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The Clarks rocked -- by real rocks -- at Big Butler Fair

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

03-29-29 the-clarks 420It's called "rock," but outside of Red Rocks and the occasional Stonehenge backdrop, there's no place in it for actual rocks.

Rocks are what The Clarks encountered Friday night performing at the Big Butler Fair in Prospect on Bike Night.

Someone in the crowd hurled rocks at the stage striking singer Scott Blasey and hitting drummer Dave Minarik in the head. The people responsible were apprehended and removed from the concert.

"Just another fun-lovin' Clarks show," one band member said.

A few Clarks fans consoled the band on Twitter:

@Stephanie41701J: @scottblasey Was great tonight, even though he had to stop because of people throwing rocks at him and all the fights! @theclarks

@Pachaskle: @theclarks I am so sorry. Butler county doesn't deserve you. Great show otherwise!!

The Clarks play Stage AE on July 12 with Jimmer Podrasky, four days after releasing their new album, "Feathers & Bones."

 

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Wiz Khalifa album coming Aug. 19

Written by Scott Mervis on .

blaccWiz Khalifa's long-awaited new album “Blacc Hollywood” will arrive Aug. 19 on Rostrum/Atlantic Records

The rapper's third major-label full-length was led by the previously released single “We Dem Boyz.”

He will headline the “Under the Influence of Music Tour,” beginning July 24 with Jeezy, Ty Dolla $ign and more, and will play the First Niagara Pavilion Aug. 1.

 

 

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Transformers wows the world

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

baywahlbergblog
 
Michael Bay's "Transformers: Age of Extinction" grossed $301.3 million worldwide, including an estimated $100 million in North America. 
 
Rentrak, which tracks the box office, says that is the biggest opening weekend of the year and the first over $100 million. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, suggests "this solidifies Mark Wahlberg's position as one of the most consistently bankable stars working today."
 
Here are the early weekend estimates: 
 
1. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — $100,000,000.
2. “22 Jump Street” — $15,400,000, bringing its North American gross so far to $139,836,892.
3. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” — $13,100,000, for $121,814,532 to date. 
4. “Think Like a Man Too” — $10,400,000, or $48,168,360 since release.
5. “Maleficent” — $8,237,000, pushing it past the $200 million mark for $201,871,000. 
6. “Jersey Boys” —  $7,610,000, for $27,342,486 so far. 
7. “Edge of Tomorrow” — $5,210,000, bringing its gross to $84,154,632.
8. “The Fault in Our Stars” — $4,800,000, for $109,545,018 since release.
9. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” —  $3,300,000, bumping its total to $223,393,472.
10. “Chef” — $1,654,000, or $19,410,050 in limited release. 
wahlbergtransblog
 

 

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Beautiful thoughts on dialogue, culture and society from Riccardo Muti

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

In the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's program book that I got last week, there is an excerpt of an interview the CSO's music director, Riccardo Muti, gave with Rubén Amón in El Mundo (published March 30, 2014, with a translation by Roberto Bravo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association).

I found Mr. Muti's remarks so candid and so moving — he tackles culture, language, smartphones and more — that I wanted to share them here: 

"Those who make music know well the importance of using creative expression to influence our society. Far from excusing us from comment and action, our profession gives us a unique voice with which to communicate at the deepest level with those around us. It is only with music that enthusiastic praise and sharp protest become possible.

"Government leaders have to realize that we are witnessing a disturbing phenomenon: culture is losing the ethical dimension. Entertainment and frivolity have transformed culture into a hybrid and commercial phenomenon that in a way renounces depth. There is a superficial conception of aesthetics. Emptiness.

"Human beings no longer talk to each other. Our totemic instrument of communication is the smartphone. Dialogue is disappearing. And dialogue is the absolute form of growth and maturity. When I was a young man, it took months to win over a girl: courtship, glances, reading between the lines, furtive encounters, rain, waiting. And maybe you got lucky and you would get a response. Today you send a text message. And the text message is reduced, sacrificing the language, simplifying dialogue. We don't even say 'I love you'; you say 'ILY' and that's it.

