Saturday, March 31, 2012

KISS, Motley Crue Take Aim at Rihanna, Awards Show Pop Stars

Article originally published on

Two of hard rock's biggest acts aren't happy with the state of pop.

"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them," KISS' Gene Simmons said on Tuesday afternoon as KISS and Motley Crue announced their first joint tour in three decades. "The guys you see on stage are playing their instruments. No fake bullshit. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A.'"

Backstage at the Roosevelt Hotel, Motley Crue's Tommy Lee expanded on his colleague's comments, criticizing the state of pop-heavy award shows.

"No disrespect to Rihanna, she's a great singer, but we're in a slump for some shit that has some personality and appeal beyond a bunch of pop stuff that's floating around out there," he told "I'm glad he said that actually because I don't think i can bear watching another f***ing award show that is just a little bit better than 'American Idol.' It's f***ing pathetic to watch people go out and f***ing karaoke with a bunch of lights and video. It's all completely watered down."

"He's right, anyone can buy a light show, anyone can buy pyro," KISS' Eric Singer added. "You can't keep reinserting a different he or she in there. you have to be able to get up there and play and sing."

Other members of the bands questioned the apparent dearth of guitar rock, on the road and elsewhere.

"It's a shame you don't have as many rock and roll bands, only the cream of the crop has survived," KISS' Tommy Thayer said. "It makes [the tour] more of a unique event. It's definitely the biggest rock show of the year."

While many musicians have found success online in recent years -- Rihanna, for instance, has 53 million Facebook likes -- KISS' Paul Stanley said the real fan interaction happens at the show.

"Isn't that what we're all about? We're only as good as the audiences. So fan interaction, that's really what rock and roll is," he said on Tuesday. "If you [just] want to listen to music, stay home and put it on the stereo."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Black Keys' Patrick Carney Clarifies Band's Stand on Spotify

In an interview with WGRD 97.9 after a show in Grand Rapids, Michigan last week, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney – in typical Patrick Carney fashion – expressed his continued frustration with the popular music streaming service Spotify.

"If it was fair to the artist, we would be involved in it," Carney told the station. "I imagine if Spotify becomes something that people are willing to pay for, then I'm sure iTunes will just create their own service, and they're actually fair to artists."

When asked about Napster founder and current Spotify board member Sean Parker's claim that within two years Spotify will be generating more revenue for the music industry than iTunes, Carney put it quite bluntly: "He's an asshole. That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that's the bottom line. You can't really trust anybody like that. The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I'm not totally against it. It's just we won't put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense."

Carney's statement should come as no surprise to Black Keys fans who looked to streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and MOG to hear the duo's latest album, El Camino, and found it missing. It was a planned move by Carney and bandmate Dan Auerbach, who withheld the record from such services for financial reasons, with Carney telling VH1 Spotify is "set up to be a little more fair for the labels than the artists."

Article by Rolling Stone

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Record Store Day 2012

With only a few weeks before we are all found dropping some hard earned cash at our local record stores, Record Store Day has revealed the full list of exclusive releases available for this year’s iteration.

Set for April 21st, this year’s Record Store Day already promised new, unreleased, or rare music from The White Stripes, The Flaming Lips, At The Drive-In, Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Feist, and Grouplove.

Here are some of the other notable releases:

Phish will reissue their first album, Junta, in two different deluxe LP configurations, including one (Pollock Version) which features a new piece of art by the original artists.

Devo will release a live album called Live in Seattle 1981. The 2-LP set was cut from a cassette recording of Devo show in Seattle, WA show in November 1981.

Jimmy Fallon will release his “Tebowie” tracks, “Tebowie” and “Reading Rainbow”, for the first time on 7″ vinyl.

Bruce Springsteen will release the Wrecking Ball track “Rocky Ground” and a live version of “The Promise” on 7″ vinyl.

Paul McCartney will reissue his first solo single, “Another Day”, b/w the B-Side “Oh Woman, Oh Why”, on an exclusive Record Store Day-only 7″.

David Bowie’s 1972 hit single “Starman” b/w a recording of the track from his Tops of Pops performance will be reissued on a limted 7″ picture disc.  

Uncle Tupelo’s first three studio albums, 1990′s No Depression, 1992′s Still Feel Gone, and 1992′s March 16-20, 1992, will be reissued on 180 gram vinyl.

Paul Simon’s Graceland 25th Anniversary edition will be available on vinyl.

Janis Joplin’s 1971 album, Pearl, will be reissued in an extremely rare mono format. Also available will be a companion vinyl, Highlights from The Pearl Sessions, featuring several previously un-released and almost-never-heard alternate takes and early versions of classic songs.

