Tag Archive: Saturday Night Live


Justin Timberlake Manager Johnny Wright on Secret Plans Around ‘20/20 Experience,’ Touring, Myspace,  More

Justin Timberlake has a rare ability to seem to be everywhere without actually being in that many places. In a way, the marketing around his new album, The 20/20 Experience – out on RCA today – has taken a note from the way he managed to keep his solo musical career in the spotlight by not releasing any music of his own for six years: It might seem like he’s ubiquitous, but he’s not. He’s just chosen what he’s doing to promote the album very strategically for maximum impact: Some strategic online marketing; a couple of high-profile branding and radio campaigns; appearances on the Grammy and Brit Awards, “Saturday Night Live” and a week on “Jimmy Fallon”; a few buzz-building concerts; announcing a summer stadium tour with Jay-Z — sure, it’s all big, and it all came within two months. But compared with a lot of other album-release campaigns, it’s much more quality over quantity — and very, very few artists could be so selective and still go so big.

As RCA Records president/COO Tom Corson told Billboard.biz, “While it feels like he is everywhere, he has been going with less-is-more. The looks he has been getting have either been large events or strategic. He hasn’t been doing every TV or print opportunity.”

But perhaps most impressively of all, Timberlake, his management and label kept the entire project — and the marketing campaign around it, exhaustively detailed in this timeline — secret from the public for months. A couple of gossip sites reported that an album was underway, but the reports were denied and word didn’t get out. The fact that David Bowie – who had been largely off the radar for nearly a decade –announced that he’d completed a secret new album a couple of weeks before Timberlake announced his only adds to the skill of the stealth campaign around The 20/20 Experience.

Here, in a phone conversation last week from the set of the Fallon show, Timberlake’s longtime manager Johnny Wright talks at length about how the album came together, how they and RCA planned an international marketing campaign so quietly, the partnerships around the album, Justin’s role with Myspace, touring plans and much more.

Billboard.Biz: When did the planning for The 20/20 Experience really begin?
Johnny Wright: I guess the conversation really started off three years ago, when I thought maybe Justin would be interested in going back into music. We had a general discussion about how, [because] a lot of the physical record sellers were gone, by the time we’ve got music again we need to think about different ways to deliver it. So we started a general conversation about maybe putting an app together, and maybe doing a situation where we [released a song] every month. There were multiple things we actually talked about, but there wasn’t any movement for him to go back into music [at the time].

[Last year], probably around the late part of May/first week in June, he asked me to dinner and he said, “Guess where I’ve been the past couple of nights?” I said I don’t know, where? He said, “I’ve been in the studio with Timbaland.” I said what are you guys working on? And he said, “I’m working on my stuff.” I was kind of shocked because, you know, I wasn’t prepared for that!

Immediately that started the conversation of, “Okay, how are we gonna put it out?” I like to do this thing where we do a countdown clock and then deliver music from it — so what are we gonna deliver? At one point we even talked about having the countdown clock go into streaming the whole album, but then obviously we had to have conversations with the label and partners who wanted to be involved with the release of his music. So we ended up compromising and putting a single out and shortening the window to the album [release], because [usually artists] put the single out then wait three or four months for the album. But we said we really want to do this in a shorter period of time, so let’s put the single out and [release the album] seven or eight weeks after that — make it a short window, and because we have such a short window, we have to make a big impact.


Justin Timberlake and manager Johnny Wright (second from right)


We were lucky that there were some [big] platforms coming up in that window of eight weeks: One of them was the Grammys, so let’s go have a conversation to see if we can perform a song there. Another one was the Brit Awards in the UK, then “Wetten, dass..?” a huge television show in Germany, and then Justin’s relationship with “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” As the plan between us started to come together, it was like, instead of doing the single on every one of these performances, why don’t we perform a different song? We figured at some point the album would in some way get out, but we kind of wanted to deliver it to them first in visual way. So when we performed on the Grammys, that was the first live television performance of “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z, and then we segued into a new record from the album called “Pusher Love Girl.” For the Brit Awards [and Wetten, dass…?”] we performed “Mirrors,” another song off the album. And then when we came back to do “SNL,” we decided to do “Suit & Tie” and because visually no one in America had seen “Mirrors,” so we did that. And knowing that we had five nights on “Fallon,” it was like, let’s deliver a bunch of new records. The theory was that by the time we got to the release of the album, at least half of it would have been performed on major TV platforms.

