Category Archives: Billboard

Billboard’s Top 10 Bonnaroo Moments, feat. Coco, Jay-Z and, it goes without saying, Daryl Hall

Billboard — Trying to boil down three days and four nights of relentless music, comedy, distant bass thumping, a unrelenting jerk of a sun that made you sort of wish you had never been born, heat-based insomnia, unstable baked-mud terrain, fried foods in paper trays, sympathy-inducing sunburns and displeasing olfactory combinations into an Internet-friendly list is an absolutely impossible job; a team of a dozen working the festival at all times would be inadequate.

But nonetheless, our small but intrepid team fearlessly managed to put together Billboard’s Best Moments of Bonnaroo 2010, in no particular order, and issued with the caveat that when these moments were happening, dozens more were happening elsewhere, but we were probably in the press area, where we found a little air-conditioned spot. Read the full list, with plentiful videos, here.



Billboard @ Bonnaroo 2010: Dispatches from the RIDICULOUS SOUL-SCORCHING HOT

Pictured: Snoop Dogg, somewhere

Billboard — In flagrant defiance of the Weather Channel’s subtle forecast for central Tennessee this weekend — EXTREME CAUTION ADVISED FOR HEAT AND HUMIDITY THIS WEEKEND… BE PREPARED FOR HEAT STRESS says their delightful-sounding SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT — I’ll be covering Bonnaroo this weekend with the highly skilled and personable Troy Carpenter (and attempting to keep up with the equally skilled and bearded Tyson Wheatley at CNN), on the official Billboard site right here. Daily recaps, interviews, blogs, one-man mobile uplink units, etc. etc. Also we might die of heatstroke, so if the stories stop, that’s what probably happened.

We’ll also be tweeting, so point your personal World Wide Internet reading machine device to and enjoy our slow descent into humidity-induced madness, or the almost-certain ankle injuries that happen when you stumble in the dark over passed-out twentysomethings lying upside down in dirt. Follow!


Review: Jimmy Buffett, “Buffet Hotel”

It was my understanding there would be no spelling on this

Billboard — Excepting “Weird Al” Yankovic and possibly AC/DC, there isn’t a musician alive who needs worry about recalibrating his system less than Jimmy Buffett, though he could pretty much deliver an album of sousaphone-powered oom-pah standards and still sell the fins out of his summer tour next year. True to form, “Buffet Hotel,” the title of which will ensure that the “one T/two Ts” debate among the entertainment world’s copy editors will persevere until the end of time, is an easy, breezy stroll through basically all of Buffett’s usual stomping grounds: well-poured sunshiney escapism (“Summerzcool,” better than its title), light ballads with Hawaiian hints (“Beautiful Swimmers”), a gently insistent carpe diem (Bruce Cockburn’s “Life Short Call Now”), a nearly unbearably cheesy love note to his fans (“Big Top”), a tale of international adventure (the title cut, featuring Toumani Diabate) and a snarky, Steve Goodman-style vaguely political monologue on current events (“A Lot To Drink About’). “Buffet Hotel” might be less about the songs and more about the generating a vibe, and if you subscribe to it going in, you’ll check out happy.


Billboard @ Bonnaroo 2009: 10 Must-See Bands Itinerary


Billboard — Thanks to a deep love of live music, being outdoors, the symptoms of heatstroke, sweaty insomnia, flimsy sandals and people who are baked out of their minds and dancing where I would like to be walking, I’ll be covering Bonnaroo this weekend (with the extremely talented and personable Troy Carpener) for the good folks at, making us one of a very select few people to be covering this festival for The Internet.

We’ll be doing daily recaps, blogs, video interviews, etc. etc. social media multimedia one-man mobile uplink unit-ing all weekend long at Billboard’s Bonnaroo Page.

And of course we’ll be tweeting Bonnaroo, one of those sentences I cannot explain to my Dad no matter how long I talk, so point your personal World Wide Internet reading machine device to and laugh laugh laugh when the effects of the heat render us almost entirely incomprehensible.

First up, our brief and ragingly incomplete 10 Must-See Bands Itinerary can be found here.

Interview: Patterson Hood on “Murdering Oscar,” new DBT and his dad’s records

79543-patterson_hood_2009_lBillboard — After fifteen years of work, the second solo album from the Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood, “Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs),” will finally see the light of day this summer.

“It’s very much a labor of love,” said the jet-lagged but ever-gregarious Hood from his Athens home, where he’d just returned from a series of Australian dates with Booker T. Jones in support of the soul man’s “Potato Hole,” on which the Truckers serve as house band (they’re billed live as “Booker T. and the DBTs”). “And it’s been a source of great anguish,” Hood added with a laugh.

The 12-track set, due June 23 on Hood’s Ruth St. Records, comes with plenty of history: It’s grounded in tracks that predate even the Truckers, home recordings he made upon first moving to Athens, Ga., in 1994 and passed around town on cassettes. “That dates how long ago this was,” he said.

