Category Archives: Music

John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection Three-Disc Retrospective Will Be Released On March 17, 2017

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John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection is a three-disc retrospective that will be out March 17 and includes new recording of Williams’ scores.

It’s an update of a previous collection, which over two disks included music for Spielberg films Williams recorded with the Boston Pops Orchestra for 1991’s Sony Classical: The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration and 1995’s Williams on Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores. Those collections featured music spanning 1974’s Sugarland Express through Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List (1993).

The update was recorded in 2016 with Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles and includes work from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Amistad, The BFG, Lincoln, The Adventures of Tintin, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, The Terminal, Munich and the 1999 documentary The Unfinished Journey.

“I was very happy with the fact that when I was music director of Boston Pops, we were able to record a lot of the music that I’d written for Steven’s films,” Williams said in a statement. “So I said to him, ‘ Steven, wouldn’t it be great if we could complete the Sony collection and put in all the things that we didn’t have when the last disc was recorded this time with our great orchestra here in Los Angeles?’ To which Steven responded, ‘This is a great idea. Let’s do it!’ “

The new collection also features the documentary Steven Spielberg & John Williams: The Adventure Continues about their collaboration and friendship. Williams has scored all of Spielberg’s films, with the exception of two, and he’s earned three Oscars for his work on Spielberg’s films (and five Oscars in total).

Track Listing:

Disc: 1

1. Raiders March from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
2. Theme from “Always”
3. Adventures on Earth from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”
4. Theme from “Sugarland Express”
5. Title Theme from “Jaws”
6. Out to Sea / The Shark Cage Fugue from “Jaws”
7. Exsultate Justi from “Empire of the Sun”
8. Parade of the Slave Children from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”
9. Over the Moon from “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial”
10. March from “1941”
11. Cadillac of the Skies from “Empire of the Sun”
12. Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
13. Close Encounters of the Third Kind/When You Wish Upon a Star Medley

Disc: 2

1. Flying from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”
2. Theme From “Jurassic Park”
3. Remembrances from “Schindler’s List”
4. Flight to Neverland from “Hook”
5. The Battle Of Hollywood From “1941” (includes the Irish folksong “The Rakes of Mallow”)
6. Smee’s Plan From “Hook”
7. The Barrel Chase From “Jaws”
8. My Friend,The Brachiosaurus from “Jurassic Park”
9. Jim’s New Life From “Empire Of The Sun”
10. The Dialogue From “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”
11. The Lost Boys Ballet From “Hook”
12. Theme from “Schindler’s List”
13. The Basket Chase from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”
14. The Face Of Pan from “Hook”
15. The Banquet Scene from “Hook”

Disc: 3

1. The Adventures of Mutt from “Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
2. Dry Your Tears, Afrika from “Amistad”
3. The BFG from “The BFG”
4. With Malice Toward None from “Lincoln”
5. The Duel from “The Adventures of Tintin”
6. A New Beginning from “Minority Report”
7. Movement 1: Closing In
8. Movement 2: Reflections
9. Movement 3: Joy Ride
10. Marion’s Theme from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
11. Hymn to the Fallen from “Saving Private Ryan”
12. Dartmoor, 1912 from “War Horse”
13. Viktor’s Tale from “The Terminal”
14. Prayer for Peace from “Munich”
15. Immigration and Building from “The Unfinished Journey”
16. With Malice Toward None from “Lincoln”

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Billy Joel: New York State of Mind, A New Documentary Film Begins Airing February 11, On MSGN

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Prospect Productions, Maritime Pictures and MSG Networks present a new documentary film Billy Joel: New York State of Mind. The half-hour film explores Joel’s unprecedented franchise at Madison Square Garden, now in its 42nd consecutive show! Described by Billboard magazine as “the greatest arena engagement of all time.”

Billy Joel: New York State of Mind features new interviews with the legendary musician, behind-the-scenes footage of Billy, his band and crew, plus interviews with Joel’s “Super-Fans” including actor and comedian Kevin James.

Directed by Jeff Siegel and produced by Jeff Siegel, Nick Barnicle, Colin Barnicle, and Executive Produced by Steve Cohen and Marc Forrest. Billy Joel: New York State Of Mind begins airing this Saturday night, February 11, on MSGN and can also be seen throughout the month of February.

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Sgt Pepper At Fifty

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Five decades on from its release at the height of the Summer of Love in 1967, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remains a keystone not just of the Beatles’ career but also of popular music as a whole. Widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, it is a record soaked in, and thrillingly evocative of, the sights, sounds, and mood of the sixties at their most joyously psychedelic.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a distillation of all of these ideas and more: an art-pop masterwork housed in a gatefold pop art masterpiece by collage artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth.

