Ed Sheeran is a ginger Byron for the Millennial generation: he documents his alcohol-soaked misadventures in love with a dark vulnerability that seems to grasp that they are often doomed before they start. And yet, Sheeran goes back to dead-end road again and again looking for a different result, filled with optimism.
Lana Del Rey ignited a firestorm a few weeks ago when she told a reporter for U.K. newspaper The Guardian that she wished she were dead already.
In the article, the singer, whose new album, “Ultraviolence,” will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, brings up Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse and admits that she thinks their early deaths help make them more glamorous.
Now, Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, has jumped into the fray to remind Del Rey that when people like her dad die young there’s really nothing glamorous about it.
In a series of tweets posted Sunday night, Cobain, 21, said (we’re stringing them all together here and using her spelling and shorthand): “@Lana Del Rey the death of young musicians isn’t something to romanticize…I’ll never know my father because he died young and it becomes a desirable feat because ppl like u think it’s “cool”…Well, it’s fu**king not. Embrace life because u only get one life. The ppl u mentioned wasted their life. Don’t be 1 of those ppl.”
Cobain then responded to a Twitter poster who wanted her to lay off Del Rey, who, herself, took to Twitter last Thursday (in tweets since deleted) to say the reporter’s questions “about death and persona were calculated…I regret trusting The Guardian.” The reporter has posted the audio of the interview on SoundCloud so people can hear it for themselves.
Cobain didn’t back down, however, and in a measured, mature way, answered “I told her to not waste her life. How is that attacking. I literally said embrace this life because u only get 1.” Cobain then tweeted to Del Rey, “ur too talented to waste it away.”
Those tweets have all been taken down. The only one that remains is one from Cobain saying, "I'm not attacking anyone. I have no animosity towards Lana. I was just trying to put things in perspective from personal experience."
I'm not attacking anyone. I have no animosity towards Lana, I was just trying to put things in perspective from personal experience.— Frances Bean Cobain (@alka_seltzer666) June 23, 2014
Del Rey, who has not publicly responded to Cobain’s tweets, has the right to say whatever she wants, but should realize that she has many young fans who take her dead-eyed persona and her words very seriously.
Should Del Rey decide that dying young really is glamorous, imagine her dismay at knowing she’s too old to join the 27 Club… that’s how old Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all were when they died.
Del Rey turned 28 on Saturday (21).
Was Cobain right to take on Del Rey?
Though Smith’s “In The Lonely Hour” is coming on strong, heading into the weekend, Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” has a good lead on the British newcomer, as the chanteuse’s second full-length album is on target to sell up to 190,000 copies and bow at No. 1. “Hour”is looking good for 160,000 and No. 2, but with the chart not closing until Sunday night, there could be a weekend surprise.
Linkin Park’s latest, “The Hunting Party,” will slide into six figures, selling as many as 110,000 copies in its opening frame to enter at No. 3.
Also bowing in the top 10: Willie Nelson’s “Band of Brothers” make a high debut for the troubadour, landing at No. 6 (40,000); Jennifer Lopez’s “A.K.A.” at No. 8 (32,000) and Deadmau5’s “While (1<2)” at No. 10 (30,000).
Lopez’s low sales numbers are the shocker as both “A.K.A.” and Mariah Carey’s latest, “Me. I Am Mariah…the Elusive Chanteuse,” came in with some of the weakest first week numbers of the singers’ careers. Whether they aren’t connecting with their fan base or are trying too hard—and missing— by seeking younger fans, there’s a disconnect going on in both cases.
As far as the returning titles, “Frozen” hangs in there at No. 4 (45,000), Miranda Lambert’s former chart topper, “Platinum” at No. 5 (40,000), Jack White’s “Lazaretto” at No. 7 (32,000), and “Now That’s What I Call Music 50” at No. 9 (30,000).
Brad Paisley has been courted for TV talent competitions before, but “Rising Star” was one he couldn’t resist. “I just can’t believe the concept. It’s an idea whose time has come,” he says. “People are used to instant gratification, they’re used to short attention span theater…Being able to influence the outcome of a show like this while someone’s still singing their song will be unbelievable.”
He will be joined by fellow “experts,” Kesha and Ludacris on the show, as well as host Josh Groban. On “Rising Star,” viewers vote to allow a contestant to proceed to the next round as the singer is performing. Paisley, Kesha, and Ludacris will mentor the singers and will also control 7% of the vote.
Paisley will juggle the 10-week summer series, which debuts on ABC on Sunday (22), with his tour, writing songs for Pixar’s “Planes” sequel, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” and wrapping up his new album, “Moonshine in the Trunk,” out Aug. 26.
