311 Talks About Band's Longevity

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Jena Ardell

311 celebrated their 25th year as a band earlier this month. Now that the band has reached their 'silver' milestone, they are eligible to be added to the roster of influential bands from the '90s who are possible candidates for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2016.

Here's why we think 311 should be inducted: the humble band -- best known for their lively shows, ever-changing set lists, and close-knit fan base -- has been livin' and rockin' with the same lineup for over 20 years and even has their own holiday (March 11) dubbed 311 Day. Since their early formation, the band has established themselves as a beacon of positive vibes and unity, marching to the beat of their own drum, and touring with an array of diverse opening acts to compliment their unique musical influences. Also: few bands tour more consistently than 311.

"The only time we took off was, I think, in 1998, S.A. Martinez told Weld. "We basically took that year off - we really had to. It was to the point where we were exhausted."

To commemorate their silver anniversary, 311 released their ARCHIVE Box Set, a 4-CD collection featuring 81 tracks (including unreleased songs, demos, b-sides, and pre-production recordings) and a 60-page book of rare photos and 311 memorabilia.

This spring, 311 Day returns to New Orleans for a two-night concert extravaganza at Smoothie King Center (formally New Orleans Arena). Pre-sales begin in September. More info can be found on 311's website.

Here are some reasons each band member attributes to 311's longevity in the music industry. Quotation above via browardpalmbeach.com.

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Teri Gender Bender Talks About Being An Artist

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Jena Ardell
Teresa Suárez, better known as Teri Gender Bender, is the charismatic poetess and frontwoman of the Mexican garage punk band Le Butcherettes.

She's been dubbed "The Latina Björk", but Terri Gender Bender is much more than a quirky feminist who covers herself in fake blood. Her frantic stage antics will keep you entranced, even when she begins to sing in a language you don't understand.

Le Butcherettes has opened for a laundry list of major U.S. acts including Faith No More, The Mars Volta, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Deftones.

The band's new album, A Raw Youth, will be released September 18. The record was produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and includes guest appearances by John Frusciante and Iggy Pop.

The band will be performing at the Constellation Room at The Observatory on September 20 in Santa Ana. If you're lucky, they'll perform "Stop," a Spice Girls cover, before feverishly delving into an energetic set of original songs.

Here is what Terri has said about being an artist. Quotation above via thefusionmag.com.

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Life Lessons From FKA Twigs

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Jena Ardell
Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA Twigs (or Robert Pattinson's fiancee, to some) doesn't let fame overshadow life. The 27-year-old recently admitted she has never watched Pattinson's Twilight series.

"I don't understand what the levels [of fame] are. I'm a bit naive," FKA Twigs told UK's The Sunday Times. "I don't engage in that world, even with myself, even with my own career."

FKA Twigs demands full creative control over all her projects; she produces, directs and stars in her own music videos. The result: mesmerizing performance art set to music that is one part ethereal, two parts visceral.

Fans eagerly awaiting more from the artist were satisfied (and surprised) yesterday when FKA Twigs released her new EP M3LL155X . The album features two previously released singles, along with three new tracks. The singer also debuted a 16-minute music video to accompany the songs which showcases her dancing skills.

Here are some insightful observations by the unique artist. Quotation above via rookiemag.com

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OMI Reacts To U.S. Success

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Jena Ardell
It only takes one hit song to launch a career and worldwide publicity tour. OMI (pronounced 'oh-mee') is leading the Billboard Hot 100 for a fourth week as the top-selling song in the U.S. with his reggae-pop hit "Cheerleader". Amazingly, OMI has not released an album yet.

The Jamaica-born singer/songwriter's path to fame has been a long climb. "Cheerleader" was a radio favorite in Jamaica in 2012 when it was discovered by Patrick Moxey, the president of Ultra Music, a dance label partly owned by Sony Music. Ultra commissioned two remixes, including the now-popular Felix Jaehn version, that became a hit in Europe in 2014.

"There is an unfortunate tendency for radio in particular to treat all reggae projects as a summer novelty," Rob Kenner, the founder of dancehall reggae's Boomshots.com, told nytimes.com. "D.J.s pick one or maybe two records for the run-up to Labor Day, and they become a seasonal thing. People don't know the artists' names -- they just know the melody."

"Cheerleader" has more than 230 million views on YouTube and over 300 million plays on Spotify.

Here's what OMI has said about his success in the U.S. Quotation above via rollingstone.com.

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Dr. Dre Talks Legacy, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
Ice Cube may have leaked the release date of Dr. Dre's new album, the soundtrack to Straight Outta Compton, during an interview with a Philly radio station on Wednesday.

"Dre is dropping an inspired album, inspired by Compton. He's dropping something on August 1," Ice Cube told Power 99. "It's mega. It's Dr. Dre. It's what everybody has been waiting for. It's definitely a dope record, and he's dropping it all on the same day. It's crazy."

However, according to Rolling Stone, multiple sources have said the album will be released at a later date than Saturday.

"The soundtrack is insane," Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Grey told MTV. "You can hear some of his influences, with jazz and soul and a little bit of funk."

The soundtrack will mark Dre's first album release in 15 years, both good and bad news for fans still waiting for Dre's Detox to drop. (Will Detox be shelved for good?--who knows).

Straight Outta Compton hits U.S. theatres August 14. We suspect this movie is going to crush box office records.

Here's what Dr. Dre has said about himself and his legacy. Quotation above via vibe.com.

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Words From Wayne Coyne's Lips

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Jena Ardell

We want some of the Kool-Aid Flaming Lips' frontman Wayne Coyne is drinking with his 20-something-year-old girlfriend and their BFF Miley Cyrus! Haters can spread the mid-life crisis jokes, but we're glad Coyne has found his muses.

"[Miley Cyrus] just goes a million miles an hour and doesn't have much insecurity about it. She has no filter, no limits..." Coyne told Billboard. "Because she influences the way I sing and then I influence the way she sings, we're either ruining each other or helping each other (laughs)."

A dozen pieces of Coyne's artwork will be included in the "The Big Hope Show" exhibit at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum on October 3. The exhibit features artwork from several artists who survived personal traumas. This marks the first museum showing of Coyne's artwork, according to a press release from The Flaming Lips' label, Warner Bros. Records.

Here's what the eccentric, psychedelic frontman has said about art and creative expressionism. Quotation above via stereogum.com.

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Jeff Tweedy Reflects On His Career, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
What's better than new music? New music for free!

Wilco surprised fans by releasing their ninth studio album as a free download yesterday. The new album, titled Star Wars, contains 11 songs and is (obviously) named after George Lucas' space movie franchise.

"Why release an album this way and why make it free?" Jeff Tweedy posted on Wilco's Instagram. "Well, the biggest reason, and I'm not sure we even need any others, is that it felt like it would be fun."

Wilco's Star Wars is available as a free download for a limited time via the band's website, so we suggest you download it ASAP!

Here's what lead singer Jeff Tweedy has said about his career and Wilco's image. Quotation above via esquire.com.

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Ed Sheeran Explains Himself, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
There hasn't been a redheaded male pop star as popular as Ed Sheeran since Rick Astley. (Unless you consider Elton John to be a redhead). But, let's move past his hair color. Sheeran received his Guinness World Records certificate for "the longest climb to No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart" this week!

"It took Sheeran 19 weeks to reach No. 1 with his hit single "Thinking Out Loud," between July 5, 2014 and November 8, 2014," Billboard reports. "The record was previously held by Celine Dion, who's single 'Think Twice' took 13 long weeks to make it to No. 1 on the same chart."

Despite Sheeran's commercial success, not everyone is a fan of his music, especially Morrissey. In a recent email interview with Boulder Weekly, Morrissey said, "It's very rare that a record label does something for the good of music. Thus we are force-fed such as Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, which at least means that things can't possibly get any worse."

Here are some things Sheeran has shared about himself. Quotation above via theguardian.com.

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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 avclub.com.

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 blankonblank.org.

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