James Brown

Jane’s Addiction inducted into Hollywood’s Guitar Center Rockwalk

Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction were inducted into the Guitar Center RockWalk in Hollywood yesterday (June 1, 2011).

Perry, Dave and Stephen rocked up to RockWalk for their induction with a speech from Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello.

Their handprints are now part of the walk together with those from Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Van Halen, AC/DC, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Carl Perkins, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Queen and Run DMC.

Jane’s Addiction will now participate in the Guitar Center unsigned artist program where one unsigned band will win the opportunity to open for the band when they launch their summer tour.

Jane’s Addiction will release their next album ‘The Great Escape’ in August. It will be the band’s first album since ‘Strays’ in 2003.

“American Idol” entered its always risky semifinal phase

Tyler Grady

Tyler Grady

Last week, “American Idol” entered its always risky semifinal phase and plunged right into territory that made it seem like yet another remake of the “Poseidon Adventure”. Our favorite television pleasure vessel sure seemed to be taking on water, and fast: Nearly every contestant cringed and caterwauled through foolish song selections, and the judges only made things worse with flat comments, rude clowning and utterly undisguised pessimism. The general tackiness of the two performance nights, followed by the voting off of Tyler Grady, the one kid confident enough to show some Sanjaya-style sangfroid, suggested that this season might capsize the franchise completely. But what is serial television, if not a renewable resource? The programs that make a lasting impact often flounder, only to be rescued by some new plot line, performer or simple twist of fate. Tuesday night’s “Idol” felt like a save, if only a partial one. Forced to perform a day earlier than expected  because of female contestant Crystal Bowersox’s unexpected illness, the remaining male hopefuls came closer to finding themselves. There were memorable performances, and the judges seemed happy and hopeful. The guys mostly came through by focusing on the very idea of what makes a man powerful — a singing man, that is, whose charisma doesn’t always fulfill the stereotypes of virility — and it added up to a valuable glimpse into the nature of pop masculinity right now.  Michael Lynche set the tone with a gesture that, like the gentle giant himself, was both completely forthright and a little surprising. After admitting a youthful penchant for musical theater, he quickly reasserted his macho bona fides by announcing his selection: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” by James Brown. The Godfather of Soul! It doesn’t get more patriarchal than that. What was excellent about Big Mike’s take on the signature ballad of funk’s pomaded Zeus was the way it worked against the song’s easy associations. Brown preached it like the gospel revisionist he was, punctuating every phrase with a near-operatic verve. (In fact, he once performed the song with Luciano Pavarotti.) Lynche started out with a band, but toned down the song’s aggressiveness by leaning into its darker notes, recalling sophisticated bluesmen such as Robert Cray, whose music speaks of the burdens of traditional manhood as much as its power. Lynche’s turn was the night’s most sophisticated, but he had company in the game of employing pop’s favorite male archetypes to gain emotional, if not always musical, ground. Not John Park, sadly, who just can’t find the right vehicle for his rich, precise instrument. And not Andrew Garcia, the early favorite who stumbled trying on a few classic soul moves of his own. Elsewhere, though, guy-pop cliches abounded and were enlivened (marginally, at times) by the earnestness of the young strivers trying them on.   The Rocker Dude appeared in version both Classic and 2.0. First, Casey James busted out a few squealy but potent electric guitar licks to toughen up Gavin DeGraw’s bubbly “I Don’t Want To Be”; and then, in the coveted final spot, Lee DeWyze laid claim to the one rock stance that has proved triumphant on “Idol” — the Nickelback groan — by covering Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” with such note-wrecking sincerity that it caused visions of Cookies to dance in Simon’s head.  The judge declared that DeWyze has the best male voice on the show, which is poppycock. What the former Extreme Karaoke regular has is that heavy, battered tone, the one that means manliness now, in an era of beaten-down average Joes. It will likely take him far, for better or worse.   Maybe this year’s generally panicked mood (both on “Idol” and in the larger world) is why DeWyze’s mirror opposites, the gender benders, aren’t faring well. Also, both are African American this year, and thus less likely to appeal to the Queen and Bowie fans, nostalgic for their youth, who supported the great Adam Lambert.    I wish the Idol voters — and judges — would more readily applaud Todrick Hall and Jermaine Sellers for the risks they’re taking. Hall’s theatricality and overt challenges to the masculine paradigm — twice now, he’s performed songs made famous by women — deserve more than the casual dismissals he’s getting from the judges’ table. And Sellers, though less cerebral, is exploring a falsetto range that, with proper vocal coaching, could be really exquisite. But, defensive as he is — he declared God on his side this evening, inviting Simon to church —  he’s never going to get there without at least one judge standing up for his pure talent. They’re too busy, right now at least, encouraging Aaron Kelly and Tim Urban, this year’s milk-fed pretty white boys, both of whom showed signs of getting into their lanes as teen idols on this show. Kelly ingeniously erased the context of a soul classic (“My Girl,” by the Temptations), rendering it as clean as Tom Sawyer’s fence. Urban, who seemed marked for death after a horrible turn last week, sold himself as the lost Jonas Brother, and this trick of association probably earned him another week.    Puppy lovers, man’s men, peacocks, dirty-sweet bad boys — the male Idols played their roles well, if predictably. As usual, however, the best turn of the night came from outside the frame. After a painful introductory segment in which he talked about vomiting before his performances — a tendency, sadly, more often pegged as feminine — Alex Lambert took his place under the spotlight armed with an acoustic guitar and a song by John Legend, a guy who wears his own masculinity lightly and without fuss. He sang, in that slightly strange, androgynous voice of his, without the slightest hint of swagger or bluster. He seemed thoughtful and sweet. A person worth getting to know better.