Lou Reed’s solo album Transformer and live album Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal will be reissued on vinyl.

Iggy and the Stooges’ classic LP Raw Power will be reissued on vinyl, with both the 1973 David Bowie mix and the 1997 Iggy Pop mix, along with a 16 page book.

Wilco’s latest LP, The Whole Love, will be available in a special “very” limited deluxe box set

Eddie Vedder will release a two-track 7″ comprised of live Pearl Jam covers, “Love Boat Captain” and “Wishlist”, recorded during his Ukelele Songs tour last year.

Ryan Adams will release a 7″ contain two Bob Mould covers, “Heartbreak A Stranger” and “Black Sheets Of Rain”, recorded during a tribute concert in Los Angeles last November.

Pete Townshend will release the Quadrophenia Demos Part 2 on 10″ vinyl.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Grateful Dead to release a Record Store Day exclusive LP

The Grateful Dead will release a special Limited Edition 180 Gram LP for this year’s Record Store Day. The LP, Dark Star: Europe ’72 Olympia Theatre – Paris, France 5/4/72, will feature what is billed as the longest version of “Dark Star” from the Dead’s Europe ’72 tour.

The version of “Dark Star” was previously released as part of Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings but has never been available as a standalone LP.

Rhino will press 4,200 copies of the Dark Star: Europe ’72 Olympia Theatre – Paris, France 5/4/72.

Here’s a look at the tracks on the LP:

Side 1 – Dark Star (19:21)
Side 2 – Drums (2:32), Dark Star (17:34)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Music Tuesdays...MDNA

I recently watched Madonna’s Truth or Dare on Palladia last week (yes, I watched it and admitted it) and felt obligated to write a review of the Material Girl’s 12th studio album, MDNA, which is available today.

Unlike some of Madonna’s contemporaries that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Madonna will always be held to a different set of standards.  Nearly three decades into her career, there is still an expectant buzz around her music. The ups, downs, and failed experiments of the Paul McCartneys or Neil Youngs of the world all feed into their mythologies.  Pop music is certainly more cutthroat: you're only good as your latest and newest single.

If you have only heard the two singles from MDNA, no one would fault you for expecting another bomb like 2008's dismal Hard Candy. "Girl Gone Wild" and "Give Me All Your Luvin'"are 80’s influenced, pop-rave tunes; a style that diminishes Madonna's personality almost completely and sounds like the typical fare you’d expect to hear while working out at the gym.  On the track "I'm Addicted,"  Madonna is reduced to chanting the album title simply to be heard over the banging drums.

There are, however, some highlights on the new album.  "Turn Up the Radio" is the kind of song that recalls past glories such as “Open Your Heart” which made everyone fall in love with Madonna in the first place.  The final batch of songs on the album were co-produced by her longstanding collaborator, William Orbit, and sound much more like the Madonna that fans have longed to hear since her Ray of Light era.

My favorite track on the album is actually the ballad, "Falling Free" which features only her voice, strings, and a sense of vulnerability; this song recalls one of her stronger ballads, “Live To Tell.”

I must say that at age 53, Madonna is comfortable in her own skin and still shines when she doesn’t attempt to follow the trends of today’s modern pop, the music that borrows so heavily from the playbook that she authored nearly thirty years ago.

The Showbiz Kids Rating:  5 out of possible 10   

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Monday, March 26, 2012

Members Of Grateful Dead, National, Walkmen Come Together For 'Bridge Session' Webcast

By Benjy Eisen, Rolling Stone
An assemblage of East Coast indie rockers flew to the Bay Area to collaborate with the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir for a one-time-only performance on Saturday night. Called the Bridge Session, the nine-person collective included three members of the National – Aaron Dessner, Bryan and Scott Devendorf – along with Walt Martin from the Walkmen, Sam Cohen and Josh Kaufman from the Yellowbirds, Conrad Doucette of Takka Takka, and National contributors Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett and Kyle Resnick. The performance took place in front of a live studio audience of just over 100 at Weir's TRI Studios in San Rafael, California, and was webcast live on Yahoo! Music.

"For us, the night definitely exceeded expectations," Scott Devendorf told Rolling Stone immediately following the show. "We were surprised that it was even going to happen in the first place, and then as we were rehearsing it became more and more real."
Devendorf says that he and his National bandmates were "big fans of the Grateful Dead for a long time" and recently got back into them. Working with Weir – and seeing his dedication to the music during several 10-hour rehearsal sessions – "kinda blew our minds ... It was definitely inspirational for us."
Saturday's two-set performance drew mostly from the Grateful Dead's vast catalog. Weir led the pack through what was no doubt familiar territory to him but strange waters to his sudden bandmates, as they ripped through jams such as "The Other One," "Brown Eyed Woman" and "Friend of the Devil."