Organized into four clearly defined thematic chapters, Sgt Pepper at Fifty brings a new perspective to the album by looking in depth at the unique cultural circumstances that led to its creation (“the Mood”); examining the rich assemblage of influences that informed its sound (“the Sound”); exploring the landmark cover art, which is still the subject of debate and intrigue today (“the Look”); and assessing the record’s enduring legacy as the pinnacle of British pop (“the Legacy”).

The 176 page hardcover book will be released on May 15, 2017 and can be ordered HERE.

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Two-Disc Deluxe Edition of The Singles soundtrack To be Released On May 19, 2017

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A new, two-disc deluxe edition of the soundtrack to Singles – Cameron Crowe’s look at Generation X living in early Nineties Seattle – will feature previously unreleased songs by Mudhoney, Chris Cornell, Paul Westerberg and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, among others. The album is set for release on May 19th.

The release, which will be available digitally, as well as a two-CD and two-LP set, features a bonus disc of previously unreleased songs and other rarities, including songs heard in the film but not on the original 13-track release. The vinyl edition will feature all of the original music and include a CD of the bonus disc.

The rarities include Cornell’s 1992 EP, Poncier (named after Matt Dillon’s character in the movie, Cliff Poncier), which features an early version of “Spoonman.” For the first time on CD, it will also include “Touch Me I’m Dick,” the song by the movie’s fictional grunge band Citizen Dick that included Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament backing “frontman” Dillon. (The song is a snarky take on Mudhoney’s “Touch Me, I’m Sick.”)

The set will also feature new liner notes and a track-by-track breakdown of its songs by Crowe.

Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Deluxe Edition Track List

Disc One

1. Alice in Chains – “Would?”
2. Pearl Jam – “Breath”
3. Chris Cornell – “Seasons”
4. Paul Westerberg – “Dyslexic Heart”
5. The Lovemongers – “Battle of Evermore’
6. Mother Love Bone – “Chloe Dancer”/”Crown of Thorns”
7. Soundgarden – “Birth Ritual”
8. Pearl Jam – “State of Love and Trust”
9. Mudhoney- “Overblown”
10. Paul Westerberg – “Waiting for Somebody”
11. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “May This Be Love”
12. Screaming Trees – “Nearly Lost You”
13. Smashing Pumpkins – “Drown”

Disc Two

1. Citizen Dick – “Touch Me I’m Dick” (first time on CD)
2. Chris Cornell – “Nowhere but You” (Poncier)
3. Chris Cornell – “Spoon Man” (Poncier)
4. Chris Cornell – “Flutter Girl” (Poncier)
5. Chris Cornell – “Missing” (Poncier) (first time on CD)
6. Alice In Chains – “Would?” (live) – (first time on CD)
7. Alice In Chains – “It Ain’t Like That” (live) – (first time on CD)
8. Soundgarden – “Birth Ritual” (live) – (first time on CD)
9. Paul Westerberg – “Dyslexic Heart” (acoustic) – (first time on CD)
10. Paul Westerberg – “Waiting for Somebody” (score acoustic) – (previously unreleased)
11. Mudhoney – “Overblown” (demo) – (previously unreleased)
12. Truly – “Heart and Lungs”
13. Blood Circus – “Six Foot Under”
4. Mike McCready – “Singles Blues 1” (previously unreleased)
15. Paul Westerberg – “Blue Heart” (previously unreleased)
16. Paul Westerberg – “Lost in Emily’s Words” (previously unreleased)
17. Chris Cornell – “Ferry Boat #3” (previously unreleased)
18. Chris Cornell – “Score Piece #4” (previously unreleased)

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Aimee Mann’s New Album Mental Illness Out March 31, 2017

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Aimee Mann’s new album, Mental Illness, is out on March 31st. You can listen to the full version of “Goose Snow Cone” below and pre-order the album at www.aimeemann.com. Upcoming tour dates are HERE.

Mann discussed the album with Rolling Stone:

Aimee Mann says her upcoming LP, Mental Illness, is the “saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they’re-all-waltzes-so-be-it-record” she could possibly write. The singer-songwriter’s ninth studio album, her first since 2012’s Charmer, is out March 31st via SuperEgo Records.

‘It’s like having a candy coating, and then the inside is totally different’

Mann showcases that sad, folky approach on lead single “Goose Snow Cone,” which is available to stream on her website. “Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly,” she croons over fingerpicked acoustic guitars and strings.

Mann says she wrote the material assuming the general public views her work as “really depressing.” “I don’t know – people may have a different viewpoint – but that’s my own interpretation of the cliché about me,” she said. “I mean, calling it Mental Illness makes me laugh, because it is true, but it’s so blunt that it’s funny.”

