Tag Archives: Music

Remembering Tom Petty(1950-2017)….

Rock and roll legend Tom Petty, renown for his eponymous band and for being a part of super-group the Travelling Wilburys, died Monday evening after going into full cardiac arrest at his Malibu, CA, home. Undoubtedly the hardest-hitting death in all of 2017, and easily rivalling the most famous of those from years past. Petty crafted some of the most defining songs of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, and was in and of himself a singular force in rock and roll music a la Elvis Presley, David Bowie, and Prince. To consider what all we have lost as far as music in the past 2 years is incredible. Gary Richrath of REO Speedwagon, Bowie, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Prince, Leon Russell, Gregg Allman, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, and now Tom Petty are all gone. It’s the curse of liking older(but quality) music, losing all your favourites.

Some argue that he and his band’s weren’t instrumentally proficient and versatile in the same was as, say, Blue Cheer, Moby Grape, Pacific Gas & Electric, Quicksilver, or the Soft Machine. Some even argue that, lacking a ‘singing voice,’ he’s just doing a fobbed off rendition of Bob Dylan. On the first point, I say that whatever talents they did(and they did) or did not have were trumped by the adept, incisive song-writing team of Tom Petty & Mike Campbell. To the second point, I must say this: Bob who? In much the same way as the Eagles, though, Tom Petty’s music resonated with me more because of the deeper cuts than the hits. That’s not a dig at the wonderful hit songs he did, I’m just saying the songs ignored by radio play-listers were of better quality. Here’s a taster of what he was really capable of doing, culled mainly from his late-80’s and 1990’s releases….


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Chuck Berry the Rock & Roll icon is gone…

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The man who gave birth to the 1960’s Rock & Roll and beyond  will be missed….

Chuck Berry, a music pioneer often called “the Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” died Saturday at his home outside St. Louis, his verified Facebook page said. He was 90.

A post on the St. Charles County police Facebook page said officers responded to a medical emergency at the residence around 12:40 p.m. (1:40 p.m. ET) Saturday and found an unresponsive man inside. Resuscitation efforts failed.
“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.”

A musical legend

Berry wrote and recorded “Johnny B. Goode” and “Sweet Little Sixteen” — songs every garage band and fledgling guitarist had to learn if they wanted to enter the rock ‘n’ roll fellowship.
Berry took all-night hamburger stands, brown-eyed handsome men and V-8 Fords and turned them into the stuff of American poetry. By doing so, he gave rise to followers beyond number, bar-band disciples of the electric guitar, who carried his musical message to the far corners of the Earth…..
image…Black Past.Org
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Seven-time Grammy-winning singer Al Jarreau is gone…

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He had advised that he was retiring yesterday due to being tired…

Al Jarreau, a Grammy Award-winning singer whose versatile tenor voice and vibrant stage style blurred the lines between jazz, soul and pop music, died Feb. 12 at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 76.

His publicist, Joe Gordon, announced the death, saying the singer had been treated for exhaustion, after announcing his retirement from touring last week. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Mr. Jarreau was loosely classified as a jazz singer, but his eclectic style was entirely his own, polished through years of obscure apprenticeship in lonely nightclubs. He did not release his first album until 1975, when he was 35, but within two years, he had won the first of his seven Grammy Awards and had begun to attract a wide following.

He was dubbed the “acrobat of scat” for the way he adopted the fast, wordless syllables of bebop jazz musicians, but he did not limit himself to the musical backdrop of an earlier generation….



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Janet Jackson is Pregnant…She’s 49 ……

As if more proof were needed that 50 is the new Whatever the Heck You Want It to Be, Janet Jackson has announced that just days shy of receiving her AARP card, she’s pregnant with her first child.

Considering that celebrities play by different rules, it seems unlikely that Jackson will be up nights trying to soothe a crying infant and wondering why she thought having a baby was a good idea — or even chasing a toddler to the point of exhaustion (hers, not the toddler’s).

But even so, at 50, Jackson will likely be the oldest mom in the “Mommy & Me & Mommy’s Publicist” class.

In fact, Hollywood celebs who had babies at 50 and older are so rare that the Internet galleries of “Hollywood stars who had babies over 50” are actually slideshows of Hollywood stars who had babies under 50.

Halle Berry had her first child at 41 and her second child at 47. Mariah Carey had twins at 42. Geena Davis had a girl at 46 and twin boys at 48. Beverly D’Angelo had Al Pacino’s twins at 49 (Pacino was around 60, by the way.) Holly Hunter gave birth to twin boys at 47. Laura Linney became a mom at 49. Susan Sarandon had her third child at 45. Gwen Stefani was 44 when she had her third son….



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Beyoncé is up about ‘Lemonade’ with FEELING…..

This review of her latest from the NY Times no less?

