Kenny G: Smooth jazz wizard. Curly hair icon. Frappuccino inventor? He seems to think so, and who's going to disagree with him. You? What do you know about it? Not as much as Kenny G does, that's for sure.
This truth bomb comes from Bloomberg, where Kenny G opens up about his role in creating the drink that defined a generation of Lululemon aficionados:
At the beginning, Starbucks didn’t have anything but coffee. And there was another company, Coffee Bean, that had something called “blended” that was a sweet drink, and people were lined up around the block. And I would always call Howard and say, “Howard, there’s this thing that they do there that’s like a milkshake or whatever.” And so I think that part of the reason that they did Frappuccino was people like me giving them that kind of feedback. So I’d like to think that I was partially responsible for that.
"Like a milkshake or whatever." Prophetic words, as it turns out. But, in a way, it makes sense. What is the Frappuccino if not the smooth jazz of coffee? Discuss
Taylor Swift and sick beats. They go together like Calvin and Hobbes, as everyone knows. She says "this sick beat" in "Shake It Off," for crying out loud. But even though we knew it was true in our hearts, it was always difficult to rest in the knowledge that T-Swift and sick beats would always be together. What if someone else made a sick beat? What then? Well, we need fear that no more, thanks to the U.S. legal system and Swift's sick beat savvy. As of today, Taylor Swift owns the phrase "this sick beat," under penalty of law, as is Swift's right as a musician, a woman and a citizen of this great nation. So you might as well scrap any plans you have to release an album called "This Sick Beat" or start a new boxing gym called "These Sick Beats" because that phrase belongs to Swift, as it always has, in her heart. Now it's just official ... Discuss
As you may have heard, 2014's breakout star Sam Smith has a hit called "Stay With Me" that, yesterday, he was forced to list Tom Petty's name on as a songwriter. That's because, as a few people have noticed, "Stay With Me" bears more than a passing resemblance to Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Generally in these cases, there's a bit of ambiguity—plagiarism accusations rested on songs that share resemblance without being exactly identical. But in this case, it's pretty cut and dry. This YouTube video—which actually came out last year but is getting a lot of buzz following Monday's decision—makes a pretty compelling argument. Petty's been surprisingly amiable about the whole thing, but it's just one more thread in Smith's untold web of lies ... Discuss
Death Cab for Cutie is back, without guitarist Chris Walla for the first time since they got together in 1997. Their new album, Kintsugi, is due March 31, and now we've got our first idea of what it might sound like. "Black Sun" is a little psychedelic and a little slow and brooding, but definitely picks up towards the end. They also announced a new North America tour that'll kick off on April 10 (what is it about April 10?). Check out the full dates here ... Discuss
Sufjan Stevens' first album since 2010's Age of Adz is mere months from a release (not many people have heard it, but The Guardian has, and they call it "The Best Record Sufjan Stevens Has Ever Made.") and where there is a new, epic album, there must be new, epic concerts. Suf is delivering on that with a massive, nationwide tour that'll kick off in Philadelphia on April 10 and cap (tentatively) in Seattle on June 10. Check out the full tour schedule here.
By the way, Ticketmaster will begin a special pre-sale for tickets at 10am local time on Tuesday, January 26 (password: EUGENE) and you can get those tickets here. Don't say we never did nothing nice for you ... Discuss
Noted senior citizen Bob Dylan gave his first interview in three years to AARP Magazine of all place—a magazine that caters to the 50+ demographic. Probably a smart move, given that Bob Dylan's upcoming release is entirely Frank Sinatra covers (you can listen to the very pretty first single here). But subscribing to AARP is pretty smart move too—it turns out he'll be giving away copies of his new album, called Shadows In the Night, to 50,000 randomly selected AARP subscribers.
Senior citizen Dylan may be, but it hasn't slowed him down much. He's spent the past few years working out a truly grueling tour schedule, and Shadows In the Night will be his fifth album in 10 years, which isn't bad for a 73-year-old. It makes sense, really. You know what they say about rolling stones ... Discuss