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  • The Used
  • Simple Plan
  • Sean Kingston

More Info

The Used: The Used is an American rock band from Orem, Utah. Formed in 2001, the group signed to Reprise Records the same year and rose to fame in June 2002 after releasing their self-titled debut album.

Simple Plan: Hands up, who’s sick of debating what is or isn’t “punk”? If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already made up your mind about Simple Plan. But maybe it’s time to forget what you know, because Simple Plan couldn’t care less about people’s opinions of them. Simple Plan have spent the last year channeling their energy, positivity and, yes, sometimes frustration, into their music. And no matter how you want to label their music, the 11 songs on the band’s highley anticipated second album, Still Not Getting Any… proves that SP are not a punk band, a pop band, a rock band or whatever label you can come up with… they are just a great band… a band that strives to write great songs and put on a hell of a show!

Admittedly, a lot has happened since the Montreal, Canada band—vocalist Pierre Bouvier, drummer Chuck Comeau, bassist David Desrosiers and guitarists Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco—released No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls… in the spring of 2002. Aside from selling a couple of million albums, the group have shared the stage with everyone from Rancid to Aerosmith; made appearances on the Vans Warped Tour for three years running (two as Headliners), and been nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards—not bad for five kids who used to tour in their parents’ station wagon.

“Songs about cars and partying do nothing for me,” explains Comeau. “I like songs where I listen and it makes me shiver.” That said, you may want to don a parka while listening to Still Not Getting Any…, because it’s packed with shiver-worthy moments: “Crazy,” chronicles the insecurities each of us go through on a daily basis (yes, even if you’re a rock star), while “Perfect World,” struggles to make sense out of loss. However, for a while, it looked like these songs would never come together.

“For us songwriting is a craft we really have to work hard at,” admits Comeau. After the band wrapped their first U.S. headlining tour with MxPx last February, Comeau and Bouvier spent three months in Vancouver writing every single day for the new album, throwing away more ideas than they came away with. “At first we had trouble coming up with stuff we loved, so we just kept writing and writing… never giving up. After months of doing this and pushing each other, it just came together,“ Bouvier explains. ‘Perfect World’ was one of the first good songs that we got, and from there the songs just started coming out of us like a waterfall.”

When it came time to record, the band enlisted famed producer Bob Rock (the man behind some of Metallica’s, Mötley Crüe’s and Bon Jovi’s biggest records). The vision behind Still Not Getting Any… was simple… the band would not restrict themselves to the punk genre, which ironically seems to have more rules than one can keep track of these days.

“I think on the first record we just wanted to write a pure pop-punk record, and on this one we didn’t care—we just wanted to write good songs,” explains Comeau. Bouvier has a fitting analogy for the band’s approach: “As an artist, why limit yourself to just doing certain things?” he asks aloud. “It’s like being a painter; do you decide to only use seven or eight colors, or blend the colors together and make the most beautiful painting possible. From the deeply personal story behind the album’s lead single “Welcome To My Life” to the insanely exhilarating guitar solo on “Promise”, this illustrates the band’s approach to songwriting.

Granted, Still Not Getting Any… isn’t going to be in the trip-hop section of any record store, but there are some surprises, be it the subtle but powerful interludes in “Shut Up”, the cool and yet intricate drum loop on “Perfect World”, the beautiful string section and touching lyrics you can hear on “Untitled”, or the epic string arrangement on “One.” “Thank You” recalls the early 90’s melodic punk bands who influenced Comeau and Bouvier’s old hardcore band, Reset.

The record is a bit different from the first one, but it’s still us,” Lefebvre is quick to point out. However, although Simple Plan are open to experimenting with the formula that made them famous, their biggest concern is not letting down their fans, because, that’s who this album is for. “The connection between us and our fans is the most important thing we have,” explains Desrosiers. “They’ll ultimately be the ones who make or break our album, not some music critic who’s already made his or her mind up about us,” Stinco adds. “Without them, I would probably be working a nine-to-five job that I hate.”

In the end, the band speak best though their lyrics, and during “Shut Up” when Bouvier sings, “Nothing you say today will ever bring me down,” it’s not calculated rebellion—it’s the truth. So, whose side are you on?

