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Category Archives: Music Artist

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats Tearing at the Seams

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Denver based Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats are soaring high with the release of the band’s second album on Friday. “Tearing at the Seams” epitomizes the soulful rhythm and blues sound with its collection of roadhouse retro tunes. For years, the American singer-songwriter was on his own trying to make it as a solo artist. Rateliff’s career took off when he moved away from his traditional folksy sound and began a collaboration with local Colorado artists to form the breakthrough music now known as Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

The surprise hit of the debut self-titled album featured catchy songs and a unique sound that launched the band into the booming indie music scene and they haven’t looked back since. With “Tearing the Seams”, the band begins to explore a more upbeat sound with tunes like “Shoe Boot”. “You Worry Me” solidifies its place as the album’s standout song using a unique guitar rhythm to lead into Rateliff’s vocals building into an unyielding anthem crescendo. Rateliff backs off the big sounds with the breezy piano sounds featured in the melodic “Say It Louder”.

Rateliff’s love and respect for artist Leonard Cohen are evident throughout the album as he is able to seamlessly interject lyrics reminiscent of Cohen’s artistic vibe. The band explores a bit of a country sound with the melancholy pedal steel guitar and horns prominently featured on “Hey Mama.” Those familiar with Rateliff’s upbringing will certainly see the parallels in this song about a mother and son relationship.

In addition to the husky soulfulness of Rateliff’s voice, The Night Sweats also feature Joseph Pope III on bass, Patrick Meese on drums, and Mark Shusterman on keyboards.

Robert Plant Explains Reluctance for Led Zeppelin Reunion

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Legendary British rock star Robert Plant is once again making headlines around the world. This time, the 69-year-old singer-songwriter is in the news for expressing his reluctance to reunite Led Zeppelin, his most famous act. In an interview with Esquire Magazine, Plant was firm in his view that Led Zeppelin remain in the past. Instead, Plant plans on releasing new songs with his current band, the Sensational Space Shifters. Plant notes to Esquire, “Led Zeppelin was an amazing, prolific fun factory for a period of time, but it was three amazing musicians and a singer living in the times. Those times. That’s not going to stop me doing what I’m doing now.”

Plant also revealed that he sees the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham as the natural end for the band, saying “Thirty-eight years ago John Bonham passed away, that’s all I know. That’s it.” While Plant’s comments are sure to disappoint Led Zeppelin fans, his reluctance towards reuniting the band has remained consistent since Bonham’s death in 1980. While Plant has reunited with surviving bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones on numerous occasions, notably at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in 2007, he nonetheless sees his time with Led Zeppelin as something that should be relegated to the past. Rather than focusing on Led Zeppelin’s storied history, Plant intends to concentrate on new material and enjoying his golden years. Plant notes that as he and most of his bandmates are approaching their seventies, it’s time to slow down and enjoy their lives. Despite no new reunion, fans can still enjoy Led Zeppelin’s renowned catalog, including favorites such as “Stairway to Heaven,” “Kashmir,” and “Ramble On.”

Set to Release First Album in Ten Years, The Breeders Debut New Track

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For those who have been hoping that alternative rock is on the verge of making a big comeback, the release of a new single by the Breeders should be very encouraging. The track, called “Nervous Mary,” will be part of “All Nerve,” the band’s first album in a decade.

 

While the alt-rock group has an inconsistent history in terms of membership and frequency of new releases, it does have a ton of lasting respect based on its pedigree and memorable songs.

 

Formed in 1989, the Breeders features Kim Deal from the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. Over the past nearly thirty years, only Deal has been with the group for the entire time.

 

Working with legendary producer Steve Albini, the band released the album “Pod” in 1990, which received critical acclaim. While the album was not commercially successful, it has grown more significant over time. Deceased Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain cited it as one of his favorite records.

 

In 1993, the Breeders released “Last Splash,” which featured a massive hit in “Cannonball.” During this time, Kim Deal added her identical twin sister Kelley to the band. The Breeders toured with Nirvana, played Lollapalooza, and secured a platinum certification.

 

After Kelley Deal got tangled up in drug-related problems in 1995, the Breeders went on hiatus. They did not reemerge until 2001 when they released “Title TK.” Following another dormant period, the group released “Mountain Battles” in 2008, only to go quiet again.

 

“All Nerve” is significant because it is their first album since “Last Splash” that features this exact lineup of musicians.

 

“Nervous Mary” is a particularly interesting track because it is unusually haunting and dark. Hardcore fans as well as those who only really know “Cannonball” will recognize the sound, and time will soon tell if the Breeders are part of an alt-rock comeback.

Long Albums in the Music Industry are Now Trending

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Unless you’re living under a rock, then you’ve noticed that there’s a new trend in the music industry. Albums are becoming insanely long. The number of tracks, and consequently the album lengths, are something that music lovers have long dreamed of. From Migos’ “Culture II” containing 24 tracks lasting one hour and 46 minutes to Chris Brown’s “Heartbreak on a Full Moon” containing an astounding 45 tracks lasting two hours and 38 minutes, fans are getting more for their money. Or are they?

