Kacey Musgraves offered a suggestion via social media for those preparing to celebrate the new year — and hoping for a better year ahead. She tweeted the following on the afternoon of Dec. 31:
“Rainbow” is a song from Musgraves’ Grammy-winning album Golden Hour. The song begins with the line “When it rains, it pours” and ends with the couplet, “There’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head / It’ll all be alright.”
Jesse Dayton’s story reads at times like a who’s who of American music. In his debut memoir, Beaumonster, Dayton reveals the stranger-than-fiction encounters and outlandish experiences that have ensued across his wide-ranging career.
After sneaking into night clubs to play gigs in his youth, 18-year-old Dayton and his trio began packing clubs and theaters across Houston, Dallas and Austin. His first solo record, which featured luminaries like Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiménez and Johnny Gimble, hit No. 1 on the Americana radio charts, then he was off to the races — touring the world solo and with punk legends Social Distortion and the Supersuckers. While doing press in Nashville, he caught the attention of Waylon Jennings and was whisked off to Woodland Studios, where he was greeted by none other than Johnny Cash, who told Dayton, “We’ve been waiting for you.”
Since then, Dayton’s ride across the entertainment industry, traversing genres and formats, has only gotten wilder. Whether it’s playing guitar on records and film with the likes of Cash, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Glen Campbell and Duff McKagan; writing and recording soundtracks for horror director/rock performer Rob Zombie; directing Malcolm McDowell and Sid Haig in his own horror movie; filling in for the iconic punk band X’s guitarist; joining Ryan Bingham on tour; or the many solo and guest projects he continues to work on, Dayton is down to leave his mark, making Beaumonster a worthy read.
The Complete Post
Post Malone has released the Complete Edition of his 2016 breakthrough album Stoney. The updated project, on Republic Records, features instrumentals for every song on the album, including hits like “Congratulations” and the five-times-platinum single “White Iverson.”
After grinding it out in relative obscurity, Malone was discovered by the FKi 1st production team and, in August 2015, released “White Iverson,” which went viral and catapulted him from SoundCloud rapper to a bona fide sensation.
As his profile began to grow, so did the status of his collaborators. He worked with Kanye West, landed a coveted spot as Justin Bieber’s tour opener, and dropped his well-received August 26th mixtape, with guest appearances from the likes of Larry June, 2 Chainz, Lil Yachty and Teo.
Stoney, originally released Dec. 9, 2016, solidified Malone as a star, and the Complete Edition, spanning 18 tracks and clocking in at just over an hour, introduces Malone as a versatile artist who’s not afraid to be brutally honest about his demons. From the outset, his artistic fluidity refuses to be boxed in by critical perceptions: he integrates all his influences, from hip-hop, pop and even country music, to create an individualistic sound that addresses his struggle with drugs and alcohol addiction, and how his newfound fame has magnified those issues.
Moody Grand Opening
Even though it’s not scheduled to open for at least another three months, the Moody Center in Austin has already surpassed $15 million in ticket sales.
The 15,000-seat arena still under construction on the University of Texas campus is set to open in late April, with one of its first performance featuring George Strait, Willie Nelson and the Randy Rogers Band. They’re set to christen the venue in two sold-out shows on April 29 and 30.
Before that grand-opening celebration, John Mayer (April 20, 21) and Justin Bieber (April 27) will perform at the venue. Other artists slated to perform post-April include the Killers, Andrea Bocelli and Shawn Mendes.
“Austinites and the surrounding communities love live music and entertainment —Austin has a unique vibe, and music is still at the center of it,” said Casey Sparks, assistant general manager of the Moody Center, in a press release. “In all my years of working in this industry, I haven’t seen a calendar this full of artists wanting to come to a city. This will be an inaugural year of nonstop entertainment.”
In July 2021, the final beam for the music venue was installed at a ceremony. In all, it’s a $338 million project that will also serve as the future home for Texas Longhorn basketball, in addition to concerts and shows.
Beyoncé and Billie Eilish have competed against each other for awards before, but usually at the Grammys. This year, however, both singer-songwriters are poised to be nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars.
Beyoncé has been on the hunt for an Oscar nomination for years. She co-wrote “Listen” from the movie adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, which was nominated for an Oscar, but academy rules limiting the number of eligible songwriters disqualified her from recognition. She also co-wrote and performed “Spirit” from the photo-realistic remake of the Lion King, but that song was snubbed entirely. This year she’s vying for a nomination for “Be Alive” from King Richard, and given that the film is a Best Picture contender doesn’t hurt her case.
Eilish is actually a year overdue for her Oscar nomination. She and her brother Finneas co-wrote the title song from the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, which was supposed to be released in 2020 but was delayed repeatedly due to the pandemic. In fact, the song itself was released as a single way back in February 2020, and this past year it won the Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media. But it couldn’t compete for an Oscar until the release of the film. The good news for Eilish is that the last two Bond themes — Adele’s “Skyfall” from the film of the same name and Sam Smith’s “The Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre — both won the Oscar.
“Be Alive” and “No Time to Die” are the two top contenders this year, according to a survey of 14 “expert journalists” conducted by the Hollywood Reporter. Who might win, though, is anyone’s guess, as the poll split right down the middle — seven journalists predicting a victory for each song.
Allen (On Everything)
Terry Allen has always been curious about where his songs come from. “There’s still such a mystery to how they just weren’t there one minute,” Allen explains, “and then they begin to be there the next minute.”
