Ok, so Sting having a musical is a little weird. But if you’re as intrigued as I am, you can catch his Broadway debut of “The Last Ship” on October 26th, with previews beginning September 30th at the Neil Simon Theatre. Inspired by Sting’s personal memories of growing up in a northeast England shipbuilding community, the story follows a man who travels the world for 14 years before returning to find the shipyard’s future in shambles, and his love engaged to someone else.
“People ask if it’s autobiographical. The only real answer is I think it’s emotionally autobiographical but it’s not autobiographical,” explains producer Jeffrey Seller. “There’s no rock singer in ‘The Last Ship.’ But I certainly think that Sting is inspired by his youth and he’s working through a lot of emotions that all of us are working with as we get older.”
Before making its Broadway debut, the play will premiere at Chicago’s Bank Of America Theatre next summer, and include lead cast members Michael Esper (American Idiot, The Lyons) and Rachel Tucker (Wicked). Of course, the musical will also include several songs from Sting’s latest release, The Last Ship, which inspired the show, along with several new songs.
“I have continually been impressed by and rewarded by Sting’s depth of musical knowledge,” Seller said. “Sting certainly came to this never having written a musical but he has been an extraordinary student of musical theater, he’s an extraordinary collaborator and he has been an ideal artist in making this play.”
Will you be checking out Sting’s new musical?
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Just months after Billie Joe Armstrong‘s iHeartRadio Festival outburst and rehab entry, long time punk rockers, Green Day have announced a few U.S. tour dates this March and April. Although Armstrong’s entry into rehab caused a few cancellations in the band’s tour dates, Green Day has said that tickets purchased for their original ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! tour will be honored.
West Coasters, feeling left out? No need to worry. The band promises that shows in your area will be announced in early 2013. You can find the dates after the jump.
Capturing the band behind the scenes, in the studio, and in rare form enjoying a little time off, ¡Quatro! aims to give fans an inside look into not only the band’s personal battles in the balance of life and music, but their time in the studio.
“That summer, we took about a month off,” Billie Joe Armstrong says of the 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown. I set up a small studio and I started making demos, doing it for myself¦ I think sometimes taking time off feels dangerous to me. Bands that ‘take time off’ — they’re not as good when they come back.”
Through images of mass crowds, and screaming fans, we hear Armstrong continue, “Let your audience grow with you and grow up with you, and at some point grow old with you.”
You can check out a clip from the documentary right here, and catch its airdate on VH1, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at midnight ET and again on Palladia Friday, Nov. 30 at 9pm ET.
If you like Green Day, check out OurStage artist Wolf Rage.
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Green Day have released an oddly appropriate new song from their upcoming ¡Dos! record just as they announce the cancellation of their remaining 2012 tour dates and the postponement of their 2013 tour dates. “Stop When The Red Lights Flash” combines a grimy guitar riff with tight vocal harmonies and Billie Joe Armstrong’s repeated shouts of “I’ll make you surrender.” Aptly enough, the band has been forced to capitulate to their frontman’s recent bout of substance abuse which resulted in a now“infamous onstage rant at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Armstrong’s extended period in rehab has forced the band to cancel the entirety of their 2012 tour, which was due to start on September 26 and conclude on December 10. As the timeline for Armstrong’s recovery is uncertain, the band has also postponed their 2013 tour dates scheduled for January and February. But it’s not all bad news for Green Day fans. ¡Dos! will still be coming out on November 13, and the release date for ¡Tré!, the third album of their 2012 trilogy, has been moved up to December 11 “ a month before its originally scheduled due date of January 15, 2013. Listen to the new song below.
Green Day fans, check out OurStage punk band Lost In Society!
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During Green Day’s awkward explanation of their upcoming album, Billie Joe Armstrong admitted that the lyrical content includes “the first time we ever really sung about f**king”. We definitely found ourselves feeling a little creeped out as Dirnt explained his artistic motivations for sex-oriented lyrics.
According to NME, Green Day premiered their song “Carpe Diem” during a show in San Francisco last November and it’s expected to be on the new album. This new LP will follow the band’s last release that hit the market in 2011, a live concert album tilted Awesome As F*ck. They also currently have a musical that’s based around their albums American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. A motion picture release of the musical is currently in the works and will be directed by Tom Hanks.
