After going on an hour long tirade that many considered unhinged at a concert in Sacramento, Kanye West has decided to cancel the rest of his Saint Pablo tour.
The news was confirmed to Pitchfork by a West representative.
The following tour dates have been canceled. Tickets will be refunded in full at the point of purchase.
11-22 Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center
11-23 Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
11-26 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
11-28 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
12-01 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
12-02 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
12-04 Fort Lauderdale, FL – BB&T Center
12-06 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
12-08 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
12-09 Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
12-11 Albany, NY – The Times Union Center
12-13 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
12-15 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
12-16 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
12-18 Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
12-20 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
12-22 Auburn Hills, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
12-27 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
12-28 Boston, MA – TD Garden
12-30 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
12-31 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
Cover Photo Credit: Pieter-Jannick Dijkstra
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Across America, a new song about female empowerment is starting to gain traction in the most peculiar of places- on Radio Disney.
“Slide over, I’m driving, I ain’t just another cliché riding,” Abi Ann’s song “Truck Candy” commands.
A catchy tune poking fun at some of the more ridiculous tropes in country music, “Truck Candy” is enjoying a run on the kids centric radio network and on iTunes Radio where it is featured.
Rise News recently spoke to the 18-year-old rising star via phone from her apartment in Nashville, TN about her upbringing, her music and what she hopes to accomplish in the changing country landscape.
“I think that history repeats itself,” Ann said when asked about changes in the genre. “I see country music becoming more open to seeing more unique changes. A good twenty years ago that may not have happened.”
Abi Ann was born in Texas but raised in Los Angeles.
“I was an extremely ADD kid, my parents threw me into a whole lot of different activities. Music was the only thing that really stuck,” Ann said. “I grew up with very strong country roots.”
She attended Campbell Hall School where she said that she was encouraged to try to strike it big.
“I grew up in LA and my friends called me Hannah Montana growing up,” Ann said. “I went to a very understanding school and they were very helpful with everything.”
One of her first big breaks came when she was able to join Kelly Clarkson on tour, performing before the superstar in 36 cities in the US and Canada. She said that she learned a great deal from the experience.
“It was my first major tour. Kelly really runs a very loose camp and there is like no tension on the tour. It was just really eye-opening and I learned about my craft,” Ann said of Clarkson. “She really plays with her sound. I have so much more respect for her because of how versatile she is.”
After graduating from high school, Ann enrolled in Belmont University in Nashville where she is studying entrepreneurship, not exactly a major for those who wish to skirt through school.
She has a strong business sense, learning from her small business owning father the importance of being self-reliant.
“I’ve always been very much a believer in a separation of church and state in my life. I really like school and music,” Ann said. “I’m going to school for business because I want to be self-sufficient. I’ve just always had a knack for business. And I’ve always loved academics as much as music.”
The Clarkson tour wrapped up on September 20, which cut into the start of the fall semester. As a result, Ann is taking classes online but she hopes to take on campus classes in the future.
In terms of her sound, Ann said that she is very willing to mix different influences into her music from current pop and country music to some older legends that helped define the genre.
“My main influences were Johnny Cash and Shania Twain. That’s a weird combination for sure,” Ann said. “Shania, I look up to as a very strong woman figure.”
And that brings us back to her hit “Truck Candy”, a song that could easily be seen as a modern-day feminist ballad.
“It’s not that intense,” Ann said. But I’m very supportive of female empowerment.”
Saying that she views music as a form of therapy, Ann indicated that the song was more a direct response to the default masculinity that exists in much of country today.
“I wrote it with Walker Hayes. This was before Maddie and Tae and we were concerned about the gender imbalance in country music,” Ann said. “I definitely think it is an acquired taste. Country is not something that everybody loves.”
Ann made it clear that she deeply loves country music and sees it as one of the most vibrant music scenes going today.
Having only turned 18 a few months ago, Ann is still very young.
“I’ve had instances where I couldn’t go and do the typical teenage thing but I keep a pretty tight circle,” Ann said of some of the challenging aspects of fame. “But I have the best friends. My roommate is with me now and she’s smiling [listening to the interview].”
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By Allyn Farach
Back in 2010, the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, was approached by roughly 30 students with a petition containing over 430 signatures that demanded that the paper use gender neutral terms- chairperson instead of chairman, first-year instead of freshman.
This week the paper decided to make the change to gender neutral terms.
“We don’t really believe in leaving things the same way just because it’s the way it’s always been, and now more than ever, we all see a pressing need to be inclusive in the way we write about people.” Paige Ladisic, editor of the paper said in a message explaining the decision.
These changes, like the Associated Press Stylebook, considered by many as the Bible of journalistic standards, seem to reflect society.
For example, Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, tracked news media’s use of “illegal alien” to convince outlets to use the term “undocumented immigrant” instead.
But was the Daily Tar Heel in the right to make the change?
“Gender neutral titles have slowly been making their way into everyday usage for decades. For instance we don’t call a female flight attendant a ‘stewardess’ anymore,” Jason Parsley, Executive Editor of South Florida Gay News said in an interview. “As for ‘chairperson’ there doesn’t need to be separate terms for men and woman because both positions are equal. Men and women are equal. Period. And ultimately that’s what this gender neutral movement is all about.”
Marimar Toledo, a 20 year old freelance journalist also supports the use of gender neutral usage, because it was more respectful to people in the LGBT community.
