Thursday, December 18, 2014

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 8:36 AM
Singer/songwriter Joan Jett performs at The 6th Annual Little Kids Rock Benefit presented by Guitar Center at the Hammerstein Ballroom on October 23, 2014 in New York City. (Getty Images for Little Kids Roc)

The 2015 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced.

The six winners are: California pop punk band Green Day, "I Love Rock 'n Roll" femme rock trailblazers Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, 1970s soul man Bill Withers, 1960s standouts The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, 1980s Texas bluesmen Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, and songwriting giant Lou Reed, who's already in with the Velvet Undergound, but will be inducted as a solo artist.  The latter three are posthumous inductees.

It's always good to have a Beatle avalable at the induction ceremony, which will be held in Cleveland in April, and Ringo Starr will get a special award for "musical excellence." Also, The "5" Royales, the 1950s North Carolina vocal group whose songs "Think" and "Dedicated To The One I Love" were later hits for The Shirelles and James Brown, respectively, are going in as an early influence.

POSTED: Sunday, December 14, 2014, 1:00 PM
The 'Quality Holiday Revue' T-shirt.

“Nick the Knife” is one of Nick Lowe’s nicknames, and “Basher” another, for the way the sharp-witted Brit efficiently pounded out the classic albums he produced for Elvis Costello and Graham Parker, among others, that helped define the 1970s and early 1980s pub-rock and New Wave rock eras.

Lowe was all smooth and suave, however, when he played the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood on Saturday, when the blade-thin frosty haired songwriter brought his Quality Holiday Revue to the Camden County venue, where he was backed by Mexican wrestling mask-wearing instrumental guitar band Los Straitjackets.

Effortless understatement has been the the 65 year old guitarist’s modus operandi during the underrated mellow-down-easy stage of his career that began with The Impossible Bird in 1994.

POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2014, 7:30 PM
D'Angelo performing at Made In America last year. (Photo by Colin Kerrigan)

It's been 14 years since the releae of Voodoo, the sexy, simmering second album by D'Angelo, the soul singing sar born Michael Eugene Archer. It's seems like it's been year's since Questlove, D'Angelo's Soulquarian right hand man, started saying the album, long rumored to be called James River, was "99% done."

Now apparently, it is. On Friday afternoon it was announced that this Sunday in New York, the entire album, now called Black Messiah will be previewed in an event hosted by writer Nelson George. No official announcement has been made, but there's a Tweet being shared around the web with a picture of what seems to be the album cover with Tuesday's date attached.

More clues: The singer's management company posted the video trailer you see below, and Pitchfork reports mystery posters are pasted on walls in Brooklyn with the intriguingly provocative lyric: "All we wanted was a chance to talk / 'Stead we only got outlined in chalk."

POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2014, 3:23 PM
Lana Del Rey.

The Inquirer's year end music coverage is coming in this Sunday's Live Life Love A&E section. My top ten albums and an annotated songs of the year playlist will be in there, along with classical music coverage from David Patrick Stearns and a best of Americana list from roots-rock maven Nick Cristiano.

To read all the insightful and highly entertaining copy, you'll have to wait until Sunday. But in the meantime, here's a Songs of 2014 streaming playlist, with a few extras thrown in to make up for the artists included in the Sunday coverage that don't play nice with Spotify.  

Previously: Grammmy nominees announced Follow In The Mix on Twitter

POSTED: Friday, December 5, 2014, 9:22 AM
Iggy Azalea in her music video for "Fancy." (Image via YouTube/Island)

This year's new twist in the Grammy nominations announcements is to roll them out little by little, tweet by tweet, as today goes by for maximum social media trendability.

The first of the major nominations to be announced this morning by Ed Sheeran and Pharrell on CBS This Morning was Record of the Year. (The other big categories are Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Album of the Year,the  last of which  will be announced on A Very Grammy Christmas Special tonight on CBS.)

And the nominees for Record of the Year are:  Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, "Fancy"; Sia, "Chandelier"; Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"; Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass" and Sam Smith "Stay With Me."

POSTED: Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 11:04 PM
Ian McLagan.

I can't say that I knew Ian McLagan well.

I only met the British piano player, a member of The Small Faces and The Faces and frequent collaborator with the Rolling Stones who died on Wednesday at age 69, this March at the SXSW music festival.

I tagged along with a bunch of friends on a pilgrimage to the barbecue destination of Lockhart, Texas about 45 minutes south of Austin, where the keyboardist had lived for the past two decades.  As fabulous as the BBQ was at the meat lovers mecca of Kreuz Market, the real highlight was hanging out with Mac, the white haired gent from Hounslow, Middlesex who seemed as right at home in South Central Texas as I'm guessing he did wherever he found himself as rock and roll took him around the world.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 12:04 AM
The Edge and Bruce Springsteen perform during the World AIDS Day (RED) concert in Times Square on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 in New York. (Charles Sykes, Charles Sykes/Invision/AP )

What was supposed to be a surprise free concert in Times Square on Monday night by U2 for World AIDS Day turned into something much stranger due to the debilitating injuries suffered by Bono in a Nov. 16 biking accident in Central Park.

Instead, along with performances by Kanye West and Carrie Underwood on a rainy night in mid-town Manhattan, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen subbed for their buddy and sang with the threesome of Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.

“This year is a World AIDS Day like no other,” Bono, said in a statement from Dublin, where is he is recuperating. “The world reached a tipping point in the fight against AIDS – more people were newly added to life-saving treatment than were newly infected with the virus. A lot of people are calling it the beginning of the end of AIDS.

POSTED: Saturday, November 29, 2014, 7:04 PM
Tony Bennett.

Talk about a ring-a-ding dinging endorsement. Frank Sinatra - his pre-recorded disembodied voice, that is - introduced Tony Bennett at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City on Friday.

“Tony’s gonna come out now and he’s going to tear the seats out of the place for you,” said The Voice from beyond the grave. “He’s my man, this cat. ...He’s the greatest singer in the world today, this man, Mr. Tony Bennett!”

Who’s going to argue with the Chairman of the Board? Sinatra's admiration stood Bennett in good stead while Ol’ Blue Eyes was alive, and since his death in 1998, the singer born Anthony Benedetto has had Great American Songbook elder statesman status to himself.

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Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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