Could it be?
On MusicThinkTank this week, we had pieces covering how to launch your first indie album, key growth hacks for a building a solid music career, why you really ought to care about metadata, and more.
- MusicThinkTank | Tips For Launching Your First Indie Album
- Jo Pacheco | Spot On Track And Its Benefits To Fans And Musicians
- Mylène Besançon | Simple Growth Hacks For Building A Solid Music Career
- Michelle Lockey | Metadata Schemetadata? Here’s Why You Should Care
- Wallace Collins | Legal Basics For The Diy World
“God, this is ridiculous!” exclaimed a harried-looking woman outside the Beacon Theater on Friday, frustrated with the brouhaha on Manhattan’s typically staid Upper West Side. Long lines stretched in both directions from the theater’s entrance, wrapping around either side of the building. Unlucky but still hopeful fans took advantage of the slow-moving procession to politely request extra tickets, and one savvy businessman set up shop selling buttons that read, “I know we elected an asshole.” “They sell themselves,” the merchant proclaimed proudly, to no one in particular.
The cause of all the commotion? Bruce Springsteen, who was sitting for a Q&A session with Tom Hanks as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Devotees of the musician turned out in droves, dressed somewhere on the spectrum between cut-work-early-on-Friday and E-Street-band-roadie, selling out the theater and filling it with long, deep chants of “Bruuuuuuce.” In between questions, Hanks whipped the audience into a frenzy by offering up the first half of a line from a classic Springsteen songs; fans responded by lustily yelling the second part.
Over the course of an hour, the actor took the crowd through Springsteen’s formative years and the canonical part of his discography; usually the actor would float a softball question, and the rocker, leaning back and to his right, shirt open, legs outstretched, would offer a raspy, pithy response. Hanks: “If I was to be bodacious, [Born to Run] is the moment when you transferred from the specific-ness of Jersey to the heart and soul of the United States of America.” Springsteen: “Well, we weren’t selling any records the other way.”
Here are nine things we learned from the conversation between Hanks and Springsteen.
1. A functioning rock band is frequently a form of dictatorship
“Steel Mill was a democracy,” Springsteen explained, speaking about an early band he played in. “But small unit democracy is very, very tough to make work. So after Steel Mill I decided I was going to go under my own name and play with my own band. It was basically a benevolent dictatorship.”
“In rock bands, you’re in your Twenties, you’re with all these misfits, and everyone is crazy – that’s the people who are drawn to the field. People are hitting one another, fighting, getting thrown in jail, and you’re trying to bail them out. Then you bail one guy out and another guy’s going to jail. [They’re] leaving marijuana plants on the front seat of their car, the car gets towed away, they go to the cops and say, ‘My car was stolen,’ and they get thrown right back in jail. These things are going on constantly and every day. A gentle controlling hand is not such a bad thing.”
“Initially they wanted me to be purely a folk singer… We wanted to make a rock record.”
2. Springsteen’s first album, Greetings From Asbury Park, was the product of a compromise with his label
“Initially they wanted me to be purely a folk singer, which I looked like I was when I came up to John Hammond’s office,” Springsteen remembered. “John wanted it to be a completely solo album with just me and a guitar. We wanted to make a rock record. We settled in the middle with sort of a rhythm section with acoustic music. Dylan and Van Morrison were big influences for me at the time.”
3. Early on, Springsteen didn’t understand the studio process
“The main problem we had [making Born to Run] is we didn’t know what we were doing. We were clueless about making records. Jimmy Iovine, who became the engineer, I’m not sure if he engineered anything before that record. And none us really knew – we just went in and made noises until it sounded right coming out of the speaker.”
4. Young artists must be willing to take risks
“Chance comes along, you dive in no matter what shit you’re diving in,” Springsteen asserted. “You know you come out of this tiny little town and there’s a million musicians … your chances are really, really, really small. You’ve got to have the insane hunger, ego, ambition and desperation to take any chance, anything that comes your way to try to bust your doors down.”
In Springsteen’s case, one of the chances he took early on was not paying any taxes. “I never met anyone in New Jersey who paid taxes,” he recalled. “Certainly no one under 25 was paying any taxes. Years went by and no one was paying any taxes – me, the band, no one I knew.”
“You’ve got to have the insane hunger, ego, ambition and desperation to take any chance, anything that comes your way to try to bust your doors down”
The IRS eventually caught on, and after Springsteen paid his debts, he was a rock star with just $20,000 in the bank in 1980. “I don’t regret it,” he said. “That’s the only chance you have.”
5. Film had a big impact on the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town
“That was the first record that was really influenced by movies … one of my great mentors was Jon Landau, who was a film critic, and he began to get me to watch films. The first I remember is John Ford’s Grapes of Wrath. It touched me deeply, deeply, deeply – I said, ‘I want some of that in my music.’ Then comes ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Racing in the Street.’ Then I got hooked into the noir writers, and that hooked me into The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity.”
6. The River was written as an antidote to post-Watergate pessimism
“The whole country lived through, obviously the Vietnam War, but Watergate validated every crook’s philosophy on the street. All I remember thinking was, ‘I want to do something that was not that. I want to do something that felt in opposition to all that we experienced in a certain way.’ The River was my shot at it. It was about people trying to live straight up and move forward and work hard and support their families and try and find what the meaning of a good life might consist of.”
7. Springsteen is ambivalent about “No Surrender” – and Born in the U.S.A. more generally
“Stevie [Van Zandt, longtime guitarist in the E Street Band] convinced me to keep that song. I remember at the time thinking it’s too glib. It’s too glib. I think I still think that. But Stevie said, ‘No, no, no – it’s about the band, the brotherhood of the band, the fans.’ I gave him the benefit of the doubt. We’ve played it an awful lot ever since. But I was always a little frightened of it. And the whole record I always have mixed feelings about.”
