Revealed: The most-streamed songs of the 70s, 80s, 90s and more

Ed Sheeran and Drake might dominate the charts – but what are the most popular songs of years gone by?
BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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Abba have ‘nothing to prove’ with new songs, says Benny Andersson

Benny Andersson also tells BBC News the new songs “aren’t finished yet”.
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Can Country Music and ‘Message Songs’ Get Along? Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan and Others Make Their Case

A sense of inclusion in Nashville occasionally manifests in a socially conscious single. This is nothing new for country music, which has a long history of “message songs,” some forward leaning (Loretta Lynn’s feminist “The Pill”), some arguably not so much (Merle Haggard’s “Fightin’ Side of Me”). In the 2010s, a song like Kacey Musgraves’ […]

Variety

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Andrew Lloyd Webber: My career in 7 songs

The composer shares the untold stories behind Cats, Joseph, Evita and Phantom of the Opera.
BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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Don’t Let It Go – Frozen back with new songs

The stars of Frozen have shared snippets of three songs from a short follow-up film to the Oscar winning animation hit. 
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Glen Campbell, Whose Hit Songs Bridged Country and Pop, Dies at 81

A sharecropper’s son who became a recording, television and movie star, Mr. Campbell also battled alcohol and drugs and became a public face of Alzheimer’s disease.
NYT > Arts

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Mick Jagger Drops a Pair of Politically Charged Songs and Videos: ‘We Obviously Have a Lot of Problems’

Just one day after his 74th birthday, Sir Mick Jagger has given a gift to his fans—two politically charged tracks with videos to match.

The pair of songs, Gotta Get A Grip” and “England Lost,” were written in response to what Jagger calls “confusion and frustration with the times we live in.” According a statement that accompanied the release, the music was born of the “anxiety, unknowability of the changing political situation.” It’s one that he fears won’t improve in the near future. “We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic? …No.”

The bluesy, ominous tracks—with a throbbing rhythm section and raw, urgent vocals—are reminiscent of some of the Rolling Stones‘ darker work in the late 1960s, another time of social unrest and government tumult.

“England Lost” takes its inspiration from a soccer match where an English team did exactly that, but Jagger uses the game as a metaphor for the nation’s place in a post-Brexit world stage. “It’s about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history. It’s about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity. That’s how I was feeling when I was writing. It’s obviously got a fair amount of humor because I don’t like anything too on the nose but it’s also got a sense of vulnerability of where we are as a country.”

“Gotta Get a Grip,” includes lyrics that seem particularly barbed in the wake of Donald Trump’s political ascent: “Everybody’s stuffing their pockets, everybody’s on tape/The news is all fake/ Let ’em eat chicken and let ’em eat steak/ Let ’em eat s—, let ’em eat cake.” Taking on xenophobia and over-the-top opulence, his sneer recalls Roger Waters or David Byrne at their most caustic.

“The message I suppose is – despite all those things that are happening, you gotta get on with your own life, be yourself and attempt to create your own destiny,” Jagger continues in his statement.

A “reimagined” version of the song features the British rapper Skepta, and “Gotta Get a Grip” has four additional remixes by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Matt Clifford, Seeb and Alok.

Jagger first wrote the tracks in April and wanted to share their messages immediately, rather than wait to complete the lengthy album-making process. “Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up. It’s always refreshing to get creative in a different fashion and I feel a slight throwback to a time when you could be a bit more free and easy by recording on the hoof and putting it out there immediately. I didn’t want to wait until next year when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing.”

Both songs are available for purchase here.


PEOPLE.com

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17 Father-Daughter Dance Songs That Haven’t Been Used A Million Times

“Butterfly Kisses” did not make the list. 😬
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‘Transparent’ Musical: Faith Soloway Shows Off Songs Inspired by the Series

Does “Transparent” have the makings of a musical? That was the question — literally — at “Faith Soloway & Friends: Should ‘Transparent’ Become a Musical?,” the one-night-only cabaret created and co-emceed by Faith Soloway, a writer-producer on the Amazon series and the sister of the show’s creator Jill Soloway. “Amazon” star Judith Light and “Hamilton”… Read more »

Variety

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The Definitive Ranking Of Taylor Swift’s Songs About Boyfriends

Whether you like Taylor Swift or not, you definitely know something about her illustrious dating history ― hell, she’s written some sweet hits using those heartbreaks.

Because the pop star’s dating history includes a roster of high-profile relationships AND her music catalogue just reappeared on all streaming services, we’ve decided to make the ranking to end all Taylor Swift rankings:

These are the TSwift songs about boyfriends, RANKED:

1) “All Too Well” ― Jake Gyllenhaal

2) “Back To December” ― Taylor Lautner

3) “Should’ve Said No” ― Sam Armstrong

4) “Style” ―Harry Styles

5) “Fifteen” ― Brandon Borello

6) “Forever & Always” ― Joe Jonas

 

7) “Dear John” ― John Mayer

8) “Out of the Woods” ― Harry Styles

9) “Holy Ground” ― Joe Jonas

10) “I Knew You Were Trouble” ― Harry Styles

11) “Better Than Revenge” ― Joe Jonas

12) “Our Song” ― Brandon Borello

13) “Tim McGraw” ― Tim McGraw (just kidding! Brandon Borello)

14) “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” ― Jake Gyllenhaal

15) “Last Kiss” ― Joe Jonas

16) “The Last Time” ― Jake Gyllenhaal

17) “Begin Again” ― Conor Kennedy

18) “Picture To Burn” ― Jordan Alford

CLEARLY, this list is evidence that: Jake Gyllenhaal was the Yoko Ono to Swift’s John Lennon. 

Honorable mentions include songs about rumored boyfriends/crushes: “Hey Stephen” ― Stephen Liles, “Teardrops On My Guitar” ― Drew Hardwick, “Mine” ― Corey Monteith, and “Enchanted” ― Adam Young.  

You’ll notice Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston are not on this list. That’s because those relationships (and subsequent breakups) were recent and Swift has not dropped any music with allusions to either in the interim. But … we have every confidence that the Harris-as-Taylor’s-muse music will make this list change in one way or another.

Oh, and we put all these songs in a playlist for you to scream-sing with us: 

Keep writing songs about your love life, Tay. We’re here for it.

Muses for this piece: Abigail Williams, Melissa Radzimski, Samantha Tomaszewski, Kate Palmer, Jill Capewell, Travis Waldron, Christopher Mathias, Stephanie Marcus and Leigh Blickley. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Summer 2017: Songs, TV shows and blockbusters to expect

Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Listen to 10 Definitive Gregg Allman Songs

Gregg Allman, who died Saturday, stirred all of the mythic South into his music. Here’s a sampling, mostly recorded with the Allman Brothers Band.
NYT > Arts

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What If ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Featured Only Justin Bieber Songs?

It’s “Beauty and the Beast” as you’ve never heard it before ― using Justin Bieber songs.

Patty Cake Productions, a video company based in Orlando, Florida, has just posted a mini version of the classic Disney musical, where the characters croon Bieber’s tunes instead of the original soundtrack.

And it works amazingly well.

For instance, the song “I’ll Show You,” proves to be a satisfying replacement for the original opening track, “Belle,” while his song “Company” is a great stand-in for “Be Our Guest.”

“Beauty and the Bieber” is the brainchild of Layne Stein and Tony Wakim, who have been working on the project for 5 and a half months.

“We realized [Bieber] actually has a song called ‘Beauty And The Beat,’” Wakim told HuffPost. “Then we realized a lot of his songs fit the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ narrative.”

Stein and Wakim gathered a cast of 57 people and filmed the video on location at various Orlando landmarks that resembled a castle, a tavern and a French village.

They finished the video early Friday morning, just in time for opening day for the live-action Disney movie musical, starring Emma Watson.

Wakim hopes both Disney and Bieber appreciate the tribute.

“We don’t want to parody or poke fun,” he said. “We just wonder what musicals would sound like with other composers.”

Stein and Wakim have done similar projects in the past, including “Cinderswift,” which is “Cinderella” with Taylor Swift’s music; “The Will.Of.Oz,” a version of “The Wizard Of Oz” featuring the songs of the Black-Eyed Peas; and “Snow Spears,” which tells the story of “Snow White” using Britney Spears’ music.

Next up is “Michaelificent,” which will tell the story of “Malificent” using Michael Jackson songs.

We hope they don’t stop till we get enough.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Stage Door: Ute Lemper’s Songs From The Broken Heart, Confucius

2017-01-08-1483908754-57915-Ute.jpgUte Lemper, the acclaimed German chanteuse, bares her continental soul at the inviting 54 Below nightclub, downstairs from Studio 54, tonight and tomorrow. The great Kurt Weill interpreter is taking a departure from her acclaimed repertoire.

Noted for her charismatic delivery of Weimar-era classics, Lemper navigates a more intimate musical universe in Songs From the Broken Heart.

Her current incarnation features a few Brechtian numbers from the streets of Berlin. But the evening isn’t a showcase of her classic Fritz Hollander or Jacques Brel numbers.

It’s a more personal journey that traverses her interior landscape, addressing the pain of life. She showcases her musical artistry, using the poetry of Charles Bukowski or Pablo Neruda for inspiration.

Her sensitivity to suffering is pronounced. This is art as introspection, searching for the truth of existence. Themes of death, love and redemption permeate her oeuvre. So does humor. She manages, in the guise of Mac the Knife, to take theatrical swipes at Donald Trump.

Though singing numbers in French, German, English and Yiddish, Broken Heart focuses on a more modern repertoire — Lemper interprets the songs of Nick Cave, Philip Glass and Tom Waits, backed by an accomplished quartet.

Her range, much like her electric rapport with the audience, is legendary. Lemper doesn’t just sing, she embodies her music. And it achieves added resonance by the historic, political and cultural backdrop in which she carefully sets her selections.

Lempers’s nightclub performances — versus the large concert-hall venues she regularly plays in Europe and Canada — are sexy and intimate. She’s been known to entice people on stage and tease audiences with her “boa moment.” Such external stagecraft has been replaced by a quieter, more reflective mood.

“Hell is built piece by piece,” she sings; in a jazzy rendition of emotional infernos. She has, as Eugene O’Neill wrote, “a touch of the poet.” Lemper strips away life’s pretense and vanity; our tortured souls are her canvas — and she executes her portraits with a masterful hand.

A second global import, Confucius, a new dance drama performed by the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater at Lincoln Center, is a hypnotic production headed to Washington, D.C. Jan. 13-15. 2017-01-08-1483908858-7077201-Confucius.jpgConfucius Photo: Xinhua/Qin Lang

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Songs From Home

When I was a child everybody in my family sang. My mother sang lullabies and hymns. Her father, my maternal grandfather, would burst out in old nonsense songs and popular tunes from the twenties and thirties. My dad would sing Tom Lehrer songs like Pollution and The Vatican Rag. In first grade, I taught the kids in school a song my father taught me called Granny’s In The Cellar that was an instant hit with my schoolmates because the lyrics included a prolonged gross-out snort.

Granny’s in the cellar
Gee can’t you smell her
cooking flapjacks on the dirty stove?
In her eye there is some matter
that’s dripping in the batter
and she whistles while the (insert long snort here)
runs down her nose!

My first-grade teacher was a nun who seemed to loathe the way I kept strolling into class singing songs that she thought were revolting. When she found out that I was teaching my classmates Granny’s in the Cellar I got slapped around a bit and then was forced to stand up in front of my class all through lunch period singing Granny’s In The Cellar – which to me did not seem like punishment at all. I had a wonderful time because every time the song came to the snort one of the kids eating lunch would blow milk out of his or her nose.

When I got home that day and told my parents about the trouble I got into with Granny’s In the Cellar they thought it was hilarious. My father taught me some even crazier songs like Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts and I’m Going to Go Eat Worms. Grandpop got into the game with some of his own songs. My father’s best friend, my Uncle Tom, taught me how to do a trick with my middle fingers while singing a little song about how all the girls in France do a hoochie coochie dance.

I guess I don’t need to tell you that Uncle Tom’s routine did not go down well with the good sister.

Even if it got me into trouble sometimes, growing up around people who sang was a wonderful thing, and it proved useful when my mother gave me my first harmonica. Even though I knew nothing about music I was able to feel out the major scale and that allowed me to quickly play the silly songs of my family. When my grandfather heard me playing my harmonica he would take me to visit his friends in their homes and sometimes in nursing homes. Grandpop would sing songs like That Long Long Trail, The Old Oaken Bucket, Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet while I accompanied him on my harmonica and his friends sang along. Then we would climb into his Dodge Dart loaded down with electrical tools and roll through the streets of Philadelphia singing and laughing.

This week I have prepared introductory lessons for harmonica, five-string banjo and folk guitar. I even went so far as to split the guitar lesson into two different approaches giving you the choice between starting out in standard tuning or open G tuning. Open G tuning is a little easier for people who might have trouble forming chords.

For the harmonica, we start out getting comfortable holding the harp as well as finding a small major scale fragment by breathing into and out of the instrument.

For five-string banjo we explore the basics of frailing, a down-picking approach to making music.

For standard-tuned guitar we learn how to form a G major chord and play a simple rhythm pattern.

For open G guitar we learn a simple rhythm pattern as well as using a slide to play the G, C and D chords.

It may seem like these instruments and approaches are wildly different, but as we will learn they all work under the same set of rules. I am hoping that this will help clarify how the language of music works the same no matter what instrument you pick up.

In addition to the material provided in this week’s video workshops you can find even more instruction on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Dobro33H.

I have also written several books on making music with the five-string banjo and guitar. You can find those on Amazon or order directly from us at http://frailingbanjo.com.

You are not required to pay for access to my books. I have made all my work available under Creative Commons licenses.

