Music

Beyoncé knows how to steal the show.

A day before Super Bowl 50, the deity released a new song and video called “Formation.” The song sounds more in line with her last release “7/11” — it’s also riskier, filthier, angrier, and pulpier than her gigantic pop hits. The chorus is beguiling — I still can’t shake the twangs out of my head — and lyrically, “Formation” is stuff that Bey has never sung before.

“My daddy Alabama/ my mama Louisiana,” she sings. “You mix that negro with that creole make a Texas Bama.”

The video is also a protest. It opens with Beyoncé squatting on a New Orleans police car that’s halfway submerged in water, evoking memories of Hurricane Katrina. There’s also a haunting image of Bey, draped in all black, holding up two middle fingers to the world, all in front of a Louisiana mansion. And toward the end of the video, there are cops in riot gear facing a little boy dancing, both the cops and the little boy put their hands up in the air, evoking the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture.

Bey was already scheduled to perform during the halftime show with Coldplay — she sings on the band’s new song “Hymn for the Weekend.”

But that part on “Hymn” seemed a little too small for star like Beyoncé on a stage as big as the Super Bowl halftime show. Now with the release of “Formation”, Beyoncé’s appearance and hyped performance makes more sense. And, well, it makes everything a little more exciting.

“Formation” is available on Tidal.

Listen to ‘Formation’

Westmoreland Jazz Society hosts singer at Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Kim Stepinsky | for TRIB TOTAL MEDIA(from left), Hildie Aspden and Bob Quigley, listen to Christmas songs by Lisa Ferraro, during the concert presented by the Westmoreland Jazz Society, held at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg on Thursday evening, December 17, 2015.

Dawn Law

| Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Singer Lisa Yvonne Ferraroperformed Dec. 17 for theWestmoreland Jazz Society at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg.

Ferraro sang “O, Holy Night” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and asked the audience if they were done shopping.

“I’m starting Saturday,” she said, prompting laughter.

She sang “My Favorite Things” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and talked about the traditions of her Italian family: Mass, the Feast of the Seven Fishes and spending time with 50 relatives at her mother’s home in Pittsburgh.

“I love coming home for Christmas,” Ferraro said. “May it conjure up the most gorgeous memories for you.”

Performing with Ferraro: Mike Tomaro on saxophone, Tom Wendt on drums, Kurt Lorenceon bass and Kevin Moore on keyboards.

Seen enjoying jazz: Linda Kubas, Joe and Pat Erdelsky, Gib andPat Clark, Barry DeBone, Glenn andJackie Cavanaugh, James Boggs, George and Pat Jones, Bobbie Hineline, Stu Horner and Olga Herbert.

— Dawn Law

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8 Unanswered Questions About the Guns N’ Roses Reunion

Will Izzy Stradlin be involved? Who will play drums? What happens after Coachella?

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Guns N' Roses
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty

After months of rumors, the official news finally hit last night that Guns N’ Roses will reunite in April at this year’s Coachella. Well, sort of. The California music festival’s Saturday lineup merely lists “Guns N’ Roses” as the headliner – with no clear indication of what exactly that means in 2016. Bassist Duff McKagan and guitarist Slash both shared the announcement via Twitter, essentially confirming their participation. McKagan played with Guns N’ Roses during a series of shows in 2014, but Slash hasn’t shared a stage with Axl Rose since the end of the Use Your Illusion tour in 1993. His return is a huge deal, and his presence in the lineup alone will help fill stadiums around the world – but there’s still a ton that we simply don’t know about the terms of this reunion. Here are just a few of the questions we have.

1. Will Izzy Stradlin Be Involved?
The rhythm guitarist, who played a key role in the creation of Appetite For Destruction, the Lies EP and the Use Your Illusion albums, left GNR in 1991. Since then, he’s become one of rock’s most mysterious figures, even as he maintained a steady release of under-the-radar solo albums. Stradlin joined his ex-bandmates in Velvet Revolver during their early rehearsals, but ultimately opted to stay out of the project. In 2006, he shocked Guns N’ Roses fans when he played with the new lineup at a New York show, and since then he’s made many guest appearances with the group, most notably during their 2012 European tour. But he didn’t show up when the group got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that year, and there’s absolutely no word on whether or not he’ll play any role in this reunion.

2. If Izzy Doesn’t Play Rhythm Guitar, Who Will?
DJ Ashba and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal both left the group last year, though the status of third guitarist Richard Fortus is unclear. Might it be him on rhythm? If not Fortus, might Gilby Clarke return? He was Izzy’s original replacement back in 1991, and he filled in for Izzy at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Might there be a role for Velvet Revolver’s Dave Kushner? Will Axl want two guitarists, like the old days, or will he want to stick with three? We have no idea.

