Category Archives: music

Attention, Teachers: If My Son Seems Tired Tomorrow, It’s Probably Because of Pearl Jam

pearl-jam-jeff-vrabel-eddie-vedderIsland Packet — Soooo everyone here would take their 10-year-olds to a Wednesday night rock concert in a far-away city, right? That’s an acceptable parenting decision? Because I kinda sorta did this, and the response so far seems to be evenly split between “He’ll remember it his whole life” and “You are a negligent monster and we’re kicking you off the PTO.”

I agree with them both, because I started out the night with a fifth-grader whom I wanted to expose to new experiences, but left the show carrying my sleepy baby because he fell stone-cold asleep in an arena chair.

There I was last night with my son at a Pearl Jam concert, a good two hours away from his night-night books, bed and the school he was required to attend at 7:40 a.m. the next morning. And there he was, sound asleep, curled up in the chair like a precious little angel, albeit one surrounded by guys carrying 60-ounce beers and shout-singing lyrics from college. Given the chance, the kid will tuck himself into bed under a bundle of blankets and stuffed bears and read Percy Jackson books until 11:30 each night, but take him to a concert and it’s “Ohhh I’m sleepy at 9:30, did you bring a pillow?”

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‘I Tell People We’re Like the United Nations': How Ben Jaffe Preserves Preservation Hall

586x286MusicPreservationHall

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South Magazine — There aren’t many music rooms in the land more safeguarded, undiluted and pleasingly frozen in time than Preservation Hall in New Orleans, a low-lit and spookily evocative venue that’s about the size of your living room and way more sparsely decorated.

Since 1961, the room has hosted one primary tenant: the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, whose members have both lit up St. Peter Street and served as traveling evangelists of the New Orleans music for 50 years. But though the band has been guarding and perpetuating the sound of its birthplace for more than a half a century, last year they did something they’d never done before: drop an album of original material. That record, “That’s It!’, composed by the band and produced by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, earned the group fresh ears, got it playing with the Roots on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and properly kicked off the next 50 years of its history.

“That’s It!” was partly the brainchild of bassist/sousaphonist Ben Jaffe, who, as the hall’s creative director as well as the son of founders Allan and Sandy Jaffe, is charged with guarding and expanding the foundations laid by everyone from Jelly Roll Morton to King Oliver to Louis Armstrong. He talked to South about how to get that done.

Does your daughter have any notion what her dad does for a living?
Well she doesn’t know we make money doing it (laughs). But she understands that music is going on. She comes to the Hall to see us, and she wants to be around the music. She loves it; kids are such little blank hard drives.

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A Conversation With Jimmy Buffett (Time)

Jimmy Buffett press photo

Time.com — Jimmy Buffett adds to his considerable pirate treasure with constant touring: traveling carnivals-slash-beach-blanket blowouts of friendly grass-skirted hedonisms. His shows are as constant as the tides, the stars and — to be slightly less romantic about the whole thing — the receipts at the end of each. But why not? At 66, Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band are still good for nearly 30 songs a night, and no one’s better at suggesting escape and rum drinks are just a snap decision away.

Buffett talked from his Long Island, NY home about retirement, Michael Jordan, Willie Nelson and…surfing.

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Wait, you were really surfing this morning?

“Yeah, if there are waves, I’ll be out there. It’s crowded out here [at Montauk] but the conditions were right, so I was in the water at like 7:30. It’s a passion first — well, some would say it’s an affliction rather than a passion, but whatever it is, I’ve got it. I’m an old-fart surfer, but it keeps me in shape and it generates some interesting byproducts in the way of song lyrics.”

Read the full Q&A here.

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Ed Helms: How To Cure Three Hangovers (Men’s Health)

Photo / Emily Shur

Men’s Health — When Ed Helms talks about the “jelly center” of the characters he plays on TV and in movies, he’s referring to the goodness at their core. By all outward appearances, these are not fully formed men. Some are downright mean, the sorts of jerks you’d avoid in real life. On The Daily Show, Helms played, in his words, “a character who’s kind of a dick who also has my name. Then he was the volatile man-child Andy Bernard onThe Office, the spineless dentist Stu Price in the Hangover movies, and the overwound Pat in Jeff Who Lives at Home.

In Helms’s hands, these guys become something unexpected: relatable, authentic, jelly-centered human beings. Even cowards and assholes are human deep inside, and that’s enough to warm Ed Helms’s heart.

“I have so much empathy for these characters,” he says. “I’ve tossed a couple hand grenades in my life, and I’ve paid the price. So I sympathize with somebody who’s trying to be a better person but isn’t really good at it. There’s some of that in a lot of us.”

Read more in the June issue of  Men’s Health.

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Josh Ritter Has Recorded American Music’s Most Upbeat Divorce Record

Josh Ritter

Island Packet — Some artists spend their whole careers deflecting explanations about what they’ve written, preferring to leave such details up to the adaptable whims of the listener or the perpetual appeal of mystery. In announcing his new record — the sterling, stop-reading-this-and-go-buy-it-already “The Beast In Its Tracks” — Josh Ritter dragged the explanation on stage and threw a spotlight on it.

“I wrote and recorded this record in the 18 months after my marriage had fallen apart,” he said in the album announcement/message to fans. “All heartbreak is awful — my broken heart wasn’t unique. But writing these songs was helping me get through the night, and I didn’t have the strength to care or question.” And thus was born what the media/Internet christened Josh Ritter’s Divorce Record.

