And you can’t use this song either! More »
This year’s installment of Farm Aid, the annual concert benefiting family farmers that was initially organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young in 1985, will take place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater outside of St. Louis on Oct. 4. Nelson, Mellencamp, and Young are all on the initial bill alongside the Dave Matthews Band; the four aforementioned men are all on the event’s board of directors. More »
Earlier this week, the blonde pop duo Aly & AJ announced that they had changed their name to 78violet. (“Fyi…..u pronounce #78violet as seventy eight violet:),” they helpfully added.) The sisters are calling their renaming “an exciting new beginning,” although given that they’ve already achieved some chart success under their old name, one wonders if this change might hurt their fledgling pop career more than it helps. As a way to assist these young ladies through this crucial stage in their career, Idolator presents a few stories of artists who changed their names–and how their careers fared once all the paperwork with the local DMV had been signed. More »
Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp are bringing what seems like a traveling version of Farm Aid to minor-league baseball stadia around the country this summer. Tickets for all shows are priced at a flat rate of $67.50 and the seating is general admission, so those people who want to set up shop near second base to watch the show can do so. (They’ll probably have to get there early, though.) Dates after the jump. More »
The new format has inspired me to experiment with our content-delivery techniques a bit. Join me after the jump for a rundown of headlines on John Mellencamp’s kid, Sean Combs’ career and name changes, and Paste‘s continued experimentation with the whole “getting people to pay for things to read” idea! More »
It’s still a little strange to see top 10 lists now, but if it’s not too early for the onslaught of Christmas music to invade every public space I seem to go to, I suppose it’s OK to start trying to wrap 2008 in a cute bow. Which brings us to what’s apparently British music mag list day, with the once-entertaining Q and the real-rock bible Mojo battling it out to see, once and for all, which publication has better taste in American music.
THE GOOD: Both lists feature titles I assumed would have been on more lists already (Coldplay, Hercules & Love Affair, Drive-By Truckers, Portishead), so it’s nice to be validated a bit. Personally, I was happy to seerecent Pitchfork discovery The Gaslight Anthem on the Q list (No. 20), although the violent involuntary headshaking that ensued upon seeing Razorlight a spot below erased that brief moment of joy. Also, the Mojo list has a good number of British acts I’ve never heard of that I can proceed to champion for a few weeks to my unsuspecting friends on the basis of their American obscurity alone.
THE BAD: I suppose this is going to be a trend, but seeing the Fleet Foxes disc ranked near the top on both lists (Q, No. 2; Mojo, No. 1) makes me think that at some point in the near future I’m going to refer to 2008 as “The Year of the Bland.” I don’t mind the Fleet Foxes as much as some around here, but it’s hard for me to swallow the idea that this is the shining example of what’s great, exciting, and/or wonderful about music in 2008. When Rough Trade (the store) called the band “Seattle’s answer to CSNY,” they hit on an appropriate and damning description. (Even if the store’s list had Fleet Foxes at No. 2 as well.) I’m not someone who expects every bit of music I listen to be challenging aesthetically, but at very least, I expect it to be sorta moving. (See also Bon Iver: Mojo, No. 4; Q, No. 34.)
THE WHAAAA?:I say this as someone who actually enjoyed both of their previous releases to differing degrees, but having Keane’s Perfect Symmetry place as high as No. 12 seems like Q is trying to ham-fistedly apologize to British musicians for the deluge of American acts surrounding them. Speaking of Q and American musicians: John Mellencamp (No. 41)? Huh.
Twice in the past week, I have unexpectedly run into performances by John Mellencamp, a surprise that was nice the first time (when he performed “Pink Houses” at Shea Stadium, as seen above through someone’s T-shirt) and somewhat disorienting the second; yesterday morning Mellencamp played a free… More »
According to early reports, Nas has managed to pull off the seemingly impossible task of keeping Lil Wayne and Coldplay from the top spot on the Billboard albums chart. More »