Mandy Moore is finally back with new music! On Tuesday, a week before her hit series This Is Us returns, the singer unveiled her first song in more than a decade, “When I Wasn’t Watching.” In the accompanying music video, we see Moore don several gorgeous outfits as she sings about taking a step back from her life and rediscovering herself. Pretty fitting for her big comeback song.
During POPSUGAR Play/Ground this Summer, Moore discussed how great it has been to get back into the studio after all these years. “It’s joy. It’s elation. But it’s also knowing myself. It’s knowing the wealth of life that I’ve lived in the last decade since I’ve made music and put out a record. I’m pouring all of that into what the music is sort of becoming.”
While we’re already obsessed with Moore’s new track, the good news is that there are plenty more songs to come. During Play/Ground, Moore revealed that she’s already recorded a handful of new tracks with hopes of releasing more later this year. We can’t wait!
DURANGO, Colo. — Every summer night throughout the American West, hundreds of tourists and western music fans sit down to a meal and a show at a modern-day chuck wagon. At these venues, a throwback to the covered wagon kitchens that were part of cattle drives, audiences polish off plates loaded with meat, baked beans, a potato, applesauce, a biscuit and cake, and then watch a house band tell corny jokes and play cowboy songs popularized by people like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry in the 1930s and ’40s.
The bands are not just the entertainment; they are the main attraction of the chuck wagons, and carry the same names. The Circle B Ranch in Hill City, S.D, has the Circle B Cowboys, for example, and the Flying J Wranglers perform at the Flying J Ranch in Ruidoso, N.M. Each group typically includes the owner, some of his family members and performers who have played with the band for decades. They are informal affairs. Chuck wagons do not have green rooms; instead the performers spend their time before their shows helping to serve food and pour lemonade.
The chuck wagon season, which for most runs from Memorial Day weekend until about Labor Day, wraps up each year with a two-night jamboree. This year, on Sept. 3 and 4, six groups gathered at the Bar D in Durango, Colo., for the Chuckwagons of the West Association’s 43rd annual Chuckwagon Jamboree, and 700 of their fans came with them.
The chuck wagon dinner and music business in the West can be traced back to 1953, when Ross Wolfe opened the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colo. And many of the current chuck wagons have their roots back at the Flying W.
Cy Scarborough, below, spent 15 years performing with the Flying W Wranglers. He opened the Bar D Chuckwagon in 1969.
But for the last seven years, since a fire burned down the ranch, the Flying W Wranglers have had to play on the road. Construction is underway to rebuild the venue, and next summer’s Jamboree will be held there.
As the crowds wait for the dinner and music to commence, they can wander the grounds and take part in the activities the chuck wagons provide. At the Jamboree, they could pose for photographs in a painted cutout of John Wayne, shoot an old-West-style six-shooter, practice lassoing, take a tractor ride or buy belt buckles or CDs from the chuck wagons’ various merchandise shops.
“It’s not Disney Land,” said Scott Humphrey, who now performs with and runs the Bar J Chuckwagon in Jackson, Wyo., which his father, Babe Humphrey, founded. “But with the gift shops, train rides and things like that, it’s not that different.”
The camaraderie runs deep among the bands. They will join each other for jam sessions in each other’s gift shops. And this year, during the after-party at Francisco’s Restaurante y Cantina in Durango, they joined forces to sing songs like “Have You Ever Been to Colorado,” popularized by Merle Haggard.
The chuck wagons have truly devoted fans.
Nirankar Ambriz was just 3 when her family took her to the Bar D, a tradition now going on some 20 years. She and her fiancé, Ty Horaka, are planning to have the Bar D Wranglers play at their wedding in October.
Jean Rice, who started coming to the Bar D in 1974, has now been to 32 end-of-season gatherings. “I was competing with my friend Tom Greiner to see who could go the most Jamborees,” she said. “He was two years ahead of me, and then I missed two more years for health reasons, so he pulled even farther in the lead. But he passed away three weeks ago, so I am here carrying our tradition on for him.”
