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Golden Globe 2014 Winners: Jared Leto, U2, Alex Ebert

Golden GlobesSunday night’s 71st annual Golden Globe awards saw quite a few winners from the music world, including Jared Leto, U2 and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Leto, well-known to music fans for his work in 30 Seconds To Mars, took home the award for Supporting Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, while Ebert received the Best Original Score award for his work with J.C. Chandor‘s All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford.

In one of the more moving speeches of the evening, U2’s Bono honored the late Nelson Mandela when awarded the Best Original Song trophy for their track “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

In the band’s acceptance speech, Bono said, “This really is personal, very very personal. This man turned our life upside down, right side up. A man who refused to hate but he thought love would do a better job. We wrote a love song because its kind of what’s extraordinary about the film. It’s a dysfunctional love story.”

You can view the full list of winners below.

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Great Poets Whose Words Inspired Songs

Tim Kinsella
Tim Kinsella

Tim Kinsella, the Chicago-based musician who accidentally helped invent what we know as emo while cutting his teeth in bands like Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc, just released one of the more interesting collaborations he’s done since the ’90s. Tim Kinsella Sings The Songs Of Marvin Tate By LeRoy Bach Featuring Angel Olsen finds Kinsella and ex-Wilco member LeRoy Bach setting the poems of fellow Chicago native Marvin Tate to music. And fear not, emo kids, they’re all pretty damn sad.

Kinsella and Bach aren’t the first musicians to lend their talents to preexisting poems. In fact, we could have compiled a list featuring hundreds of singers who have quoted writers, but we tried to reel it in. For time’s sake, you can check out four of our favorite music and poetry connections after the jump. And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of TKSTSOMTBLBFAO. Its title may be a mouthful, but its tracks are beautifully short, simple, and sparse, perfectly complimenting Tate’s stark and sometimes abrasive words.

1. Vladimir Nabokov and The Menzingers
Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov may be most famous for penning Lolita, but it’s Pale Fire, his 1962 novel/999-line poem, that featured what is likely Nabokov’s most well-known couplet:

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the window pane

Definitely the most beautiful thing that anyone has ever written about birds flying into windows. Anyway, Scranton, PA’s The Menzingers quoted those lines almost verbatim during the bridge of “The Obituaries,” and while the rest of the song’s lyrical content has little to do with Pale Fire, the emotional impact of Nabokov’s words aren’t lessened at all. In fact, they compliment the track so well, it seems that the writer may have missed out on his calling as a punk lyricist.

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Kind Of A Drag

Today is kind of a slow news day. And so, today, you get¦ rock stars in drag: the superlatives.

Most natural: Bowie

Most disturbing: Queen

Most frequent: Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones

Best homage: Blur (as Blondie)

Most dudes: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Best pout: Ozzy Osbourne

Most confusing to high school jocks in 1994: Kurt Cobain

Most committed: New York Dolls

Best looking: Bono

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

  • Is an Adele & Usher collab in the works?
  • Odd Future get busted!
  • Punked by (fake) Bono?
  • Gerard Way + Deadmau5 = dance party!
  • The Black Keys aren’t very good at apologizing…
  • Bad news for White Stripes fans…
  • Vocal Points: Voice For A Cause

    Using your voice to sing is one thing, using your voice to bring an important issue to light is quite another. While it seems pretty common for artists to be involved in all sorts of charitable causes”from volunteerism and activism to foundations and benefit shows”celebrity involvement isn’t always a clear case of best intentions. Some artists get involved simply to increase their popularity and fan base while others hope a healthy dose of charity can help negate some bad publicity.  So, it’s always nice to see a standout in the sea of fair weather philanthropists”someone who is not only donating money, but who speaking about things he or she believes in, and is not afraid to ruffle some feathers.

    Historically, there have been many different artists who have been vocal proponents of change. John Lennon is a great example of one of these standouts. Lennon actively made his political views known, and truly cared about the impact of not only his music, but his voice when he wasn’t performing. For example, he and Yoko Ono‘s famously staged Bed-ins for Peace, where they were filmed in bed in their pajamas speaking out against the Vietnam War and taking a stand for world peace, during their honeymoon.

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    Theatrical Effects

    Having shelved her career as a recording artist in favor of family life, Lily Allen recently revealed to Elle magazine that she has “nearly finished a musical.” The musical in question being the stage adaptation of 2001’s loveably painful chick flick Bridget Jones’s Diary, for which little has been said since last summer. On paper, Allen appears to have all the right reasons for this career shift”a new husband and baby on the way, and a blood line that lends itself to the stage (dad is British actor/musician Keith Allen, who’s credits include two Harold Pinter plays at the Almeida Theatre). However, the singer is hardly the first musician making the jump from the Billboard charts to Broadway.

