Fin Greenall, more famously known as UK singer-songwriter Fink, tours in a bus just like every other mid-level musician out there.
But if it were up to him, his ultimate tour would go a little something like this: roaming through the English countryside or vast stretches of North American highway on a motorbike, with the rest of his band and gear following in a van behind him. Granted he lifted most of the idea from biker-metal band Slayer, Greenall can’t be blamed for inventing a rock star fantasy to give an edge to his gentle acoustic guitar-wielding persona.
He muses for a moment about the very bad-ass nature of such a tour, blithely tallying the unpleasant logistics involved. But Greenall isn’t about to let a stiff behind and a few bugs in his teeth cramp his style.
“The problem with fantasies, the reality is that they’re a bummer,” says Greenall. “Sometimes you gotta go, ‘Well yeah, in Easy Rider those bikes look pretty uncomfortable. But you still look pretty fucking cool when you’re driving down the street.’”
It seems an unlikely way to start an interview with the angel-voiced tenor from Brighton, England. Yet Greenall somehow morphs the motorcycle daydream into an allegory for his music career, and ultimately, his life.
“You have to find the balance between what is doable and ‘Actually, that would suck,’” Greenall tells andPOP. “I wouldn’t be doing music at all. [People said] ‘Dude, you’re not going to be able to do it.’ And I said, ‘Well, fuck it. I’ll do it anyway.’”
How many people does it take to shut down a New York City block and cause a riot? Two, provided they are armed with a synthesizer, drum machine and a discography under the guise of Mstrkrft.
It’s true, Toronto’s electro-house darlings were slated to play a club in NYC two weeks ago and oversold the venue so much that more than 2,000 hipsters were stuck in line outside. But the hype surrounding the DJ duo drove the mob into frenzy, inciting a riot that was eventually quelled by the NYPD itself.
“It was a pretty proud moment that we double-sold the club and had a street in New York City closed down, even if just for a few hours,” Jesse Keeler, one half of Mstrkrft, tells andPOP. “The fact that that’s happening … that takes a long time to build.”
Mstrkrft was born in Toronto in 2005, storming clubs and parties with their take on the burgeoning electro-house trend. After dominating the GTA scene, the duo made up of Keeler and Alex Puodziukas (otherwise known as Al-P) stepped up their game.
First came the singles “Easy Love” and “Work on You” before an official LP, “The Looks,” debuted in July 2006. Then came the tours: Canada, North America, the world.
Several of the world’s top music acts are helping to launch the digital music magazine RED(WIRE), an extension of the activist organization (RED) that was co-founded by Bono.
U2, Coldplay, the Killers, the Dixie Chicks and John Legend are among those contributing exclusive songs to the initiative
Proceeds from subscriptions will benefit HIV-infected people in Africa. Appropriately enough, the magazine will kick off on Dec. 1, the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
Subscribers will pay $5 a month for a new issue of RED(WIRE) every Wednesday. Besides an exclusive song from a major artist, each issue will include a spotlight track from a lesser-known musician, a non-music feature that may include video or photography, and an update on how their donations are being used.
Among the featured tracks are Legend’s take on Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” and the Killers’ collaboration with Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant on the Christmas song “Joseph, Better You Than Me.”
Subscribers can also send two free issues to friends, with the promise of a reward if they join RED(WIRE).
“Artists are already saying, ‘I want to give you a track for those people who brought friends in,’” (RED)WIRE founder Don MacKinnon told Billboard. “That’s the biggest idea: using social networking to actually change the world in a unique way.”
After a seemingly never ending two hour finale, Theo Tams of Lethbridge, AB was crowned the sixth Canadian Idol.
Theo was named the winner after a nationwide vote, with Mitch MacDonald of Port Hood, NS named runner-up.
The evening was filled with over-the-top performances from the Idol castoffs and revisiting of old favourites (Theo performed “Sweet One” and Mitch sang “I Love This Town” again).
Jully Black was finally given her rightful praise after being a sidekick to Ben Mulroney all year. She performed for the first time on the show, easily the best of the night.