“You’re just never gonna know- and just to be on the safe side, and be on the respectful side, you should use the gender neutral terms, rather than the ones that specify which sex you are.”
While people may be of different opinions, The Daily Tar Heel‘s decision seems here to stay.
Rise News reached out to DTH editor Paige Ladisic and will update this story when she responds.
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What Do You Think?
By L.E. Kalikow
To cope with Internet overload, we allow algorithms to sift through and feed us bits and pieces to match our tastes while cosmetically enhanced anchormen (and anchorwomen) spoon up headlines to the tune of tone-deaf sponsors. All this through a multi-tasking world, where a generation pays half attention to work while constantly checking their Facebook pages and tweeting when they go to the bathroom. How does this affect the arts- and more specifically music?
Let’s go back a bit
As a struggling recording artist in the 60’s and 70’s, my ultimate goal was to release an album. Not just a collection of songs, but a unified creation with a theme and purpose. In those years I’d turn out the lights, turn up the amplifier, and sit in the dark for hours, listening to full albums by The Beatles, The Stones, Billy Joel, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, and Jethro Tull (to name only a few). Each with a distinctive voice and sound, cuts carefully sequenced to take me on a journey, from beginning to end.
We needed radio to sell albums, so often edited down to three minutes, the ‘lead single’ had to have a ‘hook;’ a repeated melodic line or lyric to entice the teenage album buyer.
As technology moved vinyl to tape to CD, the ‘album’ remained, but underwent significant changes.
The Disco explosion of the 70’s replaced lyrics and melodies with beats and production, as artists became interchangeable tools of celebrity producers and DJs. To capitalize on this trend, major record companies began to hire multiple ‘name’ producers to work on a single album, and the ‘concept album’ gave way to a collection of often disjointed productions, lacking continuity or artistic integrity.
Analog vs Digital
There was also a subliminal change taking place. When listening to a vinyl album or taped music, you’re actually listening to ‘analog’ sound waves being produced. With a CD, the sound waves are ‘digitized’ or broken up into pieces that your brain then puts together, much like looking at a bunch of colored dots up close, then standing back until you discover they make a picture.
Friends like producer/engineer Rob Fraboni (Dylan, The Band, The Stones, Clapton, etc.) also contend that digital music has an adverse effect on the human body as opposed to analog. Like the difference you feel under the warmth of an incandescent light bulb, as opposed to a flickering fluorescent. Perhaps this explains why I can’t sit and listen to a CD like I once did a vinyl album.
Napster, the beginning of the end
When record companies began suing their own customers for peer-to-peer downloading, the graffiti was on the wall. Like the industrial revolution before, the digital age wiped out the multi-billion dollar record business we once thought recession proof and timeless. But the music didn’t die, it simply morphed into another dimension as the infrastructure built to filter, foster, package, market and sell it disappeared.
Now music exists in an unfiltered internet ocean requiring navigational tools like Spotify and Pandora. And the vestiges of past record companies, co-opted into entertainment conglomerates, now create brands instead of artists, with commercials, soundtracks, and albums produced, not for the music, but to sell the brand.
Reaction vs emotion
And ‘lead singles’ are also still being created. However, no longer 3 minute radio songs , but often just a string of repeating ‘hooks’ designed to catch the attention of the multi-tasking millennial, epitomized by Pharrell’s “Happy.”
As the art of songwriting becomes less important, so do the songs. This is not to say that some ‘brand artists’ like Adelle, Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift, aren’t fine songwriters. It’s just that, based on the current system, the odds are probably against developing such equally talented songwriter/artists in the future.
So, what’s next?
In the ‘80s, with the bestseller “Megatrends,” later reprieved in the 90’s with “High Tech/High Touch,” author John Naisbitt theorized that in a world of high tech, people would begin to long for personal, human contact.
And at a recent music business convention, I couldn’t help but notice everyone so intent on their mobile phones, no one made eye contact. (No wonder “The Walking Dead” is so popular on TV). Could there be a reaction to this high tech alienation? A few trends indicate maybe so.
First, the amazing increase in vinyl record sales. And it’s not just to Baby Boomers… Last year Millennials pushed vinyl sales to a 26 year high.
Perhaps, along with the novelty factor, some of these kids might actually start to hear (and feel) the difference.
And secondly, sales figures for acoustic guitars last year increased for the 5th consecutive year, topping 1.2 million units sold.
This is not to suggest mobile devices will be discarded by new generation of hippies. But we may well see a push-back against corporate branding to more organically grown artists, perhaps even producing analog music in favor of digital downloads.
And don’t be surprised at a proliferation of small local venues where musicians gather to perform and where the audience actually turns off their phones.
And if one pops up in my neighborhood, you can bet I’ll be sitting in the front row.
or maybe up there playing my Martin D28.
For over 35 years, L.E. Kalikow served as President of Music Business Reference, Inc., as well as a singer/songwriter under production agreements with Chess Records in Chicago and both Capitol and Columbia Records in New York, and as a staff writer for Beechwood Music at 1650 Broadway. He performed as the opening act for artists such as Richie Havens, Eric Anderson, Van Morrison and Jefferson Airplane, among others.
Sex, No Drugs & Rock ’N’ Roll (Memoirs of a Music Junkie) is available for purchase on Amazon and other online retailers on February 10, 2016. The companion Soundtrack Album is also available on iTunes.
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