The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held in Cleveland on Saturday. Sadly due to his struggle with illness, the Beastie Boys‘ Adam Yauch announced he would be unable to join his bandmates in celebrating the evening. Telling Rolling Stone “The Beastie Boys regret that Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch will be unable to join Mike ‘Mike D’ Diamond and Adam ‘Adrock’ Horovitz at the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April. Mike, Adam, and Adam are truly grateful for the honor but with only two of the three Beastie Boys attending, they will unfortunately not be able to perform at the ceremony.”
Take one part punk, mix in one part glam, one part heavy metal and a whole lot of teenage sass and you get the perfect rock’n’roll band: The Runaways. Remarkably young – the oldest members of the band were 17 upon the release of their eponymous first record – the band dissolved amongst a haze of drug abuse and musical differences after four studio albums. Joan Jett continued to hold the punk torch post-breakup, building a successful career backed by the Blackhearts. Now indie rock’n’punk connoisseurs Main Man Records have compiled an extensive two-disc tribute celebrating the music of the Runaways.
The release is not without controversy. Jett and singer Cherie Currie have sued to block the release complaining that the label has used their names to promote the album without permission. Somewhat fitting given that in their time the stories that swirled around the band often overshadowed the music they made.
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Born in 1947, the man christened Reginald Kenneth Dwight has left a stunning mark on popular culture in the last four decades. Over 30 albums, two animated films, two Broadway plays and a host of crazy costumes later, Elton John‘s still standing. Unlike many musicians his age, John’s work output has not slowed, nor has his popularity. Just last year he released a Grammy-nominated album with American singer-songwriter Leon Russell, and he’ll soon embark on a worldwide greatest hits tour. John and his domestic partner David Furnish also recently welcomed a child into their household via surrogate. That lucky little tyke gets to count Lady Gaga as one of his godmothers.
Like free stuff? Just kidding. You’re reading a music blog; of course you like free stuff. Well, if the daily MP3 trickle leaves you wanting, how about this: 27 new covers, free to download, in this one post. They come from two new online mixtapes.
Verb/Re/Verb is an indie blog run by a 15-year old from Los Angeles. Normally, her age would be irrelevant – that’s the beauty of the Internet, after all – except that it inspired her to curate a cover mixtape. YOUTH collects nine new covers by artists under 18. The set mixes songs by INXS and ‘N Sync, Sufjan Stevens and Loverboy. “Purple Rain” proves instantly recognizable, but “Get Down” is so whacked-out you could spend weeks listening and never guess the original artist (it’s the Backstreet Boys apparently). The set leans towards dubstep, with folkier breaks here and there.
Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.
The recent release of Easy Wonderful has given Guster fans reason to fall in love with them all over again. As their album title insinuates, they have an agreeable sound that resonates with you and has aged well over the past (almost) 20 years. If the Beach Boys went to college in the 90’s, added some bongos, and stayed out of the sun, Guster is what they would sound like.
Featured on soundtracks like Life as a House and Wedding Crashers, their songs can pull at the heartstrings as you croon along with them. On the other hand, they are better known for their laid-back, wisecracking personalities that beam from the stage and infect their fans. During their years of touring, they have taken on many cover songs with both their sensitive and playful dispositions (but mostly the latter). Typically at the end of a show, Guster will rile up the crowd with a number from Madonna, Talking Heads, or whoever sings the “Cheers” theme song (Portnoy) and get everyone involved. Most of the time, it’s just an excuse to get drummer Brian Rosenworcel out in front showing off his questionable vocals, calling in the crowd for backup. It’s just like being at a karaoke bar.