Jon Spencer is a bona fide garage-rock legend. His seminal bands Pussy Galore, Boss Hog, and of course the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion had a massive influence on the scuzz-rock bands of the late '90s/early 2000s--the JSBX in particular certainly paved the way for fellow New Yorkers like the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as well as international acts like the Hives and the Horrors, and JSBX's bravely bass-less lineup even opened doors for guitar-only bands like the White Stripes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Kills, and the Black Keys. But for some reason, Jon has never really gotten his critical due. Detractors have often seen the JSBX's gleeful deconstruction and reconstruction of the blues as disrespectful and blasphemous, even though Jon's trio was embraced by R&B/blues greats like R.L. Burnside, Solomon Burke, Andre Williams, and Rufus Thomas, all of whom the JSBX collaborated with at some point in their 19-year career.Read More »from The Blues Is Still #1: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Reignite At Yahoo!
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Fri, Oct 15, 2010 11:26 AM EDT
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Thu, Oct 14, 2010 10:48 AM EDT
Grunge godfathers Soundgarden split up pretty much at their peak, in 1997 shortly after storming offstage at an infamous gig in Hawaii, and fans of the band were left to wonder what might have been...and if the four flannel-flying rock legends would ever share a stage or studio again. Massive-lunged frontman Chris Cornell, one of the finest and mightiest singers ever in rock 'n' roll history, went on to success in Audioslave (and, somewhat surprisingly, lesser success as a solo artist), while drummer Matt Cameron became a permanent member of fellow Seattle pioneers Pearl Jam and guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Ben Shepherd played in more under-the-radar projects. But the possibility of any future reunion seemed, well, superunknown.
However, last October all four Soundgarden members were present at a Pearl Jam concert in Los Angeles, and when Chris surprised everyone by getting onstage for an impromptu rendition of "Hunger Strike" (by the 1990s Soundgarden/Pearl Jam supergroup TempleRead More »from Soundgarden Speak! The Yahoo! Music Reunion Interview
Saving Abel proved able to save more than, uh, Abel, thanks to their generous participation in the USO's concert at sea earlier this year. In fact, among those saved were more than 2,000 sailors--all of whom were returning home after a three-month deployment at sea--who got to watch the band rock out royally aboard the USS Carl Vinson on their way back home.
But this was by no means a casual fling. The group's latest album Miss America was actually titled after the band's previous USO tour through Kuwait and Iraq and inspired by the service and spirit of American troops and their families. "Just being out there with those men and women who do so much for us and the country we live in, we really wanted to give them something back," says the band's singer Jared Weeks. "So for all of us, Miss America was the perfect name, for a perfect situation."Read More »from Saving Abel: All Hands On Deck!
On May 4, 2010, Deftones released Diamond Eyes--their first studio album in four long years, and their first since bassist Chi Cheng was tragically injured in a 2008 car accident.
To celebrate this bittersweet occasion, the band played a special show at Trees in Dallas--which unsurprisingly sold out in literally seconds. The band's loyal fans had been waiting for this.
The Tree show marked the first time the 'Tones had played their new album's material (with ex-Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega filling in for Cheng), and luckily, our cameras were there to capture it all.
Feast your diamond eyes on the following clips, and be glad the Deftones are back:
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Mon, Oct 4, 2010 10:54 AM EDT
When Scottish troubadour KT Tunstall first burst onto the scene in 2004, it was obvious she was no typical female pop starlet. Her now-legendary performance on the U.K. music program "Later...With Jools Holland"--during which she stunned all of Britain and upstaged veterans like the Cure with her loop-pedaled, one-woman-band act--made her an instant star on her native side of the pond, and soon America also fell in love with her unpretentious-yet-cocksure demeanor, guitar-slinging cool-chick attitude, and catchy acoustic-pop songs (one of which, "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree," was even covered by Katharine McPhee and Aly & AJ, albeit with not quite as much rock 'n' roll swagger).
Since that fabulously splashy beginning with her debut Eye To The Telescope, KT has released two more solid studio albums, 2007's Drastic Fantastic and this year's Tiger Suit, but oddly, her success hasn't seemed to pave the way for similarly Hynde-sighted rocker girls with guitars. Popular female music atRead More »from KT Tunstall: Still A Weirdo, And Still Extremely Cool
- Lyndsey Parker | Maximum Performance – Sun, Oct 3, 2010 10:58 AM EDT
Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga are two of the most polarizing females in pop music, so when the two joined forces onstage in Los Angeles on October 2, history and headlines were made. The two ladies already recently irked Beatles fans when Yoko's son Sean Lennon allowed Gaga to pose with the late John Lennon's legendary white piano, and surely this new collaboration raised a few eyebrows as well.
Yoko, as part of a week of celebrations for what would have been her husband John's 70th birthday on October 9, held two all-star, sold-out "We Are Plastic Ono Band" concerts--her first ever L.A. shows--at the famous Orpheum Theatre this past weekend. There she was joined onstage for both nights by Sean as well as Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell, Wu-Tang rapper RZA, and actors Carrie Fisher, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Vincent Gallo; on night number one, additional guests included punk legends Iggy Pop and Mike Watt. But it was night number two, when her special guests were Gaga and Sonic Youth'sRead More »from Plastic Fantastic: Lady Gaga Performs With Yoko Ono In L.A.
A fascinating array of international stars and upcoming artists were just a part of the allure of the fifth Reeperbahn Festival--held in Hamburg, Germany, late last week, and offering a fascinating glimpse to American eyes of how music can be celebrated on a worldwide level.
The three-day event, held in Hamburg's internationally famous Reeperbahn district, offered the same mixture of talent, art, and multimedia panels that Austin's more celebrated annual South By Southwest conference regularly provides, but its smaller scale--an estimated 20,000 were in attendance--allowed more access to artist performances and the compelling atmosphere of the Reeperbahn. The latter, historically famous for its red light district, its teeming masses of colorful pedestrians, and its reputation, justifiably, as the birthplace of the Beatles as a live band, could not have provided a better backdrop for a 21st Century music festival.Read More »from No Culture Clash At The Reeperbahn Festival
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Surprises Students With Interpretation Of Jay-Z And Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State Of Mind’By Billy Johnson, Jr. | Maximum Performance – Wed, Sep 22, 2010 4:42 PM EDT
Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble had a surprise in placelast June when they performed with hundreds of elementary school students at New York's American Museum Of NaturalHistory.
The Grammy award winning cellist is known for his orchestralworks so he and the Silk Road Ensemble caught the students from the Bronx, Brooklyn,Manhattan and Queensoff guard when they closed their performance with a classical rendition ofJay-Z and Alicia Keys' hit "Empire State Of Mind."
Yo-Yo Ma has released footage of the Connect Live! eventthat shows the kids exploding with excitement when the performance takes ahip-hop turn.
They chose to splice the rap ballad into the program becausethey thought the kids would love it, says Cristin Bagnall, Silk Road Projectboard member. "Yo-Yo's experience has been that if he can go into the world ofa young person, that interaction can have deep and lasting impact," saysBagnall. "So, it was important to him that the Silk Road Connect culminatingevent include musicRead More »from Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Surprises Students With Interpretation Of Jay-Z And Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State Of Mind’
The old adage is true: good things come to those who wait.It's taken Michael Franti multiple musical incarnations and more than twodecades as a recording artist to accomplish the coveted feat of reaching No. 1on the charts.
Franti's "The Sound Of Sunshine," a stripped -down guitarballad about finding happiness in nature, topped the Adult Alternative Airplay chartin July.
"We've been together as a band since 1984, but I've beenputting out records since 1986," says the singer-songwriter who also recordedunder the monikers Beatnigs, Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, as well asMichael Franti & Spearhead. "Now, 20 something years in our career and wehave our first No. 1 record. ... After all these year's I'm just gettingstarted."
The song is the title track for Michael Franti &Spearhead's seventh and latest album.
Franti's music has long been rooted in uplifting messagesand melodies. Just a year before releasing "The Sound Of Sunshine," the groupscored its first top 20 hit with "Say Hey (IRead More »from Michael Franti: Patience Is A Virtue
- Dave DiMartino | Maximum Performance – Tue, Sep 14, 2010 12:19 PM EDT
Few albums bear a more deserving title than Guitar Heaven...The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time, the latest set from legendary musician Carlos Santana--the man whose grimacing facial expressions while wrenching sweet notes from his own guitar may be one of the most iconic and lingering images from 1969's historic Woodstock Festival.
The career that Santana launched since that time has been likewise legendary, filled with critical and commercial peaks that have been rarely equaled by any of his contemporaries. Whether via the aesthetic beauty of such classic early Santana albums as Abraxas, Caravanserai and Borboletta, or the commercial triumph of 1999's Supernatural, the guitarist has consistently crafted works that have resonated both with critics and the general public--a rarity--for over 40 years.Read More »from Carlos Santana Takes On The Ultimate Guitar Classics
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