Rapper’s Delight: ‘Beastie Boys Book’ Is An Instant Classic

Rapper’s Delight: ‘Beastie Boys Book’ Is An Instant Classic

Beastie Boys book review

The life and art of the Beastie Boys always sounded so fun. Beastie Boys Book uses the band’s childlike, mischievous spirit as a guiding force that guides the reader through a career of reinventions. Collaborator Spike Jonze sums up the band’s attitude: “They were always playing. It didn’t matter what they were doing—making music, playing shows, making videos or getting dressed up in disguises for no reason—it was all just play.”

The band’s most innovative style was its kaleidoscopic, kitchen sink approach to making records, deployed on albums like Paul’s Boutique and Check Your Head. These records are simmering pots of b-boy bouillabaisse – including doses of jazz, punk, funk – all assembled with love. The book’s ambitious account of the band’s musical career succeeds on every level. But it’s only the beginning of what this book has to offer.

Beastie Boys Book takes a cue from the band’s brilliant, short-lived Grand Royal magazine by supplementing the story’s main course (written by surviving Beasties Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond) with myriad side dishes. These materials include photo spreads, maps, and original lyric sheets (an early draft of the Paul’s Boutique gem ‘High Plains Drifter’ was enough to give this writer a full fanboy freakout). Accounts from secondary voices are illuminating – especially the candid and emotional essay by original Beastie Boy Kate Schellenbach. The most effective element of the book’s format are text sidenotes, which allow Diamond and Horovitz to chime in on each other’s stories – an echo of the trio’s collaborative rhyme patterns.

It’s a lot of material. This immense tome weighs more than Run DMC’s gold chain collection circa 1986. It’s an immersive plunge into the Beasties’ world that feels exhaustive but never exhausting.Beastie Boys Book review

Another theme that emerges throughout the band’s story is Adam Yauch as a wellspring of love and creativity. Outwardly, the trio’s dynamic always seemed relatively balanced. But Mike D writes that Yauch was “like our older brother, and even more, a mentor.” The book is dense with stories where Yauch dreams up an impossible creative idea, then knocks it out of the park. Even his pranks were astounding: Yauch once stunted on his bandmate with a ruse so ingenious, it took fifteen years to deliver. Then, of course, there’s Adam Yauch’s spiritual journey – which could fill a book of its own. In short, Beastie Boys Book will leave you in awe of the man known as MCA.

Adam Yauch’s prank is one of many previously unheard stories that will surprise and delight Beasties diehards (also of note: the time he briefly quit the band). Hearing the Beasties’ story in full for the first time is extremely satisfying.

Beastie Boys Book renders an innovative career in full kaleidoscopic color, like a poolside Paul’s Boutique-era acid trip. It’s an instant-classic work of music nonfiction, the kind that makes you savor every page.

For more Beastie Boys history, listen to Beasties DJ Mix Master Mike on the Culture Creature podcast.

Published at Sat, 27 Oct 2018 14:43:54 +0000

TAEYANG’s White Night Concert 2017 in New York

Taeyang successfully finished his White Night Concert at Madison Square Garden, New York on Sept. 1, 2017 as part of his North American/Canada Tour. Listen to what he has to say to his fans and his live singing from albums both old and new.

He also made a special encore performance at the end, singing famous Big Bang songs like Bang Bang Bang and Fantastic Baby! What do you think? Like/Comment and Subscribe!