I will be back next week with more workshops focusing on playing and singing. It won’t be long before we can begin exploring the songs I mentioned in this post – even uncle Tom’s hoochie coohie tune.

If you have any questions or if you want to share songs your family loves to sing please post them in the comments.

Until then, be brave enough to sing for and with the people you love. My parents, grandparents and Uncle Tom were not trying to turn me into anyone or anything by singing to me and with me. They were simply having fun. The unintended consequence was that I grew up viewing music as something wonderful. Music became an expression of my joy in good times and music provided me solace through the bad. Music is my comfort food. Some of my happiest moments in recent years has been dancing with my wife anywhere the mood strikes us while I sing old love songs. It’s not about being a great singer. It’s all about joy.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Let’s All Listen: Songs for Group Work in Settings that Include Students with Learning Difficulties and Autism

Let’s All Listen: Songs for Group Work in Settings that Include Students with Learning Difficulties and Autism


Lloyd brings together 46 songs composed or adapted for use with children with communication problems. She suggests how each song can be used to encourage communication and social interaction, and lists a range of possible objectives for each one. She demonstrates how musical activity can be adapted to the specific needs of individual students.

Price: $
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The People’s Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records

The People’s Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records


An original book to accompany Stuart Maconie’s landmark Radio 2 series: a history of post-war Britain through pop music. These are the songs that we have listened to, laughed to, loved to and laboured to, as well as downed tools and danced to. Covering the last seven decades, Stuart Maconie looks at the songs that have sound tracked our changing times, and just sometimes – changed the way we feel. Beginning with Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again,” a song that reassured a nation parted from their loved ones by the turmoil of war, and culminating with the manic energy of “Bonkers,” Dizzee Rascal’s anthem for the push and rush of the 21st century inner city, “The People’s Songs” takes a tour of our island’s pop music, and asks what it means to us. The story of modern Britain is told chronologically over 50 chapters, through the records that we listened to and loved during the dramatic and kaleidoscopic period from the Second World War to the present day. This is not a rock critique about the 50 greatest tracks ever recorded. Rather, it is a celebration of songs that tell us something about how we have felt about things in our lives down the eras – work, war, class, leisure, race, family, drugs, sex, patriotism and more. In times of prosperity or poverty this is the music that inspired haircuts and dance crazes, but also protest and social change. The companion to Stuart Maconie’s landmark Radio 2 series, “The People’s Songs” shows us the power of cheap pop music, one of Britain’s greatest exports.

Price: $
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Songs of a New Mother

Songs of a New Mother


Give the baby gift of Songs of a New Mother by Ariadne, a small inspirational keepsake book for the mother of a newborn infant. Poetic affirmations for health and happiness of the mother and child are accompanied by Renaissance, Victorian and Edwardian art that include angels, mothers and children in heavenly skies, natural landscapes and quaint home settings. This book is a perfect baby shower gift by itself, or as a very special greeting card to complement any of the baby gifts offered at VictorianBabyGifts.com. May all who read the book become inspired by the art and poetry of mothering and raising a child in a loving environment.
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The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

FILE - This Sept. 15, 2012 file photo released by Point Foundation shows Robin Thicke performing at "Voices On Point" Concert & Gala in Los Angeles. Thisck's “Blurred Lines," featuring T.I. & Pharrell was the top selling song on iTunes for the week ending June 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Point Foundation, Colin Young-Wolff)iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending November 3, 2014:



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Did You Catch the Hidden Meanings in Ellie Goulding’s Songs?

Her music is effervescent, but her backbone is pure steel. Ellie Goulding explains the beauty in strength, creativity, and contradictions.
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From her first sketch on Saturday Night Live in 2001 to her New York Times best-seller, Yes Please, Amy Poehler has remained hella brilliant, funny, and­—despite the strange pitfalls of Y2K fashion—a red-carpet master. She’s rocked both fresh-faced, no-makeup makeup and smoky liners with curly bangs and, more recently, stunning red waves. We’ve collected all of our favorite looks in a decade-long beauty evolution.
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MillionaireMatch.com - the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!
MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

The Best Songs From Empire Season Two (So Far)

Sorry, Mets and Royals fans, but the World Series is kind of cramping our television schedule—and it's only one game in. The nightly games are taking over when we would normally be settling in to…


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Wedding Pros Weigh In: 18 First-Dance Songs That Haven’t Been Done to Death

We're far too familiar with the wedding songs that have been overdone, so we asked the pros—the people who've heard all of 'em—what songs they picked (or what they will pick) for their walk down…


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Hear the First New Songs From Season 2 of Empire

Our playlists have been a little sad without the latest Empire songs to add every week—not to mention how lonely our Twitter feeds are without new Cookie quotes—so we're jazzed because the show (and Columbia…


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Spotify Reveals the Hottest Songs of Summer 2015 Just in Time for Labor Day Weekend

We've already determined our songs of summer 2015, but Spotify has swooped in to be the official voice on the matter: The streaming service compiled data on the most-listened to songs in the U.S. between…


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The 5 Songs You Must Hear Right This Second From the Weeknd’s New Album, Beauty Behind the Madness

There is definitely something to be said for an album dynamic enough to listen to all the way through in one sitting—a medley of tracks that individually hold their own and collectively create a force….


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Wedding Songs For Classical Guitar: Guitar With Tablature

Wedding Songs For Classical Guitar: Guitar With Tablature


(Guitar Solo). 25 wedding favorites, including: Air on the G String * Ave Maria * Bridal Chorus * Canon in D * Jesu, Joy of Man''s Desiring * Ode to Joy * Prince of Denmark''s March * Wedding March * and more. Book includes access code for online audio samples of each work.
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These 15 Pop Stars Are Covering All of Your Favorite Disney Songs

There have been tons of great revelations coming out of Disney's D23 Expo, including the fact that there's going to be a Toy Story 4 where Woody and Bo Peep are in love. Here's another…


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The Songs That Defined Your Summer 10 Years Ago

Every year, there's always buzz around what song (or, often, songs) will win as the official "Song of Summer." (Speaking of, these 20 were our picks for this year's best.) So what were we jamming…


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Avoid These Songs at Your Wedding, Please

You’ve snapped hundreds of photos of linens and flatware. You’ve decided that the frilly musketeer hat is a superior photo booth prop to the fedora. You even passed on shotgunning an Ice House with your old college roommates in the name of evaluating a unity candle.

Yes, this wedding season was a little different than the rest … because you are walking down the aisle next year, and your reception needs to be perfect.

Sure, the decorations, food, flowers, and dress are pretty important. But there’s one major area that most budding newlyweds seem to ignore, an overlooked area that can singlehandedly obliterate months of handwork and planning — reception music.

We’ve all been in that situation where you just want to light up the dance floor with a domestic beer in hand, but end up lurking in the shadows because you aren’t quite sure (or drunk enough to know) how to dance to “Sherry” by the Four Seasons.

So, please, put some effort into your playlist. Prohibiting overplayed or awkward-moment-inducing songs will ensure that your guests stay on the dance floor all night, making your reception the stuff of legends.

Not a musical connoisseur? No problem. Just keep the music post-1970, and make sure to avoid the songs below.

“Love Shack” by the B-52s
In the United States, there are roughly 2 million weddings per year. You can bet this song is played at 99.99% of them. Be a hero. Be part of the .01%.

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard and “Cherry Pie” by Warrant
Some things just can’t be unseen– like your cousin and her 40-something friends dumping pitchers of water on themselves and putting a Whitesnake music video to shame as they “dance” on tabletops.

“Electric Slide,” “Cha Cha Slide,” or any song with the word “Slide”
While everyone is smiling and clapping on the outside, they’re screaming in anger-filled-hatred on the inside. Other song-title words to avoid: scoot, shuffle, boogie, crawl, cowgirl or cowboy, train, murder, adultery.

Heavy/Trash/Death Metal Songs
Other than a deranged, stalker ex-boyfriend straight out of a Lifetime movie, the most unwanted guest at any wedding is a paramedic. So avoid the Metal music. Either your brother gets a bottle of Jim Beam smashed over his head, or your great aunt suffers a heart attack while frantically searching for the holy water in her purse.

“Closing Time” by Semisonic
This isn’t a bar…or the end of an eighth grade graduation dance. Also, the lyric “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end,” sounds like an allusion to an early divorce.

“F**k Her Gently” by Tenacious D
Hammered groomsmen + $ 200 of pooled cash + a DJ with credit card debt = the most awkward, unforgettable-in-the-worst-way moment of your life.

“Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung
Everybody was having fun tonight…until this song came on. And, do you really want songs ordering you around, telling you exactly what to do? What’s next, “Everybody Place Your Beer Bottles in the Recycling Bin Tonight”?

“Thank You” by Dido
Playing a song with a chorus that proclaims “And I want to thank you, for giving me the best day of my life,” will solidify your status as the lamest person in the world. Plus, that lyric seems to imply that every day thereafter is a slow, downward spiral.

“The Scientist” by Coldplay
It’s great to slow things down once in a while and cool that blazing dance floor. But people at your wedding should be crying tears of joy, not ones of bitter regret and self-loathing.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Avoid These Songs at Your Wedding, Please

You’ve snapped hundreds of photos of linens and flatware. You’ve decided that the frilly musketeer hat is a superior photo booth prop to the fedora. You even passed on shotgunning an Ice House with your old college roommates in the name of evaluating a unity candle.

Yes, this wedding season was a little different than the rest … because you are walking down the aisle next year, and your reception needs to be perfect.

Sure, the decorations, food, flowers, and dress are pretty important. But there’s one major area that most budding newlyweds seem to ignore, an overlooked area that can singlehandedly obliterate months of handwork and planning — reception music.

We’ve all been in that situation where you just want to light up the dance floor with a domestic beer in hand, but end up lurking in the shadows because you aren’t quite sure (or drunk enough to know) how to dance to “Sherry” by the Four Seasons.

So, please, put some effort into your playlist. Prohibiting overplayed or awkward-moment-inducing songs will ensure that your guests stay on the dance floor all night, making your reception the stuff of legends.

Not a musical connoisseur? No problem. Just keep the music post-1970, and make sure to avoid the songs below.

“Love Shack” by the B-52s
In the United States, there are roughly 2 million weddings per year. You can bet this song is played at 99.99% of them. Be a hero. Be part of the .01%.

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard and “Cherry Pie” by Warrant
Some things just can’t be unseen– like your cousin and her 40-something friends dumping pitchers of water on themselves and putting a Whitesnake music video to shame as they “dance” on tabletops.

“Electric Slide,” “Cha Cha Slide,” or any song with the word “Slide”
While everyone is smiling and clapping on the outside, they’re screaming in anger-filled-hatred on the inside. Other song-title words to avoid: scoot, shuffle, boogie, crawl, cowgirl or cowboy, train, murder, adultery.

Heavy/Trash/Death Metal Songs
Other than a deranged, stalker ex-boyfriend straight out of a Lifetime movie, the most unwanted guest at any wedding is a paramedic. So avoid the Metal music. Either your brother gets a bottle of Jim Beam smashed over his head, or your great aunt suffers a heart attack while frantically searching for the holy water in her purse.

“Closing Time” by Semisonic
This isn’t a bar…or the end of an eighth grade graduation dance. Also, the lyric “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end,” sounds like an allusion to an early divorce.

“F**k Her Gently” by Tenacious D
Hammered groomsmen + $ 200 of pooled cash + a DJ with credit card debt = the most awkward, unforgettable-in-the-worst-way moment of your life.

“Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung
Everybody was having fun tonight…until this song came on. And, do you really want songs ordering you around, telling you exactly what to do? What’s next, “Everybody Place Your Beer Bottles in the Recycling Bin Tonight”?

“Thank You” by Dido
Playing a song with a chorus that proclaims “And I want to thank you, for giving me the best day of my life,” will solidify your status as the lamest person in the world. Plus, that lyric seems to imply that every day thereafter is a slow, downward spiral.

“The Scientist” by Coldplay
It’s great to slow things down once in a while and cool that blazing dance floor. But people at your wedding should be crying tears of joy, not ones of bitter regret and self-loathing.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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The Annoying Kids’ Songs Parents Can’t Get Out Of Their Heads, Remixed

One unexpected consequence of raising little kids is the never-ending repetition of annoying kids’ songs that get stuck in your head and cause you to sing things like “Zooming through the sky, Little Einsteins” when you’re all alone.

In his latest “New Father Chronicles” video, dad La Guardia Cross put together a video of parents singing those irritatingly addictive songs, which have “brainwashed” them for life.  

It’s a delightful medley of lines like “This is the song that never ends,” “Doc McStuffins, Doc McStuffins” and “If you’re happy and you know it!”

Cross’ caption sums up this source of parental anguish: “These songs haunt our dreams. Help us.”

 

Also on HuffPost:

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The 20 Best Songs That Represent Summer 2015

Yes, it is the beginning of August, and I'm already dropping my annual Songs of the Summer list. Can you blame me? I've been waiting patiently for an omnipresent song to flood my eardrums like…


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This Parody Of Bollywood ‘Party Songs’ Is Too Good, Yaar

Any behemoth industry has its lazy side. In Bollywood, this has to be the “party song,” a seemingly requisite scene in a certain kind of blockbuster, governed by a crude formula that audiences still, somehow, go wild for.  

There’s so much to satirize about the genre, from the requisite objectification of women (water must always meet clothing) to the reliable co-opting of black culture — with an always sub par rap interlude, à la Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” that belies the culture’s prejudices (against dark skin, and African-origin people, subservient in the insidious hierarchy that still lingers from colonial times).

Thankfully, India finally has satirists up to the task. In the long but worth it video above, the popular sketch comedy troupe All India Bakchod teams up with scene-stealer Irfan Khan  – you know his scene thefts from “Namesake,” “Life Of Pi,” and “Jurassic Park” — for a parody that perfectly skewers Bollywood’s particular hypocrisies.

