Marking his first recordings since the 2010 release of Clapton, legendary musician Eric Clapton has announced plans to release a new full length album entitled Old Sock in 2013.
No, really. The album is called Old Sock.
Clapton has yet to comment on the story behind the album’s title, but he did release the album’s track listing, as well as the record’s March 12 shelf date. You can view the track listing below. (more…)
Last night, hundreds of celebrities came together, as they so frequently do, for a benefit event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The purpose of the 12/12/12 concert was to raise money for the victims and survivors of Hurricane Sandy as well as provide hope and support for those still struggling. Performers included Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Roger Waters, Adam Sandler with Paul Schaffer, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys, The Who, Kanye West, Billy Joel, Chris Martin of Coldplay, and probably the most talked-about performance of the night, Paul McCartney with the surviving members of Nirvana for their first reunion in twenty years.
According to Billboard, it was a powerful night of poignant entertainment, as many of the performers were from the New York/New Jersey area and chose songs that specifically related to the event. Springsteen did a Medley of “My City In Ruins,” “Working On A Building,” and Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl.” His songs all hit home as did Adam Sandler’s comical rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” entitled “Sandy Screw Ya.” Click the links below to watch of some of these highlight acts.
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Cry Me A River “ Justin Timberlake
The video Justin Timberlake made for his solo hit, featuring a familiar-looking blonde and a glimpse of a photo in an errant frame, did nothing to dispel theories that this track was about Britney Spears’ cheating ways. Goddam you, Britney, how could you?!
All aspiring musicians have covered songs at some point in their careers. Emulation and repetition are simple methods to improve your technique. But to adapt a famous song into your own style and succeed in creating a musically stimulating experience is a completely different game. With this in mind, we took a gander at the Covers Channel here at OurStage and hand picked the most original imitators for your listening pleasure. We hope you enjoy the fresh twists on these classic songs just as much as we did!
“When The Levee Breaks” by Bonerama (original by Memphis Minnie and Joe McCoy and given international popularity by Led Zeppelin). This song was originally performed by a folk blues duo from the United States. So it’s only appropriate that this incarnation of the tune is centered around a New Orleans brass band.
“When The Saints Go Marching In” by Donna Lee Saxophone Quartet (originally recorded by Louis Armstrong). For this popular gospel hymn, in a style reminiscent to the golden Dixieland days, an all-saxophone arrangement fills all the traditional band’s roles. It even has a tasty sax solo to boot!
“Something” by John McCracken (original by The Beatles). It’s amazing what a striking difference a small change can make. The addition of a slide guitar in this tune takes the song’s feel to a whole new place, and it’s a place we don’t mind being taken to.
“A-Punk” by Rockapella (original by Vampire Weekend). As their name suggests, Rockapella have adapted the song for an all-vocal a capella performance. Keeping all the great hooks and slowing the tune down just enough to make you bounce, this unique cover will have you asking for more.
“Fight For Your Right (To Party) Blues” by The Tangiers Blues Band (original by The Beastie Boys). Add grittiness of blues to this ironic party anthem? Yes please! Fuzzface, harmonica and shuffle fit perfectly with the devil-may-care attitude of the tune, and the performance is simply top notch.
“Complicated” by Nikki Britt (original by Avril Lavigne). This high-school pop tune is surprisingly easy on the ears as a country song. Granted, the reach taken with this adaptation isn’t too far with the instrumentation, but the vocal delivery is not only good, but gives the lyrics a breath of credibility to that can only be attributed to the youthfulness of the voice.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” by Tobias Gebb (original by The Beatles). “The Beatles, again?” you ask? Not only are they the most covered band on OurStage, there is also no such thing as “too much” Beatles. This already experimental tune retains its Indian qualities as the musicians explore the percussive side of the song in this jazz arrangement.
“Tears In Heaven” by Julius Francis (original by Eric Clapton). This modern take on Clapton’s classic definitely gives the song a new twist. Even though it lacks the rawness and emotion of the original, it gives it a new air with a poppier, technologically powered feel.
Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a particular theme to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!
There have been a fair number of musical husband-and-wife rockers out there over the years, but how many can you name who already had successful solo careers before they started storming stages and studios in tandem? With the June 7 release of Revelator, the Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s name can be added to that exceedingly small list.
