When They Were Young: Famous Musicians

Believe it or not, rock stars wore diapers at one point too!  Some had bad hair, buck teeth, and made questionable fashion choices like the rest of us, while others were apparently always as cute as they are now.  Here’s the proof for your viewing enjoyment!

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Beyonce

Beyonce

Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan

Carl Barat of Dirty Pretty Things

Carl Barat

Pete Doherty of The Libertines

Pete Doherty

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana

Kurt Cobain

James Hetfield of Metallica

James Hetfield

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison

Jimi Hendrix (on right)

Jimi Hendrix (on right)

Joe Strummer of The Clash

joe Strummer

Liz Phair

Liz Phair

Madonna

Madonna

Meg White of The White Stripes

Meg White

Melissa Auf Der Mar of Hole

Melissa Auf Der Mar

Shakira

Shakira

The Strokes

The Strokes

Courtney Love

Courtney Love

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

Robbie Williams of Take That

Robbie Williams

Bjork

Bjork

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Freddie Mercury of Queen

Freddie Mercury

John Lennon

John Lennon

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse



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Media Roundup: Live Previews and Legal Matters (Baby)

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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You want weird?  We’ve got weird.  Bet you never thought you’d see the names James Iha, Taylor Hanson, Adam Schlesinger and Bun E. Carlos in the same sentence, did you?  Now what if we told you they were all members of a brand new supergroup called Tinted Windows?  Yeah.  Seriously.  

 

The members of Tinted Windows

The members of Tinted Windows

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are heading back to the studio to record the follow-up to their award-winning album, Raising Sand.  

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Hey Anglophiles! Want full coverage of the BRIT awards?  Point that mouse riiiiight here for photos, vids, results and more!

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Kings of Leon‘s Only By The Night album was a massive hit with fans and critics alike last year.  Eagerly anticipating new tunes from the Followill brothers?  The good news: the songs are indeed on their way.  The bad news: you’ll have to wait another year to hear them. 

 

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon

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For a long time, if you wanted to make money being a musician, you had to set pen to paper and WRITE!  A new bill called The Performance Rights Act would ensure that studio musicians, band members and songwriters would all receive compensation in the form of radio airplay royalties for their work.  

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Naomi Klein, author of the brilliant book No Logo, is undoubtedly cringing at this latest perversion of art by the folks at Bacardi.  First SoCo, now this?  There was, however, an artistic victory worth noting regarding the estate of Jimi Hendrix and its battle with Hendrix Electric Vodka.  Baby steps…

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Want to get schooled in the fine art of maximizing sound quality from your headphones?  Look no further.  

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Thao Nguyen will hit the road with Samantha Crain!  Click here for the tour dates plus a video from the always amazing Miss Nguyen herself!  

 

Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen

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The Spinto Band was recently featured on Daytrotter.com, with free downloads.  _______________________________

Dane101’s Steve Furay pays tribute to the late legendary hip hop producer J Dilla.  

 

J Dilla

J Dilla

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The Grammy Awards are hardly relevant in the eyes of many music fans, but the increased presence of indie artists taking home awards this year has got to be a good thing, right?

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Fans of Noah and the Whale will want to check out this video (part 1 of a series) filmed for La Blogotheque.  Also, in case you missed our review of their gorgeous debut album, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down, you can read it here.    

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The individual accused of threatening to kill Men At Work frontman Colin Hay was arrested in Los Angeles last week. Who can it beeeee now?  The band’s own guitarist, Ronald Strykert!  

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Calexico‘s Joey Burns recently took the time to participate in an interview for MOG TV.  

 

Calexico

Calexico

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On March 7th, alt-country singer-songwriter Haley Bonar will roll into Madison.  Get a preview of what’ll be in store at the show here, and while you’re at it, you can head over here to grab your tickets in advance!  

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And, naturally, when April 16th rolls around you’ll want to find yourself at the Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit‘s show at the High Noon Saloon.  Here are just a few reasons why. (Psst! Get tickets to the show now! ) 

 

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

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Lucinda Rocks us Hard

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Lucinda Williams has always been adept at painting landscapes of the soul, illuminating the spirit’s shadowy nooks and shimmering crannies — but she’s never captured the sun breaking through the clouds as purely as on her new Lost Highway release, Little Honey.

