David Byrne Worries About Music's Future, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell
If music is a form of art, are all musicians are artists? Short response: Not quite.

Some musicians have unarguably achieved higher forms of 'art' throughout their careers: David Byrne being the kingpin.

The former Talking Heads frontman dabbles in nearly every artistic genre: fine art, music, photography, writing (he contributes to The New York Times and The Guardian), theatre, film, and opera.

Bryne's artwork has been exhibited worldwide, and bike racks he's designed can be found around New York city.

It's obvious Byrne likes to surround himself with fellow creative geniuses: he had a four-year relationship with self portrait artist extraordinaire Cindy Sherman, and has collaborated with/spotlighted the lovable, eccentric musician Annie Clark, AKA: St. Vincent.

Since 2013, Byrne has been on a crusade against streaming music sites like Spotify and Pandora, who he feels are undermining artists by providing exposure, without providing worthwhile royalties.

Byrne hopes consumers will heed his warning to "stop for a moment and consider the effect these services and this technology will have, before 'selling off' all our cultural assets the way the big record companies did."

Here's what else Byrne had to say about the future of music consumption and the challenges artists face in the digital world.

Quotation above via via theguardian.com.

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"Weird Al" Yankovic On Staying Current, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
"Weird Al" Yankovic has been the mainstream music jester for children (and adults) since the early '80s. Now, anyone and their grumpy father can create parodies and become YouTube sensations, but that isn't impeding on Weird Al's career.

Mandatory Fun, Yankovic's 14th studio album, dropped this week and according to Yankovic, it may be his final "conventional" album.

"I think I will get away from traditional, conventional albums," Yankovic told musictimes.com, "because I don't think it behooves me to do 12 songs before I put them out at once... I think that digital distribution just makes more sense. It makes sense for me to just put out singles or possibly EPs instead of albums. The more quickly and frequently I put albums out, the better for everybody I think."

(Gotta love a man who uses the word 'behooves').

So far, Yankovic has released three of eight new music videos:

-"Tacky," a parody of Pharrell Williams's "Happy"
-"Foil", a parody of Lorde's "Royals"
-"Word Crimes", a parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"
-Plus, a bonus video: "Sports Song", an original parody of a sporting fight song.

Here's what Weird Al had to say about staying current during the age of YouTube.

Quotation above via musictimes.com.

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Paul McCartney Talks Legacy and Fame, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell
Sometimes it pays off to create signs and bring them to concerts. When Sir Paul McCartney was performing last week in Rochester, New York, he noticed one of his fans was standing next to her boyfriend, holding a sign that said "He won't marry me until he meets you" and the boyfriend with one that said "I have a ring. And I'm 64". Paul brought them on stage and the man serenaded his new fiancee. (You can watch the video here).

McCartney's NY stint marked the return of a two-month hiatus the former Beatle had to take due to a viral infection which left him briefly hospitalized in Tokyo in May. McCartney's illness forced him to cancel all five of his Asian concerts and to reschedule seven U.S. concerts from June to October, before resuming his 'Out There' tour in Albany. At 72 years old, he's still rockin'.

McCartney has 19 U.S. shows scheduled, including one at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where the Beatles made their final concert appearance in 1966. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of his first appearance with the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Here's what the rock n' roll legend had to say about fame.

--Quotation above via rollingstone.com.

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JD McPherson Talks About Music, In Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
If a burlesque dancer were about to perform inside a dimly-lit, mid-century modern den overlooking the Hollywood Hills in the 1950s, and needed a song to undulate her hips to, JD McPherson's 'Signs & Signifiers' would have brought all the boys to the yard.

While listening to McPherson croon blues-heavy, rockabilly ballads, it's difficult to fathom his album was recorded during this decade (or that he is a former middle school art teacher from Oklahoma).

"I think we U.S. citizens have a habit of coming up with something and then throwing it out on the wood pile pretty quickly," McPherson told soundcloud.com. "And rock'n'roll changed pretty quickly over the course of its short life. But many folks in Great Britain and Germany... have developed a pretty strong audience for those beginning sounds."

