Slow Jammin’ The News:
“The Barackness monster ain’t buying it,” 70s lounge-souled Jimmy Fallon, as the POTUS stood behind the late night host, cheekily playing off all the hype around Obama’s musical favor in the past couple quarters, taking a moment to argue the case to keep congress from increasing rates on student loans. Or at least spike some twenty-something approval ratings. Though he left all of the singing duties to Fallon and the show’s infamous house band The Roots, and Black Thought’s howling call-and-response punchlines – “If congress doesn’t act, it’s the students who pay. The right and left should join on this like Kim and Kanye” – his “POTUS with the mostest” decrying was validated nonetheless. Why can’t all the news be slow-jammed?
The Lone Ranger:
First solo offering, Blunderbuss, just a day old, news of Jack White‘s sequential first foray into a full film score broke via Variety late yesterday, the Nashville-via-Detroit rock hero getting poached by the makers of The Lone Ranger (May 2013) silver-screen revival, on account of starring cast member Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski’s glowing adoration. Though White’s current mono-chromatic western style leanings probably didn’t hurt the decision either. This being White’s first full blank score slate, he did however get some bit-song practice on 2008 Bond film Quantum of Solace, as well as 2003’s Cold Mountain, in which he also acted. And considering Depp’s out to de-oppress the role of Native-American sidekick “Tonto,” and this is a Disney film all said and done, the sonics should get interesting.
The Lost Concert:
“This documentary captures the moment when the Fab Four first rocked America,” so says the Don-esque voice in the trailer for The Beatles: The Lost Concert, a capturing of what Ace Arts and Iambic Media are touting as the first full stateside concert in Washington D.C. circa the winter of 1964 that hasn’t been seen in over 47 years. Of course it was kind of an afterthought in regard to their Ed Sullivan Show taping that ignited Beatlemania in the first place. But it’s still entirely rad to see the mop tops’ first proper gig, especially as the film will be exclusively shown in the same type of movie theatre circuit it was shown nearly five decades ago on May 17 and May 22. Bells and whistles-wise, the film will be preceded by a handful of interviews with journalists, historians and rock contemporaries from Chuck Berry to the Strokes Albert Hammond Jr., chiming in on the significance of the band and the gig (via Rolling Stone).
Mo money…less problems, kind of, as Jay-Z readies the launch of a Facebook game based on the exploits of his projects-to-riches hip-hop tale, dubbed Empire, in which users hustle their way to a $460 million fortune of sorts. A bit entertaining to see how innovators from different genres at the top of their music industry games interact with their worlds. Jack White can launch records via balloon into the air all he wants, but does he have a video game? We’ll leave you to think about that with this copy description from the game: “EMPIRE takes you on a journey from the streets of Marcy Housing in Brooklyn to the hotspots of the rich and famous: from hustler, to entrepreneur, to business mogul. But, don’t forget friends and family, or your karma will suffer. Make the right choices and you can have it all: cash, bling, fame, street cred, and good karma (via Mashable).”
The “First Lady of Song,” jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald, would have been 95 today. And though she wasn’t immediately known for her songwriting credits, especially lyrics, often spinning her vocal magic on compositions written for her, a mention of scat singing usually included a nod to the late-great singer. Wielding a three-octave vocal range, let’s digitally spin her finest doo-oop-dat-dee-bop run ever, which, is of course, a lyrical stamp all her own, and contrary to its title, “Rough Ridin’,” is just about the smoothest ride in mid-20th century jazz put to record.