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The Polar Vortex music playlist

- January 8th, 2014

Are you getting tired of hearing about frost quakes? Want to stick winter up someone’s polar vortex?

Here are some chilly tunes that will act as an extra layer as you walk through the bitter, unrelenting cold, feeling like a freezer-burnt popsicle:

polarvortex

Funky Cold Medina, Tone-Loc

And we go a little somethin’ like this… hit it: What better way to kick off the anti-freeze list and get the blood flowin’ through the lower extremities than this 1989 hip-hop staple about a love potion gone bad?

Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla ice

Listening to this may add some temporary relief from the elements for some, but for others, it may be like hot box torture. But hey, he still claims to rock a mic like a vandal and light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

She’s So Cold, The Rolling Stones

This smokin’ hot 1980 tune from Mick Jagger and the boys is as necessary as long johns in frigid temperatures. And when Sir Mick implores the female in the song to “put your hand on the heat, put your hand on the heat,” we don’t think he’s referring to his radiator. Or maybe he is.

Snow (Hey Oh), Red Hot Chili Peppers

There’s nothing like a serving of Hot Chilis to spice up the ol’ musical constitution. Did we mention we miss John Frusciante’s guitar work? We digress.

Cold As Ice, Foreigner

The British-American rockers’ 1977 signature hit is chilly in more ways than one: You’re digging for gold/Yet throwing away/A fortune in feelings/But someday you’ll pay. Bitterly good.

Cold Shot, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Need a warm blanket after a nasty cold shot? Try this slow blues burner from one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived.



Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Cee Lo (featuring Christina Aguilera)

The 1944 Christmas classic, which has been covered by hundreds of artists, may have some questionable lyrics (Say, what’s in this drink?), but Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera do their best to turn up the temperature with their rendition.

Cold Sweat, James Brown

You didn’t think we’d forget this 1967 No. 1 hit from the Godfather of Soul did you? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Against the Wind, Bob Seger

When you’re searching for shelter against the wind, we recommend this 1980 tune and his Silver Bullet Band, which features Eagles star Glenn Frey on backing vocals, for added protection.

Hot n Cold, Katy Perry

Katy can’t figure out whether she should have boots or flip flops on in this track, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this pop hit.

Twitter: @johnwillms
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Lou Reed pulls out of Coachella Music Festival

- March 26th, 2013

You can cross off a legendary rocker from the Coachella concert poster.

Or maybe they will just sub in a hologram? You never know.

In any event, Lou Reed has cancelled his upcoming concerts at the music festival in Indio, California, from what is being described as “unavoidable complications.”

reed

He’s also axed a gig in Los Angeles, as well as shows in San Francisco and Monterey, California.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., and runs over two weekends: April 12 to 14 and April 19 to 21 (the same acts are on both weekends).

It still features the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Stone Roses, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a plethora of other top-name acts.

Yours truly will be covering the first weekend of the annual event, including on-scene news, views, photos and much more! My Twitter link is below.

Follow me: @johnwillms
Friend me: facebook.com/john.williams1

Here’s the full lineup:

Friday, April 12 & 19

Blur, The Stone Roses, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Jurassic 5, Grinderman, Bassnectar, Dog Blood, How to Destroy Angels, Passion Pit, Tegan and Sara, Band of Horses, Beach House, Metric, Local Natives, Of Monsters and Men, Infected Mushroom, Japandroids, Divine Fits, Stars, Johnny Marr, Luciano, Wolfgang Gartner, Nicky Romero, Modestep, Tommy Trash, Thomas Gold, the Shouting Matches, Dillon Francis, Four Tet, Aesop Rock, Alt-J, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, TNGHT, Jake Bugg, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Sparks, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Purity Ring, Lee Scratch Perry, Dam-Funk, DJ Harvey, Jamie xx, Seth Troxler, Youth Lagoon, Deathfix, C2C, Beardyman, Lord Huron, Palma Violets, IO Echo, Skinny Lister, the Neighbourhood, Sam XL Pure Filth Sound