3. Who Will Play Drums?
Frank Ferrer has been with Guns N’ Roses for the past 10 years, and seems like a very likely pick. But there’s also Matt Sorum. He joined in 1990 for Use Your Illusion and played in Velvet Revolver with Slash and Duff in the early 2000s. He certainly knows the material and is quite capable of pulling this off. He’s been guesting on Late Night with Seth Meyers all week, but there’s no word on his participation at Coachella. Then there’s Appetite-era drummer Steven Adler. He famously left GNR in 1990 due to a drug problem, and since then he’s been the loudest voice calling for a reunion. He’s been suspiciously quiet since this reunion noise started. He’s never played the Use Your Illusion material in concert, and it’s difficult to imagine him being the sole drummer on the tour. But might he have a role similar to the one Mick Taylor had on some recent Rolling Stones tours, where he comes onstage for a few songs every night? Once again, we have no idea.

4. Who Else From the Last GNR Lineup Will Be Involved?
Keyboardist Dizzy Reed has been in the group since 1990, giving him a longer tenure in the group than any member besides Axl Rose, so his participation seems like a lock. Chris Pitman, another keyboardist, has been with the group since 1998. It’s easy to imagine him returning. There won’t be two bass players, so that means Tommy Stinson is gone. And as we previously said, the status of drummer Frank Ferrer and guitarist Richard Fortus is completely unknown. Some old-school fans would like to see a complete break from the most recent GNR lineup, but that’s probably unlikely.

5. What Happens After Coachella?
There have been reports of a stadium tour, and it’s hard to imagine the band going to all this trouble to play just two weekends at Coachella and nothing more. As of now, though, we remain in the dark about where this reunion is going. Remember, Led Zeppelin did a single show in 2007 and haven’t played since. These things can fall apart very quickly, no matter how much money is at stake.

6. Will They Play Chinese Democracy Material?
Logic would indicate that the band will stay safely within the confines of 1987 to 1991 when picking a setlist – but there was another Guns N’ Roses album released in 2008. Duff McKagan played those songs when he returned in 2014. Would Slash be willing to do the same thing? Then there’s the Velvet Revolver catalog. “Fall To Pieces” began as a Guns N’ Roses song. Might Axl consider singing it, possibly as a tribute to Scott Weiland? We’ll see.

7. Will There Be New Material?
Most reunion tours focus solely on old material, but Axl and Slash might want this to be more than a nostalgia trip. Is there any chance they’ve secretly recorded a new song or two? Might they actually head into the studio at some point down the road? Stranger things have happened.

8. How Exactly Did This Happen?
Did Axl reach out to Slash? Did Slash reach out to Axl? Is there a chance they haven’t even spoken yet, and this whole thing was arranged by an army of lawyers and managers? Did Duff serve as a peace broker when he briefly returned to the band two years ago? Will this be an Eddie Van Halen/David Lee Roth situation, where they don’t really speak offstage? Did Axl apologize for calling Slash “a cancer?” Let’s hope they do some press soon and answer at least some of these questions, because right now we know very, very little.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/8-unanswered-questions-about-the-guns-n-roses-reunion-20160105#ixzz3wOJSV2cW
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Columbia House to Relaunch as Vinyl Subscription Service in 2016

“You can see a yearning and an interest to try a new format,” says mail-order retailer’s new owner

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Columbia House plans to relaunch as vinyl subscription service in 2016 Columbia House

Four months after declaring bankruptcy, mail-order retailer Columbia House thinks they have uncovered a path to solvency: Vinyl. Hoping to capitalize on the record fad, Columbia House’s new owner announced plans to revive the company as a vinyl-only delivery service. Columbia House got out of the music business entirely in 2010; since then, they’ve operated as a DVD marketplace.

“You can see a yearning and an interest to try a new format,” John Lippman, who bought the Columbia House brand out of bankruptcy for $1.5 million, told the Wall Street Journal of the company’s plans. “For a category that is meaningful and growing rapidly, you don’t see a whole lot of choice.”

At its peak in 1996, the service and its “Eight CDs for one penny” offer raked in an annual profit of $1.4 billion, but the decline of both the music and DVD industries ultimately resulted in Columbia House filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August, blaming streaming services for their free fall. At that time, the company’s assets were valued at $2 million while it owed $63 million to over 250 creditors.

However, while CD and DVD sales continue to steadily decline, the vinyl resurgence has seen nationwide retailers like Urban Outfitters, Barnes & Noble and even Whole Foods dedicating floor space to the medium. Vinyl sales rose 52 percent over the first half of 2015, with one-third of all physical music sales now vinyl records. However, that total only represents 7 percent of all music purchases.

“It’s not that digitization is going away,” Lippman said. “I think there is a sense among a lot of people of looking to get back to the broader experience of engaging with media.” While Columbia House hasn’t cemented their vinyl operation yet, they have launched a site – Columbia House Record Club – with a promise that they “will return in 2016.”

Columbia House will find some competition in the burgeoning vinyl resurgence from membership clubs like VNYL and Vinyl Me, Please.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/columbia-house-to-relaunch-as-vinyl-subscription-service-in-2016-20151224#ixzz3vHXp0EfH
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