The 11-track album, which was inspired by her favorite Sixties and Seventies folk-rock LPs, features a core studio crew of Jonathan Coulton (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Jay Bellerose (drums), Jamie Edwards (piano), co-writer John Roderick and longtime producer Paul Bryan (string arrangements). Ted Leo, who recently collaborated with Mann in their joint side-project, the Both, adds background vocals.

Track Listing

1. Goose Snow Cone
2. Stuck In The Past
3. You Never Loved Me
4. Rollercoasters
5. Lies Of Summer
6. Patient Zero
7. Good For Me
8. Knock It Off
9. Philly Sinks
10. Simple Fix
11. Poor Judge

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Squeeze Box: The Complete Recordings of Weird Al Yankovic Features 14 Remastered Studio Albums & Bonus Disc of Rarities

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Weird Al Yankovic, rock music’s legendary satirist, is partnering with Legacy Recordings and PledgeMusic for the release of Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic, a career-spanning box set.

The ultimate tribute to one of the most prolific musical careers of the last four decades, Squeeze Box features all 14 of Weird Al’s studio albums remastered on CD, 150-gram vinyl and digital, spanning from his debut album “Weird Al” Yankovic (1983) to Mandatory Fun (2014). Mandatory Fun was not only the first comedy album in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard chart, but also the first to even reach that lofty position in over 50 years. Altogether, the albums included in Squeeze Box have earned multiple Grammy awards, as well as dozens of gold and platinum records in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Six of these albums will make their debut on vinyl as part of Squeeze Box. Each has been newly remastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Mark Wilder and personally approved by Yankovic. An Al-curated 15th bonus disc, Medium Rarities, features specially selected non-album tracks from across his remarkable career.

Fans can pre-order the collection now on “Weird Al” Yankovic’s campaign page (pledgemusic.com/weirdalyankovic). The leaders in direct-to-fan platforms, PledgeMusic allows artists to get more personal with their fans, offering pledgers behind-the-scenes updates and items not available anywhere else. Pledgers who pre-order the Squeeze Box set will receive the AccessPass which offers access to exclusive artist updates, bonus content, and more.

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Available in Fall 2017, Squeeze Box comes in a unique package worthy of Weird Al’s inimitable style: an amazing replica of his signature accordion, with each album stored in its bellows. An accompanying 100-page book will feature a trove of rare and unseen photos and memorabilia.

Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic will be sold through an exclusive partnership with Legacy Recordings, the Grammy Award-winning catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, and PledgeMusic, a direct-to-fan music platform that will offer exclusive content and insight into the making of this one-of-a-kind set. Fans can purchase various bundles featuring signed test pressings and other merchandise available only through the PledgeMusic campaign. Upon pre-ordering the set, fans can check back for videos, images and updates on the project, from a trip to the mastering studio to early looks at the packaging and content.

Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic (1983)
“Weird Al” Yankovic In 3-D (1984)
Dare To Be Stupid (1985)
Polka Party! (1986)
Even Worse (1988)
UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff (1989)
Off The Deep End (1992)
Alapalooza (1993)
Bad Hair Day (1996)
Running with Scissors (1999)
Poodle Hat (2003)
Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)
Alpocalypse (2011)
Mandatory Fun (2014)

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U2 Detail The Joshua Tree Summer Tour

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U2 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree this year by performing the seminal 1987 album in its entirety at stadiums across America and Europe, including a stop at Bonnaroo. The festival slot will mark the group’s first-ever headlining set at an U.S. festival. The tour – which features Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and OneRepublic rotating as opening acts – kicks off May 12th at BC Place in Vancouver and wraps up July 1st at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland before heading over to Europe for a run of eight shows with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 will mark the group’s first time playing a classic album in concert. They picked one packed with hits, including “Where The Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” For hardcore fans, the tour is an opportunity to hear rarely played deep cuts like “Exit,” “Trip Through Your Wires” and “In God’s Country.” It will also feature the first live performance of “Red Hill Mining Town.”

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The idea to take The Joshua Tree on tour came last year when U2 were putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album Songs of Experience. “The election happened and suddenly the world changed,” says Edge. “We just went, ‘We’ve got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what’s going on in the world.'”

The band noticed the parallels between the worldwide political situation that gave rise to The Joshua Tree in 1987 and today. As a result, taking it on tour would give them time to re-think the new album. “[The Joshua Tree] was written in the mid-1980s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics,” says the guitarist. “It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. It just felt like, ‘Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn’t have three years ago, four years ago.’ We needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about [it] one more time before putting it out; just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say.”

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Bono shared his thoughts on the tour in a statement. “Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years,” he said. “It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current: love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarization … all the greats … I’ve sung some of these songs a lot … but never all of them. I’m up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are … it’s gonna be a great night.”

Tickets for the U.S. shows (which will have general admission seating on the field and reserved seats in the stands) will go on sale Tuesday, January 17th.

