Category Archives: music

How I Destroyed a Bruce Springsteen-Related Guinness World Record in 60 Seconds Flat (via Success Magazine)

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 10.21.52 AM August 8

Success — Jumping right into the book of Guinness World Records with the mission of finding one to break is daunting. You’re not simply trying to decide how to order your eggs or which project to launch, you’re trying to be remembered for something incredible—something that will etch your name into a metaphorical mountain that will endure time, memory and erosion. Have you ever sat down and said, “All right, at what thing should I become the best in the world?” It’s scary. Big ambition can be. So I went with the only thing I knew I was really good at.

The full story at Success magazine.

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Chris Cornell Has an Absurd Number of Songs (via Indy Star)

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Indy Star — Great Caesar’s ghost, Chris Cornell has a lot of songs. Technically his current solo acoustic tour supports “Higher Truth,” his sterling fifth solo record and one that’s powered not by the thunderstorm roar of Soundgarden and/or Audioslave but an acoustic guitar — though, happily, his valkyrie four-octave voice hasn’t gone anywhere. (If you haven’t, check out “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart,” a near-perfect single and a fine on-ramp into where he’s going with this.)

But Cornell’s show, which visits the cozy environs of the Murat on July 9, also draws from a galaxy of work that includes — deep breaths — grunge pioneers Soundgarden, the rhythmic and raging Audioslave, the Seattle supergroup Temple of the Dog and his previous four solo records (including that one with Timbaland). Throw in a James Bond theme, his contribution to “12 Years a Slave,” a cut from the “Singles” soundtrack, a track from a second Seattle supergroup Mad Season and a Donald Trump spoof called “Make America Great Again” and we’re dealing with a pretty huge grab bag.

But more than shining a light on his catalog, this tour serves to reinforce just how powerful Cornell’s voice remains. At 51, he’s applying it to reframed versions of “Black Hole Sun,” “Blow Up the Outside World” and “Doesn’t Remind Me.” But he’s also throwing in material from his recent round of killer viral covers, including a room-flattening “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a rewrite of “The Times They Are a’Changin’,” (in Cornell’s version, they aren’t) “Thank You” (something that probably happens after three solid decades of Plant comparisons) and a live mashup of Metallica’s “One” vs. U2’s “One,” which sounds like it has no right to work and then totally does.

Here’s how he makes his picks, via the Indy Star.

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Luke Bryan Is About to Play to an Awful Lot of People in Indiana (via Indy Star)

636028018097583505-PR-shot-A-Jim-WrightIndy Star — If you’re a fan of beach-country megalith Luke Bryan, you are in the right state. This weekend, Bryan plays back-to-back nights at the Klipsch Music Center, the only act pulling a double-shot there this summer. In October, he’ll bring his eighth annual Farm Tour back to picturesque Spangler Farms near Fort Wayne. All told, in the next three months, Bryan will play to something like 65,000 people in Indiana, after having done basically the same thing last year. (If you’re counting, he also performed in Evansville in February.)

Of all the seat-fillers (and shakers) in country, Bryan is one of the most astonishingly reliable; he and Kenny Chesney could easily spend an evening comparing stadium-show statistics. But for all his success singing of the party life, there are hints of change: Bryan retired his series of annual beer-splashed Spring Break concerts and EPs last year, which was both cause for sadness among his Coppertone-and-bikini-topped fans and probably a solid idea, as — let’s be honest — he’s knocking on 40, married to his high-school sweetheart and raising three kids.

More from one of country’s most reliable draws at the Indy Star.

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Darius Rucker on NASCAR, ‘Purple Rain’ and How He Ended Up Playing Jesus in a Back Seat with Billy Ray Cyrus (via Indy Star)

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Indy Star — Darius Rucker’s Saturday night show should be a little less stressful than his last appearance in Indy, when he had to sing to 350,000 people and time his performance to fighter planes.

“I get a phone call from my manager and he says, ‘They want you to sing the anthem at the Indy 500,’ Rucker says, “I was like, ‘There are so many singers in the world — they want me to do it?”

There are, and he did, and it was an honor — just one that required timing the big finish to the roaring appearance of two F/A-18 Hornets and two E/A-18G Growlers. “You have to sing it at the right time, the planes might be late, the planes might be early,” Rucker laughs. “There’s a guy on the radio with the pilots telling me ‘Stretch it out, stretch it out.’ I was like, ‘Man I’m stretching as much as I can! What do you want me to do, scat in the middle?”

More at the Indy Star.

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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)

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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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