Sunday 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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
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.
- Chris Brown just can’t get out of his own way
- Working title for the Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros tour: The Ampersand’s Anonymous Tour
- We really can’t decide who’s right, Lady Gaga or the Baby Gaga people
- And another Lady Gaga headline; is she just getting too big for her conceptual britches?
- It makes us sad that Phil Collins thinks his fans won’t miss him
- You’ve gone and done it now, Bono
- Did The Strokes fake it?
Ah spring time, birds are chirping, snow is melting, and bands are announcing touring…
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.”