“I’m in a different phase of my life, so there are more happy moments on this album,” the singer-songwriter says of her ninth studio set. “ ‘Darkly introspective,’ is one phrase people have used to describe a lot of my songs. There are moody songs, but I’m looking outside myself a little bit more. These aren’t ‘boy meets girl, boy leaves girl, girl gets bummed out’ songs — there’s a lot more than that going on.”

Williams wastes no time signaling that mood change, leading into Little Honey’s opener, “Real Love” with a false start riff that’s the six-string equivalent of a friendly wink – then sidling into the tune’s hard-rocking vibe with a sensual slink that underscores the passion of finding exactly what that title indicates. The bluesy physicality of that tune is echoed in several of Little Honey’s tracks, from the charmingly chugging “Honeybee” to the gorgeous melodies of “If Wishes Were Horses”.

“I’m stepping out and writing about things other than unrequited love. But because that’s not part of my experience anymore,” she explains, “doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being a songwriter. There are plenty of other important things to write about — the state of the world, for one thing — I don’t buy into the myth that because you get to a certain level of contentment, you have to throw in the towel.”

While Little Honey certainly has plenty to move the hips, Williams doesn’t neglect her uncanny ability to do the same to the heart. The sparse delta delivery she affords “Heaven Blues” — a keening consideration of what might await on the other side – hits home thanks to its arresting blend of hope and vexation, while the epic “Rarity” rides soft waves of brass (instrumentation never before heard on one of her discs).

“The one thing the songs have in common is directness,” she says. “The beauty of country and blues is their simplicity, it’s about getting things across in a really direct way. I’ve spent a while stretching out and going in different directions, which is my nature. But I feel that I can always embrace that original simplicity again — that’s why I went back to record ‘Circles and Xs,’ which I actually wrote back in 1985.”

Over the course of a recording career that’s now in its fourth decade, the Louisiana-born singer has navigated terrain as varied as the dust-bowl starkness of her 1978 debut Ramblin’ (recorded on the fly with a mere 250 dollar budget behind her) and the stately elegance of last year’s West (which Vanity Fair called “the record of a lifetime”). Between those signposts, Lucinda Williams established a reputation as one of rock’s most uncompromising and consistently fascinating writers and performers, earning kudos from artists as diverse as Mary-Chapin Carpenter (who helped win Williams a Grammy with her recording of “Passionate Kisses”) and Elvis Costello (who joins her for a duet on the Little Honey mini-drama “Jailhouse Tears”).

Williams learned the importance of professional integrity around the same time most kids are learning their ABCs, thanks in a large part to her award-winning poet father Miller Williams — who invested her with a “culturally rich, but economically poor” upbringing where artistic expression was of primary importance. Later, she’d hone her vision playing hardscrabble clubs around her adopted home state of Texas, absorbing the influence of sources as varied as Bob Dylan and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

“I sometimes say I just started out singing folk songs acoustically by default,” she recalls. “Even when I was playing open mic nights by myself, I’d be sitting up on stage with my Martin guitar doing ‘Angel’ by Jimi Hendrix or ‘Politician’ by Cream alongside Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie songs. It never occurred to me to pick just one style.”

She’s never settled for any sort of pigeonholing, entering the ‘90s with the slow-burning Sweet Old World — a disc that, as much as any release, helped place the Americana movement at the forefront of listeners’ minds — and cementing her own spot in the cultural lexicon with 1998’s rough-hewn masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

The latter disc earned Williams her first Grammy as a performer, but rather than try to capture the same lightning in a bottle a second time, she stretched her boundaries on 2001’s Essence, an album rife with both cerebral interludes and soul-stirring stomps. In recent times, Williams has broadened her palette even further through frequent collaborations with kindred spirits — acts as varied as The North Mississippi All-Stars and Flogging Molly — who share her uncommon sense of non-revivalist traditionalism.