We are annihilating language, the dramaturgy that is needed to evolve, the drama in the theatrical sense. We are discontinuing dialectics. We have stopped explaining ourselves, even in the breakup of a sentimental relationship. The turpitude of the text message poisons human ties. The impoverishment of the language is the impoverishment of the dialogue and of the dialectic. The world communicates not in English, but in a denatured form of English. The world relates in one hundred misspelled English words. We don't seem to be aware of this tragedy. Communication has become simplification. 

"We, as westerners, have stopped reading. The television has assumed a grave responsibility, not only because it doesn't broadcast a concert, but for the triumph it gives to banality. And humanity tolerates this filthiness. Will a society be able to grow when it has renounced dialectic confrontation? We are colossal consumers of anticulture. We have given up intellectual effort in exchange for passive entertainment. It's a tragedy.

"The feeling of being part of a history and a culture differs from nationalism in that the latter is exclusive and aggressive. The extreme right that has reappeared promotes the wrong ideas. It does this by manipulating breeding grounds such as the economic crisis and youth unemployment, which has reached 47 percent in Italy. The Italians are becoming more sorrowful. Italy has saddened. The stereotype of the cheerful and cordial guy no longer exists.

"We have to be conscious of what we are. Dialogue, I insist, is our road to salvation. I have discovered through personal experience that music has the great quality to bring together people who know the musical language and could not understand each other in terms of their culture, their ethnicity, their religion in any other language. I have seen this in Sarajevo, in Tunisia, in Lebanon, in Moscow. There is no need to present a passport to join an orchestra. As Pascal said, 'The heart has reasons that reason cannot understand.' 'Music enraptures us,' Dante said. I agree." 

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More from Steve Miller: Fans are addicted to the hits

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Steve-Miller-1If you’ve been to classic rock shows, you’ve seen this happen over and over again. The artist begins introducing a new song and within seconds people are up and heading for the bathroom or beer stand. It even happens to Bon Jovi, and the ladies can’t get enough of staring at him.

We’ve heard artists wage some mild complaints about it, but in a recent teleconference Steve Miller went off, going after fans and critics alike.

"But, our audiences are so conservative now and so strangely addicted to ... They’ve paid their money, they want to hear the greatest hits. We’ll go out and we’ll be playing in front of 15,000 people and say, “Hey, we’re going to do three new songs from something we just recorded” and 5,000 people get up and go get a hot dog and a beer and they don’t come back until they hear the opening strings of ‘The Joker’ or ‘Fly Like an Eagle.’ That to me has really bothered me about audiences is that when you have the kind of 40 years’ success with ....

"I mean, this is unprecedented. People are playing music that I recorded 40 years ago on the radio all over the world. I’ve played myself into a box in one way in that, I mean, I see it all the time. I generally do a two hour show. I do about 23-24 songs. There’s 14 greatest hits. So, that gives me 9-10 songs to play with.

"I feel like I have to sneak them into my set. I feel like when the critics come to see my show, they go, 'Well, then they went into this jazz/blues thing for a while and the energy went out of the audience until they came back and played this other song.' So, it’s a very strange kind of world that I occupy.

"I love playing. I’m a writer and a singer and a guitarist and a band leader. I love performing and connecting with an audience never gets old for me, but it does get old for me when my audience is just only interested in something they’ve already heard and it makes doing new stuff very ... it’s a strange experience right now."

 

What did I say?

Proud to say I did not go for a hot dog and a beer during the non-hit parade, but I wasn't blown away either. From my review his concert at the First Niagara Pavilion in 2008: 

“The mid-section of the concert is Miller’s baby these days, his chance to stretch out on a variety of blues.

"On board for this tour is new member Sonny Charles, from the Checkmates, who brought some flashy ol’ doo-wop showmanship to the stage. He got to step out front for Bo Diddley’s ‘Pretty Thing,’ a gritty rocker he failed to do justice to. Charles sounded better on the smoother jive tune ‘Ooo Poo Pa Do.’


"Between Miller and ace harmonica player Norton Buffalo, the band certainly has blues chops, as heard on “Mercury Blues” and “Come On,” but it’s not anything you couldn’t get at the corner bar, where the beer is a lot cheaper.”

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