Harry Styles Did a Perfect, Sensual Fleetwood Mac Cover

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If you weren’t already sonically aroused by the angelic, sensual voice of Harry Styles, you may want to sit down. The former One Direction front man and current love of our life took a break from buying tight jeans and not washing his hair to stop by BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge to give us what we never knew we wanted: a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”

In a way, it was as perfect a pairing as chocolate and peanut butter, but we should’ve expected that. It was only a few months ago that Styles joined Stevie Nicks on stage at the Troubadour for a rousing duet of “Landslide” and his own song, “Two Ghosts.”

The “Sign of the Times” singer has been a lifelong fan of Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, and the feeling is mutual, as Nicks has made clear she’s a fan of his, as well. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they will collaborate again soon, Styles is kicking off his first solo tour in San Francisco next week so we wouldn’t be surprised if the two reunite for at least one concert stop. In the meantime, prepare your body for the sight and sound of this perfect cover.

 

HAIM Covers a Prince Classic, Debuts New Material at California Tour Kick-Off

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After announcing their return to music in late March, sister trio HAIM kicked off their summer tour Tuesday night in Santa Ana, California at The Observatory. With it came fresh, new material and a spot-on cover of Prince’s 1984 classic, “I Would Die 4 U.” Though sonically HAIM’s version didn’t stray too far from the original, the group closed with some in-synch, tongue-in-cheek choreography, which, of course, made the crowd go wild—us, too.

During the set, HAIM teased their forthcoming sophomore album with two never-before-heard songs—one called, “Give Me Just a Little of Your Love,” and the other titled, “Nothing’s Wrong.” Both have already garnered comparisons to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as ’80s Fleetwood Mac, which doesn’t sound too alien in comparison to their summer-pop breakout LP Days Are Gone.

Fleetwood Mac Performed A New Song Last Weekend

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Over the weekend, a reunited Fleetwood Mac (or, rather, the latest incarnation of Fleetwood Mac featuring Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie) played a show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. At said show, Lindsey Buckingham announced that the band had recorded some music in the studio and would be dropping a new EP "in a few days," and that it was some of "the best stuff we’ve done in a long time." The band then launched into new track "Sad Angel," which has an infectious chorus and a driving backbeat and does sound comfortably Fleetwood Mac-ish, if that’s a big concern of yours. 

Watch the show footage of "Sad Angel" below and keep your ears to the ground for the new material, we guess. Will it be their best stuff in a long time? We’ll see, but for right now, hey, new Fleetwood Mac! And old Fleetwood Mac, I guess, if you’re going to the reunion tour. 

[via Consequence of Sound]

Let’s All Go See That Stevie Nicks Documentary Next Week

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In 2011, Stevie Nicks released In Your Dreams, her first solo album in a decade and three since her iconic Bella Donna. Dave Stewart, he of Eurythmics, produced. Some critics called it her best solo album; reviews were generally mixed but mostly favorable. But the most important thing is that it was Stevie Nicks, writing new music, and writing collaboratively for the first time. Before she’d worked with Stewart, she’d always written her songs solo. The shift in creative process and creation of Nicks’ most recent record are the subjects of a documentary that Nicks and Stewart also co-directed, also titled In Your Dreams.

The film, in addition to getting an intimate look at these two very talented people and their creative process, also features "rare never before seen personal scrapbook stills from Nicks’ childhood and family life, and a wealth of candid backstage and performance shots taken over the last 35 years." So, if you love Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac enough to where this would be a draw (and of course you do), here’s a movie for you! 

Anyway, said documentary got a lot of buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival and SxSW, and now it is coming to theatres next week! April 2nd in most U.S. cities to be exact. Who wants to go see it? You? Let’s go. It’ll be great. Watch the trailer below. 

Have You Listened to the Super Deluxe ‘Rumours’ Yet?

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When it comes down to it, I’m more of a Tusk than a Rumours, in the same way that I’m more of a Christine than a Stevie. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but it’s the correct one. (Sorry, but all of my opinions are right.) But that doesn’t mean I don’t get down with "Dreams" or "Gold Dust Woman," you guys; ignoring those gems would be downright stupid. I’m as pumped as any other rational human with two ears and a heart about today’s reissue of the classic Fleetwood Mac album. The "super deluxe" edition of Rumours includes the original eleven tracks (plus a bonus "Silver Springs"), a recording of the band’s 1977 world tour, and plenty of B-sides, rairities, and alternate versions of the songs we love. Listen via Spotify after the jump.

