Tag Archives: Music

BREAKING: Disco queen Donna Summer has passed away at the age of 63. R.I.P.

R.I.P. Donna Summer

R.I.P. Donna Summer

BREAKING: Disco queen Donna Summer has passed away at the age of 63. We remember moments from her life: http://bit.ly/Kiry8e

[ MTV News]


Steven Tyler Makes First Ever Visit to the Playboy Mansion

Aerosmith frontman praises Hugh Hefner, talks new album

 Steven Tyler poses with Playboy Bunnies at the 15th anniversary of Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp at The Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Steven Tyler walked up the driveway to the entrance of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles like it was a second home. Surrounded by a large entourage as he was led to the red carpet, Tyler stopped to bare a Cheshire Cat’s grin as he looked at the four lovely Playboy Bunnies waiting to pose for pictures with him. The rock star and the equally iconic home that has hosted thousands of parties seemed made for each other, but this was Tyler’s first visit ever to the Holmby Hills grounds.

How was that possible that in all the years of Aerosmith’s success, the frontman had never been to one of the famous Halloween parties or a Midsummer Night’s Dream? “I was too busy in someone’s bathroom getting high,” Tyler told Rolling Stone. “I was too busy on tour, I was too busy writing songs. We were just busy.”

While he had never been to the house that Hef built, Tyler has crossed paths with the famed Lothario, Hugh Hefner. And Tyler is a big fan. “I love people that are committed to their crimes of passion and he is the gentleman of all time,” Tyler told us. “He’s been on every man’s mind around the world at least a hundred times in their lifetime for what he did. So he signifies the joys of womanhood and not the degradation . . . and even women lovePlayboy.”

What finally brought Tyler to the mansion after more than 40 years in the spotlight was Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, a program that allows people to live out their rock & roll dreams and spend four intense days training with counselors to play with Tyler or other superstars, such as Kiss’ Gene Simmons, who will be the headliner at an upcoming event in Las Vegas from October 10th through 14th.

Tyler got involved with the camp last year through Mark Hudson, a counselor in the program who co-wrote Aerosmith’s “Livin’ On The Edge.” “We spoke last year, I was doing a book, and they asked me here and I said I would, and I spoke in front of the whole camp. It’s called just being a mentor, if not to incite a riot,” he says.

Tyler had a challenge for this week’s campers, who joined him on stage at the mansion last night. “I just dared them all to learn an Aerosmith song to see how good they can do it,” he says. “If they do it good, which I’m sure they will, I’m gonna pick the best group of them all, we’re gonna pick straws and the best one out of that gets to ride around in my car and hear the new Aerosmith album.”

When Tyler says, while speaking of the upcoming record, “I’m on fire, as you can tell,” he is not exaggerating. Despite being pulled away by several handlers, he doesn’t want to stop talking about the new music, which is now in the mixing stages. “It’s one of the best Aerosmith albums ever,” he says. “I’m one of the worst judges of my own music because I’m very harsh, highly critical. [But] we waited until we had at least four really good songs that were representative and we got 19.”


Jennifer Lopez’s Music Video for “Follow the Leader”—Check It Out!

The finished product is finally here!

In March, we saw some sneak peeks of Jennifer Lopez shooting the video for Wisin & Yandel‘s single “Follow the Leader”—which is directed by her boyfriend Casper Smart—in Mexico, and now we get to see how it all came together.



Interview: Mike Shinoda Talks New Linkin Park Album And Ranks His Top 5 Rappers

Photo by James Minchin.

Photo by James Minchin.

When the Cali-based “rock meets rap” outfit Linkin Park released their first album, Hybrid Theory, it beat out Britney Spears to become the best selling record of 2001. That level of success freaked them out. After releasing their second album, Meteora in 2003, they regrouped and re-emerged four years later with a completely new sound that caused an uproar amongst loyal stans.

The albums Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns bore the sonic signature of legendary producer Rick Rubin. Rubin was also behind the boards for the band’s latest studio effort, Living Things, which is set to drop June 26th.

Last Friday Complex got a chance to hear a few tracks and chat with Linkin Park co-founder and resident MC, Mike Shinoda. He’s a smart dude with an interesting take on the band’s place in music history.

