Enrique Iglesias And Pitbull Team For Co-headlining Tour Of North America

by Noiz 19. June 2014 17:59

Enrique Iglesias And Pitbull Team For Co-headlining Tour Of North America

Fans in the various venues will be ecstatic to see Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull on the same stage on the same night.  The performers however might be depressed and in the throes of commiserating a painful defeat.

Enrique grew up in Miami and attended the city’s university.  Pitbull also hails from that part of the world and is one of the town’s highest profiled citizens—he wears his allegiance on his sleeves.

Their heads will probably be hanging low because their beloved Miami Heat not only lost their second NBA Finals but were on the receiving end of one of the worst lopsided defeats in league’s history.

Actually, I think the two South Floridians will be just fine.  One, their co-headlining tour doesn’t begin until Sept. 12—that night, Iglesias and Pitbull will perform in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center. 

Secondly, Iglesias and Pitbull are good friends who seem genuinely thrilled to be hitting the road together.  Recent comments indicate that their upcoming trek is much more of a mutual admiration society then a top-tier popular music tour.

“[Enrique Iglesias is] a talented music star, and also a close friend who I respect and have learned a lot from.  Together we are going to give fans great music, energy and what they really deserve—to enjoy life and forget the rest for three hours.” – Pitbull

Iglesias echoes Pitbull’s sentiments.

“There’s no better place for me than being up on stage in front of my fans.  And going on tour with a close friend and someone I admire, like Pitbull, is truly an honor.  We really want to give everybody a show that they will remember for the rest of their lives.” – Enrique Iglesias

On The Camino Again
This won’t be the first time Iglesias and Pitbull have toured together.  Back in 2011, Pitbull opened for Iglesias during the second North American leg of his “Euphoria Tour.”  This will be, however, the first time they’ve toured as co-headliners.

The fact that these two guys are buddies and have toured before should make their upcoming jaunt something special.  Iglesias is to Latin pop what Jay-Z is to hip hop.  He’s a legit talent that sounds as good live as he does in the studio.  Pitbull’s music is a little vacuous, but his songs are as catchy as hell and super fun.  This should be an entertaining tour.

From Newark, the duo goes to Washington D.C. and then Montreal.  Next up is Toronto where Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull will play back-to-back nights (Sept. 19 and Sept. 20) at the Air Canada Centre.

After Toronto, on Sept. 25 to be exact, look for a Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias concert in New York at Madison Square Garden.  Two nights later, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull will be in Boston for a performance at TD Garden.

Following Boston, the tour heads to the Midwest and then to the West Coast.  Los Angeles welcomes Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull to Staples Center on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11.  Those shows are followed by gigs in Las Vegas, San Jose, Dallas, and Houston.

Three out of their last four concerts are in Florida (Orlando, Hollywood, Miami).  The only non-Florida show is Oct. 22 in Duluth, Georgia at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. 

The final show of their excursion is set for Oct. 26.  That’s when Iglesias and Pitbull will be in Miami for a gig at the American Airlines Arena (the home of the Heat).

J Blavin
The opening act for every Iglesias and Pitbull concert will be reggaeton artist J Blavin.  The singer’s claim to fame is being part of the Columbian version of “Blurred Lines.”  His debut album, La Familia, dropped in October of 2013.

Sex and Love
Enrique Iglesias didn’t set out to make an album called Sex and Love.  He listened to the entire collection of new songs and the first things that popped into his head were “sex and love.”

“We all relate to sex and love. That's why when you hear music - 90% of the time - it derives from those two feelings. Let's face it. No matter what race, nationality, or religion you are, you have experience with both and you like them!” – Enrique Iglesias

The again, what other two things could Iglesias call his album?  Combustion Engine and Soup?  Fertilizer and Tube Socks?  Iglesias is an international sex symbol, frequently sings songs in one of the world’s most romantic languages, and is dating a beautiful Russian athlete-slash-model.  I’d be shocked if he ever thinks about anything other than sex and love.

