Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chrissie Hynde says pop full of 'porn stars trying to make records'

The Pretenders' outspoken lead singer Chrissie Hynde has again raised the spectre of so-called "stripper pop", blasting young singers for selling sex before music.
Hynde has labelled young pop stars "porn stars trying to make records".
The iconic Brass in Pocket hit maker has told the London Evening Standard there were too many scantily clad pop stars and rockers filming videos while wearing next to nothing.
"There's a definite division of what I'd call porn stars trying to make records, and then musicians.
"If you go and see Kate Bush, you'll see a real musician. She takes care of business the way she wants. If a girl walks on stage and starts playing like Jimi Hendrix, believe me, no one will be asking her to take her clothes off," she told the UK publication.
"If anyone says, 'I have to do this because my record company told me', that's a lie. The artist is in control of what they're doing. You can always tell anyone to f--- off.
"If they're under pressure to get their kit off, maybe they should just be making porn films. Maybe they're in the wrong game."
Hynde isn't singling out anyone for criticism, but her remarks come just days after actress Mayim Bialik took aim at Ariana Grande for wearing "lingerie" to promote her new album.
In 2013, Sinead O'Connor attacked Miley Cyrus after watching the pop star's Wrecking Ball video, in which the former Disney regular swings about on a huge metal ball, wearing only boots.

Britney Spears Fashion News: Pop Singer 'Would Love' To See Kate Middleton In Her New Lingerie Line

Britney Spears débuted her new lingerie line in London on Tuesday and the pop icon knows exactly who she'd like to wear it.

Britney Spears At The MTV Music Awards

"I would love to see Kate [Middleton] wear my underwear designs," Spears told People on Wednesday. "That would be splendid! I'm going to send her one of every piece, so she'll have plenty to choose from.

In defending her decision to offer some free samples to the Duchess, the singer-turned-designer claimed that her line is for "every type of woman."

Britney Spears Performs In Las Vegas

While known for her fragrances, Intimate Britney Spears is the 32-year-old's first entry into the world of lingerie design. As for her personal life, Spears admitted that she prefers to keep things interesting.

"I like to have matching and then sometimes I like to mix it up and change it up… to make it more interesting and fun" revealed Spears of her own lingerie.

Spears announced the lingerie line back in July, offering a wide array of styles all under $80.

"Every woman should feel confident and beautiful in everything she puts on," she declared in a July 23 interview with People. "My vision for The Intimate Britney Spears is to create pieces that are sexy, luxurious, and comfortable at the same time. I am excited to introduce this collection because I feel that we accomplished just that."

The Duchess of Cambridge has not commented on Spears' offer and is currently pregnant with her second child.

Thousands of Jazz Fans Expected for 14th Annual Beantown Jazz Fest

If jazz and people aren’t your thing, you might want to stay away from the South End this Saturday. According to Berklee’s Nick Balkin, the 14th annual Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival is expected to draw up to 80,000 music fans to the Columbus Avenue festival site.
In comparison, the September edition of Boston Calling attracted 45,000 attendees.
The festival is being hosted by Berklee College of Music, and there will be no shortage of jazz, blues, and soul acts to keep the masses entertained. Headliners include Shiela E., California-based Kneebody, and renowned drummer Yoron Israel.
Also playing are Grammy winners Snarky Puppy and Dionne Farris, and Grammy-nominated artist Oleta Adams. There are plenty of Berklee student and faculty bands playing, too, including Bill Banfield’s the Jazz Urbane and Screaming Headless Torso.
The festival was started in 2001 by local entrepreneur Darryl Settles as a way to support local music, especially jazz, and South End businesses.
It was a surpise for Settles and the organizers when 10,000 fans showed up that weekend. Since then, the festvial has continued to grow and has attracted around 75,000 fans in the last couple of years. Organizers said that they are expecting a similar turnout this year, if the weather is sunny as predicted.
In 2007 the running of the festival was taken over by Berklee College, ensuring that the festival would become part of Boston’s rich cultural calendar, but Settles doesn’t think that festival is all that different now from its first few years.
“It was only 10,000 [people] for the first year, then it grew every year after that,” Settles said via a phone interview with Boston.com on Tuesday. “But the theme and the strategy are the same as the first year. It’s such a diverse event for the city. And Berklee is the premier jazz school in the whole world, so they’re the people to run it.”
Alon with the increase in attendence, Settles’s idea that the festival should benefit the local community remains true.
Other than the three music stages, Columbus Avenue will be lined with vendors selling food, drinks and crafts, many of which in the past have been local. Young jazz fans, even younger then the Berklee students on stage, will be entertained by face painting, a family park and an instrument petting zoo, as well as KidsJam, an interactive program run by Berklee’s Music Education department.
“Every year the festival just brings the neighborhood alive,” said Settles.
Discover Roxbury, a cultural preservation organization, will also be offering short walking tours during the festival, aimed at showing off the jazz and civil rights history of Roxbury and the South End. It’s telling that just blocks away from the festival site is Wally’s Cafe, one of the oldest jazz clubs in New England.
On a more international front, the theme of this years festival is “Jazz: The Global Ambassador.”
“We have seen how important music and the arts are to fostering cultural exchange,” wrote Terri Lyne Carrington, the Grammy-winning drummer, Berklee professor, and also artistic director of the festival, “so I am happy that our theme this year is Jazz: the Global Ambassador.”
The festival’s main sponsor, Natixis Global Assests Management, has announced the Jazz Diplomacy Project, a series of events designed to celebrate jazz and to foster discussion about international issues.
At the festival, the company will award a $5,000 scholarship to a Berklee student for the third year running. The scholarship covers the cost for a high school student to attend Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Natixis has also provided support to the Newport Jazz Festivals.
If you’re trying to plan for the Beantown Festival, its founder has some recommendations.
“Well on friday I’m gonna see Oleta Adams. But I’m really excited about Sheila E.,” Settles said, “I know she’s not really jazz, but she’s a great performer.”

