The Fillmore in San Francisco has hosted many timeless concerts over the years, but now it’s storied walls are experiencing a new type of live music celebration.
Heavy-metal trailblazers Metallica hosted the first of their four 30th anniversary celebration events Monday night, in a spectacular event that even featured a cello ensemble covering Metallica classics. Easily put, this was a special arrangement from the band to the fans, unlike anything ever seen before.
To exemplify how special this event was, audience members had to win a fan club lottery for tickets, drawing Metallica die-hards from as far as Finland. The rewards were fruitful though, as former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted made an appearance and mingled with fans, comedian Jim Breuer led a series of game shows such as “Name That Riff” and a Metallica museum was erected, showcasing the old concert posters, instruments and other artwork.
It was Breuer who aptly described the night to fans, saying “There’s no other band in the world, not the Rolling Stones, not Van Halen, that would treat their fans the way you’re being treated tonight.”
New Orleans’ own The Soul Rebels rocked in big band fashion, marching onto the stage blasting Metallica songs in brass. Music industry friends, such as Kid Rock, Slipknot and even U2, offered pre-recorded video congratulations, which were projected for all to watch on large screens.
As if all that wasn’t enough, James Hetfield promptly announced after three hours of fun, “This is our party. We’re headlining. We’re gonna play. The doors are locked. You can’t escape.” The band took to the stage for a three hour showcase of old classics, never-before-seen live songs, acoustic strip-downs and “Nothing Else Matters,” with the help of a hand-selected audience member who provided guitar support. Newsted even hopped on stage for two songs, “Harvester of Sorrow” and “Damage Inc.”
Metallica fans are arguably some of the most passionate and loyal out there. For the band to arrange a night like this is unprecedented in the lengthy history of the band-fan relationship. Hats off to Metallica.
Even after 30 years they are still conscious enough to recognize that this monster of a legend they have built revolves around and is given life to by those who listen and love it.
It was announced today that singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen will be the keynote speaker at this year’s South by Southwest Music and Media conference, held annually in Austin, Texas. The appearance is scheduled for March 15th, 2012, at the Austin Convention Center.
Via the SXSW website…”Springsteen’s artistry has drawn worldwide acclaim and honors. His recordings include time-tested classics of rock and acoustic-based albums celebrating folk traditions. His live shows are truly fervent celebrations of the communal power of music. As SXSW fosters connection and communication in the music community, this event will undoubtedly further those aims in an unique conference session.”
The event is open to Music and Platinum registrants, as well as registered showcase artists of the festival.
Springsteen joins a list of SXSW keynote speakers that includes Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Lucinda Williams, Robert Plant, Pete Townshend, Smokey Robinson and Neil Young.
Want to go? Conference registration is currently up.
South by Southwest annually features over 2,000 acts from over 55 countries on 90 stages throughout the city of Austin. Some 2012 names have already been confirmed, including Against Me!, Class Actress, Com Truise, Cloud Nothings, The Men, Love Inks and Thee Oh Sees.
As the now tent-less Occupy Wall Street movement surges into the bitter New York winter, renowned musicians from around the country continue to flock to Zuccotti Park to heat things up. (Spiritually of course.)
Jackson Browne, Third Eye Blind and Dawes are expected to perform today, Thursday, December 1st, starting at 12:30 p.m. EST. This news was confirmed by Adam Nelson, of Workhorse, a public relations firm that has been working with OWS.
These appearances follow an impressively growing collection of musicians to make a stop at Zuccotti in the last four months, including Tom Morello, Talib Kweli, Arlo Guthrie, David Crosby and Graham Nash and Pete Seeger.
For a more complete list of musicians who support the Occupy Wall Street movement, you can check out Jeremy Baskett’s column from Tuesday.
Jack White’s Third Man Records is proving to be more than a magnet for talented singers and songwriters. Rather, the label’s reach has expanded to recruiting the talents of Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien.