It’s becoming evident that artists are utilizing a greater number of songs on albums as a way to boost numbers that lead to album certifications and placements on the music charts. Billboard and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) both use particular criteria to determine qualification. This process has become more complicated now that streaming has become popular. This is where the strategy behind these super-long albums comes into play. To count as an album sale by Billboard and the RIAA, there must be one album purchased, 10 songs downloaded or 1,500 songs streamed. Since users streaming songs even count when the platform is ad-supported and not requiring the user to pay for the service, essentially everyone can take part in an artist’s album sale figures. Artists are maximizing their resources and they can see dividends as it’s well-known that an artist’s worth is often determined by how many times they’ve had a number-one hit and the number of gold and platinum certifications received. So sorry fans if you thought your favorite artist was trying to give you more bang for your buck. Even though they’ll get the highly-coveted figures, you’ll still get a load of music. So I’d call this a win-win.

Janelle Monáe Releases New Album with Two Sensational Music Videos

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Janelle Monáe’s new album is set to be released on April 27, 2018. The album titled “Dirty Computer” will also be unveiled with two new music videos to go along with the long-awaited new recordings. The music video for the single “Make Me Feel” was directed by Alan Ferguson, and “Django Jane” was co-directed by Andrew Donoho, Chuck Lighting, and Lacey Duke.

“Make Me Feel” showcases another electrifying and lively performance with a vibe that can only be described as Prince-inspired. The song is a powerful blend of a rumbling bass and euphoric sound that brings a colorful disco dancing sensation. “Django Jane” has a more hip-hop sound that includes a piano loop with a deceptive percussion that unleashes a gush of bars that flows with pure energy. Both music videos are sensational.

The six-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter was born in Kansas City, Kansas where her mother was a janitor and her father was a truck driver. Her big break came when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2001. She collaborated with Outkast’s Big Boi before founding the Wondaland Arts Society.

Monáe has partnered with several artists on her Wondaland Records label such as Erykah Badu with the single “Queen”. The single premiered on SoundCloud with more than 31,000 digital downloads, and the music video received more than four million views on YouTube within its first week.

In support of the #MeToo movement, Monáe spoke at the 2018 Grammy’s prior to announcing Kesha’s emotional performance. Monáe is an advocate for change in the music industry and widely supported among her loyal fans. This is a time when artists such as Monáe are embracing the power of their representation within the music industry.

Monáe is currently in preparation to develop a narrated film to go alongside the release of Dirty Computer; however, a release date has not been announced. The new album is already available for pre-order.

2018 Is the Year of the Reunions

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February isn’t even over, and already a number of musical groups have announced reunion tours, albums, and songs or been rumored to do so. Could this be the trend for 2018?

First, 90s pop group the Spice Girls posed for a picture together on Instagram, sparking rumors that this meant a reunion tour or even new music from the divas. Members of the group, especially Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham have since squashed the rumors, but fans are still hopeful.

Next, Soft Call, the duo known for their single “Tainted Love,” has announced a new show after fifteen years of silence (the group was previously broken up between 1984 and 2001). This show will be the last ever opportunity for fans of the 80’s synthpop band to see them play live because it’s a farewell concert. Music lovers should purchase tickets for the September 40th show at London’s O2 Arena before they sell out.

Most recently, three out of four members of the Smashing Pumpkins will reunite for a summer American tour for the first time in eighteen years and in celebration of the band’s thirtieth anniversary. The members who will return to play together are Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Noticeably missing is original bassist D’Arcy Wretzky who claims that she was excluded from the reunion. Corgan and the other band members deny that this is the case, however.

They’ll kick off the tour in Glendale, Arizona and wrap it up on September 7th in Boise, Idaho, playing 37 stops along the way. Corgan explained that the band will only play music from their first five albums. This includes songs such as “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and “Tonight, Tonight” but nothing released after 2000.

For fans of these bands, the reunions might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Creative Idea for Fans Helps Bon Jovi Reach Number One on the Charts

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It’s been fifteen months since Bon Jovi released “This House Is Not for Sale”. The album, which now includes two new songs with its re-release, reached number one on the top Billboard 200 chart after just eight weeks. The band’s previous album “What about Now” also debuted at number one. The number two album on Billboard this week was the soundtrack from the blockbuster movie “Black Panther” after just three weeks on the chart.

The latest album marks the first recording without lead guitarist Richie Sambora. Phil X (Philip Eric Xenidis) is now the lead guitarist and Hugh McDonald moved to the bass guitar spot, and he is now being given official band member entitlements even though he has been with the band since it was formed in 1983.

With 129,000 equivalent units sold and 99 percent being complete album sales, “This House Is Not for Sale” makes it the band’s sixth number-one album in the United States. When asked about the meaning of the album, lead singer Jon Bon Jovi stated, “The [album] is about our integrity. Integrity matters and we’re at a place in our career where we don’t have anything left to prove.” At age 56, Jon Bon Jovi has still remained as the lead singer-songwriter despite his attempts at being a solo artist. He previously released 2 solo albums, and the band has released 12 including the latest album.

