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Day in Pop Report for 06/08/2015


Ryan Adams Slams Deadmau5's 'Robot Music' At Governors Ball
(Radio.com) When you're pitting Ryan Adams against an EDM act (this time, let's add Deadmau5 into the equation) at a festival, chances there's going to be some sort of side-eyed comment about whatever computer-aided music is coming from across the grounds.

And sure enough, that's exactly what happened at Governors Ball Music Festival in New York Saturday night (June 6)… except, for a few minutes, it looked like it wouldn't.

The second night of the fest was the big debut of Deadmau5's new stage setup, particularly the lighting rig, a giant geometric dome in which the producer mixes while the usual barrage of multi-colored lights flash and spin around him. And gladly enough, things got off to a solid start with it when Joel Zimmerman kicked off his set-that is, until a few minutes later, when things suddenly went silent.

It was start-and-stop for the next 10-15 minutes, the attendees-not as plentiful as for Drake the night before but still a very formidable number-reacting in a number of ways, some crying out in frustration, a few flat-out leaving, but the majority making light of the situation, whether it was singing the riff to "One Nation Army" or chanting "USA," both perhaps favorite American pastimes at any large gathering, really.

But soon, the power flickered back on, and Deadmau5 was back on… and of course, enter Ryan Adams. Adams played the stage of the festival perhaps farthest away from the main, a well-attended set of rock fans, dance music scoffers, stragglers from the interrupted Deadmau5 set and people who may have been in line for Ramen Burger since 3 p.m. Adams' set began 15 minutes preceding Deadmau5's, but it took until past the halfway point for him to make any sort of statement about the pounding bass happening across the grounds.

After thanking his fans for the applause and for showing up to his set that evening (it was, along with Deadmau5's, the last of the night), he threw a little dig in the general direction of the mau5-headed producer and his fans.

"This song is not going to match the robot music over there," he said prior to beginning his song "Oh My Sweet Carolina." Other choice lines: "Try to make this song on your f-ing iPhone, f- you" and "it's like we're living in a Terminator nightmare," among others.

It was certainly a foregone conclusion something would be said; after all, Adams' set began as Flume's ended across the field at the stage in closest proximity, for a brief moment resulting in a clash between said "robot music" and Adams' alt-country-rocker "Gimme Something Good." Read more here.

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Bleachers And Charli XCX Expand Tour Plans
(Radio.com) Charli XCX and Bleachers have extended their joint tour before it's even begun. The pair will start their tour next month in San Diego on July 21 before hitting a string of West Coast dates and moving out East from there.

Instead of ending Aug. 12 in Columbus, Ohio, Charli and Bleachers will now be playing shows across the East Coast, picking back up in Boston on Sept. 14 and finishing Oct. 10 in Salt Lake City.

"It's gonna be summer camp meets the apocalypse," indie pop frontman Jack Antonoff said in a press statement, counting all of the reasons to go. "Charli and I have been spending a bunch of time together recently and I am as a result more excited for this tour than Halloween when I was 9."

"Can't wait to see you all out on the road, it's gonna be weird and wild," added Charli, echoing Antonoff's thoughts. Check out all tour dates, including those on the first leg here.

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Florence and the Machine Announce Fall Tour Dates
(Radio.com) Not even a broken foot can slow down Florence Welch. Even though she's still recovering from her Coachella tumble that left her in a cast, the vocal powerhouse has expanded her United States tour.

Fresh off releasing How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Florence + the Machine will be treating crowds to the new songs well into the fall. In her new tour dates, the UK singer will be starting in August on Oct. 11 before making her way out west, including two shows in Los Angeles Oct. 21 and 22, and traveling up the coast where she'll finish in Seattle on Oct. 27.

She'll have a lot of practice before then as the band have a string of festival dates planned, starting this weekend at Governors Ball in NYC and continuing with Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza.

As for how she'll be managing with a broken foot, Welch recently framed her unfortunate injury in a positive light: "We did these shows stripped back and there was a kind of… it kind of forced me to interact with the audience in a different way and it stripped another layer of… because this record is so sort of exposing in a way to kind of be vulnerable it kind of made sense."

See the dates here.

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Rae Sremmurd's Slim Jimmy Injured At Governors Ball
(Radio.com) Another music festival has begun with Governors Ball kicking off on Randall's Island in New York City this past weekend (June 5). And, just as Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine saw her exuberance get the best of her when she broke her foot at Coachella, we have our first Governors Ball injury to report.

