- Christopher Wilson | Maximum Performance – Sat, Oct 15, 2011 2:07 PM EDT
- Maximum Performance – Fri, Oct 7, 2011 2:33 PM EDT
This guy, he should carry tissue boxes around with him. It's almost irresponsible to perform with this kind of emotion.
Andrew McMahon of rock band Jack's Mannequin came by Yahoo! to perform some new tracks off his latest album, People and Things. The kid who made his name as lead singer of the piano-driven pop punk band Something Corporate is almost unrecognizable now as a man baring his soul with the best of them. Even compared to earlier Mannequin work, he's dropped the white-knuckled angst for a reflective honesty usually saved for diaries and therapists offices.
I've always said that acoustic versions of whatever hard or upbeat song almost completely changes its meaning and gives greater depth to lyrics. McMahon with just a piano is like watching a film in slow-motion, allowing you grasp every tiny nuance--so revealing you'd think you could see his skeleton.
Watch McMahon play his stripped down versions of "Release Me," "Amy, I," and "My Racing Thoughts." Jack's Mannequin's newRead More »from Jack’s Mannequin Singer Andrew McMahon’s Stripped Away Set At Yahoo! Music
Anyone who'd like to delve into the career of Australia's highly acclaimed Paul Kelly--an award-winning singer-songwriter with a massive catalog of superb songs--but does not know where to start: You're in luck.
Kelly's best work is being now being released in the States in two convenient formats: Large and Extra-Large. And it's all extraordinarily good.
In the course of more than 30 years--since his 1981 debut album Talk--Kelly has been garnering acclaim as a masterful singer and songwriter with an uncanny knack for writing catchy songs of surprising personal depth. When A&M Records released his album Gossip in the U.S. in 1987 and introduced the singer to American audiences, it started a chain reaction of critical appreciation that's never really died down since. And the albums kept on coming.Read More »from Paul Kelly: A To Z In 1,2,3
Among the year's most highly anticipated releases are the new reissues of Pink Floyd's majestic album catalog--which, from the standpoint of packaging, sound quality, and audio and video extras, rank among the most deluxe treatment any rock 'n' roll band has ever received.
That the band has sold over 200 million records worldwide since releasing their first album in 1967 may have something to do with that.
Still, the depth of the band's deep catalog--which ranges from enormously popular albums like The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), The Wall (1979) and Wish You Were Here(1975), lesser-heard gems like the soundtracks to More (1969) and La Vallée (Obscured By Clouds) (1972), to their classic 1967 debut The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn--means that very few Floyd albums sound alike, and all are worthwhile investments.Read More »from Why Pink Floyd? Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Tells Us
There aren't too many genuine rock stars left in this rock-god-forsaken world of faceless ProTooled popbots. Sure, plenty of aspiring Next Big Things cop the right poses, wear the requisite stylists-supplied hipster threads, or sing about the right clichéd topics. But pitifully few of them have "it"--that elusive, intangible, magical mix of sex, sizzle, style, and substance.
Australia's You Am I have "it," and they've had it for years. It is in fact one of the rock 'n' roll's great all-time injustices that YAI aren't rocking sold-out stadiums in every country on the map on both sides of the equator. While the band has long been an institution since the mid-'90s Down Under--where they've won ARIA Awards (Aussie Grammys), headlined festivals, topped charts, and inspired bands like Silverchair and Jet--worldwide success has frustratingly remained elusive for them. But those in know, including esteemed past tourmates like Oasis, the Strokes, Sloan, Goo Goo Dolls, and Soundgarden, can tellRead More »from You Am I are Awesome at Yahoo!
- Chris Willman | Maximum Performance – Tue, Sep 20, 2011 3:17 PM EDT
If you haven't heard the term "supergroup" in a while, it may be because there aren't many real rock titans left around to clash, much less mesh. But SuperHeavy is here to revive the tradition, with instigators Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart enlisting Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and film composer A.R. Rahman as co-conspirators in the unlikely meeting of musical sensibilities.
The ex-Eurythmic and still-Rolling-Stone talked with Yahoo! Music about the making of the debut album from their new "band," which one magazine aptly described as a "WTF lineup."
