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"There's only one thing worse in society than the poor house and that's the mad house." ~ Adman Ant

Back in the early '80s, Adam Ant was the king of the wild post-punk frontier. Mentored by former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and his fashion designer partner Vivienne Westwood, the London born art school dropout created a visually vivid world of pirates and dandies which brought color back to the palate of a culturally monotone and economically depressed UK.

Having amassed an avid US fanbase with his music, and after starring in a critically acclaimed West End production of the Joe Orton play Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Ant moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. However the price of fame took its toll. Alongside film and TV roles, he also aquired a stalker, which severely impacted his already fragile peace of mind.

Taking a break from the public eye, Ant moved to Tennessee before returning to London, where an altercation outside a pub thrust him back into the headlines again. Following the incident, Ant pled guilty to a single count of causing an affray. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 21, Ant received a suspended sentence and court ordered psychiatric care. Unfortunately, due to the relentless nature of the British press, he was forced to pull his life back together under the tabloid glare.

Though his recovery was very public and far from linear - with every setback being exacerbated by its salacious documentation by the less savory contingent of the UK press - Ant is clearly in a much better place these days. He completed a string of dates in the US and Europe in 2012, before releasing his first studio album in 17 years. The intriguingly titled Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter was released on both side of the Atlantic in January of this year.

I caught up with Ant by phone after a rehearsal with his new band The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse to talk about his new album and his upcoming US tour, which kicks off in San Diego on July 17th.

Read my interview with Adam Ant on SuicideGirls.com.

Scroobius Pip: Distraction Pieces

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By Nicole Powers


"It can be its own creature."
- Scroobius Pip


Scroobius Pip went out one day, and made a record for people to play. Then all the beasts in the world came round, thanks to his killer wit and rhymes so sound. The Nyan cat, the dog and the kangaroo, with "Thou Shalt Always Kill" the YouTube massive he did woo. Then the wolf he howled, the horse he neighed, "I'm releasing a second solo record" the Pip brayed. And when the Pip began to roar, there never was heard such a noise before. And every beast he stood on the tip, to peruse a video of the Scroobius Pip. At last they said to the Pip "By far,
 you're the wisest beast! You know you are!" SG got close to Scroobius Pip to say, 'Tell us all about yourself we pray. For as yet we can't make out in the least, if you're punk or hip-hop, or poet or beast." The Scroobius Pip looked vaguely round, and hollered these words with a rumbling sound: "Chippetty flip, Flippetty chip, my only name is the Scroobius Pip."


In truth, he may not have said "Chippetty flip" or "Flippetty chip" - but here's what went down when SuicideGirls spoke to the Pip...


Read my exclusive interview with Scroobius Pip on SuicideGirls.com.

Benji Madden - Good Charlotte

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"The goal is the journey"
- Benji Madden

Though they may have joked about the trappings of fame in their 2002 breakout hit "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," brothers Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte appreciate everything their success has brought. Having come from a broken home - and suffered the financial and emotional hardship that resulted from it - they also know the value of family, a theme which lies at the heart of their latest release Cardiology.

SuicideGirls caught up with Benji to talk about the new album, his thoughts on family, and his work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador promoting UNICEF's Believe in Zero campaign, which aims to reduce preventable infant mortality, thereby ensuring that more families have a chance to enjoy the fundamental luxury of growing old together.

Read the exclusive interview with Benji Madden on SuicideGirls.com.

Tommy Lee - Methods of Mayhem

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Tommy Lee gives good phone. He's the consummate professional when it comes to interviews. Don't be fooled by his easy going charm and natural flirtatiousness; Behind it lies a disarming intelligence and an instinct that knows exactly how to perpetuate and sell the rock & roll myth we all want - and need - to buy into.


It's not that he's is being insincere - far from it - it's well documented that the drummer-turned-multi instrumentalist walks the walk as well as talking the talk. However, all rock & roll shenanigans aside, when it counts, Lee seriously has his shit together - like on the designated press day for his new Methods of Mayhem album, A Public Disservice Announcement.


