The Week In Music: How Does It Feel To Be 70?
What song do you sing for a person who is turning 70? The proverbial "Happy Birthday," maybe? Better yet, what do you sing if that person is Bob Dylan? With a wealthy catalog of classic tunes dating back to the early '60s, the music industry and media united in a veritable song to celebrate the legendary singer/songwriter's birthday. Rolling Stone dedicated its May issue to Dylan, featuring its list of 75 of his greatest songs and glowing tributes from peers such as U2's Bono, Jim James, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards. (Think you know your Dylan trivia? You can also try your hand at Rolling Stone's Dylan fanatic quiz). BBC Newscompiled an audio slideshow reflecting on Dylan's prolific career. Looking for a different twist on the impact of Dylan's output? 17dots.com posted a list of great Dylan cover songs. And on his actual birthday on May 24 the GRAMMY Museum hosted Forever Young: Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday. The event featured a screening of Murray Lerner's documentary, The Other Side Of The Mirror: Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Folk Festival 1963–1965, and a subsequent panel of music notaries discussing the film. The times, they may be a-changin', but Dylan is certainly anything but forgotten.
Forbes' magazine recently released its Celebrity 100 list, ranking celebrities on entertainment-related earnings and media visibility. While coming in at a robust No. 8, Bon Jovi not only impressively earned $125 million, but the band earned more than young whippersnappers Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Kanye West — combined. "It wasn't some conscious decision to be penny-pinching. I think it's just wise to be efficient," said lead man Jon Bon Jovi regarding his frugal touring strategy. "I know big bands where each of them has personal assistants on the road, each of them has a security guard. We don't have a security guard. Take your own friggin' bags!" While JBJ's touring budget seems to be in hand, don't look for him to be honing his music video game skills on the road anytime soon. "I failed ['Rock Band'] — it buzzed me down," he said. "So I stood up off the couch and I said, 'All right, goddamn it, press play.' They did it again, I failed again, and I said, 'Everybody's going to bed. That's the end of this. Turn that s*** off.'"
The 10th season finale of "American Idol" aired on May 25 with country fans coming out in droves to vote 17-year-old Scotty McCreery through to the winner's circle. McCreery edged out fellow teenage country singer Lauren Alaina with a performance of his debut single, "I Love You This Big," in the final battle that pulled in a show record 122.4 million votes. If there's a saying that says nobody becomes an "American Idol" winner alone, it was true as a colorful cast of performers joined McCreery and Alaina onstage to take the show out with a bang, including Beyoncé, Judas Priest, Lady Gaga, judge Steven Tyler, and former "Idol" winner Carrier Underwood, among others. And it goes without saying that there were likely many "congratulations, dawg," from veteran judge Randy Jackson.
After performing stirring renditions of songs such as "Hold On You," "Somebody Else" and "I Don't Know" on the GRAMMY-winning soundtrack for the 2009 film Crazy Heart, actor Jeff Bridges is musically at it again. Popularly known as "the Dude" in The Big Lebowski and Bad Blake in the aforementioned Crazy Heart, Bridges is gearing up to release his debut album on Aug. 16. With producer (and fellow Crazy Heart collaborator) T Bone Burnett at the helm, the album will feature four original songs written by Bridges, as well as a cast of guest artists that includes Ryan Bingham, Rosanne Cash and Sam Phillips, among others. "I've gotten into my music a lot and I think that's a direct result of Crazy Heart," said Bridges. Looks like he is picking up his crazy heart and giving it one more try.
In more album release news, Mitch Winehouse, father of five-time GRAMMY winner Amy Winehouse, is reigniting his music career. Winehouse, who gave up the idea of a career in music to work as a cab driver so that he could provide for his family, has released his debut album, Rush Of Love, featuring four new songs as well as covers of jazz and lounge tunes, including an interpretation of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "How Insensitive." "The whole idea with the album was I would stand up and be judged by my own work," said Winehouse. "The songs would be standards, but not standards that everybody immediately recognizes." Comments from Amy, or the rest of the Winehouse family, were not reported, but if they asked him to go back to cab driving, we bet he would say, "No, no, no."
Following the May 2010 re-release of the Rolling Stones' No. 1 1972 album Exile On Main St., lead Stone Mick Jagger has something else under his thumb — Super Heavy, a newly formed supergroup featuring Oscar-winning musician/producer A.R. Rahman, the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, and GRAMMY winners Damian Marley and Joss Stone. "They all thought it would be interesting and great fun to go into the studio and play some music," said a representative on behalf of Jagger. Details regarding an official album release and tour have yet to be confirmed, but with this all-star (read: eccentric) cast, it sounds like the group is ready to paint the town black. A formal comment from Keef is pending.
With his latest venture, TWIM favorite Justin Bieber is looking to freshen things up for the ladies. In anticipation of the official launch of his new female perfume, Someday, the Bieb released a teaser commercial in which he appears with a blonde female friend. Upon spraying the perfume, Justin magically appears to inhale the heavenly aroma emanating from her neck and proceeds to whisk her away on a dreamlike sunset-filled ride through the sky. If you're sold already, you can purchase a limited-edition bottle now. For those with more patience, Someday will be available in department stores such as Dillard's, Macy's and Nordstrom beginning June 20, as will matching hairspray and lotion. While there is no word on whether this scent is strong enough for a man, male Bieber fans may want to give it a shot anyway. After all, according to its official description, the perfume makes "those who wear it irresistible."
Adele may be riding high with her No. 1 hit "Rolling In The Deep" and the year's best-selling album, but it would seem arenas or festival bills are unlikely to show up on a future tour itinerary. "We had three nights on hold at the O2 [in London] and I was like, 'I won't play a festival,'" said Adele in an interview with the UK's Q magazine. "You think I'm gonna play a f***in' arena? Are you out of your mind?' I'd rather play 12 years at [small venue] the Barfly than one night at the O2!" Venue preferences aside, Adele also does not envision endorsing products anytime soon."I think it's shameful when you sell out," she said. "It depends what kind of artist you want to be but I don't want my name anywhere near another brand. I don't want to be tainted or haunted." It looks like a perfume endorsement is not in the cards for Adele, so perhaps she'll just have to settle for the Bieb's Someday.
Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Scotty McCreery's "I Love You This Big (American Idol Performance)" is No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart.
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