Slim Jimmy, half of up-and-coming hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, fell offstage and seriously injured his leg near the start of the group's afternoon set today. Billboard reports that it was just ten minutes into their 1:30 pm set when Jimmy fell during the duo's hit, "Unlock the Swag."

Swae Lee, the other half of Rae Sremmurd, stopped the song when he saw the incident, with Jimmy eventually taking the microphone to announce, "I got a big a- piece of glass in my leg, so if you got that video, put that s-t on Instagram." Read more here.

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Darius Rucker Plays 'Hold My Hand' With Brett Eldredge and Others
(Radio.com) Nearly 21 years ago, Darius Rucker released "Hold My Hand" with his band Hootie & the Blowfish. The song has certainly survived the test of time since its release in July of 1994 and has even become a staple in Rucker's sets now that he's a country star.

On May 30, Rucker brought his Southern Style tour to Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J., for 92.5 XTU's 31st anniversary show. He put a country spin on the song when inviting tour mates Brett Eldredge, Brothers Osborne and A Thousand Horses to join him on it.

As the artists came out on stage, Rucker looked to Eldredge, who had his arm around him, commenting, "He is just pretty. You're pretty." Meanwhile, Rucker took the first verse before Eldredge, Brothers Osborne's TJ Osborne and A Thousand Horses' Michael Hobby alternated the remaining verses and put their own country spin on the now-fiddle-heavy track. Watch it here.

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Ben Folds Reveals Song From New Album
Ben Folds has given fans their first taste of his forthcoming album, "So There", with an online stream of the track "Capable of Anything". The album is set to be released on September 11th.

According to the announcement the album will feature eight pop songs that were "recorded and arranged" with New York City sextet yMusic and "So There" will also feature a recording of Folds' 21-minute "Concerto For Piano and Orchestra," which features the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero.

Ben had this to say about the album, "I don't recall ever being quite so excited about an album I'm making I'll let you decide if that's a good thing or not. It's just that we don't often get to make a record that we've never heard before.

"The arrangements you will hear on this record are straight up rock - not ornamentation. The odd instrumentation - piano, cello, viola, violin, flute/piccolo/alto flute, trumpet/French horn, and clarinet/bass clarinet, with no bass and more often than not, no drums - is yielding something that I can't wait to release. It's a pop record, if that's what you call what I write."

NPR's All Things Considered have premiered the first song from the album, "Capable of Anything". NPR's Bob Boilen had this to say, "Ben Folds' music has taken another turn, firmly embracing strings and chamber music yet still maintaining a passion for his love of pop... I find this to be the most lovable piece of music I've ever heard from Ben Folds." Check out the song stream here.

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Jay Z's Made in America Will Not Be Returning To Los Angeles
(Radio.com) Last year, Jay Z's ambitious Made in America music festival expanded from its original Philadelphia location to include a simultaneous event in Los Angeles over Labor Day weekend.

Given the tumultuous and issue-plagued L.A. dates, it has been announced that Made in America will not be returning to Los Angeles for 2015. According to the L.A. Times, Made in America will stage the annual event in Philadelphia for its fourth year running.

Instead of bringing the fest to L.A., the reported plan is that Made in America will put on a special free event in on New York's Liberty Island, with Mary J. Blige allegedly pegged to headline.

"This is not at all a stepping back - this is a reevaluation of the model of going from one location to two to three," Budweiser VP of marketing Brian Perkins said. "We're a very ambitious brand, and we have a very ambitious partner in Jay Z, who also dreams big. And we always want to do big, bold things with music under the moniker of Budweiser Made In America."

Made in America's L.A. event featured Kanye West, Imagine Dragons, Steve Aoki and John Mayer, attracting more than 71,000 people over two days. Read more here.

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MKTO Go Mad Max For 'Bad Girls' Video
(Radio.com) MKTO released the "Bad Girls" video on Saturday (June 5) and it's certainly full of bad girls, but not exactly the kind that the song features. Instead, it shows the guys running afoul of some serious bad girls of the armed and dangerous variety who take them hostage and force them to perform for their entertainment.

Radio.com caught up with MKTO last week and got the inside scoop on how the video came together. According to Tony Oller, the video could easily have gone a more obvious route except for the continued interest in acting that he and Malcolm Kelley share.

