Browsing: music

Memphis soul comes to the White House tonight


The White House will host a who’s-who of legendary soul musicians and modern stars Tuesday night in its latest “In Performance” concert. This will be the tenth “In Performance at the White House” show, and will focus on Memphis Soul. Several artists from the classic Stax-Volt record label will be featured, most notably Mavis Staples, who sang classics such as “I’ll Take You There.” Guitarist Steve Cropper (who played for Booker T and the MGs, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and pretty much everybody else on the Stax-Volt label), Sam Moore from Sam and Dave, “Knock on Wood” singer Eddie…

FBI joins forces with Metallica to solve fan's murder


In one of the least-likely team-ups imaginable, heavy metal band Metallica is working with the FBI to solve a murder. The FBI today launched a multimedia campaign — including a video PSA with Metallica singer James Hetfield — to try to find the suspected killer of Virginia Tech student and aspiring teacher Morgan Harrington. Harrington disappeared after attending an October 2009 Metallica concert at the University of Virginia. She was last seen trying to hitch a ride after the show, and her Pantera t-shirt was found nearly a month later, the FBI said. Harrington’s skeletal remains were found in a…

Library of Congress to preserve Prince, Bo Diddley, 'Rapper's Delight'


The Library of Congress said today it will preserve everything from a tinny 1888 recording of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to Prince’s incendiary album “Purple Rain” as part of its latest slate of entries to the National Recording Registry. The Library each year preserves 25 recordings it feels are “cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures for generations to come.” This year, a wide variety of recordings will be added, including: Bo Diddley’s songs “Bo Diddley” and “I’m A Man,” Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” recognized as the first hit rap song, Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions,” Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy soundtrack…

The hits keep coming from GSA's Vegas conference


The General Services Administration’s infamous Las Vegas conference is turning into a viral video bonanza. The clip of a GSA employee rapping about becoming commissioner and blowing cash exploded last Thursday, even reaching the Daily Show. And today, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., released another video in which GSA employees sing about going green to the tune of Patti LaBelle’s “Ready for a Miracle.” This new one … well … let’s just say it’s no “When I’m Commissioner.” At this point, I’m not sure what’s worse — the government waste or the butchering of a gospel classic. And the awards-show banter…

GSA employee sings about wasting cash at cash-wasting Vegas conference


UPDATED WITH GSA STATEMENT: This may be the last thing the beleaguered General Services Administration needed after its lavish conference-spending scandal. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee just released a prize-winning music video from that conference in which an employee raps about all the cool stuff he’s going to buy when he’s the boss. Which really doesn’t look good in retrospect, considering that infamous Las Vegas conference cost GSA $822,000 and brought down Administrator Martha Johnson and several other top officials. The irony in the video runs a mile deep. After a languid ukelele intro laying out his dream…

Friday Fun: Saxophones, elephants and 'AFGE and Me'


The American Federation of Government Employees today dug up a gem of a recruitment video from its archives. Behold: “AFGE and Me.” It’s got literally everything one could hope for. Saxophone riffs paired with footage of union members playing a cheap toy sax. Elephants and horse-riding Border Patrol agents. Hawaiian shirts. Astronauts. Little kids. And best of all, a maddeningly addictive earworm of a chorus. It looks and sounds 80’s-tastic, but AFGE spokesman Tim Kauffman says it was actually made around 1994. So, who wants to make the inevitable dubstep remix?

Obama, BB King sing 'Sweet Home Chicago' at White House blues night


Barack Obama may be angling for a second career in rhythm and blues (if this whole “leader-of-the-free-world” thing doesn’t pan out). Last night, he took the mic at the White House’s all-star blues tribute night and sang a chorus of “Sweet Home Chicago” with BB King. The AP said that during the finale, Mick Jagger held the mic out “almost by way of command,” and Obama evidently couldn’t resist. Blues guitarist Buddy Guy also pushed Obama by pointing out that he sang a line from “Let’s Stay Together” last month at an Apollo Theater fundraiser, and said, “You gotta keep…

Obama campaign playlist has classic soul, indie rock and … Hootie?


Politico’s Mike Allen scores a scoop today on the Obama campaign’s playlist — music to be played at rallies and other reelection events. Most of it would make a really good Spotify playlist*, and it contains a mix of classic soul music (including, of course, “Let’s Stay Together”) and indie-ish rock such as Arcade Fire, Wilco and Florence + the Machine. But I heard a record scratch sound in my head when I came across not one, but two songs by Darius Rucker. Really? Hootie? (We’ll see if Obama blames that one on Axelrod.) After the jump, you can find…

Happy … General Pulaski Day?


The vast majority of the federal workforce has today off for Columbus Day, but Ed O’Keefe at the Post notes that in many other places, the tradition is falling out of favor. Some cities have canceled parades, or given workers a floating holiday in lieu of Columbus day. It’s not only the perennial controversy over Native Americans’ post-1492 treatment sinking the holiday — cash-strapped California dropped it entirely last year as part of a budget-cutting effort. O’Keefe’s got a poll that shows respondents are, by a nearly two-to-one margin, against the second Monday in October being a federal holiday. (But…

NASA's search for the perfect wake-up song


For at least 45 years, NASA’s mission control has awakened voyaging astronauts each morning by playing them songs — some funny, some poignant, some live, and some hilariously inappropriate. (Who thought it would be a good idea to play David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” — which ends with a doomed astronaut’s malfunctioning spacecraft drifting through space — not once, but twice?) Now, time is running out on NASA’s space shuttle program, and along with it, that fun tradition. But before it ends, NASA has decided to let the public get in on the act. NASA on Friday launched its “Space Rock”…

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