Music News: Two competing Woodstock 50th anniversary festivals planned

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David Brown and Carlos Santana perform at Woodstock, 1969.
David Brown and Carlos Santana perform at Woodstock, 1969. (Tucker Ransom/Getty Images)
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This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival, and there are going to be not one but two anniversary events — competing with each other. The official Woodstock brand is owned by the festival's co-creator Michael Lang, who's long been talking about having a 50th anniversary celebration and promises he's releasing details soon.

One thing we do know about Lang's event is that it's not going to be held at Bethel Woods, the original festival site. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is holding its own festival this year — not named Woodstock, but happening on the exact 50th anniversary dates. There's no lineup for that festival yet, but hotels in the area are already filling up. (Brooklyn Vegan)

At least publicly, there's no beef between the two festivals. In a statement, Lang says, "I'm delighted that Bethel Woods is doing events in the coming year to celebrate what we brought to life in 1969." It's all about peace and love, right?

Speaking of peace and love, surely those are the words that come to mind when you think of bands like Korn, Buckcherry, Everclear, Offspring, and Creed. As you may recall, they were all in the lineup at Woodstock '99, and a comics artist named Ramon Villalobos went viral this week when he decided to watch archival video from that festival and live-tweet it.

In the thread, readers were reminded of memorable moments like the singer from Lit chugging Jägarmeister, Scott Stapp's outfit ("billowy white soft shirt and a badass bootcut jean pant"), DMX getting so sweaty he had to remove his red overalls, and Brian Setzer bringing that '90s swing revival energy while dressed as if "all of the guys from green day [...] got merged together in a fly like accident."

Villalobos argues that Woodstock '99 was the best Woodstock of all Woodstocks. "I didnt think i was ready and then of COURSE korn opens with blind and jonathan davis is like AARREEE YOUOUUUUU RREEAAAAADDYYYY!!?!??? and i found myself, in that moment, extremely ready."

Lana Del Rey finishes new album

Lana Del Rey's new album is in the can and ready to go, says the singer-songwriter via Instagram. No word yet on when the album, called Norman F--king Rockwell, will be released — but she'll drop a new song next Wednesday, and an Instagram post includes a snippet of the song. Oh, and she's also finished a "short book of poetry," so watch for that too. (Pitchfork

Seattle post office to be renamed for Jimi Hendrix

Washington state legislators have voted to rename a post office in honor of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. The Renton Highlands Post Office, which will be renamed the James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix Post Office is located in the Seattle suburbs, near where Hendrix is buried.

Adam Smith, the state representative who sponsored the renaming bill, said, "This designation will further celebrate Hendrix's deep connection to the Puget Sound region and help ensure that his creative legacy will be remembered by our community and inspire future generations." (Billboard)

Dr. Hook singer Ray Sawyer dies at 81

Singer Ray Sawyer has died, of an undisclosed illness, at age 81. Saywer was best-known as co-founder and frontman of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. The name of that band was inspired by the Peter Pan pirate Captain Hook, because Sawyer wore an eyepatch, having lost his right eye in a car accident. The band, which later shortened its name to just Dr. Hook, had a string of hits in the '70s and memorably toured with up-and-comer Bruce Springsteen as an opening act in 1973; in the early '70s they released two full albums of songs written by Shel Silverstein, including one that defined the pinnacle of music fame: "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone.'" (Rolling Stone)

Lyricist Norman Gimbel dies at 91

Lyricist Norman Gimbel has died of undisclosed causes at age 91. From the '50s through the '70s, Gimbel wrote the words for a wide range of popular songs, including the bossa-nova classic "The Girl from Ipanema"; Peggy Lee's "I Will Follow Him"; and Jim Croce's "I Got a Name." Not to mention, he co-wrote the themes for Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Gimbel won an Oscar for "It Goes Like It Goes," performed by Jennifer Warnes on the soundtrack of the 1979 Sally Field drama Norma Rae, and he won a Song of the Year Grammy for "Killing Me Softly with His Song," a 1973 Roberta Flack hit that went back up the charts when the Fugees released their version of the song in 1996. (New York Times)

Lady Gaga opens Vegas residency

On top of the world with a big Grammy nomination and an Oscar nomination very possibly to follow, Lady Gaga opened a Las Vegas residency on Friday. Billboard calls Enigma "the show she was born to perform." Katy Perry, Dave Grohl, and Adam Lambert were among the celebrities in the house for the first show of the 26-date residency at Park MGM; at a later show, her fellow Vegas resident Céline Dion was in the crowd. The show's 20 songs start with "Just Dance" and end with "Shallow," her epic song from A Star Is Born.

The show opens with Gaga descending from the rafters in a mirrorball catsuit and playing a keytar. Later, she interacts with a giant robot and an artificial lifeform called "Enigma," plays a winged piano, and covers David Bowie's "I'm Afrid of Americans." At the end, she comes out wearing only an oversized shirt from her own vintage merch and says, "For a really long time I felt so misunderstood about the way I dressed, the way I talked, my attitude. They thought it was shallow. I'm so proud to be this far, but the truth is, you gave birth to me."


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Lana Del Rey: "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have — But I Have It"
Jimi Hendrix: "Red House"
Dr. Hook: "Cover of the Rolling Stone"
"Making Our Dreams Come True" (Laverne & Shirley theme)
Roberta Flack: "Killing Me Softly"
Lady Gaga: "Born This Way"
Joe Cocker: "With A Little Help From My Friends" (live at Woodstock 1969)
Brian Setzer Orchestra: "This Cat's On a Hot Tin Roof" (live at Woodstock 1999)
Korn: "Blind" (live at Woodstock 1999)
Astrud Gilberto: "The Girl from Ipanema"


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