The juicy immediacy of “Lemonade” is what this one man did to this one woman. Not far in, Beyoncé looks tearfully into the camera and, with her own song playing around her (“I pray you catch me,” she sings to a higher power), lets herself fall from a roof. The street below becomes a body of water. It complements the submerged churning all over the soundtrack. It has the effect of a leviathan astir.

That interlude with a baseball bat begins with Beyoncé, in that yellow dress, throwing open the enormous doors of an old, important-looking building and a deluge pouring out. “Are you cheating on me?” she asks in the running offscreen narration that’s credited to the young Somali-British poet Warsan Shire. It’s like something out of Toni Morrison. The water on her rage just broke.

“Ring the alarm,” Beyoncé once sang of being two-timed, before enumerating the stuff of hers this other woman would never touch. On a different occasion, she sang: “To the left, to the left. Everything you own in the box to the left.” That all feels pedestrian now. Beyoncé’s prized possessions here are her trust, love and dignity.

But she’s daring to think beyond herself. The heavy hangover of the piece involves what lots of men have done to lots of women, black women in particular. Between songs, we hear Malcolm X intone that no one has had it rougher than they have. Think about what it takes to make lemonade. You have to split open a lot of citrus, remove the seeds, strain for pulp and add a lot of sugar. It’s a process. Black women are good at lemonade….



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Breaking…Rock Pop Star Prince is Gone….

…from the Huffington Post….

Prince, the legendary musician who brought us countless hits, such as “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” has died, TMZ reports. He was 57.

The award-winning artist died on Thursday at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. The cause of death has yet to be released.

The Huffington Post has reached out to his reps.

Earlier this week, the performer was treated for the flu after his plane made an emergency landing.

A representative for Prince told TMZ that the singer was feeling under the weather during his shows last week and began feeling worse on the plane. After the emergency landing, he was treated at a hospital and released three hours later….




Ezra Klein Retweeted
Justin Paterno ‏@zerobeta
When asked what it feels like to be the best guitarist alive, Eric Clapton said, “I don’t know. Ask Prince.”

Here’s the Wiki link on his bio…..

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Political Roundup for February 8, 2016…Cruz = Nixon?…RRH Elections


Rubio:  After having what can be classified as a rough debate, Senator Marco Rubio (R) came out swinging and had a large event Sunday morning in Londonderry that maxed out the capacity of the venue.  Specifically, Rubio hammered away at President Obama again despite the blustering attack her received for his repetitive critique of President Obama from Governor Chris Christie (R), a on again off again buddy of the President, during the debate on Saturday.

Elites and New Hampshire:  New Hampshire poses another problem for elites within both political parties as voters look poised to hand victories to a old hippie socialist over former Secretary of State and Co-President Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and to a demagogue liberal posing as a Republican on the Republican side.

Bush: RRH favorite Ross Douthat examines why former Governor Jeb Bush’s (R) failed campaign has all the hallmarks of the undoing of his father, President George H.W. Bush (R) on top of being tied to toxic legacy left by his brother, President George W. Bush (R).

Clinton:  When you think Republicans have lunacy occurring in their ranks, you have to look to see what is going on with the Democrats.  Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright have launched vicious attacks against women who are not blindly following former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and voting for her because we need to obtain identity politics goals blindly.  Albright said those women who do not support each other, aka those who are Feeling the Bern, really should burn in a special level of hell for not helping a fellow woman.

Cruz:  The New York Times is several months late in realizing what I have known for awhile:  Senator Ted Cruz (R) is the President Richard Nixon (R) of our time.  In addition, the Times finally realizes what strategy Cruz can use to win and how he has been successful so far.

Trump:  In case you missed it, Donald Trump (himself) upped the ante regarding interrogation of terrorists by promising to not just bring back waterboarding, but to bring forward something a “hell of a lot worse.”  I guess he is off the topic of illegal immigration for once, which might be a good thing.

Music:  At least we can thank Donald Trump for one thing, he has broken the decades long Republican practice of kowtowing to artists who object to Republicans using their music at events.  Trump continues to blare Adele even after she said to stop….


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David Bowie is Gone….

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A statement was issued on his social media accounts, saying he “died peacefully, surrounded by his family” after an “18-month battle with cancer”.

Tributes have been paid from around the world to the “extraordinary artist” whose last album was released days ago.

Sir Paul McCartney described him as a “great star” who “played a very strong part in British musical history”.

Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who directed Bafta-winning film Moon, wrote on Twitter: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”



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Adele’s ‘25’ is selling Big Time…..

The English singing sensation is tearing up the charts…..

The final numbers are in, and they confirm expectations: Adele is a phenomenon.

