Category Archives: music

In Which the Great Frightened Rabbit Briefly Sorta Ruins My 4-Year-Old

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Indy Star — Frightened Rabbit’s music is grand and dreamy and often sad as heartbreak, which is why I don’t often play it in front of my 4-year-old. But to prep for a chat with singer/core Scott Hutchison, we sampled the band’s sterling new “Paintings of a Panic Attack,” which opens with a lovely, pulsing track called “Death Dream.” You can probably guess what it’s about. The band’s grandeur swirls around behind Hutchison’s rich, syrupy voice, a Scottish brogue that he lets crack at just the right times. Like the best Frightened Rabbit tracks — which is a lot of them — it’s melancholy enough to fit inside a cathedral. And midway through, my 4-year-old son wanders in, having heard the song from the living room, and he’s sobbing. Just sobbing. “Daddy,” he’s wailing, “Can you change the song?”

The full story (and the much happier ending) here.

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12 Things No One Could Stop Axl Rose from Wearing Onstage With Guns N’ Roses (via GQ)

Pictured: Angry Margaret Thatcher

Pictured: Angry Margaret Thatcher

 

GQ — In addition to getting away with anything he wanted, Indiana-born rock vocalist W. Axl Rose spent his band’s 1991-1993 Use Your Illusion tour cycling through an increasingly unhinged series of onstage outfits that screamed, “Seriously, I can wear anything I want and you guys won’t say a thing, now can someone please launder my Manson shirt.” Here now, with the benefit of hindsight and in preparation for the band’s reunion tour — which is still happening, right, you guys are packing and everything? — a brief review of some of Axl’s memorable onstage looks:

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Enter the jungle.

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He’s the DJ: Jazzy Jeff on the Fresh Prince Reunion Tour, the NWA Movie and His Old Name (via Indy Star)

He's the DJ.

He’s the DJ.

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Indy Star — In case you’re wondering if famous people ever do this sort of thing, yes, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince will occasionally find themselves staring at each other like, “Can you believe this?”

“It’s like you’re in this taxi on this amazing ride, and you don’t know when it’ll be over so you just learn to sit back and enjoy the view,” says DJ Jazzy Jeff. “I never got used to this. I’ll never be used to this.”

By day, Jazzy Jeff is the the exceedingly humble 51-year-old Jeff Townes of Philadelphia, who talks like a guy who’s sold about 5 million fewer albums than he has. But he spent the beginning of his 30-year career as half of one of hip-hop’s most recognizable mainstream duos and the rest evolving into a godfather among DJs and a turntablist who continues to drop jaws. “(Music) has taken me around the world 50 times over. I’ve gone to places I couldn’t pronounce when I started,” he says. “And I can’t help but go back to the idea that it’s two turntables, a mixer and some records that put me here.”

More at the Indy Star.

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Urban Outfitters is Selling Cassettes and We All Just Need to Pump the Brakes (via GQ)

(via GQ)

(via GQ)

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GQ — For the last several years, the mall rats at Urban Outfitters have served as some of our nation’s leading vendors of vinyl records, which is news that would be morally disquieting if I didn’t buy vinyl at Urban Outfitters, which I have been known to do, because they had a bright-red edition of the Charlie Brown Christmas LP and I am not made of stone.

Look, I understand that America’s Adult Buying Population has a soft spot for literally anything it previously encountered during the glory days of adolescence, but let’s be clear: Cassettes are stupid, for these very good reasons.

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Kenny Chesney: How the Fittest Man in Country Stays That Way (via GQ)

(Photo / Allister Ann)

(Photo / Allister Ann)

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GQ — Kenny Chesney’s songs may be about whiling away his days in sun-baked margaritavilles, but his own summers are frenetic. That’s because, in 2016, the list of male pop stars who can routinely sell out stadiums pretty much begins and ends with him. Last summer he played to 55,000 at the Rose Bowl (in its first-ever country show), 58,000 at MetLife Stadium and 54,000 at Mile High Stadium; he sold out his 12th and 13th nights at Gillette Stadium and broke his own records at Heinz Field, Lambeau, Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. And these aren’t ballad-heavy evenings; they’re two-plus hours of relentlessly carbonated pop-country, punctuated by sprinting and jumping and hat-flipping.

Chesney may sing about boats, beaches and Barbados, but his health ethic is dead serious—especially for a guy who grew up in Tennessee, a place not particularly noted for its judicious approach to portion sizes. Today, at 47, it’s still paying dividends.

Check it out here.

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Perry Farrell’s 9-Step Guide to Becoming a Sinewy Tiger (via GQ)

Perry-Farrel-Fitness

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GQ — Look at this man. Perry Farrell is, pretty obviously, a jungle cat. He’s a prime physical specimen, a rock star in the cosmic sense, a man of wildly diverse active interests and a guy who is very, very difficult to interview about staying in shape. Because though Farrell, at 56, is cut like a beast and in peak condition, he is not a guy who shares his workout philosophy in what you might call “a linear fashion.”

