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Tag: Things We Love (21-30 of 97)

Jack's Mannequin head for a new direction on just-released 'People & Things.' What do you think?

Full disclosure: I’m a big Jack’s Mannequin fan. Without going into too much personal detail, the Orange County band (a side project turned full gig by former Something Corporate frontman and piano balladeer Andrew McMahon) has always seemed to release an album that coincides with big transitions in my life. When Everything in Transit dropped in August 2005, I was stuffing everything I owned into a Chevy Cavalier and moving away from home for the first time. In September 2008, The Glass Passenger was the soundtrack of my return to the U.S. after studying abroad. Fitting, then, that JM’s new album, People & Things — released today — drops right after I make my way to New York City.

I remember the first time I saw Jack’s Mannequin live. It was 2006 and McMahon announced to the crowd that it had been exactly one year since he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The 2nd album arrived two years later and it was clear that his experience battling the disease had infused his music with a reflective intensity.

From a comparison of sound, People & Things lands closer to The Glass Passenger than the band’s debut album. READ FULL STORY

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga duet, dance in 'The Lady Is a Tramp' video: Watch it here

Sporting blue-mermaid hair and a black lace dress that’s more classy than trampy, Lady Gaga shines bright next to chart topper Tony Bennett in the just-released video for their duet, “The Lady Is A Tramp” off Bennett’s Duets II, out now.

The in-the-studio video is basically just a behind-the-scenes version of the song, but it’s still a nice add-on.

Especially fun to watch is their playfulness with each other throughout the song; whether she’s mugging to the camera or their duet dance-break mid-video, Gaga’s theatricality definitely comes through. And you can tell Bennett is genuinely getting a kick out of her antics — listen to him chuckle throughout the vid.

The clip really gets going at 2:20, when Gaga shows off her pipes (girl can sing!) and then they have a little dance. Either Bennett is really short, or Gaga’s got some massive heels on. (I think we can safely assume the latter).

Check out the video below:

Mr. Bennett himself sums up my thoughts quite nicely as the end of the video: “Beautiful. Thank you.” He’s clearly a fan; he recently gave an interview saying that the singer “will become bigger than Elvis Presley,” and the admiration is clearly mutual — just look at the sweet kiss that closes the clip.

Music Mixers: What do you think? Are you feeling these two as a pair? And who else is hoping Gaga considers a jazz album?

Read more:
Lady Gaga: 35 Outrageous Outfits 
Tony Bennett on ‘The Daily Show': Amy Winehouse knew she was going to die
Lady Gaga announces that ‘Marry the Night’ will be the fifth single off ‘Born This Way’ — Do you think it’s the best choice?

Vh1's Top 100 Songs of the '00s: Find the first 11 songs here! -- An EW Exclusive

Oh, those olden, golden aughties — they seem so long ago! Thankfully, VH1 is bringing it all back to us with the next installment of their ongoing 100 Greatest Songs series: the ’00s.

The channel’s five-night, one-hour-per-night special begins airing next Monday, October 3 at 10/9c. But in the meantime, we’ve got a sneak peek at the first 11 entries (that would be nos. 100-90) for you.

Also in our pocket: host Pete Wentz. The Fall Out Boy bassist and general aughties-fashion bellwether turned Black Cards frontman tells EW, “Being the host of this show is my way of preventing a mid-life crisis. I get to relive my twenties minus the eyeliner and flat iron. Win-win for everyone!”

Find — and fight over — the early entries after the jump, including two American Idols, five Pussycats, and (if the picture above didn’t give you your first clue) one very special Sisqo: READ FULL STORY

Nirvana celebrate 20 years of 'Nevermind': Read the extended roundtable interview and backstory -- booze! corn dogs! transvestite karaoke! -- here!

In the early ’90s, Aqua Net-fueled hair metal and disposable pop songs gripped the marketplace. Then came three shaggy dudes whose blistering mix of radio-ready hits and caustic deep cuts blew the dawning decade wide open.

Now, with the arrival of a deluxe box set celebrating 20 years of Nevermind, the full story of Nirvana’s seminal album can finally be told: During a round­table with EW in Los Angeles, Dave Grohl, 42, Krist Novoselic, 46, and producer Butch Vig, 56, recall creating a soon-to-be classic with their late friend and collaborator Kurt Cobain—and all the booze, corn dogs, turtles, and transvestite karaoke singers that came along for the ride.