Saturday, April 13 and 20

Phoenix, the XX, the Postal Service, Sigur Ros, New Order, Hot Chip, Grizzly Bear, Knife Party, Benny Benassi, Two Door Cinema Club, Moby, Descendents, Yeasayer, Franz Ferdinand, Violent Femmes, Simian Mobile Disco, Spiritualized, Puscifer, Cafe Tacuba, Portugal, the Man, the Make-Up, Bat for Lashes, Richie Hawtin, Major Lazer, Fedde Le Grand, Dropkick Murphys, FOALS, Ben Howard, 2 Chainz, Janelle Monae, Danny Brown, Wild Nothing, Booka Shade, Bingo Players, Allen Stone, El-P, the Selecter, Pusha T, Kill the Noise, the Evens, Biffy Clyro, Theophilus London, Baauer, Zane Lowe, Trash Talk, Birdy Nam Nam, Action Bronson, Jason Bentley, the Wombats, Guards, Mona, Savages, Shovels & Rope, Huoratron, Kurt Vile, Reignwolf, Cassy, 3Ball MTY, Kids These Days, the 2 Bears, the Colourist, Vintage Trouble

Sunday, April 14 and 21

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion, Wu-Tang Clan, Pretty Lights, Eric Prydz, Tame Impala, the Lumineers, Dead Can Dance, La Roux, James Blake, Excision Grimes, the Gaslight Anthem, the Faint, Hardwell, Paul Oakenfold, Dinosaur Jr., Raider Klan, OMD, Roni Size, the Airborne Toxic Event, Father John Misty, Tanlines, Rodriguez, Alex Clare, Paul Kalkbrenner, Jessie Ware, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, the Three O’Clock, Disclosure, Mimosa, Cloud Nothings, Parov Stelar Band, Julio Bashmore, Thee Oh Sees, Dub Fx, Maya Jane Coles, JEFF the Brotherhood, Smith Westerns, Dirtyphonics, Joris Voorn, Hanni El Khatib, Danny Avila, Ghost, DIIV, Little Green Cars, Mord Fustang, James McCartney, Unicorn Kid, Robert DeLong, White Arrows, Deep Vally, Wild Belle, Adrian Lux, Ladies Night

Radiohead will begin work on new album in September

- February 14th, 2013

Good news, Radiohead fans – the band is planning to record a new album. The bad news? They aren’t starting it until September.

Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood, in an interview with BBC Radio, said the band are on a brief hiatus before they start firing up the engines again.

radiohead

“We’re taking some time out whilst people are doing some other stuff, doing their own things, and the plan is to get back together again [at the] end of the summer,” Greenwood said.

The band’s last album was 2011′s “The King of Limbs.”

Frontman Thom Yorke is currently busy with his side project Atoms For Peace, which includes Radiohead’s long-term producer Nigel Godrich and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.

Their debut, “Amok,” is released in North America on February 26.

Coachella fans in an uproar over lineup that includes headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Stone Roses and Phoenix

- January 25th, 2013

There are sour notes emanating from Coachella fans, in reaction to the music festival’s lineup announcement in the wee hours of this morning.

In what some are calling one of the weakest lineups in years, fans have taken to social media to air their displeasure. “We waited for this?” “Where’s the big headliner?” “I’m selling my airline tickets!” Yes, all direct quotes from their official Facebook page.

And of course, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t scrutinizing the lineup myself.

Fans have raised a legitimate beef – where is the marquee, blow-you-away headliner? No offense to Phoenix, but the French band hardly deserves top billing at one of the biggest musical events of the year. Ditto for Stone Roses and Blur – it’s not the early ’90s anymore, and it’s not a UK fest catering to 40-something hipsters with British accents.

Also, my biggest grievance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Big name for sure, but every time I’ve seen them through the years, sadly, the opening band has consistently outplayed them.

So is all lost for the thousands of music fans that will still get crazy from the heat of the California desert in April? Hardly.

coachella
If you get the musical microscope out and focus in on the small font on the concert poster, you’ll find it’s the lesser lights that are going to shine.

Bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Lumineers, Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, the xx, and a reunited Postal Service will all easily make up for the lack of electricity up top.