And then we have relationship with iTunes where we agreed to allow them to stream the album a week before it was released, because again we weren’t afraid of letting people hear the music. We want people to be engaged; this whole album is an experience. And then from a radio perspective we had Clear Channel Radio, CBS, and all of our radio friends that embraced us — Clear Channel is doing what we call a “road block” [within] 24 hours, playing the new single every hour. And now on Monday night, we’re gonna take over 175 radio stations and have a live performance from El Rey in L.A., where Justin is gonna perform a half hour and Ryan Seacrest is gonna do an interview with him.

We have Target and Budweiser, who became a big partner with us, and we created two big TV commercials promoting the album. That gave us a great visibility and they’re the underwriters of the event that we are going to do in L.A. So in a short period of time we were able to have a great relationship with radio, we were able to stream the album, we were able to have a great relationship with iTunes, we were able to have able to have a relationship with a lot of great TV partners being a part of Justin’s career. Everybody basically came to the table and presented an opportunity for us to get a lot done in a short period of time. And it’s been a fun experience. We were very lucky that we had all these opportunities and these partners that wanted to give us these platforms. Read more the interview here: Justin Timberlakes Promotional Run-Up to The 20/20 Experience: A Timeline | Billboard.

 

 

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So which one do you prefer?

If you missed it, Daft Punk premiered a 15-second clip of a new track, which likely features Nile Rodgers, in an ad during “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend. Lucky for you, some genius has looped the snippet for 10 straight hours, so you can get really psyched for the album. Wonder if it’s gonna be “Disco Fever” or “Disco Inferno” when the EDM bros finally get their hands on it? Read more here: http://aol.it/XSKeTU

 

With Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained recently becoming the director’s most successful film at the worldwide box office, it’s only a matter of time before he completes his much-rumored final film in his unofficial revenge trilogy, which kicked of with Inglourious Basterds.

His Oscar-winning star Christoph Waltz stopped by Saturday Night Live to host this weekend and delivered a fun little short that changes history once again, but this time with the resurrection of Jesus, as Jordan Raup for thefilmstage.com reported. With Djesus Uncrossed, Waltz plays our “hero” and he’s joined by Ving Rhames, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, buckets of blood and thankfully, no sign of a Tarantino cameo. Check it out the video here: http://bit.ly/XfBLgm

Pieter M. van Hattem

Last night, Alabama Shakes played “Saturday Night Live” for the first time. The rootsy rockers performed their breakout hit “Hold On” and “Always Alright,” which was written for the “Silver Linings Playbook” soundtrack. And even though host Christoph Waltz messed up their name in his monologue (“Alabama Shake is here!”) the band made the most of their big late-night moment. Check out videos of the performances below.

Alabama Shakes on ‘SNL’: Watch ‘Hold On’ and ‘Always Alright’ (VIDEO) – Spinner.


 

 

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Maroon 5 front man and judge on “The Voice,” Adam Levine, will step on the stage of “Saturday Night Live” Jan. 26. He won’t be performing as a musical guest though. He will be the host. The musical guest will be Kendrick Lamar.Levine has already gotten his feet wet in the acting world with a cameo on “American Horror Story” and a role in the upcoming film “Can a Song Save Your Life?” It will be interesting to see how he does in his latest gig.Actress Jennifer Lawrence has also been slated to host “SNL.” The “Hunger Games” star will be at the helm of the Jan. 19 show. The featured musical guest will be The Lumineers.

What do you think of these choices? Is “Saturday Night Live” lining up hosts who will keep viewers happily entertained or could they do better? We still want to know why Michael C. Hall hasn’t been asked to host yet.

–image taken from collider.com articles taken from celebs.com

 

Bruno Mars – Locked out of Heaven [Live in Paris]

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Latest official music video from his latest album “Unorthodox Jukebox”

Stream the Merry Indie X-Mas album featuring (fake) Bon Iver, Gorillaz, Interpol, The xx

The biggest names in indie rock cover timeless holiday classics.

… as interpreted by Adam Horne

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So many artists get too comfortable around the holidays and unveil asinine, mostly tongue-in-cheek covers of Christmas staples. She and Him, Sufjan Stevens, Starbucks, and even John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John have all capitalized on this practice, mostly to varying results. Recently, guitarist Adam Horne of CoSign’d Bear Ceuse assembled what might be the greatest gag meme that Saturday Night Live never touched. He created a faux Christmas compilation aptly titled, Merry Indie X-Mas.