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The Story of Queen: Mercury Rising (FULL DOCUMENTARY)

Buy on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/story-queen-mercury-rising/id550861062

This is the story of one of the worlds greatest rock bands of all time, known for their constant record breaking, sell out tours, chart-topping records and eternal worldwide success. 20 years after the death of frontman Freddie Mercury, the band still remain immensley popular. Queen’s album sales have topped 300 million sales worldwide and their Westend stage show is shown in almost 20 cities accross the globe. Formed in 1971, Queen embarked on their journey to fame in the UK with their first two albums Queen (1973) and Queen II (1974). But it wasn’t until the release of Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and A Night at the Opera (featuring Bohemian Rhapsody) in 1975, that they went to achieve global success. By the late 1970’s Queen had gone on to release ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions’, two of the greatest Rock anthems to be released which cemented their status as one of the worlds greatest rock bands. This is the story of one of the most iconic rock bands in the world, from the very beginning through to the sad demise of Freddie Mercury in 1991. Through classic archive footage and some of their greatest hits and interviews with Brian May and the likes of Paul Gambaccini, their incredible and unique story is told. This is the story of Queen.

Myles Kennedy Talks The Mayfield Four, Year of The Tiger, and the State of Rock n Roll

Myles Kennedy Talks The Mayfield Four, Year of The Tiger, and the State of Rock n Roll

Myles Kennedy Interview

The first time I met Myles Kennedy was when he was on tour with his band The Mayfield Four back in 1998. The band was touring in support of their Epic Records debut Fallout, and they were starting to get traction on their new single “Don’t Walk Away.” A radio hit for a rock band at this time was make or break, and these guys were one of the best live bands on the planet, the label just had to get people out to see them.

The band was in between tours and had a few days off in my hometown of St. Louis, and I was the only Sony Music rep in the city, so I got to spend a few days with these guys taking them around the town. I remember Myles being an introvert and a really nice guy. Get on the right topic with him, and he’s not only incredibly insightful, but he’s the anti-rock star.

The Fallout tour came and went and the Mayfield Four, although not having a breakout year, laid a solid foundation through relentless touring and radio support from the label. Things would go quiet for a bit while they prepped their sophomore release, the mystical powerhouse that would become Second Skin.

I remember being in New York City for our annual Sony meeting and one of the execs from Epic records came out to introduce the new Mayfield Four record. Almost instantly you could hear snickers and snarky comments from the ultra-hipsters from the college department who didn’t get it because this was a “commercial” rock band, but the ones who were in the room who got it, their ears perked up. The Epic exec introduced the record by saying it was, and I quote, “one of the most unique and incredible rock records they had heard in some time.” (The only other time I ever heard praise for a rock band like this internally was when Incubus delivered Morning View.)

Second Skin was one of the most incredible records I had ever heard in my entire life. From start to finish it was a masterpiece of modern rock. Huge guitars, crashing percussion, all laying the foundation for Myles Kennedy’s incredible vocals. Unfortunately, the record came and went as many records do on the major label assembly line, but this one would continue to amass fans and become legendary in its own right. According to Myles, this left him disillusioned with the music industry.

“I think as an artist, and I think as a human being, I don’t think I was ready for the success,” says Kennedy. “I think that I was a classic case of somebody who was probably more afraid of success than failure in some weird way because I knew that would raise the bar and level of expectation. I wanted to have the opportunity to continue to make music somehow, but strangely, I didn’t want it to be massive. You essentially became a moving target, because once you have a certain amount of success, people start to take aim. So, I always just wanted to kind of keep flying at a certain altitude. I think in the end it all worked out for the best.”

Twenty years later and both of the Mayfield Four’s records are more popular now than they were, even with support from a major record label and terrestrial radio. Myles Kennedy almost went away, but a voice this unique cannot not be heard, and the rock ‘n’ roll gods would pave the way for a rebirth and resurgence. First, it was Slash who called, and later on, Alter Bridge. Both of which would ultimately allow Myles to finally record a solo record—which he did, and later scrapped.

He would begin once more on a project based on the relationship with his late father who he lost at the age of 4. It would take the shape of 12 new songs pulled together in a collection called The Year of the Tiger, and it recently debuted at #12 on the UK charts ahead of a string of sold-out shows across Europe. Myles was oblivious to the chart debut of the record, “I didn’t even know that. [laughter] I live in such a bubble,” he says over the phone as I load up the questions for a conversation with the 46-year-old who’s out on the road by himself for the first time.

