Imagine Dragons on Loving Halsey, Learning From Paul Simon, New Tour Film

Imagine Dragons

On March 2nd, Imagine Dragons fans who missed out on the band’s 2015 tour can experience the next best thing. That night, at 7:30 p.m. local time, Fathom Events presents a cinematic recap of the band’s massive Toronto show — performed for an audience of 15,000 — during their tour in support of last year’s Smoke + Mirrors. The film will not only unite fans across North America; it will also stand as a testament to the incredible production values featured on Imagine Dragons’ most recent world trek. Watch the exclusive trailer below.

Singer Dan Reynolds recently spoke with Rolling Stone about the film, Smoke + Mirrors tour opener Halsey and the band’s tight-knit fan community before Imagine Dragons embarked on the short final leg of their world tour. “We put out an album that hit hard, and I really feel like we have a community now from touring pretty relentlessly for eight years,” he said. “I honestly feel like social media has been really important to us to help us really feel close to our fans, even though we haven’t met.”

What made you guys decide to release this concert film as one-night-only event

Metallica, Alice Cooper Remember ‘One of a Kind in Rock’ Lemmy Kilmister

“He was innovative, true to his art and continually relevant even though he never cared about being relevant,” Cooper wrote. “He was always creating and redefining hard rock and the role of bass within it. Offstage, he was a gem. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t adore Lemmy. He was such an original character in rock, and I will truly miss seeing him out on the road.”

Alice Cooper; Lemmy

Cooper extended his condolences to Kilmister’s family, bandmates and “rock fans everywhere,” adding to the growing number of tributes pouring in from across the musical spectrum.

Elsewhere, Metallica paid their respects to Kilmister with a note on Facebook that read, “Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We are forever grateful for all of your inspiration. Rest In Peace.” The metal outfit also shared a live clip of them performing Motörhead’s “Too Late, Too Late” alongside Kilmister.

“I’m so glad we were able to get some quality time with him recently,” Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo tells Rolling Stone. “He was really the coolest, the smartest, and funniest gent I’ve ever met. R.I.P Lemmy! Killed by Death

Metallica, Canadian Cover Band Reconcile Over Cease and Desist Letter

metallica

“The band have been using this logo for years with no problems at all,” guitarist Joe Di Taranto tells Rolling Stone. “I only joined the band last summer and feel a little guilty that perhaps my (albeit humble) success with my main/original band WARMACHINE have brought a little extra attention to the band, leading to this little fiasco.”

Now, Metallica has clarified the situation in a statement to Rolling Stone, denying any involvement in the letter and blaming an “overzealous attorney” for the misunderstanding.

“We hear that a Canadian Metallica tribute band is a little upset with us and with a little digging, figured out why,” the band tells Rolling Stone. “It turns out that a certain letter was delivered to the band Sandman that neither we nor our management were aware of until it surfaced online. Lucky for us, the band was kind enough to post it for us to see, and it turns out that we have a very overzealous attorney who sent this letter without our knowledge.”

The group pointed to Garage Inc., their 1998 covers album, as proof of their support of groups covering other artists’ work. “We

Why Instrumental Music Can’t Survive in Schools as a “Fun” Class

Playing a musical instrument is fun, of course.  But school administrators, teachers, parents, and students all have a different idea of what “fun” actually means when it comes time for the arts in schools.  I believe that without a unified definition of “fun” as it pertains to music education, more music programs will continue to be cut from school curricula.

I’ve written about why music programs are cut from school, and one of the reasons is that it is not treated like — or approached as — a core subject in the curriculum.  Music is not a “frill” subject — quite the contrary.  Music education has many magical benefits that we read about when it is taught masterfully and supported by the entire school community.

Even after several studies of music’s powerful effects on the brain have been completed, too many parents think instrumental music is simply a fun break in the day that requires little work.  Music teachers are nervous to add rigor to their classes in fear of students quitting, and school administrators don’t know what to think — they just don’t want their schedules to be complicated and need their state report cards to

The Shazam Effect

In 2000, a Stanford Ph.D. named Avery Wang co-founded, with a couple of business-school graduates, a tech start-up called Shazam. Their idea was to develop a service that could identify any song within a few seconds, using only a cellphone, even in a crowded bar or coffee shop.

At first, Wang, who had studied audio analysis and was responsible for building the software, feared it might be an impossible task. No technology existed that could distinguish music from background noise, and cataloging songs note for note would require authorization from the labels. But then he made a breakthrough: rather than trying to capture whole songs, he built an algorithm that would create a unique acoustic fingerprint for each track. The trick, he discovered, was to turn a song into a piece of data.