“Planes: Fire & Rescue” marks the third Pixar movie for which Paisley has provided songs. “When [Pixar head] John [Lasseter] showed me the movie, he said, ‘this is a chance for you to pay tribute to your dad, your brother-in-law and the people in your family.’ I come from a family of firefighters. It was one of the easier most heartfelt song easiest songs I’ve had to write in years,” Paisley says. He also recorded another tune that plays during a scene at a country bar.
Speaking of bars, one played prominently in the recording of “Moonshine,” an album which Paisley says, appropriately enough, “is soaked in alcohol. I built a bar in the studio, an actual working Irish pub-like saloon, that’s got four taps and every sort of whiskey and scotch on the shelf. And if you build it they will cut, your band will come down and cut songs for you. We just made it a big party.”
Sam Smith, whose “In The Lonely Hour,” came out this Tuesday, has been on the promotion circuit this week. In addition to playing his own songs during a stop at Sirius XM, he covered Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.” And when we say “covered,” we mean “owned.”
He took her early, peppy hit and turned it into a heartbreaking ballad of uncertainty, longing, and with just the right amount of ache. Accompanied only by a keyboard, his restrained version upends the original. So now we have Houston's incomparable, exuberant original to make us smile and dance and Smith's rendition to make our bottom lip tremble a little. If you want a little more delicious synchronicity, both Houston and Smith were 22 when they recorded their versions of the song.
This is how you do a cover, folks…
Gerry Goffin, who co-wrote such pop classics as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “One Fine Day,” “Up on The Roof,” “(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman” and many more with ex-wife Carole King, died today at 75.
“Gerry Goffin was my first love. He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world,” King said in a statement. “Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come. His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have His name will forever be remembered as one of the greatest songwriters of all time and his songs, which are among the best ever written, will live on forever, touching generations of the future just as much as they have touched the generations of the past.touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship…His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn’t know how to say.”
In addition, on her Twitter page, King posted “There are no words” along with a picture of Goffin in his early twenties.
Goffin put words to King’s soaring melodies. Together they crafted more than 50 top 40 hits, many of them with poignant, yearning lyrics. He continued writing after their divorce in 1968, including co-writing Whitney Houston’s “Savin’ All My Love For You” and “The Theme to Mahogany,” performed by Diana Ross.
King and Goffin’s relationship is the subject of current Broadway musical, “Beautiful.” The pair were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.
On Twitter, a number of other legendary songwriters commented on Goffin’s passing, including the great songwriting team of Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, who also were Brill Building writers. “Now that Gerry Goffin is gone a part of us is gone 2 but we still have his lyrics and our great memories. We will miss him.”
Diane Warren tells HitFix in an exclusive statement, “His name will forever be remembered as one of the greatest songwriters of all time and his songs, which are among the best ever written, will live on forever, touching generations of the future just as much as they have touched the generations of the past.”
Goffin is survived by his wife, Michelle, and five children.
Chris Martin is a one-man band at the start of the video for “A Sky Full of Stars,” but he’s far from alone. And by the time the song, the poppiest entry on the British band’s new set, “Ghost Stories,” ends he has lots of new friends for his adventures.
Fun. returned with the period in its name intact and with new music on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” last night when it debuted “Harsh Lights.”
Mercury Prize-winning British band, alt-J is back with the haunting, atmospheric, electronic ballad “Hunger of the Pine,” which samples, of all people, Miley Cyrus. The song, which debuted on NPR today, makes very judicious spare use of the the line, “I’m a female rebel,” from Cyrus’s tune “4x4.” While the sample may seem an odd choice, Spin reports that the band's drummer, Thom Green, talked about his desire to collaborate with Cyrus in an interview GQ. Maybe there's more than a sample comping.
Kacey Musgraves, who hits the road with Katy Perry on Sunday (22) in Raleigh, N.C., performed a new tune, “The Trailer Song,” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” last Friday and now a recorded version of the song is available for purpose on iTunes starting today.
It's the first new music from Musgraves since the release of her Grammy-winning album, "Same Trailer, Different Park." The song, which melodically resembles a slowed-down “Merry Go Round” at times,” is an intentionally old-school, traditional country track about nosy neighbors.
“You ain’t got to act like you’re borrowing eggs just to see if my dishes are washed/What’s it to you if it’s Wednesday afternoon and I’ve traded my ice tea for scotch,” she sung. While her short black shorts were definitely not standard issue country, her hair —teased into a mini-bouffant— recalled early Loretta, Tammy and Dolly.
No word on the song, which she performs in concerts and has played at the Grand Ole Opry,, will be on her follow up to “Same Trailer.” Musgraves wrote the song with Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark, with whom she also penned “Follow Your Arrow.”
Musgraves' episode of CMT's "Crossroads" with Perry is airing now. Below is the "Tonight Show" version of the song. Fans can buy a studio version through her website or iTunes.