But given the nine-person ensemble – and the musicians' somewhat disparate musical backgrounds – Weir was forced to rethink some of his approaches and, in some cases, alter the arrangements on tunes he's been performing for decades. Instead of morphing into "Slipknot," as was the Grateful Dead's custom, "Help on the Way" segued into a cover of Cass McCombs' "Love Thine Enemy." And in "Standing on the Moon," Weir even experimented with the melody, deviating from the way Jerry Garcia used to approach it when he sang it with the Dead.

"This next one, I had to park for 20 years," Weir told the audience while introducing the buried rarity, "My Brother Esau," explaining that it was a song the other guys specifically asked him to dust off for the show. "And I'm kinda glad they did," he said, "because it forced me to rework the bridge." No pun intended, of course.

The Bridge Session included two National tunes – "Daughters of the Soho Riots" and "Fake Empire." Weir handled vocals for the former, which he tinkered with in a way that referenced the original but which met him halfway towards his more characteristic vocal delivery. It proved a great match. The group also covered Bob Dylan's "Most of the Time."

For their encore, the entire ensemble ventured into the middle of the audience and huddled around a microphone, holding all acoustic instruments, for a singalong to "Ripple," "Uncle John's Band," and "Brokedown Palace" – all of which appear on the Dead's stripped-down 1970 albums, Workingman's Dead and Reckoning.

The Disco Biscuits' Marc Brownstein served as the night's emcee. As he told the audience at the start of the show, the idea behind the Bridge Session was to literally bridge the gap between genres, geographies and ideologies. Images of both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge – which reflected the musicians' two distinct home bases – served as a backdrop.

Between sets, Weir joined a roundtable political discussion moderated by Andy Bernstein of the voter registration group, HeadCount, which produced the event as a benefit for their organization. The discussion also featured independent presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, climate change activist Jessy Tolkan, No Labels cofounder Mark McKinnon and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. They debated topics such as money in politics, personal freedom and the upcoming presidential election. But, as Weir told Rolling Stone a few days before the show, his main goal for the night was to just "have fun." Mission accomplished.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On the turntable this Sunday...Billy Joel's The Stranger

The Stranger is the fifth studio album by musician Billy Joel, released in 1977. While his four previous albums had been moderate chart successes, this was his breakthrough album, and is generally regarded by critics as his magnum opus, spending six weeks at #2 in the U.S. album charts. It remains Joel's best-selling non-compilation album to date and was ranked number 67 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The Stranger contained nine songs; "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "She's Always a Woman," "Just The Way You Are," "Everybody Has A Dream," and "Only The Good Die Young" were all written prior to recording, while "Vienna," "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," "The Stranger," and "Get It Right The First Time" all came from short tunes or fragments of songs that Joel finished in the studio. Each song had stories attached to it. The seven-and-a-half-minute epic "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" began as the shorter "Ballad of Brenda and Eddie," a section that now forms the third part of the song. Joel came up with the signature whistle line for the title track, which he whistled to producer Phil Ramone, claiming that he needed to find an instrument to play it. Ramone replied: "No, you don't. That's 'The Stranger,' the whistling."

Four singles from the LP charted on the Billboard Hot 100: "Just The Way You Are," (#3), "Movin' Out" (#17), "She's Always a Woman," (#17), and "Only The Good Die Young" (#24). Many of the songs on the album are now staples on classic rock FM radio stations.

Much of the album's success is attributed to Joel's collaboration with producer Phil Ramone, whose innovative production methods complemented Joel's songs. This fruitful collaboration would continue for a decade. Singles released from the album include "Just the Way You Are" (which won the Grammy for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year), the acoustic ballad "She's Always A Woman," the mildly controversial "Only the Good Die Young," and "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," which later lent its title to Movin' Out, an acclaimed hit Broadway musical based on Billy Joel's songs. This album overtook Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water album to become the best-selling album on the Columbia Records imprint at the time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 67 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Whitney Houston Drowned with Cocaine in Her System, Autopsy Reveals

Whitney Houston's official cause of death was accidental drowning, according to an initial report from the L.A. County Coroner released Thursday, but a heart condition and cocaine use were also contributing factors.

The autopsy report reveals that Houston suffered from atherosclerotic heart disease, or a hardening of the arteries. The amount of cocaine found in her system will not be made public until the coroner's final report is released in two weeks.

Marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl and the muscle relaxant Flexeril were also found in Houston's system, but those drugs did not contribute to her death, the report says.

