The hit musical “The Book of Mormon” might make fun of dress-shirted representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints naively trying to save souls in war-torn Uganda. But to Imagine Dragons bandleader Dan Reynolds, a longtime Mormon and Las Vegas native, it’s no joke. Read More
Carly Rae Jepsen — whose recent “Call Me Maybe” was the song of the summer — may look like a waif on the cover of her album “Kiss.” But she’s no newbie. Four years ago, after placing third on “Canadian Idol,” the Vancouver native, now 26, issued her first Juno-nominated album “Tug of War,” leading to her discovery earlier this year by Justin Bieber and his manager, Scott “Scooter” Braun. “I remember getting off the show and feeling so desperate to put out a CD of original songs after doing a season of covers,” she says of her folksy debut. “It was like ‘OK, that was fun. Read More
“Invitation Au Silence” — on Stereolab frontwoman Laetitia Sadier’s second solo album “Silencio” — is a spooky spoken-word piece that she recorded in an echoey cathedral. It’s next to other electronic ruminations “There is a Price to Pay For Freedom (and it isn’t Security)” for good reason. “The song was inspired by silence I encountered in a Spanish church,” says the French-born Londoner. “And it was a moment of epiphany.”
“Silencio” is a very angry album. What do you see going wrong with modern society? Read More
Alt-country kingpin and part-time thespian Dwight Yoakam lately has been offered prestigious acting gigs, like playing Gen. George Meade in the Civil War miniseries “To Appomattox” and Doc Miles in the Jason Statham franchise “Crank.”
He even was briefly attached to Gore Verbinski’s still-filming reboot of “The Lone Ranger,” but after false starts, Yoakam, who plays Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Sunday, opted to finish his new album “3 Pears” instead. Read More
Joe Jackson had a total blast, living the punk rock life in late-1970s London, after he broke onto the scene with his definitive debut album “Look Sharp!” and its smash single “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”
Then, he began visiting The Big Apple in the early ’80s, and everything changed.
“When I got my teeth into New York, I think it just opened my mind in a lot of ways,” recalls the keyboardist, who went on to sculpt jazzy experiments like “Jumpin’ Jive” in ’81 and ’82’s “Night and Day.” Read More
Some artists stress lyrics in their compositions, others, melody. But Swedish techno-pop duo Niki & The Dove, who play The City this week, focuses on something else: an elusive, ephemeral element that sets their work apart.
“It’s a difficult thing — how to find that spark — but it’s really important for us,” says keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf of his modus operandi with singer Malin Dahlström. Read More
On their last two sonic blasts, “Box of Secrets” and “Fire Like This,” U.K. noise-pop duo Blood Red Shoes had fallen into one pattern of working “which involved jamming together, screaming over the top of it and then working some melodies out,” says guitarist-vocalist Laura-Mary Carter of the sessions with singer-drummer Steven Ansell. Read More
Orange County proto-punk quartet The Offspring isn’t known for pointed, pertinent politics: Its 26-year career has been buoyed by singalong hits such as “Self Esteem,” “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” and the cowbell-clanking “Come Out and Play (Keep ’Em Separated).”
But you can’t be a snotty brat forever. On the band’s new “Days Go By,” lyricist-frontman Dexter Holland has grown older, wiser and angrier since 2008’s “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace.” Read More
Native Americans might have called it a vision quest.
But reggae legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jimmy Cliff prefers to think of it as a “meditation” — a retreat he took in Brazil several years ago that changed his life forever.
“I just really wanted to understand what perfect peace was,” he says. “And I went to a place in my spirit where I saw complete bliss, and I never felt that before, or since. I experienced it only for a few moments, because as soon as I realized what was happening, I fell out of it. But I did experience it.” Read More
When New Zealand synth-rocker Ladyhawke — aka Pip Brown — revisits the title track from her new sophomore CD, “Anxiety” — with its opening lines: “I take a pill to help me through the day/I stay inside until I feel OK/ I’ve always been so cautious, but I’m sick of feeling nauseous” — she is shocked by her own honesty. “Because that song is true, and I’ve never put my emotions on the line so much before,” she says. “I’ve had quite a problem for years with anxiety.”
Brown, who plays the Folsom Street Fair today, isn’t kidding. Read More
By now, it’s common jazz knowledge: the tale of classy singer Melody Gardot, who, after being broadsided by a Jeep while bicycling through Philadelphia in 2003, suffered neurological damage that affected her movement, short-term recall and sensitivity to light and sound. Bedridden, she began writing supine songs that first became music therapy, then her official, Peggy-Lee-smoky 2008 debut, “Worrisome Heart.” Despite chronic pain, nothing has slowed her since. Read More
British singer-actress Paloma Faith has only appeared in a handful of films — but they’ve been fun ones, like Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.”
They were instructional experiences, as well, and Gilliam gave her sage advice. “He said you should never compromise your ideas,” she says. “If money prevents you from articulating them in the way you wanted, then you have to figure out a way to do it within your budget.” Read More
First, the bad news: Legendary blue-eyed soul duo Daryl Hall and John Oates may be out on their annual summer shed tour, which hits the Mountain Winery in Saratoga on Tuesday, but don’t expect new music from them anytime soon. Or, as Oates puts it, “Never say never. But honestly, the future of Hall and Oates is in its past. We have so much music that we’ve created over the past 30 years, and by playing the songs that people want to hear, they still live on.” The good news? Read More
Considering the meteoric rise of Karmin — the pop-rap duo Amy Heidemann formed with her keyboardist fiance, Nick Noonan — vocalist Heidemann has reached one conclusion.
“Everything that’s happened to us so far has been a freak coincidence,” she says. Read More
Angus Stone recently unmasked a criminal. Thefts were striking his off-the grid farm on the east coast of Australia, where he raises cattle and grows vegetables accompanied only by his trusty kelpie-greyhound mix Inca.
Every day when he fed his chickens, more eggs were missing from the coop. The culprit? A fat opossum, who began to sun himself on a nearby tree afterward, licking his chops. Read More