Friday, October 31, 2014

Sights and Sounds: Danny Elfman, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Paul Rodgers

Happy Halloween everybody! Here's a less-than-scary roundup of what's news...

Kelli Skye Fadroski has a great article in The Orange County Register on composer Danny Elfman. Check out her story here, which offers a great preview of "Danny Elfman's Music From the Films of Tim Burton" coming to Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles tonight and to the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday (Nov. 2).

In other news, I received a media release early today that Austin City Limits (ACL) is set to present an electrifying hour with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, one of the most exhilarating live acts in music. The noir-rock outfit make their ACL debut in an hourlong performance with a memorable career-wide set powered by dark songs of love, death, God and fate. The episode premieres Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT as part of ACL's milestone Season 40. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at immediately following the initial broadcast. The show's official hashtag is #acltv40.

Nick Cave is one of contemporary music’s most powerful personalities, and the Australian-born iconoclast takes the ACL stage with his longtime band for an unforgettable appearance. The masterful nine-song set features highlights from their 30-year career, spanning the 1984 debut to 2013's universally-acclaimed Push the Sky Away, their fifteenth studio album.

The black-clad Cave stalks the ACL stage with primal energy and explores the thin line between light and darkness with selections from his fire-and-brimstone universe, spouting scripture-scaled narratives and anti-anthems from his rogue's gallery of characters.  “Tupelo”, a twisted take on the mythos surrounding Elvis Presley, has the singer-songwriter ranting like an evangelist fallen from grace and intent on clawing his way back. Cave looks directly into the heart of darkness with a piano-based rendition of “The Mercy Seat”, a murderously powerful first-person account of execution by electric chair that progresses from the sinister to the sublime. The episode comes to a show-stopping end with the title track from their recent worldwide chart-topping release; as Cave sings the lyric “Some people say it's just rock 'n roll, ah, but it gets you right down to your soul”, the Austin crowd is rapt under his spell and ready to preach the gospel of Nick Cave.

“One of the most famous Austin City Limits episodes of all time was the Tom Waits show in 1978—people still talk about,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Nick Cave is the Tom Waits show of the 21st century! You will absolutely tell your friends about this one. You’ve got to see it to believe it!”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Episode Setlist:
Jubilee Street
Red Right Hand
From Her to Eternity
Love Letter
God Is In The House
The Mercy Seat
Push The Sky Away

Season 40 Fall 2014 Broadcast Schedule (additional episodes to be announced)

October 4        Beck
October 11      Ed Sheeran | Valerie June
October 18      Nine Inch Nails
October 25      Tweedy
November 1    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
November 8    Los Lobos | Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
November 15  Eric Church
November 22  ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014

The complete lineup for the full 13-week season, including new episodes to air beginning January 2015, will be announced at a later date. Check the news section of for additional episode updates.

Paul Rodgers on 'Front and Center.' Photo: Katherine Tyler
Legendary singer Paul Rodgers is set to be featured on the new season of Public Television's Front and Center beginning in mid-November (check local listings). Filmed on June 23, at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City, this hour long special features Rodgers –along with the all-star Memphis studio musicians that recorded The Royal Sessions at Memphis’ storied Royal Studios–performing classic soul and R&B songs released in February to critical and fan acclaim. Additionally, Rodgers and The Royal Sessions have been accepted for consideration in numerous GRAMMY categories including:  Rock Performance (“Born Under a Bad Sign”), Record of the Year (“I can’t Stand the Rain”), Traditional R&B (“I Can’t Stand the Rain” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”), American Roots Performance (“I thank You”), Album of the Year (The Royal Sessions), Americana Album (The Royal Sessions), Package (The Royal Sessions), Album Notes (The Royal Sessions), Engineer/Album of the Year (William Whittman for The Royal Sessions) and Producer of the Year (Perry Margouleff  for The Royal Sessions).

Onstage at Front and Center, Paul is accompanied by The Royal Sessions musicians: Reverend Charles Hodges Sr. (Hammond B3), Leroy Hodges Jr. (bass), Archie “Hubby” Turner (Wurlitzer), Michael Toles (guitar), Steve Potts (drums).  Additionally, Rodgers was joined by The Royal Singers, three soulful, gospel-rooted vocalists, including Shontelle Norman, Sharisse Norman and Stefanie Bolton, and The Memphis Horns, a multigenerational mix of Memphis’ best blowers, including Marc Franklin (trumpet), James L. Spake (baritone sax), Gary Topper (tenor sax), and Lannie “The Party” McMillan Jr. (tenor sax).

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