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Live Review: Elton John and Billy Joel in Jacksonville

73633-john_elton_joel_billy_01lBillboard — The closest thing the live music industry might have to a stimulus package, Elton John and Billy Joel’s Face 2 Face tour kicked off on March 1 to a packed house in Jacksonville, Fla. This latest incarnation of the pair’s tour operates under a simple business model: maximize reward, minimize risk.

Since its 1994 inception, John and Joel’s co-headlining tour has been as critic-proof as AC/DC lyrics and a reasonable backup option for the United States Mint, which probably explains its current revival — one that John indicated could continue on and off for two years. It’s a customarily full-bore nostalgia trip that’ll likely move tickets as fast as it does oversized souvenir sunglasses.

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“Chinese Democracy” review: This song is definitely, positively nearly five minutes long

• UPDATE: Click here for a review of the full album via the good people at PopDose.

Jaded Insider — Jaded Insider remembers going to the music shop his freshman year of college – a pleasing, now-extinct dump on Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington known for its lively collection of incense and Steve and Barry’s sweatshirts (4 for $20!) as much as its music collection – to pick up “The Spaghetti Incident” in 1994, thinking, hey, this is alright, but I really can’t wait until the new real album comes out.

Little did he know that when the first official single did come out, 48 years later, J.I. would absorb it via iPod headphones at 10 in the morning on a Wednesday trying to get some damn work done because he dropped his kid off to pre-K a little late.

If there’s anything else that can be said about “Chinese Democracy,” we can’t think of it – although that won’t stop this track from ripping through the blogosphere today like some dated-sounding virtual throwing star – but I think we can all agree that finally, after all that wait, after all that buildup, “Chinese Democracy” is definitely, um, here. And playable. Also, where are we going for lunch?

Those who’ve been following the hilarious trail of leaks will note that the drums on the official release are different – less stuttery – giving the track a more straightforward stomp, although the guitar parts, which could literally have been furnished by any one of like nine guys, seem the same. Axl’s primordial wail sounds fine, on all of its 19 vocal tracks, although it’s hard to imagine thinking as a freshman that the next new GNR track would have a shot at the Falun Gong in it. But hey, it’s here, although we probably won’t get back to it before we have to pick the kid up.


Interview: Tom Jones: ’24 Hours’ and counting

Billboard/Reuters — Pop star Tom Jones’ new album is the 68-year-old’s first U.S. release in 15 years and, practically speaking, his American comeback — in the studio, anyway; he still performs more than 200 shows a year.

“I’ve been thinking about this album for a long time now,” Jones says of “24 Hours,” due November 25 on S-Curve Records. “I’ve had success worldwide, but with albums that were never released in America.” (His last album, 2000’s rock-covers collection “Reload,” moved 5 million copies in Europe, but labels found its roster of British-leaning duet partners off-putting, so it never came out stateside.)

Unlike artists like Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond, Jones isn’t using the comeback pedestal to deliver a stark, acoustic, depth-of-the-soul thing; this is a characteristically splashy, bombastic, large-sounding platter of future-retro swagger in the vein of the Amy Winehouse-led throwback-soul movement. (It was produced by British duo Future Cut, which has been behind recent tracks by Kate Nash, Lily Allen and Estelle.)

Witness these couplets from “Sugar Daddy,” a vaguely dirty come-on at the record’s center: “I been singing this song before you were born”; “I’ve got male intuition/I’ve got sexual ambition”; “You don’t send a boy to do a man’s job.” The best part: The Welsh singer got U2’s Bono and the Edge to write that for him after a night of drinking in a Dublin pub.

• Sample “24 Hours” at the Official Online Home Of Tom Jones.

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Interview: “Weird Al” goes digital with T.I. parody

Update: A day late, but here it is.

Billboard — For the first time in his nearly three-decade career, comedy maestro “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing his parody of a current No. 1 single — evidently just days after he thought of it.

Yankovic’s version of “Whatever You Like,” a riff on the T.I. track of the same name, will be available for download tomorrow (Oct. 7) on iTunes, where it will be an exclusive for two weeks before being released on other digital download services.

In a post on his MySpace blog, Yankovic indicates “Whatever You Like” may be the first in a series of future, more timely digital releases.

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Concert review: Against Me!, Ted Leo continue the debate on, um, Hilton Head

Billboard — To say that local music fans were surprised to see Against Me! and Ted Leo booked on Hilton Head is to substantially repurpose the definition of the word. If they’d have woken up tomorrow with their head sewn to the carpet they wouldn’t have been more surprised.

It’s tough to overstate how weird it was that an agit-punk show featuring the left-leaning Ted Leo + the Pharmacists and the lefter-leaning Against Me! occurred at all Hilton Head, a lovely and moneyed barrier island known more for its well-manicured golf courses, unmanageable traffic circles and superb landscaping than punk, or rock music, or music. Frankly, watching the smokers from the sweaty, multiply pierced punk crowd mingle outside with the Polo-and-khaki-shorts set from the adjacent swanky tourist piano bar was kind of worth the price of admission alone.

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