The album, Iglesias’ tenth, dropped in March.  It went to number one on Billboard’s Latin Pop and Top Latin Albums charts.  It also peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200.

Sex and Love, which clocks in at just over 38 minutes, features contributions from Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue, Flo Rida, and Pitbull.

“I’m A Freak”
Pitbull actually collaborated on two of the album’s songs “I’m a Freak,” the opening track, and “Let Me Be Your Lover.” 

“I’m a Freak” is the fifth single released from Sex and Love but the first to be released worldwide.  It cracked the Top 40 of Billboard’s Mainstream chart while going to number three on Hot Dance Club Songs and number two on the World Dance Music Charts.

Iglesias and Pitbull
Iglesias and Pitbull have collaborated several times in the past including the singles “I Like It” and “I Like How It Feels.”  The latter struggled on the charts (relative to Iglesias’ usual success) but the former sold six million copies worldwide. 

The duo also worked on “Come ‘n’ Go” from Pitbull’s 2011 opus, Planet Pit, and “Tchu Tchu Tcha” from Pitbull’s 2012 album, Global Warming.  “Come ‘n’ Go” didn’t chart and “Tchu Tchu Tcha” wasn’t released as a single.

With the success of “I Like It” and “I’m a Freak” one has to imagine that Iglesias and Pitbull will set aside a few minutes of their show to perform together.

As The Iglesias Turns
Listening to Sex and Love, or catching Enrique Iglesias live aren’t the only two places you can hear the Latin heartthrob in 2014.  You’ll be able to hear Iglesias’ “Bailando” this summer on television.  The song, which features Descemer Bueno and Gente D'Zona, has been picked to be the theme to a new soap opera called “Reina de Corazones.”  The show premieres July 7 on Telemundo.

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What Kind Of Music Were You Listening To At Age 14

by Noiz 16. June 2014 14:56

What Kind Of Music Were You Listening To At Age 14

One of my favorite television shows is Criminal Minds.  This dark and dreary crime drama about serial killers often finds comic relief in the antics of genius Dr. Spencer Reid, played by actor Matthew Gray Gubler. 

Usually to clarify the plot, but often to bring some much needed levity, Dr. Reid spouts facts, statistics, and tidbits of information that only a computer could know.  Some of his interpolations make you visit Wikipedia to see if the scriptwriters got it right or are just making stuff up.

One of Reid’s utterances caught my attention as a rock n’ roll pundit and really stuck with me.  He claimed that the music we listen to when we’re 14 years old shapes the music we listen to for the rest of our lives.

That can’t be right can it?

Well, I did a little research and apparently the fictional Dr. Spencer Reid is onto something.

“Fourteen is a sort of magic age for the development of musical tastes.  Pubertal growth hormones make everything we’re experiencing, including music, seem very important.  We’re just reaching a point in our cognitive development when we’re developing our own tastes.  And musical tastes become a badge of identity.” – Daniel J. Levitin, a professor of psychology and the director of the Laboratory for Music Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University.

So what music were you listening to when you were 14 years old? 

Are you still listening to that music today?

This concept of 14 being a pivotal age for one’s musical tastes came to mind while I was reading Chris Parker’s article “Growing old with Widespread Panic.”

Widespread Panic is a jam band from Georgia founded in the mid-1980s.  They followed in the footsteps of groups like The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers Band.  Today, Widespread Panic finds themselves in the same rarefied air as Phish and Dave Matthews Band.

Widespread Panic has released ten studio albums but it’s their live shows that separate them from mere mortals. 

According to Pollstar, Widespread Panic raked in more than $270,000 per concert in 2013.  That’s a big number especially for a band that’s released no single of note and whose highest charting album is #27.

As of 2014, Widespread Panic holds the records for the most sold-out performances at two of the United States’ most renowned venues.  Widespread Panic has sold out the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado 42 times and Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia 20 times.