As you probably already know, Susan Tedeschi started out in the ’90s as one of the most promising young blues artists around, a singer/guitarist who had soaked up her share of the canon but was proudly pointed in new directions too. By the ’00s, she had expanded her sound outwards while still staying in touch with her blues roots. Guitar prodigy Derek Trucks, nephew of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, became an ABB axeman when he was just 20 years old, and has been leader of the Derek Trucks Band since his teens. Tedeschi and Trucks met (where else?) on the road, starting a romance that eventually blossomed into wedded bliss and proud parenthood, but it’s only recently that they began seriously considering a full-fledged musical marriage via the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
“We had done tours with both of our solo bands together, and then a lot of tours with Susan opening for the Allman Brothers,” recalls Trucks, but their individual careers initially proved too demanding to take it much further than that. Tedeschi says a joint project was “always something we were leaning towards, but it was difficult.” In 2010, the tide finally began to turn in their favor, though. “I finally had an opportunity to get out of my deal,” says Tedeschi, “and Derek was done with some of the major projects that he’s been very occupied with.” Soon, the pair was signing a new contract with Sony Masterworks to record together under the TTB moniker, and work began in earnest.
“We spent a huge amount of time in our studio writing and rehearsing,” says Trucks, “and playing with different musicians, just feeling it out. We wanted it to be a big band. Knowing it was gonna be a lot of human beings on the road, we wanted to make sure the chemistry was right”making sure all the personalities worked, musically and otherwise.” In the end, the Tedeschi Trucks Band wound up as an eleven-strong ensemble, complete with horn section and harmony singers, including former Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbidge, Burbidge’s keyboard-playing brother Kofi and a couple of members of both Derek and Susan’s previous bands, as well as several new faces.
Of course, taking an eleven-piece outfit on the road isn’t easy. “Logistically and financially it’s a beast,” says Trucks. “It’s a burden to really make it work. Most people that have eleven-piece bands on the road are well along the way. We do well, we’ve made it work over the years, but making it work with a four- or five-piece band is quite a bit different than having twenty people on the road, crew and otherwise.” But they had some excellent models for making it work, looking to large, freewheeling, roots-oriented outfits of an earlier era for inspiration. “When we first had the idea, we were thinking Delaney & Bonnie, and [Joe Cocker and Leon Russell‘s] Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Sly & The Family Stone, and Derek & The Dominos, we were really thinking about that family vibe.”
Capturing the outsized band’s eclectic, syncretic vision of American roots music wasn’t easy, but Trucks in particular was fully up to that task. “Derek has worked very hard on this record,” says Tedeschi, “not just playing guitar and writing songs, but as a producer and as a visionary, working with [co-producer] Jim Scott…trying to get the best out of everybody. I feel more proud of this record than I’ve felt of any of my records in the past. This is a really timeless record.” For his part, Trucks is enthusiastic about Revelator‘s rich expanse of styles, observing “It felt really visual to me, it felt like every song was a scene change. From one song to the next it feels like theater or a movie.”
For Tedeschi, the project offers a chance to spread her wings further than ever without abandoning the blues. “Even though I get categorized as a blues artist,” she says, “think about the Stones, think about somebody like Little Feat or the Allman Brothers, they all have blues roots¦they just make it their own. I think that’s sort of what we’re doing at this point.” Her husband takes the idea of expanding the musical palette even further, saying “You get pretty discouraged when you listen to mainstream music”I always have this sense that it’s detrimental to humanity when you’re lowering the bar and just dumbing it down. For a long time my reaction to that was ‘Fuck it, we’ll just play for ourselves.'”
Of course, Revelator represents an attempt to transcend those circumstances. “I think you get to a point where you’re like ‘Why don’t you try to do something about it?’ Trucks explains, “‘Why don’t you try to make music that anyone can listen to, but the medicine is still in there?’ You think about the way they feed dolphins at Sea World, they put the medicine inside the sardine, sometimes I feel like we’re trying to do that musically. You can have it both ways. I think about some of my favorite artists”Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles¦there’s no compromise there musically, but somehow it gets through to people, and I think this group has the ability to do that.”
Those whose hearts palpitate in time to the songs of Robbie Robertson”both his Band-era milestones and solo hits such as Broken Arrow and Somewhere Down The Crazy River” have had to endure a long period of silence from the legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist. Robertson’s last album was Contact From the Underworld of Redboy, a 1998 release informed by the electronic sensibilities of producer Howie B. But just a couple of weeks ago, the thirteen-year silence was broken by He Don’t Live Here No More, the first single from Robertson’s fifth solo album, How To Become Clairvoyant, which is scheduled for an April 5 release. The single, like much of the album itself, bears a deep, swampy, blues-rock groove and a natural-sounding, lived-in feel that has more in common with Robertson’s early solo outings than his last couple of releases, which boasted a more modernized approach. The production style proves to be the perfect complement to the tunes, which share a retrospective, even nostalgic purview. I can’t think of one song on the record that doesn’t have that quality, affirms Robertson, during our conversation about Clairvoyant.
