March 29, 2014 |
The characters in Brandy Clark's songs aren't necessarily where they thought they'd be in life. There's the woman buying pharmaceuticals out of some guy's trunk in "Take a Little Pill. " There's the woman living for religion and lotto-winning dreams in "Pray to Jesus. " And there's the married woman, in "What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven," standing in front of a hotel elevator, contemplating a rendezvous with a married man. "Ten floors up he's waiting with Champagne and candlelight," Clark sings, her voice leaking both hope and preemptive regret, "What'll keep me out of heaven will take me there tonight.
April 9, 2013 |
If presidential politics ever involved time travel, President Obama might be in a little trouble. If an election between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama were held today, 58% would vote for Reagan over Obama, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans age 18 and older conducted by Kelton Research for the National Geographic Channel. Though when the field is narrowed to people ages 18-34 -- those either too young to have known Reagan as president or too young to remember much -- the gap shrinks to 51% in favor of Reagan.
April 10, 1989 |
For some of us, one of the more satisfying moments in recent country music history came 2 years ago during the Academy of Country Music Awards show. There the members of Alabama sat in aisle seats, smug looks on faces, sporting sequined Admirals' uniforms and other suitably respectful attire, waiting to snork up their yearly pile of awards. And there they continued to wait, as new-traditionalists such as Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam walked by with all the trophies. Maybe it was cruel to enjoy their discomfiture but it can't be any more cruel than what Alabama continues to do to country music, evidenced most recently by the group's deposit of treacly effluvium Friday evening at the Pacific Amphitheatre.
April 27, 2014 |
Jason Aldean's purest, most Jason Aldean-ish song -- and therefore, perhaps, the one that got the biggest response during the singer's headlining set Saturday at Stagecoach -- is "1994," from his album "Night Train. " A ready-made crowd-pleaser set at the perfect beer-hoisting tempo, it's got crunching hair-metal guitars, a bouncy hip-hop beat -- and lyrics made up in large part of the titles of songs by another country singer, Joe Diffie. Aldean is a bro-country veteran with huge hits stretching back to 2005, five years before Luke Bryan (who'll close Stagecoach on Sunday)
June 22, 2012 |
Dick Clark was fond of saying "music is the soundtrack to your life. " It probably won't be the soundtrack to the sale of Dick Clark Productions. Put on the block last week by Red Zone Capital Management, a private equity firm controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Dick Clark Productions counts among its assets more than 30 years of episodes of "American Bandstand," the weekly dance show of top hits that usually featured big-name singers performing as well. That would seem to be a potential gold mine of rock 'n' roll history, but making money off of it is another story.
April 2, 2009 |
A new album from "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus fell short of No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts in its first week of release, raising the question: Are the tween star's fans ready for her to go a little bit country? Only a year ago, Cyrus' 3-D concert film set records, and scalpers were charging thousands for tickets to her live concerts. Her last three major releases debuted at the top of the charts. But the new record's sales were a fraction of her previous studio albums' first-week sales.
April 4, 2014 |
Broad of shoulder and booming of voice, Bob Romeo is a memorable guy with a seemingly memorable job title: chief executive of the Academy of Country Music. Based in Encino, it's one of that genre's two principal trade groups along with Nashville's Country Music Assn.; both seek to promote the style through concerts, festivals and, most visibly, televised award shows. But although they have their differences, the organizations are commonly known by acronyms - ACM and CMA - that can lead to confusion.
April 9, 2013
Roll over, Hank Williams, and tell Patsy Cline the news: Nashville has a new top music awards show. Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards show on CBS drew 15.4 million viewers, according to early data from Nielsen (final ratings won't be published until Tuesday). It was the first time since at least 1987 that the ACMs beat the same season's airing of its rival, the Country Music Assn. awards telecast on ABC. Last November, the CMAs crooned for 13.7 million viewers. This was also the largest audience for the academy show in 15 years.
August 26, 2011 |
With the huge rise in popularity of young female country stars such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood taking home Grammys and other awards and climbing to No. 1 on Billboard charts, it's difficult to imagine a time when the women of country music did not appeal to such a wide audience. But before Swift, Underwood and Miranda Lambert, there were a handful of women like Dolly Parton paving the way for female country stars. "Dolly created a very powerful and realistic role model picture of artist and songwriter for aspiring young female country artists.
January 20, 1996 |
The music rolling out of the speakers is classic country, a song about pouring one more drink. Out in the recording studio proper, Vince Gill is standing at a microphone adding a layer of high tenor harmony to George Jones' growling lead. The song itself--"Just One More"--dates back to 1955, and it's country the old way, the kind of country music that finally allowed Gill to break through to superstardom with "When I Call Your Name" in 1990. So the singer from Norman, Okla.