Between the singing and yodeling, the bands joyfully tell groan-inducing jokes. As the Circle B Cowboys, from Hill City, S.D., told the crowd during a set that included “Riders in the Sky” and “Ride Cowboy Ride,” it would be “corny cowboy jokes all night.” Like this one:
“Did you know that when cows get scared, they hide in trees?”
“What are you talking about? I have never, in all my years, seen a cow in the trees!”
“Well there, see how good they are at it.”
And of course there is the food. At this year’s Jamboree, the $45 ticket got you a roast beef or chicken breast dinner. (For an extra $15, a rib-eye steak could be had.) The menu over the years has hardly varied.
“It started with roast beef,” said Joel Racheff, the upright bass player for the Bar D Wranglers, who also grilled steaks for the crowds. “Three decades later they introduced chicken and then two decades after that they added steak.”
Though the chuck wagons have their die-hard fans, the demographic trends are a significant concern. Most of the musicians are above 50, and most of the fans above 60.
“It gets tough getting younger folks excited about continuing this kind of business,” Scott Humphrey said.
But the chuck wagons exert a pull that the band members can’t resist. Jeanne Martin, part of the Blazin’ M Cowboys from Cottonwood, Ariz., who often open their shows with “A Cowboy Has to Sing,” is one of them.
“The annual Chuckwagons of the West Jamboree is very special to me, because it gives all of us that are passionate about keeping the music and culture of the American West alive a time to come together and share that love with our terrific friends and fans,” she said. “When we are together we share a special bond, and it is like coming home to family.”
For my 16th birthday in 1985, when all 12 of my older siblings had left home, my father made me a tape of himself performing two songs.
The first was an old standard which he sang and played on the piano he and my mother had purchased 40 years earlier, even before buying a bed. He’d made a career of playing piano and singing in local bars. On the tape, he introduced the second song with a cheerful, “Here’s a tune that I wrote one time for Amy. It’s called ‘Amy.’”
I would have preferred a different gift — a nice Forenza sweater from The Limited maybe. The tape embarrassed me; its earnest singing and piano playing and soft father and corny lyrics made me cringe. The sound of the piano was the language of my father’s heart, and at 16 it was too big for me.
But when I was alone at college and missing home, I would pop the tape into the boombox in my dorm room. Within the gray walls of the gray towers beneath a gray Albany sky, I could smell my father’s neglected pipe wafting a licorice smoke from the ashtray, his sweet Darjeeling tea going cold while he was in the throes of composing.
The last time I heard him play, he was old. Even with two days’ distance from dialysis, he would slump, during his break, into a chair at the table where my mother and I camped for the duration. She and I shared an appetizer, stretching it through both sets. My father smoked and drank the cranberry juice the waitress brought him before he even sat down. It was nice when we got a waitress who knew who my father was, that he’d been drinking cranberry without the vodka for 15 years, and not one who saw an old man instead of a legend.
After my father died the local newspaper ran articles about his career, saying he’d had a few brushes with fame, but chose to live in the upstate New York town where he was born. My mother continued getting the piano tuned, and in her humble little house it was the one thing that wore the gloss of furniture polish. A well kept gravestone, it transformed my father’s absence into an unsettled, undead presence.
In our big family, he hadn’t been the kind of father who threw a ball, who vetted his daughters’ suitors, or who taught his sons how to tell a joke. When we kids had lice, his contribution was to sit down at the piano and compose a haunting march entitled “Bugs.” The lyrics went like this: “Bugs. Bugs. Bugs. Bugs. Bugs,” chanted in a trance-inducing monotone. But what his artist’s life had given me was an instinct for music, despite not playing any instrument, that made me need it like home. And I wanted to pass it on.
My son, Miguel, started piano lessons when he turned 7. Everything is fun when you’re 7, even piano lessons. For his first recital he dressed in a bow tie, a cape and a mustache. His teacher introduced him as “Bobby Doyle’s grandson” before he poked away at “Jingle Bells.” For the next five years he played dutifully and without complaint, practicing 15 minutes every day, and performing a few tunes whenever Grandma came over.
