Tenacious D, the duo that once proclaimed itself as "greater than the Beatles, the Stones and Zeppelin combined" is back with a new album this May
I’m sure many of you last heard of Tenacious D when they released the film “The Pick Of Destiny” and it’s accompanying soundtrack album in 2006. Both that film and album met with critical indifference, and the subsequent tour was a commercial failure.
But the duo made up by the mercurial Jack Black and Kyle Gass has remained active as a performing unit all this time, and now they’re finally releasing a new album. It’s coming out on May 15th 2012, and it goes by the suitable name of “Rize Of The Fenix”.
To pave the way for their latest record, the band has recently uploaded a mockumentary to its VEVO channel that explains what they’ve been up to until now. It begins with Kyle’s breakdown after the failure of “The Pick Of Destiny”, his subsequent incarceration, and Black’s embracement of the grand Hollywood lifestyle… but the two former colleagues are reunited before long. I don’t want to spoil it for you, watch the clip below. It’s definitely worth the six minutes it lasts.
Oh, and see how many stars you can spot. Val Kilmer, Dave Grohl (who was the devil on “The Pick Of Destiny”), Tim Robbins… these Tenacious D folks sure know how to keep illustrious company.
Music streaming Spotify shows the world how to put Facebook's new timeline to good use.
So what if Facebook has made its new timeline compulsory? Stop complaining, and make the best out of it. It’s not that hard – all it takes is some imagination. Just look at what these folks at Spotify have done.
They have taken advantage of how Facebook lets you present information year by year, and their page goes back not just to 2006 (the year in which Spotify was actually founded) but to 1001. It doesn’t matter what genre or artist you’re keen on. If it’s had any – any – kind of impact in the history of music, then you’ll find at least a good couple of entries on Spotify’s timeline.
While I don’t know the exact way you feel about the new timeline, the fact remains that complaining won’t make any diference. The new profile is here to stay. Make the best of what is there. Others are already doing it, and if you can’t seem to reinvent the wheel then you can at least at what they’re doing for inspiration.
Will The Sons Of The Beatles Become The Next Sensation?
James McCartney’s recently told the BBC that he and Sean Lennon, Dhani Harrison and Jason Starkey have discussed the possibility of banding together, and emulating their illustrious fathers.
Zak Starkey has expressed no interest in the project, and young McCartney has even stated that if Jason is not up for the job then he wouldn’t mind playing the role of drummer himself.
The impact and significance this band could really have remains moot, but it’s sure got everybody talking and speculating.
And here in Uruguay, this story couldn’t come at a better time. The whole country is abuzz with Paul McCartney’s first-ever Uruguayan performance, to take place in one week’s time. Macca will play the Estadio Centenario on the 15th of April.
As you can imagine, it’s an event I wouldn’t miss for anything in the world. I’ll be there, and I’ll duly review the gig afterwards.
And just to add to the mood of excitement, I’d like to share the 10 zaniest Beatles covers I’ve managed to find online with everybody else. Below you’ll find the first five. I’ll publish the second batch tomorrow.
From Me To You (Walk Off The Earth)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Cover Tune Grab)
Across The Universe (Austin Criswell)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Jamie Allensworth and Marty Schwartz)
On the video (which had 100,000 views in six days) you can see Patrick using an app named EasyBeats on his iPad to set down a basic groove, while he mixes his vocals and other instruments using a digital audio platform known as Pro Tools.
What do you think? Do you ever see yourself doing something similar when it comes to recording your own covers, or even your own demos? Sound off in the comments below, please.
Billy Corgan Is Using This Year's SXSW Conference To Announce The Smashing Pumpkins' Most Ambitious Work To Date
The concept of music albums is changing for good. Offering fans a multimedia experience makes the job of pirates a lot harder, and that’s obviously appealing from a commercial point of view. Yet, there’s no denying that artists are naturally inclined to try new technologies out, and see in which ways new software and hardware can give fans a more vivid representation of these emotions and ideas that lie at the heart of the most transcendental artistic works. The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest album might as well do.
Named “Oceania”, it’s already been defined as a “full online experience” by Billy Corgan, the band’s charismatic leader. He’s not giving away a lot of details at this time, but he will break the silence soon enough – he’s going to make a big announcement at this year’s South By Southwest conference. From what he’s already said, it can be gathered that the album will take social interactions and fan engagement to the limit, and that it’s tracks might not be sold separately on iTunes. Corgan’s publicist has hinted at that when she said that “The key is that when we release the record, we’re not going to release a single viral video. You’re going to take the record and have a full online experience with it.”
Corgan is no stranger to experimentation. In 2009, he embarked on a project called “Teagarden by Kaledoiscope”, a 44-track album that was going to be made freely available on the Internet for everybody to download.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest project brings to mind Bjork’s “Biophilia”, which has gone down in history as the first “app album” ever. We’ll see how Corgan’s brainchild compares to that when he speaks at SXSW. His session is scheduled for the 12th of March.
Artists who make it big at the Grammy Awards always see a hefty boost in sales, and Adele was to be no exception. After winning no less than 6 awards in one night (including “Album Of The Year” for “21” and “Song Of The Year” for “Rolling In The Deep”), “21” managed to reach double platinum status. What’s even more interesting, Adele has become the first artist to sell 2 million copies of one album on iTunes in the US.
Adele is also the second artist to win the “Big Four” Grammy Awards in the same ceremony. She joins Christopher Cross, who achieved that feat in 1981.
This artistic and commercial success comes after many expressed concerns about Adele’s future when she became sidelined by vocal chord hemorrhaging, and had to undergo microsurgery.
As of the time of writing this, the figures made public by Columbia Records show that “21” has sold 7 million copies in the U.S., and 18 million copies worldwide.
Today I want to share with you a terrific infograph that I’ve found, and which covers all the music streaming services in existence. Well, all minus Google Music. For some reason, whoever compiled this decided to omit it. But other than that, everything’s been included – Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, Turntable.fm… there’s even a corner explaining how Facebook might become a force to be reckoned with sooner than most people think.
And just in case you ever wonder how much musicians are paid whenever you stream a song of theirs, then just jump to the end of the infograph.
As you know by now, the “Listen With” button lets your friends listen to the songs you’re playing while you’re online. Well, I want to call your attention to how friends interact with these songs.
Each time a friend clicks on the “Listen With” button, the chat room that’s opened for your friend to talk with you will also display a link back to the artist’s Facebook Page. So, checking out that artist’s profile becomes as easy as 1-2-3. No need to hunt for information all over the Internet.
From a marketing point of view, I don’t have to tell you how cool this is. If you’re the artist at the center of it all, the “Listen With” button can make people who’s never heard of you before head down to your profile, and go through your bio, your songs and your merchandise. They’ll even get to buy tickets for upcoming shows. Everything will be just one click away.
This is the first time since Facebook launched it’s music partnerships that the company does something which lets artists gain fans so easily. Seen in this light, Facebook’s alliance with Spotify was just the beginning of an unparalleled incursion in the music scene. Is 2012 going to be the year in which music goes truly social? With the evidence we have at hand, a case can certainly be made.