"When the concepts were coming in, they were all about parties and loving bad girls," Oller says. "There wasn't really any idea there. Us having the acting backgrounds we have, we wanted to do something cinematic. We always look for any excuse to be able to do that kind of stuff. We came across one that was great and had a P.O.W. camp where these gorgeous women would take us hostage in very sexy outfits, but with a twist: these are women who are not only sexy, but who you don't want to mess with. There's a Mad Max kind of theme."

Oller and Kelley, for the uninitiated, met on the set of the Nickelodeon show Gigantic and formed their music act and a great bromance from there. Kelley previously played Walt on Lost while Oller is best known for his role in the horror flick The Purge.

"We were very fortunate to work with a talent director named Hanna Lux Davis, who had done 'Bang Bang' [with Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj]," Oller says. "She's a really cool soul; very vibrant, excited and young, She was down to collaborate with our ideas…The ending was our little twist to add into it, which I think people will get a kick out of."

Lux Davis also helmed great female pop star videos like Grande's "Love Me Harder" with The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj's "Only" and Ciara's "I'm Out."

"What made shooting this video even better was that we were lucky enough to have the entire set where they shot American Sniper," Oller recalls. "It allowed us to have tanks and hummers in the video. If you look closely, you'll still see the propaganda they used in the film. It was surreal because we had just seen the movie." Read more and watch the video here.

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Imagine Dragons Release 'Shots' Remix Video
(Radio.com) Imagine Dragons have taken the Broiler remix to their song "Shots" to new heights-thousands-of-feet-in-the-air-above-Las-Vegas type of heights. The band recently filmed the video for their current single "Shots" above the Las Vegas strip at the Stratosphere, much of it while 855 feet in the air and all while singing the song.

"This is the first time we've shot a music video for purely selfish reasons. It was a great excuse to go to the Stratosphere and mess around for a day. Ben's reactions alone made it an unforgettable experience," the band told Access Hollywood.

It turns out Ben McKee isn't a fan of extreme rides as his face throughout much of the video is of extreme fear. A clip at the end of the video includes him asking, "How many more times do we need to do this?"

Watch the band take part in some extreme thrill rides including the SkyJump, Insanity and X-Scream roller coaster with a GoPro attached to their helmets and cycling throughout the casino all while they sing along to the song here.

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Man Plays Beatles Classic On Guitar During Brain Surgery
(Radio.com) A new online video shows Brazilian banker Anthony Kulkamp Dias, 33 playing the Beatles' "Yesterday" on his acoustic guitar while doctors operate on his brain to remove a tumor.

Perhaps he was unfamiliar with Weird Al Yankovic's classic "Like a Surgeon," although it would have been a nice tribute to the people working on him. And sure, most of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery is far too complex for a guy with an acoustic guitar under any circumstances, but maybe a few bars of "Still… You Turn Me On" may have worked.

Or it could have been a bit awkward. Anyway! According to Brazilian news site G1 (via England's Telegraph), Dr Jean Abreu Machado, clinical director, said the procedure had been "challenging" for the whole surgery team, but particularly the anesthetist who had the job of keeping the patient awake and pain-free.

Dias's performance had a point beyond entertaining (and maybe unnerving) the doctors: he was actually encouraged to play during surgery so doctors could monitor the areas of the brain relating to speech and motor coordination and ensure they were not damaged when the tumor was removed. Watch the video here.

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Unauthorized Full House Story Cast Photo Released
(Radio.com) The Unauthorized Full House Story, set to air on Lifetime this summer, just got an authorized cast photo. Lifetime revealed the cast for the film, which will air on August 22 and will tell the behind the scenes story of the sitcom, and it's sort of a bizarro take on the original cast.

Sure, the actor playing Danny looks suspiciously like Bob Saget (that expression though) but is that really the best actresses they could find to play DJ and Michelle Tanner? Have mercy Lifetime.

Though fun fact, the guy playing Uncle Jesse actually has a connection to both Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. The actor, Justin Gaston, once dated Miley and played Taylor's boyfriend in her "Love Story" video.

The unauthorized movie is set to air on Lifetime on August 22. See the photo here.

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Singled Out: Foam Ropes' Telescope
Foam Ropes are playing the release party for their self-titled debut album next week and to celebrate we asked Foam Ropes mastermind Derek Nicoletto to tell us about the song "Telescope" from the new album. Here is the story:

"One third of your songs are about travel," my producer Jamie Siegel blurted, when we did our play-by-play through the Foam Ropes album. Jamie has made six albums with me (with different projects), so he would know. However, I would argue that although the imagery and metaphor I used in Foam Ropes' "Telescope" are mainly travel-related, the song is primarily about loneliness.

