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R.I.P. Country Star Mindy McCready

Tragic news this morning, as we have recently learned Country songstress Mindy McCready died yesterday at the age of 37.

McCready, known mostly for her strong of hits in the mid-90s, reportedly shot and killed herself last night at her Arkansas home; her body was found on her front porch by local authorities. She is survived by two children, Zander and Zayne.

More information on McCready’s death can be found on PopDust.

Losing a member of the music community at any age is hard, especially when there is children involved. Please join us in honoring McCready’s career by clicking below and enjoy her hit, “Guys Do It All The Time.” Continue reading ‘R.I.P. Country Star Mindy McCready’

Chris Brown Tours The World; Misses “Home” In New Music Video

The ever-controversial Chris Brown is back in the spotlight today, but this time it actually relates to his music career.

Doing his best to turn his fans’ attention away from his recent court dates and appearances, Brown has released the official video for his latest single, “Home.” The clip features a compilation of footage from Brown’s recent world touring efforts, as well as a plethora of behind-the-scenes shots, and can be viewed below. Continue reading ‘Chris Brown Tours The World; Misses “Home” In New Music Video’

The Front Bottoms Perform New Song “Twin Sized”

New Jersey duo The Front Bottoms have been touring almost relentlessly since the release of their debut album, but over the winter the pair found time to hit the studio and work on their long awaited follow-up. Fans have been hoping new music would surface soon, and last night their wishes were granted during a performance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

During their support slot on Bad Books currently headlining tour stop at Mr. Smalls the Front Bottoms debut a new song entitled, “Twin Sized.” One concert goer thought to reach for their cell phone just before the song began, and thanks to the power of YouTube we can now all enjoy the band’s performance. You can view footage from the show below. Continue reading ‘The Front Bottoms Perform New Song “Twin Sized”’

Shadow Morton 1940-2013

The great Shadow Morton, legendary songwriter and record producer, has died of cancer at the age of 72. Morton had his biggest success with the Shangri-Las‘ “Leader of the Pack,” among their other hits, and went on to produce Iron Butterfly‘s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” He also worked with Janis Ian and the New York Dolls.

 

Stream Mark Kozelek’s New Covers Album

Mark Kozelek

Like Rats, the newest solo album from Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) is a stripped-down album of eclectic covers, ranging from Ted Nugent to Bruno Mars. It’s not the first time the singer has ventured into covers territory, having included imaginative covers on prior releases, and an entire set of drastic re-workings of ACϟDC songs. The new album is quiet and moody, with pretty dry lead vocals augmented by eerie/melancholy reverb adorned backing harmonies (again by Kozelek). Pitchfork has it streaming right now.

Like Rats Tracklist:
01. I (Bad Brains)
02. Like Rats (Godflesh)
03. Free-For-All (Ted Nugent)
04. Young Girls (Bruno Mars)
05. Right Back Where We Started From (Maxine Nightingale)
06. Time Is Love (Josh Turner)
07. Silly Girl (Descendents)
08. Onward (Yes)
09. Carpet Crawlers (Genesis)
10. 13 (Danzig)
11. Green Hell (Misfits)
12. I Killed Mommy (Dayglo Abortions)
13. I Got You Babe (Sonny & Cher)

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Tyler, The Creator’s “Domo 23″ Video

Odd Future‘s Tyler, the Creator has a future in character-based comedy, when this rap fad finally ends. He was pretty hilarious as 53-year-old golf fanatic Thurnis Haley in promos for his album Goblin. And now you can see him as a semi-pro wrestler in his new video for “Domo 23,” the first single from his upcoming album Wolf (April 23). Look for Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis amidst the chaos. And don’t worry, Tyler hasn’t forgotten about golf. You have to admit the dude is pretty brilliant, even if you think is genius is a bit evil. It might surprise you to learn that this clip is NSFW.

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Jason Isbell Keeps On Truckin’

“It’s like looking at old pictures of your college roommates and then looking at the people that are sitting around your living room now,” says Jason Isbell of the songs he wrote during his days with the Drive-By Truckers that remain part of his live set with his current band, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. The latter’s new release, Live From Alabama, includes a handful of Isbell-penned Truckers tunes, like “Outfit,” “Decoration Day,” and “Danko/Manuel,” along with songs from the three studio albums he’s cut since splitting from the Truckers in 2007.

“I haven’t listened to those old arrangements of those [Truckers] songs for so long,” says Isbell, “compared to how many times I’ve heard this band play them, that I really don’t remember exactly what they sounded like [originally]. The songs still conjure up the same images for me, and I still think about the same things that inspired me to write the songs in the first place, but I guess it’s just different because I’m up there with different people.”

While Isbell harbors no ill will towards his old bandmates, he’s definitively living a separate life from them these days. “I don’t really have a relationship with ‘em,” he says. “We get along when we see each other, I talk to Patterson [Hood, DBT frontman] every once in a while. I saw him a couple of months ago in Nashville at the Americana Awards. We get along fine, but I don’t think there’s any need to have a working relationship at this point. They’re all busy, and Lord knows I am.”