To top the night off, musical heavyweights John Legend and Mariah Carey also performed. After the confetti had fallen, Theo fought back tears after being announced the winner. “I want to thank Mitch who has become a great friend. Thanks so much,” said Theo.
Theo Tams’ first single “Sing” will be heard soon enough across Canadian airwaves.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Canadian Idol is ending, but whether or not if it’s a good thing, well, I’ll let you decide.
On tonight’s show, Theo Tams and Mitch MacDonald square off in one last attempt to win the votes of the Canadian public before one is crowned the Canadian Idol on Wednesday night.
Theo and Mitch will sing three songs; their own choice, the judge’s choice and the potential winner’s single.
After banter with the judges, Ben brings out the top two, who flew to New York this week to work with John Legend.
After a coin toss, Mitch decided to go first, a questionable move as Theo will now be closing the show. After a session with John Legend, where Legend tells Mitch to control his tone, Mitch MacDonald sings “Paris” by Gordie Sampson.
“What I really like about the performance of that song, the dynamics. Really good job,” says Jake. “I think it had a lot to do with the dynamics of the emotion in it which you portrayed beautifully,” says Sass. “There’s certain things you did with that, that I think are really good. At your best, you do compare favourably to Paul Simon. On the other hand, your signature scoops are a little obnoxious around the edges,” says Zack.
Finishing out round one, Theo Tams chooses “Good Mother” by Jann Arden. Theo ends on the ironic line “I’ve never wanted anything so bad.” “You did a really good job with that. You sing so well,” says Farley. “While I thought it was convincing, I could feel a lot of nerve,” says Zack. “I actually sat here listening to that ‘Wow, this would sound great if you were just singing acapella, that’s how good it was,” says Jake.
Mitch MacDonald is back with his potential winning single, “Where We Begin.” “It’s really refreshing for me to hear you sing loud for so long,” says Farley. “I like your voice when you sing loud. The fact is that your tone is consistent to when you sing quiet and loud. You represent a Mitch lifestyle and I think that’s a valid option,” says Zack. “For me, you didn’t [sell] that song. I don’t think you’re wedded to that song yet,” says Jake. “I think everybody here might agree, how could anyone not love you?” says Sass.
Theo Tams performs his second song; his potential winning single called “Sing.” “You used every trick you had in the book. While it wasn’t as unique as you’ve done, you could’ve sold snow to the Inuit with that,” says Zack. “I don’t know if you put that in yourself or they gave you the song that way, it works for you. Songwise, same as Mitch’s song. Neither are my favourites,” says Jake. “That, to me, was a killer, killer performance,” says Sass. “You just do it well. You’re singing through a prism and all this colour comes out of the other side,” says Farley.
Performing his last song selected by the judges, Mitch MacDonald sings “If” by Bread. “Tonally, it worked for you. The last note, you hit it the way it was meant to be hit,” says Jake. “I thought you did a beautiful job with that song,” says Sass. “If you got flaws and you make it to the finale, those flaws are virtue. The tone was perfect,” says Farley. “I see in your eyes that you don’t think that was your best performance. From top to bottom on this show, were you to be the next Canadian Idol, we’d be proud to have you,” says Zack.
Ending the show with the judge’s pick “I Want To Know What Love Is” by The Foreigners is Theo Tams. “Although that wasn’t my favourite arrangement of that song ever, you still sang it like the pro that you are,” says Sass. “I wasn’t blown by the arrangement off the top, but you can’t go wrong with anything you do,” says Farley. “It’s hard to differentiate between singing something as an artist and singing something that you’re in a competition to win. You’re the best male vocalist we’ve ever had on the show,” says Zack. “It’s going to be a matter of taste. And people have to vote on the one that they like, not who was better tonight,” says Jake.
And that’s a wrap. The two-hour finale, where Theo Tams or Mitch MacDonald will be crowned the next Canadian Idol starts Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST with performances by Jully Black, Hedley, John Legend and Mariah Carey.
Early indication is that John Legend’s second album, “Once Again,” will not succumb to the sophomore jinx, and it will likely end up in the top five of Billboard’s album list when the chart is released next week. It may even crack the top three.