Now, Third Man Records has exposed the unlikely musicianship of actor John C. Reilly, who releases two singles today alongside singer Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond) and Tom Brosseau. Reilly pairs with Stark in a rendition of the Ray Price song “I’ll Be There If You Ever Want,” while also lending guitar and vocals to the Delmore Brothers’ “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar” with Brosseau.
You can listen to those tracks on the Third Man site now.
Reilly and Stark performed a few songs, including Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner’s “Say Forever You’ll Be Mine,” in Los Angeles this past June. You can find those performances on YouTube.
As far as an entertainment crossover, we give Reilly a thumbs up on this maneuver. After all, his performance as Dewey Cox in the 2007 movie Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story exposed at least some of Reilly’s fluidity with the country music sound. Strangely enough, Jack White even made a cameo in the movie as Elvis Presley.
Funny how things work out sometimes…
One of America’s greatest folk songs endured a historical shake-up this week, as 66-year-old songwriter Don McLean refuted the longstanding story of the origin of his classic song “American Pie.”
The news originally broke via the Poll-Star of Glens Falls, New York this weekend. In it, McLean rejects the legend of him writing the lyrics to the infamous tune on a cocktail napkin at the Tin and Lint in Saratoga Springs during the Summer of 1970. A gold plaque adorns the booth in the local bar, signifying McLean’s original inscription of the folk song.
The song, which would go on to be a No. 1 hit shortly after its release in November of 1971, was written in Philadelphia and performed for the first time at a performance at Temple University.
Various stories sprang from local residents over the years, including bar employees who claimed to have seen and cared for the alleged napkins containing the lyrics.
“Was the song written in Saratoga Springs? The answer is no. The song was written in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” McLean said in the report.
It’s been forty years of tales and testimonies, but McLean’s mythical song about the day the music died has in some ways, served as merely a premonition of the day its own legend would die.
Hell. Still an American classic though.
A Column by Jeremy Baskett
Whether you’re for it or against it, the Occupy Wall Street movement is still gaining steam and making national headlines. What started out as a grassroots movement in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park has led into not only a nationwide movement, but a worldwide protest. Critically acclaimed musicians, filmmakers and writers have already made appearances and contributions at the protest encampments across the country to stand in solidarity with the OWS crowds, but today, new sites have launched to show you who the supporting artists are.
OccupyMusicians.com launched today with artists who signed on to the movement. The website is simple, with a statement at the top that reads, “We, the undersigned musicians and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.” What follows is a long list of musicians who have signed on, as well as their credentials. Most seem unfamiliar, but there are some big standouts, such as Talib Kweli, Tom Morello, Amanda Palmer, Lou Reed, Jello Biafra, Thurston Moore and Ian MacKaye, just to name a few.
Though there are shortcomings of more major artists, there is no telling who may sign on in the weeks to come. The organizers of the site plan to arrange performances at the protest sight, which has already been done with performances at Zuccotti Park by Tom Morello and Jeff Magnum of Neutral Milk Hotel, though he was not yet an official signer to the site.
The site also links to affiliated sites of the like, such as Occupy Writers, Occupy Filmmakers, and Occupy Comics.
Check out Tom Morello singing “The Fabled City” at Occupy Wall Street in New York City
Speaking of news coming out of Greensboro, North Carolina today, another local band is making some new wave noise in their latest demo.
The band grew from playing a number of Kent’s acoustic-written works, before translating them into a heavier package, drawing influence from the likes of the Replacements, the Hold Steady and R.E.M. Their latest demo is a live recording taken from their sessions at Legitimate Business Studios in Greensboro and features three originals as well as a cover of the Ramones’ classic “Poison Heart.”
“Wallpaper” certainly stands out as a powerful original. A jangly, fast-driven response to the recession of the new wave sound of the 21st century. Kent’s vocals, coupled with the support of his brother Michael, are reminiscent of Bloc Party, minus the British accents.
This band is still flying far under the radar, so go give them a listen on their demos and or E.P.’s a listen on their Facebook page and be the first of your friends to recommend them.
The Radio Reds were formed by Stephen Kent, alongside guitarist Patrick Boyd. Aaron Schimmel were later join on drums, with Michael Kent serving as bassist and supporting vocals.