Based on “Party All Night,” a hit song from 2013, the satiric version calls out everything from censor boards (Bottles! Girls! Because this is a song, censors will let it go!) to cynical producers who know the music-leading structure of the industry means they can make a hefty salary off a movie with a single catchy song and little else of note. Even for those unfamiliar with Bollywood, the tropes should feel relevant, given that every American party anthem music video engages in parallel ones.

As a side benefit, it’s fun to see Khan — a hidden gem in Bollywood’s thicket of Ken-doll clones — playing diva, in the leisurely intro. “I don’t want to brag about myself, but I … can … do … anything.”

Respectfully requesting a parody of Indian cable news next.

Also on HuffPost:

 

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

This Parody Of Bollywood ‘Party Songs’ Is Too Good, Yaar

Any behemoth industry has its lazy side. In Bollywood, this has to be the “party song,” a seemingly requisite scene in a certain kind of blockbuster, governed by a crude formula that audiences still, somehow, go wild for.  

There’s so much to satirize about the genre, from the requisite objectification of women (water must always meet clothing) to the reliable co-opting of black culture — with an always sub par rap interlude, à la Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” that belies the culture’s prejudices (against dark skin, and African-origin people, subservient in the insidious hierarchy that still lingers from colonial times).

Thankfully, India finally has satirists up to the task. In the long but worth it video above, the popular sketch comedy troupe All India Bakchod teams up with scene-stealer Irfan Khan  – you know his scene thefts from “Namesake,” “Life Of Pi,” and “Jurassic Park” — for a parody that perfectly skewers Bollywood’s particular hypocrisies.

Based on “Party All Night,” a hit song from 2013, the satiric version calls out everything from censor boards (Bottles! Girls! Because this is a song, censors will let it go!) to cynical producers who know the music-leading structure of the industry means they can make a hefty salary off a movie with a single catchy song and little else of note. Even for those unfamiliar with Bollywood, the tropes should feel relevant, given that every American party anthem music video engages in parallel ones.

As a side benefit, it’s fun to see Khan — a hidden gem in Bollywood’s thicket of Ken-doll clones — playing diva, in the leisurely intro. “I don’t want to brag about myself, but I … can … do … anything.”

Respectfully requesting a parody of Indian cable news next.

Also on HuffPost:

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Cassadee Pope Picks Her Top 10 Country Music Songs of the Summer

We first met Cassadee Pope almost three years ago as the first female winner of The Voice. Since then, she's proved why she belongs front and center. The soon-to-be 26-year-old has since released her first…


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10 Songs of Summer 2015 Your Playlist Might Be Missing

Let's be honest: There are only so many times we can listen to Whiz Khalifa's "See You Again" and Maroon 5's "Sugar" on the radio (no offense, guys). And while overplay has nearly killed some…


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100 Dead Songs (Mounted Print) Sold by Our Campus Market

100 Dead Songs (Mounted Print) Sold by Our Campus Market


100 Dead Songs * Title: 100 Dead Songs * Item Type: Mounted Print * Print Size: 36x24x24
List Price: $ 87.99
Price: $ 87.99

Wedding Songs for Classical Guitar: Guitar With Tablature

Wedding Songs for Classical Guitar: Guitar With Tablature


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You Have to Hear Luann de Lesseps’ Brand-New Single (Plus 3 More Songs to Add to Your Playlist)

Many a real housewife have tried to break into the music biz, but perhaps none as glamorously—and wisely—as RHONYC's Luann De Lesseps. First, she delivered the regal Countess hit, "Money Can't Buy You Class" (elegance…




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Guitar Solo Scales: Solo Notes for Playing Songs in Each Key

Guitar Solo Scales: Solo Notes for Playing Songs in Each Key


(Guitar Educational). Play better, faster and easier than ever Innovative Ron Greene Music Charts provide a visual aid for learning and improving on guitar. Organized for playing songs in each key, each of these movable guides includes 24 double-sided 9 x 11 charts.

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Frank Zappa Songs (Music Guide): Absolutely Free (Song), Advance Romance, America Drinks and Goes Home, Are You Hung Up?, a Token of My Extreme, Billy the Mountain, Bobby Brown (Song), Brown Shoes Don’t Make It, Camarillo Brillo, Cheepnis

Frank Zappa Songs (Music Guide): Absolutely Free (Song), Advance Romance, America Drinks and Goes Home, Are You Hung Up?, a Token of My Extreme, Billy the Mountain, Bobby Brown (Song), Brown Shoes Don’t Make It, Camarillo Brillo, Cheepnis


New – Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Commentary (music and lyrics not included). Pages: 37. Chapters: Absolutely Free (song), Advance Romance, America Drinks and Goes Home, Are You Hung Up?, A Token of My Extreme, Billy the Mountain, Bobby Brown (song), Brown Shoes Don’t Make It, Camarillo Brillo, Cheepnis, Cocaine Decisions, Cosmik Debris, Dancin’ Fool, Disco Boy, Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow Suite, Du

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Blake Lewis Songs: This Love, Imagine, I Need to Know, Mack the Knife, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, Time of the Season, You Give Love a Bad Name

Blake Lewis Songs: This Love, Imagine, I Need to Know, Mack the Knife, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, Time of the Season, You Give Love a Bad Name


Used – Commentary (music and lyrics not included). Chapters: This Love, Imagine, I Need to Know, Mack the Knife, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, Time of the Season, You Give Love a Bad Name, Lovesong, You Should Be Dancing, How Many Words. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 69. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher’s book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: “This Love” is a song by the American rock band Maro

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Tristan Prettyman: From Sad Love Songs to Sweet Lullabies?

2015-06-21-1434927013-4366315-405B6732.jpg

Tristan Prettyman’s initial singing and songwriting success has been attributed to her audience’s huge response to her sadness and heartache. Prettyman’s hit songs shared an authentic vulnerability in which listeners could relate.

So how will her fans identify with the jubilantly in love and now pregnant version of their Prettyman?

“At first I felt scared to be happy, then I felt guilty for being so happy, ” Prettyman shared with me. “Once I was able to accept that I deserve this joy with a good man I realized that my audience would hopefully relate to this part of my life experience, too.”

Prettyman expressed her willingness to share the ups and downs of her emotional life openly and honestly with her fans as the only way she can just be herself. Following her heart has been the story of Prettyman’s life.

A self-taught guitar player, by the time she entered college, Prettyman was encouraged by family and friends to play and share her music in her hometown of San Diego. She embraced her love of music and performing and moved fearlessly into the music world in her 20’s.

Whether it was her early years selling CD’s from a coffee cart, jumping at a chance to go on tour or getting engaged in 2014 to her now husband venture capitalist Bill Maris, Prettyman lives life wholeheartedly. Her life story seems to be a perfect combination of luck, timing and lots of hard work.

This next chapter of melding motherhood into her musical life is still a bit of a mystery to Prettyman. At age 33, (hubby’s 40) and always wanting a family, she is absolutely delighted to be pregnant. She thought that during her pregnancy (due in August- it’s a boy!) she would be bursting with creative ideas and spending days writing music. So far she has yet to write one note of music and lightheartedly confesses that perhaps all of her creative energy is momentarily being directed at baby making. This experience reaffirms Prettyman’s belief that music and creativity happens on its own–organically.

But just because she’s not creating new music doesn’t mean she’s not performing. Prettyman has been performing throughout her pregnancy and when I met her in May at BottleRock in Napa, California, the growing belly did not seem to slow her down or stifle her guitar playing.

“Being the best version of myself as a mother and role model for my son is important to me now,” she told me. “Writing music, singing and playing guitar has always fed my soul. My happiest times have always been when I am making music and I plan to continue to write and play and perform after the baby.”

Prettyman describes her life as a constant reminder to stay on one’s own timeline and stay true to whatever one’s heart desires. Just as her beginner dive into the world of music, Prettyman feels the same excitement now being pregnant for the first time and about to have a child. Prettyman wants to dispel any stereotype that as a woman she will leave her music career because she has children.

“While it is different for every woman, I want to honor the process as it comes, to slow down and be present and be in the moment and honor this special time. And perhaps write a lullaby or two for the new baby,” Prettyman said.

For more about Tristan Prettyman
For more about Dr. Sharon Ufberg

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Wedding Songs for Vocal Duet

Wedding Songs for Vocal Duet


(Piano/Vocal/Guitar Songbook). Add a celebratory tone to your special day with this unique selection of love songs. These duets are arranged for high voice/low voice combinations so any type of vocal pairing will work. Includes 23 great wedding classics: Ave Maria * Flower Duet * Sunrise, Sunset * Through the Years * We''ve Only Just Begun * and more.
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Wedding Songs Of Love And Friendship

Wedding Songs Of Love And Friendship


“(P/V/G). Composed by Various. For Piano/Vocal/Guitar. Piano/Vocal/Guitar Songbook. Wedding and Love. Difficulty: medium. Single. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 112 pages. Published by Hal Leonard ”
List Price: 10.95
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A Family Treasury of Christmas Songs

A Family Treasury of Christmas Songs


Brighten the holidays with music! This deluxe sheet music collection contains 73 joyous and heart-warming Christmas songs to sing or play at all occasions, from family gatherings to holiday concerts. The bonus CD contains professional-quality accompaniment tracks for a dozen selected songs for sing-along fun! Titles: All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth * All I Want for Christmas Is You * Angels We Have Heard on High * Auld Lang Syne * Away in a Manger * A Baby Changes Everything * Believe * The Boar’s Head Carol * Buon Natale (Means Merry Christmas to You) * Celebrate Me Home * Christmas Auld Lang Syne * Christmas Canon * Christmas Comes Anew (Noel Nouvelet) * Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24 * The Christmas Shoes * The Christmas Waltz * Coming Home for Christmas * Deck the Hall * Ding Dong Merrily on High * Do They Know It’s Christmas? * Feliz Navidad * The First Noel * Frosty the Snowman * Gesu Bambino (The Infant Jesus) * The Gift * God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen * Good King Wenceslas * Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer * Grown-Up Christmas List * Hallelujah! Chorus * Hark! The Herald Angels Sing * Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas * (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays * I’ll Be Home for Christmas * It Came upon the Midnight Clear * It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year * Jingle Bell Rock * Jingle Bells * Jolly Old St. Nicholas * Joy to the World * Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! * Let There Be Peace on Earth * Let’s Have an Old-Fashioned Christmas * The Little Drummer Boy * The Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth * A Mad Russian’s Christmas * Merry Christmas, Baby * Mistletoe and Holly * Nuttin’ for Christmas * O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum) * O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) * O Come, O Come, Emmanuel * O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel) * O Little Town of Bethlehem * Peace (Where the Heart Is) * The Prayer * Santa Baby * Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town * Silent Night * Sleigh Ride * These Are the Special Times * Thirty-Two

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Love Songs Silver-Finish Music Note Place Card/Photo Holder (Set of 4)

Love Songs Silver-Finish Music Note Place Card/Photo Holder (Set of 4)


If music be the food of love, play on. Immortal words from William Shakespeare and wonderful reason to favor your guests with “Love Songs” Place Card/Photo Holder, a tribute to the harmonies that have become the heart and soul of romance–and our lives. Features and facts: Silver-finish, metal musical clef with sturdy base and slot at the top for place card or photo. Coordinated place card with musical notes in four corners included. Favor measures 3″ h x 1″ w. Sold in a set of four
List Price: $ 4.99
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jammin oldies summer songs

jammin oldies summer songs


Good Connecting viewers with great music since 1972. All used discs are inspected and guaranteed. Customer service is our top priority!

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No, Sony Isn’t Removing Beyonce’s Songs From Tidal

Don’t worry, Tidal subscribers: Queen Bey isn’t going anywhere.

On Thursday, a Bloomberg story critical of Jay Z’s Tidal reported that all of Beyonce’s discography might soon disappear from the audio streaming service. According to Bloomberg’s report, Sony and Warner had been asking for large sums of money in exchange for Tidal’s streaming rights to their artists’ songs. While Warner has reportedly reached an agreement with Tidal, things didn’t sound good for Bey or other Sony artists. One can only imagine the tension that might have caused in Beyonce and Jay Z’s marriage.

However, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris confirmed to Rolling Stone on Saturday that nothing of the sort is happening just yet.

All of our content, including Beyonce, is available through the Tidal service, and we have announced no plans to remove our catalog from Tidal,” Morris told Rolling Stone. “Like all of our other partners, we are rooting for Jay and Tidal to succeed.”

The removal of Beyonce’s catalog from the streaming service, which she co-owns with her husband and a number of other artists, wouldn’t have helped improve Tidal’s image in the media. The lossless audio service has repeatedly been skewered by critics and artists alike, prompting Jay Z to defend Tidal on Twitter. The rapper also threw shots at competitor Spotify, as well as YouTube and Apple, in a freestyle during a special Tidal show in New York earlier this month.

If Morris is right, then maybe we can still look forward to that rumored joint Beyonce and Jay Z album that will allegedly debut exclusively on Tidal.

For more, head to Rolling Stone.

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Audition Songs for Kids

Audition Songs for Kids


(Audition Songs). 9 great songs, carefully selected for singers auditioning for shows or bands, including: Any Dream Will Do * The Candy Man * Consider Yourself * Food, Glorious Food * Happy Talk * I’d Do Anything * Maybe * Thank You for the Music * Tomorrow. With a CD of accompaniments.

