20 Watts

Editor’s Pick #274: Gaga at the Grammys by 20watts
February 3, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , ,

PREVIEW: VISIT Lady Gaga’s Web site

So, the Grammys were this past Sunday, but to be honest I didn’t watch. I don’t really care much about the awards and I choose to just watch the performances on YouTube afterward. While all of the performers were pretty good, my favorite had to be Lady Gaga. She stayed true to form with her somewhat creepy yet very entertaining show, proving once more how talented she is by performing with the one and only Elton John–and giving him a run for his money. Although the whole appearing on stage with Elton John thing has been done before, it’s a trick I never get sick of. Check it out for yourself above.

–Kelsey Bennett, Production Editor


Movie Music: Elizabethtown by kabenn03

Elizabethtown, a mediocre movie with an amazing soundtrack

PREVIEW: STREAM “It’ll All Work Out”

Movies would be nothing without music. If chosen right, music can tell just as much of the story as the actors do. No one knows this better than former Rolling Stone editor and current director Cameron Crowe. He has created some of the most epically brilliant soundtracks known to man, or at least, to me.

Among those is the Elizabethtown soundtrack. While the movie, a solemn tale about a young man contemplating suicide, wasn’t exactly memorable, the soundtrack is a fantastically seamless mix of folk, country, rock and indie songs.

Tom Petty’s “Square One” and “It’ll All Work Out” prove to be the perfect accompaniment as Drew (Orlando Bloom) embarks on a road trip with his father’s ashes. Petty’s scratchy, mellow voice matches the half smile on Drew’s face as he looks back on a life of regret. The hopeful lyrics of “It’ll All Work Out” put the viewer at ease and foreshadow the film’s happy ending.

Elton John also appears on the album with “My Father’s Gun.” This lesser-known Elton classic fits perfectly with the mellow, sort of somber tone of the overall soundtrack. Despite being 6:21 minutes, the longest song on the album, compelling lyrics such as “I’d like to know where the riverboat sails tonight/To New Orleans well that’s just fine alright/`Cause there’s fighting there and the company needs men/So slip us a rope and sail on round the bend” make the song fly by.

The indie presence appears with “Don’t I Hold You” by Wheat. Although this faster-paced song seems a bit out of place on the album, it works because of the singer’s somewhat quite, deep voice and drawn-out notes.

Overall Crowe is an inspiring soundtrack producer and the Elizabethtown soundtrack is one of his gems.

— Kelsey Bennett

News of Note: Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack, Lego Rock Band now featuring Blur, N.E.R.D. and Sanitgold collaborate, and so much more!!! by jluposello

PREVIEW: Watch the trailer for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are

On the eve of the premiere of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, Rolling Stone gives us a look at the production behind the film’s soundtrack. Both Jonze and co-composer Carter Burwell, who has worked on every Coen Brothers film plus Jonze’s own Being John Malcovich, have scored the cinematic adaptation of Maurice Sendek’s classic kid’s book. Burwell often urged musicians to approach the music in an unsophisticated manner, asking them to play like 5th graders instead of classically trained professional musicians. Check out RS’s behind-the-scenes look at the soundtrack production.

Sure, we all scoffed at the release of MTV Games’ Lego Rock Band. But now alt-rock legends Blur are on board for the game, allowing you to rock out to their classic library as a Lego version of the band, says Stereogum. The game’s soundtrack reportedly consists of kid-friendly selections from Blink 182, Elton John, Incubus, The Jackson 5, Korn, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Queen, just to name a few. Available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS, the game will now give “budding musicians” the chance to play alongside the guys from Blur. Woo-hoo.

N.E.R.D. has been hard at work with dub queen Santigold, reports Pitchfork. The product of the collaboration, a freshly released single entitled “Soldier”, sounds distinctly mid-80’s, combining N.E.R.D.’s distinctive funk-rock sound with a more upbeat, hardcore tempo. The synth horns sound specifically nerdy (pun intended), but sound strangely natural next to Santigold’s vocals. Check out the MP3 here.

Earlier this week, electropop legends Depeche Mode took a pretty embarrassing mis-step at one of the stops on their South American tour. As leader Dave Gahan finished “Never Let Me Down Again”, he exclaimed, “Thank you Chile!” to a crowd of adoring fans at the Explanada del Estadio Monumental. The only problem was that the venue was in Lima, Peru. Oops. Depeche will be playing in Chile later on in the tour, so the blunder isn’t completely unjustifiable. Rolling Stone has a video of the slip, and also gives us a look at some other celebrity stage faux pas, including Alanis Morisette’s mistaking of Peru with Brazil.

A&E has recently said that Michael Jackson’s children may be appearing in the new reality show entitled The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty, says Rolling Stone. While A&E had first affirmed that the children would not be included in the taping, they have now come out saying that, “Filming is taking place right now. As production moves forward, it is entirely possible that the brothers’ paths will intersect with other members of the Jackson family, who may or may not be included in the finished series. However, we cannot at this point definitively know who else may make an appearance in the series.” The statement upsets Michael’s older sister, who has said that Michael would have never approved of their involvement with the show. The show is set to air in December.

— John Luposello

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Industry News, Week 4: Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Earth Day, and Soda Pop by 20watts
April 14, 2008, 2:36 am
Filed under: Industry News | Tags: , , , ,

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Senator

It is not uncommon for politics to influence music. So many anti-war songs exist that it would be impossible to name them all. However, this week saw the most unlikely pairing of politics and music – Elton John played a concert in NYC to benefit Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. So many things are wrong with this picture that I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I’m not sure if Elton John is a citizen of the US, so I’m not sure if he can vote and actually support Hilary. Secondly, Hilary is not usually supported by the gay community because she supports civil unions, rather than gay marriages. Regardless, the concert took place April 9th at Radio City Music Hall. I wish Elton had brought Hilary out on stage for a duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with special guest Bill Clinton on the saxophone…how awesome would that have been?

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