Entries tagged with: Sirius XM

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photos by PSquared Photography; words by Bill Pearis

Phoenix @ MHOW 4/5/2013
Phoenix

Phoenix have the most amazing drummer. His name is Thomas Hedlund, he's not even an official member of the band, but he's toured with them since at least the last album and he's absolutely essential to their being such an electrifying live band. Dude is a monster behind the kit, attacking it with a ferocity you just don't see in pop and his energy is Phoenix's dynamo.

That energy was needed, a bit, yesterday (4/5) for the band's surprise, free show at Music Hall of Williamsburg which was being taped by Sirius/XM to air on the satellite radio network next week. (The band are in town for an SNL appearance tonight.) The show started at 6 PM, which is not your normal Friday concert time (though I could certainly get used to having a show be over at 7:30) and folks maybe weren't given enough time to prime. But by the time of mid-set appearance of "Girlfriend," the crowd was ready to dance.

That said, Thomas Mars had no problem working the crowd. Dressed as usual in low-slung jeans and an untucked oxford, his preferred stage position was standing on top of his monitor, a move that never failed to elicit screams. He also jumped into the crowd for a couple songs, spent most of the new album's mostly-instrumental title track (which was smooshed with "Love Like Sunset") laying on the stage resting his head against that monitor, and finished the night atop the soundboard in the back of the room, thanking the crowd.

Current single "Entertainment" opened their MHOW set, which was rather heavy on the new album, still two weeks away from release. Bankrupt! is awash in glistening, '80s style synths and I'm not sure if it has anything as immediately winning as "Lisztomania" or "Consolation Prizes" but a number of songs wedged into my brain last night: "The Real Thing," with its "In the Air Tonight" backbeat; and the ELO-ish disco of "Trying to Be Cool" sound like singles to me. "SOS in Bel Air" is pretty catchy too. We got most of Bankrupt! -- minus record's two closing songs "Borgeois" and "Oblique City." The band seemed to be having fun playing the new material, at least from the side of the stage I was on. Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz was all smiles all night.

There were also established favorites too, banging out "Lasso," "Lisztomania," and "Long Distance Call" early in the set and finishing the night with "Armistice" and "1901" from Wolfgang Amedeus Phoenix and then an encore of "Countdown" and "Rome." I woulda liked to have gotten "Consolation Prizes" and "Everything is Everything," but those are quibbles. Really good show... and over before dark.

This was, of course, a very small place for them to play (though they did it last time around too) and their two other upcoming NYC shows are increasingly large: The Apollo on May (sold-out) and then Barclays Center on October 2 (tickets). And you can watch them tonight on SNL. Look out for the drummer.

More pictures, plus the setlist and a couple videos from Music Hall of Williamsburg, are below.

Continue reading "Phoenix played Music Hall of Williamsburg (pics, review)"

Sirius

Hard to believe, but our BrooklynVegan "Blog Radio" show has been airing weekly on satellite radio for over 6.5 years. It started on Sirius which then merged with XM and became SiriusXM. The station, which was originally "Left of Center" on Sirius, is now called SiriusXMU (on SiriusXM). You can currently hear the two hour show on the "indie/college" station every Wednesday at noon EST and again at midnight that night (which is technically Thursday morning in Eastern Standard Time).

At some point years ago I brought on like-minded music lover Dominic (Nick) Masi to be my co-host, and to cover when I couldn't make it. Now, though I still may pop in occasionally (my New Year's resolution!), Nick has taken over completely, hosting the show week to week with a selection of music you'll find on BrooklynVegan.com and on his own iPod. Recently Nick also started hosting a show called "Cover Me" (all cover songs) on Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, and other programs on the network too.

In his spare time, Nick now tour manages members of Odd Future - a job which was an offshoot of his huge passion for hip hop (and traveling around the continent in a van).

What were Nick's favorite records and songs in 2012? We asked him and he gave us a list of his top 10 albums and "top 15 hip hop songs of the year that don't feature 2Chainz, Kanye, Drake, Rick Ross or (fill in the blank with your favorite rapper you've seen on every remix this year)."