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Baby Blanket Music CD, Soothing Lullaby Arrangements of Songs Made Famous by Lady Gaga

Baby Blanket Music CD, Soothing Lullaby Arrangements of Songs Made Famous by Lady Gaga


Baby Blanket Music CD, Soothing Lullaby Arrangements of Songs Made Famous by Lady Gaga: Favorite songs from favorite artists Perfect way to share your music with your little one Developed under the guidance of a wide range of doctors, teachers and child development specialists Approved by babies and parents of all ages Designed to soothe while enhancing the enjoyment and cognition of music Familiar baby sounds like vibraphones and music boxes are paired with a full medley of rich, classical instruments including strings, woodwinds, pianos, harps and soft percussion Together, these instrumental arrangements create gentle textures that are calming and enjoyable to ears of any age Track listing: You and I Telephone Paparazzi Speechless Poker Face Alejandro Marry the Night Just Dance Bad Romance The Edge Of Glory Questions about product recalls? Items that are a part of a recall are removed from the Walmart.com site, and are no longer available for purchase. These items include Walmart.com items only, not those of Marketplace sellers. Customers who have purchased a recalled item will be notified by email or by letter sent to the address given at the time of purchase. For complete recall information, go to Walmart Recalls.

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Wedding Songs: Piano Duet Play-Along Volume 25

Wedding Songs: Piano Duet Play-Along Volume 25


(Piano Duet Play-Along). This great series comes with a CD that features separate tracks for the Primo and Secondo parts perfect for practice and performance! Volume 25 includes 8 great songs for going down the aisle: Bless the Broken Road * From This Moment On * Grow Old with Me * Here and Now * I Will Be Here * Sunrise, Sunset * We''ve Only Just Begun * Wedding Song (There Is Love).
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8 Songs on Empire Worth Downloading Even If You’re Not Watching the Show

Six weeks in, Empire's ratings rose again last night, which never happens on TV these days. It seems like everyone's watching the show and for good reason—mainly anything and everything to do with Cookie, from…




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Songs Written by Lil Wayne (Music Guide): Down, Turnin Me On, Revolver, I Can Transform YA, Love in This Club Part II, Look at Me Now, Successful, Lollipop, Give It Up to Me, Let It Rock, My Life, Forever, No Love, Push, Soldier

Songs Written by Lil Wayne (Music Guide): Down, Turnin Me On, Revolver, I Can Transform YA, Love in This Club Part II, Look at Me Now, Successful, Lollipop, Give It Up to Me, Let It Rock, My Life, Forever, No Love, Push, Soldier


Used – Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Commentary (music and lyrics not included). Pages: 45. Chapters: Down, Turnin Me On, Revolver, I Can Transform Ya, Love in This Club Part II, Look at Me Now, Successful, Lollipop, Give It Up to Me, Let It Rock, My Life, Forever, No Love, Push, Soldier, Swagga Like Us, A Milli, Hit the Lights, Knockout, Official Girl, I Made It, 6 Foot 7 Foot, See You in My Nightm

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Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s


Mad World” is a highly entertaining oral history that celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the 1980s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period. Each chapter begins with a discussion of their most popular song but leads to stories of their history and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this colorful, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions, fashion sidebars, and quotes from famous contemporary admirers help fill out the fun. Participants include members of Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, ABC, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, and INXS.

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The 13 Most Underrated Madonna Songs

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Madonna fan. I have been since I was a wee lad dancing around my bedroom lip-syncing to “Borderline”. Amid some Madonna leakage, she released six tracks (which I’m loving) early from her 13th album Rebel Heart (due out on March 10, 2015). That premature release went number one in 42 countries on iTunes sales charts across the globe. Not bad for someone who is 30 years into her career! In my opinion, it’s some of her best work in years. I’m totally “Living for Love”.

She has so many amazing songs that it’s hard to remember every last one. So in the era of lists, I made one! I wanted to put together a little collection of some great Madonna tracks that aren’t in the forefront of everyone’s mind. For this list, I stuck with songs that were actually released in some form. In honor of her 13th album release, here are 13 underrated Madonna songs.

13. Turn Up The Radio

The message and lyrics are simple. Madonna just wants to turn up the radio and dance. While this single wasn’t a huge success, I think it floundered because of lack of promotion. It also suffered from a not-so-great first single (“Give Me All Your Luvin'”). To me this song is just such a great nod and throwback to the Music album or Confessions on a Dancefloor. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks from MDNA. Excuse me while I turn up my radio and just drive… and lip sync for my life.

12. Bye Bye Baby

Madonna may be an “Unapologetic Bitch” but “Bye Bye Baby” may be one of the sweetest sounding piss-off songs. Sung in an almost cutesy-baby voice, she sings, “I know I love you because I hate you and now I’d rather haunt you.” Ouch! But you are dancing to it so who cares! Just don’t get on Madonna’s bad side.

(She if you can spot Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba in this video from The Girlie Show.)

11. Hollywood

This is the third song released from American Life. It wasn’t as popular as her other albums but it’s one of my favorites. To me this was an album for the true Madonna fans. You know, aside from the title track. Ok, maybe not the track but that rap. Girl. Your gays weren’t in the office that day. In this track, Madonna skewers all things in La La Land. All true. What’s funny is everyone in Hollywood would just dance to the great beat and not even realize they were being made fun off. Oh, Hollywood.

10. Bad Girl

Is it autobiographical? Or is it a “character” she’s playing in the song? Who can say? But aside from being a touch melodramatic, this song really has a powerful message. Madonna has always thrived at her ballads, which is funny since she’s most noted for her dance tracks. This one is no exception. Who hasn’t been a bad girl from time to time? I’ve lived this song Over and Over, well, except for the cigarettes. Oh and the video is pretty damn epic. It gives us more short film than a music video.

9. Love Don’t Live Here Anymore

Madonna clearly is a woman scorned, again and again (squish, squish, Madge). It’s good news for her fans because it makes her ballads even more powerful. Pondering the Madonna catalogue, she has some real standout ballads. This is one of best. Originally found on the Like A Virgin album, it was released years later on Madonna’s album Something to Remember, a collection of her greatest ballads. It has a certain timeless appeal to it with a very raw and gritty edge. It’s simple and not overproduced. The music video also follows that simplicity, shooting the whole video in one shot.

8. Keep It Together

Her Like a Prayer album is probably her most personable to date and one of her all time best. There’s not one throwaway track on the album. I wish there had been a video for “Keep It Together”. At this point in time a video was crucial to a song’s success. It’s got a great ’70s throwback vibe and is all about family love (M does have a heart!). I dare you not to dance to this song. Oh and the Blonde Ambition rendition of this is on point with nods to Clockwork Orange and Cabaret.

7. Nothing Really Matters

“Ray of Light” is a brilliant album and marked a different, spiritual infused turn for Madonna. I was living for the album when it came out! “Nothing Really Matters” is a haunting dance track about the mistakes Madonna made in her life but she’s moving on, girl! The video is amazingly artistic and utterly bizarre. I love it! I mean, Madonna is wearing a kimono and cradling a bag of water. What more could you want? Except maybe that the bag is actually full of vodka.

6. You’ll See

This song takes a sad break-up and empowers it. Jilted by a lover, Madonna vows she’ll be fine “all by myself.” Do you have any idea how many times I played this song after bad breakups or feeling hopelessly single? What better way to tell off your ex than with a beautiful ballad? I mean besides sleeping with all of his exes. The video is a sequel to her hit single and gorgeous video “Take a Bow”. This is truly a hidden gem in the vast Madonna library.

5. Hanky Panky

Who doesn’t like a good spanky? Direct from her concept album I’m Breathless, this song is a great fusion of ’90s pop and vintage ’30s. I can only imagine what the music video would be? Perhaps it’s “scandalous” subject matter ruffled too many feathers to make it a big hit. Even though those ruffled feathers are usually the worst offenders. Madonna threw herself fully into the role of Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy (one of her best roles) and to me the I’m Breathless is one of her standout albums.

2. Jump

Confessions on a Dance Floor is one of Madonna’s best albums filled with infectious vibes. This one not only makes you want to dance, it makes you want to “Jump”, literally. It would have been a much better follow-up to “Hung Up” than Sorry. Not sorry about it.

3. Love Profusion

In my opinion, this is one of the best tracks from her American Life album. I think this should have been the lead single, instead of the title track. Like I previously mentioned who wants to hear Madonna “rap” about having three nannies, a driver and a chef? No one. This song is has a classic Madonna sound yet melded with a more mature Madge vibe.

2. Oh Father

This is one of Madonna’s most personal and powerful songs ever released. “Oh Father” deals with abuse, be it mental or physical. In the video, it is the repeated pattern of abuse, first in her father and then a lover (most likely a nod to the tumultuous relationship she had with Sean Penn). There’s a certain rawness to her vocals and a vulnerability. This is something you don’t see in Madonna a lot. As a victim of mental abuse from my father, this one hits close to home.

1. Nothing Fails

This song is like an acoustic follow up to her mega-hot “Like a Prayer”. This should have been the second release off her American Life album (following “Love Profusion”) with a music video to compliment it. I get chills when the choir comes on. Chills, I say! I’m not religious but I feel so moved, by this song.

Honorable mention:

Supernatural

Ok so technically this track was never released as a single but I had to include it in this list. Why? Well, 1) it’s my list, dammit and 2) the song is about having sex with a ghost. Madonna is often thought to take herself too seriously as an artist when some of her songs lack depth. With this song is there any doubt that Madonna can have fun with it all? This song definitely ranks high on my list of favorites and should have been included on her Like A Prayer album, instead of just a B-side to “Cherish”. This definitely could have been a great release and can you just imagine the music video for this?


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Recording Songs with Talented Friends | Flex and Shanice | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Talented Friends
Shanice is having a great time in the studio recording with friend and accomplished music producer, Elvin Ross. Shanice knows that there’s nothing like working with friends in a fun and relaxed environment to get the creative juices flowing.

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Most people know 90s pop sensation Shanice for her Grammy-nominated hit song, “I Love Your Smile” and actor Flex Alexander from his hit TV show, “One on One,” but few people know this fairytale couple both faced career stumbling blocks and quickly hit financial rock bottom. Flex and Shanice realized that they needed to take their wedding vow “for richer or poorer” to heart, so with their two adorable kids, 12-year-old Imani and 10-year-old Elijah, in tow, they moved into a rental home and brought their hilarious extended family into the mix to help cover the cost. A total of nine people, including Shanice’s “momager” Crystal, make this truly a full house where anyone’s business becomes everyone’s business.

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Recording Songs with Talented Friends | Flex and Shanice | Oprah Winfrey Network
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Madonna Releases Six New Songs In Response To ‘Rebel Heart’ Album Leak

Unfinished mixes of Madonna’s upcoming album, “Rebel Heart,” appeared on the Internet this week after leakers decided they couldn’t wait until spring 2015 for the Queen of Pop’s “MDNA” follow-up. In the wake of their actions, Madonna randomly released six new songs off the album, immediately available for purchase on iTunes and other online retailers.

“I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living for Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the spring,” Madonna said in a statement. “I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.”

The released tracks include “Living for Love,” “Ghosttown,” “Devil Pray,” “Illuminati,” “Unapologetic Bitch” and “Bitch I’m Madonna,” featuring Nicki Minaj. Producers include Madonna, herself, Diplo, Kanye West, Billboard, Dahi and Blood Diamonds. In an Instagram post that has now been deleted, Madonna reportedly described the leak as “artistic rape”:

This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demo’s half of which wont even make it on my album the other half have changed and evolved. This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?

“Rebel Heart” will be available for purchase during the first week of March, and Madonna will release more new music on Feb. 9.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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The Easy Sixties Fake Book: Melody, Lyrics and Simplified Chords: 100 Songs in the Key of “C”, ’60s

The Easy Sixties Fake Book: Melody, Lyrics and Simplified Chords: 100 Songs in the Key of “C”, ’60s


(Easy Fake Book). This series of beginning fake books for players new to “faking” includes: 100 memorable songs, all in the key of C * lyrics * chords which have been simplified, but remain true to each tune * easy-to-read, large music notation. 100 songs from the ’60s: Baby Love * Dancing in the Street * The Girl from Ipanema * Good Vibrations * Hey Jude * I Heard It Through the Grapevine * Leaving on a Jet Plane * Respect * (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay * Soul Man * Turn Turn Turn * and more.

Price: $
Sold by Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Generations: Baby Boomers (1953 – 1963) – 25 Songs That Defined the Times, Five Finger Piano Collection

Generations: Baby Boomers (1953 – 1963) – 25 Songs That Defined the Times, Five Finger Piano Collection


Arr. Tom Gerou Item: 00-34147 UPC: 038081378855 ISBN 10: 0739065564 ISBN 13: 9780739065563 Series: Generations Category: Piano – Five Finger Collection Format: Book Instrument: Piano Level: Five Finger The Generations series chronicles the music that defined 20th-century America. Each book contains 25 of the most-loved songs from iconic performers and songwriters, providing a soundtrack to the life and times of a generation. These arrangements are set in traditional five-finger style, with the melody split between the hands. For performance ease, student parts have no key signatures, dotted quarter notes, triplets, or 16th notes. Optional duet accompaniments are also provided for a fuller, richer musical experience. Lyrics are included. Titles: All I Have to Do Is Dream * Blowin’ in the Wind * Blue Moon * Do You Want to Know a Secret? * Earth Angel * I’m Walkin’ * It’s My Party * The Lion Sleeps Tonight * Only You * Mack the Knife * Runaround Sue * Runaway * Save the Last Dance for Me * Sixteen Candles * Splish Splash * and more.

Price: $
Sold by Cascio Interstate Music

Songs From The Big Chair Gets Supersized: Chats with TFF’s Roland Orzabal & Curt Smith, Lloyd Cole and Lang Lang…Plus!