    Headlines have been monopolized in the past months by the drama surrounding U2‘s scored Spider-Man musical. After a series of setbacks including financial problems, injured cast members and scathing write ups, original director Julie Taymor threw her hands up in what we would imagine an exasperated manner and called it quits. Production was shut down for three weeks in March and given a serious face lift by new director Philip William McKinley and went on to rake in $1.7 million in its first week, qualifying it as a “hit.” While Spider-Man certainly lends itself to the powerful anthems and epic ballads found in U2’s discography, Bono was quoted as saying scoring the show was “harder than we ever thought”.

    They should probably update the press materials

    David Albarn and Jamie Hewlett of alt hip hop/rock group Gorillaz have also lent their talents to the stage, creating a musical adaptation of the Chinese story Journey to the West in 2007 which saw several runs over the next two years under the billing Monkey: Journey to the West. After further adaptation of some characters and music for inclusion in BBC’s coverage of the 2008 Bejing Olympics was met with criticism, Hewlett went on the defense, tagging negative reviews as hypocritical.

    This all begs the question, why are these perfectly successful recording artists putting themselves through the theatrics (literally) of transitioning their talent to the stage? Some could argue ego, Broadway being just another feather in the hat of self-centered stars. Or maybe its the next step on the ladder of conquering the music industry as a whole. We’re hoping it boils down to the talent part. Chances are the Bonos and Lily Allens of the world are just incredibly talented human beings always seeking new creative outlets. But while a record is a neatly packaged representation of that talent, Broadway is an entirely different beast with more than one flair for the dramatic that requires its participants have the right amount of screws loose to partake. While Allen may be writing the music for Bridget Jones, we can’t really picture the new mom as the star, sliding down a fire pole ass first. Then again, she has been known for her own moments of quirk.

    Sound And Vision: Top 40 Show Tunes — Seven Music Icons Whose Songs Should Rock Broadway

    Though I’ll probably never be a huge fan of the Broadway musical, occasionally, they rock. Such has been the case for Great White Way song-and-dance productions based on the music of the Who, Bee Gees, ABBA, Queen, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Green Day and Elton John (twice). But poor Paul Simon. He flopped hard”and embarrassingly”with The Capeman in 1998. The moral of this particular west side story? When launching expensive stage musicals, it pays creative and/or commercial dividends for rock and pop stars to fall back on their classics”or in the case of John’s Aida, a classic opera”for inspiration.

    And then there’s U2. The normal rules of art and commerce have never applied to Ireland’s greatest musical export. Although Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, with original music and lyrics by U2 frontman Bono and guitarist The Edge, has been dogged by bad buzz, negative reviews (for the staging, if not the music) and behind-the-scenes snafus, it’s been a box-office success since debuting in previews last November, more than six months in advance of its official June 14 opening.

    Whether their Spidey show tunes will spin their web for months or years remains to be seen, but it’s hard not to wish that Bono and The Edge had adapted their band’s enduring catalog for a musical instead. If they had to take Manhattan, why not do it using songs we know and love from The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, two of its best and most successful albums, as inspiration rather than a superhero human-arachnid mutation (who’ll be returning to the big screen shortly in the form of The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield)?

    Maybe someday. In the meantime, here are some other iconic artists who ought to be waiting in the wings with their own spotlight musical. (Sorry, no Beatles”I’ve heard enough bad covers of the Fab Four’s catalog, including those from the 1978 film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, to last several lifetimes!)

    David Bowie: Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been waiting so long for new music from Bowie. Or that my favorite Bowie song inspired the name of this very column. But more likely, it’s all about Space Oddity, a  rock & roll classic which tells a story that conceivably could be stretched out into a two-hour musical format and rounded out with many other Bowie hits. His ’70s output was more or less created to be performed onstage, and his theatrical music and visual lyrics could so easily translate to the rock-opera format. Meanwhile, Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and The Thin White Duke”parts Bowie played to perfection on record and in concert”are star-making roles if ever there were four of them.

    Burt Bacharach and Hal David: “Walk on By.” “Message to Michael.” “Wishin’ and Hopin’.” “I Say a Little Prayer.” “(They Long to Be) Close to You.” Put these Bacharach/David compositions together”adding “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and many more”and what have you got? A Broadway miracle that’ll have more fans singing along than any musical since Mamma Mia!.