If you're still seduced by the sinuous title track from McPherson's debut album Signs & Signifiers, and mesmerized by plucky songs like "North Side Gal", "Firebug", and "Your Love", you will have new tunes to jive to in 2015--McPherson recently announced he will release his sophomore record this fall.

You can catch McPherson in Santa Ana and San Diego this fall. Tour dates and details can be found here.

Here's what McPherson had to say about music and labeling.

Quotation above via nooga.com.

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Robin Thicke Talks About Love and Paula, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell
Media sharks (and feminists) are in a frenzy over Robin Thicke's new ethereal, breakup biopic "Get Her Back." We think Thicke is a creep, sure, but not a stalker (as some bloggers labeled him after watching the music video).

The video features a battered and lovesick Thicke, clinging to the memory of his estranged wife Paula--or at least a woman who resembles Paula. We're assuming the negative Pop-up-Video style text messages which appear throughout the video aren't helping Thicke's image.

"...Romanticizing the creepy and potentially harassing efforts of a man obsessed with this ex sends a dangerous message to young men about what 'romance' really is," Jessica Valenti posted on theguardian.com. "Hint: it has nothing to do with haranguing and publicly shaming us back into a relationship. ... the video sends a message that Thicke won't take no for an answer. And that's not romantic--it's just downright scary."

Spoiler alert: We think Paula is in on the ruse. Otherwise, she could have some sort of libel case.

We applaud Thicke for having the cojones to name the album Paula, after his muse. We all know Coldplay's Ghost Stories should have just been named Gwyneth.

Quotation above via elle.com.

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Beyonce Insight and Empowerment, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell

There's no real news circling around Beyonce (sans an upcoming 10-episode HBO miniseries dubbed BeyonceX10), but that doesn't prevent other people from using her namesake to make headlines.

Exhibit A: With the help of three pairs of black stiletto boots and Beyonce hits, French dancer/choreographer Yanis Marshall created a viral video of his last rehearsal for the final live show of Britain's Got Talent with fellow dancers Dancers Arnaud Boursain and Mehdi Mamine.

Exhibit B: In a recent Life & Style report, former employees of Beyonce and Kim Kardashian divulged what it was like to work for the divas. According to the magazine's report, Beyonce employs a half-dozen nannies to care for Blue Ivy.

Exhibit C: During Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, 50 Cent divulged some truths about being confronted by Beyonce. When asked who is the most 'overrated hip hop star of all time', 50 Cent quickly named Bey's hubby Jay-Z. Ouch.

Despite it all, Beyonce remains untouchable, unstoppable and highly quotable. Here's what the artist formerly self-monikered 'Sasha Fierce' (remember that weirdness?) had to say about empowerment and her career. Quotation above via huffingtonpost.com.

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Phantogram Talks About Songwriting, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell.

The only thing more electric than the hypnotic beats from Phantogram is the working relationship between bandmates Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. The pair, who have known each other since junior high, write and record in a remote barn in upstate New York dubbed Harmony Lodge.

"We're just this great duo that works really well together," Carter told popmatters.com. "We have this kind of psychic energy when we work and it's easy to read each other. We have a very similar vision in what we do."

"We go through the same stuff, everything, because we're super close," Barthel explained during an interview for ladygunn.com. "We have the same people in our lives and we have the same experiences in our lives and the same sorrows and the same joys, so it's not like 'oh, this is my song' or 'this is your song.' Every single song is ours."

You can spend Independence Day with Phantogram, Semi Precious Weapons, Echosmith, Wild Cub and Brick + Mortar at Grand Park in Downtown LA, during ALT 98.7 KYSR's ALTimate Block Party... for FREE. The festivities begin at 1 PM, fireworks at 9 PM.

Here's what the duo had to say about song writing and stage presence.

Quotation above via popmatters.com.

