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US Hasn't Shown Military Bands Are Worth the Bill

GAO demands performance measures, Pentagon to oblige

(Newser) - A $437 million annual budget is allotted for US military bands. While that's less than 0.1% of the Department of Defense's total budget, it's also about as much as Latvia's entire defense budget, reports Fox News . The funds pay for instruments—the Air Force requested... More »

This Band Will Make History in North Korea

Slovenia's Laibach will be first foreign group to perform in Pyongyang

(Newser) - North Korea is opening its borders to the first foreign band to put on a show, and Slovenian pop group Laibach isn't exactly a predictable choice. The band, known for wearing military uniforms on stage, has a "bad boy reputation," director Morten Traavik, who's arranged several... More »

Epic Senior Prank: Sic Mariachi Band on Principal

Santa Barbara High School's senior prank was a hit

(Newser) - When Santa Barbara High School principal John Becchio stepped into his office Tuesday morning, he was greeted by a strange sight: a four-piece mariachi band. "What are you doing here?" he asked, but by way of explanation, he had to endure an hour-plus of music as he walked the... More »

Reporter Finds Santana's Old Bandmate—Homeless

An unlikely TV segment brought them together after 40 years

(Newser) - It's probably not often that California's KRON's "People Behaving Badly" news segment ends with heartwarming news. But that has been the case this month, following Stanley Roberts' piece on illegal dumpsites in Oakland. In the course of his reporting, Roberts interviewed Marcus Malone , who was searching... More »

Mexican Musicians Killed After Encore Refused

Grenade, bullets fly after bar owner pulls plug

(Newser) - Furious audience members killed two members of a band in Mexico after being told the music had to stop. The band—faced with demands for more from a group of drunk, aggressive audience members—had already played one encore at the Guadalajara bar before the owner pulled the plug long... More »

Animal Collective's Rise Is Well Deserved

They brilliantly mix 'accessible' and 'avant-garde'

(Newser) - The rise of Animal Collective in 2009 is often attributed to concessions to accessibility, Jonah Weiner writes. “Going by the blurbs alone, you might assume that, in a few years, Animal Collective will complete its career-long metamorphosis into ABBA.” But that’s just not the case. The quirky... More »

Music Biz Drops Concert Camera Bans

Bands give up trying to control images

(Newser) - As camera phones held aloft become as common as lighters in the air used to be at rock-and-roll concerts, the music industry is starting to give in to reality and drop camera bans. Most bands are allowed to choose their own photo policy, and a growing number are letting fans... More »

Steven Tyler Quits Aerosmith: Band

Move follows missed tour dates and apparent dissension

(Newser) - Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has left the band, according to rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford and lead guitarist Joe Perry, who have suggested that they're looking for a new singer. The news comes after a disastrous summer tour in which Tyler broke his shoulder in a stage fall and canceled many... More »

San Fran Returns to Its Psychedelic Roots

Not that any band there would say they knew of a scene

(Newser) - San Francisco seems to have had something of a psychedelic rock resurgence, though don’t ask any of the bands involved to identify themselves that way. “People are so aware of everything and don't really separate it that much,” a man whose band has the telltale brooding drones... More »

Corgan Picks 19-Year-Old as Pumpkins' Next Drummer

(Newser) - After the departure of longtime—well, come-and-go—Smashing Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlin and the audition of 1,000 hopefuls, frontman Billy Corgan has named a new drummer, the Chicago Tribune reports. And the kid’s 19. Oregon native Mike Byrne played with local groups before receiving the honor from the Chicago-based... More »

UK Artists Invent 'Neurotic' Robot Band

(Newser) - Cybraphon mimics a neurotic indie band by obsessing over its online presence and knocking out tunes to express its fluctuating moods, Wired reports. Designed by three UK artists, Cybraphon is a musical robot stuffed with an organ, cymbals, a Macbook Pro—and a highly volatile emotion meter. "The Cybraphon... More »

Rock's Worst Comebacks

(Newser) - Some bands just shouldn’t—or couldn’t successfully—get back together. The Independent takes a look at the 10 most ill-conceived rock reunions.
  • The Sex Pistols: Sure, the punk progenitors honestly named their 1994 comeback tour "Filthy Lucre," but still "tarnished their own lawless chapter in
... More »

Big Bands Make Big Comeback

Popular 1940s art form experiences fan resurgence

(Newser) - Big bands are back—if not the same ones your grandparents went to see in the 1940s. Today’s big bands play in cafés instead of ballrooms, and instead of waltzers, their audience is made up of music aficionados who want to enjoy the dense, textured sounds. In trendy... More »

SXSW's Best New Bands

Expect to see these acts on the mainstream after this year

(Newser) - Austin's SXSW music festival is known for producing hot new hit bands, and with Esquire's pick of the 10 best up-and-comers, you can skip the plane ride to Texas and start the iTunes downloading instead:
  • White Lies: Reminiscent of the Killers, they already have a Letterman gig.
  • Janele Monae: She's
... More »

3D Concert Strictly for Jonas Junkies

Bubblegum rockumentary only works in fans' dimension

(Newser) - The band's tweener fans will swoon for the new Jonas Brothers concert movie, say critics, but Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience has little to offer the uninitiated.
  • Mark Olsen, Chicago Tribune: The movie is "awkwardly stitched together from candy-gloss arena concert footage and somewhat grimier-looking backstage/limo/hotel room moments,
... More »

Van Halen: Roth Reunion Solid, New Music on Way

(Newser) - After grossing $93 million on tour with former frontman David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen tells Rolling Stone he wants the band back together permanently: “Dave was a blast. And next time we go out, we’re going to have some new stuff, too.” He plans a summer... More »

UC Davis Band Marches Into Trouble

Director blows whistle on students' stripping, boozy debauchery

(Newser) - At a trumpet player's cry of "naked van", unruly band members at the University of California Davis stripped to their skivvies on a trip, ignoring their director's orders to get dressed, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The prank fell so flat with the director that he's filed a complaint... More »

Phish Goes Back on Tour

Jam band will play three shows in Virginia in 2009; more to come

(Newser) - Phish is getting back together. The Vermont-bred jam band, which disbanded in 2004, is planning three dates next March in Hampton, Virginia. A notice posted on the band's website says Phish will play March 6-8 at the Hampton Coliseum and that more 2009 dates will be announced later. More »

Future Sounds Like These Acts

Rolling Stone tracks down six up-and-comers

(Newser) - Maybe you've heard of them, maybe you haven't, but six up-and-coming bands are defining rock and pop this year, according to Rolling Stone. Next big things or one-disc wonders? Check them out, then listen up by clicking the link below:
  • Low Vs Diamond: cinematic rockers from Los Angeles go epic
... More »

'Grateful' Symphony Debuts

Baltimore to unveil work based on various Dead classics

(Newser) - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will debut this week an opera derived from the music of the Grateful Dead, on what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 66th birthday. Titled Dead Symphony No. 6, each movement goes truckin' on a different Dead song. The Grateful Dead is “long overdue to... More »

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