Considering he operates in similar vocal territory as Palmer — a baritone that bounces easily between relaxed and resplendent — Flowers was faithful to the original version of the song. Still, he was sure to inflect his performance with the kind of grandeur he’s known for, sporting a bright grin as he waltzed around the stage, mouthing the track’s “She’s so fine…” refrain as sung by his background singers.
Among the new tracks, Desired Effect opener “Dreams Come True” is a bounding pop-rock number reminiscent of classic Killers, though its harmonies and guitar work bear the distinct, effervescent sheen of Desired Effects producer Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Vampire Weekend).
On “Digging Up The Heart (Honky Tonk Version)” Flowers blended his grand, glam vocals into a charming, country-fried two-step; while “The Way It’s Always Been” was a stripped-down tale of confronting a dead-end life: “Everybody’s sitting around, waiting for the sun to come in,” Flowers softly sings at the end.
Leftfield are finally ready to release a follow-up to 1999′s Rhythm and Stealth. The British electro project, which notched a couple of minor U.S. dance hits with cinematic “Song of Life” and “Afro-Left” in the mid-Nineties, will put out a new, 10-track record – Alternative Light Source – on June 8th. They’ve also released a new, seven-minute exploration into electronic atmosphere, “Universal Everything” (streaming below), to accompany the news.
The original duo of Neil Barnes and Paul Daley split in 2002, though Barnes reactivated the group in 2010 and has been performing live as Leftfield ever since. In 2012, he issued the Leftfield live album and DVD Tourism.
The new album will be available on CD – available in a four-panel digipak – and double-LP on 180-gram vinyl; the LP edition contains a download card for the music. Both feature artwork by British visual artist Mark Wallinger.
Barnes posted studio notes to the Leftfield Facebook page throughout the making of the album, notably giving hints about the album’s contents on paper plates. One shows a number of abbreviations and comes with the note that it “doesn’t make much sense,” while another contains the phrase “use noisey [sic] kick in drop.”
In one update, which contained no paper plate, Barnes wrote about how touring had been influencing the music on what would become Alternative Light Source: “DJing means I’m discovering such exciting music, which is pushing us to be more original and innovative in the studio.”
In the Nineties, the duo put out two Mercury Prize–nominated albums, 1995′s Leftism and 1999′s Rhythm and Stealth. Both records featured interesting collaborations – the Sex Pistols’ and Public Image Ltd.’s John Lydon on the first and Afrika Bambaataa on the second – though Barnes has not yet announced any potential guests on the new record.
Barnes currently has four tour dates lined up – only in the U.K. – to take place in June, shortly after the release of Alternative Light Source.
It’s a good thing Will Forte’s last man standing Phil Miller doesn’t have to share an apocalyptic earth with Sara Evans. The “Slow Me Down” singer recently went on a Facebook rant about Forte’s Fox series The Last Man on Earth, which casts the Saturday Night Live alum as the only living dude on terra firma.
“So. I sat down last night with our teenage children to watch The Last Man on Earth. Thinking it could be a funny new show that we could start, right?” Evans wrote. “I was thoroughly disgusted at how disgusting it was/is.”
While the series debuted strongly earlier this month and has become a bit of a cult hit with its mix of humor and sight gags — in one scene, Forte’s heavily bearded Phil converts a swimming pool into a toilet; in another, he goes bowling with fish tanks — the more physiological (and scatological) laughs didn’t go over so well with Evans.
“In the first few scenes it shows him watching porn and saying a prayer to God and making a gross statement about doing something that should not be talked about on a major network,” she wrote, going on to ask Fox directly how they expect parents to teach their children to be respectable adults when faced with such images on television.
“It just shows me that the writers really aren’t funny or intelligent. Because it takes more whit [sic] to write comedy without stupid and gross sexual references,” Evans continued. “I’m not a prude who won’t watch anything but G rated — but at the same time, when these shows are on major networks that are accessible to children, they should be much more regulated…. Thanks for letting me rant.”
Evans, who married former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker in 2008, will hit the road next month for a series of festival performances — presumably without The Last Man on Earth on her DVR.
Scott Weiland apologized on Facebook for a disastrous VIP meet and greet following a concert in Boston with his band the Wildabouts earlier this month. “I’m embarrassed by my behavior and some of the things that I said,” Weiland wrote. “Fans don’t deserve that. Without our fans and supporters, we would not be able to do what we’re doing.”
The incident occurred after the singer’s March 13th set at Brighton Music Hall. As Consequence of Sound points out, reports of Weiland’s bad behavior at the $150 meet and greet originally surfaced on the Stone Temple Pilots message board, Below Empty. Several posts noted that Weiland was initially gregarious, but his mood quickly soured and one person suggested he was drunk at the time. One fan wrote that when it came time to take a picture with the musician, Weiland “put his arm around me and literally said, ‘let’s get this shit done with.’”
