Friday, 29 January 2016

30 years later - Why Roxette still matters - Varför Roxette fortfarande frågor

I was in Grade 11 when I heard Roxette for the first time. I was visiting a friend and he bought this cassette of a group called Roxette which had a heavy radio rotating song, The Look. I actually enjoyed the remix of the song more than the single. I was more into Depeche Mode and those electro music than pop rock, but something about Marie Fredriksson's voice  made me want to hear more. Then I saw the video for Listen To Your Heart (see below). I was hooked. It was the most beautiful song I've heard since Depeche Mode's Question Of Lust. I thought they were going to be a one-hit-wonder band. I was so wrong. It's 30 years later and the petite Marie and band mate Per Gessle are still going strong. Their music has matured. Their audience have changed, but they always got it right to hold on to their original followers and gained new ones. They were already a world phenomenon when they touched down in South Africa in 1995 for their first ever tour of the country and were greeted by 130 00 crazy fans. And they have returned to South Africa over and over again. Even with Marie's health scare and everyone wondered if the band will still continue, they did. They pushed on. Yes, Marie looks frail on stage, well, the last time I saw them live, and her voice is not quite what it used to be, but she fights on. Sing on and entertain us. I don't think there will be ever stopping them. Maybe one day they'll pull an ABBA move an disband never to reunited, but I think they will carry their music torch until the day it dies. I love you Marie. I love you Per. Can't wait to see you on 7 February in Cape Town, South Africa. Thank you that the unknown American exchange student in Sweden who bought a copy of Get Sharp and took it to America where the seed of the band’s international success were planted. And finally, thank you M-Net and all the other sponsors for bringing them back to their legion of fans here.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

CD! Various Artists - 2016 GRAMMY Nominees

Blah blah blah - you've heard it before, and now it's neatly packaged on this CD for you to buy. I would give it a skip and rather watch the show, which is always much more entertaining with guest appearances and more. It's a real pity they can't release the actual event as a CD. Well, for those interested, the 22nd instalment  features 21 GRAMMY-nominated artists and songs, including Album Of The Year nominees Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, as well as Best New Artist nominees Courtney Barnett, James Bay, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly and Meghan Trainor among others.

Francois Van Coke lends his voice to a global campaign

After the atrocious attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, The Eagles of Death Metal issued a challenge to other musicians to cover their song I Love You All The Time. “For every cover sold, we pledge to donate 100% of the publishing income to The Sweet Stuff Foundation. We ask that you also donate the money generated from sales of the song to the charity.” Because Francois Van Coke believes unifying and healing power of music, he felt moved by this plea to help raise funds for the victims of the Paris attacks and followed suit. “I felt that I wanted to be a part of the Play It Forward campaign because I was touched by the attacks at the Eagles of Death Metal show.  I also feel a bit of a connection with the band because we played with them when they were in South Africa. I am a huge fan of the band and I Love You All the Time was my favourite song on their new album.  It was an honour to record this song.” Francois’ stripped down and pure version of I Love You All the Time was recorded with Theo Crous at Bellville Studios. Jedd Kossew played guitar on the track. He translated the French part of the original version into Afrikaans: “I translated the French part to Afrikaans to make it more my own, plus my French pronunciation would’ve been bad.”
NB! Great news!  Francois van Coke and Karen Zoid’s super fantastic live DVD, Toe Vind Ek Jou, will hit the stores on the 8 February 2016. 

Jazz on the Rocks 2016 line-up announced

Tietie’s Bay, celebrates its 6th Jazz on the Rocks 2016 anniversary and  the line-up is fantastic boasting 3 international artists. Saxophonist Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra (USA) , alto sax wizard Marion Meadows (USA) and British saxophonist Andrew Young who performs every year due to public demand. But Jazz on the Rocks is a celebration of ‘local’ – be it the musicians, the people who provide the food, the audience and, more importantly the beauty of this West Coast venue…Tietiesbaai in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, just outside of the charming fishing village of Paternoster. For 4 days, from Thursday February 24 to Sunday February 29 2016, Tietiesbaai is where it is all happening. And there are few places in the world where you can you swim, sunbathe or fish while watching and listening to some of the coolest jazz and music in the world? ‘The line-up of artists is exceptional and the festival-goers should try get there on the Thursday so they don’t miss out.’ Says Clarence Ford, founder and Executive Producer of Jazz on the Rocks Festival.

