Weezer’s self-titled debut album came out 20 years ago today. I wrote about this watershed anniversary in the pages of this week’s issue, but here are a lot more thoughts I had while paying homage to one of the best rock debuts in the history of the medium.
Tag: Tributes (1-10 of 44)
Rodney Bryce, better known as DJ E-Z Rock, passed away on Sunday of as-yet unknown causes. He was 46 years old.
Fifteen years ago today, Ben Folds Five released their third album, titled The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. It is by no means a masterpiece (though it is ultimately underrated), and had to have been considered a commercial disappointment after the group’s previous effort, 1997’s Whatever and Ever Amen, went Platinum on the back of the breakout single “Brick.”
But Reinhold Messner is also deeply wonderful in its strangeness, and it stands as one of the ballsier post-crossover albums a one-hit wonder ever produced. (And make no mistake: BFF is a one hit wonder—Folds had solo success after the band broke up, but their impact as a collective begins and ends with “Brick.”) To celebrate the album’s 15th anniversary (an off-kilter number, I acknowledge), here are 15 thoughts about an album that I literally think about every day.
Twenty years ago, we lost Kurt Cobain. Few singular stars were as deeply influential as the Nirvana frontman, who smashed apart the otherness of the rock star persona and made it a more egalitarian pursuit.
No two Nirvana albums were ever alike, and it seemed like Cobain’s musical horizons were continuing to expand when he left us. His approach to singing, his songwriting style, and his band’s shifting dynamics so permeated rock radio that there seemed to be an entire subgenre of hit-making bands (Bush, Silverchair, Sponge, and the like) who seemed to exist solely as Nirvana avatars. READ FULL STORY
Kurt Cobain’s old home sits in Seattle’s quiet Denny-Blaine neighborhood, a posh place with water views where people probably kept to themselves even before an iconic rock star died in their midst. The room over the garage where the Nirvana singer’s body was found on April 8, 1994, after he ended his life at 27 with a gunshot wound to the head, is now gone, and the house is isolated by a large fence, an imposing gate, and some Middle-earth-level greenery growing up around it, so fans tend to stick to Viretta Park next door. There, a pair of benches have acted as a standing tribute to Cobain, with decades’ worth of messages etched into the wood by grunge pilgrims from around the world. I’ve made this trek myself multiple times, and as I sit on one of the benches, the same question that has occupied alt-rock devotees for the past 20 years tugs at me: Had he not died so young, what would Kurt Cobain’s music sound like now?
While primarily known as a the dude behind Trapped in the Closet, R. Kelly has also been active in celebrating and supporting the music and culture of Africa.
In fact, Kelly once wrote a song for the late Nelson Mandela called “Soldier’s Heart,” which he performed for Mandela in his home several years ago. Last night on The Arsenio Hall Show, Kelly stopped by to talk about meeting Mandela and performed “Soldier’s Heart” by himself at the piano. Check it out below. READ FULL STORY
Bruce Springsteen dedicated his protest song “American Skin (41 Shots)” to teenager Trayvon Martin during a concert in Limerick, Ireland.
In a video posted online, the 63-year-old singer told the crowd Tuesday: “We’ll send this as a letter back home for justice for Trayvon Martin,” after noticing a fan’s sign that read “American Skin (41 Shots).”
George Zimmerman was acquitted Saturday of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Martin’s death. Zimmerman said he fired his gun in self-defense during a February 2012 confrontation with the 17-year-old in Sanford, Fla.
READ FULL STORY
Jon Stewart will host Bruce Springsteen tribute featuring Elton John, Mumford & Sons, Faith Hill, more
You know who’s great? Bruce Springsteen. You know who thinks so? Just about everybody — including MusiCares.
The charity, which helps out musicians with financial and medical assistance during times of need, has named the Boss their 2013 Person of the Year, and on Friday, February 8 (just two days before the Grammy Awards), Jon Stewart will host a tribute gala to Springsteen, his music, and his extensive charity work.
The lineup is an eclectic mix of Springsteen’s peers, collaborators, famous fans, and spiritual protégés, including Elton John, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Faith Hill, John Legend, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, Sting, Jim James, Mavis Staples, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Ben Harper, Tom Morello, Tim McGraw, Patti Smith, and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. The event, which will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is already sold out.
Springsteen is well deserving of the award, as he has committed himself to giving back to a number of worthy groups over the course of his long career. His most recent work came as part of outreach in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which badly battered the coastline of Springsteen’s home state of New Jersey.
Stewart, famously, is a longtime Springsteen fan and fellow New Jersey denizen; it’s not even the first time Stewart has formally paid tribute to Springsteen, as he spoke on Bruce’s behalf at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009, and interviewed him for a lengthy Rolling Stone cover story last March. READ FULL STORY
The tragic news of Jenni Rivera’s death this weekend inspired an outpouring of fond remembrances and condolences, with everyone from Pitbull to Carson Daly paying their respects to the late singer. Among those impacted by the loss was fellow Mexican pop star Paulina Rubio, who got to know Rivera personally during their time together on The Voice Mexico. As a farewell to her fallen friend, Rubio was kind enough to write us a touching tribute to Rivera, which you can read below:
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