Morrissey Making a Statement

Steven Patrick Morrissey, otherwise known as Morrissey from the Smiths, released a music video on Oct. 17 for his new single “Spent the Day in Bed.”  The music video is directed by Sophie Muller and stars the English soccer player Joey Barton. Barton portrays a wheelchair-bound caretaker for Morrissey who finds Morrissey and his band singing on a small stage in a social club.  In a recent interview with “Rolling Stone,” Morrissey states that the songs on his album contain “a rage in the blood, plus endless hooks.”  He adds “The political elite has stopped breathing, and the people and politicians everywhere are openly in a state of mutual contempt. Translate all of this into great music and life becomes hopeful.”

The single will appear on Morrissey’s fourth album “Low in High School,” which will be released on Nov. 17.  This will be his first album since 2014.  The newly revealed tracklist includes 12 songs with titles like “The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel,” “Home Is a Question Mark” and “Who Will Protect Us from the Police?” The former Smiths vocalist announced his new record in August before sharing its lead single, “Spent the Day in Bed” the following month. “Low in High School” follows his 2014 track “World Peace is None of Your Business.”  This song was also produced by Grammy-winning studio veteran Joe Chiccarelli who is best known for his work with Spoon, The White Stripes and Broken Social Scene.

With a reputation for making political statements and addressing current issues, Morrissey takes the opportunity to express fake news in the media today in his latest release. He sings, “And I recommend that you stop watching the news/ Because the news contrives to frighten you/ To make you feel small and alone/ To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own/ I spent the day in bed/ It’s a consolation when all my dreams/ Are perfectly legal/ In sheet for which I paid/ I am now laid.”

In addition to launching an official website, Morrissey also made his own official twitter account. His first tweet read “Spent the day in bed…” in reference to his lead single. Only twenty-four hours after Morrissey tweeted this, BBC Radio 6 revealed the single on air along with the official lyric video. Morrissey will begin a short United States tour at the end of October which will promote his new record.

Check out the link below to buy tickets to a Morrissey show near you:

http://morrisseyofficial.com

Get Involved with the Obama Foundation Summit

On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, the Obama Foundation will hold the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago and host civil leaders from around the world.  Hundreds of leaders will join together to exchange ideas, talk through creative solutions for common problems, and experience art, technology and music from across the world.  The Summit will have five main stage sessions with discussions, such as encouraging young people to improve their communities through creativity and technology.  The Summit will include other breakout sessions that will discuss culture and art and how they impact the identities of citizens all over the world.  The objective of the breakout sessions is to provide the attendees of the Summit with new skills and to engage them directly in conversations.  Some of the main stage and breakout speakers are:

  • Prince Henry of Wales
  • Matteo Renzi, former Prime Minister of Italy
  • Whitney Kimball Coe, director of the National Rural Assembly
  • Hamdi Ulukaya, humanitarian and founder of Chobani
  • Bahia Shehab, artist
  • Brian Alexander, journalist and author
  • Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Obama Presidential Center architects
  • Eric Liu, CEO of Citizen University
  • Elizabeth Alexander, poet and author
  • Theaster Gates, artist

The closing event of the Obama Foundation Summit will attract thousands of people, and will celebrate the efforts made by civic leaders and civilians to inspire and make positive changes in their communities.  Chance the Rapper is working with the Obama Foundation to plan a closing performance, which will include other musicians, such as Gloria Estefan and The National. Other artists that have yet to be named are also expected to perform.

 “As soon as I heard about the summit, I jumped at the opportunity,” Chance the Rapper says about Barack Obama’s inaugural summit in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.  “There’s a lot of great things going on in Chicago and I love the collaborative effort of being able to be at some of these talks and hear what people have going on and figuring out how I fit in. The fact that the president is jumping ahead of programming before the [Obama Presidential Center] gets built is inspiring.”

 

For those who cannot attend the Summit in Chicago, there will be a livestream of the event at: https://go.obama.org/page/s/summit-signup?a

 

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tribute to Puerto Rico

Lin-Manuel Miranda released a song featuring 22 other musicians in order to raise money for Puerto Rico for hurricane relief.  The song was released on Oct. 6, with the title “Almost Like Praying.”  All proceeds of the song will benefit the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund, which is an organization that Miranda has been supporting since Hurricane Maria hit the island.  The song is a message of love and positivity to the people of Puerto Rico, who are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria in September.

“Almost Like Praying” features many large-name musicians such as Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Luis Fonsi, Fat Joe, Gloria Estefan, Gina Rodriguez, Rita Moreno and more.  85-year-old Puerto Rican-American actress, Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her character of Anita in “West Side Story,” is a unique feature in Miranda’s new track.

The beginning lyrics of the song are “say it loud and there’s music playing/ say it soft and it’s almost like praying.”  These lyrics originally come from the song “Maria” in the 1961 film “West Side Story,” which is sung by Richard Beymer.  “West Side Story” is about a romance between a white gang member named Tony and a Puerto Rican woman named Maria.  Miranda was motivated to use these lyrics as a way to recover the name “Maria” in wake of one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the island of Puerto Rico.  

I was very aware even as it was happening that this was the worst hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a hundred years, and I knew that ‘Maria’ would forever have a different connotation on the island as a result of that.  And that’s my favorite song from “West Side Story.” So I began thinking about that song and the lyrics and a way to flip it into something positive,” Miranda said in a recent interview with NPR.  Miranda’s love for the island is fitting that the tribute derives from one of the most famous love stories of all time.

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Niall Horan is Back and Better Than Ever

After the One Direction hiatus in 2016, Niall Horan is back in the music industry with successful singles and an upcoming album and tour. After signing with Capitol Records, he released his first single, “This Town,” on Sept. 29, 2016. His first single was released on Kiss FM, and shortly after he tweeted, “Been workin in the studio, wanted to share this song I just wrote with u guys. Thank you for always being there.”
“This Town” was explained to have a double meaning that is relatable to people who live in small towns, who cannot help but see someone they used to love around town. After only three days of the single being released, “This Town” reached number one on the Billboard charts.

In Horan’s time away from One Direction, he worked on music inspired by some of his favorite musicians, such as Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. He described his new album as “more upbeat but that kind of vibe — the acoustic guitar, that kind of feel to it, nice strings.”

Eight months later, Horan released a new single, “Slow Hands,” which hit number one on the Billboard charts the same day it was released: May 4, 2017.
And, it was no surprise that Horan’s third single rocketed to the top of the charts, just like his previous singles. The explicit version of “Too Much to Ask” is number one on the iTunes chart, with the clean version following close behind at number 13. Horan confirmed that “Too Much to Ask” will follow “Slow Hands” on his upcoming album, “Flicker,” which comes out on Oct. 20.
Another song that will be on the album is “On the Loose,” which was premiered during his performance at Wango Tango in Los Angeles earlier this year. The rest of the “Flicker” track list is as follows:

“On the Loose”
“This Town”
“Seeing Blind (featuring Maren Morris)”
“Slow Hands”
“Too Much to Ask”
“Paper Houses”
“Since We’re Alone”
“Flicker”
“Fire Away”
“You and Me”

The Target edition of the album comes with three bonus songs, called “On My Own,” “Mirrors” and “The Tide.”

On top of Horan’s album release, he is currently on a solo tour called “Flicker Sessions World Tour,” where he will perform in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Horan is touring along side country star Maren Morris, who he also collaborated with on a song for “Flicker.” The venues are much smaller than when he performed with One Direction, however each of the stops on tour sold out within several minutes. 

Although it is a challenge for Directioners to witness Niall Horan becoming a popular solo artist, his fans have shown endless support for his upcoming music and tour.

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