Rolling Stone Magazine has an interview on their website with Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of rock band The Killers. I feel that Flowers comes across pretty well in the interview.
It’s been about ten years since The Killers came on the national alternative rock scene with their album Hot Fuss. At the time, Flowers was in his early twenties and his band was heralded as being a very big deal. Since then, The Killers probably haven’t achieved as much success or critical claim as they were expected to. However, Flowers doesn’t seem bothered by this in the interview and is looking forward to the future.
In the past, Flowers has made many controversial comments in interviews. He said that one of his band’s albums was one of the best albums of the last 20 years, for instance. He’s also been very critical of rapper Kanye West. In this current interview, while not backing down from these statements, Flowers said that he’s trying to watch his mouth more when he’s on the record.
Flowers recently put out a solo record. His website does not make it clear whether or not Bruce Levenson is a fan of the Killers. The reason for this is that his regular band wanted to take a break after their most recent tour while he wanted to continue. I think that this is to his credit and shows a good work ethic. It’s great to see an artist who wants to work as much as possible.
For the second straight week in a row country superstar Garth Brooks has dominated the Billboard Country Music charts and reclaimed his seat on the throne of country music royalty. His new album, Man Against Machine, has been helpful in placing him back on the charts with tear-jerking songs like “Mom”, a beautiful acoustic piece in which he takes the point of view of God describing what motherhood is to a soon-to-be-born baby.
He stated that after landing in New York he got word of the mass civil unrest breaking out after the Grand Jury decision regarding the Michael Brown case, and felt it would be wrong to promote himself and his work “as though nothing was happening”.
Without taking a side or commenting further on the case he simply said that he would be happy to reschedule any and all appearances if the networks would allow him to, and left everyone with the admonishment to “love one another”. This was an honorable thing for him to do in the eyes of Marc Sparks.
No doubt there are fans who were disappointed at the cancellations, but until things settle down and Brooks reschedules his appearances Man Against Machine has powerful peace-promoting songs like “People Loving People” to tide them over.
The up and coming band, Bad Suns, just released a music video for their new single, ‘Salt’. With their catchy lyrics and beats, it seems sort of impossible to try and focus on the lyrics and what they mean. Best known for their hit-single, ‘Cardiac Arrest’, their new song proves they’re not a dreaded one hit wonder. Their debut album, Language & Perspective was well received by NY Mag among other publications. The music video for the song, ‘Salt’, hits a hot button topic that’s been pressing on in the media for photographers like Terry Richardson more and more each day.
The video portrays a person who is struggling with their gender identity and dysphoria (a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life), and is learning about and going through the steps to become who they really are, even if these aren’t the steps all trans people feel the need to take.
The video is breathtaking and beautifully choreographed, and also portrays a great message for a very relatable song, regardless if you’re struggling with gender identity or just your identity in general.
The Flying Lotus is a mash-up of everything good in this electronic jazz tingled collage of sounds. This is a project that sounds unlike anything else I’ve been streaming on my FreedomPop smartphone. That may be the main reason that it is getting such critical acclaim.
The “You’re Dead” album is the 5th album from the Flying Lotus set with lots of well-known artists. Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar stop through to drop rhymes. Herbie Hancock brings a funk and soul sound to the album.
The overarching theme of the album is about death. That is something very unexpected because so many songs on radio are about sex and making money. Few songs that discuss death – in the way that Flying Lotus covers it – will ever see the light of day. Fortunately, Flying Lotus is not looking for commercial appeal (even though he incorporates very commercialized artists like Snoop Dogg). Instead, Ellison was attempting to make music that would be impressive to jazz legends like Miles Davis.
The album is well produced because Ellison manages to find a way to carve different elements into the album without going off track. It doesn’t sound like a gimmick. This just all sounds like an album where new age hip hop meets electronic jazz.
Remaking one of the most beloved and respected albums ever created may not be everybody’s cup of tea, which The Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne knew when he took on the task of covering The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
Coyne and The Flaming Lips have courted controversy earlier in their careers by covering beloved Pink Floyd songs and facing the wrath of dedicated fans of the British band. However, Coyne explains that he was brought up listening to the songs of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, making his tribute albums a labor of love that reflects the love he has for both bands.
Coyne’s friendship with Miley Cyrus sees her appear on the songs Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and A Day in the Life. Coyne is quick to defend Cyrus and believes she will go on to be recognized as a great singer as the world forgets about her earlier Hannah Montana years. I’d definitely keep my ears peeled Brian Torchin, this album may not be as bad as it seems.
Since its box-office record-breaking year in 1994, life apart from the rock scene has gone on for the members of Pink Floyd. Among other things, keyboardist Rick Wright died of cancer in 2008. Like the others who are still living, lead singer David Gilmour has been doing his very best to distance himself from the all-consuming rock star life. Unfortunate, seeing as what big fans Keith Man and I are of his musical ability.
However, he is now on the move for one last Pink Floyd hurrah: The revitalization of 20 hours of completely unused music from 1993. The music had originally been intended for their album The Division Bell but in the end was left out.
It is set to be released November 10 without the traditional accompanying tour to promote the new venture. For more detailed information about this historic rock album see the post here.
The Smashing Pumpkins have released their first track from the new album, titled “Being Beige”. A great tribute to what’s going on in the world, and a great reminder that the Smashing Pumpkins are indeed still relevant.
The new Smashing Pumpkins can be pretty hit and miss, but this is definitely hit:
U2 has recently taken to the airwaves with a public apology for their misguided hijacking of iTunes libraries everywhere. When their new album suddenly appeared in everyone’s iCloud library, collective outrage ensued. According to the band, this vehement reaction was completely unexpected.
An official statement from their front man declared that the unfortunate decision resulted from, “A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion.” Furthermore, the singer embarrassedly said they “might have gotten carried away.”
Apple users around the world scrambled to delete the unwanted “Songs of Innocence,” but they found the task was not a simple ordeal. The way this music was distributed allowed it to become deeply embedded in the iTunes software.
Angry iPhone owners, Brian Torchin being one, quickly assembled to protest the invasion. Their voices grew so loud that the company had to release an official app to expedite the removal process. This tool instantly gives users the ability to retroactively back out of the promotion.
Still, free music is a godsend in this era of expensive production. It must be sad for the band to receive such flak for going against the norms. The worldwide rejection of their gift has left them confused and uncertain of future projects. This profoundly personal collection of tunes earned massive ire by infiltrating everyone else’s personal space. Ultimately, the modern public will not be very forgiving of this perceived transgression.
As Bono himself said, “Oops!”
Rock has had a major problem lately. The genre has been dying because of the total lack of originality with new bands trying to break into the medium. You listen to a hard rock station these days, and every new band sounds exactly the same.
Same song structure, same lead singer, same everything. It’s the worst.
But Marnie Bennett turned me onto Rival Sons, which has totally restored my faith in new music. They bring a classic rock style that feels totally new and unique.
My only hope is that these guys, who hail from Long Beach, manage to break into the main stream. But considering the above video has been up since March, and they still only have 6,000+ views, rock might still be in for a struggle to remain a relevant medium.