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Joss Stone releases new album

joss-stoneJOSS STONE will release her fourth studio album on Monday 2nd November 2009 titled COLOUR ME FREE. In the writing and recording of COLOUR ME FREE, which took place at Mama Stones, Joss’s mums live music venue, in Wellington, England, Joss who produced the album along side Jonathan Shorten and Conor Reeves, created 12 finely crafted yet raw tracks that owe as much to Continue reading →

Michael Jackson’s memorial at Staples Center to be free of ‘bells and whistles’

PEOPLE-JACKSON/His life was a circus. His farewell won’t be.  The producer of Michael Jackson’s public memorial insisted Saturday the event will bea restrained affair without “bells and whistles.” “It will be a celebration of Michael’s life [but] we’re not approaching it as a TV show,” Ken Ehrlich told the Daily News.  “Inthe future, there may be a tribute to Michael Jackson. This is really amemorial service. It’s not going to have all the bells and whistles. Wewant to keep it low-key.”  Ehrlich, the longtime producer of the Grammy Awards, said the 90-minute farewell at the Staples Center islikely to feature performances, but no final decisions have been made.  Stargazers have no reason to fret: Plenty of celebrities will be on hand to pay homage to the fallen pop icon. “People who are watching it, both live and on TV, can expect to see people who have played a role in his life, who will both be reminiscing about himand speaking to the impact he’s made,” Ehrlich said.  Behind closed doors, Jackson’s family met with organizers Saturday to nail down final plans for the singer’s funeral rites.  Thismuch is known: His casket, reportedly the same $25,000 model used forhis idol James Brown, will not travel through the streets.  That’s a relief to Los Angeles authorities, who are already worried that a ticketless horde will show up for the memorial.  A whopping 1.6 million people registered for free tickets to Tuesday’s farewell.  Organizers will announce the 8,750 winners of a randomly drawn lottery Sunday -though that didn’t stop craigslist scammers from hawking tickets theydon’t possess to the desperate.  “If I can’t get the chance to getin, I just don’t know what I’ll do,” said Kate Ross, 31, a recentlyaxed financial adviser from Spain, who was among hundreds of fans whoconverged on the Staples Center.  “I lost my job for this.” Officialsestimated up to 750,000 Jackson fanatics could descend on the frozenzone around the 20,000-seat arena in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.  Jackson, 50, died June 25 after he was discovered in cardiac arrest inside his rented Bel Air mansion.  Inthe days since, investigators hauled prescription drugs from his home -including Propofol, a high-powered sedative used in hospital operatingrooms to induce unconsciousness.   The LAPD, agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the state attorney general are probing Jackson’s doctors.