So what’s it like right now for Myles? “It’s really just me and my guitar against the world,” he says. “It’s very liberating and exciting and new for me. I’m having the time of my life, but at the same time, there are some nights where it goes better than others. There’s nothing to fall back on, and if you’re not firing on all cylinders…well, you’re standing in front of a room full of a thousand people and you’ve got to man up real quick. You feel like you’ve been pushed into the deep end and you got to learn to swim real quick.”

It’s certainly an interesting time to release a blues-based concept record which strikes a balance between dark and light, hope and despair, but is now a good time to try something new? With the breadth of Myles’ experience in the world of rock and roll over the past decade-plus, if he had to award a letter grade to the state of rock and roll in 2018, what would that grade be? “It varies so much around the world. I guess overall, from what I’ve seen on tour, I’d give it a B, I think,” he says. “I’m not going to give it a D or I can’t give it an A because it’s not as relevant is it was 30 years ago, but it’s still there.”

Part of the Year of the Tiger box set includes a special disk of demos that Myles recorded for the record, but are these the actual demos or polished up versions for the release? “Those are what I sent to Tim (Tournier, Myles’ manager) after I’d written a song. I needed a way to document them so I grabbed my laptop, plugged a little $100 microphone in the USB port, recorded them, and then shot it off to Tim to which he replied, ‘There really is something special about these demos, I think we should just release them.’” But there was no doctoring these up for release—the tracks were all done in about two days, providing a rare glimpse into the seeds of a brilliant record.

Signing a deal with Napalm Records is yet another intelligent risk for Myles. Napalm is home to W.A.S.P. and a slew of other metal bands. It’s a trend that saw Rival Sons sign to Earache Records a few years ago, which continues as the hardcore, independent metal labels work to expand their rosters. Myles is a fan of Rival Sons. “I’m probably Jay Buchanan’s biggest fan,” he says, “and Jay and I were talking about this. I think that they (Rival Sons) just released this officially—it sounds like they might be going to a national major label here—very soon or already have. So, I’m curious how that’s going to affect them. I’m hoping they are going to get behind them because I feel like that band needs to be heard. To me, it’s tragic that the entire universe does not know about Rival Sons. My fingers are crossed that it’s going to put them on the next level.”

Year of the Tiger is a deeply personal record for Myles which deals with the death of his father at a very young age. He often talks about how personal the release is and I had to ask if he has ever teared up during a performance while playing songs from the record. “Not yet,” says Myles. “It’s something that I’m kind of waiting for. The song that I am most concerned about in that respect is probably “The Great Beyond.” The middle section, as I was writing the lyrics for that song, that was probably the most difficult. It really kind of tapped into something on a very profound level for me. So, we’ll see. Ask me that question again after I’ve put that song on the set, and the answer might be yes.”

Having been in the game for more than two decades, I think it’s always fun to ask an artist where the most unusual place is that they’ve come across their music in any format. The answers are always entertaining and Kennedy is no exception.“ I was in the gym working out one day, and I heard “Don’t Walk Away,” which was really weird, because that is such an obscure track, and I’m like “Who’s programming this—who put this in there?” Especially at a gym, that’s the last song you want to hear when you’re trying to pump up at a gym. So, that was an odd one, but it was kind of fun, it put a smile on my face.”

Year of the Tiger is available on beautiful gold vinyl and marbled black and gold vinyl as part of the deluxe box set, but has Kennedy had time to give it a spin himself? “I have not,” he says. “In fact, I’m hoping to do that when I get home, because I don’t think my vinyl had shown up until I was already on the road.” I ask if he’s a fan of vinyl records and his response is enthusiastic. “Well, absolutely, I’m an absolute vinyl junkie at this point. I was kind of late to the party; I think I got into it about five years ago—I rediscovered it. I just was at Amoeba Music in LA a few weeks ago, and went on a wonderful shopping spree. My favourite record on vinyl is Aja by Steely Dan, so I bought my third copy. [laughter] So, I am sitting with three of them at home. I listen to that record, especially when I’m at home, probably five times a week. Generally, when I get to make breakfast, that’s what I put on, I have to hear that. I love the ritual of listening to vinyl.”

