August 15, 2013 |
Justin Timberlake is the latest performer added to the lineup for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, the network announced Thursday. Pop's comeback kid tied Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with a leading six nominations, and he will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The honor, which celebrates “innovation and artistry in music video creation and impact,” has previously gone to Jackson, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, REM, the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Timberlake's famous ex, Britney Spears, who was the last artist to receive the award in 2011. REVIEW: Justin Timberlake and Jay Z at the Rose Bowl Earlier this year, Timberlake marked his return to music with “The 20/20 Experience,” his first album in seven years and so far the year's biggest-selling album, with 2 million copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
July 11, 2013 |
Rick Rubin has remained in the public eye for nearly 30 years now, a rare producer/executive/music enthusiast whose ubiquity hasn't diminished either his consistency or his image. Already in 2013, the co-founder of Def Jam Records, former president of Columbia Records, producer of as many flat-out classics as anyone, has been as present as ever due to his work with both Kanye West and Black Sabbath, and his appearance with Jay-Z in a recent ad campaign for a smartphone company. The sheer volume of contributions is overwhelming, and the evidence is on the mixtape “King of Rock: (Some of)
June 19, 2013 |
Tuesday night's Pitbull and Kesha double-bill at the Hollywood Bowl was one of the oddest pop shows of the year. Two distinct crowds, two different ways of tackling danceable pop, and a venue built for sylvan music royalty upended into a salacious grind-down. We'll have a full review in a bit, but here are a few initial surprises from the night -- besides the bar tab we awoke to this morning. 1. Pitbull says, "Jump," stars ask, "How high?" The rapper, born Armando Perez, made his career as the third-verse pinch hitter for a huge catalog of pop rap and Latin acts looking for a little bawdy banter in a single.
June 18, 2013 |
It's not the most original conceit: blending rappers with the Beatles to create a new work. It's how Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton first made his name in 2004 with his "Grey Album,' which mixed a cappella recordings of Jay-Z rapping from his "Black Album" with reworked songs from the Beatles' self-titled record known as "The White Album. " But done properly, as DJ BC has with "Ill Submarine," the results can be a lot of fun. The third volume of his so-called Beastles project once again proves how well-suited the Beatles' music is for co-opting and transforming.
May 25, 2013 |
Concert music: I'm supposed to embrace it all. As the socially lucky offspring of professional pianists, I have survived music school, performed songs for actual money and worked in radio as well as a critic passionate about today's composers. That said, I keep a dark secret: There's a fair amount of music I cannot stand. Stuff from many eras that I've wondered whether I could ever learn to love. As with a lot of people who worship or hardly know the standard concert repertoire, I'm turned off by some dissonant music.
May 13, 2013 |
At some point, every enduring musician has to prove his or her worth and silence the doubters. The Beatles first succeeded with "Revolver," the Beastie Boys with "Paul's Boutique," Wilco on "Summer Teeth. " Talking Heads raised the bar with "Fear of Music," Lauryn Hill with "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. " New York band Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of those records, a brave, surprising third effort that's both challenging and confident, catchy but progressive, expertly imagined and executed.
May 6, 2013 |
This morning I woke up way too early, checked my Twitter and read music critic Maura Johnston confidently declare that Mariah Carey had just released the "song of the summer.” I groaned, rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, filled with a combination of skepticism and dread. After all, the evidence had already piled up against it: The song contains a hashtag, is called “#Beautiful,” and features one of the most overused words in the English language. Silly, trendy and typical, I snobbishly judged -- before hearing even a lick of it. While making coffee a few hours later, the computer stared, headphones laying wait.
May 4, 2013 |
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys -- perhaps better known to his fans as MCA -- died at the age of 47 one year ago, on May 4, 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer. To mark the occasion, a New York City park was renamed in his honor on Friday in Brooklyn, not far from where Yauch grew up. "It's fitting that we're here today to dedicate a playground to Adam Yauch because, like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys is for the children," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said at a ceremony attended by guests including Yauch's parents and fellow Beastie Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, according to Rolling Stone . Earlier this week, publisher Spiegel & Grau announced that it will publish a memoir by Horovitz and Yauch's other surviving bandmate, Michael "Mike D" Diamond.
April 29, 2013 |
Rumors that the Beastie Boys would soon be penning a memoir were confirmed on Monday by the book's U.K. publisher, Faber & Faber: " Yes, it is true ," the imprint's blog said. The book will be released in the U.S. by Spiegel & Grau, and is planned for fall 2015. The book, by surviving Beasties Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) will rely on oral storytelling as its primary narrative technique. The third member of the group, Adam Yaunch (MCA), succumbed to cancer last year.
April 4, 2013 |
How best to celebrate the 35th anniversary of a beloved live album? By re-creating it onstage, of course. That's the approach being taken by Cheap Trick, which announced Thursday that it plans to play "Cheap Trick at Budokan," the power-pop veterans' 1978 concert classic, at two shows this month. On April 28, the band will play the John Varvatos boutique in New York, at the former address of the defunct punk club CBGB. Cheap Trick will then head west for a gig at L.A.'s El Rey Theatre on April 30. TIMELINE: Coachella and Stagecoach Both concerts are to re-create the show Cheap Trick played on April 28, 1978, at Tokyo's Budokan.