Award-winning songwriter and producer says conversation on diva’s next move ‘litererally just happened’
Mitch Winehouse name-checks Whitney Houston and Etta James in rememberence
LOS ANGELES -- Tony Bennett's win was a reminder of loss for Mitch and Janis Winehouse.
The parents of late singer Amy Winehouse took to the stage with the legendary singer as he accepted his award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, earned for his performance with Winehouse on classic "Body and Soul." The presentation came during the 54th annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast show, for honors not given during the Staples Center ceremony.
Bennett -- a 16-time award winner -- graciously handed the mic over to Mitch and Janis for the majority of the allotted speech time. From here, Mitch kept it together in accepting the award on his daughter's behalf, with a little choke behind his voice.
"I can't tell you what it was like. It was like lift-off. Tony's collaboration meant so much to her," he said, speaking of "Body and Soul." "And she was so excited, because it was my favorite song. I said 'Do you know the words, darlin'?' She said 'You've been singing that song to me for 25 years, of course I know the words."
Kanye West, Adele are no-shows for 3 and 2, respectivley; Civil Wars, Taylor Swift pick up theirs
Skrillex -- real name Sonny Moore -- kept popping back up on the stage with utter excitement during the 2012 awards pre-telecast show, which featured the handing-out of the genre categories not covered by main telecast. The electronica artist/DJ picked up Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Dance Recording for "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" and its title track, respectively, on top of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for the song "Cinema" (in conjunction with Benny Benassi).
The first time up, Moore thanked the EDM communtiy (spurring many adults to Google the term "EDM").
"All the boats rise at the water," he said, referring to electronic music. He described making his album in illegal warehouse space in L.A., smiling as his straight black hair bounded away from the shaved side of his head, black glasses matching the rest of his all-black-everything of his outfit.
The Foo Fighters were smiling a lot too and -- at four awards -- it was just getting funny.
Singer/actress was the biggest loss of many losses for music movie remake
Whitney Houston’s remake of the film “Sparkle” – what has proved to be her final cinematic project – was a personal one. The superstar entertainer served as executive producer, headed up the soundtrack and starred in the musical movie. Those roles were a culmination of her long, legendary career, but her lead character Emma was developed to be, in part, an autobiographical reflection on Houston herself. She said as much.
Blur playing the Brits this month, LCD Soundsystem's frontman steps out for shoes
As per usual, songwriter and megamind Damon Albarn is busy. He's got work with three different projects: Gorillaz featuring LCD Soundsystem's former frontman, a new supergroup with Flea and, if we're lucky, a new Blur album.
His cartoon band has been tapped for Converse's next Three Artists. One Song project, featuring one-half of Outkast -- Andre 3000 -- and recent LCD Soundsystem retiree James Murphy. "DoYaThing" will be a free download through the shoe company's website starting Feb. 23, and Gorillaz will be taking to the stage to celebrate with a show on Feb. 15 at the 100 Club in London. The band's resident artist and co-founder Jamie Hewlett will have his hands all over a new Converse design for the company's Spring 2012 collection.
Gorillaz released "Singles Collection: 2001-2011" in November. Murphy put an end to that pesky Soundsystem last year and promoted the finale show documentary "Shut Up and Play the Hits" at Sundance this January. Andre showed up on tracks like Beyonce's "Party" last year and is threatening a long-awaited solo album for this year.
Meanwhile, Albarn has joined forces with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and The Good, The Bad And The Queen drummer Tony Allen for a new rock act Rocketjuice And The Moon, and the crew will drop their first, self-titled album on March 26.
R&B singer Erykah Badu, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, Ghanian rapper M. anifest and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble will all feature. Recording began out of Albarn's London studio in 2008. Rocketjuice And The Moon first played live in October, so keep your eyes peeled for more live shows, once Flea's finally had his chance to hit the road with that other band.
And -- this isn't from the Gorillaz' mouth -- but Blur may be about ready for some more action in 2012. Graham Coxon told the Daily Record "there will definitely be another Blur album." The band is rehearsing soon for their performance at this month's Brit Awards (Feb. 21) and plan to get started on some new material.
"2009 was an amazing healing experience for us. We were really swept away with it and got a lot out of our systems," he said. "Eventually, even if things aren’t around the corner, Blur will do more recordings together. We all love each other and still like making music so that’s not a bad start."
Coxon's on top of a new solo record "A+E." Blur reunited in 2009 for a series of shows in the U.K. They last released "Think Tank" in 2003.