But then Grandma died and my father’s piano went to my brother’s house. My son turned 12 and piano was corny and girlie. He hated the music he was learning; it wasn’t fun; it embarrassed him; it made him cry. One day he melted down on our piano with a diabolical, discordant pounding. “Nobody else’s parents make them play the” — he wanted to swear so badly, but just screamed through ground teeth — “piano!” He sobbed thick and desperate. This was not the behavior for a prodigy, I thought, not without some disappointment. But the truth of his complaint — that a musical life made him stand out — had the effect of a three-note dramatic sting. I could not let him quit.
I just needed to get him through middle school. Then, I believed, his own interest would take over. It was like pushing a rock up a hill, but the rock played such beautiful music.
We changed teachers. Miguel would no longer learn piano the traditional way: reading music, playing “Für Elise.” He would learn to play improvisational jazz by ear, as my father had. We promised he could quit at the end of eighth grade. We paid him to practice. We signed him up for a performance group, though he refused to play anything but chords, no solos.
Then a letter arrived from my sister who had been in charge of our mother’s finances. Our parents’ modest assets were testament to a life spent accumulating a different kind of wealth. Their little house, assessed at $19,000, had been a witness to profound creative moments, and to the electric life and deep connections that music creates. After paying all of mom’s debt, my sister wrote, there was enough left over for each sibling to get $776.
It wasn’t enough to change a life, but it wasn’t nothing. It felt pitiful compared to the wealth some of my friends inherited, and it also felt royal. There was so much I could have done with the money: the porch was sinking and dental bills loomed. But I wanted to spend it on something personal and permanent and priceless. I knew exactly what I would buy.
When the Casio Privia electronic keyboard arrived from Amazon, with the deluxe bag and chrome pedal, Miguel gave it a passing glance and flipped his hair. “I don’t know why you bought that,” he said with no variation in tone. “I’m quitting piano at the end of this year.”
After his first gig on his new instrument, I asked Miguel how the piano sounded during his solo. “O.K., I guess,” he said and disappeared before I could try to start an actual conversation. Every once in a while something like that happened that lightened the weight of the rock, or just made it feel like it was a piano I was pushing up the hill.
Until a recent high-profile gig for which he was told he wouldn’t need to bring his keyboard. Ten minutes after I dropped him off, he called me. “The keyboard they have is trash,” he said in his typical low monotone. “Can you bring mine?”
Trash. I hated that word. I could picture him flipping his hair through the phone line as he said it. And mine was so territorial, so materialistic, so possessive, greedy and grabby. And together, they were so … wonderful. But I kept my voice cool, trying to sound a little annoyed. “I’ll be right there,” I said as a goony grin smeared across my face, “with yours.”
Amy Doyle is a writer, teacher and mother living in Auburn, N.Y.
Luke Islam continues to deliver Broadway-level greatness during his America’s Got Talent performances, all while wowing the judges. For the show’s semifinals on Tuesday night, the 12-year-old sang a powerful cover of “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman and brought the audience to their feet in a standing ovation.
Islam made a name for himself from the get-go, earning Julianne Hough’s coveted golden buzzer after his mesmerizing audition. His devotion to Broadway tunes served him well, as his cover of “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen left viewers in an emotional puddle and his latest tribute brought Hough to tears. “I feel like a proud mama right now!” she said after Islam’s performance. Aw! Watch his cover in full above — it really is the greatest show.
SINGAPORE – American pop-punk stalwarts Green Day will return to Singapore to perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on March 8, 2020.
The trio, best known for hits such as Basket Case (1994), Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (2004) and 21 Guns (2009), last performed to a full-house crowd at the same venue in 2010.
Formed in 1986, the band, comprising singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool, rose from the underground punk scene to become one of the most commercially successful American rock bands in the last two decades.
They have won multiple music awards, including five Grammy Awards. Their 1994 commercial breakthrough Dookie won Best Alternative Music Performance in 1995, while their 2004 hit album American Idiot picked up Best Rock Album in 2004.
