Freddie Mercury gets a movie

Legendary Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury is getting a biopic movie. According to website Internet Movie Database, the movie will be “A chronicle of years leading up to Queen’s appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.” The director for the movie is Brian Singer who as done numerous action multiple action movies like the “X-Men” movies and “Valkyrie” with Tom Cruise. Rami Malek, known for his role in the show “Mr. Robot” will be playing Freddie Mercury. Sacha Cohen was originally planned to be cast as Mercury but left the project due to creative differences with members of the band Queen.  There is no set date yet but the band will be working with the movie for accuracy and their creative stamp on a movie about them.

I would have to agree, Malek is a good choice, he has done the drama “Mr. Robot” and has shown that he can be a dramatic character other than Cohen, I have never seen him in a dramatic role. For years I didn’t know him by his real name, only by the characters he has played such as “Borat” in his film, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit of Kazakhstan.” Also, Cohen is 45 years old, while Malek is ten years younger than him. Even though Mercury died at the age of 45, if the movie is going to be events leading up to the year 1985, in terms of age, Malek would be a better choice.

There isn’t too much details about the upcoming movie, but if the description from the IMDB website is correct having the movie lead up to 1985, the audience wouldn’t see Mercury’s diminished health and how Mercury and all those surrounding him dealt with his illness when he was first diagnosed in 1986. I can see where that can be very difficult, watching a legendary musician slowly die from a terrible illness that took many lives.

This is a very interesting project that I would want to go see when it become available to see in theaters, I know there will be excellent soundtrack to go along with the film



Marvin Gaye is getting his own show

Well known Motown and soul vocalist Marvin Gaye is getting a biopic show. Actor, singer, writer, producer Jamie Foxx has got approval from Gaye’s family and Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. who is the Motown record label owner and worked with Gaye. There is faith and trust in Foxx to do right by Gaye and make this biopic show close to who Gaye was years ago.

Gaye is known for both his solo and duet careers Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell. I was very young when i first heard Gaye and Terrell’s rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” without even knowing who it was singing. I grew up in a diverse music household with a father listening to Motown and Stax Records, along with Jazz, Rock interests. Gaye’s music was a presence in the house and when I was old enough to ask who was the artist behind “Let’s Get it On” and “You’re All I Need To Get By” my father began to explain who he was, who he worked with but I had to do some exploring on my own about the tragic man who left this world so young.

Its amazing for some artists to be so tortured but create hits and chart toppers. As sensitive as a situation as this is with Gaye’s history with his abusive father and drug problems, hopefully Foxx can recreate Gaye’s life and love of music with his personal struggles confidently for those who know and love Gaye’s music.

Grammy Nominations

The Grammy’s are to air on February 12, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. PST and the official list is out. The list is long with 84 categories that go from the general field, to classical music, to production. For the sake of time and reading, I will only be covering the general field and my own opinions on who should be picked from those categories. For the general field it consists of album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best new artist.

For album of the year  I would like to see Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” win the Grammy. It is a different sound described as outlaw country, has a different sound than your normal country song . Live versions of his song also include long jam session style solos with rugged sounding vocals coming from Simpson.  This album was released in April of this year and is his third album since starting his solo career with his first in 2013.

For song of the year, I feel that Formation takes the award with its songwriting. With a team of writers who consists of rappers and song writers Khalif Brown (Swae Lee) , Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles and Michael L. Williams II (Mike Will Made It). Beyonce worked on the lyrics of the song as well and have made references  to her own life, popular culture, and African american culture with a women empowering theme in the lyrics.

Record of the year, “Hello” by Adele would be good pick this year. With a soft opening to the song starting with a couple of piano chords to her vocals with a great build up to the powerful chorus with strong emotion and touching lyrics of heartache and regret.

Best new artist should be The Chainsmokers. With their songs “Roses,” “Closer” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Chainsmokers are just emerging from their start in 2012 and making themselves known by making the charts with their hit songs having their song beats their own and making their sound a distinct sound.

Dead and Company Upcoming Tour

They’re back and ready to start their 2017 tour.

With original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and newer members including John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti coming together to make a similar sound to the original Grateful Dead, while making it their own. This will be their second summer tour with 2016 being their first. They’re making their way back to the Bay Area at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View on June 3rd, and June 4th 7:00 p.m. for both days. Tickets have been on sale and start as low as $53 on the lawn, and go up to thousands of dollars to be down in the front close to the band.

With Weir and Mayer on vocals singing both Weir and Jerry Garcia songs, humbled Mayer steps into this opportunity once more to continue on the legacy of the Grateful Dead with other members and some new members joining in.

With lively songs and feel good vibes, coming back home to the Bay Area where members of the original Grateful Dead got their start. Also, being the start of the summer, school is out, temperature is hotter, what a good way to welcome the season with a Dead and Company concert.

The Weekend, Starboy in Review

The Weeknd recently released an album, “Starboy” in November of 2016. Singer and songwriter The Weeknd collaborated with guest artists Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Future and Daft Punk. There have been multiple positive reviews and reached the Billboard 200 and it has almost been a month since its release. Singles like “Starboy, “I Feel It Coming” and “Party Monster” are playing on multiple radio stations and are unavoidable.

Focusing on one single, “I Feel It Coming” with collaboration with Daft Punk, upon hearing it you know who he worked with and the groove is familiar to their usual sound. The lyrics are very intimate, so intimate if sounds like The Weeknd is exclusively serenading to you though your headphones with Daft Punk going along in the background with a heavy bass groove that anyone would want to dance to.

It’ll be interesting what more material he has in store for the future and that we haven’t heard the last of The Weeknd.