All the seasonal classics are covered through nine hilariously spot-on renditions of Bon Iver, Gorillaz, Interpol, The National, Wavves, Mumford and Sons, The xx, Das Racist, and Beach House. From each band’s respective quirks and recording techniques to their snarls and levels of distortion, Horne managed to hit all nine nails directly on the head. What’s more, it’s even accompanied by a holiday informercial, too (via ANIMAL).

Watch the video here: animalnewyork.com/2012/merry-indie-xmas-animal

taken from adam horne’s soundcloud, words from cos. 

Video: Paul McCartney and “Nirvana” onSaturday Night Live

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To quote Foo Fighters, “Second time’s a charm…” For the second time this week, the surviving members of Nirvana joined forces with Sir Paul McCartney to perform their song “Cut Me Some Slack” on national television. This time around, the all-star collaboration took place on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live, where McCartney was making his fourth stint as musical guest. (It marked Dave Grohl’s 12th appearance on the show!) McCartney also teamed with the Eagles’ Joe Walsh for a rendition of “My Valentine”. Watch footage of both performances below (via The Audio Perv). In related news, Grohl has shared the studio version of “Cut Me Some Slack”, which you can also find below. The song is also available for download on iTunes, and appears on the soundtrack to Grohl’s film Sound City.

(taken from: cos)

Do you know the album that kicked Adele’s “21” out of  Top Chart in UK and US? Yes, you’re right! It’s Jack White‘s “Blunderbuss”!  This is one of my most anticipated album in this early year. Along with John Mayer’s “Born And Raised”. But I think John Mayer had reached his peak at “Continuum”. I might be wrong though.

I’ve been listening to “Blunderbuss” for about umm.. maybe 69 times. Haha. I don’t know. Too often maybe. And I don’t get tired of his music, he’s a genius. He’s the saviour of the blues rock. Exaggerated? Maybe. Who cares anyway.

In case maybe some of you didn’t know him, Jack White is a multi-instrumentalist and frontman of The White Stripes, The Raconteur, and The Dead Weather. He collaborated with renowned musicians such as Beck, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck,  Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan, Electric Six, Insane Clown Posse, and Loretta Lynn. Probably one of the busiest musicians today, not to mention Dave Grohl and Mike Patton of course.

Compared to his project with The White Stripes, The Raconteur, Or The Dead Weather, inarguably “Blunderbuss” (which, for the curious, is a muzzle-loading firearm, with Dutch origins that roughly translates to thunder pipe) is his masterpiece so far. This will be a classic album in the near future. Wanna bet? It is an album with a fine concept, but he made it effortlessly. Bluesy lyrics, passionately creating and performing, copious amounts of tunes covering a wide spectrum of styles in music and sound, a vintage one.

To promote “Blunderbuss” in Saturday Night Live on March 3rd, 2012 episode, he performed with two different backing bands, one all-female and the other all-male. But I love the latter, with Carla Azra on drumset. Oh.. absolute beauty. They’ve got the chemistry. Let’s forget about Meg White, shall we?

Recommendation

When it comes to guitar playing, White is best known for the heavy, raucous anthemic riffs like “Seven Nation Army” or “Icky Thump” that he banged out early in his career. In this album, you can listen to “Sixteen Saltines”.  

“Freedom at 21” is particularly catchy, a lone rattling drumkit and a stark snaking guitar line witnessing how poor boy White had the soles of his feet cut off. The solo in this one echoes the Stripes’ “Blue Orchid”, by mixing dry and octave guitar tracks played on a Bigsby-equipped Tele. To differentiate from the later, “Freedom” adds a smidge of delay that offers a trippy stereo effect from right to left with headphones on.

White spends the first half of the album dwelling on womankind’s perfidy, casting himself as the suffering plaything of a series of vicious femmes fatales. Love has often been a pugilistic game in White’s mind but this time, on track one, he’s actually losing limbs. The partial lyrics of  “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep”:

.. I guess i should go to sleep, too hard standin’ on my own two feet. Been walkin on too long on a dead-end street. I guess i should go to sleep..

.. I guess i’ll take off my shoes, head upstair and watch the news. That’s another way to lose this walkin’ blues. I guess i’ll take off my shoes..

Grammy’s is on its way and more awards to come. Album of the year for me.  This is what blues is all about, Robert Johnson must be proud of you Jack! Well done.

 

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