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Carlos Santana On Woodstock & The Power Of Music: "These People Wanted The Same Things We Want Today"
"The state of the world is so infected with fear and separation and disharmony, I know for a fact that the frequency of this music from Africa gives people hope, courage and joy," the 10-time GRAMMY winner said
You may have heard that this August marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the music festival still ripe in our social consciousness. It was billed as "three days of peace & music," and whether or not Michael Lang's still TBD Woodstock 50 is able to recreate this, it lives on and embodies everything world-famous guitarist Carlos Santana does. And he's already celebrating it.
The 10-time GRAMMY winner first tapped into the black magic power of his guitar shredding back in '69 on the famed stage at Bethel Farm along with his then-new band Santana. 50 years later, he shows no signs of slowing down—and he is still connected with his musical and spiritual roots. The group is celebrating their big year—it also marks 20 years since they released the 42nd GRAMMY Awards knock-out album Supernatural—with the epic 29 date Supernatural Now Tour.
"We're going to bring a lot of fury and fire [on tour]. Most of the time, we play close to two-and-a-half to three hours, so we're going to honor yesterday, today and tomorrow," Mr. Santana explained in a recent Rolling Stone interview. The group recently released their 25th studio album, Africa Speaks, featuring Spanish singer Buika on vocals for all 11 powerful tracks, on June 7. The band enlisted power-producer, and fellow GRAMMY winner, Rick Rubin to assist, and recorded it at his famous Shangri La Studios. On the tour this new music, along with their endlessly epic catalog, is helping arenas full of people across North America feel something.
"The state of the world is so infected with fear and separation and disharmony, I know for a fact that the frequency of this music from Africa gives people hope, courage and joy. The ingredients and the nutrients from everything that comes from African music makes people dance and rejoice like a revival," Santana said in the interview.
He explained that Afro sounds have always had a special place in his heart and his music collection, and he wanted to make an album honoring the beauty and power of that aesthetic.
"I originally heard 'Africa Speaks' on a Cannonball Adderley record, Accent On Africa. I put the poem in there and Buika put the vocals in it. We basically took these African songs, and I asked permission in every kind of way from the writers, so we got all that with impeccable integrity, then we redid the songs our way," he explained. And with the tour having kicked off already, he's seen its power at work.
"People like 'Breaking Down the Door.' We're in a place that people need rejoicing. People need celebrating. People need romance. Everybody is thirsty for higher consciousness, righteousness," Santana shared. "I can see it because I'm watching the audience sometimes and I can see how they respond to the music. It's like watering the plants after they haven't been watered for months."
While the visuals and music of the Supernatural Now shows offer a nod to Woodstock, on Aug. 17, exactly 50 years since their breakthrough performance, the tour will stop at Bethel Woods Center For The Arts, the venue that lives on the original site of Woodstock '69. If Woodstock 50 happens, the group is booked to headline the fest the day before that. And Santana is ready to tap back into that energy he first felt 50 years ago.
"I'm ready. My band is ready. By the grace of God, we have the clarity. We have the energy. I have more energy than the first time. So we look forward to tearing it out," he told the outlet. He also spoke to what the first event was really about, peace and music, and how it's still so important today: "The first was done, and I mean this in the most respectful way, with a bunch of long-haired freaks that wanted something different than what was happening in Vietnam or politics or religion. These people wanted the same things we want today."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.