One of the coolest things about The Voice is that it can give contestants a second chance at stardom. While some of these performers have only sung for friends and family, more and more vocalists armed with impressive resumes are coming to The Voice for their chance to really make it big.
Last season, there was Dia Frampton, one half of indie rock sister duo Meg & Dia (we even interviewed her, back in the day!). Their band had been a part of the Vans Warped Tour, was signed to a label and had a loving fan base, but they just couldn’t break into the mainstream. After soaring straight to the No. 2 spot on The Voice, Dia released her first solo album and has recently been on tour with her band, opening for her coach, Blake Shelton. Of course, season one winner Javier Colon had also been around the business; he had previously been signed to Capitol Records for four years, but never caught his big break.
We’re just a few episodes into this season and we’ve already seen experienced talents like emo-alt rocker Juliet Simms and Alicia Keys’ backup singer Jermaine Paul. Last night’s episode added two more music vets to the mix with Charlotte Sometimes and Tony Vincent. Sometimes was signed to Crush Management at the tender age of sixteen, was featured on VH1 and, like Frampton and Simms, is a Vans Warped Tour alum. As she recounted in her backstory segment, she was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease that had her battling for her ability to sing for years. Now fully recovered, Sometimes blew all four of the judges away with her take on One Republic’s “Apologize” before committing to Team Blake.
Despite the creepy makeup (ditch the lip gloss, please!), contestant Tony Vincent made quite the impression on The Voice last night when he sang “We Are The Champions.” Though ambitious, the song choice was not at all surprising, as Vincent had just recounted his time in Queen’s musical We Will Rock You. Vincent had also previously performed in Green Day’s American Idiot, Rent and more. Vincent brought down the house and ended up on Team Cee-Lo. We’re definitely excited to see what he does next.
Here’s to hoping the second time’s the charm, guys!
Ten years ago, a bed-stricken Joey Ramone, secretly suffering from complications from the lymphoma he had been battling since 1996, decided to plan a huge blowout for his 50th birthday. Sadly, Joey died a little over a month before the celebration could go down, but his mother Charlotte and brother Mickey knew that the show must go on. The party, which would benefit Lymphoma research, was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on May 19, 2001. Debbie Harry, Richard Hell and Legs McNeil attended what would become an annual downtown ritual ever since. This year’s birthday bash, scheduled on what would’ve been Joey’s 60th birthday, will be held at Irving Plaza this week.
In retrospect, the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash proved to be a turning point in a larger punk rock community increasingly gravitating towards cancer as a cause. Certainly, the trend is affecting the culture as a whole as the response generated by Stand Up to Cancer, LiveStrong and The Truth can attest. But the punk spirit, long wary of causes, seems especially up for this one as cancer benefits are popping up all over the punk landscape: On June 7, Main Man Records will be donating a portion of the proceeds from Take It or Leave It, a two-disc tribute to The Runaways in honor of band member Sandy West, who lost her fight to cancer in 2006 and on July 15 and 16, Music 4 Cancer, originally a music compilation of punk and ska artists, will participate in the Vans Warped Tour. And when an iconic punk musician like Ari Up! of the Slits succumbs to cancer, it’s almost expected that a tribute concert benefiting cancer research is soon to follow.
If punk and cancer are increasingly finding themselves colliding against one another in the mosh pit, more often than not it’s in order to raise money for a local, insurance-less personality afflicted with the disease. The Fuck Cancer Benefit at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC was held in honor of beloved band manager Jackie Farry who found herself insurance-less when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. In Florence, SC it was for scenester E. Allen Johnson. And in Chattanooga, TN it was in behalf of musician John Johnson, who had been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
To be sure, cancer is being embraced throughout the musical world: from pop to country, but something has clicked with punk, it’s rebellious posture (or conversation of negation, as Greil Marcus might put it) has long been looking for purpose in a post-industrial America in which all of its signifiers have been co-opted by the mainstream (American Idiot, anyone?)¦. Inherently unglamorous, intractable and utterly raw and real, cancer and punk fit like deranged puzzle pieces. It’s as if the punk universe is saying to the larger culture: Try turning this into a commodity!