Sales from the new album that helped the band reach the top Billboard 200 are the result of a special package deal which allowed fans who purchased concert tickets, for the “This House Is Not for Sale” tour, to also receive a free digital download or actual physical copy. According to ticket sales to date, there were 120,000 purchasers who actually redeemed their free copy. Bon Jovi has sold 375,000 concert tickets.

Justin Timberlake’s New Album Tops the Charts

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After an amazing Super Bowl halftime performance at the beginning of the month, it seems things just keep getting better for Justin Timberlake. His fifth studio album, “Man of the Woods”, just hit the top of the Billboard 200.

That’s no small feat for an album that doesn’t yet have a big hit single. Although the album only sold 293,000 copies in its first week, according to The New York Times, that was enough to knock Migos out of the No. 1 spot. His album, “Culture II”, had 88,000 sales.

This is Timberlake’s fourth consecutive No. 1 album, following 2013’s “The 20/20 Experience”. That album went on to become the year’s top seller.

MTV reports that the only studio album by Timberlake that did not reach the top spot was his debut album, “Justified”. That album hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

The singer’s most recent album has a bit of a country vibe to it, featured prominently on his collaboration with country star Chris Stapleton. The two debuted the song “Say Something” last month on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”.

The former “NSYNC” band member has already conquered the pop world. In his nearly 20-year long music career, he’s won 10 Grammy Awards. He’s also had roles in hit movies like “In Time” and “Friends with Benefits”. He recently earned an Oscar nomination for his song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from the “Trolls” soundtrack.

The father of one doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon. His “Man of the Woods” tour is set to begin in Toronto on March 13. He will visit 27 cities, finishing off in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee on May 30.

Justin Timberlake Man of the Woods

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It has been quite a week for pop star and multi-talented performer Justin Timberlake. In addition to that little Super Bowl performance, Timberlake’s newest album, Man of the Woods, had a huge debut week clocking in at number one this week on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart. The album was released on February 2, just two days before the long-anticipated Super Bowl LII show in Minneapolis. Although it is still early in the year, this debut claims the spot for the largest week of 2018. Man of the Woods is Timberlake’s fourth album to reach to the top of the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Man of the Woods is Timberlake’s first full-length album since 2013 when The 20/20 Experience became a worldwide hit, also debuting at number one on the Billboard Top 200. Timberlake credits his wife Jessica Biel and his two-year-old son Silas as the inspiration behind the new album. The name Silas translates to “man of the forest”.

Although fans were not able to listen to the album in its entirety until February 2nd, loyal listeners had been given a glimpse of the artistic content with the early release of four singles. The first single to be released was “Filthy”, dropping on January 5th. “Supplies” quickly followed on January 19th and “Say Something” on January 26th. The track “Man of the Woods” was released immediately before the launch of the entire album.

To coincide with the album release and the Super Bowl performance, Timberlake also announced his 2018 World Tour dates. The tour will feature 94 total shows in North America and Europe and will begin in March 2018 in Toronto and will conclude in January 2019 in Denver.

Miley Cyrus and Elton John Gush Over Their ‘Tiny Dancer’ Duet

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This year’s Grammy Awards celebration had its share of memorable moments, but Miley Cyrus and Elton John may have given fans a truly unforgettable moment. As he has often done in past years, Elton John performed with a younger artist, this time choosing Ms. Cyrus to help him sing one of his greatest hits, “Tiny Dancer” live at the Grammys.
Elton John was Honored at the 2018 Grammys
Although the celebrated artist probably would have taken the stage to perform anyway, he was on hand to receive the Recording Academy president’s merit award. Elton, along with Bernie Taupin, his writing partner, were honored with the award in recognition of Elton’s long musical career.
Later, Miley Cyrus joined Elton John on stage to sing “Tiny Dancer” for an appreciative crowd. While the performance was a big hit with audiences, it was Miley herself who seemed the most pleased with the experience. In a tweet, Cyrus thanked Mr. John for the opportunity and said that the years she had known the veteran artist have deeply impacted her life.
Miley added that Elton John has always been an inspiration to her and that it’s his spirit that keeps her striving to achieve her own dreams.
Elton John Gushed Over his Duet with Miley Cyrus
Upon seeing the tweet from Ms. Cyrus, Elton John responded in kind. He shared a photo of Miley and himself posing together, commenting that he felt equally honored to share the stage with someone of Cyrus’ musical talent. He said she was “terrific” in both her demeanor and her performance.
Commenting more specifically on the duet performance of “Tiny Dancer,” Elton added that Miley was “gorgeous” in her red gown. He closed his comments by expressing his love and adoration for Miley Cyrus.
See Elton John and Miley Cyrus perform “Tiny Dancer” here: