Grouplove Talk About Image, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
Grouplove's creative journey to success is how we imagine Andy Warhol's Silver era in present times: 'The Factory' was an artists' colony in Greece, where band members met by happenstance during a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Fast forward past a seemingly effortless transition from obscurity to radio hits; then payoff: a secure future in the music industry, thanks to commercial exposure and incredible live performances. The combination of Grouplove's infectious pop rock songs and high-energy stage presence can turn any venue into a party atmosphere.

The band recently released the official video for their new song, "No Drama Queen" (below). The song will be included on the soundtrack for the upcoming movie Paper Towns, starring model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne.

Here's what Grouplove's Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper have said about image. Quotation above via

Zucconi will be performing with his first band, ALOKE, at the Echoplex in Los Angeles on July 17 with GRMLN.

See also: Hannah Hooper of Grouplove Partners With Volcom for a Fashion Line

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Reflections From Michael Jackson

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Jena Ardell

It's hard to believe Michael Jackson died six years ago. What's even harder to believe is that -- according to TMZ -- Jackson's estate has grossed $2 billion since his death. TMZ speculates that after taxes and debt is factored in, the estate still owes $50 million dollars.

Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson, served two years of a four-year jail sentence and was released in 2013. That same year, Wade Robson, who formerly denied allegations that Jackson molested him when he was a child, made this statement on the Today show:

"Michael Jackson was, yes, an incredibly talented artist with an incredible gift. He was many things. And he was also a pedophile and a child sexual abuser." Robson, a dancer, met Jackson when he was seven years old.

In 2014, Jackson's former bodyguards Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard released a tell-all book, defending Jackson. The bodyguards, who worked for Jackson for two years, described him as a loving father.

Despite Jackson's troubled past, fans still mourn his loss and feel his legacy. This week, a photo was released of a storm cloud that resembles Jackson moonwalking.

Here are some reflections from Jackson, detailing his struggles in the spotlight. Quotation above via

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When Rock Stars Threaten The Crowd

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Jena Ardell

Rock stars are generally nice people until someone in the crowd behaves like a douche bag -- then fury is unleashed. When one of the cardinal rules is broken (see below), a rock star will use authority (and a generous amount of f-bombs) to belittle the perpetrator while rallying the rest of the crowd together to defend the victims. Interrupting the show is a small consequence if Johnny Concert Douche needs to be verbally castrated.

Smash Mouth's lead singer, Steve Harwell, recently made headlines for threatening concertgoers after someone threw bread at him at Colorado's Taste Of Fort Collins festival. Yes, some of his threats were a little over-the-top; but why should the lead singer have to babysit the crowd? Concert attendees should know better than to behave badly. Here's a handy guide for you to follow to prevent getting your ass kicked:

-Don't throw anything at the performers
-Don't start fights or behave overly rowdy in the pit
-Don't molest or grope anyone (especially while they're crowdsurfing)
-Don't spit, period.
-Don't shorten Billie Joe Armstrong's set

These lessons were learned while observing the following onstage rants from famous musicians. Quotation above via

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Relevant Complaints From Lester Bangs

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Jena Ardell

Leslie 'Lester' Bangs is immortalized as being the greatest rock critic ever, but a more critical summary of his life would be this: he was a drug addict who earned a living degrading a profession he always dreamed for himself but never fully achieved.

According to accounts from close friends, Bangs was a highly-opinionated terror during his adolescent and teen years who often amused himself by stealing records and cough syrup (the cause of his demise).

Perhaps Bangs' most redeeming quality was that he refused to conform his views to appease the PR-friendly scene being established within the music industry in the 1970s and 80s. His reviews were equal parts offensive and truthful, but -- more often -- unnecessarily vulgar. Here's an excerpt from his review of Neil Diamond's Hot August Nights that appeared in the March 15, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone:

"...Here on the very front cover is Neil in full flight, working it on out and what is he doing? Pretending to jerk off, that's what. He's pantomiming whanging his clanger, and from the look on his face I'd say he's about to shoot off, and the only bogus part is that he'd like everybody out there to think it's 13 inches long..."

Here are some relevant (and tame) complaints from Bangs. All quotations were sourced from Sue Mathews' 90-minute interview with Bangs on May 13, 1980.

See also: Why Do We Still Care About Lester Bangs?

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Akon Talks About Humanitarianism

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Jena Ardell
Akon for president in 2016 (please)! The musician/songwriter/producer and activist/philanthropist recently announced he's launching a new "Solar Academy" in Africa as part of his Akon Lighting Africa initiative, which aims to provide electricity to 600 million Africans.

The singer -- who was born in Missouri, but raised in Senegal -- now hopes to install solar microgrids. To date, the Akon Lighting Africa has provided solar electric to over one million households in 14 African countries. Akon's goal is to reach 35 more Africans countries by the end of 2020.

"We actually overachieved," Akon told Al Jazeera. "We started with just creating solar energy for rural areas and households and now were doing solar street lamps all through the countries and also incorporating it within each country, we have put in solar in all the villages and we are also creating a system where we are actually employing locals to maintain it and to keep everything in order."

Akon is also an ambassador for the non-profit organization Peace One Day. Last year, he and actor Jude Law hosted a concert in Goma to promote peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He's what the artist has said about humanitarianism. Quotation above via

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Prince Gets Sassy, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
Prince is as mysterious as he is musically gifted. The cosmically flamboyant musician abandoned twitter in 2013 after posting only two tweets. (One tweet was about pepper in his salad). If you're a fan hoping to follow him online -- forget it -- all of the social media links on his website are currently broken. Even Prince's recent tour dates have been a mystery.

Recently, Prince was playing short-notice "Hit N Run" gigs announced a day or two prior in Canada. Fans in Toronto were paying up to $270 to see the rock legend perform with his all-female power trio, 3rd Eye Girl, in small venues.

Earlier this month, Prince hosted a Dance Rally 4 Peace at his Paisley Park Studios outside Minneapolis to honor Freddie Gray and show support to protesters in Baltimore. He then traveled to Baltimore to host a surprise 'Rally 4 Peace' concert. You can listen to his political-charged tribute track "Baltimore" below.

Here is a selection of sassy quotations from the legendary musician. Quotation above via

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David Letterman Reacts To His Favorite Bands

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Jena Ardell
There's one thing we've learned while watching Late Night with David Letterman throughout the years: Letterman has great taste in music.

Letterman's Late Night departure hit us particularly hard. His show first aired when many of us were born, which means: he's always been on television throughout our lives. Even if we didn't watch his show every night, his presence was comforting; he was accessible; and a little piece of New York could be broadcast into our living room.

Over the years, we've noticed three tiers of enthusiasm in Letterman's reactions to musical performances on his show. First, was his default send-off: "Thank you very much. Terrific. Nice job. Thanks, folks."

On the next tier, Letterman's honest-to-goodness seal of approval: "Yeah!" he'd say a few times. "How about that? How about that!"

At the peak of his enjoyment, were glimpses of fanboyhood that were sometimes cleverly and covertly masked by Letterman's signature, soft snark. "This is all you want, my friends: Al Green..."

After Green's performance, Letterman was at a loss for words: "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God... Beautiful, my friend... Oh my God."

Donned in suits, the Foo Fighters performed "Everlong" as Letterman's final musical guests, while a video montage played. His final show marked the end of 33 years of familiarity.

Here are some of our favorite reactions from Letterman throughout his career. Godspeed David Letterman! You will be missed.

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Pat Benatar Talks Longevity, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell

Pat Benatar and guitarist-turned-husband Neil Giraldo are currently celebrating 35 years of professional partnership and love by--what else--touring.

"Thirty-five years ago, 'Heartbreaker' was the catalyst for it all. It's hard to believe that so much time has passed," Benatar said in a news release. "We're excited to be celebrating this personal and musical milestone."

To coincide with the tour, the duo released a CD/DVD compilation, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo: The 35th Anniversary Tour, that contains 14 of their biggest hits. You can see them perform live at the Pacific Ampitheatre in Costa Mesa on Aug. 6.

Benatar is ranked as one of the most successful female rock vocalists of all time by Billboard, partially because her powerful pop-rock ballads continue to withstand time. Here is what the rock legend has said about her longevity in the music industry. Quotation above via

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Inside the Mind of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker

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Jena Ardell
Tame Impala is synonymous with stoner beats and trippy stage effects; and the success of the Australia-bred 'epiphany pop' band is anything but tame now.

The band just released a brand-new track titled 'Eventually' from their upcoming album, Currents, which you can pre-order today. Currents "follows the progression of someone feeling like they are becoming something else," frontman Kevin Parker told NME. "They're becoming the kind of person they thought they'd never become."

The band is currently touring and will be performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival
2015 this October. Here are some ponderisms from frontman Kevin Parker. Quotation above via

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Famous Musicians Who Care About Bears

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Jena Ardell

The Let A Bear Sh!t In The Woods campaign features a laundry list of celebrities, including musicians like Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis, Duff McKagan of Guns n' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, and Moby--but what exactly does the group advocate?

Answer: to end bear bile farming, the horrific extraction of bile from the gall bladders of bears raised in small "crush cages." Bear bile is used for medicinal purposes and fetches a pretty penny, along with bear parts. Activists insist there are alternative, synthetic replacements that can replace bear bile.

The extraction process is painful, leads to infections, and captive bears have shortened life spans. According to, the Asain black bear (commonly farmed) can live to age 35 in the wild, while bile bears peak at age five and are killed at age of ten, if they survive that long.

The good news: Animals Asia's campaign is working and has save over 400 bears. According to Animals Asia's website, pressure from activists has led to another recent victory: "The local authorities of Vietnam's Quang Ninh government have agreed to completely end bear bile farming in the province by transferring all of the remaining 38 bears to Animals Asia's Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre."

We're intrigued by this bizarre teaser from RHCP's frontman Anthony Kiedis. To learn more, visit

Here are some insightful quotations from famous animal lovers. Quotation above via via

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