Fielding questions from an endless procession of rock critics and music writers can be a tedious task. It's therefore not uncommon for artists to flake entirely or give jaded responses. However Lee is diligently going through his record label supplied phone list, giving his all and - no doubt - successfully connecting to each of the journalists on it on some level.


It's this balance of work vs. play that has helped Lee stay on top of his game for over three decades - that and the fact that he is still genuinely excited to be making music and talking about it with those that love it too. Thus, though SuicideGirls are not the type to wait around for the phone to ring, we found ourselves doing just that one Friday afternoon...


Read my exclusive interview with Tommy Lee on SuicideGirls.com, and preview "All I Wanna Do" from A Public Disservice Announcement on the SG Blog.

Chester Bennington: Linkin Park

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It's been over a decade since Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which spawned the breakout, radio-friendly crossover hits "Crawling" and "In the End." The SoCal rock/rap band, whose vocal interplay between singer Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda became their sonic signature, have come a long way since then.


But though Linkin Park's subsequent full-length offerings, Meteora (2003) and Minutes to Midnight (2007), were solid performers, they failed to match the excitement of the band's initial release. Consequently, when we were invited to a special laser listening event a week ahead of the street date for Linkin Park's fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns, we weren't sure what to expect. However, the album - and its presentation - quite frankly, blew us away. And, judging by the reactions of those gathered at Hollywood's Music Box Theatre, we weren't the only ones who felt that way.


Though not strictly a concept album, in an age of single song MP3 downloads, A Thousand Suns is somewhat of a concept by default - being a collection of tracks that are specifically intended to be listened to old-school style, in order, in their entirety. Having toyed with the idea of not even breaking A Thousand Suns into separate song files, the band chose to premiere the album in front of a select group of fans and press at the aforementioned listening party by playing it from start to finish, with Pink Floyd-style laser visuals serving to focus minds and energy, and underscore the vintage Dark Side of the Moon-style album effect.


Less than a week later, Linkin Park similarly exceeded expectations when they performed the first single off the album, "The Catalyst," during MTV's 2010 Video Music Awards. The epic performance, which was broadcast from the iconic Griffith Park Observatory, surprised fans and non-fans alike.


I caught up with the Linkin Park's frontman, Chester Bennington, by phone to find out how the band busted out of their music box.


Read my exclusive interview with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington on SuicideGirls.com, and hit my photo gallery for images from Linkin Park's Laser Listening Party at The Music Box.

Gary Numan: The Pleasure Principle

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The Pleasure Principle is an album that's provided its maker, Gary Numan, with both instant and delayed gratification. Three decades ago, when the now classic electro album first came out, it made a massive impact culturally and commercially. The Pleasure Principle, and the iconic single it spawned, "Cars", hit the number one spot simultaneously on the album and singles charts in the UK in September, 1979. The following year, the records crashed the US Billboard charts, making the painfully shy young vocalist, composer and musician a household name here too.


Numan's Kraftwerk-inspired tracks, which channeled the voice of the machine, had a raw energy and DIY aesthetic that served as the bridge between '70s punk and the early dance and hip-hop scenes of the 1980s. Indeed the bare break beats from the opening segment of "Films" (the fourth track on The Pleasure Principle) became the sample of choice for a generation of producers, thanks in part to the song's inclusion on Street Beat's tastemaker compilation series Ultimate Breaks and Beats (which served as the primary DJ and studio sample resource pre-CD).


Ironically, as the spotlight faded on Numan, the sounds he created proliferated exponentially through the fabric of pop music culture. As a new generation of producers sampled samples, the origins of these staple breaks escaped many. However those in the know - such as Basement Jaxx, Armand Van Heldon, Afrika Bambaataa and Dr. Dre - openly covered, used, credited and paid homage to Numan's body of work.