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Christine McVie Will Never Reunite With Fleetwood Mac

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It was announced last summer that Fleetwood Mac would be reuniting this year, with Stevie Nicks commenting that the whole gang was on board for a tour. That does, of course, not include Christine McVie, who lent her tender and sweet vocals to classics like "Hold Me," "Everywhere," and "Say You Love Me." The Scottish singer-songwriter, who reunited with the band in the ’90s, has retired and, as Nicks says, will never, ever rejoin Fleetwood Mac. 

In an interview with The Guardian (via Gothamist), Our Lady of Dreamcatchers, Tambourines, and Shawls invokes the spirit of Taylor Swift in order to explain that McVie has no intention of touring with the band:

"We all did everything we could do to try and talk her out of it," Nicks says, "but you look in someone’s eyes and you can tell they’re finished. It’s like when somebody breaks up with you and says: ‘We’re done.’" Or, she helpfully points out: "As Taylor Swift would say: ‘We are never ever getting back together ever!’ That’s what Chris was saying… But I’d beg, borrow and scrape together $5m and give it to her in cash if she would come back. That’s how much I miss her.

On the one hand, I can’t blame McVie, who wants to hang out at home, drinking white wine and listening to classic rock in the privacy of her own castle. Why would she want to put on real pants and go out and travel? No thank you! But on the other hand, I can’t fully get behind an incomplete Fleetwood Mac reunion. As far as I’m concerned, McVie is the perfect yin to Nicks’s yang. There needs to be someone there full of light and goodness to counter-act Stevie’s witchcraft and pure love for cocaine, even if she can keep that longing at bay. Besides, who will keep the balance between Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham? 

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Trailer Featuring Fleetwood Mac Cover Almost Makes Me Want To See ‘Safe Haven’

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I caught the trailer for Safe Haven, the latest movie based on a Nicholas Sparks weepie, over the weekend while patiently waiting for Anna Karenina to start (Leo Tolstoy was probably the Nicholas Sparks of Imperial Russia, right?). The movie looks OK, but what really stood out for me was the song playing in the trailer: a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s "Go Your Own Way." Instead of being sung by some dude who sounded like Lindsey Buckingham, the singer was a lady with a fairly recognizable, scratchy voice. "Holy shit," I thought. "Did Stevie Nicks cover a Fleetwood Mac song originally sung by Lindsey? That seems like the kind of thing she would do."

In fact, it is the kind of thing she would do—she covered "Crystal" for the Practical Magic soundtrack about fifteen years ago. But it wasn’t until my Google search for "Safe Haven trailer Fleetwood Mac cover" this afternoon that I realized that Stevie is guilty of another sonic "fuck you" to Lindsey. Instead, it’s California-based singer-songwriter Lissie whose voice has those Stevie Nicks notes to it—although it’s plain to my ears now that she sounds completely different from Stevie. The song comes from her covers EP Covered Up With Flowers that she released last year, although it’s news to me and therefore newsworthy. Don’t you love how blogs work?

Here’s Lissie’s cover of "Go Your Own Way" and the trailer for Safe Haven below:

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Fern Bar Fridays: A Gathering of the Coven with the Sisters of the Moon

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Welcome to Fern Bar Fridays, a lighthearted romp (is there any other kind?) through a decade of cool music and even cooler drinks. The fern bar era, which roughly spanned 1975-1985, was filled with giant lapels and ties (and then later teeny tiny lapels and ties), ridiculous drinks, and sweet sounds. Every Friday we’ll bring you a song and drink pairing emblematic of that delightful time to help you get the weekend started off on the right loafer-sans-sock-shod foot. Today, and throughout the month of October, we’re celebrating the season of the witch with "Sisters of the Moon" by Fleetwood Mac.

Sometimes, on particularly stormy days, Bruce—the afternoon bartender at Rita’s, the imaginary fern bar that exists in my head—and I get to talkin’ about which Fleetwood Mac song is the ferniest of their catalogue. We never truly reach a consensus, and likely never will, though "Second Hand News" always gets a STRONG BUY from me. But it’s our game and we enjoy it. Before long the handwringing and rending of (gauzy, flowing) garments begins as we struggle with what’s known as Rita’s Choice: faced with only one option, which Stevie-on-lead-vocals song would you keep: "Gypsy" or "Rhiannon"?

It’s unpossible to choose and so, after an hour or so of the aforementioned wringing and rending, we generally agree to pour another glass of chablis, toss a few ice cubes in and not think on such a troublesome topic any longer and opt instead to wax poetic over the incomparable Stevieness of "Sisters of the Moon."