Zarif debut album is due this spring.

zarif2Bringing together the classic songwriting of Stevie Wonder with the 80s pop sensibilities of Cyndi Lauper, North London based singer songwriter Zarif creates her own brand of quirky retro-tinged soul. After featuring on hip hop production duo The Nextmen’s critically acclaimed album “This Was Supposed To Be The Future” including the single “Something Got You”, Zarif had a busy 2008 touring with the Nextmen, playing countless festivals such as Glastonbury and Bestival, and supporting Taio Cruz on his UK tour. She even caught the attention of the Grammy award winning John Legend, who asked her to duet with him at this year’s Tommy Hilfiger Sessions.

Her debut album is due this spring, produced by Tommy D (Corinne Bailey Rae, Kanye West), Blair Makichan (Lily Allen) and Fraser T Smith (Kano) and includes the infectious “Box Of Secrets”, recently featured on the Sky TV advert.

On Tour:
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 YOYO, Notting Hill Arts Club LONDON
06.jun.2009 6:00
 Pritchattsbury Festival, Birmingham Birmingham
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2 Many DJs and James Morrison added to Oxegen 2009

miss-kittin-and-the-hackerWith a line-up already crammed full of fans’ favourites OXEGEN 2009 is shaping up to be the music event of the summer. The great and good of Rock ‘n’ Roll are coming from all over the world to play for you this July. Today, we are delighted to announce the latest star players to be added to the musical team sheet.  Turntable-maestros 2 Many DJs have been added to Friday’s line-up. Renowned for pioneering the mash-up scene, the Belgian duo have recently been busy working with the likes of Daft Punk and Gorillaz.

Fans can also look forward to the soulful and bluesy vocals of James Morrison. Still only 24, he’s already been compared to the likes of the mighty Otis Redding and Van Morrison.  Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai bring their own wall of sound to Friday. This critically acclaimed 5 piece always deliver an outstanding, often deafening live show.  Regina Spektor is a unique singer songwriter that cannot be pigeonholed. Her undoubted talent embraces influences as diverse as folk, punk, rock, hip-hop and jazz. Check out a virtuoso at work on Saturday. With 18 top 20 singles including classics such as ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ and ‘The Riverboat Song’, Ocean Colour Scene will need no introduction to the OXEGEN masses on Friday.  It’s a big welcome back to Maximo Park who last rocked out in 2007. Their eagerly anticipated third album ‘Quicken the Heart’ is due out on May 11th and OXEGEN is the place to experience it live on Saturday.  The Hours have an enviable music pedigree, with members Antony and Martin having worked with Pulp, Elastica, Black Grape and UNKLE. Now they have teamed up with their pal artist Damien Hirst on his new label,check out their cracking new single,’Big Black Hole’, due out today. A big, fresh sound for Friday night.  Fresh from starring at SXSW and riding their ever-growing wave of buzz, You Me At Six will bring their provocative punk metal sound to the up for it OXEGEN crowd on Sunday.  Since forming in the summer of 2004, Crystal Castles, the Toronto-based duo of Ethan Fawn and Alice Glass have amassed a cult following through their uncompromising and intense delivery, a slew of limited edition singles, and shows packed solely from word of mouth. Catch them on Saturday. Having supported Kings of Leon and The Killers on tour M83 come highly recommended. Jump into their dream pop sound on Friday.  Described by The Guardian as an ‘Irish Outkast’, the Republic of Loose define themselves without any reference to anyone else other than a respectful nod to James Brown and The Rolling Stones. Nominated for 2 Meteor Awards this year, they add their funk-filled sound to Friday’s line up.  BBC Sound of 2009 hot tip La Roux will go ‘In For The Kill’ on Sunday this year. Following their current support slot on Lily Allen’s UK tour and the forthcoming headline gig on NME’s 2009 Radar Tour, the annual new talent showcase will lead them nicely into their summer slot at OXEGEN.

