Category Archives: Music News

Charles Bradley cancels tour dates due to cancer diagnosis

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires have canceled their upcoming tour dates. In a statement released today, the soul singer, 67, announced that doctors have found a cancerous tumor in his stomach.

Bradley wrote part of the statement:

In the past few months, I have had to cancel a number of shows due to illness, taking me away from my beautiful fans.

My doctors recently discovered a cancerous tumor in my stomach.  

I’m getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I’ve fought through the many other obstacles in my life.

My upcoming tour dates will be postponed so I can concentrate on healing.

Thank you all for understanding. Music is how I share my love with the world, and the love that my fans have given back brings me so much joy. I look forward to seeing your gorgeous faces soon, and to continue to share my love through music.

Bradley has been on the road for much of 2016, but has recently canceled several shows  in light of his health issues. The press release states part of his time off will be for treatment and recovery. 

After Bradley worked as a cook for 10 years, he lived in various cities across the country, playing  at small venues and working menial jobs for about 20 years. His career began again in 1996 under the alias “Black Velvet,” as a James Brown impersonator. He was later discovered by Daptone’s Gabriel Roth. His first single was 2002’s “Take It As It Come, Pt. 1” and “Take It As It Come, Pt. 2.” Since 2011 he’s released three albums, including Changes, out this year.

Read more about Bradley in this 2011 story.

While I haven’t covered much of Bradley’s music on the blog, I’ve admired his music and soulful style, and I hope he makes a quick recovery.

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Filed under Music News, R&B, Retro Soul, Soul, Uncategorized

Hear Justin Timberlake’s new disco hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling”

justin-timberlake-cant-stop-the-feeling

Justin Timberlake tonight dropped the song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from his upcoming album. Via Complex, MissInfo and 2DopeBoyz, it’s got a happy disco beat that rides from beginning to end. Pharrell’s been at work with JT for this new project, and you can easily hear that influence. It’s still Justin Timberlake’s dance sound, and thank god for that.

“I got that sunshine in my pocket,” he says, and no one can argue with that.

Check out the audio here, and you can grab it on iTunes as well. The song was set to premier on Friday but apparently has leaked. A piece of the song was already previewed though.

 

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Filed under Dance, Music News, New Music, New R&B, Uncategorized

Steve Vai offers statement on Prince’s death

I spoke with guitarist, singer and songwriter Steve Vai nearly a month ago for the Union Leader‘s Weekend section to preview their Generation Axe — A Night of Guitars concert at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.

Vai, along with guitarists Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi, will appear at the ballroom on May 7.

But in light of the news that Prince was found dead April 21 at his Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota, and considering Prince’s tremendous impact on other guitarists and the world of music, I reached out to Vai’s representative yesterday to find out how Vai felt about Prince and his legacy.

160421-prince-jsw

Here’s Vai’s statement:

“Deep sadness… Prince, you were extraordinary and we are grateful, but please hurry up back so you can reinvent music once again.”

Watch for my upcoming preview on Generation Axe for Union Leader’s Weekend section.

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Filed under Guitar rock, Music News, My work at Union Leader, Rock, Steve Vai, Uncategorized

Play beats like a pro with a virtual Roland TR-909 drum machine

There’s a Roland TR 909 virtual drum machine floating around on the internet, but it can be hard to track down.

Its address is html909.com, a name that doesn’t sound anything like “drum” or “roland.” I found it through @reaktorplayer on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 11.06.00 AM

On the “HTML-909 Rhythm Composer” you can click on any part of the drum machine you want, selecting bass and snare drum, hi-hat, hand-claps, crashes and rides, for 16 slots. Once you select those, you can pick the tempo and pattern, then save your creation or trash it. I’m still figuring it all out, and my creations are a bunch of gibberish, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun just to mess around with.

The Roland TR 909 drum machine is pretty revered and it’s been used by artists like Aphex Twin, Phil Collins, Moby, 808 State, Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, RZA and Daft Punk.

Some have gone so far as to create a giant physical machine for really large people.

Roland 909 drum big.jpg

The virtual drum machine was created by Teemu Kallio, a software developer from Finland who lives in Berlin.

The virtual Roland drum machine was just one of his projects, and he describes it aptly: “The Roland drum machine is a legendary drum machine from the 1980s and one could say it’s a keystone of techno music. I decided to make a replica of it using HTML 5 and audio API.”

His bio shows no indication he’d ever create a kick-ass drum machine, proof that musical inspiration and creativity can be found anywhere:

I’ve graduated from University of Helsinki at 2010 where I studied Computer Science and Mathematics. I’ve been working over 7 years in IT industry and last 4 years I’ve been building web and mobile applications with HTML5 technologies.

Thank you, Teemu, for giving us the power to be our own Phil Collins.

Thanks to @reaktorplayer too.

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Filed under Demos, Drumming, How Music is Made, Music News, Sound, Techno, Uncategorized, Virtual drum machine

Twin Shadow drummer in serious condition after tour-bus crash

twin_shadow_tour_bus crash
Twin Shadow has released a statement on the multi-vehicle crash its tour bus was involved in on April 17 in Aurora, Colo.
According to www.nbcnews.com, Twin Shadow’s tour bus hit one tractor-trailer, then another, in foggy weather. The crash also involved the tour bus of country band Thompson Square. None on that tour bus were hurt.
According to a statement from Warner Brothers, Twin Shadow drummer Andy Bauer is still in serious condition, while George Lewis, Jr., (Twin Shadow) will undergo reconstructive hand surgery some time this week.
Twin Shadow’s tour dates from April 21 through May 22 have been postponed.
The statement is below:
“Driving on Friday morning April 17th, Twin Shadow’s tour bus hit a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in Aurora, Colorado. The circumstances surrounding the accident are being investigated.

There were 12 people on the tour bus consisting of band and crew. Everyone was taken to two local hospitals. At this time both driver John Crawford and Twin Shadow drummer Andy Bauer remain hospitalized, in serious condition. George Lewis Jr. AKA Twin Shadow will be undergoing reconstructive hand surgery this week.

While everyone involved in the accident recovers, Twin Shadow are postponing tour dates scheduled for April 21- May 22nd.

The band and crew send a heartfelt thanks to everyone in Colorado and beyond who have helped through this difficult time.

We will update you as we have more information.”

http://twinshadow.net/

https://www.facebook.com/twnshdw

https://twitter.com/twinshadow

http://www.youtube.com/twinshadow

http://thetwinshadow.tumblr.com/

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Filed under Music News, Tour Info