You can check out both of Nick's lists, along with videos or streams for each song on his hip hop list (Odd Future songs included), below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan SiriusXMU host Nick Masi's Top 10 Albums and Top 15 Hip Hop Songs of 2012"

by Andrew Frisicano

Bruce Sprinsteen @ the Apollo (Springsteen.net)
Bruce

For those who were lucky enough to get tickets (a mix of celebrities, press and SiriusXM staff and subscribers), the show was a chance to see the E Street band play a two-plus-hour set in a venue a fraction the size of its upcoming stadium shows. Their show on Friday, March 9th included a couple of firsts for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The gig a private show hosted by SiriusXM Radio and streamed on their E Street Radio channel (which BrooklynVegan Blog Radio host Nick Masi also hosts a show on), was their first at the Apollo Theatre. It was also the first full show with new sax player Jake Clemons, Clarence's nephew. The presence of the recently-departed Clarence and that of the stage's past stars were felt throughout the night. Those touches added some weight to the event, which otherwise focused on prepping the band for their tour behind the new, somewhat uneven Wrecking Ball.

The show started with a nod to James Brown's Live at the Apollo, with a version of its opening fanfare delivered by Springsteen (who called himself "the hardest working white man in show business"). Before the end of the night the band further paid tribute to the Apollo's legends by playing the Smokey Robinson-penned Temptations song "The Way You Do the Things You Do," Wilson Pickett single "634-5789" and Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin.'" For the latter, the last song of the night, Bruce kneeled down while Steven Van Zandt draped a black towel over his shoulder and began to lead him off stage a la Brown's legendary cape routine. Bruce rushed back to the center to sing a few more rousing bars.

During "The Way You Do the Things You Do," which began as an a cappella number that brought the group's numerous backup singers to the front of the stage, Bruce flubbed a cue, which he joked about, clearly embarrassed, remarking "Aw I fucked it up." That segued into "634-5789," during which the boss ventured into the theater's boxes and balcony (video below).

Bruce Sprinsteen @ the Apollo (ChuckGarfien)
Bruce

Being a warmup show for the Wrecking Ball tour, and promotional show for the album, the set was naturally heavy on songs from that record. Some, like the title track "We Take Care of Our Own," and the Irish-inflected "Death to My Hometown," sounded quite good, with a shimmery Stax-like horn sound. Others--"Jack of All Trades," "Shackled and Drawn"--were patiently weathered by the crowd. But the vintage Bruce morsels were worth the wait: Darkness on the Edge of Town highlights "Badlands" and "Promised Land" and Born to Run classics "Thunder Road" and "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" (sadly, the fever pitch highs of some of those songs were also accompanied by crippling feedback).

Personally, the highlight for me was "Mansion on the Hill," a quiet song off Nebraska, which Bruce fingerpicked, harmonizing with wife Patti Scialfa (Soozie Tyrell added some violin color, too).

Bruce stopped several times to shout out Clarence, beckoning the crowd to cheer the missing member during a roll call. Again at the end, he called for cheers after stopping "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" after the line "When the change was made uptown/And the Big Man joined the band."

He also joked about his recent Fallon performance, remarking "This is our first non-televised gig. Wiggle wiggle wiggle."

The band has another tour warm-up show in Austin next week at SXSW, where Bruce will give the keynote speech which you'll be able to stream online. They're back in the NYC area for shows at the Izod Center and MSG starting on April 3rd (and another at Newark's Prudential Center on May 2nd).

Videos from the show, including Bruce venturing into the theater's balcony, and the set list are below...

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band played the Apollo (review, video, setlist & a few pics)"

Bruce

Bruce Sprinsgteen & the E Street Band play a private SiriusXM show at the Apollo tonight (3/9). If you're not one of the lucky that got, or won, a ticket from the satellite radio provider, you can always listen on E-Street Radio (if you are a subscriber).

Lionel Richie (!) will be honored at the same Harlem venue on June 4th as part of the Apollo Spring Gala 2012. As you can imagine, tickets are not cheap. They go on sale to the general public Sunday morning.

Lionel Richie is also playing SXSW this month. So is Bruce (and both at ACL Live's Moody Theater where Radiohead just taped an episode of the Austin City Limits TV show). Jay-Z plays there during SXSW too.

Hal Willner & Lou Reed
Lou and Hal

As previously mentioned, music producer Hal Willner will present a concert in Prospect Park celebrating the 50th anniversary Freedom Riders. PBS recently premiered a film on the same subject...

"FREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives--and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment--for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism."
You can own the movie on DVD.

The free Celebrate Brooklyn! concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell on June 16 still hasn't revealed its entire lineup, but some more artists were announced including Lou Reed. If you've never been to a Hal Willner show, it's usually many different artists playing various covers over the course of a long show. The theme this time is music from the civil rights movement, "songs that inspired, illuminated, and sprang from the tumultuous aftermath of the Movement." and announced artists are Lou Reed, Rosanne Cash, Toshi Reagon, Tao Seeger, Geri Allen, and Steven Bernstein. More TBA. The artists will also hold a discussion before they perform. The event is free and begins at 7 PM.