To wit:

When performed live, the song would usually go for over 8 minutes in length. A very well known example of this performance is the Mirage Tour version, 1982. The performance is referred to as the ‘speaking in tongues‘ performance in which Stevie Nicks delivers the song’s coda in such an intense, gravelly manner that her words become indecipherable. 

The tongues come in at ’round about the six minute mark (and please don’t miss poor Christine McVie trying to keep things positive with her lavender lei-adorned mic stand). But if you’re the anxious sort, allow me to crush a quaalude up into your Harvey Wallbanger point you to this version, which has been conveniently cued up to the exact point at which La Steve begins wailing on the cowbell, right before she gets into it with the tongues.

We should also probably take a moment to discuss why Lindsey Buckingham was dressed like an itinerant farmer wearing his Sunday best. Also open for discussion: Do you think the sisters of the moon ever squabble amongst themselves?

If the tongues are a bit much for your delicate constitution, let me pour you a spritzer and offer up this version, from the 1975 Tusk tour documentary, features a seemingly sedated Stevie keeping time on a cowbell.

If you’d like to work yourself into a state of sedation, a la Stevie, may I offer you today’s signature cocktail?

Creme De Moonthe

½ oz white creme de menthe
1½ oz Georgia Moon corn whiskey
1 dash lemon juice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake all ingredients together and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a plug of sage for its cleansing properties and a sprig of lavender because Stevie would want it that way. Dipping your sleeves in the drink: optional, but highly recommended.

And finally, a small programming note: Rita’s will be closed for renovations in November. Roger Cook promises that he and the crew will have the place winterized by December, but you know how contractors are.

 

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Indie-Rock Quintet Milo Greene Harmonizes Across America

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California indie-folk fivesome Milo Greene—consisting of Robbie Arnett, Graham Fink, Andrew Heringer, Marlena Sheetz, and Curtis Marrero—have had a banner year. Well, year-and-a-half, actually, as it was March 2011 that they officially emerged as a united front, after having each been part of other outfits. Since then, it’s been nothing but smooth sailing—audibly anyway. They’ve had a few hiccups, as you’ll learn a bit about below, but, as a professional collective, both commercially and critically, the quintet has situated itself quite nicely in the likeable limelight.

From Carson Daly to Conan, Letterman to who knows what’s next, Milo Greene has been repping themselves successfully on late-night TV, as well as at venues, where they’ve been consistently selling out, across North America. One song in particular, “1957,” has given them much mileage, as this catchy single at once tugs at the heartstrings and demands we dance. (I’m willing to bet you’ll play the addictive-meets-emotive anthem at least twice over before moving onto the next number on their 13-track debut, Milo Greene, which dropped mid-July on Chop Shop/Atlantic.)

As for the band breakdown, Arnett, Fink, Heringer, and Sheetz share lead and backing vocal responsibilities, reeling us in with melodious harmonies, and swap instruments ad nauseam during live appearances. Marrero foregoes the madness, manning percussion while the others expertly negotiate who will play what when.

For firsthand experience, tune in tomorrow evening at Housing Works’ Bookstore Café on Crosby. The West Coast act will be co-headlining a benefit concert alongside Texas-based singer-songwriter Kat Edmonson. Or, if Wednesday’s no good for you, consider catching their set the next night at Bowery Ballroom.

In the meantime, get to know these guys (and girl). While in New York for a one-off private performance at the end of August, I had the pleasure of connecting face-to-face with Fink the afternoon following the promo show. Over Coca-Cola and vegan chocolate-chip cookies from City Bakery, we talked all about the group’s meteoric rise, Fink’s relationship with fellow Cali talents Local Natives, and a near death experience that in hindsight proves more hysterically funny than anything else. Read on for a few laughs, including an entertaining back-story surrounding the faux—but impressive—persona that is their namesake.

First of all, how did this ensemble cast of bandmates come together?
We were all in different bands, but were getting to know each other [and writing music together]. Long story short, we found each other, and, after a few songs were written, we realized this band was special. We all quit the bands we were in, and here we are adventuring. We played our first show last March [2011]. That’s when we announced ourselves to the world, if you will. It’s been a pretty insane year-and-a-half.

What’s it been like, since things took off?
It’s been crazy. We did a tour with The Civil Wars, which was huge for us, because it gave us a fanbase throughout America. Their fans are amazing. And, our album’s out, which is really exciting. It seems like the response to this band has been overwhelmingly positive from the beginning, and that’s a nice feeling. We’ve all been [playing music] a long time and now we’re touring on our own and filling rooms in Madison, Wisconsin. Places we’ve never played are full. That’s what you hope for. It’s still a really tickling feeling.