Jamie and I co-wrote "Telescope" in our usual fashion - Jamie provided some riffs (especially, that main guitar hook) and chords and then, I escaped with those ideas, moved them around and filled in the holes with lyrics, melody and arrangement. Jamie's little four-note guitar riff was the genesis of the song - the jumping off point Originally, Jamie played it in a much slower tempo. In December 2014, we recorded the hooks and some skeletal chord progressions at JRock Studios in NYC and then he sent me on my way to make a song out of it. Played slow, it reminded me of melancholy, self-pity, loneliness. These are some of my most familiar dark spaces, so they are pretty easy to draw from.

It was New Year's Weekend 2015. My friend Matt invited me up to his cabin in Vermont. For the New Year's celebration, Matt invited his family over and some friends - couples - from Boston. There's nothing like being surrounded by couples in a cabin on New Year's Eve to remind you of your own annoying singlehood. Cards Against Humanity provided me hours of distraction from creeping feelings of loneliness. But when the clock struck midnight, everyone kissed and Matt jokingly blew a kiss at me from across the room. My heart burned, broke and sank.

The next day I awoke and turned my attention to the Foam Ropes scratch tracks. I played the Telescope riff over and over as I dwelled on the emotional hangover from the previous night. That little four-note hook was also alone, yearning, and afraid. The first notes are hit quickly, like an adjustment, to the fourth note, which is held long…like a distance. In a self-pity swirl, I thought, "I am going to spend so many of these New Year's Eve's alone. It's like, no matter how hard I try to focus on dating or looking or getting myself "ready" for a relationship, I can't seem to bring it to fruition. I can't focus this telescope on what seems very, very far away…unreachable…practically impossible to attain." I thought about my recent complaints to my mother about my singlehood. She said that one problem was that I travel so much and never stay in one place. "It's hard to hit a moving target, Derek." But…I didn't want to stop travelling or even moving. To become a hittable target I would have to try to stay still. And I am afraid to stay still.

So, there was my chorus.

"If I shift to right, won't bring in sight, or focus this telescope.

Mother's advice: it's hard to hit a moving target, but I'm afraid to stop flying."

In the last choruses, I become more transparent: "Mother's advice: it's hard to love a moving man, but I'm afraid, I'm afraid to stop flying."

The verses are my justifications. In the first verse, I list the things I love about by my jet-set single life.

"Depart New York evening, morning Puglia greets me. So goes my life.

Love engines over oceans. Love rock and roll and oh…hums of hotel lights."

The second verse I argue that love isn't possible for me anyway - I've tried before and it's just not in the cards.

"I won't be too long. Believe I belong singing songs alone." And furthermore, "I've given a fair try. Toronto to Thailand - I tried." Toronto is where I was once married and Thailand was, well, the setting of yet another unsustainable affair.

In the outro, I make my mind up. I several times repeat my resolution: "I'm afraid to stop flying."

Honestly, it's a serious bummer of a song hiding in a bouncy tune. This lyrical gloom is probably why Jamie was inclined to position my melody in a quicker tempo, over a traveling, upbeat orchestration. We have long agreed that sad lyrics sung over happy music is a fantastic juxtaposition. So I agreed to this arrangement and production of the song you hear in "Telescope," track three of the Foam Ropes debut. In mixing, Jamie printed the more emotional takes over the performances that were perhaps more well-performed. I appreciated that. You can hear me lose my voice, because I started to cry…during the first damn verse. "Telescope" came out great. We agreed it was a favorite.

But as our album wrapped, I felt a void. I felt that an acoustic, slower, more isolated performance of "Telescope" was needed to honor its overall concept…and those moments I had on New Years Day in Rutland, Vermont. So, I talked Jamie into producing a "Telescope reprise" as the last track of the Foam Ropes album. Oli Rockberger played that gorgeous Hammond and frankly, I got to really sing my heart out this time. After "Truth in Fables," the "Telescope (Reprise)" is my favorite of my own vocal performances on the album.

Foam Ropes will be performing "Telescope" and seven other songs from our debut album on Tuesday, June 16th at 11:30 pm at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the album right here!

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