Widespread Panic tickets will be collected this summer as well.  Their sunny-weather jaunt began June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Look for Widespread Panic in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 24.  Their trek ends Nov. 2 in Broomfield, Colorado at the 1st Bank Center.

From July 2 to July 4, Widespread Panic will be jamming in Las Vegas at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Another set of dates to circle is Sept. 6 and Sept. 7.  That’s when the band will be in Arrington, Virginia to participate in the Lock N’ Music Festival.

In Parker’s article, he talks about an adult who first saw Widespread Panic in 1990 while he was in high school (for our purposes we’ll pretend he was 14 or close to it).  He then went on to attend more than 200 Widespread Panic concerts. 

Today, this adult is a booking agent and club manager who organizes after-parties for Widespread Panic whenever they roll into Raleigh (which is about every year).

Despite being middle-aged, Parker’s case study has found a new way to enjoy his favorite band.

“As authority and adulthood begin to press in, related music lovers—be they goths, punks, backpackers or metalheads—can form their own communities. No genre has inspired quite the same fervency and lifestyle as the Grateful Dead and their acolytes, Phish, Widespread Panic and a score of successors. As those kids age, many turn away from the pack, divesting of those stints following their favorite band for mortgages and day jobs.” – Chris Parker

The responsibilities that come with adulthood mean if you want to see Widespread Panic when they come to town you must plan ahead and be organized.  Instead of capriciously following the band around for a week or two, when you’re an adult, the best you can do is a long weekend.

As you get older music becomes less of something you do for recreation and more a piece of furniture. 

For example, when I was 14, I’d come home and listen to records.  Now that I’m older, the adult alternative channel from my local cable provider is my house’s music of choice.  That on-demand channel spins music you can cook to, talk over, and dine to without upsetting your digestive system.

As a teen, music is in your foreground.  As an adult, music moves to the background. 

Also, we must not confused nostalgia for musical taste.  For example, there’s a special place in my heart for Tony Basil’s “Mickey.”  She released her version in 1982, long before I turned 14.  It’s special because I remember dancing to it with my cousins at my grandmother’s house.  That song takes me back to my halcyon days of youth, i.e. it’s nostalgic, but it does not represent my musical tastes.

In Parker’s article, the adult subject grew up with the band.  That fact probably endears the band to him more than any psychological connection he made to them when he was 14.

I have a similar relationship with Madonna.  I’m not a particular fan of Madonna’s music and she became a huge star long before I celebrated my 14th birthday.  She was, however, the biggest pop star of my youth (minus Michael Jackson who quickly became radioactive). 

Madonna will always hold a place in my musical canon but she doesn’t represent my musical tastes.

In a 2011 article published on the New York Times Web site titled “Forever Young? In Some Ways, Yes,” David Hajdu points out how many popular music legends turned 14 in the mid-1950s, the era rock and roll exploded and took over teen culture.

His list includes Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Lou Reed, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Garcia, and Jimi Hendrix.

Hajdu admits that there are always a bunch of famous people turning a certain age, but goes on to quote Dylan and McCartney that when they heard Elvis their musical tastes, and subsequently their lives, changed forever.

There are a couple of problems with Hajdu’s speculations.  One, Elvis influenced a lot of artists that weren’t 14.  Two, none of the aforementioned legends sound anything like Elvis. 

Furthermore, in the case of Aretha Franklin she was a mother of two when she was 14.  That probably had more of an influence on her music than anything she heard on the radio.

The age 14 has some physiological significance but it’s mainly a cultural benchmark.  In the United States, 14 year olds are generally in the 8th or 9th grades, the age when music starts becoming part of one’s identity. 

If you live in a different country, or if you’re home schooled (or you just don’t care), the music you listen to when you’re 14, 15, 16, etc. doesn’t matter.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I don’t think the music you listen to when you’re 14 permanently locks you into a sound for the rest of your life.   Additionally, if you’re an adult and you’re only listening to music from when you were 14 you may want to reevaluate your iTunes collection.