The Eagles at the Kennedy Awards

This year, the Eagles attend the Kennedy Center Honors along with Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, Martha Argerich and James Taylor. The Eagles entourage includes Joe Walsh, Don Henley and  Timothy B. Schmidt. Unfortunately, vocalist and guitarist Glen Frey died in January but his widow Cindy Frey was able to attend the event. The band was originally scheduled to be honored last year but was pushed out due to Frey’s illness and was mentioned and had Miranda Lambert perform the song “Desperado” originally sang by Don Henley from their album “Desperado.”

The Kennedy Center Honors that happened on December 4th,  is scheduled to be on television on December 27th at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. From reading the reviews on the event, it wasn’t easy for the Eagles group, being honored without a co-founder of the group who has sang vocals and guitar on a good amount of  their songs. The only thing that personally doesn’t sit well with me is that not all members were represented that night, leaving out Don Felder, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. All in the band for a significant amount of years for popular singles and albums. It is understandable that there could be other factors to why they did not make an appearance or no mentions in reviews of the events. But it is nice to see a band like the Eagles to have a night to be honored by other performing artists and fans everywhere.


Bob Dylan receives the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature

A folk and blues singer from Minnesota, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature. The Nobel Peace Prize is a significant honor, awarded to great minds and people who make a difference in the world for the good of others. Having Dylan be awarded this honor was a good fit, he deserves it. Dylan got his start when he moved to New York and played in bars and clubs in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, a revolutionary time for the United States. Who better to sing and write about the times. His song, “Blowing in the Wind” is a great example and familiar to many people, questioning actions happening during that time, such as the war, protests, people dying, and if there can be a change.

In his acceptance speech which was read by the ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, because he was unable to attend the event due to already existing commitments. His speech is full of gratitude and is very humble, stating he was on the road when he first heard of the announcement of the award to be given to him.

From his acceptance speech he says, “when I started writing songs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities, my aspirations for these songs only went so far. I thought they could be heard in coffee houses or bars, maybe later in places like Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine getting to make a record and then hearing my songs on the radio. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making records and hearing your songs on the radio meant that you were reaching a big audience and that you might get to keep doing what you had set out to do.” It shows that this great honor was never on his mind, as a kid starting small he had small goals and dreaming big for him would someday be on the radio, not a well known prize. Writing music that would reach out to people through the radio waves and the hope that he gets to keep doing what he does best is something that should be awarded for,writing inspirational songs and pieces of literature that would touch people everywhere.

That is  why this individual deserved to receive this award and it is a shame he was not there in person to say his speech and enjoy his moment.

2016 Election, and Musicians: Trump and Death Cab For Cutie

Last year, in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Republican candidate Donald Trump made the comment of receiving a small loan of $1 million dollars from his father and having to repay him with interest. From CNN, while answering a question at the town hall meeting, he said, “It has not been easy for me, it has not been easy for me. And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.” Now for a middle or lower class person, that doesn’t seem fair for him to say that it wasn’t easy when given a loan like that. There have been more aspiring stories than that starting from nothing and building up, no $1 million dollar loan required.

The band Death Cab for Cutie, wrote, “Million Dollar Loan” about his comment about getting his start. ” With lyrics like “and he’s proud to say, he built his fortune the old fashion way,” its not realistic for people who come from nothing. Its insensitive, this song clearly shows that a man like Donald Trump is not a good representation of the people he plans to lead if elected for president. Even front man Ben Gibbard feels similarly about it in an email statement to CNN, “”He was so flippant about it, it truly disgusted me. Donald Trump… in no way, shape or form represents what this country truly stands for. He is beneath us.”

More and more musicians are starting to feel the same way with the way things are going with the election and Trump. Author Dave Eggers started the “30 Days, 30 Songs” project which is to feature music from other musicians who don’t support Trump like Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and especially Queen after asking Trump to stop using their music for his campaign without asking permission first.


Music Concert: Red Hot Chili Peppers

The LA native band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have just recently released a new album this past summer and is coming to the Bay Area next year during their tour. Their 2016 album, The Getaway features songs, “Dark Necessities,” and “Go Robot.” With hints of his past addiction, lead singer Anthony Keidis writes lyrics to “Dark Necessities” that tell a story of a dark and hard life of what it was for him and is easy relate for anyone that went through something as similar. It features the signature heavy bass plucking from Flea that gives the song a good groove. This helps make “The Getaway” worth the listen and something to keep in mind when looking for concert tickets for their 2017 tour. In March 2017 they make a stop in the Bay Area with a show at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Music Festival: Snowglobe 2016

Up in Lake Tahoe, is the Snowglobe music festival from December 29-31, where well known artists like the Chainsmokers and Flume will be performing for festival goers. But other than taking care of the financial side of the preparations, (tickets, hotel, transportation, etc.) there are other things to consider while going to a festival like this.

One important thing is having enough warm clothes and lots of layers. You’re going to be in Lake Tahoe in December, it is going to be cold, and while in San Jose you can still wear shorts in October you will be in for a rude awakening if you don’t bring enough clothing. Don’t be afraid to pack and and foot warmers too, they’re very inexpensive and can be stored easily in your pocket while enjoying the music.

Take your time and watch your energy. Its very easy to forget your basic needs when watching your favorite band. Set up a time when you can take a break and have a snack or a meal and stay hydrated to get a second wind of energy. Nothing is worse than feeling lightheaded or having an upset stomach because you forgot to eat.

Enjoy Lake Tahoe while you’re there. There is a lot to do around while the festival is going on. Have you ever snowboard? Now can be a good time to try by going to either Heavenly Resort or Homewood Mountain Resort. Even taking a walk around the lake can be just as refreshing.

Don’t forget to have fun. While this is not far from the Bay Area, the expenses can add up. Enjoy what you paid for and groove to your favorite artist performing. Be sure to get the festival schedule to catch them on time and get their early to get close to them if you want.

Stay warm and have fun!