Lots of usual suspects popped up on the just-released roster of Grammy nominations — Adele, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, the Foo Fighters. But who, folks might wonder, was the wild-maned artist who calls himself Skrillex, who logged no less that five coveted nominations?
Word was going around yesterday afternoon that notorious metal outfit Motley Crue were preparing to make a big announcement on — of all things — “Piers Morgan Tonight.” They did. They surely did. For the entire month of February, 2012, they’ll be performing a first-ever Hard Rock residency at The Joint, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
U2’s Bono has been popping up everywhere this week to call attention to the fact that today, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day, and to shed light on his (RED) organization’s ongoing global fight against AIDS. But venerable Vegas outfit The Killers are once again doing their part, too, pausing long enough during their new album sessions to record their sixth consecutive benefit Christmas single, “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball,” out today on iTunes.
Speaking of calendars, might as well grab next year’s while we’re penciling in special must-see events. Because the great Celtic-punk outfit Flogging Molly has just announced the itinerary for its Eighth Annual Green 17 Tour, their regular St. Patrick’s-themed juggernaut that careens across the country each March.
Get out your calendar — or sleek new smartphone — and save the date. Next Tuesday, Dec. 6. Don’t know where you’ll be then, you say? We do: At Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St., in San Francisco, for a can’t-miss in-store event at 6:30 p.m.
Brainy alternative outfit Okkervil River has always boasted some rather arcane influences. Their name, for instance, was inspired by a short story by obscure Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya. And now they’re proudly announcing their influences via “Golden Opportunities 2,” a free download available at their website, www.okkervilriver.com. Operative word here: “free.”
Their last three singles have all gone Top 10 on the UK dance charts. Their videos for “Feel Good” and “Sunlight” have been viewed on YouTube over eight million times apiece. And their high-octane live concerts — road-tested at festivals like Glastonbury, Download and the Isle of Wight — have become almost legendary overseas. Now, London’s new dubstep-inspired band Modestep is at last coming to these shores.
Hats off once again to Mancunian movers and shakers Elbow, who show no signs of slowing down.
Yes, the Genesis-minded prog-rockers were a surprise addition to this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. But everything about Guy Garvey and company is unexpected these days, ever since they won Britain’s coveted Mercury Prize in 2009 for “The Seldom Seen Kid,” with a 2010 BRIT Award for Best British Band for icing on the cake.
Jazz-blues chanteuse Norah Jones has gotten a lot of awards and kudos in her illustrious career. But few could match this recent praise from the Queen of Country herself, Dolly Parton: “I love hearing Norah Jones sing anything,” she gushed. “But I was overjoyed and overwhelmed when I heard her sing my song 'Jolene.' I salute The Little Willies.”