8. Once you put music out, you can’t control the way listeners interpret it
“You have to deal with the [way] that people hear the music: the beat – what was the first thing people were frightened of in rock & roll? The beat – then they hear the chorus. And if they have the time or inclination,
9. Pop music can’t replace lived experience
“Particularly if your art and your music is something you clung to as a live preserver and a safe space, you think you can live there. All artists at some point believe they can live within their art. What you learn is that you can’t. At the end of the day, it’s just your job. It’s just your work. Life awaits you outside of those things.
In music, we make our own little worlds. We make ’em, and we sell ’em to you, and you can live in them for a while, and they can be important – get you through the day, get you through the night, change the way you think, change the way you look, the way you dress, the way your approach your own life. Or they can just thrill you with three minutes of bliss. But they can’t give you a life.”
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Ciara took to Instagram to let the world know that she has finally given birth to a healthy, baby girl.
Sienna Princess Wilson, is the baby’s name, and is the singer’s second child. Ciara penned an open letter to her new born on behalf of herself and her current husband, Russel Wilson, reassuring that they will never leave her side.
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DMX seems to be having a rough ride.
Following the cancellation of a few scheduled shows in California due to a “medical emergency”, the legendary rapper has checked himself into rehab.
X has been struggling with addiction throughout his career, and many fans were concerned for his health after an “erratic” performance at the Brooklyn stop of the Ruff Ryders Reunion Tour. He tried to pull it together during his performance the following day, but apparently it’s time to seek some help.
DMX’s performance at the Connecticut stop of the #RuffRydersReunionTour. A day after his “concerning” performance at the Barclays Center. The attendees at the Brooklyn show said he was visibly under the influence and ranting during silent moments of his set. He seemed to redeem himself last night if you ask 2 Bees, but that’s just my 2 cents 🤷♀️ #ruffryders #dmx #dog #hiphop #rap #belly #tbt
X’s manager issued this statement, apologizing to his fans:
It is important right now that he take some time off to focus on his health so that he can be a better father, friend and entertainer. We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of concern and support that has poured in. We ask that you please keep X in your prayers as he embraces your support.
DMX is scheduled to headline the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival alongside The Lox, so let’s pray for a speedy recovery.
DMX entered a rehab facility Thursday night, just days after he postponed a string of concerts due to a “medical emergency.”
The rapper checked himself into a treatment center in southern California, TMZ reports.
“It is important right now that he take some time off to focus on his health so that he can be a better father, friend and entertainer,” DMX’s manager Pat Gallo said in a statement. “We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of concern and support that has poured in. We ask that you please keep X in your prayers as he embraces your support.”
DMX has long battled addiction and substance abuse issues, with the rapper entering rehab back in 2002 to deal with the issue; two years later, DMX was arrested for drug possession at a New York airport.
Over the next few years, DMX’s rap career stalled as he served jail time for drug possession charges then violating his court-ordered probation by using drugs.
However, the rapper’s last drug-related arrest came in 2013. Since then, DMX experienced a revival of sorts as he joined Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Family Reunion tour, but at a Ruff Ryders and Friends reunion gig at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 21st, the rapper was noticeably incoherent when bantering to the crowd. Soon after, he dropped off the tour.
Ozzy Osbourne will reunite with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde for a summer tour that marks the 30th anniversary of when the two first collaborated together.
The Black Sabbath singer and Wylde first teamed up in 1987 when the guitarist replaced Osbourne’s then-guitarist Jake E. Lee. Wylde contributed to Osbourne solo album stretching from 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked to 2007’s Black Rain, which was the last Ozzy album to feature the guitarist.
“I haven’t fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk’s got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like Black Label Society,” Osbourne said in 2009 after revealing he was parting ways with Wylde. “I just felt like I wanted a change, you know?”
So far, the duo has announced four dates together, their first tour since 2006, although Wylde played sporadically with Osbourne’s Ozzy and Friends unit. The four summer dates will also be Osbourne’s first solo shows since 2015, with “additional dates to be announced in the coming weeks.”
Osbourne and Wylde will be joined on the road by the singer’s go-to touring unit of bassist Blasko, drummer Tommy Clufetos and keyboardist Adam Wakeman.
“I’m so happy to be getting back on the road with Zakk, Blasko, Tommy and Adam,” Osbourne said in a statement. “This is what I do. This is where I belong, on the road.”
The singer also reiterated his plans to record a new solo album that will arrive in 2018; it’s unclear if Wylde will also take part in the recording.
Ozzy Osbourne Tour Dates
July 14 – Oshkosh, WI @ Rock USA
July 16 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Open Air Festival
August 9 – Sturgis, SD @ The Legendary Buffalo Chip
August 21 – Cartersville, IL @ Moonstock Festival
With Virginia becoming more and more of a grounds for new talent to immerse, one of the city’s most respected surging talents, Young Crazy steps up next to let the world know something about the 757. “Who TF Is Young Crazy?!” is a question the entire DMV is asking, at this point. Big Crazo has travelled up and down the east coast in the last year, skating on the heels of his previous drop, “Definition Of Crazy 3: The G.O.A.T.”and grabbing new fans from all over.
Today he drops off the music video to his highly anticipated single, “Lessons” produced by Mike Carey. The Crazy Camp head honcho acts out a familiar scene from the street life many hustlers can feel. Tune in to Young Crazy’s new video “Lessons” and stream his new EP via iTunes.