Although this is often forgotten amid the haze of Shiner Bock and BBQ grill fumes, the annual South By Southwest conference is supposed to be work. It is a business convention, after all (the music industry's biggest), on the surface hypothetically no different from networking conventions for medical supply salespeople, dental hygienists, or morticians. Business cards are exchanged, hands are shaken, backs are slapped, industry panels are attended, expense accounts are maxed out, etc. And at the same time, this weeklong whirlwind of conspicuously branded hipster soirees, open bars, and Texas-sized barbeque buffets isn't all that different from the mythical seven-day weekend known to frat boys the world over as "Spring Break" (or "Spriiing Breeeaaak!!!!"). But South By Southwest (or SXSW, as it is affectionately nicknamed by those too lazy to type out the whole thing) is different, because in the end, this much-hyped Texan pow-wow is really all about the music, man. At least to me, it is.Read More »from SXSW 2012, Round 1: Alabama Shakes, Santigold, Foxy Shazam, The Drums, Cher Lloyd & Penguin Prison Keep Austin Weird (And Awesome)
- Tiffany Lee | Maximum Performance – Tue, Mar 13, 2012 5:05 PM EDT
Canadian singer/songwriter/fashionable misfit Avril Lavigne was "breaking Dawn" this evening with a live acoustic performance to launch a new line of shoes and handbags for her rock-inspired clothing line, Abbey Dawn. Brimming with stilettos, straps, studs and skulls, Abbey Dawn's shoes and bags provide the perfect finishing touches a rock chick needs for a major concert look. The exclusive collection, presented by JustFabulous, consists of twelve shoe styles including heels, combat boots and flats, plus five handbag styles like studded totes, all handpicked by Lavigne herself. The heels in particular are crucial since many of us girls need the height to see over the crowd at shows!
And guess what: You can watch her launch party performance right here! Lavigne tore it up tonight with an acoustic set at one of the world's premiere rock venues, the legendary Viper Room in Los Angeles.
If you missed the live stream, no worries, you can still see the entire set over and over again.
WatchRead More »from WATCH: Avril Lavigne’s Acoustic Set For Her New ‘Abbey Dawn’ Collection
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Tue, Feb 28, 2012 8:55 PM EST
Monday night in Los Angeles offered the usual array of hipster shows at indie-rock clubs like the Satellite and Bardot, but THE place for all cool cats to be seen--literally--was Cinefamily, where the Rock-Cats, the world's only all-cat rock ensemble, let the fur fly live onstage.
Read More »from Meow Remix! Meet The Rock-Cats, The World’s Only All-Feline Band
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Mon, Feb 20, 2012 10:09 PM EST
Imagine a rock 'n roll Xanadu where men with flowing Rapunzel tresses, their unspeakably manly bulges straining the seams of their nothing-left-to-the-imagination harlequin unitards, ride unicorns across cocaine-and-glitter-dusted fields as they strum flying-V guitars. Imagine if Andrew W.K. sang like Freddie Mercury on a helium-balloon binge. Imagine Van Halen had replaced Diamond David Lee Roth with the bastard lovechild of Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine and Skid Row pretty-boy Sebastian Bach instead of with Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone. Or just imagine if Tenacious D weren't a joke band. Hell, imagine if Spinal Tap weren't a joke band.
Well, that was exactly the vibe when righteously reunited rockers the Darkness--who are currently touring the U.S., working on their long-delayed third album, and starring in a hilarious Samsung commercial--returned to their obvious spiritual home, Hollywood's Sunset Strip, this past Sunday to play the House Of Blues, riding up on their white swans with a magnum opus setlist of balls-to-the-wall, Def-Leppardian hair-metal that Rick Allen would probably give his other arm to play.Read More »from The Darkness Hit the Sunset Strip, Cover “Street Spirit” at L.A. Comeback Gig
- Yahoo! Music | Maximum Performance – Fri, Dec 9, 2011 9:26 PM EST
L.A.'s KROQ 106.7 FM is America's biggest alternative rock radio station, and so for the past 22 (TWENTY-TWO!) years, it has pulled in some of the coolest artists for its annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas holiday revue. What started humbly in 1990 as an unplugged Xmas show with Dramarama, Chris Isaak, the Posies, and (2011 returning act) Social Distortion has since expanded in to a two-night, "almost" acoustic, full-on rock extravaganza, and one of the Los Angeles concert events of the year. And this year's lineup may be one of the best yet!Read More »from Watch This Weekend’s KROQ Acoustic Christmas Show Live!
