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Get ready Hamilton fans, as a ridiculous, Hamilton-inspired mixtape is headed your way this Fall. Due to come out some time in October, according to Billboard, the mixtape will be produced by Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots, and will feature guest appearances by, Usher, Sia, Chance The Rapper, Busta Rhymes, and Ben Folds, among others.While the project was originally discussed by show creator Lin Manuel Miranda on his Twitter account back in October 2015, it has taken a little time to make the mixtape happen, with ?uestlove and Black Thought too consumed with crafting the cast album for the play, before turning their attention to the mixtape. The project is said to include covers from the show, which has a stellar soundtrack, as performed by popular artists, along with songs inspired by the play. Questlove had this to say about the project:“We’re in the final stages. We were brought in to produce the cast album and now the massive success of that album is leading to the original idea. Hamilton started out as an idea for a mixtape and nothing else. Then they were like, ‘Let’s do this play first and see what happens.’ So this is the ‘see what happens’ part.”With such a diverse lineup, an interesting theme, and the master of pop culture–?uestlove–in the driver’s seat, we’re definitely looking forward to listening to this unique mixtape when it comes out!
Bob Dylan was chosen to receive the Nobel Prize In Literature back in October. It took about two weeks before the poet/songwriter acknowledged his honor. “Isn’t that something?,” he said, before opening up a bit more. “It’s hard to believe… amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?” The ceremony for his 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature took place last night in Stockholm, Swede, though Dylan did not attend due to “existing commitments.”Instead, Dylan sent Patti Smith in his place who performed “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” with accompaniment from an orchestra. “I apologize, I’m so nervous,” she explained after mistakenly repeating a line of the song and being forced to start the verse over. The audience, of course, applauded Smith for her actions nonetheless.Watch her performance below:Professor Horace Engdahl of the Swedish Academy delivered the introductory speech, explaining why Dylan was worthy of such high honors. Read the full transcription below:What brings about the great shifts in the world of literature? Often it is when someone seizes upon a simple, overlooked form, discounted as art in the higher sense, and makes it mutate. Thus, at one point, emerged the modern novel from anecdote and letter, thus arose drama in a new age from high jinx on planks placed on barrels in a marketplace, thus songs in the vernacular dethroned learned Latin poetry, thus too did La Fontaine take animal fables and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales from the nursery to Parnassian heights. Each time this occurs, our idea of literature changes.In itself, it ought not to be a sensation that a singer/songwriter now stands recipient of the literary Nobel Prize. In a distant past, all poetry was sung or tunefully recited, poets were rhapsodes, bards, troubadours; ‘lyrics’ comes from ‘lyre’. But what Bob Dylan did was not to return to the Greeks or the Provençals. Instead, he dedicated himself body and soul to 20th century American popular music, the kind played on radio stations and gramophone records for ordinary people, white and black: protest songs, country, blues, early rock, gospel, mainstream music. He listened day and night, testing the stuff on his instruments, trying to learn. But when he started to write similar songs, they came out differently. In his hands, the material changed. From what he discovered in heirloom and scrap, in banal rhyme and quick wit, in curses and pious prayers, sweet nothings and crude jokes, he panned poetry gold, whether on purpose or by accident is irrelevant; all creativity begins in imitation.Even after fifty years of uninterrupted exposure, we are yet to absorb music’s equivalent of the fable’s Flying Dutchman. He makes good rhymes, said a critic, explaining greatness. And it is true. His rhyming is an alchemical substance that dissolves contexts to create new ones, scarcely containable by the human brain. It was a shock. With the public expecting poppy folk songs, there stood a young man with a guitar, fusing the languages of the street and the bible into a compound that would have made the end of the world seem a superfluous replay. At the same time, he sang of love with a power of conviction everyone wants to own. All of a sudden, much of the bookish poetry in our world felt aenemic, and the routine song lyrics his colleagues continued to write were like old-fashioned gunpowder following the invention of dynamite. Soon, people stopped comparing him to Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams and turned instead to Blake, Rimbaud, Whitman, Shakespeare.In the most unlikely setting of all – the commercial gramophone record – he gave back to the language of poetry its elevated style, lost since the Romantics. Not to sing of