Robertson’s got some old friends helping out on the record too, including Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. Eric and I first started talking about doing something like 10 years ago or more, Robertson recalls, and we got together, but we didn’t have anything specific in mind. We’re old friends, so we were hanging out and playing a little music and telling stories¦but it was just kind of dipping our toe in the water. Him and I did a few things probably over a three-week period when he was in Los Angeles. Some time later¦I came across the project that him and I had started, and I thought ˜Wow, there’s much more here than what I remembered.’ So I called him and I said ˜We’ve got some interesting stuff that we started,’ and he said ˜I always thought so.’ The next thing he knew, Robertson was on a plane to London at Clapton’s behest, to record a full-blown album. He was just a great friend in all of it, Robertson says of the British guitar hero, just being so supportive. He said ˜I just want you to make a record. If I can be part of it and be supportive in it, I’m just glad to do it.’ So that was nice inspiration too. Another old compatriot on hand for the sessions was Steve Winwood. I met Steve when I was 20-years-old and I was playing with Bob Dylan, and we were touring England, recalls Robertson. That was in 1966 I think, so I’ve known him that long.
But Robertson’s other musical endeavors elongated the production process of Clairvoyant. The London tracks turned out well, but Right after we cut them, Martin Scorsese asked me if I would help him figure out the music for Shutter Island, says Robertson. So I went off and did that. It was a more lengthy process than I thought, because for that soundtrack I wanted to use modern classical music, and although I knew something about what that was, I wanted to do more research. So the work on that¦it took a while. Then I came back to the record, and I finished it up by myself and with the other people that I brought in to work on it, like Trent Reznor and [ex-Rage Against The Machine guitarist] Tom Morello and Robert Randolph. So how did industrial-music icon Trent Nine Inch Nails Reznor end up in the mix? In this last little while, he’s been leaning in a cinematic direction, explains Robertson, and he did the music for Social Network. This song that Eric and I had written, Madame X, we had laid down a basic track, but what I was really looking for was¦something that had a timeless quality to it, but I wanted to put a new, modern kind of spin on it as well. I thought those two worlds would fit together really nice, so I asked Trent if he would do a treatment on this.
But despite the occasional presence of more contemporary-minded contributors like Reznor and Morello, How To Become Clairvoyant remains a rootsy, earthy piece of work, and the songs seem to touch on earlier phases of Robertson’s life. This Is Where I Get Off, for instance, deals with his split from his buddies in The Band, while Straight Down The Line celebrates pre-rock & roll-era artists’ insistence on standing their stylistic ground, regardless of changing trends. Robertson says the seed of the idea had to do with Mahalia Jackson. I had suggested a few years ago that she be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence, he says, because she was a complete inspiration, and she’s one of the greatest female singers of all time. And the answer back from her family was ˜That’s okay, we’d rather not.’ Because she always said ˜I do not play no rock and roll.’ [a key line in Robertson’s song] And Frank Sinatra, when rock and roll first came out, he was like, ˜Well this shit’s only gonna be around for six months anyway.’ I just like that attitude, some people were just bold enough to say ˜Nah, I don’t buy it.’
When The Night Was Young looks back wistfully on the idealism of the ˜60s counterculture that 67-year-old Robertson was part of. The youth of the nation, and the youth of the world, ultimately felt like ˜We’re not just gonna stand here and watch wrong things happen, we’re gonna stand up and we’re gonna make a difference.’ That war [in Vietnam] was called to a halt, because everybody said ˜We don’t want this,’ and it really was the voice of a generation telling the governments and the world ˜You’re gonna have to stop this.’ And they did. When we played at Woodstock, people were getting up saying ˜There’s a half a million of us here, and we’re all here today for peace, and we want this war to go away.’ And at that point people were saying ˜You know what, we’re gonna have to listen to some of this shit, we just can’t ignore it anymore.’ It was a powerful feeling, and we don’t have that now, we don’t really feel that in the air.
On How To Become Clairvoyant, the listeners who grew up with Robertson’s music will recognize pieces of their own past, but younger generations can still get a feeling for the sense of history that pervades the album. The tunes themselves, of course, come with no age requirements for their enjoyment, and Robertson’s followers can exhale at last, content in the knowledge that their pied piper is back at work. I choose to make records when I feel inspired to do so, he says, otherwise I’d rather not, and inspiration appears to have been a key ingredient in Robertson’s latest sonic statement.