Shazam became available in 2002. (In the days before smartphones, users would dial a number, play the song through their phones, and then wait for Shazam to send a text with the title and artist.) Since then, it has been downloaded more than 500 million times and used to identify some 30 million songs, making it one of the most popular apps

The Healing Power of Music

“I’ve been a bad girl. Am I in trouble?” asks an obviously distraught Naomi. Tears begin to form in the corners of her eyes. She wrings her hands as she sits in her wheelchair in the lobby of an Alzheimer’s disease care facility.

“No, you’re not in trouble,” says recreational therapist Mindy Smith. But nothing seems to help Naomi’s mood. “I’ve been a bad girl,” she repeats over and over.

Then Mindy says, “Do you want your music?” Naomi’s face brightens as headphones are gently placed over her ears. And as a big band arrangement of George Gershwin’s ” ‘S Wonderful” flows from her iPod, Naomi begins to smile.

Scenes like this are being repeated in nursing facilities and homes across America. New research is confirming and expanding an idea long held by those who work with dementia patients: Music can not only improve the mood of people with neurological diseases, it can boost cognitive skills and reduce the need for antipsychotic drugs.

Music therapists who work with Alzheimer’s patients describe seeing people “wake up” when the sounds of loved and familiar music

The Benefits of Music Education

Whether your child is the next Beyonce or more likely to sing her solos in the shower, she is bound to benefit from some form of music education. Research shows that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.

More Than Just Music
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.

Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles, says Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of Music Together, an early childhood music development program for infants through kindergarteners that involves parents or caregivers in the classes.

“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you

Being straight and a Bowie fanboy wasn’t always easy

comfortable territory. There was the Labour leader on the Today programme, expecting to be interrogated about his shadow cabinet reshuffle, and instead he was obliged to talk about David Bowie.

And you just knew from the way he spoke that Corbyn didn’t get Bowie, didn’t understand his true significance, didn’t appreciate his place in the firmament. Because if he had, if he had been properly inculcated into the cult of Bowie – in which I, for one, have been hopelessly ensnared these past four decades – he would never have wasted his time on demonstrations and in political meetings. He wouldn’t have bothered with committees or caucuses. Not when he could have been listening to Bowie, pop music’s Shakespeare.

Those who understand, know this for certain: Bowie was the greatest. That is not a subjective assessment. That is a statement of fact. He never stopped. He innovated, he changed, he influenced like no one else. Everyone from U2 to Kanye West can trace direct lineage to his lead. Anyone who has ever liked pop music will have a Bowie song now playing on a loop in their mental mp3 player.

His creative urge was extraordinary. It

Jay McShann: master of boogie-woogie piano

Jay McShann, who was born James Columbus McShann on January 12, 1916 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was one of the most innovative and hard-working jazz perfomers of the 20th century.

McShann was a pianist and bandleader whose style epitomised the blues-inflected jazz of  Kansas City.

Along with the singer Joe Turner and Count Basie, McShann, the son of a furniture store worker, forged what came to be known as the Kansas City sound: jazz rooted in the blues, with a powerful rhythmic pulse. “You’d hear some cat play,” he told AP in 2003, “and somebody would say, ‘This cat, he sounds like he’s from Kansas City.’ It was Kansas City style. They knew it on the East Coast. They knew it on the West Coast. They knew it up north, and they knew it down south.”

In his early days, his band was regarded as a potential rival to Count Basie’s, and it was as a member of McShann’s band that the 20-year-old Charlie Parker made his recording debut.

McShann, universally known by the nickname “Hootie”, was renowned for his mastery of the rolling boogie-woogie piano style and his brisk, unpretentious on-stage manner. In later life he developed a distinctive, hard-edged

Classical music in America is dead.

When it comes to classical music and American culture, the fat lady hasn’t just sung. Brünnhilde has packed her bags and moved to Boca Raton.

Classical music has been circling the drain for years, of course. There’s little doubt as to the causes: the fingernail grip of old music in a culture that venerates the new; new classical music that, in the words of Kingsley Amis, has about as much chance of public acceptance as pedophilia; formats like opera that are extraordinarily expensive to stage; and an audience that remains overwhelmingly old and white in an America that’s increasingly neither. Don’t forget the attacks on arts education, the Internet-driven democratization of cultural opinion, and the classical trappings—fancy clothes, incomprehensible program notes, an omerta-caliber code of audience silence—that never sit quite right in the homeland of popular culture.