eternities, but to speak of what was happening around us. As if the oracle of Delphi were reading the evening news.Recognizing that revolution by awarding Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize was a decision that seemed daring only beforehand and already seems obvious. But does he get the prize for upsetting the system of literature? Not really. There is a simpler explanation, one that we share with all those who stand with beating hearts in front of the stage at one of the venues on his never-ending tour, waiting for that magical voice. Chamfort made the observation that when a master such as La Fontaine appears, the hierarchy of genres – the estimation of what is great and small, high and low in literature – is nullified. “What matter the rank of a work when its beauty is of the highest rank?” he wrote. That is the straight answer to the question of how Bob Dylan belongs in literature: as the beauty of his songs is of the highest rank.By means of his oeuvre, Bob Dylan has changed our idea of what poetry can be and how it can work. He is a singer worthy of a place beside the Greeks’ ἀοιδόι, beside Ovid, beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the Blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards. If people in the literary world groan, one must remind them that the gods don’t write, they dance and they sing. The good wishes of the Swedish Academy follow Mr. Dylan on his way to coming bandstands.[H/T CoS]
Coming back to Legend Valley in Thornville, OH from August 3-5, The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival has just revealed their initial lineup! The Werks will host Gramatik, The Floozies, Emancipator, two nights of Dopapod, and Dumpstaphunk feat. Ivan Neville. The lineup also features the return of Twerkapod: A Tribute to the 90s – Vol. 2 – which last year saw members of Twiddle, The Werks, and Dopapod.Also joining this stacked lineup is Future Rock, two nights of Zoogma, Sunsquabi, Big Something, Spafford, and many more. This is just the initial lineup, with more artists to be announced. See below for the full poster announcement. More information can be found on the festival’s website.
The Backwoods Music Festival, held on Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas from April 20 to 22, has released their 2018 lineup! The lineup includes headlining appearances from STS9, GRiZ, Snails, and The Floozies. The full lineup, in alphabetical order, includes Andy Frasco and the U.N., Emancipator, Figure, Jade Cicada, Michal Menert, Modern Measure, Muzzy Bear, Papadosio, Space Jesus, Sunsquabi, The Werks, Yheti, Zoogma, and many more.Enjoy three days of music, art, camping and activities with over 60 bands in one of the most majestic sites in the country. For more information, head to the festival’s website.Check out the 2018 video lineup announcement below:2018 Backwoods Music Festival:STS9GrizSnailsThe FlooziesAndy Frasco and the U.N.EmancipatorFigureJade CicadaMichal MenertModern MeasureMuzzy BearrPapadosioSpace JesusSunsquabiThe WerksYhetiZoogmaAplsozBeardthugBrainrackCntrllaCut RugsDanny GroovesEazyBakedKirby BrightLodurrSaltySmithSmokestaxSpankaliciousArkansauceAttaBandikookCalliope MusicalsDalton RichmondDeep SequenceDon MegaEvixExit 9FlintwickFractal SkyGlass CannonGroovementHenna RosoHigher LearningKraangLinear SymmetryLYFTDMass RelayMeeshM.O.BNappy DreadNational Park RadioNo.Faces.Opal Agafia & The Sweet NothingsRecessRecycled FunkRolling FoliageRyan ViserShatter Worms FamilySpace4LeaseSpace KadetTank TopThe GetbyeThe 1 Oz. JigTrouble in the StreetsYokai[photo: Backwoods Facebook]
Manhattan’s City Winery, a proper NYC winery that also operates as a private event space, restaurant, and music venue, is expanding with the opening of The Loft at City Winery. Located one flight up from the main 300-seat venue, The Loft accommodates 150 people seated, or 250 standing, and has an all-ages policy.According to a press release, The Loft “promises an even more intimate setting to host showcases, record release parties, underplays, and developing acts in all genres, from rock to indie, blues to comedy, Americana and more.” They also suggest plans to expand into new markets in 2019.In addition to the music, The Loft will offer a new dining menu with concert-friendly plates and a full drink menu with plenty of wine made in-house. Len Chenfeld has come on board as the talent buyer for The Loft, in addition to newly-added John O’Neill in D.C and Michael Bishop in Boston City Winery.“On the programming front, we now have a lot more flexibility when it comes to continuing to diversify our booking, whether its booking younger, developing acts and other shows that might be outside our perceived wheelhouse,” says Shlomo Lipetz, VP of Programming. “Having the additional rooms also opens up more intriguing opportunities for multi-city tours and residencies across all City Winery locations.”So far, The Loft At City Winery has events scheduled from June 3 through July 25, including a Q&A with Dave Lory about Jeff Buckley, “From Hallelujah To The Last Goodbye”, a tribute to Frank Sinatra starring Michael Dutra, young bluegrass guitarist Billy Strings, and more.For the full lineup, menu, and drinks list, head here.