Laurie Anderson is not listed on the lineup, maybe because she'll be on tour in Europe, but you can catch her in an outdoor setting with Bill Laswell at Castle Clinton on June 30th. She also plays Lincoln Center Out of Doors on August 10th.

MEANWHILE, Andrew Bird kicks off Celebrate Brooklyn! tonight at 8 PM (directions HERE). Although thunderstorms were initially in the forecast, as of now it's looking pretty clear. No opener.

Speaking of Lou Reed and Hail Wilner, the May 24th installment of their New York Shuffle Sirius radio show featured songs by Little Scream, Tyler, the Creator, Gang Gang Dance, Middle Brother, tUnE-yaRds, and more. Video of Lou & Hal recording an older show edition of the show, below...

Continue reading "Lou Reed playing Hal Willner 'Freedom Riders' show in Prospect Park (where Andrew Bird plays for free tonight)"

showalter

Next Tuesday, February 22nd at 4pm Michael Showalter will be coming in to tape Unmasked with Ron Bennington!!

If you'd like to be in the studio audience, send us a reply on our twitter account, @UnmaskedShow requesting tickets and let us know whether you'd like one or two tickets! We only have a few seats available so please only request tickets if you know you can make it, and only request two tickets if you know for sure you are bringing someone with you.

You will need to be able to be in Midtown Manhattan by 3:30pm on Tuesday February 22nd. send all requests to @UnmaskedShow!

Unmasked happens at the Sirius-XM studios (49th St and 6th Ave) (where BrooklynVegan Blog Radio also happpens). Ron Bennington is Ron of Ron & Fez. The Michael Showalter taping happens two days before he kicks off the tour to promote his book at the Union Square Barnes & Noble which is three days before his now-sold-out show at the Bell House.

Michael Showalter just appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon one night after Odd Future did. Fred Armisen appeared on a previous Unmasked, and was on Fallon recently too. Videos of all of it and all Michael Showalter dates below...

Continue reading "attend a taping of Unmasked w/ Ron Bennington & Michael Showalter (who leaves on tour soon)"

photos by Ryan Barkan

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney

"His band is the same it's been for most of the last decade, with the guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, the keyboardist Paul Wickens, and the drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.; in a way their canned grimaces and corny gestures seem perfect, because they illustrate how much of the audience might dream of playing if given the chance to get on stage with Mr. McCartney, showing off but hitting all the marks. It's a machine that doesn't change arrangements from year to year, mostly replicating the original versions, down to the string parts on "Eleanor Rigby" as recreated by Mr. Wickens' synthesizer. It's also a loud, clear, efficacious, and sometimes bashing band, aiming to the back rows." [NY Times]
Paul McCartney played the legendary Apollo last night, 12/13, to a house filled with Sirius XM subscribers and celebrties. If you are a satellite radio subscriber but didn't have a ticket, maybe you listened at home. Some pictures from the show and the full setlist below...

Continue reading "Paul McCartney played the Apollo Theater (pics & setlist)"

Best

I wonder what he thinks of Wavves. Listen to him say it in the Sirius XM clip below...

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen likes Best Coast... "

Paul McCartney

"On December 13 at 8:00 pm ET, history will be made. For the first time in his legendary career, Paul McCartney will perform at Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater, at an exclusive live concert event for SiriusXM listeners. This very special, invitation-only concert will celebrate SiriusXM reaching 20 million subscribers, a milestone the company expects to achieve shortly. As a thank you to its loyal subscribers, SiriusXM will broadcast the concert LIVE nationwide, as well as offer a few lucky subscribers the opportunity to attend this historic event in person." [SiriusXM]
Meanwhile, as you probably heard. "The Beatles dominated the iTunes chart on their first day of digital sales, with Hey Jude proving the most popular download." A press release they sent out about that on Tuesday can be read below...

Continue reading "Paul McCartney playing satellite radio event @ the Apollo, Beatles doing great on iTunes"

GWAR

Gwar's new album "Lust in Space" was released in August, and theyre' now on tour to support it. That tour ends in NYC with a show at Irving Plaza on December 13th. Tickets are on sale. All dates and some videos of Oderus appearing on Fox and Sirius, below...

Continue reading "Gwar - 2009 Tour Dates w/ The Red Chord (Irving Plaza)"

photos by Tim Griffin

The New York Dolls

""Oh, this is beautiful!" said singer David Johansen, who emerged before a wall-to-wall crowd in a snug black blazer and skin-tight jeans, with a silky leopard print scarf draped around his neck, and who, along with guitarist Syl Sylvain, is one of the band's two surviving original members. (Guitarist Johnny Thunders died a mysterious, drug-related death in 1991, and bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane passed away from leukemia just weeks after the British singer Morrissey reunited the Dolls for a concert in London in June 2004.)

