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Press Pass: Wallace Jr Qualifies Second for Kroger 250
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Press Pass: Wallace Jr Qualifies Second for Kroger 250
Press Pass: Wallace Jr Qualifies Second for Kroger 250
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Gogol Bordello - Gogol Bordello
GOGOL BORDELLO BIO “I’ve come full circle and I’m comfortable being a total outsider,” says Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz, explaining the philosophy behind the band’s new album, Pura Vida Conspiracy. Like everything they’ve ever done, this outing is an uncategorizable blend of international influences, anchored by the gypsy rhythms Hutz grew up with in Ukraine. “Most people are looking for a box to put stuff in,” he says. “I try to avoid it. The message of this record is the quest for self-knowledge beyond borders and nationalities. Every culture is a useful mask, but it is just a mask. To get to know your actual human self, you have to get behind all the masks. With all the time I’ve spent in Latin America, living and loving, I realized I’ll never be Argentinean or Brazilian, just like I’ll never be Ukrainian. If you have true human spirit, you can’t fit into any genre, nationality or culture. To be a true citizen of the world, you can only be an ultimate outsider.” Hutz chose Pura Vida Conspiracy as the title because it represents everything the band has been moving toward since they first formed over a decade ago. “We’re not a whimsical band with a whimsical message and some languages offer things that others don't. As I made my way through Spanish, the phrase ‘pura vida’ - pure life - struck me. In Spanish, ‘pura vida’ has the gusto that true life should have, as opposed to words in English, French or Russian. It sums up my need of joining fragmented parts and pieces to create a worldwide consciousness. It’s what we’ve had in mind since the first song on the first Gogol Bordello album.” The band did pre-production on 30 songs at studios in Mexico, Paraguay and Burlington, VT narrowing it down to the most compelling tunes for the album. The arrangements were done on the fly, with the musicians contributing ideas from their own areas of expertise. “Our sound comes from being a group of polyamorous musicians. The style comes from musicians born and raised in various elements, like (bass player) Thomas Gobena’s Ethiopian meters and (Russian violinist) Sergey Ryabtsev and (folkloric Russian accordion player) Yuri Lemeshev’s palette of colors. Everyone does their own thing to keep the train moving.” Andrew Scheps, who was the recording engineer on 2010’s Trans-Continental Hustle, the band’s last album, stepped into the producer’s chair and helped them capture the feel of their vibrant live performances. “Andrew is a saint,” Hutz says. “From the first time we met, I felt like he was part of our family. He was keenly aware of our musical evolution and encouraged us to encapsulate the passion and experimental energy we’ve accumulated in the last few years of intense world travel.” “The Way You Name Your Ship,” suggests a rocking boat, with a subtle funk backbeat and a swaying off center rhythm. Ryabtsev’s violin, the fuzz heavy guitar accents of new guitarist Michael Ward and the band’s rousing vocals add to the feel of a pirate vessel on a rampage. “The song is about the power of the word and its intent,” Hutz explains. “Naming your ship determines where you go and how you get there.” Gogol adds primal rock guitar to the bold stomping rhythm of “We Rise Again,” one of the album’s most anthemic tracks. Percussionist Pedro Erazo-Segovia drops a Spanish rap into the maelstrom of Ryabtsev’s violin, Ward’s power chords and Hutz’s furious vocal. “This is the album’s definitive song. The Russian poet Yevtushenko first said that political borders are scars on the face of the planet. Like us, he thought of himself as a citizen of the world.” Italian flavored mandolin, a reggae pulse and scorching Russian violin drive “Dig Deep Enough,” a song that veers between blistering punk and a laid back one drop rhythm. Hutz sets its inspirational message to a classical melody. “Powerful melodies in classical music are often taken from folklore,” Hutz says. “We’re borrowing it back, with an added bit of Ennio Morricone.” Gogol brings a taste of country music to the Latinized Ukrainian rhythm of “Lost Innocent World,” with the vigorous drumming of Oliver Charles. Gogol shows its omnivorous mastery of music on “I Just Realized,” a contemplative love