Load remaining images Photo: Daniel Ojeda The first annual Big Weekend event wrapped up last night in Chicago. The idea behind the event’s inception was to bring a festival-like atmosphere to the city, while spreading bands out across various venues. With Umphrey’s McGee not playing their hometown of Chicago nearly as much as fans would like, last night’s Umphrey’s show at the Aragon Ballroom was certainly one of the most anticipated shows of the Big Weekend.Perhaps in a nod to their favorite city, they opened up with a tongue in cheek rendition of “Dump City.” Following “Maybe Someday”, “Spires” was up next and stretched out slightly, which Umphrey’s fans will always welcome considering most versions barely exceed the four-minute mark. “Syncopated Strangers,” a song that almost always contains some sort of unique bridge, opted for an easy “Bright Lights Big City” jam in place of any cohesive improvisation. All in all, the first set was a solid 70 minutes of UM, with the band evidently feeling at home.The second set opened up with an unusually placed “Forks,” but from there, Umphrey’s McGee upped the ante and took the jamming to the next level. Fan favorite (and quintessential UM Chicago song) “In the Kitchen” had some very danceable jamming that went deep, as the band extended the jam, eventually ending up in “Half Delayed.” Despite what the band had planned on the stage setlist, they never returned to the ending of “In the Kitchen.” Sing-along “Women Wine & Song” graced the middle of the set, and the straightforward song had a tasty jam that segued into “Rocker 2.” A frenetic and high-energy “August” closed out the second set.For the third time of the band’s three-night weekend run, they encored with a cover, this time with Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.” A raucous applause erupted from the crowd as the band thanked the audience for their continued support. As people began to exit the venue, with many heading towards the Spafford late night show to finish the Big Weekend, the gratitude for the hometown Chicago show was palpable among the UMphreaks.You can check out a gallery of photos from Umphrey’s McGee’s show last night at Chicago, IL’s Aragon Ballroom below, courtesy of Daniel Ojeda.Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Aragon Ballroom | Chicago, IL | 10/6/2018Set One: Dump City, Maybe Someday, Spires > Partyin’ Peeps, Seasons, Slacker, Syncopated StrangersSet Two: Forks, In the Kitchen > Half Delayed, Roctopus, Women, Wine & Song > Rocker 2, AugustEncore: Live and Let Die w/BLBC jam dedicated to South BendUmphrey’s McGee | Aragon Ballroom | Chicago, IL | 10/6/2018 | Photo: Daniel Ojeda Photo: Daniel Ojeda
Janet Jackson is heading to Las Vegas for her own concert residency beginning this spring. The run of concerts are being branded under the name, Metamorphosis, and will take place at Park Theater at Park MGM beginning on Friday, May 17th. Jackson now joins the likes of artists such as Aerosmith, Lady Gaga, James Taylor, and Billy Idol, just to name a few, who are setting up shop for concert runs in Las Vegas in 2019.According to the press release, Metamorphosis will look to “peel back the layers of the immensely private life of Janet Jackson, sharing her transformation from a young girl with issues of self-esteem to global Icon. The centerpiece of this all new thought-provoking show, will be Janet herself, captivating [audiences] through [their] senses with electrifying visuals, explosive dance numbers, chart-topping hits, and fan favorite deep cuts.”The concert’s production will also include a special 30-year anniversary celebration of her 1989 studio album, Rhythm Nation.Jackson made headlines late last year when it was announced she will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2019 alongside Radiohead, Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, The Cure, Roxy Music, and The Zombies.Following the opening night on May 17th, the 14 other initial scheduled performances will continue throughout the rest of May, and continue in July and August before wrapping on August 10th. Fans can reference the list below for Jackson’s full schedule of performance dates.Members of Janet’s fan club will receive access to an exclusive pre-sale beginning tomorrow (Wednesday), Feb. 27th at 10 a.m. PST. General on-sale will begin a few days later on Saturday, March 2nd at 10 a.m. PST. Fans can head to ticketmaster.com for tickets.Janet Jackson Metamorphosis Dates:May: 17, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26July:24, 26, 27, 31 August: 2, 3, 7, 9, 10View All Tour Dates