"This is beyond my wildest dreams," the rail-thin Mr. Johansen continued a few songs later. "Did you hear that shit? That was good. Let's dance to this next one!"

To the disappointment of some in the audience, almost all the songs played during the roughly 45-minute set were new, save a half-blazing, half reggae-esque version of the iconic Dolls' anthem "Trash" during the encore. But the performance was, after all, a record release party for the band's new disc, 'Cause I Sez So, as well as the launch of Mr. Varvatos' new rock 'n' roll show on Sirius Radio, which was broadcast live. [The New York Observer]

Crowd members included John Varvatos (obviously), Carrie Dee English, Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba (who also has a show on Sirius-XM and will be performing at the upcoming Joey Ramone birthday bash), Racheal Ray (who is the host of her husband's show at Pianos tonight), Justin Tranter from Semi Precious Weapons (who opened for Lady Gaga at Terminal 5 on Saturday night), and rock photographers Leee Black Childers, Bob Gruen, and Tim Griffin. More of Tim's pictures from last night's show (5/5), below...

Continue reading "NY Dolls @ the John Varvatos Store (ex-CBGB) in NYC - pics "

Satellite

Liberty Media Corp. will invest $530 million in financially struggling satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc., the companies said Tuesday.

The investment on the first business day comes after Sirius warned it could file for bankruptcy as early as Tuesday if it cannot successfully negotiate with its debt holders.

As part of the deal, Liberty will provide a $280 million senior secured loan to Sirius, $250 million of which will be funded on Tuesday. Sirius will use the proceeds of the loan to repay $171.6 million of its maturing 2-and-a-half percent convertible notes that had been due Tuesday. The rest will be used for general corporate purposes.

The loan bears a 15 percent interest rate and matures in December 2012.

The second phase of Liberty's investment provides another loan of $150 million to Sirius's subsidiary XM Satellite Radio. Liberty has also agreed to offer to buy up to $100 million of the loans outstanding under XM Satellite Radio's existing credit facilities from the lenders. [Yahoo News]

In related news, an American satellite collided with a Russian satellite.

Transistor Radio

..But now Sirius XM, the satellite radio company, has problems with much bigger price tags. It has hired advisers to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing, people involved in the processsaid.

That would, of course, be a grim turn of events for the normally upbeat Mr. Karmazin, Sirius XM's chief executive, who had hoped to create a mobile entertainment juggernaut with stars like Howard Stern.

It is unclear how a bankruptcy would affect customers. Service is unlikely to be interrupted, but the company might have to terminate contracts with high-priced talent like Mr. Stern or Martha Stewart.

A bankruptcy would make Sirius XM one of the largest casualties of the credit squeeze. With over $5 billion in assets, it would be the second-largest Chapter 11 filing so far this year, according to Capital IQ. The filing by Smurfit-Stone, with assets of $7 billion, has been the year's biggest to date... [NY Times]

Bob Dylan

Sirius XM Radio, the pay-radio marriage of the two former satellite services, formally combined their program lineups Wednesday.

Some channels from each service went away in the merger, with Sirius and XM Radio subscribers each getting new channels from the other service. Some channels will be moved and/or re-named.

Sirius XM said there will be no increase in the subscription fee or need to change or upgrade existing radios for the basic service, but that doesn't include the "Best of" packages.

XM subscribers will have to pay extra if they want a "Best of Sirius" package with such premium draws as Howard Stern, Martha Stewart Living, Playboy, NASCAR and the NFL. Sirius subscribers will have to shell out more for a "Best of XM" lineup that includes Oprah Winfrey's Oprah & Friends, the NBA, the NHL the PGA and The Virus, which is home to Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia.

Among the Sirius channels going away are Movin' Easy, Punk, Sirius Disorder, The Strobe, Boombox, Backspin and Universo Latino. XM channels being retired include XM Sports Nation, the Weather Channel, XMX, X-Country, Fungus, Rhyme, Raw, Beyond Jazz, Fine Tuning, The System, Chrome, Viva, Aguila, Caricia. [Chicago Tribune]

In case anyone was wondering, "Blog Radio" survived the cut. Indie/Alternative station Left of Center (Sirius) merged with XMU (XM) to form the new Sirius-XMU, which, although its name is closer to "XMU" is actually more like "Left of Center" (Blog Radio included). The new lineup for Sirius can be found here. The new XM lineup can be found here.