song that suggests a Russian samba and features Elizabeth Sun’s sultry backing vocals; “John The Conqueror” a blend of spaghetti western twang and punk; and “Malandrino,” a Neapolitan style tune that dips into Tex Mex, mariachi and reggae. The band’s long time goal of creating a global style of music is fully realized with the heartfelt tunes on Pura Vida Conspiracy. “What makes Pura Vida Conspiracy so strong is that, unlike other records we’ve done that are also musically polyamorous, this one combines our adventurous spirit with a stronger rock anchor,” Hutz says. “People ask how I had the confidence to attempt this task and I tell them it was not confidence. I had a feeling I needed to do it, but no idea if it would work out. When we scream on stage it’s to acknowledge all cultures are beautiful masks, but they only take you so far - to a nice carnival or masquerade. True human spirit is beyond culture, that’s why my main interest is in human potential. Music is a way to explore that and you can see how it links up with the idea of pura vida. ‘Pura vida’ is pure life, ‘conspiracy’ is word play on the fact that most of the people in the world are so focused on everything going wrong that they fail to see the 50% that’s going right. “Gogol Bordello’s music gives me confidence to say that. It’s music that goes into the depth of now and opens the consciousness to another dimension that’s usually hidden from people. This accumulation of playing for thousands of hours in Gogol Bordello has connected me to the energetic self, the true human spirit. When you preserve this feeling and transfer it into real life, it becomes a huge part of you.” Hutz founded Gogol Bordello in New York City in 1999, after leaving Ukraine in the aftermath of Chernobyl. In keeping with his vision of creating an international groove, he recruited musicians of all ages, races and cultures, including bassist Thomas Gobena, from Ethiopia, Russian violinist Sergey Ryabtsev from Moscow and percussionist Pedro Erazo-Segovia from Ecuador. The band’s endless touring and critically acclaimed shows have made them international headliners. These days Hutz divides his time between New York and Rio de Janeiro, but a recent stay in Ukraine also influenced the songs he wrote for Pura Vida Conspiracy. “When I stayed in Kiev for months, people thought it was my victory lap back home. When I told them I was leaving, they were disappointed that I didn’t want to be the rock guy on Ukraine TV. Spending time in a Zen monastery and that trip back home made me certain of my mission as an ultimate outsider.”
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'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Traiiler
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
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Walmart's Ice Cream Sandwiches Don't Melt
Christie Watson woke up one morning to discover that her kids had left an uneaten ice cream sandwich in the yard overnight in 80-degree weather. While most moms would expect to find two soggy cookies floating in a sad puddle of vanilla water, that’s not what Christine saw. She saw something even more terrifying than a mess to clean up. What Christine saw was a barely melted at all ice cream sandwich. So what caused the sandwich to live forever?
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'Mad Max: Fury Road' Comic-Con Trailer
Mad Max: Fury Road
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In the spirit of Comic-Con, we had a caricature artist on hand to capture the celebrities during their interviews. Check out the results of your favorite stars being caricatured.
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Jesse McCartney - Jesse McCartney LIVE Concert
Tune in on Monday, July 28th to watch Jesse McCartney perform LIVE from The House of Blues, in Chicago, IL. Catch a new LIVE concert from Live Nation, on Yahoo Live daily, 365 days a year.
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How to Make a Giant Creature - Watch the Giant Creature Crash Through San Diego Comic-Con 2014
San Diego Comic-Con 2014 is underway and it's time for Bodock the Giant Creature to make his public debut. Catch a first-look at his #SDCC2014 reveal.
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Stars’ Comic-Con Confessions
We asked some of the biggest TV stars at Comic-Con to confess to us their deepest, darkest Comic-Con confession. Have they never watched “Star Wars”? Never picked up a comic book? Find out what the celebrities may not want the Comic-Con goers to know.