Houston's family has issued a public statement in response to the autopsy findings through Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and former manager. "We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure," reads the statement.

Houston died at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 11th, one day prior to the Grammy Awards.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Neil Young and Crazy Horse to release Americana on June 5th

Neil Young and Crazy Horse are set to release their new album,  Americana, on June 5th.  It's the band's first album together since 2003’s Greendale, and their first album with the full Crazy Horse line-up of Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina and Frank "Poncho" Sampedro since Broken Arrow was released in 1996.

The songs on Americana are all classic American folk songs:

"Oh Susannah"
"Tom Dooley"
"Gallows Pole"
"Get A Job"
"Travel On"
"High Flyin’ Bird"
"She’ll Be Comin ’Round The Mountain"
"This Land Is Your Land"
"Wayfarin’ Stranger"
"God Save The Queen"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

BUY THIS NOW: The Shins' 'Port of Morrow'

A little late on my review of the new release from The Shins, but the indie icons are back with the excellent Port Of Morrow (available now) which feels akin to a welcomed visit from a well-loved, dear old friend.

The talented James Mercer remains the only original member of The Shins, taking on all songwriting duties and masterfully leading the new incarnation of his rotating cast of band members.

The sound on the new record is leaps and bounds above the low-fi sounds the world was first introduced through Zach Braff and his 2004 film Garden State. Where Oh, Inverted World felt very much like the work of one dedicated and talented songwriter with a few instrumentalist friends, Port Of Morrow is truly a solid band effort.

Upon first listen, Port Of Morrow sounded to me almost too simple and pop-oriented, which stands in contrast from the experimentalism of Chutes Too Narrow  or their Grammy-nominated Wincing The Night Away.

I must say that Mercer's lyrics remain poetic and indecipherable enough to make even Michael Stipe proud.  Mercer sings "When I was just nine years old, I swear that I dreamt your face on a football field and a kiss that I kept" on the album’s lead single, Simple Song.  And while maybe not as experimental as fans are accustomed to on past efforts, the music on Port of Morrow remains lush, well-produced, and polished to perfection thanks to the new band: Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse), Richard Swift, Yuuki Matthews (Crystal Skulls), and Jessica Dobson (Beck's guitarist.)

Port Of Morrow has been a long time coming for fans of The Shins, four years since their last release, which is almost an eternity in today’s music business, but the album was well worth the wait and is solid from start to finish.  The Shins make a case for thoughtful and uplifting music in the age of ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ blogosphere fickleness, and that's something to be proud of.

Port Of Morrow demands repeated listens, but tracks that sounded like filler on the first and second listens are now among my favorites. These are songs to fall in love with, to grow up with, and to share with friends in need of a life-change. The Shins are back like an old, nearly forgotten friend and that’s a good thing.

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids
The Showbiz Kids Rating 9.5 out of possible 10

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scruffy City Roots



                                                    Hosted by Scott Miller and on-site interviews by Jack Neely.
Come join us at The Square Room for the inagural event of Knoxville's live radio and television show! Scruffy City Roots will feature Jill Andrews, Erick Baker, Cruz Contreras, and Robinbella with Rayland Baxter and Delta Rae.

                                                   Don't miss out on the first ever Scruffy City Roots this Thursday night!
PURCHASE                              TICKETS HERE

Choir! Choir! Choir! sings Big Star's "Thirteen"

Choir! Choir! Choir!  is a musical project in Toronto that pulls everyday people in to sing popular and not so popular songs. Don't turn your back on us because it sounds like Glee...the group is singing Big Star's "Thirteen" from their 1972 album #1 Record.  Big Star has been a big focus at this year's SXSW festival in Austin.  So take a listen to this version of a beautifully simple song.

Here's the Big Star version

To learn more about Big Star go to Big Star Story, Big Star blog or wikipedia Big Star.

Mike Smith, The Showbiz Kids

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Foo Fighters and Bob Mould

Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters was one of our most favorite albums of 2011. A track from the album called "Dear Rosemary" had been written with the intentions of Bob Mould singing and playing on the track. Dave Grohl has professed a love for Husker Du and Bob Mould and below you can see them singing it live on Conan.

There is much rich history to Bob Mould but I wanted to recognize this moment in 1992 when he  concocted the band Sugar and wrote one of the best albums you may not know called Copper Blue. During that time you couldn't have pried this album out of my cold dead hands. 
I was able to see him play it live at The Masquerade in Atlanta and he ripped thru the album never saying a word and left his blue stratocaster ringing out  the final chord on stage until he came back to retrieve it and start the encore.  Those were some fun days in Atlanta.