Sean Kingston: Sean Kingston, the17 year-old Miami born, Jamaica bred artist, is not just a new face in popular music; he's accomplished the rare task of creating a new genre where rap, reggae, pop, doo-wop and remarkable songwriting all combine into something totally refreshing. Add in Sean's family roots, which cite Jamaican legendary producer Jack Ruby as his grandfather, and you have one of the most exciting debuts this year. And while hip-hop lyrics have sparked the biggest debate in years, Sean finds himself in the center of the controversy - but not where you might think. The teen prefers to show his creativity without using profanity.

It's no wonder then that Sean is quickly becoming a household name with his first single "Beautiful Girls," a song cross-pollinating on both urban and pop radio stations coast to coast. The unmistakable hit boasts the instant hook of "Stand by Me" which acts like a muse for the song produced by savant J.R. Rotem. Sean, who is the flagship artist on J.R.'s label Beluga Heights, will release his debut album Sean Kingston on July 31 via Beluga Heights/Epic.

"I heard the track 'Stand By Me,' one night in the studio while listening to the radio and asked J.R. if anyone had ever used that sample. He made the beat immediately and I wrote down the lyrics within an hour - it happened very quickly. I loved the way it turned out and I think my sound is a lot different than what else is out there. It all just worked and we knew we had something special with the track. I'm also singing about something people can relate to - I'm singing about being in love with someone who you think is your world but they don't see it that way and you have to end the relationship."

Kingston wants to make it clear that he is no cookie cutter artist that has the songs mapped out for him - he comes up with 100 percent of his lyrics. Sean also understands that as a 17 year-old making urban music he has a responsibility to fans, "With this album I thought it was important to not use curse words or negative language that might offend people. I write my own songs so it's like if I can write a great track without using those words, then that's the style for me." Sean continues, "As an artist, my whole goal is to make powerful and classic album. I want everyone to feel my music and understand my heritage and that's what this album will do. The music is all about the authentic Sean Kingston vibe. J.R. is a talented dude and a dope producer and he heard that I had something different to offer from other artists out there. Together we're a powerful force and I'm ready to share it with the world." Sean talks about J.R. more like a big brother, rather than an Executive Producer of his album. Last spring Sean reached out to J.R. on MySpace. Sean was drawn to J.R. because he was young and hungry like himself and felt like the music he was making was the type of music for him. Rotem emailed him back. J.R. almost had no choice. "Sean would hit me up at least three times a day!" J.R. says.

"He had a real distinct sound," Rotem remembers. "I worked with some of the best and I don't see why Sean can't grow to be one of them. His potential is limitless." Rotem invited Sean for a meeting in Los Angeles; coincidentally the young performer was already in the process of moving to California. Shortly after their initial meeting, Rotem had his flagship artist for his Epic records joint venture, Beluga Heights. For Sean, it was a prophecy beginning to be fulfilled. Not only is music his love, it is in his blood. Now Kingston says he's looking forward to making timeless music and living out his dream.

In just a short time, Kingston has already done what few in his age bracket can accomplish - get people excited about music again. His album is shaping up to be filled with a string of hits including the second single "Me Love," "Got No Shorty," "There's Nothin'" featuring Paula DeAnda, "I Can Feel It" and "Take You There."

Perhaps one of the most eye opening tracks is "Dry Your Eyes" where Sean visits the hardship of watching his mother and sister be sent to prison when he was just 15 years-old. He sings to his mother and tells her not to be saddened that she's away from the family and to know that they're always there for her.

"I always had my brother," he began to explain. "But when my mother and sister went away, it took a lot out of me. My sister went away for four months and my mom has been away for over a year now. When she went away, I thought to myself, this is too much.' I was only 14. I missed her like crazy but I pulled through and used it as my motivation. "Dry Your Eyes" is a defining song on the album for me because it touches on something that's very personal to me and the dope melody that's on there makes me feel even closer to it."