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Jesse McCartney - Jesse McCartney
JESSE McCARTNEY “If we get back together/It’ll be like when I met ya” “Back Together” Hard to believe it’s been five years since Jesse McCartney’s last album release, Departure Recharged, and a whole decade since his solo debut, Beautiful Soul, the platinum-certified album that sold more than 1.8 million copies. The title track to that album hit #3 on the U.S. Top 40 radio charts and topped the charts in Australia, the Philippines and Taiwan, garnering him an American Music Award nomination for Best New Artist and three Teen Choice Awards. McCartney also co-wrote the Grammy-nominated global hit “Bleeding Love,” for Leona Lewis, a chart-topper in 34 countries, winning an ASCAP award for Song of the Year. In the same year, his own “Leavin’” went to #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 as radio’s Most Played Song of 2008. Now, at 26, McCartney’s music has matured along with him, and In Technicolor is the result, released on his own Eight0eight Records and distributed by INgrooves, a fully realized nod to the classic ‘70s/early ‘80s disco sound as heard on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album and more recently, by the likes of Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams, with a further nod to Prince and his long-stated love of R&B artists like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Lauryn Hill. “That’s what I’ve always gravitated towards,” says McCartney. “That being said, my record is not a period piece. You study old masters and let it filter through you to make your own unique art.” The first single, “Back Together,” with its vamping funk guitar and hip-hop flavor, came out of a writing session with Nashville pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae’s Ryan Follese and Nash Overstreet for their album. “I had a pivotal moment with that song, which – somewhat accidentally – nailed a sound I was searching for - for myself,” says Jesse. “It was both retro and contemporary. I envisioned real horns, real instruments, tight syncopation.” The track turned out to be the start of In Technicolor, as this is where Jesse met the production team The Elev3n, whose credits included Sean Kingston, Cher Lloyd and Karmin. The Elev3n ended up producing most of the album, with two songs produced by Troy “R8DIO” Johnson [Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Backstreet Boys], including the shimmering ballad, “Checkmate.” Songs like “Superbad” could have come right off Thriller, while “Young Love” evokes the time period by name-checking Dirty Dancing in the lyrics and “Tie the Knot” is a thumping wedding song in which you can practically see the mirrored ball spinning at Studio 54 set against the soulful, punchy horn lines. A pulsing bass and insinuating funk rhythm rules the party song, “Punch Drunk Recreation,” Jesse’s version of “Get Lucky,” with its urgent admonition, “Don’t mess with it/Just move with it… Got the invitation to be your plus one.” “This album had a completely different energy from the start,” Jesse explains. “I used to write dozens of demos with many different producers and then cull them down to 11 or 12 songs. This time, we essentially wrote the 11 songs on the album, with a few bonus tracks. There was absolutely no waste. The album as a whole is by far my proudest musical achievement to date.” That is saying something, given McCartney’s remarkable achievements over the young veteran’s impressive 16-year show business career. Born in Westchester, a suburb of New York City, Jesse began performing at local community musicals by the age of seven, making his Broadway debut in The King and I when he was 10, then landing a major role on the daytime soap opera All My Children, earning two Emmy nominations. He later appeared in a Broadway production of A Christmas Carol with The Who’s Roger Daltrey. Two years later, at 12, he was the singer in the “tween” boy band Dream Street, whose self-titled album was certified gold. By 16, he was launching his solo career, performing a version of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Anne Hathaway for the Ella Enchanted soundtrack, releasing his debut album, Beautiful Soul, in Sept. 2004 on the heels of his recurring role in the WB show Summerland. Other acting roles include film credits like Chernobyl Diaries, indie films Keith and Beware the Gonzo, guest arcs on ABC Family’s Greek and now the new 2014 season of Young and Hungry, voiceover work in the Alvin and the Chipmunk movies, and a season as Private Tim Truman in Lifetime TV’s Army Wives. With the release of In Technicolor on his own label through a partnership with INgrooves, McCartney has embraced the indie model of doing it himself. “It was an easy choice for me at this point in my career,” he explains. “I weighed all the options. At the end of the day I wanted to be able to have ownership and control of my music. The fact I already have built a base of loyal fans allowed me to successfully do so. In some ways, it’s definitely harder being independent as opposed to signing with a major label. “But in the end, it’s so much more liberating. I’m enjoying every second of being a hands-on businessman and artist.” Or, as he sings on “:Technicolor Part 2,” “There’s no other place I’d rather be.” Jesse McCartney fans would agree whole-heartedly. With In Technicolor, he’ll find a whole new spectrum of fans.