Mike Smith, The Showbiz Kids

Monday, March 19, 2012

Members of R.E.M. and Big Star join Blitzen Trapper onstage at SXSW

Blitzen Trapper finished an epic string of 11 performances at SXSW in memorable fashion Saturday night, performing a cover of Big Star's "Feel" with members of Big Star and R.E.M. on the second anniversary of singer-guitarist Alex Chilton's death.

"We're going to do my personal favorite Big Star song," Blitzen Trapper singer Eric Earley told the crowd, as Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Ken Stringfellow joined the band on stage at Stubb's for a spirited version of the tune. Earley sang lead vocals and played electric guitar, with Buck on acoustic guitar and Stringfellow playing bass and singing backing vocals with Mills.

Although Earley looked a little incredulous to see Mills and Stringfellow harmonizing together on one side of him and Buck strumming away on the other, it was drummer Brian Adrian Koch who would voice the feeling when the song was over.

"I can't believe that really just happened," Koch said.

"Feel" came in the middle of a rollicking set from the Portland, Oregon band, which mixed songs from last year's American Goldwing LP with with earlier tunes, including breakthrough single "Furr" and a rugged cover of Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times," to close the show.

Afterward, Earley told Rolling Stone that Big Star embodies what he loves about Seventies rock & roll.

"That early Big Star stuff is quintessential American 1970s, mustache-wearing, muscle-car-driving music, even if they weren't coming at it that way," he said.

The guest spot from Buck, Mills and Stringfellow came after Earley sat in with them on the same song during a Big Star tribute the night before. Also on hand was drummer Jody Stephens, the lone surviving member of the seminal power-pop band's original lineup. Chilton died of a heart attack in 2010, just days before Big Star was scheduled to perform that year at SXSW. Original bassist Andy Hummel died a few months later after a lengthy battle with cancer. Guitarist Chris Bell was killed in a car accident in 1978. In recent years, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies rounded out the Big Star lineup.

Stringfellow told Rolling Stone that he invited Earley to contribute to the Big Star tribute after hearing that the singer was a fan.

"It's like the ultimate secret handshake that's not a secret," he said, marveling at how Big Star's influence continues to filter down to subsequent generations of musicians.

That wasn't the only influence at work on stage Saturday: Earley has a fondness for R.E.M., too.

"They were my favorite band in high school," he said.

By Eric R. Danton, Rolling Stone

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Showbiz Kids Look at ONE

Well, it’s official-one year ago today, we launched The Showbiz Kids blog online with little more than a few ideas and a passion for music.  What has been overwhelming for us is the response we have received from our readers; nearly 26,000 total page views over the past 365 days!  (Not too shabby for a couple of married guys, who are trying to raise children and are merely working stiffs that enjoy blogging about music for a hobby.)

I must say a very humbled and heartfelt “THANK YOU” to everyone who reads our posts and musings on a regular basis.  Life sometimes gets in the way of all that we would like to write about and we really do feel guilty for re-posting articles that can be found on sites such as: Rolling Stone, Relix, or  So, while we are thanking people, many thanks to the various writers out there who are the true professionals.

The Showbiz Kids has certainly provided each of us with an outlet to be creative and write about the various music that we love so much.  The best part about it is that we have been blessed to get to know and interview some wonderful people here in Knoxville that keep the music scene alive and well in this wonderful city.  

We promise to keep the site going as long as we have people out there who are interested in reading what we have to say.  For that, we celebrate our first anniversary and appreciate all of your support over the past year!

On that note, please keep us informed of anything you would like us to write about as we are always open to your comments and suggestions.

Again, we thank you, our readers, for making The Showbiz Kids a success and we are excited about what the future holds for us in the days ahead.

-Will Fisher, Mike Smith, and Shawn Daniel, The Showbiz Kids

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Doors and Kerouac

I grew up with Kerouac. If he hadn't wrote On the Road, the Doors would have never existed.~ Ray Manzarek

Richards apologizes to fellow Rolling Stone Jagger

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has apologized to Mick Jagger for derogatory comments he made about the lead singer in his 2010 memoir "Life", which caused a rift within the band.

In comments reported by Rolling Stone magazine, the two rock'n'roll veterans agreed it was time to move on.

Fans will be relieved to see them burying the hatchet, as the row had threatened to undermine plans to celebrate the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary this year and to go on another world tour.

"Looking back at any career you are bound to recall both the highs and the lows," Jagger was quoted as saying. "In the 1980s for instance Keith and I were not communicating very well.

"I got very involved with the business side of the Stones, mainly because I felt no one else was interested, but it's plain now from the book that Keith felt excluded, which is a pity. Time I reckon to move on."