Madison, huh?
That was the one place that stood out because we had never played there or even been there. We were like, “This is going to be weird.” We got there and it was sold out. Madison was awesome.

Experiencing a live set, there’s a lot of shifting instruments.
The four of us are guitarists first and foremost. When we started this band, we all had to adapt and play other things. We move around like crazy people. When we were getting the songs ready to play live, we jumped around and, when something felt right, we stayed there. We’re all on different stuff throughout the set.

But you’re all vocalists.
All four of us were lead singers in past projects. We knew we wanted to be harmony-based and vocal-based.

I have to admit, when I first listened to you, I heard Local Natives.
We get that a good amount. There’s harmonies. It’s pretty vibe-y. I think it’s a normal comparison. We have similar influences; Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Maybe it’s a product of California music-making. Funny thing is, those guys are actually good friends of mine. I’ve known [them] since we were teenagers. Before they became Local Natives, they had a different band. My old band and [their old band] would tour together. We played, like, roller rinks throughout California.

Small world! Roller rinks?! Dude.
The roller rink really takes the cake. There was a guy named Bruce, with a handlebar mustache, who ran the concerts at [one] roller rink. There were probably 25 people there. They set up this immense stage in the middle. I think people could still [skate] around [the stage] while the show was happening.

That’s a riot. I can just picture it. On the topic of Cali: L.A. versus New York? Go.
I’m biased because I’m born and raised in L.A. It’s not just L.A. It’s home. Family, friends, childhood, life. Everything. I love living in L.A. and visiting New York.

I’m just the opposite. Back to funny stories, anything Milo Greene, rather than roller rink, related?
We almost drove off a cliff in the Grand Canyon once. This bug flew into the van. It was, like, a winged prehistoric creature. It looked like a dinosaur-turned-fly. It flew onto Marlena’s hat. She was sitting right behind Curtis, who was driving the van and trailer and all of us. I’m sitting next to her and I watch what she’s about to do. I see her thought process. She thinks to shake it out the window. But, by shaking it out the window, she’s reaching over the driver’s head, who, you will find out, is deathly afraid of insects. She shakes it off over his head and it flies directly into his face. We’re going around canyons and this entire van and trailer is swerving back and forth. I think for sure it’s going to be the end of the entire band. Like a Billy Madison moment.

“O’Doyle rules!”
[Laughs] Luckily, we survived that.

Indeed. So, do you fight over what to listen to while driving?
Driver picks.

What do you pick when you’re driving?
I usually get Robbie to deejay for me and play, like, nineties hip-hop. He’s good at assembling nineties R&B and hip-hop. TLC, Eazy-E, Ice Cube. If I have my druthers, he’s pulling that up for me.

Amazing. Love the classic jams.So, this is a little tangential, but what did you study in college and does it apply anymore?
I studied psychology, and you bet your ass I use that on a daily basis being in a band with these bozos. It’s helpful to have that background because [of] interpersonal conflict and the stresses of being in close proximity all the time. I tend to be a moderator, a source of positive energy and sanity, when I can. I’m not perfect, but I try to be a calming force in the band.

Who’s the whip-cracker?
That would also be me. I’m the funny man, and I tend to, when we don’t have a tour manager, take over most of the tour manager duties by default. If anybody has to crack the whip, it’s usually me.

Lastly, why the name Milo Greene?
When everybody was in different bands, Robbie and Andrew didn’t have access to a real publicist, booking agent, or manager. [They had] an idea to [fabricate] a publicist to seem more professional. They invented him in, like, ’06. They made up an email account and a MySpace for a man named Milo Greene who would reach out to clubs and promoters to book shows for their separate bands. Then, when we started writing together, it made sense to pay tribute.

Was everyone down with it?
It was never really a conversation. It was just the name for the project from day one.

What would Milo Greene be like if he were real?
He actually has an identity. He’s British. He wears a three-piece-suit. He wears a monocle. He’s albino. He has chops, sideburns. Every time we do an interview, he gains attributes. When Robbie would originally make calls to booking agents and stuff like that, he would put on a British accent. It started British and it’s kind of evolved over time. But, he’s confident, charming, well read, well spoken. He’s a gentlemen, the kind of guy we all aspire to be. Other than Marlena.

Perhaps that’s whom she aspires to be with!
Touché! And Milo Greene’s partner is Johnny Lauderdale. He’s from Florida. He’s a very different persona. I can’t do it justice, but Robbie puts on this voice. [Proceeds to imitate.] That sounds more New York than Florida. You get the idea.

Photo by L Gray