President Obama and the First Lady celebrated Motown at a special White House event last week that included a slew of live performances. Mr. Obama, who called Motowns music the soundtrack of the civil rights era... that helped blur the line between music that was considered either black or white - and Michelle Obama, who named Stevie Wonder as her favorite Motown artist and said that in addition to Motown music being a soundtrack, it was also a heartbeat - were treated to a kickoff off of the festivities in the East Room via a Motown medley by Seal, John Legend, Jamie Foxx, and Nick Jonas. Next up, Natasha Bedingfield, Jordin Sparks, and Ledisi channeled the Supremes with their take on Stop! In the Name of Love. Other performers included the legendary Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Sheryl Crow, and yes, Michelles fave, Stevie Wonder himself...
Govt Mule co-founder Warren Haynes is set to release his soulful fourth solo album, Man in Motion, this upcoming May. Recorded in Austin, Texas, the set actually includes some Motown-like R&B musical references (since were on that topic ), including the sounds of Stax and Memphis Hi Records. Citing The Four Tops, James Brown, Ray Charles, and B.B. King among his influences, Haynes said in a recent interview that it was just time to make a soul-inflected album, and hell promote the same with a tour set to kick off in April
English music fans - and plenty of American fans who saved up to attend the big Glastonbury music fest in the UK last year - were disappointed and concerned when U2 were unable to perform last year due to Bonos back injury. But the Irish rockers are back in B-I-G form this year, and are now confirmed and set to join Coldplay and Beyonce as the top three headliners at this years Glasto event. U2 will play the festivals huge Pyramid stage on Friday, June 24, for literally tens of thousands of fans, many of whom camp on the Glastonbury grounds for the privilege of watching loads of great live music
R.E.M. are calling their new studio album, Collapse Into Now, one of their best ever, and its a set that features an eclectic, diverse mix of songwriting as well as special guests. Recorded starting in November of last year, the band worked with acclaimed producer Jacknife Lee on the set at studio locales in Nashville, New Orleans, and Berlin, Germany. And as for those guests, they include Pearl Jams Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith Band guitarist Lenny Kaye, and Patti Smith herself
MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
March 8 has been selected as the release date for that aforementioned new R.E.M. album - but while-u-wait, you can snag a brand new MP3 track, Discoverer, via the bands official website, remhq.com
MINI MODERN BUZZ:
This years Pitchfork Music fest in Chicago has set its dates - get ready to hit Union Park July 15-17 for the 2011 event, tix go on sale March 4...
TV on the Radio have snagged April 4 as the release date for their new album Nine Types of Light, and will promote the album with a short spring U.S. tour
The Black Keys, meanwhile, have announced their plans for not a spring, but a summer tour set to kick off on June 27 in Vancouver, Canada
Phish will begin their 2011 summer tour on Memorial Day weekend this year, with dates only scheduled to run through mid-June
Paramore plan to record a new batch of songs this summer, in preparation for a new album, although a date has yet to be announced
Guitarists Steve Vai and Nigel Tufnel (of Spinal Tap - aka Christopher Guest) teamed up in an attempt to set a new Guiness World record last week, in which the pair tried to teach the worlds largest online guitar lesson
And trying to find their way into your music collection are this weeks new CD releases Dance Gavin Dances Downtown Battle Mountain Pt. II... Avril Lavignes Goodbye Lullaby... Wye Oaks Civilian... Sara Evans Stranger... and Lupe Fiascos Lasers... And thats the buzz for this weeks Modern Rock.
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send em to Kristi at firstname.lastname@example.org