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Danzig On Danzig, And How Much He Hates Interviews, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell

Feeling blue lately? We bet you chalked it up to 'June Gloom', but the truth is: you were subconsciously jonsing for a post about Glenn Danzig. Perhaps a statue of Danzig riding a dragon would lift your spirits even higher.

Austin resident James Moody proposed the idea of a "statue of Danzig riding a dragon, welcoming visitors to the Red River Cultural District" during an Austin Music Commission meeting last Monday.

Moody, the owner of The Mohawk, a live music venue, told KEYE TV his idea was made mostly in jest, but added, "If they're willing to do it in gold" -- possibly with ruby eyes -- "I'll submit it as a serious idea."

We'd photobomb it.

Fans of Danzig have learned difficult lessons in the past, like never film Danzig on stage and to never punch Danzig in the face, but the best lessons are learned when Danzig talks about his beliefs.

As much as Danzig is presumed to spread negativity, he also provides useful insight. We think Danzig sounds pretty enlightening in this explanation he gave to jammagazine.com:

"You see, most people don't want the burden of knowledge. As the old saying goes, with knowledge comes responsibility. And that responsibility includes being held accountable for your actions. When you don't have to think about everything, you lead a simple life. You go off to work then you come home, kiss your wife, eat dinner, watch TV, fall asleep, wake up in the morning and start your daily routine all over again. A lot of people really like that simplicity in their lives... For other people, they need to constantly quench their thirst for knowledge. They need to search out the truth, find the light to learn what life is really all about. There are searchers and there are those just happy to exist. I prefer the former."

Read on to learn how Danzig feels about his image and why he hates being interviewed.

Quotation above via jammagazine.com.

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Gwen Stefani Still Just a Girl, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell

We're stoked that O.C.'s own Gwen Stefani has been named a coach for the upcoming seventh season of NBC's The Voice.

Stefani will be replacing Christina Aguilera, who is taking maternity leave from judging the singing competition show. (According to the network, Aguilera will be back for Season 8). Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will return for Season 7, alongside another new coach, Pharrell Williams.

In the meantime, Stefani is spending time with her three-month old baby boy, Apollo, and sons Zuma (age 5) and Kingston (age 7). We're assuming, Stefani is accustom to being the lone woman in a band of men.

Despite selling close to 30 Million records worldwide as the front woman for the band No Doubt and as a multi-platinum solo artist, and producing a handful of successful fashion lines, Stefani says she didn't always have a lot of direction.

"I remember when I was in school, they would ask, 'What are you going to be when you grow up?' and then you'd have to draw a picture of it," Steafni told SPIN. "I drew a picture of myself as a bride."

That wish came true in 2002, when she married her now-husband of 12 years, Gavin Rossdale. Here's what else the girly powerhouse had to say about being a 'super-hot female'.

Quotation above via telegraph.co.uk.

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Billy Corgan Talks Life Struggles and Rock Music, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan recently shared a track from AEGEA, his experimental solo double LP recorded in 2007. The 1st and 2nd pressings of the album have already sold-out in advance of their release.

Corgan also plans to release two new Smashing Pumpkins albums (Monuments to an Elegy and Day for Night) in 2015.

Guest drummer Tommy Lee had this to say about the album:
"I think he has probably the best record he's ever written," Lee says. "These are like epic, goose-bump songs. It sounds like the first couple of Smashing Pumpkins records. I was fucking blown away."

In addition to music, Corgan is producing a professional wrestling docu-series on AMC, which will consist of eight 60-minute episodes.

Here's a description of the show from a press release:
"This compelling docu-series that pulls back the curtain in a way pro-wrestling fans have never seen. The series follows Corgan in his latest undertaking as creative director of Resistance Pro, a Chicago-based wrestling league. Corgan will take us behind the scenes of this fascinating world, from creating storylines to choreographing fights to managing intense post-match locker room arguments, and will reveal that the most dramatic stories often take place outside of the ring."

Life seems rosy for the once jaded musician. Here's a look back on what Corgan has said about life struggles and rock music.

Quotation above via pitchfork.com.

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