Music news in review: rap rules Bonnaroo, 'Big Man' suffers stroke, and more
What a week. From continued tornado relief efforts and comedy’s triumph at the Tony Awards (see photo), all the way to Lebron James’ ignominious defeat at the hands of Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks, the past seven days have been a mix of resiliency and triumph.
So in the spirit of the moment, here’s a quick recap of some stories you may have missed:
First, hearty congratulations to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their bevy of trophies earned at this year’s Tony Awards. Most popularly known as the creators of the animated hit “South Park,” Parker and Stone have taken their act to new heights with a smash musical that simultaneously ridicules religion as well as the “Great White Way” itself. Entitled “The Book of Mormon” the show is currently one of the hottest tickets in New York, and with Amazon.com’s recent sale of the absurdly-catchy cast soundtrack for only $1.99 its audience is only likely to grow in days to come. Well, that is of course if you don’t mind walking down the street humming tunes about AIDS in Africa or a “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream.”
Second, while predominantly thought of as a jam-heavy event, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. has seen a change in recent years to include more urban-orientated acts such as Jay-Z and Kanye West. Though this year’s line-up also featured veteran performers like Buffalo Springfield and Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, the real story was hip-hop’s takeover of Saturday with sets by Big Boi, Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa whetting audience appetites before Eminem’s hotly-anticipated appearance before 80,000 screaming fans. So what does this potential genre-change mean for the future of one of America’s most laid-back festivals? One thing is for sure. Don’t ask this guy (*Warning: video contains some strong language*).
Lastly, on a more somber note, according to an article on Rolling Stone magazine online, Clarence “Big Man” Clemons of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band fame suffered a stroke at his home in Florida on Friday and is currently hospitalized in serious condition. The famed saxophonist has been battling medical problems for years, and while he hasn’t performed with the other E Streeters since December of 2010, he did play with Lady Gaga during last month’s American Idol finale and is featured on two tracks on the pop singer’s new album. For more information check out an update on Clemons’ condition here.
One final note, no matter how many times I’ve watched this video by the band Lake, I have yet to decide if the overall tone is incredibly creepy or totally awesome. There’s definitely a strong “Where the Wild Things Are” vibe that runs throughout (at least for me), but watch and judge for yourself.