Entertainment Danny Elfman writes a solo album with 'venom' pouring out
Gojira’s ‘Fortitude’ Leads 9 Debuts in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart
For the first time in 2021, nine albums debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated May 15). That’s the most concurrent top 10 debuts since the Oct. 17, 2020-dated tally, when there were also nine arrivals. French rock band Gojira leads list for the first time, as its latest studio effort, Fortitude, bows at No. 1 on the chart with a career-high 24,000 copies sold in the U.S. in the week ending May 6. Also starting in the top 10 are new releases from Grateful Dead, Manchester Orchestra, DJ Khaled, Thomas Rhett, Royal Blood, Dropkick Murphys, Pink Floyd and MercyMe.
NEW YORK (AP) — When Danny Elfman started creating music during quarantine, what came out was a surprise even to him.
“When I opened my mouth to sing more venom than I ever knew that I had in me came pouring out,” he said recently. “I didn’t really know what I had to work with other than a lot of frustration and anger. And I think that’s what needed to express itself.”
The result is a sonic howl — part glam rock, part orchestral, part punk, with driving, industrial songs that are liable to disintegrate or tear off into a different direction. The title for the ambitious 18-track double album is perfect: “Big Mess.” It's his first solo collection in more than 30 years.
Moneybagg Yo’s ‘A Gangsta’s Pain’ Returns to No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart
Moneybagg Yo’s latest album, ‘A Gangsta’s Pain,’ returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, while no albums debut in the top 10.A Gangsta’s Pain rises 2-1 in its third week, after earning 61,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending May 12 (down 12%), according to MRC Data. The album debuted atop the chart dated May 8 with 110,000 units.
“I was either writing really heavy or like really hyper energized, fast and kind of crazy,” Elfman said. “I found myself writing personally in a way that I haven’t before. And that was also surprising to me.”
Grammy- and Emmy-winning Elfman, a former leader of new wave band Oingo Boingo, has for so long turned his talent to fueling film scores like “Batman,” “Beetlejuice,” “Big Fish,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Milk,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Men In Black” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” as well as the opening theme for “The Simpsons.”
He says he had found a balance for his racing mind by alternating film projects and classical music — until lockdown. Then emerged rock. “I think a lot of us kind of found parts of ourselves that we weren’t expecting.”
Morgan Wallen Touches on His ‘Bad Decisions’ in Personal New Song ‘Thought You Should Know’
Morgan Wallen has shared a personal new acoustic song, ‘Thought You Should Know,’ in which he touches on some of the bad decisions he’s made in life.On Saturday (May 22), the embattled 28-year-old country music star, who was caught on video earlier this year using the N-word, shared a video on Instagram of himself performing the unreleased track, titled “Thought You Should Know.
“Big Mess” is clearly a pandemic diary, exploring isolation and alienation. Elfman samples Donald Trump in “Choose Your Side” and tackles quarantine in “Love in the Time of COVID,” which has the lyrics "Living a life in a nutshell/Staying inside is a tough sell.”
The album had a curious birth. Elfman had been approached in 2019 by the Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania, Australia, and asked to create a crazy performance piece. He decided to combine strings and a rock band, something he calls “chamber punk.”
He created a 12-minute instrumental but ran out of time to create a full hour-long set. He returned to it during lockdown and it became “Sorry,” the album's first cut. Then the other songs came tumbling out.
Laura Engel, the executive producer of the album, has worked with Elfman for over 40 years, said he always likes moving forward, exploring new sonic territory and never being tied to a single genre.
‘American Idol’ Judges Rankings: All 14 From Worst to Best
Over its first 19 seasons, “American Idol” has seen 14 judges serve on the panel. They’ve ranged from music superstars and TV icons to producers who usually work behind the scenes. The current panel — country music star Luke Bryan, pop princess Katy Perry and the legendary Lionel Richie — have been part of the
“I learned early on that anything I do with Danny, it’s never going to be linear," she said. "It’s always going to surprise me and it’s always going to be just a little bit more fun, more interesting and more brilliant than most anything else you could ever do.”
Elfman wrote much of the album in a house outside Los Angeles, where he, his wife, Bridget Fonda, 16-year-old son, Oliver, and their dog fled to ride out the pandemic.
The house didn't have a recording studio, only a little writing room. Elfman had a computer, one handheld microphone, a single electric guitar and a pair of faulty headphones — not the best equipment for putting together a double album. But he pressed on.
He decided not to fix any of his vocals when it came time to go to the studio and invited musicians — including drummer Josh Freese, bassist Stu Brooks and guitarists Nili Brosh and Robin Finck — to record their parts, one at a time, per COVID-19 protocols. “I just kept most of my original guitars and vocals from the demos,” said Elfman.
While 17 of the 18 songs are originals, fans of Oingo Boingo will notice Elfman has reworked one of the band's old songs, “Insects” from 1982. Not surprisingly, the new one is darker and more political. He had intended it to be part of a set at Coachella and was thinking who could be the insects of today? His answer: U.S. senators.
Justin Bieber will perform at the 50th annual Juno Awards
For the first time in over a decade, pop star and newly-minted R&B artist Justin Bieber will perform at the 50th annual Juno awards, organizers announced today. Bieber — who last appeared at the show in 2010 when he performed a new version of his old hit Baby alongside fellow Ontarian artist Drake — is also one of the leading nominees. He scored five nods at this year's Juno Awards, largely off the strength of his album Changes, and is up for single of the year, artist of the year, album of the year, pop album of the year and Juno fan choice.
“These are my bloodsuckers of today. These are like the human insects,” he said. So the new lyrics go: "Old white men, they’re back in power again/They’re sucking all the power and pride.”
He laughs darkly that the dystopian America he found himself writing about in the 1980s is looking more recognizable in the 2020s. “'1984' seemed a lot closer to me in 2020 than it did in 1984.”
For the cover artwork, 3D scans of Elfman were transformed into a disturbing digital sculpture by Sarah Sitkin. It's an unsettling trio of Elfmans, with one painfully emerging from the head of another. The songwriter said it captures how he felt with various parts of him “living together, but aren’t good roommates.”
Elfman, ever the productive songwriter, has already moved on, finishing a cello concerto and working on back-to-back film scores. He's also returning to the stage with a live concert of Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Oct. 29 at the Banc of California Stadium.
He hopes to be able to play “Big Mess” live one day in some form and show off what he learned during quarantine. One thing was to ditch his regular writing for a character and just write from the heart.
“It was scary because I was like, ‘This is just me. I don’t have any protection here,’" he said. ”When you write third person, you’re protected — you’re protecting yourself. And I felt very unprotected for much of this record. Then I had to kind of make a decision at a certain point to not care."
Mark Kennedy is at
Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Singer Northbirde Receives Season’s Second ‘AGT’ Buzzer .
Simon Cowell has a hard-earned reputation as television’s toughest-to-please talent show judge, so it understandably takes a special performer to earn his praise. Enter Nightbirde, a singer who’s in the midst of battling cancer, who took to the stage of “America’s Got Talent” to perform her original song “It’s Okay”. As she told the judges, the song was inspired by her experiences over the last year, revealing that she currently has "cancer in my lungs, in my spine and in my liver.