Richards added: "Mick's right. He and I have had conversations over the last year of a kind we have not had for an extremely long time and that has been incredibly important to me.

"As far as the book goes, it was my story and it was very raw, as I meant it to be, but I know that some parts of it and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that."

An eagerly anticipated world tour by one of the world's biggest music acts is now not expected to happen until 2013 at the earliest, according to the same magazine.

Some industry sources had put the delay down to the argument between Richards and Jagger, but Rolling Stone said it may be more closely linked to concerns over Richards' health.

"The quality of the guitarist's performances declined after he suffered a head injury on vacation in Fiji in April 2006, midway through the Bigger Bang tour," the magazine said.

As well as the tour, the Rolling Stones have announced the July 12 release of a picture book tracing their rise to global fame. The band debuted at the Marquee Club in London's Oxford Street on the same date in 1962.

There will also be a "groundbreaking" documentary film released in September.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Musical to Debut This Year

The Flaming Lips long-awaited musical Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, based on their 2002 album of the same name, will make its debut later this year at the La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, CA. According to an article on the LA Times Music Blog, the musical will premiere this winter, and will be written and directed by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys).

In addition to songs from Yoshmi Battles the Pink Robots the musical will also feature songs from albums including The Soft Bulletin and At War with the Mystics.

Yoshimi has been in the works since 2007 when Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing) was confirmed to write its script. However, as the LA Times points out, Sorkin’s name was not included in a press release revealed yesterday by La Jolla Playhouse.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Black Keys Storm Madison Square Garden

By Stacey Anderson, Rolling Stone

The Black Keys pulled something of a bait-and-switch at their Madison Square Garden show on Monday night: they stormed the stage as a quartet, with singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney supplemented by two backing musicians. The band soon proved that they didn't need the additional firepower, though; they cast off the extra players quickly, with a cocksure authority that became the night's theme, and showed unequivocally that they could command the arena alone.

For their first of two sold-out nights at MSG, the Keys remained faithful to their retro-rock ethos of late. The duo's shrewd hour-and-a-half set relied on minimal stage effects, an absence of marquee guests and the rudely heavy riffs of their recent seventh LP, El Camino – the same album that largely eschewed the Keys' blues roots, and not coincidentally, their most successful to date. More than any of the band's preceding material, the songs from El Camino cast a spell over the packed arena as Auerbach wound their hooks into broad, euphoric payoffs.

The Keys' slow-burn success over the past decade has hinged on their egos; longtime underdogs, they exude a kind of triumphal arrogance that was on full display at MSG. The duo opened with the sing-song chirp of "Howlin' for You" (from their Grammy-winning 2010 LP, Brothers), which was impeded by murky sound mixing. It clarified in time for El Camino's "Run Right Back," sped up into a plaintive squeal via the ferocious drumming of Carney, who hunched over his kit and took no solos in the show (no matter to the audience, who howled unabated each time the spotlight landed on him).

 When the band shed their two hired hands (bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist John Wood), they hit a stride of ragged, cavernous bombast that belied their numbers; Auerbach's riffs seemed the work of a full cavalry, decadent and drenching the Garden completely, especially on the faithful renditions of El Camino's "Dead and Gone" and "Gold on the Ceiling" and the drawling throwback "Girl Is On My Mind" from 2004's Rubber Factory. This pared-down interlude was the highlight of the set, and a clearly emotional one; the band also offered one nod to their 2002 debut, The Big Come Up, with the swaggering blues cadence of "I'll Be Your Man."

The manic pace was unyielding – the Keys' fervor hardly translates to inert ballads – and it culminated in "Tighten Up," with the Brothers single's roiling pace capped by Auerbach's note-perfect whistling. (Rolling Stone has already extolled his talents.) The band closed out the night with a buoyant, rapturous take on El Camino lead single "Lonely Boy," as Carney hulked over his kit with a determined grimace and Auerbach hopped on one foot in a fitting Chuck Berry allusion, goading the crowd to clap along.

After leaving the stage for a perfunctory few minutes, the pair returned underneath an obscenely large disco ball to deliver the lithe falsetto purr of Brothers' "Everlasting Light" – a song of such featherweight funk that it seemed incongruous when first released, but proved perfectly in sync with the glam inclinations of El Camino and also the Black Keys' powerful vitality at Madison Square Garden. The track wound down the evening as a succinct, poignant statement, a moment in which Auerbach and Carney seemed to assert that they always knew where they were going: straight to the biggest stages in the world.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who is Mayer Hawthorne?