So will the Mayfield Four ever get back together? That’s the million dollar question, and I had to ask. “Well, I could tell you that half of Mayfield Four has already gotten back together, so Mayfield Two are rolling again. I don’t know, I guess time will tell. Between Alter Bridge and this project now, I’m staying busy. We’ll see what happens.

Myles Kennedy’s Year Of The Tiger is in stores now via Napalm Records—on limited edition gold vinyl.

Myles Kennedy Official | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Published at Sun, 06 May 2018 07:13:48 +0000

Basement: The Culture Creature Interview (Listen Now)

Basement: The Culture Creature Interview (Listen Now)

basement interview

Photo by Mitchell Wojcik

Today on the Culture Creature podcast, hear an interview with Andrew Fisher and Alex Henery of Basement. Listen to the complete Basement interview in your podcast provider of choice or via the audio player above. 

Basement’s new album Beside Myself is due on October 12th (preorder here). Vocalist Andrew Fisher and guitarist Alex Henery talked to Culture Creature host Dan Redding about their new album, English lore (including the Woolpit Green Children and Black Shuck), ‘Dad insults’ like “wazzock,” and much more.

Basement Interview Highlights

Andrew Fisher on the value of music: “I get so much from music myself – both the music that I make, and the music that I listen to. It’s the first thing I would do if I wanna get lifted up. Or if I wanna wallow in my lowness, I wanna put something really dark on. So I totally understand that. It’s just hard accepting that you’re that person that can do that for someone else.”

Alex Henery on religious themes in Basement lyrics: “As someone who is religious – I’m a Christian – I always find it fascinating. [Andrew and I] have had pretty in-depth discussions about faith and religion and life. It’s cool, I feel like I can take away stuff from Andrew’s lyrics as someone who’s a believer, and he might not even be aware of it. I know I’m reading it different than what he’s writing about, but it’s still meaningful to me. I think that’s kind of cool. We’ve talked about how that happens in a lot of bands’ lyrical content or themes. Where bands are writing about something where you may think it’s about one thing, but it’s actually completely about maybe the opposite thing. Does that really matter at the end of the day? I don’t think it really does.”

Alex Henery on living in America:There’s something about America that’s so freeing. It’s like, ‘if you come here with a work ethic and some clothes, you can figure it out and you can make something of yourself.’ I guess that’s what happened to my family. My family fled Russia in the Bolshevik Revolution and came to America. My mom talks about how our family had the largest barn in the county in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Maybe that’s been built inside of me, of just who I am. When I come to America, it just feels like less rules, less regulatory stuff I have to abide by. Maybe it’s because I grew up in England – I’m maybe less aware of all the stuff that goes on here. There’s something that makes me just not worry. I don’t know what it is. I feel like I can just get by. Life just feels so much easier out here.”

Culture Creature is the podcast where music and pop culture are shared languages that bring us together. Listen to the Basement interview now. You may also enjoy our interviews with members of Joyce Manor, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw.

Published at Mon, 08 Oct 2018 09:03:58 +0000

Podcast: A.I. And Music In Glorious Harmony, With Ash Koosha

Podcast: A.I. And Music In Glorious Harmony, With Ash Koosha

Ash Koosha Interview

Artwork By Isabella Winthrop

Today’s episode of the Culture Creature podcast features a wide-ranging interview with musician and producer Ash Koosha. Ash and host Dan Redding discuss collaborating with software, ‘auxiliary humans,’ holographic performers, and much more. Listen to the Ash Koosha interview via the player above or in your podcast provider of choice.