Thursday: Afrotouch; Vernon Castle; Emo Adams; Public Opinion; DJ Rory

Friday: Out of Town; Adelia Douw; Sax Appeal featuring Marion Meadows; Rudimentals; The Rockets; Uncle Cal

Saturday: Hotbox; Official Welcome; Blaqpearl; Allou April; Late Final; Jaco Maria; Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra); Stanley Engelbrecht; Dawnay; Selwyn Bartlett

Sunday: Public Attention; Ramon Alexander; Natalie Rungan; Andrew Young; Claire Phillips; Alistair Izobell; Clarrie’s Metime

The festival thrives on nostalgia and the selection of DJ’s who fill up the time between “live” music will bring to life the parties of the 70’s and 80’s.Uncle Cal; Stan ‘the Jazz Man’ Engelbrecht; DJ Rory and Selwyn Bartlett.  Other than a limited number of weekend passes still available, the Tietiesbaai camp site within the Nature Reserve was sold out in one hour.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

"Hello South Africa!" says hip-hop star Lancifer

The exciting American Pop/Dance/Hip-Hop artist  Lancifer has set his sights on South Africa. The young American Pop/Dance/Hip-Hop artist from Nashville Tennessee, LANCIFER, is one of the most exciting things our shores can look forward to this year. Lancifer's 4th record, Go Big or Go Homeless, was released recently in South Africa. The album is produced and written by Lancifer with collaborations from co-producer Stuart Bullard (Dr. Dre) to co-mix engineer Andrew Law from Owsla Records (Skrillex). Go Big or Go Homeless ranges from funky RnB meets EDM to electro swing to hard hip-hop, all under a radio pop umbrella. The first single and music video from this album is Freak in Me Out. This prolific artist has opened for the likes of Miley Cyrus and has  toured to 10's of 1'000s of fans from hospital performances to sold out arena's in 17 countries including the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Austria, France and Canada. Lancifer has over 40 original songs released with 28 music videos shot in 15 countries. He has had TV cameo's and appearances including SyFY channel's Z Nation and Sharknado 3, Dance Showdown Season 3, NBC News for charity work at the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, ABC's Nashville and won MTV's The Hookup. He is looking forward to visiting South Africa this year.  Concert dates will be announced at a later stage.

Nicki Minaj coming to South Africa - this time for real!

American pop & hip hop sensation Nicki Minaj, is bringing the famous Pinkprint tour to her South African fans, with three unforgettable shows in Johannesburg at the Ticketpro Dome on Thursday 17 March, Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday 20 March and Cape Town’s Grand Arena, Grand West on Tuesday 22 March. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Thursday 28 January from ticketpro.co.za and selected Edgars retail stores nationally. Grammy Award-nominated superstar, Nicki Minaj, continues to break records and impact pop culture at large. Her critically lauded third full-length album, The Pinkprint arrived at the top of the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, cementing her as rap's reigning queen. Minaj recently made history, simultaneously occupying four top 10 spots on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart and becoming the first female artist to achieve the feat. Minaj also has the most hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart of any female rapper in history and is #3 among all females. What’s more, twelve of her entries entered the top ten, yielding another record for a female rapper. Minaj stands at the top of the pop vanguard.  To date, the global superstar has sold over 50 million singles and 5 million albums worldwide. Minaj has also been the recipient of a bevy of awards including American Music Awards, MTV VMA’s, Billboard Awards, People’s Choice Awards, BET Awards & many others. A global touring phenomenon, Minaj has sold out iconic venues including London’s O2 Arena, Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena, The Staples Center in Los Angeles, and many more. Outside of music, she has starred in films including Ice Age: Continental Drift and The Other Woman in addition to judging American Idol. She’ll also take the screen alongside Ice Cube and Cedric The Entertainer, starring in 2016’s Barbershop 3. In South Africa the chart-topping, multi-award winning rapper and actress will be performing a number of her countless hits from her three albums including her latest offering. With an astonishing 96 million fans on social media, Minaj will be pulling out all the stops for her South African tour.

The Nicki Minaj Pinkprint tickets can be purchased from www.ticketpro.co.za and selected Edgars retail stores, with prices ranging from R490.

