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New Jack White album ‘Lazaretto’ due in June

- April 1st, 2014

This is no practical joke, Jack White fans. The busiest man in rock is set to drop his second solo record this summer.

Lazaretto, the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 2012 effort Blunderbuss, will be released on June 10, his label Third Man Records announced today.


The tracklist has not been revealed as yet, but we do know that the title track will be the first single off the album, and will be available later this month. And if you know a little bit about White, you’ll know he goes all out with several different deluxe editions of his records. For the full details, head over to Third Man.

White gave fans a first taste of the album by posting the instrumental song High Ball Stepper on YouTube. Listen below:

And if you, like me, have no clue what a “lazaretto” is, here’s the definition, according to Wikipedia:

A lazaretto or lazaret is a quarantine station for maritime travellers. Lazarets can be ships permanently at anchor, isolated islands, or mainland buildings.

Well, there you go. Anchors away, Jack.

White has already been announced as a headliner at the Osheaga festival in Montreal, which runs from Aug. 1-3.

From Katy to Feist to Bieber, author Ben Kaplan shares his ultimate celebrity running playlist

- January 13th, 2014


So, you’re a few weeks into that 2014 running regime, and your playlist already feels stale. You need some new music to propel you out into the cold winter air. The solution? Call Ben Kaplan.

Kaplan, Toronto-based journalist born in Brooklyn, seems perfectly suited to this situation. After making a name for himself as a pop music writer – contributing to publications like GQ, The New Yorker, Spin, The National Post and others – he’s slowly crafted a new identity as a running author.

This week, the 39-year-old writer releases his first book, the unconventional training manual Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now: The Rogue’s Guide to Running the Marathon.

“It’s real personal,” says Kaplan. “It’s all about the birth of my child, and it’s about my love-hate relationship with alcohol. It’s got everything. It’s training, it’s memoir, it’s interviews, it’s anecdotes. A real labour of love.”

I should mention that I’ve ‘ran into’ Kaplan a few times in my life – in the National Post newsroom, in the stands of a Toronto Raptors game, and on small-town running trails two hours north of Toronto. The man loves to run. I’ve seen first-hand evidence.

In his book, he includes running song recommendations from various musicians he’s interviewed throughout his career. Here, he gives us a sample of that. And, in a little twist, he salutes the artists he’s interviewed by picking one of their tracks for his own personal playlist:

Paul Simon

Paul Simon recommends: The Delmore Brothers (any song)
I Let the Freight Train Carry Me On by The Delmore Brothers on Grooveshark

Ben Kaplan recommends: Paul Simon – The Boxer
The Boxer by Paul Simon on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “Because when you’re out there, 32k into a marathon, it’s good to remember that you’re in the fight of your life.”

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez recommends: Britney Spears – Toxic
Toxic by Britney Spears on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Selena Gomez – Come and Get It
Selena Gomez-Come & Get It by Selena Gomez on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “It’s a monster radio jam. Remember: When making your mix, diversify genre and tempos!”


Moby recommends: Black Flag – Damaged 1
Damaged I by Black Flag on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Moby – Natural Blues
Natural Blues by Moby on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “There was a time around the release of Play when I had stories on Moby going in about eight different places. I still listen to this album and miss New York.”

Jack White

Jack White recommends: The Who – Baba O’Riley
Baba O'Riley by The Who on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: The Raconteurs – Steady, As She Goes
Steady, as She Goes by The Raconteurs on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “I can’t believe I didn’t recommend this tune in the book. There’s no artist I prefer more – well, maybe Kanye or Feist or Neil Diamond – but there are few musicians I’ll take over Jack White, the king.”


Feist recommends: J.J. Fad – Supersonic
Supersonic by J.J. Fad on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Feist – Mushaboom
Mushaboom by Feist on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “When Julie and I got married, we walked into the party to this song. Can you listen to this without smiling? Not me.”

Katy Perry

Katy Perry recommends: Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
I Whip My Hair by Willow Smith on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Katy Perry – Roar
Roar – Katy Perry by NewThingRadioWeb on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “I don’t know. If this comes on the radio, I might change it. But if it comes on at 36k, I might turn it up. It’s a new tune and untested. Play it with care.” recommends: Boogie Down Productions – My Philosophy
My Philosophy by Boogie Down Productions on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: The Black Eyed Peas – Where is the Love?
Where Is the Love? by The Black Eyed Peas on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “The most important thing to consider from a running song, to me, is how good it makes you feel. This song makes me feel good.”

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber recommends: Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson – General Pop – Bad by Michael Jackson on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Justin Bieber – Baby
Baby (feat. Ludacris) by Justin Bieber on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “This is a tough one, but I do like this song. It’s light and soft as the heel on a sneaker. A nice rap from Ludacris makes it complete.”


Jack White recording follow-up to Grammy-nominated ‘Blunderbuss’

- February 11th, 2013

Jack White never slows down.

According to Rolling Stone, the busy rocker is deep into the recording process for the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2012 solo debut, “Blunderbuss.”

“I’ve got about 20 to 25 tracks I’m working on right now – a lot of songs,” White told the magazine. “It’s a good time for writing for me.”

He has been in the studio once again with his separate backing male and female bands, the Buzzards and the Peacocks, and says the sound varies from track to track.


“It’s definitely not one sound,” he says. “It’s all over the place. After going out on the road with two bands, my influences have just spread out even more.”

As for when it will see the light of day, White says: “I don’t know if it’ll come out this year or not,” he adds. “The last one kind of came together so strangely, I was in the middle of making it and I didn’t realize I was doing it, you know? I was just doing it because I needed to get these songs down and then I realized I was making a record.”

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Check out his performance from last night’s Grammy Awards below:

Frank Ocean added to Grammy lineup

- January 31st, 2013

It seems Frank Ocean’s banged up hand will be fully healed in time for the Grammy Awards on Feb. 10.

The Recording Academy announced Thursday that R&B superstar will play at the 55th annual event, along with newly added performers Maroon 5 and 14-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys.

Ocean hurt his hand after an altercation with Chris Brown outside a Los Angeles recording studio parking lot last Sunday.


Ocean and Brown are both nominated for Grammys, so it will make for an interesting red carpet if Brown decides to show up.

Other performers include Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Jack White, fun., the Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, Dierks Bentley & Miranda Lambert, and Ed Sheeran & Elton John.

Six acts are tied for the most nominations with six each, including Ocean, The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Kanye West, Jay-Z, fun. and Mumford & Sons.

Jack White added to Grammy Awards lineup

- January 24th, 2013

The lineup continues to expand in rapid numbers for next month’s Grammy Awards.

Grammy nominees The Lumineers, Carrie Underwood and Jack White are all scheduled to take the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

Song of the Year nom Ed Sheeran is also tapped to duet with six-time Grammy winner Elton John, and country stars Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert will also pair up for the 55th annual event.


Other performers already announced include The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, fun., Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

White, who has nine Grammys on his bookshelf already, is nominated in three different categories: Album of the Year, Best Rock Album (“Blunderbuss”) and Best Rock Song (“Freedom at 21″ – watch below).

The show airs Feb. 10 from 8-11:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Yours truly as well as fellow scribe Mark Daniell will be giving instant reviews of each and every act on Grammy night. Follow us on Twitter: @johnwillms and @markhdaniell.

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