Sean has a certified hip-hop knocker on his hands with the reggae remix of "Colors" (Reggae Remix) which features the legendary Vybz Kartel and the always profound Kardinal Offishall. The track, which was released this past Spring, was received really well by the industry as a first look from Sean and will appear on his album as a bonus track. "Unity and representation is where Colors came from," Kingston elaborated. "The song is about representing whatever flag that you're loyal to - whether it is Jamaica, the States, your block etc. It's a lifestyle record that can be a street anthem no matter where you're from and where you at now. The reggae version came up because I wanted to do something special for my roots in Jamaica. The first person I thought of was Vybz Kartel. His verse came out crazy. Then Kardinal, that's my homie, really attacked the track."

"In the future I want to have my own label and work on the business side," he said. "I went to acting school when I was younger, so I want to revisit that one day. I want to get into every aspect of the business and see where it takes me. I'm grateful for the fact that my music is able to bridge genres - I'm ready to do that will any business opportunity that comes my way - it's always been important to for me not to limit myself."

News

  • Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be “proud” of what President Donald Trump has done for African-American and Latino workers in the U.S. “Martin Luther King ... he would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for [the] black and Hispanic working class, OK?” Bannon told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday. Karl pushed back on Bannon's claim that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of the effects of Trump's policies on minorities. “I think there are a lot of, a lot of civil rights leaders that would adamantly disagree with you on that,” Karl said. Bannon was responding to Karl's asking him about comments he made in March at an event with far-right French politicians. “Let them call you racist,' Bannon said at that event. 'Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor. Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker.” TRENDING STORIES: Lumpkin County fears thousands of hippies might come to Bull Mountain Teen killer wants to apologize to mother of man he killed: 'I'm sorry for her loss' Severe storms dump hail in parts of metro Bannon told Karl his quote was taken out of context. “The lead-in to that was saying, 'When they can't fight you on the facts, they're going to call you racist,'” he said. “I was talking specifically about Donald Trump and his policies,” Bannon said Sunday. “His economic nationalism doesn't care about your race, your religion, your gender, your sexual preference. Here's what it cares about, that you're citizens of the United States of America. We have all-time low unemployment among blacks in this country and 20-year low among Hispanics. The black working class and Hispanic working class are now getting the benefits of border security and economic nationalism.” Bannon was previously CEO of the Trump campaign and is a former executive chairman of Breitbart, a far-right online media outlet. Earlier in the 'This Week' interview, when discussing the Trump administration's immigration policies, Bannon said, “This illegal immigration, the people that [are] hurt the most are the Hispanic and black working class. It suppresses their wages; it destroys their healthcare; it destroys their school systems.” Bannon said something similar to the BBC at the end of May. 'Martin Luther King would be proud of [Trump], of what he's done for the black and Hispanic community,' Bannon said. When the BBC reporter pushed back, Bannon said, 'It's the lowest unemployment in recorded history. You don't think Martin Luther King wouldn't be proud? Look at the unemployment we had in the black community five years ago. You don't think Martin Luther King would sit there and go, 'Yes, you're putting young black men and women to work.'' He also said in that interview, “Mass illegal immigration is a scam by the globalists. It’s there to suppress the wages of the black and Hispanic working class by giving unlimited competition on labor.” King's daughter, Bernice A King, responded to Bannon in a thread on Twitter.   #SteveBannon has dangerously and erroneously co-opted my father’s name, work and words. Bannon’s assertion that my father, #MLK, would be proud of Donald Trump wholly ignores Daddy’s commitment to people of all races, nationalities, etc. being treated with dignity and respect.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) May 24, 2018   King said that her father 'was an activist for the civil rights of Black people in America, but he was also an activist for human rights.' He wouldn't use the term 'illegal aliens' to refer to undocumented immigrants, she said, and he wouldn't 'pit one group against one another in the struggle for justice.' 'Bannon’s comments are like feeding someone empty calories, in that they don’t convey a comprehensive view of #MLK as a global humanitarian who cared about the well-being of all people,' she continued. King said her father 'would be extremely disturbed by the climate created by leaders' as it has 'emboldened people to easily express and demonstrate cruelty, predominantly toward people of color and immigrants.'  