    Loretta Lynn: It’s a mystery why no one has thought to revive Coal Miner’s Daughter on Broadway. The 1980 film has got the music, the story and the Oscar pedigree. But why stop with Loretta Lynn when you can add the music of Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline and stage Honky Tonk Angels, all about lives and loves in a ten-cent town?

    Johnny Cash: No need to revisit Walk the Line just yet. The hero of Ring of Fire (which I always thought would have been a better title for the film since it was co-written by June Carter Cash about her and Johnny, while Cash’s first wife inspired him to write “I Walk the Line”) could be a man in black by another name. Lyrically, the best of Johnny Cash already hits on all the stages of an extraordinary life, from outcast (“A Boy Named Sue,” which was actually written by Shel Silverstein and not Cash) to outlaw (“Folsom Prison Blues”) to would-be saint (“Walk the Line”) to corpse (“Don’t Take Your Guns to Town”).

    The Eagles: Picture this: Hotel California, featuring the Eagles signature title song plus “Desperado,” “Lying Eyes,” “Take It to the Limit,” “New Kid in Town” and all of those other ’70s country-rock classics. If there’s gonna be a heartache tonight (or any other night), I can’t think of a better musical cure.

    Fleetwood Mac: Because the band deserves so much better than Glee‘s very special “Rumours” episode, which, criminally, left out “You Make Lovin’ Fun” and “Gold Dust Woman.”

    Eminem: Speaking of outlaws, it’s probably just a matter of time before the ’80s musical outlaw movement known as rap invades Broadway just as it did Middle America in the ’90s. I can’t think of a rapping storyteller whose songs are more deserving of the full-on stage treatment than the guy who brought us “Stan,” “’97 Bonnie & Clyde” and “Love the Way You Lie.” If 8 Mile could win an Oscar, its Tony Award possibilities as a Broadway musical are probably close to endless.

    Whose music would you like to experience on Broadway?

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Ah spring time, birds are chirping, snow is melting, and bands are announcing touring…

    Viewer Discretion Advised: Socially Conscious Cuts

    Musicians are no strangers to social commentary. Throughout the years artists have used their music to catapult important causes to the forefront of their audience’s mind, spawning social change and charitable awareness across the globe. There isn’t a person on the planet who would deny Bono’s dedication to goodwill, morphing his rock and roll status into “the face of fusion philanthropy.” And for every Bono, there are a thousands more artists spreading messages of change and awareness about causes that are near and dear to their hearts. We’re proud to include one of OurStage’s own in this category. Trig Ashes created the music video for “Know You” with an important message in mind. He  took the time to share with us, in his own words, a cause that will maybe touch you as well.

    Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS occurs when there is a separation between two adults who have children and conditions are made jeopardizing the quality of the relationship between a child and a parent. The conditions may be imposed by the opposite parent or may result indirectly from a ruling made by family mediation. This infringes on what would otherwise be a healthy relationship for everyone involved. Everyone may have heard of the parent who went to the store to buy milk and never returned. This represents an unfortunate situation.

    “My commitment to PAS is driven by my own experiences and compassion to raise awareness. My father passed away when I was very young. In dealing with my loss I observed my peers who did have both parents and the structure of the families relationships. Having one parent absent from the home wasn’t uncommon but beyond that I observed at an early age the fabric and quality of the relationships of those who had an absent parent. I saw first hand the anger and pain of friends because of conditions and boundaries placed on the relationships with the parent who no longer lived in the home. After my eyes were opened to this behavior and as I grew to become an adult myself, the unthinkable happened. After a decade of watching my friends experience and deal with PAS, my own son was being exposed to this traumatic behavior. My heart was broken. I knew that I must use my music and my voice to speak for those who didn’t have a voice.

    “In my goal of creating awareness are two components. The first component is to identify with children and parents so they might see a flagship realizing that they are not alone. Most of the time, in an emotionally traumatic situation as PAS, it is easy to feel isolated, as if that person feels they are they only one that this is happening to. Lacking coping skills, the effect is much more magnified for children. The second component is to provide resources and educate everyone to the unfortunate impact of PAS by allowing it to intrude on otherwise healthy relationships of children and their parents. There is no substitute for quality healthy relationships of children and the parents. I feel that by educating people, we can realize the consequences of PAS and help end the emotional harm done to children.”

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