In 2002, Numan once again toped the charts in the UK with an all-girl band called the Sugababes and a song called "Freak Like Me." The track was essentially a highly produced and super slick mash-up of the top line from Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me" and the riff and groove lifted directly from "Are Friends Electric," a song Numan recorded pre-Principle with his band Tubeway Army (which first hit the #1 single spot across the Atlantic in May, 1979).


More recently, Trent Reznor outed himself as a fan, inviting Numan to perform his songs with Nine Inch Nails during the band's 2009 shows in London and Los Angeles. The strong reaction Numan received following his guest spots at NIN's four final shows in LA in particular turned heads, and a coveted invite to play Coachella this year was forthcoming. Unfortunately, fallout from a volcano in Iceland, which grounded flights throughout Europe, meant that Numan, along with several other artists, was unavoidably a no-show at the festival. However fans won't be disappointed for long, since a dedicated tour honoring the 30th Anniversary of The Pleasure Principle will stop off in 15 US cities this fall.


I called Numan up at the East Sussex home he shares with his wife and three children to talk about the shows, his music - past and present - and the realities of life beyond The Pleasure Principle.


Read my exclusive interview with Gary Numan at SuicideGirls.com.

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My snap of Lee "Scratch" Perry is the Picture of the Week on Indie1031.com.


The photo was taken last Sunday (Aug 22nd) at Sunset Junction.


See photo gallery for more images from the event.


Richard Patrick: Filter

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"I'm going to write songs about fucking blowing my head off and giving in to apathy," says Filter founder and frontman Richard Patrick during our interview. It's not that he's going to do either, it's just that he understands what anger combined with a sense of hopeless can do to a person's psyche.

In 2008 he released Anthems For The Damned, which served both as a protest against the Iraq war and a tribute to a friend it had claimed. (Anti-war, but very much pro-troops, Patrick has traveled to the region twice to play concerts for those who risk their lives to serve our country.) Two years on, though our president may have changed, the status quo (or lack thereof) remains the same in the Middle East. After too many years listening to grim reports from the frontlines of a war that was misguided from the start, both the troops on the ground and the masses here at home are suffering from a severe case of fuck up fatigue. With dissent now largely falling on deaf ears, and, even worse, serving to remind the proletariat of their powerlessness, Patrick gets why it's therapeutic to embrace indifference, shrug your shoulders and say "fuck it" to the world.

Thus, at least on the surface, the latest Filter release, The Trouble With Angels, channels the middle finger up attitude of Patrick's drug and alcohol dependant youth - and of his band's 1995 breakthrough debut, Short Bus. Featuring songs with titles such as "Down With Me," "Drug Boy" and "The Inevitable Relapse," the new Filter full-length - which is undoubtedly one of the band's best - explores topics such as addiction, murder and suicide. Inspired by the music, but puzzled by the message, I checked in with Patrick to find out where his head was at.

Read my exclusive interview with Richard Patrick on SuicideGirls.com.

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Went with SG Radio co-host Sam Doumit to see my SuicideGirls pal Scott Ian play with his lovely wife, Pearl Aday, last week. Pearl, who released her debut solo album Little Immaculate White Fox in 2009, was supporting her dad - Meat Loaf - at the Gibson Amphitheatre. For more images from the night check my SuicideGirls photo gallery.

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Took some snaps of Hypernova when they played WeHo's Troubabour recently (see photo gallery). The band have an amazing story (they're from Iran) and an awesome sound (New Order meets Franz Ferdinand).


Hypernova are currently on a nationwide tour with fellow Iranian band The Yellow Dogs (who appeared in an award-winning documentary about the underground rock music scene in Tehran called No One Know About Persian Cats). Both bands are in exile (it's illegal to perform Western style music in Iran) and based in New York now (Hypernova originally obtained work visa thanks to the personal intervention of New York Senator Charles Schumer). They're hoping the tour will open a window on a different, more positive aspect of Middle Eastern culture than we're used to seeing on TV, so be sure to check 'em out.


Visit Hypernova's Facebook for tour dates and their website for a free download of their new single, "Fairty Tales," off their debut album Through The Chaos.

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