BAHAMAS’ “BITTER MEMORIES”

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photo courtesy of Bahamas

According to Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen, “I wanted the song to have something vaguely Celtic about it. Not really bagpipes and whistles, but more in mood. Something elemental and ancient. I think the drums and especially the guitar playing was very much done with those things in mind.”

Alfie adds, “As an interesting companion to this stripped down acoustic performance of “Bitter Memories” for North Shore sessions, you may have heard Jurvanen’s music as part of the new James Franco Verizon Droid commercial.”

On Tour Now:
November 7 /// Sherbrooke, Canada /// Theatre Grande*
November 8 /// Quebec City, Canada /// Imperial*
November 15-29 /// European Tour /// EU
December 4 /// Burlington, VT /// Higher Ground†
December 5 /// Albany, NY /// The Hollow†
December 6 /// New York, NY /// Terminal 5†
January 8 /// St. Catharines, ON /// Sean O’Sullivan Theatre
January 9 /// Peterborough, ON /// Market Hall Performing Arts Centre
January 10 /// Ottawa, ON /// Bronson Centre
January 12 /// Kingston, ON /// The Grand Theatre
January 13 /// Barrie, ON /// Georgian TheatreJanuary 14 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café
January 16 /// Louisville, KY /// Zanzabar
January 17 /// Nashville, TN /// Mercy Lounge
January 20 /// Houston, TX /// Fitzgerald’s Downstairs
January 21 /// Austin, TX /// Stubb’s Jr
January 22 /// Dallas, TX T /// he Kessler
January 24 /// Omaha, NE /// Reverb
January 25 /// Rock Island, IL /// TBD
January 27 /// Iowa City, IA /// The Mill
January 28 /// Milwaukee, WI /// Shank Hall
January 29 /// Chicago, IL /// Lincoln Hall
January 30 /// Ann Arbor, ME /// Ann Arbor Folk Fest
January 31 /// London, ON /// Aeolian Hall

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A Conversation with Tears For Fears’ Roland Orzabal

Mike Ragogna: Songs From The Big Chair celebrated across six discs. How did all this material come together?

Roland Orzabal: Well, it came together right at the end. We had made the whole thing, we had a lot of those songs for many years and we also had a philosophy behind Tears For Fears that very much came out. Then we were very much stuck with this success in England and the record companies saying, “Okay, we now need to follow it up.” It just went into this frame of, “Write whatever songs you have and we’re going to record.” We had a false start with a track called “The Way You Are” which was way too clever. We spent a long time on it and didn’t do that well for us. We then went on to a song called “Mothers Talk” and tried to do it in a similar way. That’s the point at which the record company was going, “No, this is not going to work.” They pulled us back and I think there was a secret mandate to beef up our sound, to put guitars on it and make it a bit more global. That influence and that pressure came from outside, it wasn’t something that came from Curt and I. Big Chair was a relatively quick album to make, I had no idea what we were doing, it didn’t sound cohesive to me, hence the title Songs. It just seemed like a random number of songs that were thrown together because we had them available at the time. It was only when right at the end of the album and I was running off cassettes…do you remember what they are? That I was forced to listen to the whole thing right from beginning to end and I thought, “This isn’t bad! There’s something there!”

MR: What was your impression when you listened to the work from top to bottom?

RO: I was surprised, because the thing is some of those tracks are quite complicated and quite layered. Some of them aren’t. I just remember how long we spent on the whole mixing process, going across to Germany in the midst of winter, God knows why, I’ve never been so cold. You just never feel particularly wonderful about what you’ve done because it’s all been a debate and discussion long into the early hours of the morning. It’s only really when you’re relaxed and step back that you can see what you’ve done. It’s only really in hindsight. Everything was done quickly with no many decisions on a certain level. For instance, the album cover. We didn’t have an album cover. It was like, “Come on, let’s get an album cover,” so we had a photo shoot and we were looking at the proofs and I leaned over to Curt and said, “Right, that’s the album cover.” Likewise with the title of the album, there was a dispute over that. It was not as if it had always been the title and everyone was happy about it. It was decided very quickly.

MR: Do you think that it came together so well because the vision was hidden there all these years?

RO: I think that’s a good point. With that question, Curt and I combined and interfaced with something that was kind of necessary at the time. To use a strong word it was sort of destined. We got very lucky.

MR: How do you feel about how your first album resonated with the culture?

RO: As I keep saying, we got lucky. I think that there were two things, really. The team that came together, the politics of the team, myself and Curt probably being on the bottom of it in a hierarchy, Chris Hughes, Dave Bates from the record company, Ian Stanley, the relationships were all changing. What was great is that because we were slightly in a rush, when I wrote “Shout” the chorus, that all I thought it was going to be, a chorus like “Give Peace A Chance,” a song about protest. Then when I played it to Ian and Chris they said, “No, that’s a single.” I said, “What?!” “That’s a single that needs a verse.” Luckily, Curt and I had to do the video for “Mothers Talk,” so we walked away, left Ian and Chris to muck about for a day and when we came back the backing track for “Shout” was born and it was like, “Whoa, okay.” That really did change how things were stacking up. Then the other thing, the track “Listen” which was really Ian Stanley’s baby, he’d been mucking about with that when we were recording The Hurting and we’d come back from London and I’d pop up and see Ian and he’d play me this track and I’m thinking, “This is just beautiful.” So we had these pieces lying around but we didn’t realize it was going to work so well to put them all together.

MR: The temptation of many artists after doing a successful album is to recycle the formula, but you guys took a complete left turn.

RO: Big Chair was so successful that we ended up touring for eight months. We used to use a Revox tape machine beside the stage to play all the electronics and backing tracks. Because it was edited in that way we played the same set for eight months pretty much. It was in hindsight the worst thing we possibly could have done. We should have toured for a while and then started recording again while everyone was in love with each other. Those eight months of just two albums’ worth of material killed us. I’ve told this story many times, when we were playing in Kansas and the audience was going mad and we were playing the same songs that we’d been playing for God knows how long. We walked into a bar in the hotel in Kansas and there was a woman in a ball gown singing with two guys in dinner jackets. Her name was Oleta Adams and I just remember sitting at the bar with our album at number one and thinking, “There’s something wrong here.” That affected me in a big way. For me it wasn’t about the success anymore, it was about the music. So it was not a good career move but I went away and explored myself spiritually and never ever lost that memory of Oleta and her powerful soul. So yes, it did change and it changed radically.

MR: And what was released after that was a giant leap from the last project.

RO: It’s a difficult one because again it’s all down to hindsight, but yes, it’s one of the best periods of my life, Seeds Of Love. Living in London, I was finally doing primal therapy which was the thing we were banging on about. I was opening up. I don’t think I could’ve written something like “Woman In Chains” if I hadn’t gone through such therapy.

MR: My feeling is that in the States, The Hurting was digested once they understood your Songs From The Big Chair. I think America really needed to shout, and “Shout” was what was needed at the time.

RO: There’s no doubt about it. When I was younger and the muse was visiting me constantly as opposed to nowadays when it’s in the odd occasion, you sit down or stand up to write and once you get into that semi-hypnotic state ideas start pouting in. Then you look at the songs that were written at the time, there was a song not particularly well known in America, by Paul Weller called “Shout To The Top” and I’m thinking that must have been written pretty much at the same time. There was obviously something floating around in the ether waiting for an open mind as they say. That’s the role of the artist, isn’t it?

MR: Roland, this expanded version of Big Chair with all its bells and whistles…for you as the artist, how entrenched in the process did you get? Did you have any other revelations as you were re-examining the album?

RO: I had to help Steve Wilson who did the 5.1 not just find the tapes but recreate the original mixes. Some of these songs I haven’t listened to in twenty years. Steve was putting it all together and sending it to me and I listened to it on headphones and going, “Wow, that sounds pretty good,” but the one that shocked me was “The Working Hour.” It’s not something that I’d listened to. I just thought, “My God, that’s a really good song.” It’s not just the hits on Big Chair, it’s also the gems, like “Working Hour” and “Listen.” Just listening to the luxuriating in the sounds and the fact that in those days we used so much reverb, it was just great. Steve did an amazing job.

MR: Being the person who has to keep the machine going, so to speak, I don’t understand how any artist in the middle of creation can fully understand what they’re doing at the time. It seems you have to wait for years to pass to truly understand it.

RO: It’s true.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

RO: I think it’s the same advice that I get from people on social media, really big fans. Dig deep. That’s fundamentally the most important thing. If you don’t really, really search and explore you’re not going to come up with the best stuff.

MR: When you were digging deeply, were there any moments where it got scary, where you had to say, “I need to deal with this another day?”

RO: No. I love it.

MR: [laughs] Beautiful! Is this still your creative approach?

RO: When you’re younger, your brain is growing, and as you get older, your classical brain takes over because you’ve learned how to cope with virtually everything that life has thrown at you. Therefore, that sort of element of chaos is contained far more. I think it’s the element of chaos within your brain that allows great ideas to come in.

MR: And if you create something that resonates well enough with the culture, it keeps coming back. Tears For Fears keeps getting rediscovered in every generation.

RO: I’m happy about it.

MR: It must be very satisfying as an artist.

RO: It’s extremely flattering.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith

Mike Ragogna: Songs From The Big Chair has been treated with such reverence, expanded into a six-disc super deluxe edition. Even to the artist that must be a little shocking.

Curt Smith: What, the extent to which the company has gone to make something good?

MR: [laughs] No, the huge amount of material on there.

CS: Not really. It’s a big anniversary obviously and this is really the first time when we’ve actually been involved in the process. They’ve released various limited things before and obviously they have the masters so it was beyond our control. This is the first time we’ve sat down with management and said, “Let’s do something we can all be involved in and proud of.”

MR: Listening back to all of this content was there anything that jumped out at you like, “Oh, I forgot about that, that was pretty cool?”

CS: Probably a lot of the remixes. You have to understand that when we finished the album it took off really quickly and we were on this big world tour so sometimes we only heard the remixes once or twice and said, “Okay, that’s great,” and then we’d forget about them because we were busy on tour for about a year. I guess a lot of the remixes I’d forgotten about.

MR: Were there any revelations? This must be the biggest microscope you could apply to the actual album. Were there any conclusions you came to that were different from when you originally recorded it?

CS: I think for us, it’s actually nice to look back and start to appreciate how well that record did and the amount of work we put into it and everyone put into it because I mentioned before that at the time we were so busy we didn’t really have time to appreciate it. Being able to look back and see the things that were happening that we missed at the time because we were too busy was illuminating.

MR: What happened in the birthing that made it come together as a significant work? Or were you not aware at the time that it would be as appreciated as this?

CS: When we record, I don’t think we go in with any set idea of what we’re attempting to achieve. Basically, we’re just trying to go in and make the best record we can. “The Way You Are” was not the best experiment and certainly not the best way to start it. I think after that we realized that we are more of an album band, we want to put a project together as opposed to just one-off singles. There’s no real direction in one song, it’s when you get to play with a whole bunch of songs together that you get a sense of an album and a sense of a project as a whole. For us that was the big revelation I guess. “You know what? We’re an album band. We may have hit singles, but we’re an album band.” Obviously, we had some disagreements; the record company back then wanted things done very quickly because The Hurting was successful. It wasn’t as big in America as everywhere else but it was successful. They wanted us to follow up quickly and we kind of didn’t. There were some battles to be had there.

MR: Roland mentioned a couple of tracks that changed when he got a chance to listen and dig into them with this package. For instance, he felt that “Listen” was a stronger track than he remembered it being. Did you have any similar experiences?

CS: I think I would agree with Roland about “Listen.” But I always kind of liked that track. What I remember most about it really is when we were on tour in ’85 that was our opening track, the music we played before we came on stage. In a big arena, it sounded fantastic. We just started playing for a couple of shows “The Working Hour” again live and you forget how good that song is. We just haven’t played it for a long time.

MR: Yeah, there are b-sides that are more loved than one would expect for a b-side. Given the fact that tracks like those became fan favorites, does it seem like they originally should have gone on the package?

CS: A lot of questions have been asked in recent interviews about, “Why only eight tracks?” We felt that the project was complete at that point in time. Plus you had to remember that CDs had just come in and the primary sales at that point were actually on vinyl so you were limited to twenty-two and a half minutes a side. I don’t think we could’ve fit much more on vinyl at that point in time. Going back to the b-sides, yeah, I love them. They become fan favorites and some of them we like a lot as well. For us, that was the chance to experiment outside of us making an album, and that was always fun to do.

MR: I wonder if a seventh disc might have been a re-imagining of the entire album including the b-sides.

CS: [laughs] I mean I guess it could’ve been. I don’t know where some of them fit in. I think “Listen” is really a bigger version of a b-side we would do.

MR:I grilled Roland about this, so I want your opinion as well. I feel like “Shout” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” became huge hits resonated with everything that was going on in the world when they were released. How do you feel about their relation to that?

CS: Yeah, it was a cold war era, there was a lot of posturing on all sides from America and from Russia and also the UK to be honest. Basically, we’re writing about what we’re experiencing, so that was our viewpoint at the time and it expanded to echo your view on society at the time. In a weird way it comes full circle because the reason you write a song is because society is affecting you and then maybe your song affects society.

MR: Obviously, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is a reference to America and Russia as you mentioned, but I feel like “Shout” additionally describes your generation’s reaction to Cold War stress.

CS: Yeah, I think so. The fact was that it came about quite a way before it ended. I think it’s us reflecting what we’re seeing in the world. There were a lot of protests, the cold war was coming to a head and it wasn’t going to be much longer until the fall of the Soviet Union happened. Again, I think we’re reflecting what we’re seeing and I’m not sure how much we influenced the way other people think about it.

MR: Yeah. But that’s why I think it also resonated so strongly. You supplied an outlet for people’s thoughts and reactions to what was going on at the time.