This year was a curious one in GRAMMY world, with some heavy hitters being shut out and some less popular acts finally getting a chance to shine. The ‘Record of the Year’ category is dominated by urban pop, with just one band”CMT Artist of the Year Lady Antebellum (nominated in six categories)”bringing up the rear with their country album Need You Now. Eminem leads the pack with ten nominations for his smash success Recovery, landing on the list for ‘Best Rap Album,’ and Love The Way You Lie, featuring Rihanna, scoring nominations for ‘Record of The Year,’ ‘Song of The Year,’ ‘Best Rap Song’ and ‘Best Rap Collaboration.’
Other hip hop standouts include Cee-Lo’s three nominations for [Forget] You for ‘Record of The Year’ and ˜Song of The Year’ and ˜Best Urban Performance’. Jay-Z made the list for ˜Best Rap Album’ with Blueprint 3 and again with newlyweds Alicia Keys (with Empire State of Mind up for ˜Best Rap Song’ and Best Rap Collaboration) and Swizz Beatz (with Onto The Next One contending for ˜Best Rap by Duo’ and ˜Best Rap Song’). Keys’ album, Elements of Freedom was shockingly snubbed from all categories, despite its heavy radio play. Swizz Beats is also nominated for Fancy, his collaboration with Drake, whose debut album, Thank Me Later earned him a nomination for ˜Best Rap Album,’ while his single Overscored him a bid for ˜Best Solo Rap Performance.’
On the pop front, Katy Perry is the front-runner with four nominations for her album, Teenage Dream. Ke$ha’s debut, Animal, failed to garner any attention for the saucy newcomer and Lady Gaga‘s Bad Romance popped up on the shortlist for ˜Best Female Pop Vocal’ but was slighted in the categories of ˜Song and Record of The Year.’ “Dance In The Dark” earned Gaga a ‘Best Dance Recording’ nom and Telephone, her duet with Beyoncé, earned her a nomination for ˜Best Pop Collaboration.’
B.o.B fared well with his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, earning him five nominations including ˜Record of The Year’ and ˜Best Rap Album’ while his single, Nothin On You featuring Bruno Mars is making a run for ˜Best Rap Song’, ˜Best Rap Collaboration’ and ˜ Record of The Year’. B.o.B’s duet with Paramore front-woman, Hayley Williams is also up for ˜Best Pop Collaboration.’ Meanwhile, Mars came in with seven nominations for his work with B.o.B., his single, Just The Way You Are and his work as producer with The Smeezingtons who are up for the ˜Producer of The Year’ title.
˜The ‘Best New Artist’ category seems the most diverse with contender Justin Beiber going head to head with Florence and the Machine, Drake, Mumford & Sons, and Esperanza Spalding (who was curiously excluded for any noms in the Jazz category) for the honor. Usher‘s, Raymond V Raymond will go against Chris Brown’s, Grafitti for ˜Best Contemporary R&B Album.’
This is the year of new beginnings. In addition to Chris Brown’s nomination, fellow tabloid darlings Lee Ann Rimes and Fantasia, whose troubling private lives made very public headlines, end their year on a happier note with nods for the former in ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’ and the latter in ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ and ‘Best R&B Song’ for “Bittersweet.”
There’s a good chance we’ll see last year’s ‘Best New Artist’ winner Zac Brown Band on stage again this year, this time sans stick puppet”2009 addition Clay Cook was unable to accept the award with the band for their win last year because he did not have a credit on their first album. They’re nominated for ‘Best Country Performance,’ ‘Best Country Song’ and ‘Best Country Album.’ Other country favorites Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Jewel also received nominations.
No huge surprises found among artists in the rock categories, with multiple nominations for veterans Jeff Beck (‘Best Rock Album,’ ‘Best Rock Performance’ with Joss Stone and ‘Best Rock Instrumental’) and Neil Young (‘Best Rock Song,’ ‘Best Rock Album’ and Best Solo Rock Performance’) while Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, John Mayer earning one nom each. Hard rock and metal showcased no new artist nominations either: Ozzy Osborne, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, Korn, Megadeth, Lamb of God and Slayer.
For the complete list of nominees across all 100 categories, visit Grammy.com
By Cortney Wills with additional reporting by Paula Gould
Cortney Wills is a pop culture journalist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has lived in LA, Chicago and NYC and enjoys all things entertainment.