A Legitimately Magical Prince Album

In 2010, Prince released an album, called “20Ten,” that ushered in the longest silence of his thirty-five-year career as a recording artist. For most of Prince’s creative existence, he’s put out an album a year, sometimes double and triple sets. After “20Ten,” though, came nothing. Well, nothing by Prince’s standards: plenty of singles trickled out, along with rumors about upcoming projects, but there was no major release. Then, earlier this year, he announced a return to Warner Bros. records, at first for the purpose of assembling a thirtieth-anniversary edition of “Purple Rain,” which would include outtakes and rare demos. This has not yet materialized. What has emerged is his first album of new material since “20Ten,” and the second: this week, Prince resurfaces with “Art Official Age,” a solo album, and “PlectrumElectrum,” a long-delayed collaboration with his all-female backing group, 3rd Eye Girl.
“PlectrumElectrum” is easier to understand and easier to dispense with, which doesn’t mean that it’s subpar, exactly. It’s a short rock record with plenty of guitar, and includes meditations on sex, self-empowerment treatises, and energetic songs about energy. The more ambitious songs often spotlight someone other than Prince. Hannah Ford, the band’s drummer, sings the plaintive ballad “Whitecaps,” and “Boy Trouble” is a strange flower of a song with an out-of-left-field speed rap.
The so-called solo record, “Art Official Age,” is considerably more interesting. For starters, Prince has dispensed with his typical “Produced, Arranged, Composed, and Performed by Prince” credit, the one on which much of his mystique as a one-man band and all-around genius was founded, and has shared production credit with Joshua Welton, who also happens to be Hannah Ford’s husband. Was this an admission by Prince that he needed another pair of ears? Was he in search of a more contemporary sound? The quasi-title track that opens the album (“Art Official Cage”) seems to suggest so. It’s a strange welter of E.D.M. clichés and Europop, with some gnomic lyrics, some grinding guitar, and some rapping. It’s a mess, provocative but not exactly successful; it sounds like a track that was left off Prince’s 1989 “Batman” soundtrack, updated for 20Fourteen.
But the rest of the album is easily Prince’s most coherent and satisfying record in more than a decade. In the past few years, the Prince songs that leaked online seemed to be less about paving the way for a new album and more about trolling the Internet. “Breakfast Can Wait,” a lithe and light funk number, was released with a cover photo of Dave Chappelle as Prince. Only a snippet of “This Could Be Us” leaked, but it was enough to confirm that Prince had written a song about a popular Internet meme that used a picture of him from his “Purple Rain” days. As proper singles started appearing, though, the album came into sharper focus. Songs like “Clouds” and “U Know,” slower and more repetitive than the kaleidoscopic funk-rock we’ve come to expect from Prince, suggested a new direction—a kind of gelatinous, futuristic R. & B.
These tracks worked in concert with the other singles to sketch out a theme: that technology separates us from those we’re close to, and even from ourselves; and that the lack of integration may well result in disintegration. “Clouds,” the second track on the album, which opens with the sound of a radio tuning, critiques the way the computer age offloads experiences to distant servers (that’s what the clouds are); the song instead prioritizes romance and human connection (“You should never underestimate the power of a kiss on the neck when she doesn’t expect a kiss on the neck”). It also folds in a well-constructed argument about the way the Internet era has encouraged empty exhibition and a half-baked argument about violence and bullying, before ending with a sci-fi monologue delivered by a British female voice that seems to suggest that Prince has been placed in some sort of centuries-long suspended animation.
“Clouds” is a kind of manifesto: “When life’s a stage in this brand new age / How do we engage?” Prince’s answer is to do a version of what he’s always done, which is absorb nearly every kind of music available and, via alchemic wizardry, turn it into something that produces thoughts and emotions. That’s even more evident on “U Know,” which is built on a sample of the singer Mila J’s “Blinded” and alternates wordy half-rapped verses about romantic misunderstanding and spiritual crisis with an irresistibly seductive chorus. The songs seem like R. & B., but they’re statements of deep unrest. Then the album hits a lull, with tracks that declare the power of music rather than demonstrate it, and insist on the superiority of the past. It’s grumpy-old-man music, done with plenty of panache. None of this, though, is sufficient preparation for the homestretch of “Art Official Age,” which is where Prince stops worrying about the future or the past and truly inhabits the present. Beginning with “What It Feels Like,” a duet with the singer Andy Allo, Prince delivers a series of ballads, broken up by interludes and a red-meat dance song, that are like nothing he’s done before.
It’s worth thinking about what it means for Prince to step into new territory. He has spent years trying to recapture pieces of his old self: the provocateur in black lingerie who got booed as an opening act for the Rolling Stones, the New Wave-inflected keyboard freak of “1999,” the motorcycle-riding rock god who ruled the world after “Purple Rain,” the tortured psychedelic introvert of “Around the World in a Day,” the jazzy genius of “Parade,” the pop polymath of “Sign O the Times,” the deeply divided spiritual pilgrim of “Lovesexy.” These old selves then became albatrosses. His albums of the late nineties and the past decade found Prince making gestures toward those personas without ever really inhabiting them again. And how could he? Here, for the first time, he suggests an alternative: maybe there’s an entirely new Prince music, possibly aided and abetted by Joshua Welton, that harnesses his talents and his vision. Maybe he’s not condemned to auto-pastiche.
The closing songs are hard to absorb at first. “Way Back Home” sounds sluggish for a while and then, suddenly, it sounds revelatory. It’s a self-portrait painted in the strangest and most accurate colors imaginable, a melancholy confession and bruised boast in which Prince cops to the fact that he’s out of place, out of sorts, pushed forward at times by desperation but “born alive” in a world where most people are “born dead.” And “Time,” which runs for nearly seven minutes, is a love song, briefly lickerish, that’s mostly about the loneliness of the road. In both cases, Prince brings the tempo way down, focusses on the nuances of his melodies, shares the spotlight with female vocalists, weaves in motifs from earlier songs from the album, and adds a steady supply of surprising touches (such as the superbly funky, if subdued, horn outro to “Time”).
The ballads are broken up by “FunkNRoll,” a straightforwardly exciting party song that also appears on “PlectrumElectrum,” but the version here serves the album’s over-all message—it’s knotty, both playful and eerie, with sonar-like sound effects that create a sense of distance and mediation. The closing track, “Affirmation III,” is a haunting reprise of “Way Back Home.” And while it’s abstract (the clipped, angelic backing chorus, which seems to be on loan from Laurie Anderson, is even more prominent), it’s also concrete. For the first time in years, Prince seems not just carnal but corporeal. Way back on “Controversy,” he challenged categories: “Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?” By the time of “I Would Die 4 U,” the challenge had turned to taunting: “I’m not a woman / I’m not a man / I am something you can never understand,” and then, messianically, “I’m not a human.” Here, he presents himself as something understandable and fully human. In “Breakfast Can Wait,” he pleads with his lover that she can’t “leave a black man in this state.” But that black man is in this state: he’s in his fifties, grappling with loneliness, aging, creative inspiration, self-doubt, a shifting cultural landscape, and love. As luck would have it, he’s also Prince.

