February 26, 2021

Michele Branches Back To Pop Sound

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | April 15, 2017

Nineties’–era pop–rock singer Michelle Branch hasn’t done much with her own music for the past decade or so, in spite of a country–western side project and a collaboration with Timbaland, but now she’s got a full–length album recorded and ready to go, thanks to the help of Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, who offered to assist with her recording when she ran into him at a Hollywood party. Branch makes a return to her original pop sound on her new set, titled “Hopeless Romantic” and out this week; she also gained a little something extra in addition to the album because she and Carney are now an item.

This year’s Lollapalooza, the massive music festival that takes over Chicago’s Grant Park every summer, has revealed its lineup for 2017, with the four headliners set to be Muse, Chance the Rapper, The Killers and Arcade Fire. But that’s not all, folks – Lolla’s additional stages will present a whole lot more music, including performances from Wiz Khalifa, Run the Jewels, Spoon, Lorde, Ryan Adams, Phantogram, The xx and The Shins. Four–day passes are sold out, but general admission tickets for each day are still on sale. Check out lollapalooza.com for the tickets and a complete schedule.

For you modern rockin’ music fans who enjoy a little country now and then, you’ll want to take note of another concert festival event that’s heading to the DTE Energy Music Theater early this summer. The Summer Hoedown is back and has transferred to the DTE Theater from its prior location in downtown Royal Oak; now you’ve got more room to enjoy this multi–stage event, cowboy boots and all. Headliners for the 2017 edition include Lady Antebellum, Brett Young and Kelsea Ballerini with additional performances from Seth Ennis, Russell Dickerson and more TBA. Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com.

Congratulations to one of northern Michigan’s favorite visiting bands, Grand Rapids outfit The Crane Wives, which made the top 10 list in NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts competition for its new song “High Horse.” New Orleans band Tank and the Bangas won the grand prize in the music video competition to win an on–air performance spot on the Tiny Desk Concerts show, but NPR passed out nods to 10 additional tracks in its 10 More Tiny Desk Concert Entries We Loved list; The Crane Wives track made that secondary cut.

Modern Rock Link of the Week:
What do you give a legendary musician for his birthday? Even more legendary music, if you’re one of the in crowd. Elton John recently celebrated his 70th birthday at a big party in Los Angeles and was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by none other than Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga. Watch and listen to all the fun at https://youtu.be/dkRZHuljwsE.

The Buzz:
Petoskey homeboy Sufjan Stevens is celebrating the second birthday of his most recent album with a live concert film and audio recording documenting his November 2015 performance in South Carolina; Carrie and Lowell Live will be available on YouTube and Vimeo starting at the end of this month.
The Calvin Festival of Faith and Music wrapped up this past weekend in Grand Rapids with performances from veteran musician David Bazan, Chicago rapper Jamila Woods and GR’s own Vagabonds and Vox Vidorra.
The Vans Warped Tour is heading to the Detroit area, with 90 bands playing at the traveling punk rock fest including Hawthorne Heights, Bowling for Soup and more; Warped will make a stop at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Fri., July 21.
Up and coming Royal Oak/Clawson pop–rock band Five Pound Snap just released its debut full–length album titled White Birch Lakes at a release party at the Polish Legion of American Veterans in Detroit.
And if you’re heading to Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids for a concert anytime soon, you’ll probably notice some changes around the venue; the Gardens is planning an upgrade and expansion as part of its $115 capital improvement campaign.

Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com.


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