Johannesburg: Ticketpro Dome - 17 March
Durban: Moses Mabhida Stadium - 20 March
Cape Town: Grand Arena, GrandWest  – 22 March

The Nicki Minaj Pinkprint tour is presented by Airey Scott Entertainment, 5FM, Metro FM, and Channel O.

South African rock supporter and award-winning journalist Gary Cool To Host A Show On Team Rock Radio

Eternal South African rock music supporter, and award-winning journalist, Gary Cool, has spread his wings and landed a time slot on international radio station, Team Rock Radio. Always pushing to bring South African music into the spotlight through cutting edge music journalism, this former Capetonian has always been an advocate for local music, and a wellspring of information on anything and everything in the South African music industry. Team Rock Radio is an international, online radio station. DJing alongside the like of Bruce Dickinson, Chris Jericho, the editor of Metal Hammer magazine, and many others, he will be bringing his own South African flavour to the station. Utilising this platform as a springboard for South African artists, he will be showcasing South African music to the world - from interviews to reviews, opinion pieces to debut playlistings, Gary will be giving the South African music scene the international exposure it has always deserved. “I have been fortunate to do a lot in the South African music scene – from having my open letter to Bruce Springsteen result in him touring the country, to emceeing some of the biggest stages in South Africa, but none of that seems as surreal as having a show on Team Rock Radio. This has been a dream of mine for years, and I look forward to sharing my love of South African music on an international stage; hopefully opening doors for South African artists across the globe. Plus, who wouldn’t be excited about being on the same station as Bruce Dickinson?” says Gary Cool. Even after interviewing the likes of the Foo Fighters, Slash, Bring Me The Horizon (and many, many more), Gary’s focus remains firmly on bolstering the South African music scene, with special attention always being given to unsigned and underdog artists.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Jack Parow is back with a new song and EP!

It's kief and it is lekker! Jack Parow is back with one hell of a great track, Kattenkwaad with De Kraaien. Jack garnered massive success when he dropped his Nag van die Lang Pette double album in The Netherlands and Belgium in 2014.  Our Afrikaans rapper made his mark on this territory by appearing and performing on the biggest TV shows and radio stations there.  He made thousands of new fans with two sold out club tours in 2014 and a super successful summer tour in 2015. It was during these regular visits that Jack Parow met like-minded Dutch artists which resulted in inevitable next-level collaborations. During his European summer tour in 2015, Parow worked with a few Dutch and Belgium artists to create the From Parow with Love EP. This EP will be available from Friday, 29th January 2016. The first offering from this release, Kattenkwaad with De Kraaien is out now to hold us over until next week. Check the video HERE!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

FESTIVAL! Easter Weekend Delivers A Brand New Festival In Clarens

Francois van Coke
Breakout is proud to announce the launch of a brand new, unique music and lifestyle festival in Clarens, Free State. Lush Festival will be taking place from 24 to 27 March 2016 over the Easter Weekend.

Clarens, situated in the foothills of the beautiful Maluti and Rooiberg Mountains, is nicknamed the “Jewel of the Free State” and the town and surrounding area is a popular weekend destination for residents of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. The well frequented village offers some of the most tranquil surrounds and spectacular views known throughout South Africa.

Lush Festival, taking place on the stunning Linwood Farm caters for the perfect festival set up and features an incredible line-up of top musicians and electronic acts. Two international acts are confirmed to headline the festival, namely Xavier Rudd and Civil Twilight. Xavier Rudd is one of Australia's most iconic voices. A multi-instrumentalist, surfer and activist, Xavier returns to South Africa, this time with his full band, after his first tour in 2013 performing at the first-ever Parklife Festival, which has become Johannesburg’s favourite inner-city festival. Civil Twilight, originally from Cape Town and now based in Nashville, catapulted into international stardom with their single “Letters From The Sky”. They are once again dominating SA Radio with their single “When, When” taken from their brand new album “Story of an Immigrant”. We look forward to hosting these two incredible live acts at Lush Festival.

The first of many local acts to be announced include The Parlotones, Jeremy Loops, Francois van Coke, Goodluck, Al Bairre, Grassy Spark, Rubber Duc, Pop Art Live, Austin Cassim, Chunda Munki, Vimo, Michael Lowman, Josie Field & Laurie Levine, Majozi, Howie Combrink and Josh Wantie.