Whether or not it is as successful as his Grammy-winning album, “Get Lifted,” Legend says he is very excited to release the new material.
“It represents a growth for me, an expansion of my musical sound and my lyrics,” he told andPOP at the One x One event in Toronto. “I just felt like this album shows me growing up a little bit and I’m excited for people to hear it.”
Legend worked with A-list producers like Kanye West, Will.I.Am and Raphael Saadiq on the album.
However, unlike “Get Lifted,” “Once Again” only has one West-produced track and relies heavily on Legend’s voice rather than in-studio work.
Watch the new video for “Save Room,” the first single off “Once Again,” the latest album from John Legend, due out Oct. 24.
And check him out on tour!
October 26th – Washington, DC – Hilton Washington
October 27th – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata
October 28th – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
October 30th – New York City, NY – Nokia Theatre
October 31st – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head
November 4th – Boston, MA – Avalon
November 5th – Washington, DC – Cramton Auditorium
November 6th – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
November 8th – Detroit, MI – State Theatre
November 9th – Chicago, IL – Riviera
November 10th – Minneapolis, MN – Quest
November 13th – Boulder, CO – Fox
November 14th – Salt Lake City, UT – Harry O’s
November 16th – Los Angeles, CA – Wiltern
November 18th – San Francisco, CA – TBA
November 20th – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
November 21st – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
November 22nd – Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theatre
November 24th – Dallas, TX – Gypsy Ballroom
November 25th – Houston, TX – House of Blues
November 27th – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
November 28th – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution / Hard Rock
November 30th – Atlanta, GA -Tabernacle
December 1st – Charlotte, NC – Tabernacle
December 2nd – Norfolk, VA – Norva
The first few big-name performers for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards were announced today. Headlining the event this year are Mariah Carey, Kanye West, and John Legend.
The three artists lead the nominees’ list with eight nods each, including album of the year for Carey (“The Emancipation of Mimi”) and West (“Late Registration”). Legend, meanwhile, is up for best new artist and best R&B album for “Get Lifted.”
The Recording Accademy added that other performers will be announced at a later date.
The music industry’s biggest night of the year is scheduled for Feb. 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The awards will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.
John Legend’s dream came true, as he has released a song with Lauryn Hill.
Legend met Hill when he played piano on her breakout track “Everything is Everything,” but their voices had never been recorded together until he released a remix of “So High” last week.
Hill raps for about a minute to start the song, then she alternates singing verses with Legend.
This is Hill’s first recorded material since her MTV Unplugged album in 2002.
She has been working on a new album for several months. No release date has been set.
Legend also released a video for “So High” this week, without Hill.
Some of hip-hop’s top artists– past, present, and future — will perform at this year’s Rochester MusicFest on July 16 and 17.
Boyz II Men, John Legend, Ciara, Faith Evans, Common and Brian McKnight are just some of the artists who will play over the weekend.
Bands will take the stage at 1 p.m. on both days at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, New York, just a 3-hour drive from Toronto.
Tickets (adults: $32 for one day or $49 for 2 days; children: $10 or $17 for 2 days) are available through Ticketmaster.
The festival is offering ringtones of the performer’s songs on its web site, rochestermusicfest.com.
Rochester MusicFest 2005 Schedule
Saturday, July 16:
1:00 ? 1:45 PM Battle of the Bands winner (Rochester)
2:00 ? 2:45 PM Nina Sky
3:00 ? 3:45 PM Jagged Edge
4:00 ? 4:45 PM 112
5:00 ? 5:45 PM Ciara
6:00 ? 7:00 PM John Legend
7:15 ? 8:30 PM Boyz II Men
Sunday, July 17:
1:00 ? 1:45 PM Battle of the Bands winner (Buffalo)
2:00 ? 2:45 PM Fatty Koo
3:00 ? 3:45 PM Raheem DeVaughn
4:00 ? 4:45 PM Lyfe Jennings
5:00 ? 5:45 PM Common
6:00 ? 7:00 PM Faith Evans
7:15 ? 8:30 PM Brian McKnight