CS: I think that in general, the people who are kind of into it are the people who agree with oyu. “Yeah, you’re right.” I don’t necessarily think it’s a new concept for them, I guess we’re just verbalizing it.

MR: There are 5.1 remixes in this collection, did you discover anything from the multis that you forgot about over the years?

CS: Not that jumped ahead of me. To be honest, I think the most interesting part of the package to me is the 5.1 mixes and being able to hear things separated more than they would be in stereo. When that happens there are things that jump out at you that make you say, “Oh, I forgot we put that on there,” because you can hear it clearly now.

MR: Are there parts that your mind is putting together now that you would’ve liked to have put on there originally?

CS: No, not really. I find the fact that I don’t really want to change any of it gratifying. I think that it still stands up. I think if I was recording today I don’t think anyone would say it was a bad recording. Even with all the technology and advancements that have happened since we did that album I still think it’s a great record.

MR: It seems each generation discovers Tears For Fears at some point, especially when “Mad World” was popular in Donnie Darko and now Lorde has covered “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” What do you think of that?

CS: Obviously, it’s very nice for us. I believe again it comes down to content. I think that as generations change each generation relates to an album that you made at that age. The amount of young bands we meet who cite The Hurting as a big influence on them purely because of the lyrical content on that record and subsequently on Songs From The Big Chair they can relate to. We were that age when we did them. I find it gratifying that other artists have embraced our music as the years have gone on and more so that they stretch across a bunch of genres. You mentioned Lorde, obviously we had the Gary Jules version of “Mad World,” which Adam Lambert also covered, and now you have Kanye West using “Memories Fade.” It crosses a bunch of genres which is interesting.

MR: Nice. There is something about the material that keeps bringing people back. There’s a timelessness to a good song.

CS: And to a good recording. I thin somewhere between the songs the production is what makes it last, I believe.

MR: Speaking of new generations, what advice do you have for new artists?

CS: It’s a very different landscape now. There are so many more ways to get noticed that it’s kind of hard to stand out. There’s so much out there because of the internet. One, do the best you can, and two, be creative. The things that stand out are those people that are being more creative. I mean that in recording and I mean that in video. It’s a multi-layered medium now. It’s not just recording, you’ve got to be doing other things as well.

MR: Can you picture starting as an artist during this era? How would you approach it if you did?

CS: I think it still starts with the song, I honestly do. My kids will find great songs online before I’ve ever heard them on the radio or anywhere else. It’s like younger kids going out and finding them for themselves. My youngest was a huge fan of Justin Bieber because of YouTube. But again, I think that a great song is always going to stand up. I think the most important part is making decent music but then you’ve got to be creative with everything else you do as well.

MR: Nice. Thank you. What are you going to be working on? Any plans for more Tears For Fears music?

CS: Yep, we’re in the middle of doing an album now. Well, we’re taking a break right now as you can tell, Roland’s in England and I’m in LA, but we’re back in the studio in November starting again. We’re now signed to Warner Brothers records. People ask when the record will be ready and my answer will always be, “When it’s ready,” but hopefully at some point next year there will be a new album.

MR: Are you conscious of gathering all of the stages of the mixes so you can have a six-disc reissue in a few years?

CS: [laughs] With the technological advancements in place now, we have everything on a hard drive somewhere.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with Lloyd Cole

Mike Ragogna: Hey Lloyd, what is all this about being too old to rock?

Lloyd Cole: I think sometimes, we think a little bit too much about what is age-appropriate. I’d got to thinking that I was done with making rock music, and I was kind of okay with that. Then I wrote a bunch of songs and I was like, “Well I can’t really see any other way to do these other than with a rock ‘n’ roll band, so let’s see what happens.”

MR: How did this tracklist come together as far as direction?

LC: I just write songs. One would hope that my songwriting has evolved over the years but I still feel like I’m pretty much the same songwriter that I was when I was maybe thirty years old. I’m just older. I still get turned on by the same kind of music. I still think Prince was the biggest genius that’s ever been. I’m not sure how much is different in myself, I just think that for a certain amount of time in my forties and maybe early fifties, I was over-interested in restraint and understatement. I think I’m naturally a fairly flamboyant lyricist and maybe I’ve just been reigning it back too much. I thought on this record, “What would happen if I just don’t worry about that type of thing?” What happened is I became more colorful again.

MR: Is this album a return to what you like?

LC: Not really. In the first four or five years after The Commotions, the first year was quite frightening because I had no idea if I could make music on my own. Then when I found out that I could make music on my own it was very much just like starting with The Commotions again, “Oh, my God, I’m going to try and do this, I’m going to try and do that,” and I was excited to try and do lots of things that would not have been possible with The Commotions. I think in my later years, after I had a fairly depressing end to my major label relationships in the late nineties I think I retreated somewhat. I found myself in a niche and I wasn’t particularly happy about it. I wasn’t willing to play the game to get out of the niche and I think I turned myself into a niche artist, which is not something I’m happy about.

MR: With Standards, you’re reunited with Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet. What was getting back together like?

LC: It was weirdly exactly the same. There’s no mirrors in the recording studio so we weren’t looking at what we looked these days–I guess we were looking at each other, but we weren’t looking at ourselves going, “I’m this older, grayer, heavier guy than I was when we were working together.” As soon as the three of us started playing together with the drums, the bass and the rhythm guitar it just felt exactly as it did before. Obviously, I wouldn’t have gone back to that recipe if I didn’t think it was the best rhythm section I’ve ever worked with.

MR: When you listened to the end result, did you have any revelations or discoveries? Any moments of, “Okay, this is what I need to do going forward.”

LC: You know, it wasn’t just with this record. Part of the steps going forward were with the one before, Broken Record. I worked with Fred again for the first time on that and that was the first album that I actually went back into the studio and recorded the basics live with a band. I’d always done that in the nineties and with the commotions. It was only in the two thousands when I was consciously trying to get away from rock music and I basically went into a room and made music on my own with acoustic instruments and computers. I’m very happy with that music, but it’s a lonely experience and it’s very difficult. After we made Broken Record I just thought, “I don’t want to make any of those records in a room on my own again.” This is more the way I want to work, and I’ve made those records, I don’t need to make them again. The way forward is definitely working with musicians as opposed to computers. Having said that I’m setting up my attic right now to find a way to try and get the best of both worlds from the next record, because I’m interested in things that I can do with the modular synthesizer. It’s integrated in Standards very, very slightly but I think that there’s a way that I can take the sound of Standards and augment it with some different textures which will make for a different next record. The computer is still unfortunately part of my life.

MR: But it was fun to re-explore the rhythm section as the element of a backbone perhaps.

LC: I just think there’s certain combinations of people where the end result is greater than the sum of the parts. I just think that Fred and Matthew and I have got something that’s pretty great in that way. We don’t have to think about it. What I was very conscious about on Standards was knowing that I had to be the producer of the record. Very rarely do I start recording a record when I’ve finished writing every single lyric for ever song. When the band is having pizza between takes I’m usually going off to the office to try and write verse three. It’s not a lot of fun. But usually what I’ve done is I’ve demoed the songs up to a certain stage so I can play the songs to the band and I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I want to do with them. What I decided to do on this record is I’ve decided to not make any demoes at all but to finish every single lyric before I start it so that I didn’t have to be worried about finishing the songs. I knew I was happy with the songs and I basically wanted to say, “Okay Fred and Matthew, here’s the song now, I’m going to play it on guitar,” and a few hours later we’d have the basic track recorded.

MR: I imagine that in the studio, things evolved and changed from how you wrote them?

LC: There was nothing to evolve from. A song is a blank canvas. You can do anything with a song. All I had were the words and the chords and the melodies. I had a few basic ideas, I forced them to listen to Neu! every morning before recording because I wanted to get that kind of insistent, repetitive feel to the drums. Fred didn’t need much help in that direction.

MR: And did you also play them Tempest?

LC: No, I wasn’t trying to make a record that sounded like Tempest, I was only inspired by them inasmuch as, listening to that record it was immediately obvious, I don’t think Bob Dylan knows how old he is. If you asked him old he is he’d probably say, “I’m sixty something.” It was that aspect of things, the fact that that Bob is still pretty much just doing what he’s always done and he’s never worried about whether his music’s age appropriate or not, that was the spark for me. That was what got me back to thinking, “What would happen if I made a record not worrying about whether it was age appropriate or not.

MR: Joan Wasser also joined you. Was it your idea to have her come on board? What elements did she bring to the creative process?

LC: Joan was a friend of a friend and now she’s sort of an old friend. She used to be in a band called the Dambuilders and Dave Derby from the Dambuilders was in my band The Negatives for a while so I used to see Joan around. When she released that record Real LIfe I must say I was completely taken aback because I think it’s one of the best records anybody’s ever made. She’s my favorite. Karen Dalton’s probably my favorite singer but she’s dead. Of the female singers living now, Joan is probably my favorite singer. I was making Broken Record and I said, “Would you sing on it?” and she said, “Yes, of course,” so she sang on Broken Record and as long as she keeps saying yes, she’ll be singing on all my records. She brings a harmony and something in the sound of her voice, a texture that she adds that just brings the song to life in a way that nobody else could.

MR: And you also have your son Will on the project plating guitar.

LC: Absolutely. Quine is dead. It used to be Fred, Matthew, me and Quine. Quine’s no more, but William grew up listening to Quine and Keith Richard and the Strokes and he’s got his own thing. He’s not playing on the record because he’s my son, he’s playing on my record because I was watching his development as a musician and he got to the point where I thought, “I like what you’re doing, how about trying to play some guitar on my record?” That’s him playing the guitar solo on “Blue Like Mars” and that’s the closest to a Quine feeling that anybody’s had on my records since Quine.

MR: Nice. When you look at the people who played on Standards it seems like an amalgam of many periods of your life. You’ve got people from the Commotions, you’ve got your son, you’ve got Joan and you’ve got Fred and Matthew. Did you find that this group of people was creatively inspiring or satisfying to you?

LC: All the projects are satisfying in that way. The ones that aren’t I don’t release. It’s hard for me to say because the process of making the record, especially the two weeks in LA doing basic tracks was great fun. It wasn’t even two weeks, it was ten days. That was invigorating and that made making the rest of the record a lot easier, especially with Fred and Matthew’s enthusiasm for the material. They reminded me a lot of when we were working in the early nineties because if I wasn’t sure about a song they were always very honest about stuff. Matthew just kept going on and on, “These songs are amazing! This record’s going to be great!” Frankly that’s nice. I needed a little bit of enthusiasm. There’s no need for another record unless it’s got a chance of being great.

MR: You created a nice circle of moments in your life. That must have had some sort of happy influence.

LC: I guess so. I guess that’s just the type of thing that makes sense as you get older. You can’t have your son playing on your record when you’re thirty.

MR: What’s out there right now that you like? New things that have got your ear.

LC: I don’t listen to a great deal of popular music. The last band that I was particularly excited about was probably The Walkmen, and they don’t exist anymore. It’s nice to see somebody like the black keys become popular. That’s exciting, I think. It goes to show that the market is not as constricted as people thought. I really like Santigold. There’s music I hear every now and again where I go, “Oh, what’s that? I want to hear more of that,” but I spend more of my time listening to experimental and classical music these days. I probably spend more time listening to music made with modular synthesizers more than anything else. There’s a guy who runs a record shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also makes music with synthesizers, I listen to a bunch of his stuff. The last couple years, I’ve been more of a student than a listener because I’ve been learning how to make music without computers but with synthesizers. That’s my side project.

MR: Do you use a sequencer at least?

LC: Yeah, but it’s not in the computer.

MR: Like the old days.

LC: Yeah, like Tangerine Dream or Kraftwerk.

MR: You have Somerville, Boston and Cambridge near you. Those music scenes may not be national but do you get out to the bars and check out that music once in a while?

LC: Not much. I’m not saying I don’t, every now and again I do, but I’m about an hour and a half west of Boston, in the North Hampton valley. It’s got a similar scene to it, there’s a lot of music going on. I keep a room in a local studio that I can go to when I need to do recording that I can’t do here in the attic, so I see music coming through. I used to go out more to see music, but I have to say I go out less because I’ve been working a lot recently, and I do like silence. I probably prefer reading to listening to music.

MR: That’s a lost art, too. What advice do you have for new artists?

LC: I have to think about this all the time these days because my son’s band is in Brooklyn, they’re getting started and it looks like they have a chance. I think that you need to find your voice. If you find a voice which is your own and you feel like you have something that is not a rehash of something that’s already been done then you can run with it. But if you’ve been playing music for four or five years and you haven’t found your voice yet then you’re going to be in a cover band. That’s fine, playing music for fun is also fine, but you have to find your voice and that’s it. The music that I made before 1983 sounds like a cover band. It wasn’t until writing “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken” that I suddenly went, “Oh gosh, this is what I’ve been wanting to do. How can I do this now when I couldn’t do this last week?” I don’t know, but I think you have to have that moment and you have to believe in it. I play golf also and you have to accept that there’s a great deal of luck involved. I got lucky in 1984, the whole band got lucky. There’s plenty of great bands that don’t get lucky but I think over all luck will even out and if you are a great band there’s a very good chance you will be found. I think if you don’t think you’ve got a chance to be great, we don’t need more music from people who don’t think they can be great.

MR: Can you see the evolution you’ve gone through over the years?