Albarn worked on collaborative effort DRC Music last year, pumped out an opera and apparently totally loves to work, always.
Mostly live clip features Will Ferrell, Notre Dame and panthers
Kanye West and Jay Z's latest video, for the new "Watch the Throne" single "N***** in Paris" comes with a seizure warning in front of it. And they're not kidding.
Electrifying as it is, the clip is a non-stop torrent of flashing lights and kaleidoscopic effects, as the duo perform the hit song on stage in front of tens of thousands of rabid fans (most of whom look like runway models, apparently).
Directed by West himself, the video is comprised of live footage shot at the duo's multi-night stand at L.A.'s Staples Center this summer. If you missed the colossal rappers on tour together, this may be your only chance to see an approximation of their live abilities.
There are also some black panthers, gothic architecture (Notre Dame may be the only representation of the French capital) and even a Will Ferrell cameo (in the form of a "Blades of Glory" clip), but mostly it's like watching "Tron: Legacy" in fast-forward. It puts Kanye's hyperactive, "Akira"-meets-Daft Punk video for "Stronger" to shame. West's video for "All of the Lights" also had a similar warning about seizures. Seems like kind of a weird trademark for a performer (even in the post-MTV age), but it works well with the thumping, relentlessly catchy "Paris."
Twitter-happy Kanye's previous album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" is up for just about every Grammy there is.
Dat sh*t indeed cray:
What do you think of the video? Grade it at the top of the story.
The Constellations get 'Murdered,' Ladyhawke nods to 'Laura Mars'
Contrary to popular opinion, Rihanna has not cornered the market on "yellow diamonds." America's favorite former corrections officer Rick Ross has unveiled his drug dealing fantasies in "Yella Diamonds," another cut off of oft-delayed "God Forgives, I Don't." I thought I told that man to keep off his feet.
Icelandic band headlining Bestival in England
Sigur Ros has made first contact in terms of a new tour today, as they announce they'll be headlining the Bestival festival in England this summer and plan to hit the road in 2012.
The Icelandic dream-rockers will head to the Isle of Wight for a Sept. 9 show, confirming their first live performance in four years. And, apparently, "their only show in the UK in 2012."
"We’ll be announcing more tour dates soon – sign up to our mailing list to get the news first," the band posted on their site.
The band was last out to support 2008's "Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust," though they released a new film last year, "Inni," which was just lovely. Not quite as lovely as 2007's "Heima," which is practically experiential in illustrating the power of Sigur Ros' live show. I was taken with Jonsi's solo stint in support of "Go" two years ago, and I imagine that this forthcoming 2012 tour will have the same stunning visual clout, particularly as it seems Sigur Ros' fandom continues to grow through exposure in television and movie placements, like in Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo."
The Cure, Bjork and PJ Harvey headed up Bestival last year.
Upcoming album will be the duo's first since 2005
The enigmatic electronic duo Daft Punk are reportedly ready to make some long-overdue new music, and will be working with the funkiest of the funky to make it happen. The twosome are teaming with Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers on an upcoming album.
Known for crushing the dancefloor (and epic live shows) with their hits "One More Time," "Digital Love" and the Kanye-friendly "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," the pioneering Frenchies (human names: Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) haven't released a proper studio album since 2005's "Human After All," although they scored the 2010 film "Tron: Legacy."
Rodgers told Daft Punk fan site Fasterlouder.com, "We were just jamming at my house, but it’s gonna be proper and real... They came over to my today around breakfast time and it's now evening. I basically had to almost kick them out. We were having so much fun just in an informal setting that we decided to make it formal. And it's very formal. It's gonna be amazing."
Perhaps best known for "Le Freak," Chic's "Good Times" was borrowed by Daft Punk for their hit "Around the World."
Rodgers has previously helped such musical titans as Madonna and David Bowi get in touch with their disco-R&B side, and seems like a match made in dancefloor heaven. He is also a guest on Adam Lambert's upcoming album.
Are you excited to hear the collaboration?
Annie Clark's a china doll, the Black Keys rock New York
Here's a rundown of some standout videos and tracks for the day, from Black Keys, St. Vincent, Niki & the Dove and Band of Skulls.
Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys hasn't just been hard at work on Dr. John's next album. He and Patrick Carney have been rocking audiences in support of latest "El Camino" in the last few months, with the below footage culled from a raucous set in New York. I find the setting disagreeable -- Webster Hall isn't even near one of the best venues in the city -- but the lights do a lot of doctoring Webster's walls for this vibrant scene.