Entries tagged with: NWA

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by Andrew Sacher

The best thing we saw on Day 1 of the 2015 fest...

Riot Fest
photo via BrooklynVegan Instagram

Riot Fest Denver kicked off yesterday (8/28) at its new location of the National Western Complex, which (as the mechanical bull and scent in the air reminded you) is usually home to rodeo shows. It's across five stages, one of which is indoors, and also offers carnival rides, Colorado-specific treats like Chronic Candy (though I was told that's only hemp) and more. Like most festivals, it had newer, buzzy bands who played great sets like Speedy Ortiz, Cayetana and The Hotelier, but for me at least, the real highlights were the masses of classic artists we got to see. (Unfortunately one of those, Motorhead, had to drop off at the last minute due to Lemmy's breathing issues. He cut a show short a day earlier in Salt Lake City for the same reason.)

There was a lot to love about Riot Fest Denver day 1, but here's five highlights:

THE GET UP KIDS: It's The Get Up Kids' 20th anniversary, and they don't seem shy about the fact that everyone's favorite songs were written in the '90s because that was mostly what we got. "Holiday," "Action and Action," "Valentine," "Red Letter Day," "Ten Minutes," "Don't Hate Me" and more were played from their classic period and it was a singalong the whole time. The Get Up Kids may have taken an extended period off from being a band, but you'd never know it at this point. They're super tight, they look like they're having a ball on stage, and the crowd is eager to have as much fun as the band is. Their Riot Fest set got off to a rocky start due to sound issues, but it quickly became one of the best sets I saw all day.

TESTAMENT: Of everything I saw, the band who truly got the daytime crowd going wild was '80s-era thrash legends Testament. The pit was going so hard that if you were anywhere near the front you were getting dust in your eyes, and the band delivered expertly. Every extended scream, every guitar solo -- they were flawless. Testament were always smiling, always engaging the crowd, but never at the expense of delivering intense music. People talk a lot about the decreasing interest for rock on major festivals, but between Testament and Anthrax (who took the same stage right after them), fests may just need more classic metal bands.

IGGY POP: Is there anyone as ageless as Iggy Pop? With classic albums dating back to the '60s, he's one of the few people you could safely credit with inventing punk rock, and he hasn't lost that spirit one bit. He runs around stage like he's half his actual age, and genuinely seems like he's giving us every ounce of energy in his body. We got so many favorites -- "No Fun," "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "The Passenger," "Lust For Life," "1969" -- and they all sounded exactly like you'd hope they would. The fact that we get to experience Iggy in full force all these decades later is truly an amazing thing.

ICE CUBE: It's pretty safe to say it's the year of NWA. There's a hit biopic in theaters, the soundtrack to which is Dr. Dre's first album since the '90s, and talk of the groundbreaking rap group is just in the air. So it was perfect timing for Ice Cube to reunite with his old groupmates MC Ren and DJ Yella (like he did at the BET Experience in June) for "Straight Outta Compton," "Fuck Tha Police," "Dopeman" and more classic jams. Sadly (like at the BET Experience) Dr. Dre did not come out, and neither did their pal Snoop Dogg (who did join the group at the BET Experience and plays Riot Fest on Sunday), but it was still a surreal experience to see those three on stage together. And they sounded as fanastic as you'd want. The partial NWA reunion was the real draw, but even when Ice Cube dove into his solo career ("Check Yo Self," "Natural Born Killaz," etc) he made it feel like the G-Funk era was alive and well.

SYSTEM OF A DOWN: Look, when System of a Down were added to Riot Fest, I thought people were going to think it was lame. I mean this is a festival that sold tickets because people wanted to see Iggy Pop, Pixies, The Damned, American Nightmare, Swervedriver and 7 Seconds. These people don't like System of a Down. But not only was I wrong, they had the biggest and wildest crowd of the day. It makes sense that of all the bands to come out of early 2000s nu-metal, System of a Down would work so well at what's largely a punk festival. Most of that stuff was deservedly laughed at by cynics, but SOAD were different. They were weird, and they were way closer to a hardcore band than a pop band. If Refused never broke up, those two might've toured together. And that came across in full force on Friday night. Thousands of people were raging to this band who were playing the weirdest songs that anyone played all day. It was a strange, awesome experience.

Video of Ice Cube, MC Ren & DJ Yella playing "Straight Outta Compton" and more pictures below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver day 1: Iggy Pop, partial NWA reunion, more"

Dr Dre

As you probably know, N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton hits theaters next week (8/14) and the soundtrack to the movie is Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, which is technically the first Dr. Dre album since 1999's 2001. If you're wondering why he scrapped Detox: "I worked my ass off on it, and I don't think I did a good enough job."

The album features appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, The Game, Jill Scott, BJ the Chicago Kid, Marsha Ambrosius, Xzibit and more. It's out now. Dre says he's donating all the royalties from the album to help start a performing arts center in Compton. Tracklist below.

Noisey also has an exclusive 11-minute HBO First Look of the biopic, which you can watch below.

Ice Cube & special guests will be performing what's billed as Straight Outta Compton Remix at Riot Fest Denver & Chicago. No word yet on exactly what's in store, but we also know that N.W.A. are talking about a reunion tour with Eminem in place of the late Eazy-E. N.W.A. members reunited on stage during the BET Experience in June, but Dr. Dre didn't show up to that one. Watch them playing "Fuck The Police" at that show, below.