LC: There’s certainly not a linear evolution, that’s for sure. There are some terrible mistakes made along the way and certainly some dead end streets that were taken. My relationship with individual records changes. For many, many years I was very frustrated with the album Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe and kind of perplexed by why it was a lot of people’s favorite record of mine, but it’s now one of my favorite records of mine. For many years the album Love Story was the album I thought was my best solo record, I now think it’s probably my worst solo record. My relationship with things absolutely changes. I can’t sing certain songs because I don’t know where to start with them, I can’t remember what I could’ve been thinking to write them and yet other songs, maybe even older songs still seem perfectly simple, I don’t even have to think about why I wrote them and I still feel I can sing the songs. I’m not sure if evolution is the right term. I think maybe quest is better. I think I’m still trying to write beautiful songs and I think over thirty years there might be three or four songs that have absolutely nothing I would change about them. There’s maybe a dozen or twenty others that–I don’t like the term “proud of” because I don’t like pride, but I’m very happy with them. And there are a few things every now and again that I find myself looking at or hearing when I’m singing and going, “Well gosh, I think only I could’ve written that.” So maybe I am a valid addition to the canon.

MR: What advice would you have given yourself as a kid?

LC: I wasn’t really a musician, I was just kind of an ideas person. I did the right thing, I surrounded myself with musicians who were able somehow or other to invest some trust in my vision for what the band could be. I literally could barely play guitar or sing. When we were recording Rattlesnakes the only production that went into the recording of the vocals was, “Is it in tune or not?” When it was in tune it was regarded as being finished. As soon as producers started to try and direct me with how my vocals were presented, Jesus, things went terribly wrong for a while. I had no idea what I was doing, I was just some kind of savant. I got lucky. I guess I knew I needed musicians but I got lucky to find the right ones.

MR: So your advice would be stay the course.

LC: [laughs] No, I certainly wouldn’t say stay the course! If it’s not going well and you’re not sure that what you’re doing has got a chance of being great then do something else. I’ve always been pretty sure. I was sure when I was getting started and then I was unsure for about six months after the Commotions because I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own and then as soon as I started making demos on my own I was like, “Oh, I can do this.”

MR: What does the future look like? You’re going to be supporting Standards?

LC: Standards came out in Europe about a year and a bit ago. I’ve been all around the world promoting it already. We’re just sort of starting again over here. I’ve got a New York show and then some European shows in November and then probably some touring early next year over here. I’m actually getting ready to make the next record, that’s what I’m doing up here in the attic. I’m trying to reorganize it so that it’s a work space for the next record. I don’t think there’ll be a lot of work when we’re snowed in here so I’m going to try and get some recording done.

MR: Are you going to have your cast of characters back?

LC: I’m not going to record it exactly the same way as I did last time, I’m going to try and make some sketches and some recordings that can be overdubbed, or certainly sonic ideas. With Standards, the idea of the recording was more a philosophical, conceptual idea of how I wanted the bass and drums to be in terms of wanting it to be very driving and straight ahead and not even slightly jazzy. For the record, I’m thinking about I actually want to create a textural soundscape idea before I write the songs because I want to have a sound that I can then write for.

MR: I wish you very good luck and a wonderfully creative snowed-in winter.

LC: [laughs] I hope so. You’ve got to try and get something out of it when you’re snowed-in here, it’s just grim. I’m not having too many more winters, I’m going to be somewhere else when I’m sixty, that’s for sure. Snow’s cool when you’re in your teens and you can go sledding, and it’s beautiful for the first week, but when it’s been there for three months, boy. I’ve seen enough of it. But my youngest son is in high school and everything’s going well in that respect so I’m not going to move to preferable climes until he’s finished with that. That is apparently why we’re supposed to look forward to my retirement, if my body can actually stay healthy long enough.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

******************************

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A Conversation with Lang Lang

Mike Ragogna: Let’s talk about The Mozart Album that you recorded with the Weiner Philharmonkier. In the past, you’ve taken on other composers, why Mozart this time out?

Lang Lang: First of all, I must say recording with Nikolaus Harnoncourt was always a big dream in my career. For me, he is the most unique and special interpreter of Mozart. We worked for two years on those concertos. He showed me the authentic way of doing the styling on those pieces. In a way I never experienced Mozart like this before.

MR: Were there other things you learned from him?

LL: Yes, absolutely. He’s the one normally who always plays on the period instrument. He plays the instrument from many, many centuries ago. He also uses the old bowing and articulation to play. In a way, it sounds very original but at the same time he is not a very conservative style person. He’s very liberal in music making. He’s very romantic. He has this wonderful inspiration which combines both very, very authentic bowing on top of a very liberal interpretation. That really gave me the idea to play a mozart concerto in this direction. He showed me the Mozart bird from Salzberg, Vienna. The country music, the church music, the folk dance, everything he explained to me is in the roots of it. You can feel that it’s kind of local music.

MR: From this collaboration and from recording a project based around this particular composer, did you discover anything new about Mozart?

LL: Yes. Mozart is someone who you think that you know about him and then he changes. He transforms his character all the time. He never stays in the same place more than two bars. So therefore his music is like a live drama. It’s an opera, it’s a movie. You’re watching a movie of one hundred different characters walking in and out. It’s beautiful. That’s Mozart.

MR: That must be very demanding for you. Is it challenging to keep up with all the drama?

LL: You need a lot of practice. There’s a lot of spontaneous, right-on-the-beat interpretations. There are a lot of turnovers. You can even see that he makes a lot of turns in his music. As much as you need to be very precise when you practice you need to be very slow and soft. With Mozart music you really need to practice slow and soft. You cannot practice in a loud way because then your ear doesn’t feel those precise interpretations anymore.

MR: Early on, you were taught the actual history of Mozart. But is there anything you feel you now know more about him from exploring his music as deeply as you have?

LL: Certainly. One thing that’s very important about Mozart is a letter he wrote to his father about his music and his personality. He said that his music is like a tree. You have the roots, which is the left hand, you also have the leaves, which is the right hand. He said he wanted the leaves to be really free and floating, but he wanted the roots to be very solid and give a good base and support. He is basically saying life should be like that. I really love that because you can be really free but you still have the gut to tell you what to do.

MR: Are there any pieces that musically illustrate what you’ve just explained?

LL: Yeah, I would say the slow movement of the G Major Sonata is like that and then the third movement, which you’d call the bird concerto, which is also a G Major Concerto, the third movement is like a bird. One other magical thing is when you see a chromatic scale going down it means Mozart has little tears in his eyes. Just a little bit of tears. That’s what Harnoncourt told me.

MR: You’ve recorded the Mozart album, you’ve recorded various themed albums, what are the different approaches you need to take with some of these other composers? For instance, what did you discover with Chopin? Obviously, Chopin is a lot gentler, but he’s also very precise.

LL: Yes. Chopin is already almost more than one hundred years later, so the piano as an instrument had become a much bigger instrument. You can play much louder than before. Mozart’s double forte still had a limit. Chopin’s time was already what you call the romantic time. Everything’s kind of like poetry and novels. Chopin added a lot of new technique already. The harmony is totally different because the romantic harmonies are quite different than the classical ones. There’s a lot of much longer phrases because the instrument can do that. Lizst, for example, basically stretched the piano a lot because he destroys pianos all the time and needed a new piano to be as powerful as himself. Then Rachmaninoff comes later and you need a very solid grand piano to play those pieces. If you play Rachmaninoff on Mozart that’s like today’s pianists playing on the keyboard. The descriptions are still the same, “Happiness,” “Deepness,” “Sadness,” but it’s like in a movie. You have 4k or 3D and there’s a different kind of dimension.

MR: As a thirty-two year old pianist, the amount of experience and exposure you’ve had and the amount of composers’ works you’ve recorded, do you feel like you’ve become a musicologist?

LL: I think that since I’m now doing a lot of teaching work and my foundation work I need to be more precise on the things that I’m telling to the kids; how to do interpretation and how to analyze the possible ways to play on the keyboard. We need to be very critical of ourselves to get more knowledge and to get more precise and accurate to what we are looking into. I need to be better at Chopin, better at Beethoven, better at Bach. I need to find solid points to convince myself and to convince our professional world of those interpretations. I think this is a great thing. I think kids need to go through that. But at the same time it’s also very important for a kid to realize by the end of the concert they need their entire soul to come out with their playing. They cannot just follow everything they have learned from the teacher. They need to find their own way and their own signature to prove they actually received the knowledge but at the same time live through the creative parts. That’s very, very important.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

LL: In our career we’re facing a lot of challenges, whether they’re professional challenges or personal challenges. There are a lot of things that you may have wanted to do in certain ways but in the end it may not be what you thought at first impression. The important thing for us is to always follow our dream and try to achieve what is best for yourself and what is best for our musical environment.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
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Songs From The Movie: A Conversation with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Chatting with Doug Paisley, Plus an Art Decade Exclusive

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An Interview with Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mike Ragogna: Mary Chapin, you’ve got a new album, Songs From The Movie, the follow up to the excellent Ashes And Roses. Can we just dive in?

Mary Chapin Carpenter: Absolutely!

MR: It almost seems like this album is, in some respects a part two–at least emotionally–to Ashes And Roses, even though it revisits your older material.

MCC: Well, I have to say that’s an interesting thought to me. I don’t think I’ve really thought about it in that way. The differences are obvious and when you’re working with pre-existing songs, they’re not new, they weren’t all written as a piece. I’ve always approached recording as an opportunity to create something that is all, for lack of a better word, a concept album. My albums exist as collections of songs that really belong together. Given that, these were all sort of culled from so many different records; that was a different way of experiencing them right off the bat. It was an incredibly emotional experience to do this record. In that regard, I agree with you, if it’s about gauging how that affects you and how you walk into the studio every day pulling yourself up saying, “All right, here we go, hold it together now,” I would agree with you.

MR: Thank you. If we were going to use the name of the album, Songs From The Movie, as a metaphor, it seems like it’s the journey leading up to Ashes And Roses. In this context, it’s almost like commentary using aspects of your life and aspects of your catalog as another reflection of where you’re at right now.

MCC: There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to go too far in trying to make it all very tidily fit some sort of notion, although I truly appreciate your desire and efforts to put it in perspective and understand it that way. I agree that it is a continuum, and it does have a sort of way of looking at the past twenty-some years of my life in song.

MR: How about they’re exclamation points relative to what went on during Ashes And Roses?

MCC: I feel like that was a very specific period of time in my life and the songs came out of very specific experiences. Obviously, a lot of these songs were written years before that. I feel like maybe a better way to think about it is that we all have one life but our life is made up of many different episodes–“different lives,” if we think of ourselves as cats or something. These songs all sort of speak to different times in my life. The title is very impressionistic. To give it some sort of context for you, do you remember the days, years ago, when you’d go see a movie and then there’d be a soundtrack for that movie released and one record label or another would have all of those songs on the soundtrack? You’d buy the soundtrack and it would include other songs that weren’t in the actual film, but as they say, “Songs inspired by the movie.” It was always an interesting notion. From a retail perspective, it was like record labels were making the most of being associated with the film and putting their artists on this soundtrack. But you know, there was something to this idea that there were certain songs that could be written and “inspired by the movie.” The concept for this record has been kicking around in my brain for so long, that concept being that I felt that I always had certain songs that ask a lot of the listener lyrically and that in the right hands could have a cinematic kind of treatment. I said, “How do you put all of these together and have a sort of artistic sense?” In that regard, I started thinking it’s a soundtrack. There’s not a movie that goes with it, but it’s speaking to those sweeping, beautiful things that just take you someplace when you hear them.

MR: And of course with Vince Mendoza on board, that’s an easy mission.

MCC: Right! It was many, many, many years ago, but do you remember when Don Henley was putting together small concerts around the country to benefit Walden woods?

MR: Absolutely, yeah.

MCC: Okay, so he would gather a lot of female singers and pop stars and he’d put a concert on in different cities and they’d all select a song from The Great American Songbook. Larry Klein was the musical director and Vince was the arranger of all of theses songs, and I was able to take part in the one in San Francisco and I got to sing “But Beautiful.” I remember that was the first time I’d ever heard all of these songs in the context of Vince’s arrangements. They were so beautiful. I remember standing on the side of the stage watching all of these people and just listening and being mesmerized by the beauty of these arrangements. Some songs you were familiar with, some were more obscure, and that was the moment I thought if I ever had the chance do this truly–it’s an overused term, but “bucket list” project–that Vince would be the person that I would want to go to. Interestingly enough, it was about two or three years later I was driving in the car listening to my local college radio station when Joni Mitchell’s record came out that Vince did all the arranging for. I heard her sing “Both Sides Now” and I stopped the car and listened and I knew before I could even look it up that Vince had done the arrangement. His work is that distinctive. So distinctive. Besides just being enchanted with Joni’s work, I just thought, “This man is so gifted.”

MR: With Travelogue as well as the songs “Both Sides Now” and “A Case Of You,” Joni’s reinterpretation shows a new perspective coming from her being a more mature artist, her “read” shining a different kind of light on songs. Like Joni, you’re singing this older material from a later point of life.

MCC: They do have different destinations and shades and colors and they evoke different things than the original recordings, otherwise you’re just doing the same things over and over again. So I think that’s always the hope and the goal and that has been fulfilled.

MR: When you were putting the tracklist together, were you seeing the pieces of the puzzle as they were fitting together? And were there any surprises regarding the material?

MCC: It was an interesting process and the way that we did it was that there was one song I always knew was going to be on the record, “Where Time Stands Still.” I don’t know how to explain it, but I always felt that song belonged on this kind of record. That said, Matt [Rollings] my co-producer, Vince and myself, we all sort of went into our separate corners. I think I might have sent out an initial list of maybe forty songs or something like that. Everybody went into their separate corners and came up with their ten or twelve songs they thought belonged on the record and then we cross-referenced it to see which song got the most votes. There were a few that we talked through and Vince would explain for me, “Oh, I don’t think that’s a good candidate because if you listen to it, the chorus doesn’t really go anywhere or give me a lot of places I can take it.” I felt that we learned a lot from Vince in terms of what lent itself to a new arrangement in an existing song. So that was a really interesting process, but it wasn’t excruciating in any way. We all felt good and very happy with what we came up with. There were no fistfights or anything.