Certainly as you grow and mature so should your musical palate.   Regardless of what you were listening to when you were 14, you should be constantly experiencing new music as well as attending a Widespread Panic concert this summer

Whether it’s the June 21 Widespread Panic show in Somerset, Wisconsin or the June 25 Widespread Panic concert in Kansas City, Missouri, the Georgia jam band will blow your socks off regardless of what music you were listening to when 14 candles were on your cake.

The music you listened to when you were 14 has contributed to your musical tastes but it doesn’t define them.  That’s great news for all those music fans that turned 14 when boy bands were all the rage.

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Ryder Cup Team Better Off Without Tiger Woods

by Noiz 15. June 2014 20:51

Ryder Cup Team Better Off Without Tiger Woods

Derek Jeter, Steve Nash, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. aren’t the only sports icons turning 40 in 2014.  Golf’s Ryder Cup is also turning the big four-o.

The 40th Ryder Cup is set to begin Sept. 26 in Scotland.  The three-day event is actually much older than “40.”  The first official Ryder Cup occurred in 1927.

You’re probably wondering how an event that’s 87 years old has only occurred just 39 times and is now played in an even year.

The Ryder Cup was cancelled from 1939 to 1945 due to World War II.  The 2001 Ryder Cup was postponed to 2002 because of the terror attacks of 9/11.  Instead of holding the next one in 2003, they decided to hold it in 2004 and then continue to schedule it every two years.

This year’s event is being held in Gleneagles, Scotland.  The course is also named Gleneagles and it’s a PGA Centenary Course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Notable Golf Events Held At Gleneagles
Curtis Cup (1936)
Women's British Open (1957)
Scottish Open (1987 to 1994)
McDonald's WPGA Championship of Europe (1996 to 1999)
Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles (Since 1999)

Team Europe is the reigning two-time Ryder Cup champs and winners of five out of the last six competitions.  In the 21st century, the only time Team USA has walked away victorious was 2008.

This year the captain for Team USA is Tom Watson.  He was previously a captain in 1993 and led the Americans to a 15-13 victory.  Paul McGinley is captain of the European squad.

McGinley will have the pressure of continuing European’s winning ways but Watson has a big personnel decision to make.  He must decide on whether or not to pick Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods
In March, Tiger Woods underwent microdiscectomy surgery for a pinched nerve.  He’s been out ever since.  In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Watson said Woods is an “automatic pick” for the Ryder Cup. 

Watson later backed off that comment and added that Woods needs to be “playing well” too.  The legend did not say how many tournaments Woods needs to play and didn’t answer the question if it needs to be just one tournament.

“Tiger I hope just basically gets well and starts playing well again. If he gets well and is playing well, I'll pick him. But one more tournament, I don't know. I can't answer that." – Tom Watson

Moot Point
Ultimately, I think Watson’s criteria for whether or not Woods gets on the team is meaningless.  It’s more politics than anything else.

If Woods wants to play no one will tell him no.  If he doesn’t, he’ll have several excuses to choose from other than “I don’t want to compete in the Ryder Cup.”  He can say he’s unfit or he can take the high road and say the spot should go to someone more deserving. 

Meanwhile, Watson is leaving the door open for Woods.  In doing so, he’s appeasing the 14-time major winner as well as sponsors and television executives who think they need Woods to sell Ryder Cup tickets and attract eyeballs.

Don’t Hold Your Breath
Healthy or not, I don’t think Woods wants to or will play in the Ryder Cup.  Remember, he doesn’t get paid for hopping on a plane, flying all the way to Scotland, and playing three days of high intensity golf. 

During this stage of his career, Woods has but one goal and that’s to win a 19th major and surpass Jack Nicklaus for most all time.  I doubt he’d want to waste one healthy stroke on any tournament that doesn’t help him achieve that historic goal.