The new songs have a big, modern polished sound, but with that warm, fuzzy, hard-hitting Rick Rubin feel to them. Linkin Park has evolved from MTV frat-house faves into a class act and MC Mike Shinoda makes that clear in the rap-heavy joint “Until It Breaks” off Living Things. Over a bed of big healthy drums, he confidently spits, “I’m a Banksy / You’re a Brainwash / Get the picture like that?” Yes, we get the picture.

Interview by Jeff Sanico

Do you keep abreast of rap current affairs?

I think I do. These days everything moves really fast. There’s all kinds of sub-genres so it all depends on what you’re talking about. For instance, just this morning I heard about this track. It’s a Foster The People remix for “Blue Jeans” (by Lana Del Rey) that Azealia Banks raps on. She’s dope. The guy that mixed our record was doing her record right after ours and I was like, “Dude, can I sneak in?” I’m excited to hear Azealia Banks’s stuff.

What excites you about the new Linkin Park album?

It doesn’t lose any of the creativity of the newer stuff and it brings in the energy of the older stuff. It’s kind of a comprehensive sound. I feel like we’ve been able to take all the stuff we’ve learned on the way and put it all together in each song and still keep it fresh and forward-thinking.

Whenever we get in the studio we react really badly to anything feeling like it’s a throwback or a repeat of what we’ve done—as long as it feels like we’re taking a step forward it feels good. This record echoes a lot of different random things from what we’ve learned along the way. I think every artist’s “new album” is their favorite one.

We’ve been immersed in this one for a year. It’s like we are currently in the eye of the storm. All of my focus is on getting this record perfect and presenting it to the fans in the way that I think is the perfect way. It’ll never be perfect, but we just do our best to make it the best it can be. I’m thrilled about the record, I couldn’t be more excited about people hearing it.



Top 10 Music Festivals

No Glastonbury this year, but there are lots of other festivals to keep you rocking and rolling all summer

Headbangers unite - rock out to Metallica, The Prodigy and Black Sabbath at Download

Headbangers unite - rock out to Metallica, The Prodigy and Black Sabbath at Download

Download (June 8-10)

Metallica roar into Download

Metallica roar into Download

More than 80,000 metalheads will descend on Donington Park in Leicestershire to mark ­Download Festival’s 10th anniversary. The highlight of the weekend will be Metallica, playing their iconic Black album in its entirety on the Saturday night. The boys from Black Sabbath have kissed and made up with Ozzy and they take to the main stage on Sunday night. Dance act The Prodigy headline the Friday night. Other bands to rock out to include Machinehead, Slash, Soundgarden and Megadeth

The deal: Day tickets from £82.50 ­ camping tickets from £190

Rock Ness (June 8-12)

Loch in - Mumford & Sons at Loch Ness

Loch in - Mumford & Sons at Loch Ness

The shores of Loch Ness provide the perfect setting for Ed Sheeran, ­Mumford & Sons and Noah & the Whale. Sassenachs who want to join the party should book the RockNess Express. Leaving from Euston on June 7 ­(back on the 11th) it arrives in ­Inverness (via Birmingham, Derby, York and Newcastle). The train will have music, food and drink for £225 including a VIP ticket to Rock Ness.

The deal: Day tickets from £64, camping from £159

Hop Farm (June 29-July 1)

His Bobness - Dylan plays Hop Farm

His Bobness - Dylan plays Hop Farm

No sponsorship, no branding, no VIP ­areas. It’s all about the music at this Kent festival, something that Bob Dylan ­appreciates… this year he’ll be making his only UK festival appearance here. Also appearing are Bruce Forsyth and his big band, Joan Armatrading, Peter Gabriel, Patti Smith, The Stranglers and Billy Ocean. Free entry for kids under 12.

The deal: Day tickets from £55, ­weekend tickets £162

Womad (July 5-8)

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Interview: Norah Jones Talks About Her New Album, Danger Mouse, and Murder Ballads

First two Norah Jones shots by Frank W. Ockenfels. Last, with Danger Mouse, by Noah Abrams.

