Wouldn’t it be great if Coachella took a few booking cues from their Southern (indoor) counterpart, the Essence Festival? There is one act crossing over from the desert lineup (New Orleans natives the Knux), but really, how great would a Teena Marie set in the tents be? More interesting than Steve Aoki, that’s for sure. Thankfully, if the economy hasn’t drained your savings yet, you can attend both fests—Coachella’s in mid-April, while Essence is over July 4 weekend. The lineup, as announced so far, is below the cut; if you can’t get excited over the possibility of seeing Al Green, Beyoncé, Maxwell, Janelle Monae, and En Vogue over one weekend, I fear for your soul.
Last year, Stephen King could only pick seven albums that he liked from the year’s offerings, but 2008 has apparently been kinder to King’s ears: Not only was he moved to pick a full top 10, he placed two albums—Buckcherry’s Black Butterfly and the Pretenders’ Break Up The Concrete—at No. 1. Whoa, don’t get too crazy now!
THE GOOD: Hey, I liked that Al Green album too.
THE BAD: The gallisticle (my new term for those pageview-inflating lists that are presented as galleries: feel free to pass it along!) is peppered with “dancing about architecture” punnery and “aw, gosh, EW, you don’t have to give me space in your mag” bloviation like the following: “Of all the things I write about for EW, pop music’s the hardest, because a columnist doesn’t get paid for saying, ‘I dunno, I just like it.’ But can I really explain why I love ‘I Kissed a Girl’ by Katy Perry and would be delighted never to hear Taylor Swift’s ‘You’re Not Sorry’ again? No. All I can say is that I find ‘the taste of her cherry ChapStick’ in ‘Girl’ entrancingly sexy, while everything about ‘You’re Not Sorry’… makes me sorry.” That’s the sort of wordplay that gets Uncle Stevie the big bucks! Suck it, layoff victims!
THE WHAAA? “This is as dense and allusive as James Joyce’s Ulysses, only you can dance to it.” Guess what copyright-busting PC user he said that about? Somewhere, some dude who gets paid to write about rock full-time (well, at least most of the time in this economy) is sobbing for not having thought of the Joyce allusion first.
Radio stations all across the country have pre-emptively flipped to the all-holiday-music format–despite Thanksgiving not even being until Thursday–so ASCAP figured the time was right to unleash a list of the 25 most popular holiday songs of the past five years, (Christmas music and lists? Somebody’s got their finger on the pulse!) Topping the chart is “Winter Wonderland,” which since being written in 1934 has been covered by the likes of the Andrews Sisters, the Eurythmics, the Cocteau Twins, and Air Supply (how have I not heard that cover?), while the most recent entry on the list is 1984’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The top 25–with the recording artist whose version has received the most radio airplay over the past five holiday seasons–after the jump.
Earlier this month, we examined LA Times blogger Todd Martens’ attempt to predict the nominees for the Best New Artist Grammy ahead of the Sept. 30 cutoff point for next year’s awards. Martens decided to take on the Album of the Year category this week, giving me (and you!) even more to post about and puzzle over.
Al Green was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at last night’s BET Awards, and to celebrate him, the producers had Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton pay tribute to him in song. More »
From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Under consideration in this installment is the new full-length by Al Green, Lay It Down, which hits stores today:
ARTIST: Al Green
TITLE: Lay It Down
RELEASE DATE: May 27, 2008
WEB DEBUT: April 28, 2008