The holiday season typically provides a much-needed transfusion. But the most recent holidays came after an autumn that The New Yorker called the art form’s “most significant crisis” since the Great Recession. Looking at the trend lines, it’s hard to hear anything other than a Requiem.

Adele joins James Corden for Carpool Karaoke sing-along

Award-winning artist Adele is the latest celebrity to join The Late Late Show host James Corden for a Carpool singing session.

Corden has brought his Carpool Karaoke across the Atlantic for a sing-along with ’25’ singer Adele.

The Late Late Show host has already had artists including One Direction, Stevie Wonder, Iggy Azalea and Justin Bieber in his car for the popular videos which have been viewed by millions online.

James Corden and Adele singalong in Carpool Karaoke Play! 01:03

In a teaser trailer released this week, and reportedly filmed in the UK, the pair can be heard singing along to Adele’s lead single Hello from the album 25 and 21 single Rolling in the Deep.

At the start of the clip Corden is

David Bowie dies from tributes, memories and pictures

avid Bowie died from cancer on January 10, aged 69. His representatives confirmed the news on Monday morning through his website and social media feeds. The world was shocked by the announcements, which read: “January 10 -David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. “

Bowie’s death came two days after the release of his critically acclaimed 25th album, Blackstar. His long-term producer and friend, Tony Visconti, posted a statement that the record was Bowie’s “parting gift”, confirming what many critics and fans later realised about the timing of its release. Blackstar is near-guaranteed to top the UK album charts on Friday as Bowie’s older records re-appear in the charts.

David Bowie’s last release, Lazarus, was ‘parting gift’ for fans in carefully planned finale Play! 00:31

Best country music albums of 2016

he best country music and Americana albums of 2016, chosen by Culture Editor Martin Chilton unless stated. Updated weekly.

SAM OUTLAW: ANGELENO (THIRTY TIGERS)

A very fine debut album from Californian singer-songwriter, who has a wonderfully rich and mournful country voice. There’s a lot of variety in the songs 12 songs – from the honky-tonk of I’m Not Jealous to the cheeky Jesus Take The Wheel (And Drive Me To A Bar). Love Her For A While is a sweet country love song but my favourite song is Keep A Close Eye On Me. Producers Ry and Joachim Cooder allow Oulaw’s voice to shine through some gorgeous music in a band that includes Bo Koster, Taylor Goldsmith, Gabe Witcher and Chuy Guzmán. And of course, the master Ry Cooder. As Outlaw says: “Ry plays on every song, electric and acoustic on the basics. And then all the overdubs he did were just insanely beautiful. When Ry expressed interest in working with me, it was just, ‘Holy sh-t, I can’t believe it’. ★★★★☆

ROD PICOTT: FORTUNE (WELDING ROD RECORDS)

Rod Picott achieves his aim of making an authentic studio version of his live shows in

Naff cover versions of David Bowie

The late David Bowie released 27 studio albums and nine live albums, and his own versions of his highly original songs are hard to beat.  There have been good covers of Bowie songs, of course. Nirvana (The Man Who Sold the World), Beck (Sound and Vision) and Smashing Pumpkins (Space Oddity) are among the best. . . but there have been some dodgy ones, too. We pick out seven of the most dire Bowie covers.

Starman: The Krankies

Sorry if you are still recovering from the 2011 news that children’s TV stars The Krankies confessed to indulging in “swinging” in the 1970s and 80s. Ian and Janette Tough, who rose to fame on TV show Crackerjack, said they had an “anywhere, anytime” attitude and had the occasional “ding dong” with other people. They also had a ding dong with David Bowie’s iconic 1972 song Starman. They were not the only Crackerjack stars to tackle Bowie, incidentally. Comedians Peter Glaze and Jan Hunt gave their own cranky treatment to Golden Years. Sharing has (mercifully perhaps) been suspended on YouTube but you can watch a 25-second clip here. Below is the Krankies doing Bowie.

Life on Mars: Barbra Streisand

Who is playing the Super Bowl halftime show and how can I watch it?

What is the Super Bowl halftime show?

There’s no show quite like the Super Bowl. The annual championship game of America’s National Football league unfailingly pulls in the largest TV audiences of the year, and the halftime show is its explosive, carnivalesque centrepiece.

Once upon a time it only featured university marching bands, but now it is a grand, celebrity-fuelled affair, with the biggest voices in music belting their way through half time sets.

Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner are just a few of the famous names that have headlined during its 50-year run.

When is the Super Bowl halftime show 2016?

Super Bowl 50 will take place on Sunday, February 7 in San Francisco, California, starting at 11pm GMT. The halftime show will start roughly an hour and a half in

How do I watch it?

If you can’t spare the few thousand for a ticket and plane fare, don’t worry: you can watch the halftime show online. CBS Sports will be streaming the entire event here.

Who performed last year?

In 2015 Katy Perry joined Lenny Kravtiz and Missy Elliott on the field, sending viewer ratings rocketing to

Best Country Music Albums of 2015

The best country music and Americana albums of 2015, chosen by Culture Editor Martin Chilton unless stated. There are 60 choices for the year. Five star reviews are at the top, otherwise numbers refers to the order in which the albums were reviewed and only ★★★★★/★★★★☆/and ★★★☆☆ albums are included.

1 ANGALEENA PRESLEY: AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS (SLATE CREEK RECORDS) 
Angaleena Presley sings with a good mix of emotion and subtlety (especially on the affecting Better Off Red) on a highly impressive album that is full of powerful and mordant songs and fine musicianship. Presley wrote five of the 12 songs alone and used experienced hands – including Lori McKenna – on the other seven. The songwriting class shows. ★★★★★ Read the full review of American Middle Class

2 RHIANNON GIDDENS: TOMORROW IS MY TURN (NONESUCH RECORDS)
Rhiannon Giddens shows she can sing country music with great warmth in a version of Patsy Cline’s She’s Got You and delivers a stunning version of a Dolly Parton song. What I particularly liked about that cover was that she tackles one of the lesser-known songs from Parton – Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind from 1969 – and absolutely nails it. There is also a very non-Dubliners like

When are the Brit Awards 2016 and who is performing?

When are the Brit Awards 2016?

The Brits will return to the O2 next month to bring the much-needed annual dose of music industry glitter, awkward award presentation and headline-generating performances to the dark days of British winter. The date to save is Wednesday, February  24.

How can I get tickets?

The ceremony takes place in the cavernous O2 Arena, which means that the public can attend in the stalls above the seated tables where the celebrities enjoy the show. Tickets go on general sale on January 15, but if you’re a Mastercard cardholder you can buy them now. Just head to pricelesssurprises.co.uk.

O2 Priority is also offering a presale: you can get tickets 48 hours before they go on general release if you’re an O2 Priority member.

Will they be shown on TV?

Yes! You can enjoy the tumbling pop stars and presenting mishaps up close and personal through your TV screen. The Awards will be shown live on ITV, with Ant and Dec hosting.

Who will be performing?

Adele is the first named act to be taking to the Brit Awards stage. This is quite a coup: in 2011

David Bowie Was ‘On a Godlike Level’

“He was so beautiful. You’ll not find another man with such beauty and calmness,” Farrell wrote. “I so enjoyed putting on his music and singing along, adding harmony to his sexy scary world. It was a privilege to witness such cool.”

Prior to Bowie’s passing, a tribute benefit concert dedicated to the icon’s legacy was announced for March 31st at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Farrell on the bill alongside the Roots, Cyndi Lauper, Jakob Dylan and many more. That performance will now proceed as a memorial concert.

“Can someone bring him back to life? Where is that prize winning scientist when you need him most? What could be more important,” Farrell asked in his tribute. “I’ll bet someone out there would pay a billion dollars to have him sing again. One more time. If I had the money – I would pay it gladly. We so painfully miss you David Bowie.”

Read Farrell’s Bowie tribute in full below.

David Bowie is gone. You’ve heard by now; it’s true. We will never again hear him sing to us. A loved one has died. We were moved – changed by his ways. When we speak of

Heightened senses, economic challenges

While the terrorist attacks certainly had an economic impact on the creators, producers and consumers of classical music, there is no evidence that 9/11 radically altered the cultural landscape beyond psychological damage.

Ticket sales and attendance have dipped, contributions have leveled off and red ink has accumulated. But these occurrences, agree arts administrators and marketers, are more directly related to the national economic decline that was well under way before the events of 9/11.

“There can hardly be any doubt that 9/11 simply made the economic downturn worse,” says Chicago Symphony Orchestra President Henry Fogel, whose organization has been battling a $4 million to $4.5 million deficit that had reared its head before the attacks.