In addition to the young bucks, there are some veterans that may give them a run – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Violent Femmes (who are reuniting for the gig), New Order, Wu-Tang Clan (also back together for the first time in years) and Lou Reed – you read correctly – Lou friggin’ Reed – will all grace the stage without walkers or hearing aids of any kind (EDITOR’S NOTE – he has now cancelled his appearance).

Heck, there’s even some top notch CanCon on the list with Tegan and Sara, Metric, Stars and Vancouver’s Japandroids.

So worry not. For those who’ve already made their travel plans, no need to refund your plane ticket. Just keep in mind that most of the stage heat will be generated during the day. Bring extra sunscreen.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., and runs over two weekends: April 12 to 14 and April 19 to 21 (the same acts are on both weekends). Tickets go on sale HERE on Tuesday at 7 a.m. (EST).

What do you think of the lineup? Sound off in the comment section below.

Follow me: @johnwillms
Friend me: facebook.com/john.williams1

Friday, April 12 & 19

Blur, The Stone Roses, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Jurassic 5, Grinderman, Bassnectar, Dog Blood, How to Destroy Angels, Passion Pit, Tegan and Sara, Band of Horses, Beach House, Metric, Local Natives, Of Monsters and Men, Infected Mushroom, Japandroids, Divine Fits, Stars, Johnny Marr, Luciano, Wolfgang Gartner, Nicky Romero, Modestep, Tommy Trash, Thomas Gold, the Shouting Matches, Dillon Francis, Four Tet, Aesop Rock, Alt-J, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, TNGHT, Jake Bugg, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Sparks, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Purity Ring, Lee Scratch Perry, Dam-Funk, DJ Harvey, Jamie xx, Seth Troxler, Youth Lagoon, Deathfix, C2C, Beardyman, Lord Huron, Palma Violets, IO Echo, Skinny Lister, the Neighbourhood, Sam XL Pure Filth Sound

Saturday, April 13 and 20

Phoenix, the XX, the Postal Service, Sigur Ros, New Order, Hot Chip, Grizzly Bear, Knife Party, Benny Benassi, Two Door Cinema Club, Moby, Descendents, Yeasayer, Franz Ferdinand, Violent Femmes, Simian Mobile Disco, Spiritualized, Puscifer, Cafe Tacuba, Portugal, the Man, the Make-Up, Bat for Lashes, Richie Hawtin, Major Lazer, Fedde Le Grand, Dropkick Murphys, FOALS, Ben Howard, 2 Chainz, Janelle Monae, Danny Brown, Wild Nothing, Booka Shade, Bingo Players, Allen Stone, El-P, the Selecter, Pusha T, Kill the Noise, the Evens, Biffy Clyro, Theophilus London, Baauer, Zane Lowe, Trash Talk, Birdy Nam Nam, Action Bronson, Jason Bentley, the Wombats, Guards, Mona, Savages, Shovels & Rope, Huoratron, Kurt Vile, Reignwolf, Cassy, 3Ball MTY, Kids These Days, the 2 Bears, the Colourist, Vintage Trouble

Sunday, April 14 and 21

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion, Wu-Tang Clan, Pretty Lights, Eric Prydz, Tame Impala, the Lumineers, Dead Can Dance, La Roux, James Blake, Excision Grimes, the Gaslight Anthem, the Faint, Hardwell, Paul Oakenfold, Dinosaur Jr., Raider Klan, OMD, Roni Size, the Airborne Toxic Event, Father John Misty, Tanlines, Rodriguez, Alex Clare, Paul Kalkbrenner, Jessie Ware, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, the Three O’Clock, Disclosure, Mimosa, Cloud Nothings, Parov Stelar Band, Julio Bashmore, Thee Oh Sees, Dub Fx, Maya Jane Coles, JEFF the Brotherhood, Smith Westerns, Dirtyphonics, Joris Voorn, Hanni El Khatib, Danny Avila, Ghost, DIIV, Little Green Cars, Mord Fustang, James McCartney, Unicorn Kid, Robert DeLong, White Arrows, Deep Vally, Wild Belle, Adrian Lux, Ladies Night