In an unprecedented move, Billy Joel announced at a New York press conference this afternoon that he will play Madison Square Garden once a month for the indefinite future. \”Playing Madison Square Garden is an experience that never gets old,\” Joel said. \”A show a month at the Garden for as long as there\’s demand means more opportunities to connect with music fans and provides a unique and memorable show every time we play here.\”
via Billy Joel Announces Monthly Madison Square Garden Residency | Music News | Rolling Stone.
What I like most about this is that, at least theoretically, it allows Joel to really dig deep into his catalog. In previous interviews he’s spoken about kind of being over the greatest hits show, so maybe this lets him take some older, less well-known songs out of the closet and give them a new coat of paint. Not that he won’t still need to play some hits to keep people coming, but it will be the promise of hearing some rarities that will bring the more-than-casual fan coming back for repeated shows, something this concept will rely on to be successful.
The good news: There’s a new U2 album that’s said to be coming in the first few months of 2014, likely April. This after a bunch of false-starts and rumors, including that there would be a follow up to 2009′s No Line On The Horizon (which I like a lot of) as soon as 2010.
The slightly weird and kind of disappointing on a certain level news: The band is looking for a corporate partner to make the big official announcement during next year’s Super Bowl. Not that I’m some sort of “they’ve lost their cred, man” hippie, but I think we’re all hyper-aware of anytime U2 in particular starts sounding more than their usual level of pretentious.
Ladies and gentlemen, my new favorite song of 2013.
I’ll admit, it took me a minute to see what was going on here but once I did…wow.
I’ll admit it’s a hard slog through some of the band’s 70′s and 80′s records, but when they’re good they’re good. And can we talk about the simple elegance and power of Simon Kirke’s drumming? Cause it’s so good.
Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sting and U2 all have new albums coming out later this year and I’m very excited about all of them, but especially Toad.
An interesting look at free speech and how social network companies are trying to regulate “hate” and other distasteful speech by people while not infringing on stuff that might be caught by an algorithm.
The Onion’s AV Club has a full appreciation of The Kids in the Hall along with what they think are the 10 best episodes of the show. But aside from that it’s worth reading just for the breakdown of what sort of overall role each member of the troupe played in shaping its direction.
Adweek looks at the windowing issues that are going to increasingly crop up for consumers as more and more studios sign exclusive distribution contracts with various online video streaming and on-demand services. We’re basically entering a world that’s the equivalent of the VHS/Betamax wars of the 70s/80s.
By not engaging in the price discount mutually-assured-destruction game Ambercrombie & Fitch has managed to retain the sense among its target audience that it’s hip, relevant and still hot.
Let’s all just take a minute to realize that Sports, the seminal break-through record from Huey Lewis & The News, turns 30 this year. Rolling Stone has an interview with Lewis about the milestone where Lewis talks about the band going on a tour this summer where they will play the album front to back along with other hits and deep cuts.
I may have mentioned this before, but this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi. That’s right, the last movie in the Original Trilogy is three decades old. Think about that for a few minutes.
Solid first offering off their upcoming album.
I love how Dave Grohl’s answer to “what should we do with this song?” appears to always be “Let’s add another guitar!”
Flipness aside, I have the feeling we’re watching something truly awesome as Grohl continues to promote his Sound City documentary. Not only is he obviously having a blast playing with all these legendary musicians and sharing his passion for this place where so much great music was made, but I have to believe there’s lots of goodwill that’s spilling over from the live appearances to the film itself. It’s cross-media story-telling in a very pure fashion.
Watch this video for the wordless “Mantra” from the film’s soundtrack and see what a great musician Grohl really is. The song’s progression from one segment to the next is seamless and marked most notably by changes in how he plays the bass drum part.
Today would be the birthday of Terry Kath, the original guitarist for Chicago. Kath continues to be an incredibly underrated artist and is, when you look at the band’s early music, incredibly responsible for a lot of its sound in that era.
There’s a quote from Robert Lamm I once read where he pointed out that Kath often wasn’t playing what would be considered traditional guitar parts. Instead they were more like what would be played by the left hand on a piano. It’s an observation that drastically impacted how I listened to his playing after that.
Kath deserves more acknowledgement for just what an incredible musician he was and not be judged by how people now see the band he once, by virtue of his outsized personality, seemed to lead.