Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright performing at The Kennedy Center on Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Today's "Photo You Never Expected To See" Award goes to Madeleine Albright playing the drums at the Kennedy Center. That's right: Madeleine Albright, playing the drums.
It was part of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz's annual competition and gala, where the former secretary of state was presented with the Maria Fisher Founder's Award in recognition of the role jazz has played in U.S. diplomatic efforts. Albright, a longtime jazz supporter, pounded away on the tom-tom and cymbals "quite creditably," according to The Washington Post's account, while trumpter Chris Botti performed an instrumental version of a song from the Puccini opera, "Turandot."
Jon Bon Jovi performing during a campaign event for President Obama in New York on Monday.
Legendary New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi took a ride on Air Force One as a "guest of the president" joining Barack Obama at a 500-person fundraiser at Waldorf Astoria on Monday night. White House officials made it clear that the reelection campaign paid for Bon Jovi’s travel arrangements — not the country's tax payers.
Tickets for the event started at $2,500 a person and former President Bill Clinton was on hand as well to urge people to support and donate to the Obama campaign.
Bon Jovi is no stranger to lending his support to Democratic candidates. In 2004, he appeared at several events for the Kerry-Edwards campaign and in 2008, Bon Jovi held a fundraiser for Obama at his home. The rocker also held a fundraiser for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help clear up some of her presidential campaign debt and was a guest performer at an Obama Inauguration Concert.
Jennifer Hudson's emotional tribute to Whitney Houston at last night's Grammys still gives us goosebumps. She sang the cover "I Will Always Love You," a hit from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, in honor of the pop-legend who passed away unexpectedly on the eve of the awards ceremony. Hudson changed the lyrics at the end, singing "Whitney, we love, we love you." The performance was spot-on, and Houston was one tough act to follow.
Her death clouded over the 54th annual Grammy Awards. LL Cool J opened the show with a prayer, addressing "our sister Whitney" and "the death in our family."
It was announced today prescription pills were found in the room, but it will take a few more weeks for the toxicology reports to determine the exact cause of death. She fought a very public battle with drug addiction over the years.
Funeral arrangements are now underway. The ceremony will reportedly take place at the end of week in New Jersey.
President Obama's reelection team today shared the official 2012 campaign playlist on Spotify. Hope you like comeback songs — 'cause that what they'll be blasting on the trail until Election Day in November. Campaign staffers made the mix, adding in a few of Obama's favorites
The 28-song set list features a range of artists like U2, Jennifer Hudson, Wilco, No Doubt, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, REO Speedwagon and Darius Rucker. Of course, they had to include Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" after he belted out a few notes last month at the Apollo Theater. Those lyrics say it all.
Mitt Romney is going more country in 2012, perhaps, to help set a more down-to-earth tone and appeal to voters in the heartland. The Republican candidate has been playing Kid Rock's "Born Free" and country-themed music at events.
Today was a good day. Ice Cube discusses modern architecture (obviously) in a brand new video for Pacific Standard Time, an art initiative in LA.
Little known fact: Before his music career, he studied architectural drafting. So he brings that rapper charm to describing the city and the urban landscape within. While driving around in a convertible, he wisely declares "one man's eyesore is another man's paradise" and bemoans the "gangsta traffic" on the 110 freeway.
Cube's interest in design really takes center stage. He praises the off-the shelf factory windows and prefabricated walls of the 1940s-era Charles and Ray Eames house. They were green ahead of their time based on their choice and range of materials. Or, as Cube says, "They was doing mash-ups before mash-ups even existed." Watch this video now.
Charlie Crist released a YouTube video this week apologizing for his unauthorized use of a Talking Heads song during his campaign. The former Florida governor used the band's 1985 hit "Road to Nowhere" extensively during his unsuccessful Senate bid in 2010. Apparently, he didn't go through the right avenues to gain permission and the band’s frontman took notice.
David Byrne sued Crist for $1 million over copyright infringement. On Monday, the two parties settled out of court in Florida.
"I'm feeling very manly after my trip to Tampa," Byrne in a statement. "Other artists may actually have the anger but not want to take the time and risk the legal bills. I am lucky that I can do that. Any way, my hope is that by standing up to this practice maybe it can be made to be a less common option, or better yet an option that is never taken in the future."
The clearly-forced video hit the net soon after, with Crist very somberly apologizing for his actions.
The Internets have bestowed a gift upon us, today... Radiohead's newest (and eighth) album. Continuing their tradition of defying the norm when it comes to album releases (remember when In Rainbows came out the band let you pay whatever you wanted for it?), Thom Yorke and Co. have unceremoniously put their latest, The King of Limbs, out on their website today (click here to get it). That may not seem odd, except for the fact that album wasn't meant to be released until tomorrow. If you pre-ordered your copy, you have probably already found download information in your email inbox.
The King of Limbs is available as a digital-only download ($9 or $14 depending on your chosen format), or the digital version can also be purchased with a pricey and extravagant set of extras including tons of art along with both a CD and vinyl copy of the album ($48 or $53, again depending on your chosen format). That's a lot of scratch for an album with only eight tracks that runs just 37 minutes, but I'm sure plenty audiophiles (me) and überfans (also me) will find it hard to resist. Here's a look at the extras that come with "the world's first Newspaper Album" as detailed by the band's website:
Two clear 10" vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
A compact disc.
Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
The Newspaper Album will be shipped on Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download on Saturday 19th February 2011.
Shipping is included in the prices shown.
One lucky owner of the digital version of The King of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.
Clearly that bit about enjoy the download on Saturday... wasn't a hard and fast rule. But what about the fact that it's just 37 minutes and eight tracks long? The last track of the album is a song called "Separator." It includes the line "If you think this is over, you're wrong," repeated several times as a refrain. That's already started the online rumor mill churning with wishful thinking speculation that there could be a second half of the album hot on the heels of today's release.