The music stages are one of kind and each one unique by sound and view. The first stage is perfectly nestled in the woods, creating a natural frame of acoustic sound by nature. The second stage, a charmingly renovated barn offering picturesque views of the farm and the third, laying upwards towards a distinctive sandstone cliffs that Clarens is so well known for, huddled between two beautiful old willow trees, beside the river.

An early bird festival ticket which includes general camping is only R395 and is on sale until Monday the 8th of February. There is also a special Plus Camping area at an additional cost of R600 per ticket and limited to only 350 people. The private area will allow for spacious camping and is alongside a small stream with points of shade under the willow trees. It is well positioned alongside the Harambee Hotel and will be close enough to be convenient but far enough to be more peaceful, and will have its own toilets and showers. The festival also hosts a glam camping section hosted by Harambee Hotel. Each luxury hotel style tent sleeps 2 with single or double bed options, lights, power points for charging phones and includes a few extra creature comforts including a restaurant catering for Breakfast (included in the price).

Activities available to Lush participants will include an official trail run and fun run, a three day Mountain biking tour event, and guests can also take advantage of nature trails, abseiling, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, hot air ballooning, and much more on offer in the area.

Lush Festival is the perfect long weekend getaway that has everything to offer. Make Lush Festival in Clarens your destination for the most idyllic Easter Weekend breakaway.

Tickets available from http://breakout.nutickets.co.za/

Dates: Thu 24 March to Sun 27 March 2016
Address: Linwood Farm, on the Fouriesburg Road (R711) just 5km away from the village of Clarens.
Ticket Price (excluding ticketing fee):
Early Bird: R395 (only on sale until 8 Feb)
Phase 1: R495 (on sale from 9 Feb)
Phase 2: R595

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What David Bowie meant for me and my interest in music

The first time I heard the music of David Bowie was in 1987. I was about 16-years-old, a recluse, and visited my cousin on a regular basis. He was also a recluse, lived with my grandmother, struggled with depression and had boxes and boxes of vinyl records. I didn’t know 99% of the music in those boxes, but I soon learnt about David Bowie. My cousin, who regrettably committed suicide when I was in my last year of high school, had the first pressing of David's 1971 album, Hunky Dory. It was magic in a sleeve. Songs like Changes, Life On Mars and Queen Bitch became my anthems. My friends were listening to Wham! and Madonna (nothing wrong with that), but I preferred the music of this new (well, for me at least) magical wonder, David Bowie.
Of course, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), blew me away. Can this genius do nothing wrong?, I wondered many times. In my eyes, no. He was magical, half man half woman, he pushed the envelope with music, looks and fashion. He was brilliant. Unlike anything I've ever seen or heard. After the death of my cousin, I inherited all those boxes of vinyl records. I still listen to David Bowie's records in that collection. There are a lot of David albums. I was shocked and sad to learn of his death. It sounds like an insane online rumour. It was not. I never knew he was ill. How ironic that his last CD, Blackstar, was only released a few days before his death. My music world feels a bit empty with the loss of David. He will always be remembered, I will always remember him. In the words of renowned fashion designer, Jean PaulGaultier: "He transcended the eras, influencing them and sometimes even creating them musically, intellectually and as a human being. Personally he inspired me by his creativity, his extravagance, his sense of fashions(s) that he was constantly reinventing, by his allure, his elegance and his androgyny." 

"There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie"

Meet Lost&Found: Alternative Country Music at its best

Backing vocalist, keyboardist and bassist for The Parlotones, Glen Hodgson, and exceptional drummer Jason Oosthuizen (Black Cat Bones & ex Van Coke Kartel) are launching a new Alternative Country music project called Lost&Found.  It started out as a singer/songwriter project for Glen, but it quickly changed gears when Jason joined the set-up. Glen and Jason are currently in studio recording their full length debut album in Bloubergstrand with producers Fred den Hartog from Die Heuwels Fantasties and Dane Taylor.  The album is due for release early February 2016, but the guys couldn’t wait to launch this passion project with their first single, Lost and Found. This catchy single brims with sounds of new beginnings and will have new fans singing along for days on end.  Lost and Found is available as a free download from www.lostandfoundband.co.za

The debut album - a guest artist for every song:
Lost&Found put together a star studded guest list to make each song unforgettable.  Collaborating artists on the debut album include:  Jedd Kossew (Francois van Coke & Van Coke Kartel) on Lost and Found, Theo Crous on New Song and Chris van der Walt (The Black Cat Bones) on Faceless Man. Lee Lips from Hog Hoggidy Hog, Johnny de Ridder (Fokofpolisiekar), Hunter Kennedy (Die Heuwels Fantasties & Fokofpolisiekar), Pierre Greeff (Die Heuwels Fantasties) and Fred den Hartog (Die Heuwels Fantasties & Thieve) are also joining, with more guest artists to be confirmed.