Billboard reports that the singer’s new album, “25” (XL/Columbia), sold a record-shattering 3.38 million copies in the United States through its first week, according to Nielsen Music. That’s nearly a million more than the previous high mark for first-week sales — ’N Sync sold 2.4 million copies of “No Strings Attached” in 2000 — and makes “25” the first-ever release to sell three million copies in a week since Nielsen (and previously SoundScan) began tallying hard sales data in 1991.

Adele’s coup comes in a climate much less hospitable to blockbusters: At the turn of the millennium, retailers were selling about 700 million CDs a year, while last year just 247 million albums were sold in CDs and downloads combined, according to Nielsen. (Sales of “25” are expected to be split about evenly between digital and hard copy.) Only 20 albums have ever sold more than a million copies in a week.

Its opening puts “25” easily atop the Billboard 200 and makes it the best-selling album of 2015 so far…



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Janet Jackson to releases her first Album in Seven Years….

The 49 year old singer and actor is back…..
The interplay between moony optimism and the weariness of a 49-year-old pop star who’s fought huge obstacles—the famously tough showbiz parenting of the Jackson family, two divorces, one big Super Bowl scandal, and the sudden death of the iconic brother she deeply loved—is what makes Unbreakable more fascinating than most would-be comeback albums for one-time chart-toppers….

Often, her longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis seem to be chasing the hits trends of the mid-aughts rather than right now, with big, fuzzy beats recalling Timbaland’s work with Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot, who appears (with fabulous energy but no lyrical verve whatsoever) on “BURNITUP!” Other times, they play with Calvin Harris-style electronic dance, but seem to be using outdated software. Smartly, though, most of the mega-DJ imitations are brief, used to prop up the more ebullient lyrics and melodies. On one club workout, “Night,” it’s hard to tell whether they’re working from the Electric Daisy Carnival playbook or the Giorgio Moroder/Donna Summer one; either way, it’s so silky, so unafraid to sound cheesy, that it’s hard not to root for it to become a hit.

There’s precisely one song that might endure in the list of Jackson classics: “No Sleeep,” the comeback single that’s enjoyed a solid run on the R&B charts. It’s about as far away from Rhythm Nation’s juxtaposition of hard beats with Jackson’s soft, breathy voice as you can get—here, as they did for many of her ’90s and 2000s albums, Jam and Lewis pair gentle with gentle, keeping time with a slow, swinging snap (I prefer the bonus version tacked to the end of the album, in which the rapper J. Cole doesn’t barge in, but oh well). She’s not political here, either, singing about staying up 48 hours with a lover. But you can imagine the song being employed by listeners to set the mood for the very same, glorious fantasy situation that Jackson’s lyrics describe; for them at least, she will have succeeded in changing the world through song…..More….
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Apple Computer under investigation by NY and CT….

Has Apple used it’s Mega Size to corner the online streaming business?…

While Apple was preparing a splashy introduction for a new service that would stream music over the Internet for a fee, the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut were quietly investigating the Silicon Valley giant’s negotiations with music companies in search of potential antitrust violations.

The attorneys general wanted to know whether Apple pressured the music labels — or whether the labels conspired with Apple and one another — to withdraw support for popular “freemium” services offered by companies like Spotify in favor of Apple’s paid music subscriptions.

A freemium service typically starts free and is supported financially by advertising. Companies with freemium business models hope a free service is compelling enough to persuade consumers to pay for a more sophisticated offering — one typically free of ads.

Universal Music Group on Tuesday confirmed it was cooperating with the industrywide investigation, a continuing effort led by the attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, and the attorney general of Connecticut, George Jepsen.


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B.B King is gone….

B.B. King, the singer and guitarist who put the blues in a three-piece suit and took the musical genre from the barrooms and back porches of the Mississippi

Delta to Carnegie Hall and the world’s toniest concert stages with a signature style emulated by generations of blues and rock musicians, has died. He was 89.

The 15-time Grammy Award winner died Thursday night in his Las Vegas home, said Angela Moore, representative for his youngest daughter, Claudette. He had struggled in recent years with diabetes.

King died peacefully in his sleep, Claudette King told The Times…



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Can Iggy Azalea win a Grammy for Rap?

The white girl from ‘down under’ can rap…..

The Question is would it be possible for here to win over males….Black Males?

Has rap gone ALL World?

Here was a blonde from a distant hemisphere, doing her part to expand popular assumptions about what a rapper can look like as she casually floated toward the top of a genre that valorizes outsiders and underdogs.

In a way, Azalea’s desire to rhyme her way to superstardom felt like proof of hip-hop’s vitality as a global pop dialect. But the fact that she actually became a top-selling superstar prompts a more existential question: Who does hip-hop belong to now?

Rap music will always be rooted in the immutable allure of black masculine cool, but it’s no longer an exclusive expression of black urbanity. As the music’s horizons expand, it clings tighter to the vestiges of its radicalism — that anti-authoritarian sneer that’s always provided the music with a magnetism that transcends race.

