April 15 2015

Remembering Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge died of liver cancer at his home in Baton Rouge on April 14th. He was 74.

He is best known for the classic love anthem, “When a Man Loves a Woman”. While performing the song at a frat house in 1965, record producer Quin Ivy and family friend Crystal Hunt were in the audience and offered to help him record the song. It hit number one in the charts almost immediately. He signed over the writing credit of this song to his bandmates, even though he had written most of it. Later in life he reflected that this was probably a bad decision, but he never regretted it.

His career spanned over 50 years, and he continued to write and perform until recently. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. In his acceptance speech, he told the audience that he sang from his heart with all the love he could give.

April 13 2015

What’s Up With “Incredible 2?”

Brad Bird, the director of Pixar’s 2004 hit The Incredibles, has apparently started to write the script, though not much else is known about this upcoming superhero story.

The Incredibles is the story of two former superheroes forced into retirement, as well as their similarly superpowered children. It seemed ripe for a continuation, and Pixar finally announced plans for a sequel last year, along with sequels to other movies such as Finding Nemo and the Toy Story franchise.

Bird has directed several other animated features, including Pixar’s Ratatouille and cult classic The Iron Giant. More recently he has delved into live-action films, such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Disney’s Tomorrowland, the latter of which will be released in May. Apparently, this is what kept him from starting on The Incredibles 2 until now.

Bird apparently had lots of ideas on how to expand on the Incredbles universe (just see how many superheroes absent from the movie still got profiles in the DVD extras!), but it is not entirely clear what the sequel will be about. All fans like Ricardo Guimarães BMG know for sure is that Samuel L. Jackson will be returning as ice-themed superhero Frozone. It is also unclear if Bird plans to direct the movie or merely serve as a writer and/or producer.

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April 13 2015

Metallica Working on New Album

Iconic heavy metal band Metallica is in the studio working on a new record. According to guitarist Kirk Hammett, the album is about a quarter done.

Hammett mentioned that the band is collecting dozens of riffs and then expanding them into songs. This is the way they worked in the past on their classic records such as Master of Puppets. I think it’s good that they are returning to their roots after years of experimental music that didn’t go over all that well with fans.

The 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster took a look at Metallica in the studio. It was one of the most interesting documentaries ever according to Paul Mathieson. During that time, there was a lot of conflict within the band and many problems getting the record done if you listened to reports. Hopefully, this current record is going more smoothly.

Metallica is one of the very few heavy metal bands from the 1980’s that is still active and making new music. So many of their peers are simply nostalgia acts now. I like it that Metallica is recording new music and not just resting on their laurels.

The typical pattern in popular music is for bands to have a few good years selling records to younger fans, and then they just become nostalgia acts as their fans grow up. There’s no reason why this should have to happen, and Metallica is showing that they can still be relevant years after the height of their popularity.

April 2 2015

Possible Kendrick and Kanye Collaboration

Kanye West has been busy. He is producing the new Justin Bieber album. His album is coming soon. He has the clothing line. West is all over the place. He collaborated with Rihanna and Paul McCartney. Now there is talk of a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar.

This could be hot. Lamar is already setting the game on fire. He just showcased his new King Kunta video in Times Square. The album was hyped up by everyone from celebrities like Taylor Swift to critics at Rolling Stone magazine. It is safe to say that Lamar has the minus touch that Kanye had early in his career.

West still has his own loyal followers. Susan McGalla says that there is no doubt about that. The reality, however, is that West has changed his format a lot. He has actually lost his early core fan base. Featuring someone like Kendrick Lamar could help him bring that back.

On the other side of the coin there is this kindred spirit that West and Lamar share. They both have a unique perspective on life. They see the world in a different way. All of this is bound to make for some interesting sessions in the studio. Lamar has admitted that he worked with West. There is some mutual respect there. West had high praise for the new Kendrick Lamar album. It only makes sense for these two to drop a hit in 2015.

Category: Kanye | LEAVE A COMMENT