Ash’s new album is titled Return 0. Like most of Ash’s work, the album is the result of his collaboration with software that he creates. In our new interview, Ash says, “I have so much to say about how the music industry works, and I want to say it through an experiment.”

Watch the video for the album’s title track here:

Ash Koosha is also the creator of what he calls a “virtual persona” named Yona. Yona recently released an album of her own. Ash creates software that he calls ‘auxiliary humans’ which extend his own creative abilities. He tells us that his creative process “always starts with a human stem cell – you could say – and then it expands into some digital manipulation and design.”

Listen to the complete Ash Koosha interview on the Culture Creature podcast.

Published at Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:06:20 +0000

Inside Smokepurpp’s Sold Out NYC Concert | CenterStage

Smokepurpp is a headlining artist on the 2018 Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, and he recently stopped by New York City’s Irving Plaza to perform some of his biggest hits. While the South Florida rapper delivered energetic renditions of “Audi,” “Fingers Blue,” and “123,” Genius was there to catch all the action, and spoke to Smokepurpp about how life has changed over the past year.

Read more on Genius: https://genius.com/a/center-stage-backstage-with-smokepurpp-at-nyc-s-irving-plaza

Read all the lyrics to Smokepurpp’s songs on Genius: https://genius.com/artists/Smokepurpp

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The 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York City, presented by Johnson & Johnson

Update: A message from our CEO & Founder about the events that occurred at the September 29, 2018 Global Citizen Festival: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/global-citizen-festival-2018-message/

To those of you who were injured or frightened by this experience in the park, or were frightened while watching the livestream, we sincerely apologize.

About this Livestream:

Janet Jackson and The Weeknd headline the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York City, along with Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, and Janelle Monáe. Also featuring special guest John Legend, and hosts Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman.

Live on YouTube, presented by Johnson & Johnson on September 29 at 3pm ET: https://www.youtube.com/globalcitizen/live

#BeTheGeneration to Take Action and Join the Movement: https://globalcitizen.org/signup

Podcast: Joyce Manor’s Barry Johnson On Morrissey Fandom, The ‘Wizardry’ of Kurt Ballou, And More

Podcast: Joyce Manor’s Barry Johnson On Morrissey Fandom, The ‘Wizardry’ of Kurt Ballou, And More

joyce manor interview

Photo by Dan Monick

Today on the Culture Creature podcast, hear an interview with Joyce Manor frontman Barry Johnson. Listen to the complete Joyce Manor interview via the player above or in your podcast provider of choice.

Barry Johnson sat down with Culture Creature host Dan Redding to discuss his band’s new album, Million Dollars To Kill Me, which is out now on Epitaph Records. Barry and Dan also discuss Weezer’s discography, the challenges of being a Morrissey fan, and much more. Listen now.

Joyce Manor Interview Highlights

Barry Johnson on working with producer Kurt Ballou: “Kurt is super, super talented, and an amazing recording engineer. But I just have the opposite mind as him. He’s really technically minded, super good at what he does. And so smart – an insanely intelligent guy. Such a knowledge of all the gear he owns, and such a knowledge of how sound works, and is so talented. But everything he does is so over my head. So I didn’t take away anything.”

Barry Johnson on song ideas in dreams:I wish that I had more song ideas come from dreams. They do come from my subconscious, which is kind of dream-related. I will have songs kind of appear in my head as though it’s a fully-written song that must’ve been cooking in my subconscious. I think David Lynch talks about it – ‘catching the big fish’ – I kinda have to reel it in. Like, ‘Oh, it’s there.’ I slowly reel it in. I don’t want to break the line, you know what I mean? I don’t wanna start injecting too much of my own thought into it … As it is, let’s pull it in, you know? The best ones, you can pull ‘em in clean without accidentally suffocating it before the idea can appear to you.”

Published at Mon, 24 Sep 2018 08:55:52 +0000