April 1990: Cobain, Novoselic, and then-drummer Chad Channing visit Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, to record with producer Butch Vig.

Krist Novoselic
We were going to tour with Tad, and we said, “Why don’t we go to Madison, Wisconsin,” because we were kicking around these songs. So we drove out there straight from Washington State to Wisconsin in two days.

Butch Vig
They were with Sub Pop then, and they came out ostensibly to do a new album for Sub Pop. We tracked maybe seven songs in five days.

We had heard of Butch. He was doing a lot of Touch & Go bands. And Tad recorded there too, so they sent us good references.

it was a little tough because Kurt kept blowing his voice out. And during the middle of the recording, they did a show at a local club in Madison and he blew his voice out even worse. I think the last two days he couldn’t sing at all. I expected they were going to come back. I didn’t hear anything, and all of a sudden I started getting these calls from people saying, “Hey man, I love these Nirvana tracks.” They had gone home and dubbed a cassette I gave them, and they made a hundred copies and gave them out to their friends. They bootlegged themselves, essentially.

That was how Geffen got a copy. I think [Sonic Youth members and Geffen signees] Kim [Gordon] and Thurston [Moore] had a copy, and they gave it to [Geffen A&R executive] Gary Gersh

September 1990: Cobain and Novoselic fire Channing and replace him with former Scream drummer Dave Grohl. While working out the growing batch of new songs, the band signs with Geffen Records. READ FULL STORY

Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson; the late King of Pop would have been 53 today

It’s hard not to wonder what Michael Jackson would have thought of last night’s MTV Video Music Awards. After all, he was one of the primary artists responsible, nearly thirty years ago, for turning the little upstart music channel that could into a cultural behemoth, and had countless iconic VMA moments of his own.

Some 26 months after his shockingly sudden death at the age of 50, there are a million things to remember about the King of Pop on the occasion of what would have been his 53rd birthday: His remarkable musical and physical genius; his undeniable eccentricities; his ongoing personal struggles.

Personally, I prefer to think of him at his happiest, purest moments: the ones in which you could see how much he loved what he did, and how ridiculously outsized his talent was — even as tiny, precocious boy in a giant lavender hat, way back in 1969 on the Ed Sullivan Show: READ FULL STORY

Flaming Lips, pirate metal, and why you should spend more time in record stores

Last weekend, my wife and I took a trip up to Newport, Rhode Island, to spend some time at the beach.

We got some sun, we ate some seafood, we drank some pretty terrible local beer, and we visited one of my favorite landmarks: The Music Box.

I’ve essentially made a trip to the Music Box once every summer since I was about 14, and though it has expanded its reach beyond music and video over the course of the last decade-and-a-half (if you notice on the store’s official website, they also sell sports memorabilia and “gourmet food”), it remains a good old-fashioned record store at its heart.

I almost always go in looking for a handful of specific things—for no other reason than tradition, I always pick up a copy of the new Warped Tour compilation, as I have been buying those things since they’ve been called Punk-O-Rama; this time around, I was on the hunt for the Flaming Lips’ Heady Nuggs, a limited-edition Record Store Day collection of the group’s first five Warner Bros. albums on vinyl—and also for some browsing: Whenever I visit a new city, I always try to seek out a used record store to dig out soundtrack compilations from ’90s teen movies, which I constantly purchase on the cheap for reasons I’ve lost track of.

The Music Box did not disappoint (though they were playing Train’s cover of “Umbrella” on their in-store sound system, which bummed me out profoundly). I walked out with the Lips set (at a fantastic price) and a promotional compilation of Lollapalooza performers from 1994, which includes tracks by Green Day, L7, Nick Cave, Stereolab, and the Breeders.

But the most thrilling moment of the afternoon was completely unexpected. READ FULL STORY

Happy 53rd birthday, Madonna! You're still our lucky star

Fifty-three years ago today in Bay City, Michigan, one crazy little Ciccone roller was born. (and yes, it was—no joke!—a Saturday.)

