Monday, December 29, 2014

First notes (12/29/2014): N.E.R.D.'s first single in four years, more

Posted By on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Editor's Note: First Notes is a weekly update of recent happenings in the world of music.

* N.E.R.D. released its first single in four years — "Squeeze Me," recorded for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. N.E.R.D. is made up of Pharrell and the Neptunes. The band's last album was Nothing, released in 2010.

* Singer Joe Cocker, 70, died of lung cancer on Dec. 22. Known for his gritty voice and energetic style of performing, Cocker turned the Beatles "With a Little Help From My Friends" into a soulful masterpiece.

* Little Jimmy Dickens, 94, a Grand Ole Opry member since 1948, has been hospitalized in critical condition. He was admitted with an undisclosed illness on Christmas. He last performed at the Opry as part of his 94th birthday celebration on Dec. 20.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Live review: The Black Keys, Time Warner Cable Arena (12/12/2014)

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 4:34 PM

The Black Keys, St. Vincent
Time Warner Cable Arena
Dec. 12, 2014

The Black Keys
  • The Black Keys

If you were at the Bojangles' Coliseum show two-and-a-half years ago, you saw the majority of the Black Keys setlist they performed on Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Outside of six songs — four of which are from the band's latest album, Turn Blue — the songs remained the same. It's always bizarre to me when a talented band continues to mine the same ground instead of spreading its wings on a few more rarities and fan favorites.

Casting aside my pet peeve of bands not changing up a setlist, that Bojangles' show also gave singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney time to harken back to the old days and perform a couple songs as a duo. There'd be none of that this time around. The Black Keys have officially transformed into an arena rock band, backed by the formidable bass playing of Richard Swift and keyboard work of John Clement Wood.

But these are minor complaints. The Black Keys put on a solid rock show, complete with 17 moving video screens, blankets of lighting and plenty of singalong choruses to please the throngs of fans filling the venue.

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Live review: Circa Survive, Amos' Southend (12/12/2014)

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Circa Survive
Amos' Southend
Dec. 12, 2014

Circa Survive
  • Circa Survive

An eclectic mix of concert goers filled Amos' Southend to the rafters Dec. 12 to see Circa Survive's headlining tour for the band's newest release, Descensus.

Eclectic is the only way to sum up the kind of audience the five-piece attracts - there was no shortage of the stereotypical emo kid, but neither was it rare to see a hipster rocking the man bun, the guy rocking the beanie and flannel or the girl dressed like a fifties cartoon character either. Circa Survive definitely brings people together for one reason: they play a rocking live show.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

57th Annual Grammy Awards nominees announced

Posted By on Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Nominees have been announced for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards being held on Feb. 8, 2015. Sam Smith and Beyonce are each nominated in five categories with the announcement for Album of the Year set to be announced tonight.

Among the nominees are a few Charlotte connections:

* Marsha Ambrosius & Charlotte singer Anthony Hamilton were nominated for the song "As" under the Best Traditional R&B Performance category.

* Jay Joyce was nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical category. Among the listed credits for Joyce is Charlotte band Matrimony's major-label debut, Montibello Memories.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New album benefits local musician Luke Hill

Posted By on Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM

A new compilation album has been put together to help benefit Luke Hill, a local musician who was the victim of a hit-and-run on Nov. 4, 2014.

A benefit show was held on Nov. 15, but now a digital download has been put together as the fundraising continues. Artists featured on the album include Hill's band Animals along with Junior Astronomers, Flagship, The Business People, Jeremiah Wilde, Warsong, Soils, One Amazin Kid and Deep Sky.

Hill was struck by a car while walking home from work and suffered a broken arm, fractured ribs and a brain bleed. The last update posted says Hill is out of the hospital and headed to rehab to work on speech and his motor skills.

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Who are the 10 richest recording artists in the world?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

If someone asked you to name the top 10 richest recording artists in the world, who would be at the top of your list? Jay Z? Madonna? Taylor Swift? Paul McCartney?

You might be surprised by a couple of names on this list, compiled by Wealth-X.

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