The psychological fallout from 9/11 is being felt perhaps most strongly at the creative end of classical music, according to Augusta Read Thomas, the CSO’s composer-in-residence. “Everything seems to have a heightened sense of emergency about it,” she says. “In some ways, everything I do from now on will involve 9/11, in the same way that everything I do involves the Holocaust and other tragedies.”

For Thomas, 9/11 was “a deeply human, timeless tragedy”

Composer’s Classical Music Makes `Sense’ In Movies

From “Amadeus” to “Immortal Beloved,” classical music has had great cachet, if not a literal presence, on film. Today, Tinseltown is discovering that music is the message.

One who has delivered that message clearly — though hardly loudly — is composer Patrick Doyle, whose work on “Sense and Sensibility” recently landed him an Academy Award nomination for original dramatic score.

Doyle — whose soundtrack credits include “A Little Princess,” “Carlito’s Way,” “Indochine” and movies by his friends Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson (“Henry V,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Dead Again”) — is among a new breed of classical-music composers who are diving headfirst into film. That group would include such serious avant-garde figures as Michael Nyman (“The Piano,” “Carrington”) and Philip Glass (“Mishima”).

With his work on the upcoming Shirley MacLaine comedy “Mrs. Winterbourne,” as well as a commission for Branagh’s adaptation of “Hamlet,” Doyle’s music is hot in Hollywood.

“You have to get into the heart of the film as quickly as possible,” Doyle, 42, said in a telephone interview from a London recording studio where he was scoring “Mrs. Winterbourne,” directed by Richard

Read Annie Lennox’s Poetic Tribute to David Bowie

“Like a gazillion other people, I feel stunned by the news that David Bowie has departed this earth,” the Eurythmics singer wrote in a message accompanied by a photo of the star during his Aladdin Sane-era, wearing the signature red lightning bolt on his face. “At the loss of someone who has impacted and influenced your life, you can hardly begin to measure the shape of what’s left behind. Our personal and collective inner landscape has shifted and we’re trying to come to terms with it.”

Lennox then reflected on mortality and complimented Bowie’s final work, Blackstar, which had been released on his 69th birthday and just two days prior to his passing. “No one exists forever and it seems our elegant gentleman was well aware that his last mortal chapter was about to reach its conclusion,” she began. “Blackstar was his parting gift. Provocative and nightmarishly ‘otherworldly’… we are jolted towards the twilight realms of epileptic seizures and voodoo scarecrows.”

The singer ended her statement with a poetic tribute to his legacy and forward-thinking nature of his work. “The bejewelled (sp) remains of Major Tom lie dormant in a dust coated space suit…It leaves me breathless.

Classical Music Isn’t Dead

“Classical music in America is dead.” Those words rang out across the Internet last week; their source, a Slate article written by Mark Vanhoenacker, complete with a gravestone illustration and the hoary cliché of the singing fat lady. It was nothing we hadn’t read before, but the timing of the latest obituary was particularly strange. Yes, New York City Opera folded last fall. But, a week before the Slate piece appeared, the Minnesota Orchestra emerged from a fifteen-month lockout crisis, and the day after publication the New York Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony announced energetic 2014-15 seasons. So what brought on this latest spasm of morbidity? And why is the American media so fixated on the supposedly imminent demise of classical music?

As the musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen so eloquently put it, “The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition.” To place that tradition in context, consider the infographic below. Design credit goes to Andy Doe, a consultant in the classical recording industry and the author of the blog Proper Discord. Doe has already addressed some of the factual and conceptual errors committed by Vanhoenacker. This timeline shows just how long the “crisis” in

Musical trends in mainstream pop

The melismatic vocals popular in the 1990s and 2000s in pop and R&B music lost favor by mid- to late 2009, with vocally lower-key artists such as Rihanna, and Katy Perry starting to outsell new releases by perennial melismatic favorites Mariah Carey, and Christina Aguilera.

The saxophone has been used in multiple top 40 songs in the decade. “The Edge of Glory” from Lady Gaga’s 2011 album, Born This Way is credited with popularizing the use of saxophone in the early decade. Saxophone solos were common in pop from the 1950s to the early 1990s, but declined later in the 1990s. Whistling has also become more common in hit songs, especially around 2011.

Traditional instruments, such as the mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele, banjo, and accordion, are being utilized more often, especially in indie rock and with singer songwriters such as Mumford and Sons, Weekend Players, Phillip Phillips, and The Lumineers, along with country artists such as Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band.

After several years of stagnation due to the decline of nu metal and post-grunge, rock has made a comeback in North America with the rise of the indie music that was for the most