Woods & The Ryder Cup
Woods is arguably the best golfer the planet has ever seen, and he’s done a lot of good things at the Ryder Cup, but it’s not like he’s leading the Americans to one victory after another.  He’s competed in seven Ryder Cups or every competition since 1997 except for 2008.  The only year a Ryder Cup team with Woods on the roster won is 1999.

Oddly enough, the last time the United States won the Ryder Cup was 2008, a year Tiger Woods was not on the team.  It’s interesting to note that in 2008 there were six Ryder Cup rookies on Team USA.

Saving Face
Woods is one of, if not, the greatest golfer in the history of the game.  He definitely makes any team better, but as I previously enumerated, his presence doesn’t guarantee a Ryder Cup victory.

What all the talk amounts to is Woods has political cover to play or not to play and Watson has political cover if Woods returns and doesn’t appear to be playing well.  Basically, the rhetoric is a way for both men to save face regardless of what happens.

When it’s all said and done, I don’t think Woods will be on the team and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.  In the 2012 Ryder Cup, Woods only scored half a point for his team.  He halved his singles match against that European powerhouse Francesco Molinari who has five professional wins to his name.

Selection Process
For the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team, nine of the 12 golfers will be selected by their performance on the tour.  The other three will be picked by Captain Tom Watson.  Woods will need a captain’s invitation as he currently sits in 64th position in Ryder Cup points.

At the time of publishing this article, the leader in Ryder Cup points for team U.S. is Bubba Watson. 

Current Points Leaders (as of 6/9/14)
Bubba Watson 
Jimmy Walker   
Matt Kuchar
Jordan Spieth
Dustin Johnson
Jim Furyk
Jason Dufner
Patrick Reed
Phil Mickelson

If you can’t make it to Scotland this year, Minnesota in two years, France in 2018, or Wisconsin in 2020 you’ll still be able to watch all the Ryder Cup action from the comfort of your couch. 

NBC recently announced that it will broadcast the Ryder Cup through 2030.  The peacock network has carried the popular golf event since 1991.

This new agreement will also produce a variety of Ryder Cup related programing including preview shows, a documentary series, a Captain’s pick selection show, and live coverage of practice rounds.  The programs will air on NBC and the Golf Channel.

Television though takes a back seat to actually being there.  The Ryder Cup provides some of the most exciting and dramatic golf of the biennial.  In addition to all the great drives and putts, when you’re there you’ll get to watch 24 of the world’s best golfers tee it off and compete for the love of the game.

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John Legend Does Bad And John Legend Does Good

by Noiz 11. June 2014 15:57

John Legend Does Bad And John Legend Does Good

John Legend broke even this spring.

He did something to forever ruin himself in the eyes of god-fearing music fans.  Then he did something to warm the cockles of even the most harden among us. 

Optimists will say his good deed avoided disaster.  Pessimists will charge that he missed a golden opportunity to sell even more records and attract even move fans to John Legend concerts.

Let’s start with the bad…

The Bad
John Legend sang at the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West!  Oh the horror.  Legend crooned his number one smash hit “All of Me.”

The couple in question tied the knot on May 24 at Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy.

West is a musical genius, albeit one that’s difficult to root for, but Kim Kardashian is the apparent epitome of everything that is wrong with today’s celebrity worshiping culture.

The fact that her wedding was news, the fact that we all know she got hitched, might be one of the signs of the apocalypse. 

"The wedding was beautiful. I was happy to be there and happy to perform." – John Legend.

You can’t really fault Legend for being there and performing.   He and West go all the way back to 2001.  West helped Legend get his career going.  Furthermore, West has been involved in the making of every one of Legend’s albums (minus the one Legend made with The Roots). 

Yes, they’re boys but you know Legend made a lot of statements to the bride and groom that he didn’t really mean but said anyway because he didn’t want to hurt their feelings.  You know, he forced himself to say stuff like “You two were made for each other,” “You’re a lucky man, Kanye,” and “Congratulations.”

