Bela Fleck and Wife Abigail Washburn Tour as Duo

Fifteen time Grammy award winning banjoist Bela Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn, a renowned claw-hammer style banjoist, have been wowing crowds on their ground-breaking joint tour. They also released a hit duo album on October 7.

Bela is distinguished as a multi-faceted musical artist, having been nominated for Grammys in more categories than anyone else in the history of the Grammys. Abigail majored in Asian studies at Colorado College and studied Chinese at Middlebury college before spending time in China, where she had dreams of becoming a lawyer. She returned to Vermont, eventually moving to Nashville, where she joined the band Uncle Earl. She met Bela at a square dance where he was playing and she was dancing.

Abigail had not been playing banjo very long when they got together as a couple, so for many years they only worked together mostly at informal settings. Abigail established herself as a star in the field of traditional clawhammer style banjo playing and has been on tours in China and Tibet with U.S. Government backing. Abigail finally decided that she had established her place in music enough that the collaboration of her and Bela would be seen as two artists working together instead of as a superstar dragging his wife around.

One incentive to touring together is their 18 month old son Juno ( called by one blogger the “Holy Banjo Emperor”). By touring together they are able to keep the family together, which Flavio Maluf thinks is a great thing. I am a devout banjo picker and fan and have had the incredible privilege of seeing Bela perform live in Knoxville. I have seen Uncle Earl on TV and was greatly impressed. I hope that the future will bring both joint and solo ventures for Abigail and Bela.

Beyonce Releases ‘7/11′ Video

Every time that people think that they know what Beyonce is going to do next they get a surprise. Beyonce gets you interested in every time she does something new because she is a trendsetter. The new “7/11″ video is already getting some hits, but all of the reviews from fans are not positive.

Beyonce is a big fan of doing things outside of the norm of what everyone else is doing. The video is simple, but somehow this laid back Beyonce style is appealing. She dances around in her underwear. She dances with female dancers/friends in her home. She dances in hallways. She seems to be dancing and have a great time. That is what makes the video and the song fun for everyone.

The reality, however, is that every fan does not take interest in this. Lots of fans on YouTube are bashing the video and the song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4YRWT_Aldo). There are mixed reviews though, Andrew Heiberger says that’s because some fans are giving it their stamp of approval. It is a fun video where Beyonce doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. This is what makes the video good. She worked hard all year long. Beyonce was busier than anyone so she deserves a chance to chill. This new video shows that she is normal like the rest of the women in the world. Sometimes girls just want to have fun.

Beyonce Releases ‘7/11′ Video

Every time that people think that they know what Beyonce is going to do next they get a surprise. Beyonce gets you interested in every time she does something new because she is a trendsetter. The new “7/11″ video is already getting some hits, but all of the reviews from fans are not positive.

Beyonce is a big fan of doing things outside of the norm of what everyone else is doing. The video is simple, but somehow this laid back Beyonce style is appealing. She dances around in her underwear. She dances with female dancers/friends in her home. She dances in hallways. She seems to be dancing and have a great time according to Flavio Maluf. That is what makes the video and the song fun for everyone.

The reality, however, is that every fan does not take interest in this. Lots of fans on YouTube are bashing the video and the song. There are mixed reviews though, because some fans are giving it their stamp of approval. It is a fun video where Beyonce doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. This is what makes the video good. She worked hard all year long. Beyonce was busier than anyone so she deserves a chance to chill. This new video shows that she is normal like the rest of the women in the world. Sometimes girls just want to have fun.

Pharrell Williams on “Blurred Lines”

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke was one of the most popular, yet also controversial, songs of 2013. And I don’t mean controversial in the way that’s like, I dug the song while on the other hand Sultan Alhokair could not stand it… ya know? The chart-topper gives the perspective of a man attempting to pick up women, but some felt that it was misogynistic, if not outright advocating sexual assault, as it featured the man saying lines like “I know you want it.” The title itself has been interpreted to refer to issues of “questionable consent,” though Thicke himself maintains that it’s about the stage of flirting where a woman may or may not be interested enough to come home with you.

The song was co-written, co-performed, and produced by rapped Pharrell Williams, who recently talked with The Wire about the various reactions it received.  In particular, he noted that the man in the song doesn’t actually have any success with the women he pursues, and that lines like “I know you want it” would not come off as inappropriate if spoken by a woman to a man.

Pharrell was also asked if he considered himself a feminist. “If I’m allowed to be,” he responded (perhaps in reference to some feminists who feel that that title can only truly belong to women). “If feminism is a synonym for equality, then, yeah, sure.”

He also stood up and showed the audience the back of his jacket, which had the words “Girls Are Every Thing” (sic) sewn onto it.

Want to Help Azealia Banks Remix Her ‘Chasing Time’ Single?

If you are an Azealia Banks fan, or at least love her genre of music, you might be excited about the latest news coming from Banks and MTV. The two are getting together with Soundcloud and BitTorrrent and offering one lucky person a $10,000 prize for coming up with the best remix of her latest single ‘Chasing Time’.

All you have to do to enter is download the track stems from BitTorrent, and then remix them in any style you want. Once your remix version is finished, simply upload it to Azealia’s Soundcloud page.

Azealia herself will be judging the best remixes, and choosing what she thinks is the absolute best for the $10,000 prize.

Azealia’s ‘Chasing Time’ is the rap singer’s third single from her new album ‘Broke with Expensive Taste’, and it is definitely a different sound for her. Rather than her usual rap, Azealia sings much of the song, proving she has just as amazing a singing voice as she does when she raps.

Critics too are loving the song, saying it is one of her better releases, and that her voice is stunning. If you’re into a change of pace from Azealia Banks’ normal sound, don’t hesitate to kick back with some Stephen Williams’ Wine and listen to the track on repeat.