OXEGEN artists announced so far:

Blur, Snow Patrol, The Script, Keane, Lily Allen, James, Pendulum, Eagles of Death Metal, Ladyhawke, Fight Like Apes, Swedish House Mafia, Crookers, Dreadzone, God is an Astronaut, Tom Middleton, Aeroplane, 2 Many DJs, Mogwai, Ocean Colour Scene, The Hours, M83, Republic Of Loose

Kings of Leon, Pet Shop Boys, Bloc Party, Elbow, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Doves, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Pete Doherty, The Mars Volta, The Game, The Saturdays, Squeeze, Hockey, Tiga, Digitalism, Gary Go, James Morrison, Regina Spektor, Maximo Park, Crystal Castles, La Roux

The Killers, Razorlight, Nine Inch Nails, The Specials, Lady Gaga, The Ting Tings, Jane’s Addiction, Katy Perry, Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini, Glasvegas, Florence and the Machine White Lies, Jason Mraz, Foals, Friendly Fires, of Montreal, Miss Kittin and The Hacker (Live), Hudson Mohawke, Wallis Bird, You Me At 6

Tickets for this year’s festival are on sale NOW and are priced at a 2008 price freeze of 224.50 Euro (incl. booking fee) for 3 day including camping ticket. For an extra 20 Euro fans can purchase a 4 day including camping ticket which will include Thursday campsite stay also.

Tony Christie to play Glastonbury

tony-christieTONY CHRISTIE has been added to this year’s Glastonbury line-up.  The crooner will play the main Pyramid Stage on the Sunday afternoon of the three-day festival.  Christie, who said he was “in awe” of the event, follows in the footsteps of Neil Diamond, Dame Shirley Bassey, Brian Wilson and James Brown, who have all played Sunday slots over the past few years. Fans can expect to hear him perform his number one hit (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, which spent seven weeks at the top 2005 after it was re-released for Comic Relief. Christie said he was “excited” about performing at the event and told BBC News: “I’m going to do some of the new album tracks and I’ve got to do my old stuff as well. “I did the V Festival three years ago but I think Glastonbury is the big one, so it’s a great honour.” Neil Young, Blur and Bruce Springsteen have already been confirmed as headliners at the festival, with Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen and Fleet Foxes among the other acts performing. The full line-up will be announced nearer the event, which takes place in Somerset from 27-29 June.

 British balladeer Tony Christie proved the continued commercial viability of traditional pop in a post-psychedelic world, scoring a series of easy listening hits that spanned the 1970s. Born Anthony Fitzgerald in South Yorkshire, England, on April 25, 1943, at 18 he joined the popular local group the Counterbeats, later fronting his own combo, Tony Christie & the Trackers. After mounting a solo career, he cut his debut single, “Life’s Too Good to Waste,” in 1966, followed a year later by “Turn Around.” Upon signing to MCA in 1969, Christie teamed with the songwriting and production tandem of Mitch Murray and Peter Callender. Although their first collaboration, “God Is on My Side,” went nowhere, the 1971 LP Las Vegas proved the singer’s breakthrough, generating the Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield-penned smash “Is This the Way to Amarillo?” (a number one hit in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Spain), “I Did What I Did for Maria,” and “Don’t Go Down to Reno.” Christie remained a constant of the European charts for much of the decade via subsequent hits including “Avenues and Alleyways” (the theme to the television series The Protectors) and “The Queen of Mardi Gras,” selling more than ten million records during the Me Decade. He also hosted his own BBC variety series, and in 1976 played the role of Magaldi during recording sessions for Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical +Evita.

In 1979 Christie paired with producer Graham Sacher for the blockbuster “Sweet September,” but his stardom waned during the decade to follow. He nevertheless maintained a demanding international tour schedule, and remained a regular presence on television as well. Upon teaming with producer Jack White, who previously masterminded hits for Engelbert Humperdinck and Baywatch heartthrob David Hasselhoff, Christie scored a massive comeback hit with 1990′s “Kiss in the Night.” However, he again spent a number of years on the cabaret circuit before enjoying a new wave of popularity and credibility via the 1999 single “Walk Like a Panther,” written for him by Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker. The single earned Christie his first appearance on Top of the Pops in a quarter century, and his newfound hipster cachet was further solidified when the smash comedy series Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights employed “Is This the Way to Amarillo?” as its theme song. In the spring of 2005, the single was re-released to raise funds for the charity Comic Relief, and spent seven weeks atop the U.K. pop charts. After cutting the theme for Kay’s spinoff series Max and Paddy, Christie closed out the year with a tongue-in-cheek big-band cover of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody,” which fell shy of the British Top 40

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