Twiddle was at the Troubadour in Los Angeles late last week to kick off a run of west coast performances as part of their ongoing winter 2019 tour. For their appearance at the historic L.A. venue, the popular jam band made sure to treat their west coast fans to a special setlist, which, when spelled out using the first letter of each song played during the performances, came to read: “LOS ANGELES JAMS.”Related: Twiddle Channels Elvis Presley In Las VegasFriday’s performance began with “Lost in the Cold”, “Orlando’s”, and “Syncopated Healing”, a trio of tunes from their latest studio album in 2017’s PLUMP. The band continued the first half of the show in pulling “Apples” out of their bag of older material, followed by energizing performances of “Nicodemus” and “Gatsby The Great” to take the audience into set break.The band kept the themed show going strong into set two as they returned to the stage to open the second half with the melodic bliss of “Enter”, before continuing right into “Latin Tang”. Next came “Earth Mama”, one of the unreleased live favorites penned by singer/guitarist Mihali Savoulidis, followed by “Jamflowman” and another tune off of PLUMP in “Amidst the Myst”. The band then treated fans to a guest sit-in from Marcus Rezak, who was welcomed to the stage to join the performance of “Mamunes The Faun” to close out the second set. The show’s one-song encore featured a cover of Sublime‘s “Smoke Two Joints”, which finalized the spelling of “LOS ANGELES JAMS” for the show’s overall theme.Fans can listen to the audio player below to relive last week’s fantastic Los Angeles performance. It’s also worth noting that Vampire Weekend‘s Ezra Koenig (L.A. celebrity sighting!) came out to support his fellow rockers at Friday’s concert, an exciting continuation in the “Ezra loves Twiddle” saga.On a January episode of his Time Crisis radio show, Koenig and his co-host Jake Longstretch discussed their unexpected admiration for Twiddle and their song “Jamflowman”–a track off the band’s 2007 Natural Evolution of Consciousness that describes the character development of a young guitarist. Then, last month, Koenig continued the conversation by inviting frontman Mihali Savoulidis onto the show. The relationship is now close to full circle, with a pending sit-in needed to complete the story.Twiddle – The Troubador – 3/1/19[Audio: edmund.edwards]Ezra Koenig And Mihali Savoulidis[Photo: Jeff Kravitz]Twiddle continue their ongoing winter tour with the next performance scheduled for Thursday with a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco, before heading to Catalyst in Santa Cruz and Crystal Bay Club Casino in Crystal Bay, NV. Fans can head to the band’s website for tour and ticket info for all their upcoming shows.Setlist: Twiddle | The Troubador | Los Angeles, CA | 3/1/2019Set One: Lost in the Cold, Orlando’s, Syncopated healing, Apples, Nicodemus, Gatsby The GreatSet Two: Enter -> Latin Tang, Earth Mamma, Second wind, Jamflowman, Amidst the Myst, Mamunes The Faun*Encore: Smoke Two Joints (Sublime cover)* w/ Marcus Rezak
Pink (often stylized as P!nk) was at Madison Square Garden earlier this week for a pair of shows at “The World’s Most Famous” arena as part of the veteran pop singer’s ongoing 2019 Beautiful Trauma World Tour. The first of two performances took place on Tuesday, and saw her welcome her fellow musician and previous collaborator Chris Stapleton to the stage to help perform “Love Me Anyway”.The two had originally recorded the romantic ballad on Pink’s new 2019 studio album, Hurts 2B Human. While the surprise sit-in may not have been as dramatic as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper‘s recent viral duet of “Shallow”, it has grabbed the attention of Pink and Stapleton fans due to the fact that the two have rarely performed the song together live since its release—if at all. Then again, it would be difficult for the country music star to join Pink on her North American tour when he’s been busy filming scenes for Game of Thrones.You can watch the surprise Pink/Chris Stapleton collab from Tuesday’s show in the video below:Pink with Chris Stapleton – “Love Me Anyway” – 5/21/2019[Video: Michael Winbaum]The two NYC performances marked the end of the North American leg of Pink’s world tour. Her next scheduled performance will see the tour pick up again for the start of the international leg of shows on June 16th in Amsterdam, Netherlands. For a full list of Pink’s upcoming tour dates, head to her website.As for Stapleton, the country star’s All American Road Show Tour will begin on July 9th. For a full list of upcoming Chris Stapleton shows and ticket info, head to his website.[H/T Rolling Stone]