Continue reading "Dr. Dre's new album 'Compton' is out now; Ice Cube & friends playing 'Straight Outta Compton' at Riot Fest; NWA may tour"

Nine Inch Nails at Jones Beach in August (more by Greg Cristman)
NIN

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 nominees have been announced including The Smiths, Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bill WIthers and Sting (who's also in the Rock Hall with The Police), all being nominated for the first time. Additionally, there's Lou Reed (who's also in the Rock Hall with the Velvet Underground), NWA, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvellettes and The Spinners.

To be eligible, your first release has to be at least 25 years old, and this year both Green Day and Nine Inch Nails are on their first year of eligibility, for the 1,000 Hours EP and Pretty Hate Machine, respectively.

Last year, Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt were all inducted.

Ice Cube @ Bonnaroo 2014 (via @zornphoto)
IMAGE

The story of NWA is being turned into a big budget Hollywood biopic titled, like their 1988 debut, Straight Outa Compton. Behind the camera will be F. Gary Gray who directed Friday and Set It Off, not to mention videos for Ice Cube, Tupac, Outkast and more. As for the cast, Ice Cube will be played by the rapper's real-life 24-year old son, O'Shea Jackson Jr, and The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on the casting of Dr. Dre and Eazy E. Classically-trained Marcus Callender has nabbed the role of Dre; Eazy-E will be played by newcomer Jason Mitchell who landed the role after an a screen test that reportedly brought E's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright (a producer on the film, along with Ice Cube) to tears.

Meanwhile, Ice Cube (who can currently be seen in the #1 movie in America, 22 Jump Street) is doing the summer festival circuit, having just played last weekend's Bonarroo where he performed NWA's "Straight Outta Compton," as part of a medley of '80s rap classics, as well as paying tribute to the late Nate Dogg. Live video from Bonnaroo is below...

Continue reading "Ice Cube played Bonnaroo (video), casts his son in forthcoming NWA biopic (guess who he's playing?)"

The Replacements at Riot Fest Chicago in September (more by Cory Dewald)
Replacements

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2014 nominees (via Rolling Stone), and the list includes Nirvana who are finally eligible (your first single or album had to come out 25 years ago, and their "Love Buzz" cover came out as a single in '88), plus The Replacements (!), Peter Gabriel, The Zombies, Link Wray, Hall and Oates, Yes, Linda Ronstadt, and Cat Stevens, in addition to artists who have been previously nominated, N.W.A, LL Cool J, Chic, The Meters, Kiss, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Deep Purple.

From now until December 10, you can vote for nominees on Rolling Stone, and the winners will be inducted at the ceremony in NYC this April.

Nirvana are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of In Utero this year and The Replacements are in the midst of a reunion.

Kraftwerk at MoMA in April (more by Greg Cristman)
Kraftwerk

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2013 nominees: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Albert King, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, The Meters, Randy Newman, NWA, Procol Harum, Public Enemy, Rush, and Donna Summer.

For the first time in its history, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will offer fans the opportunity to officially participate in the induction selection process. Beginning on Thursday, October 4 and continuing through December 5, the public can vote for the five nominees they believe to be most deserving of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2013 inductees.
The Induction Ceremony will take place at Nokia Theatre in LA on April 18, 2013 and will air on HBO.

by Ryan Barkan

Notorious

The B.I.G.gest music licensing story last week was the release of Notorious, the film based on the life story of Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. As you may already know, a virtual unknown was cast to play Biggie. The film hit theaters Friday and so far has received mixed notorious reviews. Notorious contains a number of Biggie's music; the official soundtrack even contains three unreleased songs (listen to them here).

The movie ended up in fourth place on the holiday weekend box office list, grossing an estimated $24 million. According to Variety, Notorious had the best per-location average of the weekend with $14,652 earned (approx) at each of the 1,638 theaters screening the film. I personally didn't see it this weekend because I was too busy helping Paul Blart Mall Cop take top spot on the weekend draw.

Other Notable Licensing News:

Commuters in Liverpool Station were surprised last week with the spontaneous (yet meticulously calculated) filming of a T-mobile commercial. The spot started with music coming over the loudspeaker and igniting a few members of the crowd to begin dancing. As the songs change (there are eight of them), more dancers join in until the entire station is engulfed in the excitement. The spot was created then on air within 48 hours and was shown as an exclusive premier on BBC 4. The songs in the spot, in order, are: Lulu's "Shout", Yazz's "The Only Way Is Up", Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha", Viennese Waltz, Kool & the Gang's "Get Down On It", Rainbow's "Since You've Been Gone", Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop", and Contours' "Do You Love Me". Watch the spot below.

Another spot out of the UK recently is this lyrically driven commercial for the Ford Ka appropriately using Soundtree's "Go Find It".

The Roots really like Cody Chesnutt; so much so they remade one of his songs ("The Seed") for their 2002 album and even had him play and sing on the record. Not sure if The Roots like Axe products, but the band and brand have mutual love for Chesnutt - his jam "Look Good In Leather" is the feature of a new claymation spot for the Lynx line. Check the spot below.

Continuing with the cool Euro commercials trend, Dutch snowboard gear company Protest uses a great Josh Ritter tune, "To The Dogs Or Whoever", in their new campaign. One interesting jump over to Protest's website finds some more interesting licensing: the brand hopes you will enjoy tunes by The Beastie Boys, N.W.A., The Kooks, and MGMT while you get your shop on. Watch the commercial below.

Lykke LiFox TV show Fringe is running a promo that features Lykke Li's "I'm Good, I'm Gone". Watch it below.

Animal Planet is stepping up its entertainment offerings with a new show called Jockeys. No, it does not have to do with undergarments; it will follow a group of riders and will debut next month on the channel. The promo steps up the cool factor a bit by including Kanye West (and Daft Punk's) "Stronger". Watch the promo below.

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Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing"