Madonna Talks Ageism and Sexism

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Jena Ardell
Madonna's impromptu make-out session with Drake at Coachella this past weekend mirrored another shocking music moment: when Jenny McCarthy sexually harassed Justin Bieber at the 2012 American Music Awards by grabbing his ass and biting his neck as he accepted his award. (Does everyone remember that?) Call it what you want--the media playfully dubbed it 'cougar rape'--but it was highly inappropriate of McCarthy.

Drake may be boasting about his experience now, but we can't get over his initial reaction (that resembled 'disgust'). According to TMZ, Drake wasn't disgusted by Madonna's open-mouth kiss, it was her "gnarly lipstick."

We're all for spontaneous acts of consensual friskiness, but we're disturbed when the loudest mouthpieces on issues like sexism aren't leading by example. Could a male celebrity have gotten away with either act with a female peer without severe consequence? We think not.

Despite this faux-pas--because who knows how much of it was planned--we shouldn't discredit Madonna's drive to combat social injustices. Here are Madonna's views on ageism and sexism. Quotation above via refinery29.com.

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Joni Mitchell Speaks Her Mind, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
Joni Mitchell remains in the hospital and is "resting comfortably," according to an update on JoniMitchell.com. CBC News reported that the singer suffered a "minor medical emergency" when she was found unconscious March 31 in her Los Angeles home and rushed to the hospital. It's still unclear what caused her to become unconscious.

"Joni remains under observation in the hospital and is resting comfortably," Mitchell's site states. "We are encouraged by her progress and she continues to improve and get stronger each day."

Fans can post well-wishes to Mitchell on weloveyoujoni.com.

The 71-year-old singer-songwriter has openly spoken about her rare skin condition, called Morgellons disease, which prevents her from touring.

"You have two options," Mitchell told Rolling Stone in 1979. "You can stay the same and protect the formula that gave you your initial success. They're going to crucify you for staying the same. If you change, they're going to crucify you for changing. But staying the same is boring. And change is interesting. So of the two options. I'd rather be crucified for changing."

Here are more insightful words from the musical legend. Quotation above via philly.com.

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Wolf Alice On Breaking Into The Industry

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Jena Ardell

There is a new surge of young bands with successful EPs, purposefully blasé publicity photos and normcore music videos who are scoring big with an online presence, but one thing sets Wolf Alice apart: lead singer Ellie Rowsell's soft, innocuous vocals that seem to float above the band's rock riffs.

A warm homecoming awaits the London-based band who is currently selling out shows across the UK. Wolf Alice caught our attention earlier this year with their grunge-pop-rock single "Moaning Lisa Smile," and we cry a little bit inside whenever the band combats being labeled 'grunge' (as if that's a bad thing) to emphasize their music isn't all 'angst-ridden'.

"We're not all heavy, but we're not all quiet," lead singer Ellie Rowsell told MinimalTalks.

The band genuinely doesn't know how to label themselves--they're somewhere between folk and grunge--and matching a specific genre isn't important since they're finding success regardless. In fact, it's hard to believe Wolf Alice, a band with nearly 30,000 twitter followers and a laundry list of hard-to-book festival gigs, hasn't released a debut album yet.

"Good bands like this don't happen much," YouTube user Jolly Infidel posted in the comment section for the band's Glastonbury 2014 set. "I can't even remember the last time I seen a English chick doing this sorta stuff."

You can catch Wolf Alice on May 16 at Soda Bar in San Diego or May 18 at The Roxy in L.A. Their debut album, My Love Is Cool, drops June 23.

Here's what Wolf Alice band members have said about their slow climb to success. Quotation above via digitalspy.co.uk.


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The Beastie Boys Call It Quits in Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
The Beastie Boys are no more. Following founding member Adam 'MCA' Yauch's death in 2012, the remaining Beasties, Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz and 'Mike D' Diamond, have announced they will not release any new music under the Beastie Boys namesake.

"Adam started the band, so we couldn't do anything without him," Ad-Rock recently told NME. However, fans should remain optimistic: there will be a Beastie Boys memoir (slated to be released in 2017) and Ad-Rock revealed to NME that there is previously unreleased material "in the vault" that he hopes to someday release, including hours of "really bad jamming" and priceless outtakes from recording. Licensed To Ill, the Beastie Boys' debut album that was released nearly 30 years ago, has now sold over 10 million copies and is certified diamond by the RIAA.

Ad-Rock and Mike D worked together with the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band for 'Bad Dancer' in 2013, but are currently pursuing non-musical interests: Mike D and his wife Tamra Davis teamed up with architects Jill and John Bouratoglou to build multi-million-dollar townhouses in Brooklyn, while Ad-Rock is pursuing acting and can be seen in Noah Baumbach's While We're Young, alongside Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts.

Here's what Ad-Rock and Mike D have said about the bittersweet end to the Beastie Boys. Quotation above via rollingstone.com.

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Zac Brown Talks Staying Humble and Hating Country Music

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Jena Ardell

Zac Brown is a collaborative genius who has successfully infiltrated the rock genre with his country roots, but he's not stopping there. Brown has worked with artists who span multiple genres, including Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, Sheryl Crow, Sturgill Simpson, Blackberry Smoke, The Wood Brothers, and The String Cheese Incident.

Despite his success, Brown remains humble. Brown founded a non-profit organization called Camp Southern Ground, a state-of-the-art facility, located on over 400 acres in the farmlands of Georgia, that serves children ages 7-17 with both typical and special needs. According to Camp Southern Ground's website, the camp is "currently in the development stage and "seeking partnerships and funding in order to bring this vision to fruition."

Zac Brown Band celebrated their debut Saturday Night Live performance last week and recently announced a North American stadium tour which begins this summer. If you can't wait that long, you can catch Zac Brown Band, Rihanna, and Lady Antebellum headline this year's NCAA March Madness Music Festival April 3-5. Kacey Musgraves and Bleachers will also perform.

Zac Brown Band's new album, Jekyll + Hyde, drops April 28.

Here is what Brown has said about staying humble and hating country music. Quotation above via tasteofcountry.com.


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Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock Talks About Obstacles

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Jena Ardell

Modest Mouse is ending an eight-year hiatus with 'Strangers to Ourselves', the band's sixth album which drops on March 17. The album's cover features an aerial image of our personal hell: an RV resort located in Mesa, Arizona.

According to the band, the album's second single, "Coyotes", was inspired by the true story of a coyote that rode Portland's MAX light rail train in 2002. You can watch the music video below:

In a recent interview, Rolling Stone eloquently listed Brock's personal hurdles: "...belligerent gigs (he reportedly unleashed a knife on his torso onstage in 2007) and a 1999 date-rape allegation (which was later dropped) -- and, by his own account, he even spent about a week in jail on an attempted-murder charge in the early 2000s (according to Brock, the charge stemmed from a DUI accident in which a friend suffered a thumb injury)."

Here are more, benign obstacles frontman Isaac Brock faced while creating 'Strangers to Ourselves'. Quotation above via rollingstone.com.


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Juicy Excerpts From Kim Gordon's Memoir

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Riot Grrrl Kim Gordon isn't afraid to address some of her peers in her new memoir: Girl in a Band.

Readers should expect more cynicism than fluff: in a particularly juicy chapter, Gordon digs into Courtney Love, alluding she is "manipulative" and "egomaniacal," then calls Billy Corgan "a crybaby" before criticizing The Smashing Pumpkins for being "in no way punk rock". (However, Gordon only had nice things to say about Kurt Cobain).

The Sonic Youth frontwoman is receiving acclaim from critics who find her story "brutal," "interesting," and "appealingly rough around the edges."

Gordon's memoir addresses the end of her 27-year marriage to Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore and airs minor grievances, like her beef with Lana Del Rey, the homogenization of New York City, and Gordon's past-life in the up-and-coming art world where "no-one liked Jeff [Koons]."

"No one could understand how Thurston, who always had a good nose for the user, the groupie, the nutcase or the hanger-on, had let himself get pulled under by her," Gordon writes about her ex-husband's mistress. Ouch.

Here are some quotations from Girl in a Band. Quotation above via The Guardian


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Brandon Flowers' Best Zingers, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell

The title for "The Nicest Dude in Rock" may unanimously belong to Dave Grohl, but we're thinking The Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers deserves second place (for being a bit of a cream puff). You will never hear Flowers talk smack about his peers in the future, so enjoy a couple of rare "zingers" from past interviews.

Flowers announced he will be releasing a new solo album by posting a handwritten note to his official site and Instagram followers. The album, titled The Desired Effect, is slated to be released May 18, 2015. This will be Flowers' sophomore solo album, a follow-up to 2010's Flamingo.

There's no sign of new material being released from The Killers, but the band will be headlining Kaaboo Festival in San Diego this September with No Doubt and Snoop Dogg.

Keep reading to find out why Flowers keeps his comments positive. Quotation above via spin.com.


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Blur Talks About Feelings, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell

Blur is back: cue countless headlines that begin with "Woo Hoo."

April 28th will mark the band's first new record release in 12 years. The album, titled The Magic Whip, began in a studio in Hong Kong and is heavily influenced by visits to China. The cover art features an ice cream cone, track four is titled "Ice Cream Man" and the the video for their new single "Go Out" features a woman making ice cream from scratch. We sense a theme.

Learn how to make a delicious creamy treat while watching the video below:

Here's what frontman Damon Albarn and his musical-genius cohort Graham Coxon have said about their feelings. Quotation above via theguardian.com.

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Celebrities Continue to Bash Kanye Over Grammy Stunt

Categories: quotes

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Jena Ardell

Kanye West's biggest character flaw is he can't keep his mouth shut. His little stunt at the Grammys could have been viewed as a self-deprecating parody had he not opened his mouth backstage. Instead, West created more reasons for us to dislike him.

We don't agree with The Guardian who feels West's Grammy rant was "an act of brave solidarity". Beyoncé is far from a struggling artist who needs her voice heard, and interrupting someone's deserved recognition is the lowest form of protest.

The question we have is: who arranges the seating chart for the Grammys? And why was West allowed to sit near the front of the stage after his 2009 incident with Taylor Swift?

We hope that if/when West wins a Grammy in the future, a barrage of musicians--not just Beck and Swift--will rush the stage and thwart his acceptance speech. And then Beyoncé will descend from the ceiling on a golden throne, approach West, take the Grammy from his hands, and walk offstage.

Here's what West said about Beck's win at the E! After Party:
"I don't know what he said, all I know is if the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain't gonna play with them no more. Flawless, Beyoncé video. Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it."

Beck took the high road: "You can't please everybody. I still love him and think he's genius," Beck said of West. "I aspire to what he does. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?"

Celebrities have not been holding back their opinions of West's latest faux pas. Here are the latest disses. Quotation above via Shirley Manson's Facebook page.

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