In a hundred years, when anthropologist, archeologists, and historians document what caused the fall of Western Civilization, and it leads them back to the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, those academics are bound to exclaim: “What in the heck was John Legend doing there?”

Yes, I know Legend is also a musician who married a woman primarily known for her looks.  However, Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, is an actual working model.  She was even one of those suitcase-holding models on the television show Deal or No Deal.

Being a model is pretty vapid (although it’s nice work if you can get it), but nothing’s more shallow than being famous for no reason.  As we all know, Kim Kardashian is the poster woman for being famous for no reason.

That’s why appearing at anything related to Kim Kardashian is not good.  Legend’s Kardashian carousing has got to cost him at least a few hundred fans and a few thousands in album sales.  Once you get the stench of a Kardashian on you, it’s hard to get it off (just ask Lamar Odom).

The Good
Fortunately, John Legend has done something to redeem himself.  At the very least, he has erased the bad mojo earned from singing for a Kardashian. 

On June 8, Legend and Teigen adopted a dog.  Not just any dog, they adopted a three-legged dog, which means the pooch still has more original parts than Kris Jenner.

In a tweet, Teigen called the French Bulldog their new “little tripod love bug” (I call dibs on “Little Tripod Love Bug” for a band name).  The dog’s official name is “Penny.”

Why the three legs?  Well, Teigen didn’t explain.  All she said was the canine’s previous owners were “buttheads” (grown women who use the word “butthead” is a subject for another article).

Penny is the third addition to the Teigen/Legend menagerie.  The couple also owns a bulldog named Puddy and French bulldog named Pippa.

Adopting a dog, much less one with three legs, is a great way to earn some serious goodwill.  Americans love dogs.  Sometimes, I think we love dogs more than we love people. 

Don’t believe me?  Let’s take a look at Chris Brown and Michael Vick.  Who has done better after their respective transgressions, the former against a two-legged creature or the latter against four-legged ones? 

Well, Brown has since charted two number one albums.  You don’t see many people walking around wearing Michael Vick jerseys.

So all the goodwill Legend receives for saving a puppy is countered by singing at Kim Kardashian’s wedding.  Or, the backlash Legend received from his brush with a Kardashian is erased by his adoption of a three-legged hound.

It all depends on how you look at it.  The piano man either made amends or blew an opportunity.

CMT Awards
Even after all that, Legend does come out of spring a little bit ahead at least in the PR department.  The R&B superstar recently teamed with Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) and Hunter Hayes for a performance of “All of Me” at the 2014 CMT Awards.

Hayes was the brains behind the performance.  He arranged the song and produced the version Legend and Nettles recorded in the studio.  You can download that rendition of “All of Me” from iTunes.

While not as endearing as taking home a dog that’s missing an appendage, performing on a country music award show when you’re a R&B artist will certainly help expand the old fan base.

Not that John Legend is hurting for fans.  After all, he’s performing all over North America this summer and then Europe this fall—much like Legend has done in previous summers.

Legend On Tour
Earlier in the year, John Legend tickets were collected at small, intimate venues.  These shows featured Legend really letting go and performing unplugged.  

Beginning in mid-July, Legend will ramp things up and rock bigger spots like amphitheaters and arenas.

He kicks things off July 17 in Highland, California.  After that he has two concerts in Texas including a July 23 performance at the famed Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston.    

On Aug. 6 Brooklyn welcomes John Legend to the Barclays Center.  On Aug. 9, following a show in Toronto, John Legend will visit Boston and the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. 

Legend saves the best venue for last (at least in my opinion).  He ends the North American leg of his “#All of Me Tour” on Aug. 26 at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado.

The first of nine shows in Europe begin Oct. 6 in Manchester, England.  He’s scheduled to perform in London on Oc. 16 and then he ends his overseas run in Paris on Nov. 3.

Whether you see Legend perform in Atlanta or you’re there when he takes the stage in The City of Lights, try to think of the positive things he’s done in 2014 and not the negative.  Don’t let Kim Kardashian ruin John Legend for you.

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