When Kanye West’s sixth studio album, “Yeezus,” spilled onto the Internet early Friday afternoon, it culminated a six-week buildup that was both highly strategic and helter-skelter.
Stripped of the meticulously lush and layered sounds that have become West’s trademark, “Yeezus” — that is, the version leaked on the Internet — is an intentionally abrasive emotional purge concocted with the help of the rap-whisperer Rick Rubin from various elements of punk, new wave, and drill music that at times sound purposely dissonant.
First impressions suggest that compared to “Yeezus,” which is scheduled for release Tuesday, the bleakest songs from West’s last solo album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” and his joint record with mentor Jay-Z, “Watch the Throne,” sound like feel-good music.FULL ENTRY
“Healing in the Heartland,” the relief benefit concert Wednesday night starring Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, and Blake Shelton, raised more than $6 million to assist Oklahoma tornado victims.
“Boston Strong,” the benefit held Thursday night for the Boston Marathon bombings, and highlighted by appearances from Aerosmith, the J. Geils Band, New Kids on the Block, James Taylor, and Carole King, is projected to raise around $1.5 million, about one-quarter of the Oklahoma effort.
Two tragedies, two sold-out benefit concerts. One difference? Oklahoma’s was viewable on NBC-TV. Boston’s was watchable only on a spotty webstream and could be heard only on SiriusXM Radio, and on Friday people used social media to voice outrage at not being able to see a concert benefitting a local tragedy.FULL ENTRY
The Book of Mormon’s run was so successful in Boston it’s coming back, according to a release.
“Back by popular demand following its recent record-breaking three week engagement in April 2013, THE BOOK OF MORMON returns to the Boston Opera House for a limited four (4) week run April 1 – 27, 2014. Beginning Tuesday, May 28 tickets will be available to current and new 2013-2014 Lexus Broadway In Boston Season Series Subscribers who should call 1-866-523-7469 for information. Tickets will also be available to Groups of 15 or more by contacting the Broadway In Boston Group Sales office directly at 617-482-8616 or by email Groups@broadwayinboston.com. Member tickets, pre-sale offers and public on-sale information to be announced at a later date.”FULL ENTRY
Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s new music director, is half James Levine’s age, loves Michael Jackson, and intends to build a close relationship with Boston.
Nelsons is the 15th music director in the BSO’s 132-year history, and its youngest in a century.
The announcement of his hiring Thursday came more than two years after Levine last took the podium in Boston. Nelsons, speaking from Amsterdam, said he hopes to look for an apartment this summer and is thrilled to be coming to Boston. “I think it’s very important to be part of the Boston society and the people who live in Boston,” he said. “I always feel that music is food for our souls, and [Bostonians] will be hungry.”FULL ENTRY