Listening to Live From Alabama makes it clear just how busy native Alabaman Isbell and his current accomplices have been. Over the last five years they’ve built up a worthy repertoire, a loyal audience, and a sound that has some relation to that of Isbell’s former band but bears its own identity. Both bands blend influences from alt rock and Americana to classic soul, but The 400 Unit shaves off some of the Neil Young & Crazy Horse fuzztone frenzy of the Truckers in favor of a more singer/songwriter-oriented approach to framing the tunes.

That doesn’t make them any less of a cohesive unit, though. Their all-for-one aesthetic is even apparent in Isbell’s account of the band name’s provenance. “It was a mental treatment facility in Florence Alabama,” he explains, “it was the crazy house. I’ve had lots of family members in there over the years. I think we were downtown and saw the van get out one day with the folks that were day patients, they would give them 10 or 15 bucks and put a name tag on ‘em and let ‘em got to Subway or something. It occurred to me that it looked just like a band on the road for six or eight weeks trying to get out and find some food in a small town.” Isbell reiterates that he often feels that way when he’s on the road with The 400 Unit, observing, “I can tell we’re causing discomfort in the locals sometimes when we stop and get out.”

Explaining the thinking behind releasing a live recording now, Isbell says, “I wanted to document the band like it is at this point in time. I think we’re connecting really well musically, we’re playing really well, we’re all having a good time. I wanted to capture that before it changed into something else, as it always does. And from a practical viewpoint, a lot of those songs that I did with the Truckers, people come up now who’ve never heard the Truckers records and say, ‘Where do I find this, how do I get this song?’ Personally, I’d rather sell ‘em something myself than steer ‘em to a record that [DBT’s label] New West put out.”

Some think of Isbell as sort of the Bruce Springsteen of the South, in terms of his knack for chronicling the tragedies and triumphs of the region’s working-class denizens, but there’s little of the E Street Band-style onstage pageantry in The 400 Unit’s onstage m.o. Whether they’re tackling a Truckers tune like “Outfit,” in which Isbell receives some sardonic advice from his father, or a newer song like “Tour of Duty,” chronicling a soldier’s return home, the band squanders nary a note.

“There are different kinds of energy that an audience can give you,” says Isbell of his stage experience. “You can usually tell if it’s gonna be a rowdy crowd, or if it’s gonna be a listening crowd, or if it’s just gonna be a crowd that’s not paying any attention to you whatsoever. I handle rowdy crowds and attentive crowds very differently but I feel like they’re pretty equal in value from a performer’s perspective. I love playing for people who are having a good time and I equally love playing for people who are studying everything you say and really paying attention. As long as they’re with me, as long as they’re in the room for a reason, doing something different than they would be doing at a bar next door, it’s always positive for me. The shows go better when people are with you, when they’re participating.”

Turning philosophical about the prospect of live performance, Isbell calls up an unexpected analogy. “I remember going to see Radiohead a long time ago,” he says, “when I was probably 21, 22 years old, and thinking, ‘Man I’m surrounded by a huge group of people who are very similar to me right now — all about my same age, and they all seem to be the nerdy kids from high school.’ And that felt really good to me. I think if you make yourself part of the experience, there’s still reasons go to see live music.”

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Judge The Ernie Ball “Save Your Strings” Pop Competition

How would you like to see your favorite pop artist win a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball? Now what if we added that one Grand Prize winner will also receive an endorsement deal from Ernie Ball, along with a Music Man guitar or bass for each guitarist in their band?

Pretty amazing deal, right? Well that’s exactly what we’re offering with our Ernie Ball Save Your Strings Competition. All you have to do is head over to the Pop channel by April 26 and get voting for your favorite artist.

 

 

Timberlake’s “Suit And Tie” Official Video

Justin Timberlake continues on his quest to bring suave back, along with recent partner Jay-Z, in this official video for his new single “Suit & Tie,” directed by David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club, Seven).

Vintage vibes abound in the black and white clip, with a centerpiece of a tuxedoed JT performing in a dim nightclub, and additional scenes with old school studio microphones, cocktail glasses, massages, and other Rat Pack-esque accouterments. And also sexy ladies. And some water ballet. Check it out.

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Soundtrax: Anti-Valentine’s Day Songs

Anti-Valentine’s Day by OurStage on Grooveshark

 

For those of you who couldn’t stand all the sap in our Valentine’s Day playlist, this one’s for you. We’ve filled this week’s Soundtrax with heartache, misery, and a touch of independence for those of you looking to get away from candy-filled hearts and store-bought flowers. Frank Turner, the Buzzcocks, and OurStage artist the Airborne Toxic Event are just a few of the bands on this week’s list that are right there beside you.

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