Weiland reportedly told one fan, “Let’s suck a dick!” when it was his turn to take a photo, while another — who was told not to mention his two STP tattoos to the rocker — remembered: “I walk up and tell [S]cott something along the lines of, ‘I just wanted to tell you I have been a fan for 20 years.’ Scott then interrupts me and says something like ‘OK, hurry up. I don’t want to hear it.’ I stand next to him and smile for my picture…meanwhile, he was complaining the whole five seconds that it was taking too long.”
In his belated apology, Weiland ascribed his bad behavior to fatigue from the show itself, though noted that didn’t excuse his actions. “I put my all into the show that night and honestly was just beyond exhausted,” he wrote. “[E]ither way, I acted like a total asshole and for that I’m truly sorry.”
Weiland’s Boston show was the last in the initial leg of his tour leading up to the March 30th release of Blaster, his first LP with the Wildabouts. It’s also Weiland’s first solo album since 2008′s “Happy” in Galoshes, which he recently described to Rolling Stone as “an experimental art record for the most part. Blaster is definitely a band sound: a stripped-down, furry sound with a lot of space between the notes. But it’s tight and to-the-point while keeping that garage rock vibe to it.”
“So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours,” posted Payne. Tomlinson and Horan shared similar reflections on the craziness surrounding the announcement. “This in turn spurs us on to make the best music we possibly can [and] put on great shows/tour for you guys,” wroteHoran. “You are the best fans in the world and you deserve nothing less from us!”
Styles kept his sentiments short. “All the love as always,” tweeted the band’s youngest member. According to Billboard, the same day that official statements from Malik, the band and their founder Simon Cowell were posted on One Direction’s Facebook page, Styles had been filmed crying onstage during their performance in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Cowell put the boy band together in 2010 following their separate auditions on the UK installment of The X Factor. The band came in third place, but were signed to Cowell’s Syco Records immediately following the reality show loss. Since then, they’ve released four albums, progressing from dance pop to folk rock.
One Direction confirmed that they will continue as a foursome and are planning to record and release their fifth album later this year. They are in the midst of a world tour in support of 2014′s Four, which will end in October.
Rihanna has released ”Bitch Better Have My Money,” the second single off her forthcoming, as-yet-untitled eighth album. After teasing the song’s cover art on Instagram, the singer released sneak peeks of the track’s intro and outro exclusively on the lip-synching app Dubsmash. Listen to a radio rip of the new single, via MissInfo, below.
The grinding, trap-infused track, produced by Deputy, follows up “FourFiveSeconds,” her collaboration with Paul McCartney and Kanye West, and is a drastic shift from that song’s gentle, acoustic tone. “Don’t act like you forgot I call the shots,” asserts Rihanna on the confident club banger. Her evolving sound has gotten much harder since her dance pop debut, and “BBHMM” may be her hardest yet.
Though she has not officially announced a title for her follow-up to 2012′s Unapologetic, Rihanna has been using “R8″ as a hashtag on her Instagram posts containing teasers for the upcoming release. She has remained relatively cryptic about the album, revealing only that “FourFiveSeconds” is a shared single with West to be featured on both of their highly anticipated releases.
Earlier this month, the singer posted two previews of a new song (possibly titled “Higher” based on the name in the videos’ backgrounds) where she sings “This whiskey got me feelin’ pretty” over a jazzy orchestral arrangement. “I wanted songs that I could perform in 15 years. I wanted an album that I could perform in 15 years,” the singer told MTV News. “I want to make songs that are timeless.”
While fans continue to speculate on when and how the album will debut, Rihanna has been promoting Home, the animated film that finds the singer both contributing new music and making her voice-acting debut. She has released three, family-friendly pop tunes off the film’s soundtrack. In anticipation of her headlining gig for March Madness Music Fest, the singer has previewed new song “American Oxygen,” though has yet to release a full version of the song.
“I learned early on that I wasn’t an athlete,” a humbled Luke Bryan told CMT at the Chicago White Sox morning workout in Arizona on Monday. “I saw all these boys hitting multiple home runs and not getting drafted, and I thought baseball is not for me! Maybe I need to pick up a guitar.” Still, the country superstar hit a grounder that looks like, from the video below, it could’ve been a single (or maybe an RBI?).
The 38-year-old avid baseball fan joined the team for Spring Training during one of his rare days off from touring and from prepping for his ACM Awards hosting duties next month. Batting practice doubled as a reunion with Bryan’s longtime friend, Adam LaRoche, who plays first base for Chicago. The two initially bonded over their mutual love of hunting, and are both co-owners of the Buck Commander brand of hunting clothing and gear. (The White Sox’s country music connections run deep; pitcher John Danks is married to “On to Something Good” singer Ashley Monroe.)
Though the pro players were getting their pictures made with Bryan, it was the singer who was the most starstruck. . . especially by “the best athlete that has ever walked the face of the earth,” as he declared to Comcast Sportsnet, Bo Jackson. The former Auburn football and baseball hero, White Sox All-Star and current ambassador to the team was there to give the singer a bit of advice: “Bo told me that everything about my swing was awful,” Luke recalls with a laugh.