A stage adaptation of American Idiot on Broadway won two Tony Awards in 2010 and a Grammy in 2011.
In 2015, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The band have released 12 albums, including 1990 debut 39/Smooth and its most recent one, Revolution Radio, in 2016.
On Sept 10, they released their new single Father Of All…, the title track from their upcoming 13th album due in February 2020.
The Singapore show is the start of a global tour which also includes other Asian cities such as Bangkok, Manila and Hong Kong.
In June 2020, the band is set to embark on a joint tour across the United States and Europe, the Hella Mega Tour, with two other major American rock acts, Weezer and Fall Out Boy.
Ticket prices and sale dates for the Singapore show are expected to be announced soon by concert promoter Lushington Entertainments.
Lively, upbeat, confident: these are all words you could use to describe Lizzo’s music. And yet, stripped down, her songs still hold so much power. The vivacious singer recently participated in NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, in which musicians are asked to perform behind, well, a tiny desk. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Lizzo said before kicking off the intimate performance. She added, “So, I think I’ll do it, today.”
Lizzo performed her soulful “Cuz I Love You,” which she ended with a dramatic, applause-earning a cappella moment. She then launched into the ultimate breakup anthem, “Truth Hurts,” before ending on “Juice.” And yes, of course her flute made an appearance. Watch the endlessly entertaining performance above.
These Sexy Pop Music Videos Are So Hot, You’ll Need to Blast the AC
There’s no doubt that pop music has seen its fair share of sexy music videos over the years — I mean look at the collection from the ’90s alone! Who could forget Carly Rae Jepsen’s hot and splashy fantasies in “Call Me Maybe” or Prince’s shirtless dancing in “Kiss”? If you’re hot, bothered, and looking for some catchy music to bop to, we have just the list for you. From Selena Gomez’s steamy “Hands to Myself” to Madonna’s sultry “Justify My Love,” here are the hottest pop music videos to ever grace our screens, so prepare to blast the AC!
Lil Nas X isn’t just taking his horse to the old town road: He’s taking his VMA for Song of The Year too.
On Monday, the rapper, who was nominated for a whopping nine awards at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, won the award for Song of The Year with his smash hit “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus over Drake’s “In My Feelings,” Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next,” Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow,” and Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down.”
“This is my first award ever,” said the 20-year-old who, upon taking the stage alongside Cyrus, thanked the country star specifically: “I want to say thank you to this man for taking my career to the next level.”
Lil Nas X also hilariously unrolled a massive scroll featuring his “speech,” which was simply: “Thank you.”
Cyrus took the microphone shortly after to say he “never dreamed” he’d be standing there and thanked the fans for loving the song.
The 20-year-old has had a banner year with the song breaking the record for the longest-running streak at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with its reign for 19 consecutive weeks. “Old Town Road” has been massively successful because of its many remixes, which counted towards a single listing on the chart so long as they met specific guidelines.
Outside of Cyrus, Lil Nas X also collaborated with Diplo, Young Thug and Mason Ramsey and Korean pop group BTS on other iterations of the song.
Excitement for the artist’s win exploded on social media:
50 Insanely Sexy Rap Videos That Have Us Clutching Our Pearls
While the lyrics and videos of some rap and hip-hop songs have long been a subject of debate about the portrayals of violence and attitudes toward women, there’s no denying that rap videos are some of the sexiest music videos ever created. From videos by female rap artists owning their sexuality to classic clips from the ’90s that are more romantic than steamy, these are the 50 hottest rap videos to ever grace our screens.
5 Seconds of Summer is back with another catchy bop. On Wednesday, the band dropped the music video for their new song “Teeth.” Just like the release of “Easier” back in May, the new video is much darker and edgier than their past tracks. After getting sedated in a lab, Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin go on a crazy trip that looks like something out of American Horror Story.
The striking visuals aside, it’s the lyrics that will really grab your attention as the band sings, “Fight so dirty, but your love so sweet / Talk so pretty, but your heart got teeth.” Get ready to have the song stuck your head as you watch the music video above.