Little Honey continues that ongoing forward quest, mixing country, R & B and blues-rock elements with adventurous aplomb. The disc gets an added octane boost from the powerful chemistry between the musicians, primarily drawn from Williams’ latest road band (now collectively known as Buick 6) — includes bassist David Sutton, Eels veterans Butch Norton and Chet Lyster as well as longtime collaborator Doug Pettibone.

Williams augments that core unit with a passel of like-minded folks spanning a huge chunk of the musical spectrum, from octogenarian singing legend Charlie Louvin to power-pop vets Susannah Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, the latter of whom helped arrange the Spector-tinged “Little Rock Star” — applying studio skills that prompted Williams to dub him “this generation’s Brian Wilson.”

“I feel that this is the most eclectic record I’ve ever done, and I’ve always been known for being eclectic,” she says. “ For this album, I was comfortable just letting the songs flow, and not worried about being so serious and heavy and having to top myself — and I think that shows.”

She needn’t have worried for a minute because, with Little Honey, Lucinda Williams has indeed topped herself again.

Stream tracks from the new album Little Honey

Lucinda video about her latest album- interviews, music and more

Also check out Muzzle of Bees coverage

with special guests BUICK 6 Saturday, October 25, 8pm Orpheum Theatre 608.255.0901 $30 — all ages BUY TICKETS NOW ! Available at the Orpheum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 608.255.4646 ( $1.00 per ticket to benefit local non-profit )

A Local Band’s Golden Rule: Show Up

Jimi Hendrix gained attention by joining Eric Clapton onstage in London in 1966; The Stooges were signed when a record company went to scout out the headlining band MC5; Nirvana’s success helped catapult the Melvins. The Toadies got their start when fellow bands Decadent Dub Team (Cottonmouth TX), Last Rites, and the Buck Pets helped them land gigs in Dallas when in the past the task seemed impossible.

There are countless other examples of bands helping out their counterparts gain attention. And there is much to be learned from the path to national success of crucial bands throughout history, lessons applicable for local Madison Bands.

Recently I was watching Axiom, a local Madison alternative rock trio with a sense of humor; take the stage at their CD release party, when I took a glimpse at the crowd. The room was full of people, of course, but what really caught my eye were the other local bands in attendance. Local Madison bands not on the bill like Triibe and Lords of Discipline were in the house, and Kill Junior stuck around after their own high energy set.

It got me thinking of how important it is for local bands to be supportive of one another. Not only by coming out to the shows, but in all aspects of influence and cooperation. Sharing practice spaces and recording times, providing an opportunity for a fellow local band to play a show with you, and most importantly spreading the word about other local bands.

I got the chance to speak with Axiom after their stellar show, complete with lightsaber battle. When I brought up the subject of local band alliances, they were quick to point out “It’s important for musicians to treat their music scene as a community. If we don’t support each other, who will?” The support isn’t limited to hooking other bands up with shows, but also in musical influence. A band’s sound is in constant evolution. Axiom takes their influences from national acts such as Tool and Primus, but also credits local bands like Kill Junior, Ignorus, and Sunspot as an influential part of their sound. Evolving a unique sound to call your own is the essential appendage in the survival of the fittest in this unpredictable music industry.

lightsabers

lightsabers

In other words, succeeding in the music biz, even on a local level, involves cooperation. As Axiom stated in our interview, “The Madison scene is hit or miss… It would be nice to see the Madison scene revert back to the way it was 10-20 years ago, when everyone went out to their favorite bar to watch bands.”

Most working bands and musicians dream of making it big, gaining recognition regionally, nationally, somewhere other than their home town. And most want to see Madison become a national hot spot for music, a smaller version of Nashville or L.A. sans the cowboy boots and glitter.

What I’m suggesting is some kind of “golden rule” for local bands: If you want others to show up for your gig, you must to the same and show up for them. You never know where it could lead.

You can start out by checking out Meteorade opening for XYZ Affair and Roomate at High Noon on July 27 or the The Box Social opening up for the Toadies and the Whigs at the Annex on July 31. And don’t forget Kurt Cobain’s favorite band, the Melvins, at High Noon on August 3.

Katie Jo Crubaugh, True Endeavors Public Relations Intern

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