MR: [laughs] Were there any revelations that you had listening to this “movie” from top to bottom when it was completed?

MCC: I don’t know if there are any revelations other than that it was deeply emotional. It was emotional making the thing. I’m just one of those people who gets swept away in music. I don’t mean to speak that way about my own stuff, but this was just such a new thing and to hear these songs in such a different way, not only did I feel “known” in a very deep way by this, in the sense that I felt like he had a direct line to my heart in terms of how he wrote these arrangements. There’s a reason why music makes you cry, there’s a reason why it moves you and why it inspires you and takes you places. It affects you on a cellular level, and Vince’s beautiful notes and arrangements just did that to me. So for hearing it in its final setting, it was astonishingly beautiful to me. Just very moving. I don’t know how to explain it, really. Maybe it’s because I have yet to have enough distance from it or something, I can’t really listen to it without being utterly invested in it.

MR: And I imagine recording at Air made it a wonderful experience for you.

MCC: A tremendous experience. I was fortunate enough to be there once before in 2000 recording Time* Sex* Love*. Being able to return there was tremendously exciting. It’s such an incredible place, to be there with the orchestra was hard to describe, it was so powerful.

MR: Mary Chapin, the subtlety and matter-of-fact delivery of your performances brings out so much more than any kind of overkill that a lot of artists have to do to bring lyrics home sometimes. I feel you should be even more appreciated for your strength as a lyricist than you currently are. I think if listeners took a second look at what you’re doing, especially these days, many would say, “This is one of our best American songwriters.” I certainly think so.

MCC: Well, thank you so much, that’s just utterly lovely for you to say. The songs presented in this way, if it does give someone a second chance to listen and maybe connect to something that they may not have connected to before, the way songs do for us, to me that’s just a lovely idea. If it doesn’t, we all know that as artists we do what we do and we know that we can’t claim everyone’s ear. But if it does find its way to someone who either previously didn’t connect to it or had never encountered it before in some way, that’s thrilling and exciting and wonderful when that happens. So that’s one thing to consider once you release something like that, but the other thing, again, is that I can’t say enough about how fortunate I feel that somehow, some way, something in my career brought me to a place where I got to do this. I think that’s something else to consider. Those of us who started in our artistic careers twenty-five, almost thirty years ago, we all know how the music business has changed. I just feel like, given all the changes and how hard it is to do what we do nowadays, much less starting out, I’m just grateful I got to a place where I can do this. So that’s a whole other place that I think about this project. It’s somewhat astonishing to me that I had the support for this, because I know how hard that is to come by.

MR: Not that I would know anything about such things, but my feeling is the new bar you’ve established on your latest projects might be the result of all the personal challenges, etc., that led up to Ashes And Roses.

MCC: At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to make it all tidy and everything, I do think there’s something to be said for feeling like the right things happen at the right time. I also think you would agree with me that this is a look back and certainly a look at the present as well. I couldn’t have made this record twenty years ago. It’s about having lived a life. My life is not over by any stretch, but there’s this wisdom and experience and the things that you’ve gained that are, I think, very much a part of this record.

MR: Beautiful. Mary Chapin, where do you go from here?

MCC: Literally? Next week? I go to Scotland and launch the record, which is really exciting. I’m doing my first concert at the beautiful Celtic Connections center in Glasgow in a few weeks. That’ll be my first time singing this with the orchestra. I’m so excited. That’s the short answer. The longer answer is that I’ve been writing for a new record and I hope to start on that as a project sometime this year in terms of getting in the studio. So what’s next after this is another record.

MR: Will you take the adventures you had at Air with you creatively into the next record?

MCC: Without having a crystal ball, I’ll say I think every time you go into the studio you learn things if you’re paying close enough attention. I think what happens in sort of some result of all the things you’ve absorbed and they make their way into what you do. I always presume that what’s been going on previously finds its way into my way of thinking or executing music or writing. That’s always the way it’s been, honestly. I’ve been writing songs the exact same way I’ve done all of my life, that’s never changed. The settings change and the studios change and the people you work with change, but it all sort of starts at the place that it has always started, which is with a guitar and a voice and a yellow legal pad and a pencil with an eraser. The only thing that’s different over all of these years is that the device that I record my ideas on just keeps getting smaller and smaller. I use my phone now.

MR: What is your advice for new artists?

MCC: Oy-oy-oy!

MR: You know, to someone just starting out.

MCC: I think back to that point, the landscape of business realities and the technological advances that have occurred in the past years have changed everything. The fact that you can be fifteen years old and write songs after school and you can put them up on SoundCloud… You can make your own way. I think the possibilities that lie in being able to do it yourself, it’s a totally DIY world, that just opens it up to everybody and that’s the most exciting thing in the world. It used to be you had to get in the door of the label. Nowadays, you can just do it yourself and people can find you and you can do it yourself. So what I would say to someone with aspirations in that regard is just that the world is your oyster, be as adventurous as you can possibly be and know that it’s in your hands.

MR: And maybe be prepared to use that eraser once in a while?

MCC: Oh my God, yes.

Transcribed By Galen Hawthorne

ART DECADE’S “NUMBERLESS DREAMS”

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photo by Hadley Brooks

According to Art Decade…

“I am always looking for ways to bring motion to otherwise still artwork. With ‘Numberless Dreams,’ we took the idea of spray painted stencils into the realm of fully moving animation. Cutting out thousands of laser cut stencils and then spray painting each frame by hand, thus an otherwise motionless art form finds fluid movement.

“The music video, like all of our work, reflects the nature of the bands do it yourself approach to the creative process. Filmed mainly in our living room, and edited at our bassists house, everything has been done by us. The song and album are no exception, as we recorded, engineered, produced, and wrote everything ourselves. We wanted to make a statement defining us through our work.”

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A Conversation with Doug Paisley

Mike Ragogna: Hi Doug! Before we get into the new album Strong Feelings, let’s get caught up on all things Doug Paisley. What have you been up to since your last project?

Doug Paisley: Since my last album I’ve been traveling and performing more than ever before. So much so that I felt the need to stay at home for a while which leads to songwriting which leads to recording which leads to more travelling.

MR: Did any of this inspire your material on Strong Feelings

DP: I’m really into the challenges of songwriting. Spending so much time playing the songs from the last album made me want to go farther afield with my music and my songwriting.

MR: “Radio Girl,” to me, seems like a tribute to relationships and the good old days. Even its lead vocal seems to evoke another time. Is that also the secret behind the new album, it being about events and people that evoked strong feelings within you?

DP: I think music gets into some people more than others and it permeates their lives and their personal history with a concurrent musical history. When I think about “Radio Girl,” I imagine that profound, personal soundtrack.

MR: Are there any songs on this project which evoke particularly strong feelings and what are stories behind them?

DP: I’ve gained so much personal meaning from songs by my favourite musicians without knowing about those people or their own reasons for writing. I try and allow for the same possibility with songs that I put out.

MR: How did you approach this album differently from your 2010 project, Constant Companion?

DP: I worked with an excellent guitar player, Emmett Kelly, something I hadn’t considered before because as a guitarist it had always seemed redundant to have another one there but it really opened up the sound for me. I also tried to engender some musical chaos in the recording process with tricky projects like recording Garth Hudson on Glenn Gould’s piano in a remote northern city in the middle of winter in the middle of the night.

MR: The semi-duet “What’s Up Is Down” combines horns with a noodling piano, guitars, bass and light percussion. It’s not that it’s a-typical of the album, but it seems to be the most personal track on the project. How did you come up with this particular approach?

DP: Garth Hudson, Mary Margaret O’Hara and Colin Stetson brought a lot of the character to the song because they have such interesting musical personalities. It was one of those songs where I don’t really remember writing it so it’s remained a bit mysterious for me.

MR: You’re a Canadian artist who has a US following. How do view the differences and similarities between our two countries’ artists? 

DP: Margaret Atwood described the line between Canada and the US as a one way mirror. Culturally speaking Canadians are about as aware of the US as Americans are unaware of Canada. I think that vantage point has benefitted some major American cultural figures who come from Canada. In the wilds of the current musical landscape fledgeling musicians like me are more of a nation unto ourselves than nationally defined. 

MR: What else do you have strong feelings about, maybe on the non-musical side?

DP: As a father I feel strongly that the human stock isn’t degraded, as some people say, but it is suppressed and we will feel a whole lot better the more we participate in our enormous responsibility to young people.  

MR: What’s your advice for new artists?

DP: Don’t be discouraged when the scale of your success seems out of whack with that of others. Perseverance is what will ultimately distinguish you. 

MR: Other than Strong Feelings dropping on January 21st, what does the future bring?

DP: Sadly, I think the future will bring more bad lighting.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Ashley Madison - Have an affair. Married Dating, Affairs, Married Women, Extramarital Affair

Workout Music: Dubstep Techno Running, Jogging Music, P90, Insanity, Spinning Music, Cross Fit, Workout Songs, Fitness Music

Workout Music: Dubstep Techno Running, Jogging Music, P90, Insanity, Spinning Music, Cross Fit, Workout Songs, Fitness Music


Workout Music: Dubstep Techno Running, Jogging Music, P90, Insanity, Spinning Music, Cross Fit, Workout Songs, Fitness Music
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“Hey Ho for HALLOWEEN” – 32 Creepy Songs and Spooky Sound Effects for Seriously Scary Kids!!!

“Hey Ho for HALLOWEEN” – 32 Creepy Songs and Spooky Sound Effects for Seriously Scary Kids!!!


“Hey Ho for HALLOWEEN” – 32 Creepy Songs and Spooky Sound Effects for Seriously Scary Kids!!!
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Music from the Jefferson Collection – An Evening of Songs & Sonatas

Music from the Jefferson Collection – An Evening of Songs & Sonatas


It is well known that Thomas Jefferson was a keen violinist of some talent, and in 1778, he wrote to Giovanni Fabroni that “music is the favorite passion of my soul.” Music was part of everyday life, in eighteenth century Virginia, for all levels of society. Visitors to Monticello would have either witnessed, or taken part in, musical pursuits, whether performed solo or in ensembles, vocal as well as instrumental. The Monticello music collection, now owned by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and kept partly at the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and partly at Monticello itself, is still well preserved, and Jefferson himself catalogued it in very strict detail. This CD attempts to recreate some specific examples of music at Monticello, gathered where there is good evidence that they were part of Jefferson’s own musical experience, either as a performer or listener. Artists include: Theresa Goble (Mezzo-Soprano), Andrew Mullen (Bass-Baritone), David Sariti (Violin), and Bradley Lehman (Harpsichord).
List Price: $ 14.95
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Pop Danthology’s Mashup Of 68 Songs From 2013 Will Make You Wanna Dance

Daniel Kim is back with his annual mashup of all your favorite songs.

It took Kim 180 hours to mix the 68 songs from 2013, but the payoff is pretty incredible. The mashup seamlessly transitions from songs like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” to Jason Derulo’s “The Other Side” and Krewella’s “Alive. Stop reading, and start listening, because this mashup is going to make you want to dance.

Want the complete list of songs used? Here it is:

Anna Kendrick – “Cups (When I’m Gone)”
Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – “This Is What It Feels Like”
A$ AP Rocky feat. Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam – “Wild For The Night”
Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
Avril Lavigne – “Here’s To Never Growing Up”
Bastille – “Pompeii”
Bauuer – “Harlem Shake”
Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement – “Get Up (Rattle)”
Britney Spears – “Ooh La La”
Britney Spears – “Work B**tch”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
Bruno Mars – “Treasure”
Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man”
Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – “Thinking About You”
Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
Capital Cities – “Safe And Sound”
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
Drake feat. Majid Jordan – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
Ellie Goulding – “Burn”
Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – “I Love It (I Don’t Care)”
Imagine Dragons – Demons
Jason Derulo – “The Other Side”
Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Kelly Clarkson – “Catch My Breath”
Ke$ ha – “C’mon”
Ke$ ha feat. will.i.am – “Crazy Kids”
Krewella – “Alive”
Lady Gaga – “Applause”
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
Lorde – “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
Maroon 5 – “Daylight”
Maroon 5 – “Love Somebody”
Martin Garrix – “Animals”
Martin Solveig & The Cataracs feat. Kyle – “Hey Now”
Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith – “La La La”
One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
One Direction – “Story Of My Life”
OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
OneRepublic – “If I Lose Myself”
Passenger – “Let Her Go”
P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me A Reason”
Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”
Pitbull feat. Ke$ ha – “Timber”
Pitbull feat. TJR – “Don’t Stop The Party”
PSY – “Gentleman”
Rihanna – “Pour It Up”
Rihanna feat. David Guetta – “Right Now”
Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – “Stay”
Robin Thicke feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Give It 2 U”
Robin Thicke feat. T.I., Pharrell Williams – “Blurred Lines”
Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
Selena Gomez – “Slow Down”
Taylor Swift – “22”
Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”
will.i.am feat. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”
will.i.am feat. Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”
Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”
Zedd feat. Foxes – “Clarity”
Zedd feat. Hayley Williams – “Stay The Night”

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Favorite Songs [With CD (Audio)]

Favorite Songs [With CD (Audio)]


(Sing in the Barbershop Quartet). These great collections let men sing four-part a cappella harmony with a professionally recorded barbershop quartet. The books include TTBB parts and the CDs feature full performances. Just turn on the CD, open the book, pick your part, and sing along Volume 3 songs include: Coney Island Baby/We All Fall * He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands * Hey, Little Baby O’ Mine * In the Good Old Summertime * The Star Spangled Banner * Take Me Out to the Ball Game * This Little Light of Mine/Do Lord * Water Is Wide.

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