In the event that you have not yet heard of Mayer Hawthorne, we at The Showbiz Kids wanted to make sure that our readers were aware of this extremely talented and retro-sounding, soul artist.  Mayer Hawthorne (born Andrew Mayer Cohen; February 2, 1979) is an American singer, producer, songwriter, arranger, audio engineer, DJ, rapper and multi-instrumentalist currently based out of Los Angeles, California.  Hawthorne’s sound is certainly reminiscent of some of the great music from the golden era of Motown and Soul, while remaining fresh and new as is evident on his  2nd studio release, How Do You Do.

Cohen took his stage name "Mayer Hawthorne" from a combination of his middle name (Mayer) and the name of the street he grew up on in Michigan (Hawthorne Rd). "Mayer Hawthorne and The County" is a name Cohen often uses when performing or recording as Mayer Hawthorne with other artists.  According to Cohen, "The County" is basically anyone who plays an instrument or sings on his album and “The Country” is also his band when he performs live. 

In addition his solo career, Cohen also performs and records hip-hop under the name “Haircut.” His DJ name, “Haircut,” is an ode to his childhood. He would get upset and throw a tantrum every time he had to get a haircut as a child, so his parents would take him to buy a record to take his mind off the trauma.

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan,  Hawthorne moved to Los Angeles in 2008 and was eventually signed to Stones Throw Records by label head Peanut Butter Wolf.  Originally, the Mayer Hawthorne tracks were meant to be just side projects for pleasure, but upon hearing them Peanut Butter Wolf insisted they be made into an album.

Mayer Hawthorne draws influence from the music of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson, Mike Terry, Barry White, Smokey Robinson and the legendary songwriting and production trio of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Edward Holland, Jr. (known collectively as Holland–Dozier–Holland).  His debut album, A Strange Arrangement was released on CD and Vinyl on the Stones Throw Records imprint on September 8, 2009.

Discussing How Do You Do, Hawthorne says, "I found my own unique sound on this album, which I'm excited about." The album has a vintage sound, which involves twelve '70s inspired tracks, filled with orchestral pop and funky bass lines—"I've taken what I can from the classic heroes of soul and updated it with the music I grew up listening to and loving like Public Enemy and Juan Atkins and Cybotron." Despite Hawthorne's jazz sound, he first found his musical voice in hip-hop and rap from his father, who plays in a band in Detroit, Michigan.

On July 15, 2011, Mayer Hawthorne was a guest, along with famed Memphis/Stax Records keyboardist Booker T. Jones, on Episode 43 of Daryl Hall's "Live from Daryl's House" Webcast. Hawthorne, Hall, and Jones combined with Hall's house band on "Strange Arrangement," "No Strings," "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," and "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'" as well as the Hall and Oates classics "You Make My Dreams Come True" and "Private Eyes." During Hall's dinner for the group, Hawthorne stated that, when working as a hip-hop DJ, he began recording his own Motown-style tracks to avoid paying fees for sampling other artists' work. He also played all the instruments on each of those tracks, in addition to recording all his own vocals.

Mayer Hawthorne and The County were musical guests on the Conan O'Brien Show on October 17, 2011, and the David Letterman Show on October 25, 2011. On both shows, the group performed their first single from How Do You Do entitled "The Walk."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Springsteen kicks off the Wrecking Ball tour and a 10year anniversary

Bruce Springsteen celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the satellite radio company Sirius on Friday night at the famous Apollo Theater. Preceding the show Sirius had great interviews with Max Weinberg and Jon Landau, Bruce's longtime friend and manager, while you could hear the sounds at The Apollo in the background.

Bruce Springsteen rocks out at The Apollo Theater
Saturday March 10, 2012 10:10 AM By Glenn Gamboa

Don't worry. It was still a party.

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band's show last night at the Apollo Theater had so much baggage attached – the high expectations for the first full concert since the death of Clarence “Big Man” Clemons last year, as well as the weight of being the first concert in support of the new album “Wrecking Ball” (Columbia) about struggles and celebration in a time of economic hardship. The stakes were even higher as the private two-hours-plus show was broadcast live on SiriusXM, as part of the satellite radio company's 10th anniversary celebration.
But Springsteen and the even mightier than usual E Street Band, now 15 members strong, delivered, dropping the stress as effortlessly as James Brown has shrugged off his cape so many times on the historic Apollo stage. Springsteen recreated the moment during “Hold On, I'm Coming” to end the show, with Steven Van Zandt draping a black t-shirt on his shoulders instead of a cape – the grandest of all the nods he made to playing the legendary venue.