Dave Stewart understands, and welcomes, that initial expression of astonishment when the project was first announced just a few months ago. "A lot of times, when people announce supergroups, they are usually from a similar genre of music or background. Even with the Traveling Wilburys—which was recorded at my house, so I was watching them do it—you could see how it fit together, and they weren't too dissimilar in ages. Whereas if you thinkRead More »from Mick Jagger And Dave Stewart Get Super-Talkative About SuperHeavy
- Maximum Performance – Tue, Sep 20, 2011 1:38 PM EDT
Noel Gallagher has a perhaps not entirely undeserved reputation for being a surly fellow and difficult interview--a rep surely only compounded by his former band Oasis's acrimonious breakup, after he and his famously feuding little brother Liam brawled backstage at Paris's Rock en Seine festival in 2009. But when the Britpop icon recently came by Yahoo! Music, he couldn't have been more pleasant. "It's not so bad doing interviews, innit?" the affable chap shrugged. "They fly you to Los Angeles first-class, you stay in nice hotels, and you go talk about yourself! What's not to like?"
Clearly going solo agrees with the man. The longtime songwriter for Oasis but only occasionally that band's singer, Noel is now going the full-fledged singer-songwriter route with his upcoming and much-awaited solo debut, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and it's a welcome return to fine form after his two-year hiatus. "I've gotta do something," he laughed. "My wife demanded that I go make a recordRead More »from Noel Gallagher Talks Liam, Twitter Feuds, Channeling Elvis, and Stagefright in Solo Interview
- Maximum Performance – Sun, Sep 18, 2011 8:39 PM EDT
In anticipation of Feist's upcoming album Metals, I took a deeper look into the Canadian songstress' musical journey--and quite a journey it has been. With countless collaborations and contributions, it's no wonder she has taken a well-deserved break from recording.
What really blew me away was the very first band Feist, neé Leslie Feist, joined back in 1991: An rock/metal group called Placebo--not to be confused with the English band. Thanks to the magic of Youtube here's a video of one of her early shows. I can't begin to express how much I love the metalheads and goths reveling in the audience.Read More »from From Punk To Pop: A Look Back At Feist’s Musical History
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Fri, Sep 16, 2011 3:27 PM EDT
"Someone gave me a microphone--I don't know what they were thinking," Canadian songstress Leslie Feist joked dryly while playing a rare private show at L.A.'s Village Recording Studios on September 1. But Feist, as she is more commonly known, was wrong: The folks at Yahoo! and Starbucks knew exactly what they were doing when they handed her a mic and had her debut five new songs, with her new backing band, for 40 or so very lucky fans.
The performance, which will appear on the Starbucks Digital Network in partnership with Yahoo! on September 19, and on Yahoo! Music October 4, was quite a departure from Feist's more recent L.A. shows, which had taken place at decidedly more cavernous venues like the 18,000-capacity Hollywood Bowl. So it was understandable that she felt little awkward at first in the almost claustrophobically intimate setting, which was so eerily pindrop-silent between songs, she kept encouraging the tiny crowd to behave more like the arena and amphitheater audiencesRead More »from Feist Breaks the Silence, Shows Her ‘Metals’ at Intimate Village Studios Gig
A group after my own fashionista heart, Brit buzz band The Kooks first came about by creating a look while clothes shopping, even before writing any music--and it worked! Apparently without any demos to their credit, the Kooks were able to book their first gig simply because the venue manager liked their hats. But donning Royal Wedding-worthy headwear obviously wouldn't have worked in the long run if the Kooks didn't have the talent to back it up their style.; the Kooks signed to Virgin Records a mere three months after forming, so clearly the hats weren't the only things in play.
Emerging from a time where awkward English indie-rock teens like Arctic Monkeys and The Wombats were stealing the spotlight from swaggering garage bands like The Strokes and Jet, the Kooks were one of the least angst-ridden acts on the scene. Despite the lineup changes and breakup scares, the band is all grown up and now on their third studio album with no signs of slowing down. And they're still as stylishRead More »from The Kooks Flex Their Acoustic Chops At Yahoo!
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