Friday, 8 January 2016

New Music for 2016: local & international

I am so excited about this with all the great released waiting for my musical taste buds. We have some great local music on the horizon and there are some international releases which it also high on my i-want-to-hear list.

Mango Groove
On the home grown front, Mango Groove is back. Iconic SA group Mango Groove released their first single in over 6 years in Nov 2015. The song is called ‘’Faces to the Sun’’: It is truly a big slice of Summer Power Pop, with that unmistakeably infectious Mango Groove sound, and is a true celebration of South African-ness! The single is the first of several from the group’s forthcoming album ‘’Sing the Beloved Country’’ (release date March 2016) The album has been over 4 years in the making, and represents a celebration of great SA songs through the decades, featuring Mango Groove and key collaborations with some of South Africa’s most legendary and timeless artists.

Lost & Found
Glen Hodgson of The Parlotones and Jason Oosthuizen (ex-Van Coke Kartel and currently in Black Cat Bones) are busy with a new CD for their new music project, Lost & Found. Fred den Hartog of Die Heuwels Fantasties is recording the studio in his Blouberg studio. Each of the songs will feature a well-known guest artists. The CD is expected to be released next month (February).

Thieve (Andrew Davenport of AKING, Fred den Hartog of Die Heuwels Fantasties and Sheldon Yoko of Die Heuwels Fantasties) are also working hard on a new CD which will be released early 2016.

Charlie Puth
On the international front, keep your eyes open for new CDs from Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Jay-Z, Radiohead, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rihanna, Drake, Milly Elliott, Blink-182 (kidding you not!), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Sia, Charlie Puth, and many more. Also, there will be unannounced surprise released, like Adele did the end of last year

FINAL! Last Mumford & Sons tickets for South African tour

There is little over 4 weeks before the ‘Wilder Minds’ musicians, Mumford & Sons land in South Africa for their debut tour.  When tickets were launched in September, they sold out in minutes, leaving many disappointed fans around the country.  Promoters, Hilltop Live and Gentlemen of the Road, promised fans that a small section of tickets had been held back for sale closer to concert dates, which is now being made available along with the reclaimed 3rd party tickets and the unclaimed tickets from the Ticket Ballot that ran in December. Tickets are limited and will go on sale via www.computicket.com as well as Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores on the 8 January 2016 at 12pm. Tickets will be sold at R499 per person.  Tickets are limited to 4 per person. This is the FINAL opportunity for fans to get their hands on valid Mumford & Sons South Africa concert tickets.

Mumford & Sons Live in Cape Town
29, 30, 31 January 2016
Grand Parade
Tickets R499 per person

Mumford & Sons Live in Durban
03 February 2016
Durban Botanic Gardens
Tickets R499 per person

Mumford & Sons Live in Pretoria
06, 07 February 2016
Monument Amphitheatre
Tickets R499 per person

Monday, 4 January 2016

Why I'm excited for Panic! at the Disco's Death of a Bachelor CD

As I'm literally counting down the days until the new Panic! at the Disco CD Death of a Bachelor will be released (15 January), I always remember what lead singer Brendon Urie wrote on the band's Facebook page about the new CD:

"When I was a little kid and I heard a song I liked on tv, I would jump up and run to the piano to try and figure it out by ear. When I was 10 or 11, I built myself a drum kit in the garage made out of empty laundry detergent buckets, old lawn chairs, paint cans, and old trash cans. Around that time, my parents got me my first guitar. A baby acoustic. I jumped between all of these instruments constantly to satisfy the ideas I heard in my head. At this young age, I realized that music would play a huge part in my life. I had no idea.

'Death Of A Bachelor' is in honor of those times I spent alone as a kid. Allowing music to consume me. Playing everything myself just to get the idea right and out of my head. It’s a beginning to a new era. And an homage to how it all began.

This album is me. Running to the piano. Building a drum kit. Strumming a guitar.

Some things never change."