Concert to bring back memories of female vocalists of yesteryear

Imagine a jazz club with the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Etta James, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney and others. Jaimee Paul and her jazz combo, led by husband Leif Shires, on trumpet, delivers just that.
“At Last” is a tribute to those fabulous female vocalists of the glory days of yesteryear. For Paul, “At Last” is very personal.
“All the great lady singers saluted were inspirations to me, and the songs selected are among my innermost personal favorites,” she said. “Some of them I have a long history with: My grandfather was a World War II veteran and his favorite song was ‘Sentimental Journey,’ and we used to listen to it together. ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’ always gets me thinking about my wonderful husband, Leif, and the incredible day that we first met. On the other hand, ‘Stormy Weather’ never fails to start me thinking about all the lousy relationships I’ve been through, that we’ve all been through.”
Paul sings of love, loss and the blues at Clover School District Auditorium on Oct. 7.
Raised in Southern Illinois, steeped in church choir, Paul was influenced by gospel and blues, cultivating a special place in her heart for Jazz.
“I was always involved with music,” Paul said. At the age of five she began studying classical piano for almost 10 years, and from the third grade on, she also played the French horn in school bands. She also sang in both church and school choirs. Her parents are both musical: Her mom taught music and piano in the public school system for 30 years, and her dad studied music in college before deciding on a career in engineering. “

Thursday, March 29, 2012


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