But here’s the weird thing: His advice, when it comes, is a wild mix of new-age mysticism and the most consistently conservative approach to fitness you’ve ever heard. One minute it’s, “Musicians were revered because we provided almost a psychiatry in the way people can hear a song and be healed by it,” and the next it’s “If you feel like you’re eating too much, stay away for a while until you trim down.”

So rather than try to fashion his thoughts into some synthetic order, we present Perry Farrell’s Obviously Effective Yet Highly Non-Linear Rules of Fitness. (Only one of them involves throat-cutting!)

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13 Times Axl Rose Was Left Completely Unchecked During the ‘Use Your Illusion’ Era (via GQ)

Axl-Rose-on-the-loose

This simply does not happen to normal people.

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GQ.com — The Guns N’ Roses reunion is actually happening, which means one thing: It’s definitely not happening. But on the off chance everyone’s shit is held sufficiently together to perform the band’s threatened Coachella sets and the alleged stadium (!) tour to follow, this could very seriously be the only show worth seeing in 2016. (Fact: Even when they’re played by some numbnuts in an upside-down KFC bucket, the opening notes to “Jungle,” when heard live, actually light you on fire, and now Slash is playing them). While we wait for whatever is happening in Team Guns to play out (probably a TON of kilt-laundering), we thought we’d revisit the insane, epic, over-the-top, blank-check, golden-god phase in which Axl Rose and his borderline personality disorder frightened everyone into letting him do anything he damn well pleased. Best of luck, guys. We’ll see you in the desert. (Please text us if you’re not gonna make it.)

Get in the ring at GQ.com

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The Ultimate Indiana Bicentennial Playlist (via Indianapolis Monthly)

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Indianapolis Monthly — Something we discovered putting together a list of iconic albums produced by musicians with Hoosier ties: This place is sick with talent. There’s a singer/songwriter whose name is as synonymous with his home state as anyone’s in music, the over-the-top rock god responsible for arguably the greatest heavy-metal debut album ever, world-class violinists, opera singers and empowered-female pop icons and then, to round out the list, Michael Jackson, Cole Porter and Wes Montgomery. Whittling such a wealth of talent into a single list of essential albums by each artist was an impossible task, so for insight we asked an all-star list of musicians, writers and experts, most with their own Hoosier ties.

See the full playlist here.

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Five Nights in the Life of the Drive-By Truckers (via Live Nation TV)

Patterson Hood (Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Patterson Hood (Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

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Live Nation TV — The banner men of southern rock Drive-By Truckers just released a marquee live album this fall. The deluxe version of It’s Great To Be Alive runs three-plus-hours, and comes packaged as a 3-CD behemoth (or 5-LP, if you prefer your behemothing more analog) that includes 35 songs drawn band over the last two decades. And even though the band has played over 2,000 shows since they formed in 1996, co-founder Patterson Hood feels that now’s the perfect time to document it.

“We’re glad people seem to be excited. You never know when it could be, ‘Ugh, these guys again,'” laughs Hood, calling from his new home base in Portland, where he and his family moved this year.

It’s Great To Be Alive, recorded last fall over three nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco, was designed to approximate the loose, rambling feel of one of those 2,000 shows. (A one-disc best-of version titled This Weekend’s the Night! is coming, too.) The band never actually operates with a setlist, so they cull from all corners of their sprawling catalog, from a pre-Truckers track called “Runaway Train” to material from last year’s sterling English Oceans.

“We wanted it to be like an ultimate playlist, from our point of view and the fans’,” Hood said. “I had so much fun getting all geeky about that shit.” Here’s what they came up with.

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100 Reasons You Should Be Listening to Phil Collins Right Now (via GQ)

 

BRING HIM HOME.

BRING HIM HOME.

 

GQ.com — This fall, Phil Collins ended both his retirement and his self-imposed exile in Switzerland, and we speak for both ourselves and your dad when we say: Damn right, he did! (Also, wait, he retired to Switzerland? Whoa, he’s been a Bond villain and we didn’t even notice.) Anyway, Phil Collins is the man. That may be a funny thing to say, but it is not a joke, as the following hundred reasons prove.

  1. Phil Collins’s comeback tour will launch next year, which is important, because the Phil Collins comeback was never supposed to happen.
  2. First, he’s had to come back from a lot, and he’s done it mostly out of the public eye. Since his last solo trek, 2003’s First Final Farewell Tour, he’s only materialized for a brief Genesis reunion in 2007 and a Motown covers album called Going Back in 2010. When he needed to vanish, he vanished.
  3. Second, the comeback tour had to be delayed while Collins recovered from emergency back surgery. He’s been battling nerve, back, and spine problems for years; his work on the Genesis reunion tour caused a dislocated vertebra in his neck and nerve damage in his hands, damage so severe he couldn’t actually hold his drumsticks. A lot of people would have quit.
  4. To recap: He’s a drummer.
  5. And doctors told him he’d never play drums again.

 

Read the other 95 highly logical and compelling reasons here.

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