CAGE THE ELEPHANT: On Cage The Elephant’s third album, MELOPHOBIA, the rock band was faced with the challenge of finding cohesiveness in the ideas of five different people. After touring for nearly five years straight on their prior releases, 2008’s Cage The Elephant and 2011’s Thank You, Happy Birthday, the musicians took some time off the road, to write as individuals before getting back together in August of 2012 to begin work on MELOPHOBIA as a collective.
“As individuals we all had fairly vague visions for how we wanted the record to turn out,” lead singer Matt Shultz says. “They were pretty polar. It really became a challenge to combine all these polar opposites together in a cohesive way. We first started writing material that was very intimate and had a very kind of close and hushed sound to it, but our hearts missed that energy and swagger and playfulness we love so much. Once that came to light, the record really started taking shape on its own. It was the uniting of several different ideas that were really different from each other.”
GIPSY KINGS: It has been twenty-five years since the Gipsy Kings captured the world’s imagination with their self-titled debut album—a record that became a genuine phenomenon, certified gold and platinum around the globe, introducing millions of listeners to a unique, irresistible blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms. Since then, the band has toured virtually non-stop, to the farthest-flung corners of the planet, and sold almost twenty million albums, all the while retaining the same line-up of virtuoso musicians.
LOS LOBOS: Since 1974, East L.A.’s Los Lobos have been exploring the artistic and commercial possibilities of American biculturalism, moving back and forth between their Chicano roots and their love of American rock & roll. Although the band first gained fame as part of the early-Eighties roots-rock revival, they didn’t so much strip music down as mix it up, playing norteño, blues, country, Tex-Mex, ballads, folk, and rock. They have been guests on albums by Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues, and Paul Simon, and their music has been featured in films such as La Bamba and Desperado.
Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, David Hidalgo, and Louie Perez, four friends from East L.A.’s Garfield High School, formed Los Lobos (Spanish for “the Wolves”) to play weddings and bars in their neighborhood. Although they had previously played in straightforward American rock bands, together they decided to experiment with acoustic folk instruments and explore their Mexican heritage, playing norteño and conjunto music on instruments including the guitarron and bajo sexto. They got their first full-time gig in 1978, playing at a Mexican restaurant in Orange County. That year they also released their debut album, Just Another Band From East L.A.
THE AVETT BROTHERS: If you put your ear to the street, you can hear the rumble of the world in motion; people going to and from work, to school, to the grocery store. You may even hear the whisper of their living rooms, their conversation, their complaints, and if you’re lucky, their laughter. If you’re almost anywhere in America, you’ll hear something different, something special, something you recognize but haven’t heard in a long time. It is the sound of a real celebration.It is not New Year’s, and it is not a political convention. It is neither a prime time game-show, nor a music video countdown, bloated with fame and sponsorship. What you are hearing is the love for a music. It is the unbridled outcry of support for a song that sings to the heart, that dances with the soul. The jubilation is in the theaters, the bars, the music clubs, the festivals. The love is for a band.The songs are honest: just chords with real voices singing real melodies. But, the heart and the energy with which they are sung, is really why people are talking, and why so many sing along.
After releasing their 2012 full-length debut Night Visions (featuring the Grammy Award-winning single “Radioactive”), Imagine Dragons spent nearly two years bringing their passionately inventive brand of alt-rock to arenas around the world. To deal with the chaos of a touring schedule that included 130 headline dates and 50 festivals across the globe, the Las Vegas-based quartet threw themselves into creating material for their next album.
ROBERT PLANT: A million miles lay between the brooding pulse of Mississippi Delta life and the sanitized shelter of the timid English boy, circa 1962.
50 years on – drawing from a lifetime of adventures, tracking the dark, beautiful resonator, Plant follows his heart and lifts his voice higher and joyous ever away – and beyond – A voice of experience and learning from the sounds of Southside Chicago Electric Blues; of Griot mantras from West Africa; from Louisiana Dance Halls; Greenwich Village Folk hangover; Haight Ashbury indulgences; Moroccan medina breakbeat; the early English radical techno materials, Texas two-step and Bristol Dubstep.
Before his recent projects in Nashville with Alison Krauss and Band of Joy, Plant worked alongside the very interesting force, “Strange Sensation”, recording the critically acclaimed, multi-Grammy nominated albums – “Dreamland” and “Mighty Rearranger”. From this platform, Sensational Space Shifters has developed. Now together these confederates and conspirators dig deeper and more intensely, always twisting and turning, bringing the past into a brilliant technicolour present.
Michael Franti: Musician, humanitarian, and children’s book author, Michael Franti, is recognized as a pioneering force using music as a vehicle for positive change as well as his unforgettable, high energy shows with his band, Spearhead. With the multi-platinum success of his song “Say Hey (I Love You)” and the chart breaking 2010 release of “The Sound Of Sunshine”, Franti and his band guarantee a show that will be thought provoking as well as a fun dance party! “Music is sunshine,” says Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.” Franti has a brand new single, “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)” hitting radio now leading into his brand new album this summer
No Doubt has achieved a lot as a band, including releasing several multi-platinum albums (1995’s diamond-certified Tragic Kingdom, 2001’s Rock Steady, and a 2003 singles collection) and a string of chart-topping hits (“Just A Girl,” “Don’t Speak,” “Hey Baby,” “Hella Good,” “Underneath It All,” and “It’s My Life”). They’ve launched international sold-out tours, won two Grammy Awards and five MTV Video Music Awards, and were invited to perform for Paul McCartney and the President at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.