And it has touched everything. Hip-hop has become so ubiquitous, so all-over-the-place-permeative, that other pop genres now bend toward its sound and attitude as if acting on reflex. Go ahead and scroll around your radio dial. You’ll hear rock bands using 808 drum machines and cowboys trying to rap.

Whether these are signs of the genre’s good health or the symptoms of its imminent implosion, there’s still a warm-fuzziness to the idea that this neighborhood party music, born roughly 40 years ago in the Bronx, now belongs to the entire planet. It’s the rhythm of the human tribe.



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Sam Smith…The Soulfull Blue Eyed Englishman…..

The Englishman CAN sing….

All through his most recent American tour, the British singer Sam Smith has been stunned by the size of his crowds.

When he first played in Philadelphia, last March, it was at a bar too small to fit his full band; last month he filled Temple University’s basketball arena. His New York debut, in August 2013, was at the tiny Mercury Lounge, and a few weeks ago Mr. Smith sold out Madison Square Garden, where thousands of fans sang along to his slow-burning anthems like “Stay With Me.”

“This is a really big, big place, isn’t it?” Mr. Smith, who at 22 has cherubic cheeks and a high-piled wedge of brown hair, said as he surveyed the crowd at the Garden. “I never thought that I’d be standing on this stage in only a year and a half.”

Barely known to American audiences a year ago, Mr. Smith became a breakout pop star in 2014 with an emotive brand of blue-eyed soul that drew comparisons to Adele. His first album, “In the Lonely Hour,” a song cycle about a troubled affair, tugged at the heartstrings of listeners and radio programmers alike, and was one of only three new releases last year to go platinum. On Sunday, he is up for six Grammy Awards, with nods in all four top categories, including album of the year….



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Kanye West and Paul McCartney do a song….

What a generational thing, eh?

Kanye West (left) and Paul McCartney.

image….Inez and Vinoodh

Kanye West (left) and Paul McCartney worked together on the single “Only One.”

Heck, there are a LOT of young people out there who do not KNOW who Paul McCartney….

Someday there will be people roaming the Earth and trolling Twitter who will not know the lyrics to every Beatles song ever recorded. They won’t have seen footage of the Fab Four landing at JFK Airport, memorized their birthdays, played “Strawberry Fields Forever” backwards on a turntable, or hated Yoko with an intensity usually reserved for psychotic dictators (until they realized Yoko’s kind of cool). These people won’t recognize the names of the individual Beatles — not even Paul McCartney!

That day has arrived.

I’m referring to the “news” last week that, after Kanye West released his single, “Only One,” featuring Sir Paul, the following sorts of tweets appeared: “I don’t know who Paul McCartney is, but Kanye is going to give this man a career w/ this new song!!” and “Who is this Paul McCartney??! He boutta blow up thanks to Kanye!!!”

Sure, most of these tweets were probably meant as a joke, much like the “Paul is Dead” hoax of yesteryear. Nonetheless, plenty of people took to social media with a vengeance, with tweets in response like, “If you don’t know who #PaulMcCartney is, you don’t deserve your ears” and “Losing hope in humanity by the minute.”


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Apple is about to make a Rapper an almost Billionaire….

image of Dr Dre…..bet.co


And that Rapper Dr Dre hasn’t cut a CD in a while…..

A rap icon who hasn’t dropped an album in nearly 15 years is now calling himself “the first billionaire in hip-hop” — and he might be exaggerating by only $200 million.

Beats Electronics, a company co-founded by Dr. Dre that specializes in high-end headphones and a recently launched music streaming service, is in talks with Apple and on the verge of being sold for a cool $3.2 billion, according to media reports.

The transaction would make the 49-year-old, born Andre Young, the highest-paid figure in rap. It also proves that a once-marginalized form of black pop music that has always valued artistry and entrepreneurship in equal measure is now influential enough to move oceans of cash.

And while the pursuit of wealth has always been a central theme in hip-hop — see also: “the American Dream” — Dre’s big payday shouldn’t be mistaken as a triumph for the genre. It’s merely an example of an artist getting much richer by abandoning art.

First, the Beats creation myth. It’s 2006, and a famous rapper-producer has been toiling over his comeback album for seven long years. He’s thinking of launching an athletic-shoe line when a pal, Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, cooks up an idea to sell headphones to replace the lousy earbuds that come with everyone’s iPod. They give them a memorable design and speakers that ooze bass. They christen them “Beats By Dr. Dre.”

Today, Beats dominates the market, having sold roughly a billion dollars’ worth of headphones last year. With Apple stepping in, Forbes estimates that Dr. Dre’s net worth is about to spike to roughly $800 million, besting that of Sean “Diddy” Combs and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, two artists who redefined the trajectory of rap music with zeroes and commas and mergers and acquisitions….


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