summer together on stage at various stadiums across the United States and Canada. Starting on June 25 in Miami, Jay Z and Beyoncé will be taking their On The Run tour to the people.

READ FULL STORY

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