Today we salute the woman she’s become: a superstar whose single name is so well known across the globe, it nearly subsumes, you know, that other one; a vanguard of pop and power and general cultural next-leveldom whose thighs still look like a 19-year-old Romanian gymnast’s, and whose boyfriend is, in fact, a 19-year-old Frenchman. (Just kidding, pervs; he’s a wise and seasoned 24.)

So let’s watch some classic pre-fame Madge to celebrate. Here she is, auditioning for Fame in 1982: READ FULL STORY

While you're waiting to 'Watch the Throne,' enjoy these punchline-friendly jams

On “Otis,” the first single from Kanye West and Jay-Z’s upcoming Watch The Throne, Jay-Z spits, “Photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth/ I’m about to call the paparazzi on myself.” Not to be outdone, Kanye fires back with, “Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses/ Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive!”

Ba-dum, crash. It’s been a great summer for club-goers and college kids (read: people who love LMFAO), but when it comes to witty, winking rap one-liners, well, let’s just say we’ve missed these guys.

There’s no arguing with the fact that Jay-Z and Kanye are two of the cleverest guys in hip-hop. So if you’re getting feverish waiting for Watch The Throne to drop on Monday, fear not—we’re here to help! To tide you over for the weekend, we recommend that you first watch Jay and ‘Ye’s vaguely inexplicable new teaser trailer, and then check out these other tracks we love by rhymers with a sense of humor. READ FULL STORY

Lost Elliott Smith song, 'The Real Estate,' surfaces on his high school friend's charity disc

Singer-songwriter Elliott Smith in 2003.

For those who thought they’d bootlegged every last possible song from the late indie-rock hero Elliott Smith, it’s your lucky day.

An unreleased Smith track called “The Real Estate” will appear July 19 on Live from Nowhere Near You II, a new three-disc benefit comp curated by Kevin Moyer. When we first heard the news, we wondered (as we sifted through our own stacks of Smith recordings), how did it resurface eight years after Smith’s death?

Turns out Moyer went to high school with Smith in downtown Portland, Oregon. He originally reached out to Smith years ago when he was working on the first volume of the compilation, which benefits Outside In, a Portland-based charity for homeless youth, but Smith didn’t end up contributing.

“I think this was either smack in the middle of his downward spiral or during his subsequent rise and recovery from it,” Moyer said in a statement. Sadly, a few months after the charity record was released, he learned that Smith had passed away. “I was completely and totally devastated, and still am.”

Years afterward, Moyer met up with Larry Crane, who owns Portland’s Jackpot! Studio, where Smith often recorded. Crane had just finished mixing Smith’s posthumous release New Moon, and as he listened to unreleased tracks with Moyer, they discovered an unlabeled mystery track hiding between two other known songs on a DAT tape.


Bon Iver's Justin Vernon talks about his new album, Kanye, and why home is where the heart is: An EW Q&A


This week, Wisconsin native Justin Vernon released one of the best-reviewed and most anticipated indie albums of the year in Bon Iver’s self-titled sophomore effort.

Bon Iver takes the promise of Vernon’s quiet, insular debut For Emma, Forever Ago and adds a number of new elements to the mix: The sound is more expansive without sounding bigger than itself, and Vernon has layered each track with new rhythmic tricks, production twists, and even a guitar solo or two.His delicate, dynamic voice carries it all, and his surreal lyrics paint narratives about the importance of home.

EW caught up with Vernon while he was in town promoting Bon Iver, and he had quite a bit to say about the approach on his new album, his attachment to Wisconsin, and what he learned from Kanye West.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is it true Bon Iver was recorded in a converted animal hospital?
Yeah. It was a residence house. The family lived there and the guy worked out of the clinic that he built. It’s huge, this bi-level ranch house that just goes on forever. So we moved in and we’ve been changing everything around. There’s an indoor pool that we made into a recording room and stuff. It’s become a pretty fun place.

Do you live there too?
My cats live there. I have a little apartment in town that I sort of get to when I can.

Bon Iver is a very cohesive-sounding album, like it came out of one marathon writing session.
It’s interesting you say that. It was written in three years, but it’s all part of the same session. It was like one continuous movement of brain. Like, I had all this s— going on, but this record was always the thing I would return to. I would bring the stuff with me to listen to, and work on lyrics. Just like, “What is this?” We figured it out that way, I think, and it had this flow to it that was mysterious even to me. But it worked somehow. READ FULL STORY

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