- Tiffany Lee | Maximum Performance – Tue, Nov 22, 2011 6:29 PM EST
Photos by Tiffany LeeI'm not going to soften the blow for any of you in Los Angeles who weren't at the Pixies show this past Saturday: It was a phenomenal. It sold out in minutes and my guilty conscience kept me from telling you about it—there was nothing I could do. I'm sorry… But really, I'm not.
As one of the most influential rock bands in the last thirty years (Kurt Cobain worked with producer Steve Albini because Albini worked with the Pixies and Kim Deal-led band the Breeders), the Pixies have been touring practically non-stop since reuniting in 2004. Their recent show at The Music Box in Los Angeles was a special off-tour date promoted just to their fan mailing list—it didn't even appear on their tour page. The band this week just ended their "Lost Cities" tour, which was an extension of their 2009-2010 international "Doolittle" tour, where they played the entire record including b-sides. The "Cities" tour was meant to hit up lesser frequented cites like Bakersfield, CA that were not included in the original tour.Read More »from The Pixies Thank LA Fans With Intimate Off-Tour Show
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Fri, Nov 18, 2011 9:37 PM EST
The original 'Some Girls' cover artFew Rolling Stones albums have held up as sonically, and still sound as gritty and urban and sexy and just downright cool, as their 1978 disco/punk/country/blues masterwork, Some Girls. (Seriously, is there anything as deliciously and decadently sleazy-sounding as Mick totally going OFF at the end of "Shattered," or Keef slurring his way though his bloozy rebel anthem "Before They Make Me Run"?) The album is finally getting a major reissue treatment this month, with a Super Deluxe boxed set that includes two CDs (one consisting of entirely unreleased tracks), a 7-inch vinyl single, a hardback book, a set of postcards, Helmut Newton prints, and a poster. And this is entirely appropriate repackaging for an album known for being as cool on the outside as it was on the inside, with one of the most celebrated and controversial covers of all time.Read More »from ‘Some Girls,’ Some 33 Years Later: Jagger & Richards Talk Punk, Disco, and Confiscated Cover Art
One would have to be blind, deaf & dumb to not recognize the acting talent of Hugh Laurie--the likable Brit who's become an international sensation via his role as cheerily abrasive Dr. Gregory House on Fox Television's House.
But the musical talent?
You'll be enormously surprised by Laurie's prowess as both player and singer--amply on display on his brand new album Let Them Talk, which, British though he is, joyously celebrates the best of blues and New Orleans classics.Read More »from They’re Talking About Hugh!
There are a select few artists who managed to be at precisely the right place at the right time--and one of the most prominent may be Thomas Dolby, whose "She Blinded Me With Science" hit of the early '80s directly coincided with the rise of MTV as pop music's major driving force.
Fortunately for us, Thomas Dolby was actually quite good.Read More »from Thomas Dolby Floats His Boat
- Christopher Wilson | Maximum Performance – Sat, Oct 15, 2011 2:07 PM EDT
News for You
- NYers furious over photos taken through windows
NEW YORK (AP) — In one photo, a woman is on all fours, presumably picking something up, her posterior pressed against a glass window. Another photo shows a couple in bathrobes, their feet touching beneath a table. And there is one of a man, in jeans and a T-shirt, lying on his side as he takes a nap.
- Denmark's de Forest wins Eurovision song contest
MALMO, Sweden (AP) — Denmark's Emmelie de Forest has won this year's Eurovision Song Contest with her ethno-inspired flute and drum tune "Only Teardrops," despite tough competition from spectacular stage shows by performers from Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
- Denmark favorite to win Eurovision Song Contest
MALMO, Sweden (AP) — An ethno-inspired flute and drum tune from Denmark is the bookmakers' favorite to win this year's Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, which also features a bizarre opera pop number from Romania and an Armenian rock song written by the guitarist of Black Sabbath.
- Native American actress proud to walk Cannes red carpet
By Belinda Goldsmith CANNES (Reuters) - Native American actress Misty Upham never dreamt she would be walking the red carpet at Cannes to showcase a film shot on her reservation. Upham features in "Jimmy P. Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian", focused on the relationship between World War Two veteran Jimmy Picard, a Native American Blackfoot, and Georges Devereux, his psychoanalyst. Upham said like Picard, played by Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro, she is Blackfeet, the largest tribe in Montana state. ...
- 'American Idol' finale draws record low ratings
NEW YORK (AP) — Ratings for the "American Idol" finale plunged to a record low for the 12-year-old show.
- Edward Furlong arrested in West Hollywood
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles sheriff's spokesman says 'Terminator 2' star Edward Furlong has been arrested on suspicion of violating a restraining order filed by his ex-girlfriend.