But if you’ve been following Ritter’s career — if you haven’t, you should immediately seek out his 2002 debut “The Golden Age of Radio” and listen onward through 2007’s “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter” — you know that the Idaho-born singer is not one for self-immolation, or even allowing himself too much time on the dark side of town.

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The Mayan Apocalypse is coming. It’s probably time to call Britney.

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This image contains coded patterns which mystically herald the coming of the Apocalypse or some crap.

Island Packet (Stolen Hastily From November 2009) — ‘What do you think about this 2012 madness?” Paul Mitchell asks me via the newsroom’s instant-message system earlier this week. Paul Mitchell is a line of high-end hair care products, but he also is an actual human person who works in the newsroom. At one time Paul, being of a considerably younger vintage, failed to correctly identify Bruce Springsteen on the television. Illogically, we’re friends anyway.

The movie looks like silliness, I reply, but on the other hand, “Independence Day” was a pretty great movie in which many objects were indiscriminately exploded, such as the White House and Lone Star from “Spaceballs,” so it might be fun.

“Not the movie,” Paul says, an icy fear creeping noticeably into his online voice. “All I gotta say is I’m panicking if that mess comes my way in three years.”

Paul was, I surmised, referring to the Mayan prophecy that says the end of times will take place in the year 2012. It’s also the hook of “2012,” a new movie by destroyed-landmark fetishist and director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow”) that stars John Cusack, both of whom, it turns out, appear in a strong percentage of Mayan prophecies. In their lore, Cusack is actually immortal.

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Dan Winters: Ingenious Iconographer (South Magazine)

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The South Magazine — To call Dan Winters a “celebrity photographer” is to miss much of the story.

It’s understandable that people default to the celebrity hook when describing Winters’ work. His style of portraiture is atmospheric, instantly recognizable and a touch other-wordly. There are shots of Tom Hanks, Tupac, Michael Jordan, Jack White, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio, Heath Ledger, Christopher Walken, and a ’50s-inspired version of Laura Dern, lost in some off-camera distance, treated to a desaturated color palette and feeling more permanent and mortal than most ephemeral celebrity photographs. It doesn’t take many glances for even untrained eyes to begin instinctively identifying a Winters portrait.

But if labels make things easier, then Winters—who turns 50 in October and has kept a house on Tybee Island for 14 years—is also an aerospace photographer, an entomological photographer (with a lively interest in electron microscopes), a documenter of America, a chronicler of Texas gang life, a photographer of women in the military, a builder, illustrator and creator of collages and much more. His is a broad, stretching body of work that, he admits, is frustrating to see distilled down to that of a guy who only takes pictures of famous people.

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Find the full story in the October/November issue of South Magazine.

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Sean Haire: When The Devil Came Down To Georgia (South Magazine)

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The South Magazine— Sean Haire is a former professional wrestler/mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who has also been a 17-time Toughman competition winner, boxer, personal trainer, strip club bouncer, bodyguard, trainer of other bodyguards, and three-time WCW World Tag Team Wrestling Champion. He still looks the part: At 41, he’s 6′5″, 280 pounds, and with the fire-and-spiderweb tattoos, it’s hard to miss him in a coffee shop that’s currently really into Jack Johnson music.Two or three times during our interview, Haire says something cool and outside the window, perfectly timed lightning shatters the sky. Some people have a flair for the dramatic. Which is one of the reasons he plans to make a great hair stylist..
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Kenny Chesney: He Works Hard So You Can Relax (Men’s Health)

Men’s Health — ONE OF KENNY CHESNEY’S BREEZIEST songs has the comforting title “Be As You Are.” It’s basically what would happen if you folded up the island of St. John and slipped it into a cassette deck—an acoustic carpe diem about finding an idyllic Caribbean harbor within yourself. This is a nice sentiment, and elements of Chesney’s life mirror the song. He spends an enviable amount of time in the tropics, and even when landlocked he seems to fully embody life in paradise. No man is an island? Tell that to Chesney.

On his epic summer tours, he creates a tiki-bar atmosphere on football fields in places like Indianapolis and Kansas City. He makes 50,000 people think they’re at a tin-roofed beachside canteen that seats nine. He preaches simplicity and oceanside afternoons in songs that hit a demographic sweet spot: folks young enough to feel free and old enough to reminisce about easier times. This recipe has made Chesney really, really popular.

Read the full article at Men’s Health.

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Zac Efron’s full body transformation (Men’s Health)

Men’s HealthIt’s a warm southern California morning, and I’m meeting Zac Efron in Studio City at a place called Weddington Golf & Tennis. With a name that stuffy, I expect marble and money. The course turns out to be public, with a plastic-cup snack bar where a waitress, without looking up, informs the 24-year-old movie star that she doesn’t take credit cards. They’ve reserved us a private tee, which is approximately 4 feet away from the adjacent public one.

Here at the practice range, Efron—in T-shirt, oversized cap, shorts, and Vans—strolls around in disarming anonymity, though to be fair, it’s hard for even the preeminent teen pinup of the 2000s to attract notice in a crowd that includes this many codgers in lavender pants. After talking and meandering (not especially well) through a bucket of golfballs, we encounter Roger Dunn, a California golf-shop magnate who gives lessons wearing a Panama hat and smoky sunglasses. We’d heard that Dunn is just shy of his 50th year of teaching, and he’s been introduced to us as a man of considerable local repute. Mostly Dunn has something to teach, and Efron is drawn to that.

Read the full article at Men’s Health.


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