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Dates

May 12 – Vancouver, BC @ BC Place*
May 14 – Seattle, WA @ CenturyLink Field*
May 17 – Santa Clara, CA @ Levi’s Stadium*
May 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rose Bowl**
May 24 – Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium**
May 26 – Dallas, TX @ AT&T Stadium**
June 3 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field**
June 7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field**
June 11 – Miami, Fl @ Hard Rock Stadium***
June 14 – Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium***
June 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field**
June 20 – Washington, DC @ FedExField**
June 23 – Toronto, ONT @ Rogers Centre**
June 25 – Boston, MA @ Gillette Stadium**
June 28 – East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium**
July 1 – Cleveland, OH @ FirstEnergy Stadium***
*With Mumford & Sons
**With The Lumineers
***With OneRepublic

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John Mayer Announces Release Plans For New Music

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John Mayer announced via Facebook on Monday that he’ll be releasing four new songs from his forthcoming album, The Search for Everything, once a month until the project’s official release. The first “wave” of songs will be out January 20, 2017.

“There were too many songs to ever get out the door at once,” Mayer wrote.

The singer also posted artwork for the tracks, revealing titles for the first four songs: “Moving On and Getting Over,” “Changing,” “Love on the Weekend,” and “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me.”

“Love on the Weekend” first premiered in November, after Mayer teased the song’s release on social media.

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British Artist Chris Barker Creates “Sgt. Pepper” Styled Tribute To Those Lost in 2016

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British Artist Chris Barker has created a “Sgt. Pepper” themed tribute to all the beloved celebrities we’ve lost in 2016. Legends like David Bowie, Prince, Leon Russel and Glenn Frey grace the photo along with Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali, John Glenn and Nancy Reagan.

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Beethoven, Boldness, Passion, And The Heart of Creative Expression

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Ludwig von Beethoven, the “man who freed music,” once said, “…it is always acceptable to miss a few notes while playing, but it is never acceptable to play without passion!”

This, coming from a man who created some of the most recognizable anthems in history, should be a hallmark for modern musicians, performers, composers, and all types of creative individuals. Beethoven’s statement speaks to the importance of letting a desire to create and express, override the potential for criticism and the fear associated with true expression. A few modern musical enterprises like those owned by Coran Capshaw, still embody this sentiment.

In Beethoven’s day, music was steeped in the mimicry of ancient styles. It was the time of great revolutionary ideas in Europe stemming from the collision of modernity and progress. The times were marked by Napoleon’s rise to power, and his inevitable collapse due to the love of that power. Beethoven struggled his entire life with the loss of hearing, and the desire to express a new musical style that was truly revolutionary. Though he died in 1827 without fully realizing his impact upon the world, he was able to express his musical and philosophical ideas just enough to incite a change in the world of art, music, and popular culture.

There is so much pressure in the modern world for artists and musicians to display perfection and the exposition of uniqueness. This pressure is so great that the pursuit of beauty and truth often plays second chair to showmanship and acclaim. This is absolutely contrary to Beethoven’s heartfelt desire for every person engaged in the arts to strive for connections, rather than empty applause.

It is disturbing to realize the number of individuals who give up on pursuing a talent because they do not receive immediate recognition for their works. The title of “genius” is passed around so loosely in the modern artistic world that it has lost all meaning. With Beethoven’s sentiment genius, and being set apart, is not necessary for artistic success. This applies to music, dance, theater, literature, and all other art forms. According to him, all that is necessary is to present a work of art to the public with the same passion that brought it forward.

Beethoven’s most recognizable musical creation is his Symphony No. 9. The musical evolutions in this magnum opus are centered on its Nietzchean libretto, “An Die Freude.” Most people recognize this as an Ode to Joy, but it is better classified as the Love for Brotherhood. Beethoven recognized that music has the power to cross cultural and political barriers when imbued with a composer’s passion for his fellow human beings. The Capshaw model also reflects this.

This power is present in every art when the artist goes about creating under the spell of passion. When the entire artist is infused into the work of art, projects become something in which all people, if willing, can find value and meaning. Beethoven’s adamant believe that the presentation, not the material, is what moves people and is at the heart of every art. This is true for modern musicians, dancers, actors, model builders, comic book artists, writers, and sci-fi genre fans. It’s also true for bus drivers, construction workers, stay-at-home moms, and corporate human resource directors. The occupation and the art mode itself is not the key to communication. It’s the passion involved in every pursuit that allows it to leave a lasting impression on fellow human beings.

Ludwig von Beethoven left an obvious mark on the history of the musical arts, but his greatest work might have been his ideas on how people with talent should engage their fellow man. The goal should never be perfection, but an accurate outpouring of what moves an artist to create.

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