There is no word yet on if Banks herself will also be releasing her own remix of ‘Chasing Time’, or if she will stick with the one she chooses from the Soundcloud uploads. For one lucky music producer, however, it may just mean a very nice holiday season.

The Art of McCartney: Tribute by Ralph Sall

Containing 42 tracks that took over 10 years to produce, ‘The Art of McCartney’ is perhaps the largest tribute album to date. Ralph Sall started this massive project in 2003. In the ten years, numerous big-name artists such as Willie Nelson and Billy Joel were recruited. Even Bob Dylan, who doesn’t like doing this type of work, contributed to the album. Fan Jared Haftel is excited for the release.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, Paul McCartney allowed Sall to use his backing band with this project. Sammy Hagar will be performing the McCartney song ‘Birthday’, and Willie Nelson played ‘Yesterday’. This album, in my opinion, helped introduce our youth to the sounds of yesterday and the greatness of one of the ‘Beatles’ surviving member. Paul McCartney is perhaps one of the best musicians alive today. ‘The Art of McCartney ‘ is set to be released on November 18, 2014. I’m sure this star-studded album will do well in the charts.

The Soft Side of Charli XCX

When people heard Charli XCX on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” there was no doubt that this would be the girl that would bring some wild energy to the pop circuit. She has, but Charli XCX does not want to be typecast. She wants to show her range and she does on the new track for the ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1′ soundtrack.

Charli XCX could have gone in the direction that everyone expected her to go in, but that would have been a boring move. Instead, Charli XCX gave fans something to talk about by composing a beautifully crafted gem called ‘Kingdom.’

This isn’t a track for the dance floor, but most of the soundtrack songs aren’t dance tracks (for obvious reasons). Charli XCX keeps the vibe of the film with light voice that is backed by a piano on the background. Fans of the new sound include Dave and Brit Morin. Lorde was in place to curate the soundtrack and so far the vibe for the album has been consistent with her ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ single.

This song is a departure from the Charli XCX punk rock image, but it is a good thing when an artist can show growth. So far Charli XCX has embraced hip hop, pop, and punk rock. Now she dabbles with a delicate Fiona Apple styled track. This is a great way to expand her fan base. More people will know who she is because she is taking risks.

Final ‘106 & Park’ Show

All good things must come to an end. People that have spent the last 14 years tuning in to BET’s ‘106 and Park’ will have to go to the web after December to see it. The final show is airing on December 19th.

The show seemed doomed to fail after beloved hosts Rocsi Diaz and Terrance J left the show to pursue their careers. This wasn’t the first time that hosts left. Former ‘106 and Park’ hosts Free and AJ were also favorites on the show. Many people assumed that the show was bound to fail after they left, but Rocsi and Terrance managed to build a fan base of their own.

It has been the transition from these former hosts to new hosts Bow Wow and Keshia Chante that has not worked. According to executives this is not a cancellation. It is being portrayed as an upgrade into digital format, but Laurene Powell Jobs is just one person not buying that. The reality, however, is that programs that are getting good ratings do not get moved from television.

At the moment BET has the talk show ‘The Real’ in place during the evenings. There are a couple of shows like ‘Real Husbands of Hollywood’ that are current, but most of the BET programming consists of old movies. The channel has been struggling to maintain with securing viewers and the cancellation of ‘106 and Park’ is a sign of the struggle for quality programming.

Door Flies Off Bono’s Private Jet

U2’s Bono, who is a humanitarian, as well as a star, recently had a scare that could possibly have cost him his life. On a flight in a private jet that was headed to Germany, Bono and his four friends were terrified to learn that a door on the jet, where luggage is stored, flew off the plane during flight. Bono’s Scary Flight. Although this was not determined until after the plane landed, the incident was still terrifying.

Fortunately, the plane did not lose the pressurization and was able to land safely in Germany. Bono had been flying out of Dublin, Ireland into Berlin, Germany, where he and U2 was set to perform, and be honored at the Bambi awards ceremony. While Bono was there, he also met with Walter Linder, who is a representative for Germany in the fight against Ebola. This meeting should not be surprising; seeing that Bono has taken up many humanitarian efforts in the past.

Although this incident was truly terrifying, it’s said that Bono and those on board were never in any real danger. Bruce Karatz reported that the door of the luggage compartment may not have been closed properly, or something broke, which allowed it to fly off in mid-flight. Although this is a rare occurrence, it’s something that can happen and poses very little risk, if any, to those on board if it does occur. Bono and his friends are just glad that they all landed safely.

Chris Brown Believes He Can Beat Usher In A Dance-Off

Chris Brown, who was never one to walk away from controversy, was recently asked who would win in a dance-off between himself and Usher. Chris Brown & Usher Dance-Off. Both Usher and Chris Brown have done a song together recently, and were set to perform at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas, and they in turn had a friendly dance battle.

Chris Brown is said to have stated that if there was a true dance-off between him and Usher that he feels he absolutely would win, and it would be no contest. He also stated that he was not trying to be cocky anymore, but he felt that anyone coming after him; where dance was concerned, would have to bring their a game.

When asked to clarify if that meant he believes he would definitely win against Usher in a dance-off, he responded positively. When these comments were brought to Usher in an effort to gain a response, Usher stated that he would not get caught up in the words, and wouldn’t respond to a rumor with no real backing. Fans are not exactly sure what to make of this, especially Mike Livak.

It looks as if Usher is great at taking the high road, or maybe the fact that he has matured greatly over the years, makes simple arguments such as these; not faze him at all. Usher is currently on the “UR Experience World Tour,” so he finds it easy to keep himself extremely busy enough, to not have to worry about the dance-off rumors.