Monthly Archives: May 2014

Folk Artists Adam & I Release Intimate New Song “We Have Love”

 

 

acb00d0776b5ca0d-cardboard-3-07Nashville folk artists Adam & I (real life couple Adam and Andrea Melia) have recently released their latest single, the upbeat and adorable “We Have Love”.   In an era where cynicism and insincerity is commonplace, “We Have Love” is the direct opposite.  Over an acoustic guitar, Adam and Andrea bring their harmonies together professing that “it’s all good, we have love.”  The positives vibes continue with lines such as, “hey hey, everything will be ok.”  The song could easily veer into cheesy territory, but the duo’s enthusiasm keeps it from doing so. If you’re looking for a sunny tune to check off your summer, check out “We Have Love”.

 

For more info on Adam & I, please check out their web-site.

The Michael Jackson Hologram: Slave to Rhythm Indeed

 

At last night’s Billboard Music Awards, Michael Jackson “performed” his newest single “Slave to the Rhythm”.  Now, I don’t know about you but I can’t sense that anybody was really hungry for a performance by a holographic Michael Jackson.

Jackson was always bigger than life. His performances were part star power and spectacle. He could get away with the most outlandish performances, but he could command attention in a way that no one has ever since. Even at his worst, there was still something about a performing Jackson that made you want to root for him.  At his personal life became the stuff of tabloid legend, it impossible to ignore his presence on the stage.

One thing that was always apparent was his love for the music. Those feet and hands didn’t move that way because he wanted the money. There was sheer joy in the way he moved around on stage. It was probably that joy that led to his death while he was in rehearsal for his comeback. He wanted to prove to the world that he still had it.

But this hologram seemed to be farce. It’s totally taking advantage of an audience that still misses Jackson.  The “performance” was everything people expected of Jackson, but in a life-less form. Though the Tupac hologram at 2012’s Coachella was just as contrived, at least that had the element of surprise.  The hologram Michael Jackson was nothing more than PR stunts for both the record labels and Billboard.  It may not have felt this way if the “performance” was say, a song like “Billie Jean” or “Thriller”.  But no, instead what we got was “Slave to the Rhythm” off of the recently released Xscape – which also seems in and of itself like a cash-grab.

A real MJ performance would have wowed the audience simply by him being there.  But the audience got blown away because it looks and acts like Jackson – a far cry from the real thing. Instead of paving the wave, a hologram Jackson reduces what we loved about him down to a product.  Jackson’s legacy certainly deserves better.

 

 

The Genius and Contradiction of Pete Townshend

 

(Today is Pete Townshend’s 69th birthday.)

As a teenager, The Who was my favorite band. Their explosive combination with introspective lyrics fit the bill for a confused teenager trying to make his way through the world. At their best, they were an intellectual band that played with fury. They could expand your mind and capture your all frustrations with an un-matched aggression.

As the leader of The Who, Pete Townshend quickly became one of my heroes. But to be a fan of Pete Townshend you have to accept certain things about him. For every brilliant move he’s made, there’s always been a frustrating one around the corner.  His failed rock-opera Lifehouse was designed in part to bring The Who’s audience and the band together in some sort of rock and roll nirvana.  But at the same time, he could just easily curse out the same audience for not living up to his own expectations.  (One such tirade is captured on The Who’s 4-disc boxed set 30 Years of Maximum R&B.)  He’s also an extremely spiritual guy, who succumbed to both alcohol and drug addiction.

Unlike Bob Dylan (who is very guarded in his brilliant memoir Chronicles Vol. 1) and Keith Richards (who is very nonchalant about his addictions in Life), Townshend lays out his contradictions in Who I Am.  He’s very candid about the abuse that happened while he stayed with his grandmother as a kid and the addictions that nearly took his life in the early 80s.  But then he’ll come off as completely arrogant when talking about Lifehouse (even though it’s a failure) because he’s convinced that the audience was too stupid to understand it.

It would be easy to think of Townshend as a class-A jerk. He can certainly be that. When I first started to like The Who and discovered more about him, I became disappointed that he wasn’t quite who I thought he was. Sometimes I was pissed at him for dismissing his audience’s intelligence in interviews. Other times I hated him for being too ambitious. At first, I despised Quadrophenia because it wasn’t as simple as some of The Who’s early singles. I wanted the angst without the pretentiousness that filled most of Quadrophenia.  

What I didn’t realize at the time was that Townshend was exposing my own contradictions through the music of The Who. I wanted The Who (and him) to exist within a certain context that existed within my own mind.  I began to see many of the contradictions in my own life as result. I could be smart and intelligent, but also had a huge lazy streak that kept me from achieving certain things that I wanted.

When I read Who I Am, I gained a new appreciation for Townshend. He’s never been some guy who has rested on his laurels. But unlike some other rock and roll artists where it can be hard to sympathize with them, I did with Townshend.  But not because he’s had tremendous lows.  Being completely open, his memoir made him all the more human and relatable. Even after all that he’s achieved; he’s just trying to figure it out just like the rest of us.

Young Rising Sons New Video for Melodic Single “High”

 

Rock-pop group Young Rising Sons recently released the video for their first single entitled “High”.  The upbeat single boasts some nice falsettos from lead singer Andy Tongren.  The sing-along chorus is pure bliss containing some whistles in the background.  The song could turn into a campy romp, but the band’s enthusiasm makes it memorable and hard to resist.

The video reflects this attitude as well with shots of the band hanging around a campfire at night. It’s a song about the joys of life and a place “where all my wrongs have turned to right.”

For more information on Young Rising Sons, check out their web-site.

New Music: “Like a Fallen Rose” – Boroko

 

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Courtney Love recently said that saxophones don’t belong in rock and roll. I guess she shouldn’t listen to Boroko’s “Fallen Rose” which highlights a sexy saxophone over a reggae-like groove.  The sax is a perfect accompaniment to the sultry guitar lines and Boroko’s lust-filled voice where he begs his girl to “come down to the water” and pleads that he “only wanted to love her.”

Boroko is the stage name for Australian singer-songwriter Tim Fontaine who recently released his debut album, Almost Human.  “Fallen Rose”can be found on Almost Human, which is out now.

Check it out below.