First two Norah Jones shots by Frank W. Ockenfels. Last, with Danger Mouse, by Noah Abrams.

“Go out with me!” These are the kind of requests—or rather, orders—that came flying at Norah Jones as the sultry vocalist took the stage at South by Southwest to play her forthcoming album …Little Broken Hearts (out May 1) in its entirety. “I think I’m taken,” she responded, flattered.

“Is it weird hearing music you’ve never heard?” she asked while floating from the piano to the guitar. “No? Great!” Indeed, the packed-out crowd was obviously in love with Norah’s latest work, produced in collaboration with Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, who’s worked on projects as diverse as the Jay-Z/Beatles mash-up The Grey Album and Gnarls Barkley. Working with him was a bold move for an artist who’s sold tens of millions of records and earned a slew of Grammys on her own. Though she still gets dismissed by some critics as a soft jazz act.

Broken Hearts more or less chronicles the stages of grief that occurred during Norah’s split with her boyfriend last year. It opens with “Good Morning,” in which she awakens realizing that she’ll be leaving her unfit man. She confronts him about the younger woman he’s seeing on “She’s 22,” then threatens to kill her on “Miriam.”

Her feathery vocals carry all these hefty subjects with ease, while writing partner and producer Danger Mouse provides a bounce that knock those “coffee shop singer” critiques on their ass.

The day before her SXSW show, Complex met up with Norah, 33, in a worn-down house just outside of Austin’s downtown area. She met us outside on the patio’s bench swing in a denim jacket over a long summery dress. Her publicist offered lemonade. Walking across the creaky wooden floor, Norah kicked off her shoes, curled up on the living room couch, and talked about everything: her critics, her breakups, working with Danger Mouse, and that song about killing off her man’s mistress.

Written by Brad Wete (@BradWete)

Some critics describe your music an “uneventful.” Others say it’s amazingly well built contemporary jazz. How would you describe it?

Some critics describe your music an “uneventful.” Others say it’s amazingly well built contemporary jazz. How would you describe it?

How do you feel when they say you’re a “coffee shop singer”?

That makes me cringe a little bit. I don’t think it’s really fair to lump somebody up like that. But also, who cares? [Laughs] Some people don’t mean things as an insult. Some people do.

I heard you say that you want to do a “real” jazz album or a “real” country album. What do you mean by that? Is your new album not “real”?

People always ask me, “What would you love to do?” I would like to do it some day. I mean to kind of go back to my roots and really do what I intended to do when I was young, even though I strayed from that path and I am really happy I did. My world has been a little bit more open. But that’s the kind of music I grew up loving and I really wanted to play it for so long. It would be fun to play it again. For my mom, for my teachers growing up, stuff like that. I think it would be sentimental and really nice.

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Who Is Rita Ora?

Meet the girl who’s leading Roc Nation’s British invasion.

Rita Ora is on top of the world right now, but it’s been a long time coming. The 21-year-old Roc Nation artist has put in nearly three years working on her debut album, which is due out later this year.

Some may remember the sexy UK-based singer from her collabos with Craig David on “Awkward” and “Where’s Your Love,” others may be more familiar with her acoustic covers of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” But now she’s bringing original songs to the table. With tracks produced by The-Dream and her latest, ‘R.I.P.,’ written by Drake, Rita’s taking her career to a whole new level.

The video for her latest single “How We Do” dropped on Tuesday, nearly a month after she and Jay-Z walked into New York’s Z-100 FM and the powerhouse pop station added the song on the spot. She’ll be playing a showcase at SOB’s this Wednesday—a sure sign of big things ahead.

Complex caught up with Rita at the Shoreham Hotel bar the day after she performed at the Cartier Juste un Clou party—where she sang a rendition of “Say My Name” with Beyoncé and Jigga watching in the audience. Freshly tattooed and sipping a watermelon martini, Rita told us about growing up in West London, what she thinks of all the Rihanna comparisons, and explained that “drunk sex feeling” she sings about on “how we do.” So read on to learn all about Rita. This girl’s going places.

As told to Lauren Nostro (@LAURENcynthia)

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