He went on to admit that his sons, Bo (7) and Tate (4), and his nephew, Til (13) — who lives with Bryan and his wife Caroline — are much more impressed by athletes than musicians.
“I would say right now that they’d rather be baseball players,” he reports. “We were in St. Louis last year doing an amphitheater show, and [St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Adam] Wainwright was on the bus looking at some pitching stuff of Til, and Wainwright walks off the bus and and Til’s like, ‘Who is that guy?’ I was like, ‘Til, you just got pitching advice from someone who should have multiple Cy Youngs.’ [Laughs]”
The singer is now gearing up for his second annual Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, an all-inclusive concert experience in Mexico. The four-night event will take place January 22nd — 26th and will include two nights of music, with the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year to be joined by a list of other artists to be announced soon. Pre-sales begin on April 6th for Luke Bryan fan club members, while general public packages go on sale April 9th. Get more info at www.crashmyplaya.com.
Today was a heartbreaking day for One Direction fans, as Zayn Malik announced his departure from the group and stated that he wants “to be a normal 22-year-old.” “I think I’d love to be involved with it still, because obviously, we’ll be working in the industry for an extended amount of time and you get used to it,” Malik said in a lost interview with Rolling Stone from 2012 about what he would do if he quit the band. ”Even if it wasn’t as public or out there as what we do now, if it was just something even in the background, working as a studio songwriter, producing, that would always be a cool thing to do.”
Fans have taken to social media to express their grief and there have been some very intense reactions. Here are five of the most insane:
While Corgan briefly quieted the retirement talk, the singer admits, now that the band’s most recent trek has ended, that “the future of the Smashing Pumpkins is kind of murky.”
Speaking to Peru’s Radio Oasis prior to a March 17th show in Lima – the same gig where Corgan told fans he prefers to be called “William” over “Billy” – the Siamese Dream singer said, “I’ve only committed to the idea of the Smashing Pumpkins through, pretty much, the end of this year. After that, I’m gonna see how it goes.”
2014′s Monuments to an Elegy was the second part of Smashing Pumpkins’ Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, following 2012′s Oceania. Corgan previously promised that the third installment, Day for Night, would arrive later this year, but the rocker is becoming disenchanted with his fans’ rearview-minded view of his music.
“I feel like I really need to evaluate the musical purpose of the Pumpkins because more and more of the audience is fixated on the past,” Corgan said (via NME). “I know a lot of the audience will say, ‘Well, I like your music better from the Nineties, than, say, the music you’re making today.’ But I know they’re not listening to the music of today, as much as they were listening to that music… I’m the type of artist that I don’t wanna exist in something that is sort of fading like an iceberg into the past.”
Corgan initially broke up the Pumpkins in 2000 following the release of the band’s Machina: The Machines of God and Machina II. Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain reunited in 2005, a partnering that resulted in 2007′s Zeitgeist, before Chamberlain against left the band, resulting in a Pumpkins lineup that has been rotating for eight years.
While 2016 might spell the end of Smashing Pumpkins, Corgan wrote in a February letter to fans that Day for Night is still on target for September and that a summer U.S. tour is currently in the works.
Years after Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz rhymed about ”mean muggin’ with a Blimpie Bluffin,” the former Beastie Boy is stepping up his culinary game with a new sandwich he designed with New York bánh mì hotspot, Num Pang.
Horovitz and Num Pang co-founders Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz offered Rolling Stone an exclusive look at the making of the “Ad-Rock Pang,” which boasts pastrami from vaunted eatery Mile End Deli, pickled carrots with toasted caraway, cucumbers, cilantro and a chili Russian dressing. It’s a better alternative to Horovitz’s initial suggestion of a “spaghetti and meatballs sandwich,” which Daitz promptly dismissed.
Daitz and Horovitz also discussed their interweaving history, which began in 1986 when Daitz, living with his family in Paris, snuck out of his house to catch Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. at a concert that ended with fans flipping a tour bus and trying to snatch Jam Master Jay’s chains. Decades later, the pair struck up a friendship after Daitz approached Horovitz at a New York dog park and recalled this formidable experience.
Along with his culinary exploits, Horovitz has slowly begun to carve out a future for himself after the Beastie Boys disbanded following the 2012 death of Adam “MCA” Yauch. He hasn’t given up music completely, playing bass in comedian-singer Bridget Everett’s band and scoring films like the romance, Truth About Lies, and No No: A Dockumentary about baseball player Dock Ellis. The rapper will co-star alongside Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in Noah Baumbach’s new film, While We’re Young.
Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond have also been co-writing a memoir about their time in the Beastie Boys, though the former told Rolling Stone the book likely won’t see release for another few years. “I write a bunch of stuff and I send it to Mike, and Mike writes a bunch of stuff and he sends it to me. We just comment and have arguments on what we wrote,” Horovitz said of their writing process. “It’s more difficult to remember than it is emotionally. It’s fun. I’m remembering the fun things; not the depressing things. It’s going to be a weird book. [Publisher Spiegel Grau] are giving us the freedom and leeway to do whatever we want.”