  • A massive 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck outside Osaka Monday morning, leaving at least two dead and 41 injured. >> Read more trending news The quake registered around 8 a.m. with an initial strength of 5.9, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. There was no tsunami threat however morning commutes were disrupted as trains were not running and power was out to many homes, according to the Japan Times.  Kansai Electric Power Co. said nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture were operating normally. The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • A 24-hour arts and music festival in New Jersey was on the verge of being shut down because of numerous fights when gunfire erupted, authorities said. One suspect was killed and 22 people, including two other suspects, were injured. Of the 17 people treated for gunshot wounds, including a 13-year-old boy, only one person, a suspect, remained in critical condition Sunday night, said Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri. About 1,000 people were attending the Art All Night Trenton festival that showcases local art, music, food and films when shots rang out early Sunday morning, sending people scrambling to safety. Onofri said numerous fights inside and outside the venue had prompted police to tell organizers that the event needed to be shut down. 'There was a report that the mood inside the venue had been changing,' Onofri said. 'During that time period, prior to the shooting, the Trenton Police Department began dispersing individuals. Those individuals, however, continued to loiter and additional fights broke out.' Authorities believe several neighborhood gangs had a dispute, and multiple suspects began shooting at each other, with police returning fire, Onofri said. Tahaij Wells, 33, the suspect who was killed, had recently been released from prison and was on parole since February on homicide-related charges, Onofri said. Another suspect, 23-year-old Amir Armstrong, remained hospitalized in stable condition and was charged with a weapons offense. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment. A third suspect remained in critical condition. Gennie Darisme was getting ready to leave the festival when she heard gunfire and saw people running. 'There were people trampling other people, cars hitting other cars,' she said. When she was walking back to her car after the gunfire stopped, Darisme said she saw someone bleeding on the ground, in handcuffs. 'People were running to him, trying to see his face, to see if he's a family member or a friend,' she said. Theresa Brown, who has been volunteering at Art All Night for 12 years, said she was leaving her volunteer shift when she heard 'pop, pop, pop. I thought it was a car backfiring,' she said. The festival had been scheduled to run from 3 p.m. Saturday to 3 p.m. Sunday, before it was canceled. 'We're very shocked. We're deeply saddened. Our hearts ache and our eyes are blurry but our dedication and resolve to building a better Trenton through community, creativity and inspiration will never fade. Not tonight. Not ever,' festival organizers posted on social media. ___ Associated Press writer Christina Paciolla contributed to this report from Philadelphia.
  • Attorneys are preparing to make their final pitches to jurors in the case of a former New England Mafia boss charged in the 1993 killing of a nightclub owner. Closing arguments are expected Monday in Francis 'Cadillac Frank' Salemme's trial. Salemme and his co-defendant, Paul Weadick, are charged with killing Steven DiSarro. Prosecutors say Salemme worried DiSarro would cooperate with authorities investigating the mobster. Another mobster, Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi says he saw Salemme's son strangle DiSarro while Weadick held DiSarro's feet and Salemme stood by. Salemme's son died in 1995. DiSarro's remains were found in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2016. Salemme and Weadick face up to life in prison if convicted. They insist they're innocent. Salemme headed the New England family of La Cosa Nostra in the early 1990s.
  • Elizabeth Brackett, a longtime Chicago journalist and world-champion triathlete, has died four days after an apparent bicycle accident. She was 76. PBS affiliate WTTW, where Brackett hosted 'Chicago Tonight' for two decades, said on its website Brackett died in the hospital surrounded by family members. Brackett had been in a coma with a fractured vertebra in her neck following the apparent fall Wednesday morning near the city's lakefront bike trail. She had been training for a triathlon. As a world-champion triathlete, Brackett had won five international titles in her age group — including last year in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Emmy-winning host and correspondent covered the 1980 Democratic convention, 1986 Challenger disaster and championship seasons for the NBA's Chicago Bulls. She also served as the Midwest correspondent for PBS' MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
  • A man brought to tears after he says a thief stole his car with his beloved dog inside.  He told Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez he wasn’t just shocked that it happened in the driveway of his home, he says the female suspect was naked. Their desperate plea to get their dog back, on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11.    TRENDING STORIES: Truck hits, kills 2 children at mudding event, GSP says Bernice King responds to Steve Bannon's claim MLK would be 'proud' of Donald Trump 16-year-old at cookout killed in drive-by shooting