Raised in Lubbock in the 1950s before attending art school in Los Angeles in the mid-’60s, Allen has been a prolific musician and visual artist for decades. He’s recorded 13 albums of original songs that helped pioneer the alt-country genre. This includes the critically praised 1975 narrative concept album Juarez, which details the journeys of two couples from Southern California who cross paths in Colorado, resulting in murder. His 1979 album Lubbock (on everything) is a penetrating look at Panhandle life.
His visual art, meanwhile, ranges from sculpture, to paintings and drawings, to video installations and live performance art. Institutions including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Contemporary Austin (formerly the Austin Museum of Art), and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth own his work.
His newest exhibition, an evolving work titled Terry Allen: MemWars, is on display at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin through July 10. Allen and his wife and co-contributor Jo Harvey Allen created a video installation of themselves telling stories and attempting to unravel the origins of his songs. Like how his childhood memories of seeing tattoos on his uncles who served in World War II informed his first understandings of visual art.
The songs and stories are accompanied by collage texts and a multitude of drawings. “It’s kind of a sprawl,” Allen said, “a landscape of stories and a landscape of songs that come out of one another.”
MemWars will coincide with a concert titled “Civilization” at the Paramount Theatre in Austin Jan. 15 that will in some ways dovetail with the exhibition. “Visual art and music have always informed one another so closely for me,” Allen said. “I’ve never regarded them as anything but the same thing.”
Lizzo is all about self-love at every single size and empowering people to appreciate their bodies, and on Jan. 2, the rapper and singer, 33, celebrated her body — and the weight she’s gained — with a sultry video from a solo dance party in her bathroom, set to “Rodeo” by City Girls.
“I gained weight 💅🏾,” Lizzo posted on Instagram, adding, “I look TF GOODT 😍”
Still, the three-time Grammy winner admits there are plenty of times when she’s struggled with her own body image. In a TikTok video posted in April, the “Truth Hurts” singer talked about her frustrations with the body positivity movement and how it’s been “co-opted” by people who’ve left behind the types of bodies the movement was originally supposed to help.
“People are finally celebrating medium and small girls and people who occasionally get rolls,” she said, and “fat people are still getting the short end of this movement. We’re still getting shit on, we’re still getting talked about, meme’d, shamed, and no one cares anymore, because it’s like, ‘Body positivity is for everybody.’”
Lizzo said that while everyone should be able to “be positive about your body” and “use our movement to empower yourself,” they need to recognize its origins and stop discriminating against bigger bodies. “Our bodies are none of your f—ing business,” she said. “Our health is none of your f—ing business. All we ask is that you keep that same energy with these medium girls that you praise.”
ZZ Top’s Catalog
ZZ Top has sold its “entire music interests” to BMG and KKR for an estimated $50 million. The deal includes a buyout of the Texas trio’s publishing catalog and income from recorded and performance royalties. ZZ Top has history with BMG, which previously served as co-publisher and administrator of the band’s publishing catalog.
“This deal is a testament to the success, staying power and continuing musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR,” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said in a statement. “This agreement furthers our vision of providing artists and songwriters not just a financial exit, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and treasuring their artistry.”
Band manager Carl Stubner of Shelter Music Group added, “We’re proud to continue working with and expand our long-standing relationship with BMG. This new deal ensures ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.”
ZZ Top has sold more than 50 million albums around the world since launching its career in Houston in 1969. The band’s 1983 album, Eliminator, sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, and its 1985 follow-up, Afterburner, sold an additional 5 million copies. The band’s catalog includes classic-rock staples such as “La Grange,” “Tush,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs.”
A barefooted Sloan Struble in a retro plaid suit — known as Dayglow in the music world — is on the cover of the artist’s latest album, Harmony House, released in May. This artistic cover invites listeners into Struble’s latest musical experience with the warm backdrop, miscellaneous props and chords splayed on the ground.
Struble is a 21-year-old native of Aledo, Texas, who writes, produces and records all of his own music under the name Dayglow. His 2019 album, Fuzzybrain, excited the music community with its dream-like indie-pop sound. Now, two years since the release of his first album, Struble has entered a new phase of his life, and his music follows suit.
While still upholding a signature sound, Dayglow delivers a listening experience influenced by musical elements popularized by the music of the ’70s and ’80s. This results in comforting tunes with a tinge of nostalgia. The album includes songs that are rhythmic and incline listeners to get up and dance alongside slower songs that will remind fans of a lonely prom night in the ’80s.
Struble achieves this musical homage to classic pop by incorporating more synth sounds and instrumentation compared to his first album. Sparkling sounds reminiscent of effects in ’80s love songs, for example, are generated with a synthesizer as well as laser sound effects inspired by popular music of the decade. Saxophone, keyboard and mallet percussion instruments are used, emphasizing the retro overtone of the album and adding to the emotional vibe.
Harmony House displays Struble’s experimentation and growth as an artist, while incorporating certain elements integral to his unique style. Similar to the songs on Fuzzybrain, Struble includes elements within his vocals and instrumentation that are specific to his style. The vocals contain an echo-like sound produced through layering and creates a dreamlike feel, and upbeat guitar riffs and bright drum beats create a catchy rhythm.
In short, Harmony House draws on the best parts of ’70s and ’80s soft rock and delivers it on an indie music platter.