“If you played in a bar on the central New Jersey shore in the ’60s and ’70s, you played soul music,” he explained, before launching in to an impressive version of “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” that opened a capella with lush harmonies from Springsteen and five of the E Street Band's singers. “We knew that way off in some never-never land of rhythm and blues there was a place called the Apollo... It was the home of the gods and the true temple of soul.”
However, as much as he paid tribute to the Apollo, there was even more love for his late saxophone player Clarence Clemons. During “My City of Ruins,” which became far more soulful thanks to the five-piece horn section now led by Clemons' nephew, Jake Clemons, Springsteen declared a roll call, with each member getting introduced and taking a solo. (When Jake Clemons nailed his first solo in “Badlands,” there was a noticeable sigh of relief followed by wild cheers.)
Then Springsteen asked, “Are we missing anybody?” repeating the question until the star-studded audience -- including Tom Hanks, Elvis Costello, and Ben Stiller -- understood he was referring to Clemons and longtime keyboard player Danny Federici, who died in 2008. He led the crowd in a rousing ovation before saying, “If you're here and we're here, they're here.”
During “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” Springsteen stopped the song entirely after singing, “The Big Man joined the band” to allow for another huge ovation.
The tributes added another level to the already-layered show. It puts the “Wrecking Ball” album mission statement, “We Take Care of Our Own” into a new context. It makes the epic title track's defiant taunt of “Bring on your wrecking ball” even more emotional and the payoff line, “Hard times come and hard times go” all the more soothing.
“On our new record, our motto is dancing and crying,” Springsteen said, introducing a stunningly spare version of his classic “Mansion on the Hill,” from the 1982 “Nebraska” album, accompanied only by the harmonies of his wife, Patti Scialfa, and Soozie Tyrell on violin. “This one is just crying.”
There was more dancing than crying in the eight songs he rolled out from the new album, though some offered both, especially in “Death to My Hometown” and the gospel-styled “Rocky Ground,” which featured Michelle Moore singing and rapping. Even “Land of Hope and Dreams,” which on previous tours had been cast as more of an emotional plea, has become tougher and more rocking, thanks again to the larger horn section.
The Springsteen classics chosen specifically to support the “Wrecking Ball” economic theme packed the most punch, though. “Promised Land” outlines the same “Wrecking Ball” desire for the American dream, as does “Thunder Road.”
“We've got some old friends and some new friends with us, but our mission remains the same,” Springsteen said early in the night. “We're here to bring the power, hour after hour. We're here to put a whoop-ass session on the recession. We're here to bring a smile to your face, an extra beat to your heart, and to raise your spirits high in these hard times.”
Mission accomplished.
(The "Wrecking Ball" tour hits the Izod Center April 3 and 4 and Madison Square Garden April 6 and 9.)
SET LIST: We Take Care of Our Own / Wrecking Ball / Badlands / Death to My Hometown / My City of Ruins / The E Street Shuffle / Jack of All Trades / Shackled and Drawn / Waiting on a Sunny Day / Promised Land / Mansion on the Hill / The Way You Do The Things You Do / 634-5789 / The Rising / We Are Alive / Thunder Road / Rocky Ground / Land of Hope and Dreams / Tenth Avenue Freeze Out / Hold On I'm Comin'

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On the turntable this Sunday...There Goes Rhymin' Simon

There Goes Rhymin' Simon is the third solo studio album by American musician Paul Simon rush-released on May 5, 1973. It contains songs covering several styles and genres, such as gospel ("Loves Me Like a Rock") and dixieland ("Take Me to the Mardi Gras"). It received two nominations at the Grammy Awards of 1974, including Best Male Pop Vocal performance and Album of the Year. It was ranked #267 on the list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
As foreshadowed by the feel-good lead single "Kodachrome" (which reached #2 on the Billboard charts, blocked by Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round in Circles"), There Goes Rhymin' Simon proved to be a bigger hit than its predecessor, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart (kept off the top spot by George Harrison's Living in the Material World), and #1 on Cashbox Magazine for one week on June 30, 1973.[4] In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at #4. Subsequent singles were also the #2 single "Loves Me Like a Rock" (knocked-off by Cher's "Half-Breed", but reaching #1 on Cashbox on September 29, 1973), and the Top 40 hit "American Tune". Also "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" was released in the UK reaching the Top 20.
The song "Kodachrome" is named after the Kodak film of the same name. Kodak required the album to note that Kodachrome is atrademark of Kodak. The song was not released as a single in Britain, where it could not be played on BBC radio due to its trademarked name. The song "Was a Sunny Day" has an interesting reference to early rock and roll in the line "She called him Speedo but his Christian name was Mr. Earl" which echos the chorus from the 1955 song from The Cadillacs "Speedo", with "others call him Speedo but his real name is Mr. Earl", their lead singer, Earl "Speedo" Carroll.