Stephen Wade Uncovers ‘the Beautiful Music All Around Us’

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By Jocelyn Vena (@jocelyn1212) Justin Timberlake has a few tricks up his sleeve going into this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival . And some of the rabbits he’s pulling out of his top hat are unreleased tracks off The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 out September 30. “It’s gonna be fun to play this year. Well I have not put the set list together yet because, as you know, I procrastinate on things like that. We’re looking at playing some new material from the second half of this record,” the “Take Back The Night” singer said of the follow-up to March’s The 20/20 Experience in an interview with Ryan Seacrest on Thursday. Timberlake has already teased to MTV News that the second half will be the “more dangerous” older sister, saying, “The first half the sun is out the second half the moon is out, I don’t know.” In addition to new music, Timberlake will soon hit the big screen in “Runner Runner” alongside Batman himself, Ben Affleck. “It’s an exciting movie it’s a lot of fun too. I got excited when I first read the script because it reminded me of a certain genre of thriller that you and I probably grew up with,” he said of the film, which hits theaters on October 4. “The characters are really intelligent. It just felt like a nice little twist but also an homage to the thrillers that I love growing up. And then Ben Affleck signed on. We had a lot of fun shooting it. It’s smart and it’s got a lot in it.” The same day he appeared on Seacrest’s radio show, the “Today” show teased a part of their upcoming interview with the pop star, where he weighs in on Miley Cyrus’ headline-making VMA performance, which he previously likened to performances from Britney Spears and Madonna . “I don’t know that I have definitive thought in one direction or the other about it. I think she’s really smart, and I think she’s really talented.

They also reveal the migrant nature of how songs travel. Through digging, Wade discovered that “Rock Island Line,” now entrenched in the American songbook, originated as “a booster song” for the railroad before it morphed into a song of emancipation in the civil rights era. “Back then, there was the idea that folk songs were shared. People understood that folk music belonged to the whole culture, and the importance of the individual was not understood back then,” says Stephen Winick, a writer and editor with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington. “Stephen focused on the people because that’s the gap that exists in our knowledge of these records.” Wade’s work also provides valuable genealogical information for the musicians’ families, Penn says. Wade traces the steps “from the Lomaxes to their families and shows them as people deserving of respect,” he says. “He connected them going back several generations … illuminating who they were. RECOMMENDED: Elvis Presley: His five greatest songs “He was able to reanimate these [unknown musicians]. He brought them to life.” After spending almost two decades in their families’ homes, sharing photographs, stories, and memories, Wade remains connected to the descendents of the people he documented. Many of the people he met were not aware of their ancestors’ musical contributions. Wade says the greatest pride he has in his book is the way it reveals that connection. “I keep learning from them,” he says. “I don’t think it ends.” To read more about Wade, visit .

Beckley-area music school looks to fulfill dreams

With each new show, Lambert’s involvement with the five-decade-old band makes more sense: Freddie Mercury’s king-sized songwriting makes for a perfect vessel for Lambert’s operatic wail, and iHeartRadio fest attendees who wanted to stick around for “Another One Bites The Dust” got to witness the magnetic power of Lambert’s pristine high notes. The former “American Idol” runner-up oozed charisma as he strutted around the stage, winking at his reputation of a fill-in while also reminding people they should still pay attention to his solo career whenever this stint with Queen, er, bites the dust. By the time that Nate Ruess and the rest of fun. joined Queen and Lambert for “Fat Bottomed Girls,” the audience seemed to pick up on how special the performance was — not just because it featured a hard-to-duplicate collaboration, but because that collaboration was uniformly excellent. Queen/Lambert was an unconventional headliner on Friday night, but Lambert’s manicured vocal blasts were able to harness rock songs that everyone in attendance knew and loved — “Bohemian Rhapsody,” anyone? — which more than than made up for the lack of a current pop star closing out the show. Speaking of which, Perry glided through the night’s penultimate set with ease and aplomb, her voice clearly strengthened since “Teenage Dream” but her choreography somewhat lacking. Backstage before her set, another journalist asked Perry if she was ready to perform her new album Prism on the iHeartRadio stage — to which Perry nervously laughed and confided that her performance would be mostly composed of past hits. There was little Katy news revealed in front of the thousands at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (Perry did debut new non-single “Dark Horse” live, with Juicy J popping onstage to rap his guest verse), and although Perry’s many, many hits would normally suffice for a show like this, the anticipation for “Prism’s” as-yet-unheard material is fervent, and the audience was a bit quiet when the set ended without any big reveals. Those in attendance were given glimpses of what we can imagine Perry’s next huge tour will look like (hint: there will be lots of crystals and prisms), but, alas, not the real thing. “Wide Awake,” “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls” are all welcome replays, but onlookers were ready for Perry to dominate the ring that she set up when she put forth “Roar.” PHOTOS: Adam Lambert, a Retrospective During the evening, Tiesto and Benny Benassi unfurled beat collections, Robin Thicke lost a shirt button while performing “Blurred Lines,” Chris Brown danced the night away during a manic medley and J. Cole won the guest-star game by bringing out Miguel for “Power Trip” and then TLC for “Crooked Smile.” But Elton John, wearing a jewel-enrusted suit and a puppy’s smile, sounded fresher than the lot, especially when delivering his performance’s centerpiece, “Tiny Dancer.” The MGM Grand Garden Area was locked in a sing-along few songs, or artists, could conjure when John dove into the staple, and when his set ended after “I’m Still Standing,” everyone watching wanted more.

Justin Timberlake

Becoming an All-Steinway School opens the pathway for many activities and connections in the worldwide community of music, he added. Neeper explained that Steinway and Sons has a 160-year history of building pianos that are used by world-class pianists worldwide, and West Virginia walnut wood is used to craft Steinway pianos. Lewisburg resident Barbara Nissman is a Steinway artist, joining the ranks of Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Billy Joel and Harry Connick, Jr. The West Virginia connection doesn’t end there, as Neeper said Beckley Area Foundation Director Susan Landis told her recently. Landis told Neeper that a former Beckleyan works in the world-famous Steinway New York Concert and Artist Department, and Neeper discovered that the director of international sales is an alum of Marshall University. “We certainly have ties to this wonderful state,” said Neeper. “And we have a mission for the School of Harmony to bring excellence here to the school and community as a whole.” The school plans Steinway pianos for its primary teaching areas and Steinway grand pianos for the performance areas. “We will also have a Steinway-certified technician – not just anyone can tune these pianos,” explained Womack. Donors, depending on the size of qualifying donations, may have anything from a plaque designating their part in securing a piano, a classroom honoring their name for donation of an entire piano, or the program as a whole permanently named in honor of them or an intended music patron. The school invites businesses and individuals with a passion for continuing music education to participate in their program. Donations to the 501(c)3-designated organization are tax-deductible. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., sent a letter congratulating Harmony staff.

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What do you attribute to your success thus far? I think it’s about being real and making real songs that are meaningful to me. Connecting with people. I find that Colorado is very unique in that there is so many artists and producers they are all helping and bringing each other up and supporting each other and trading ideas. I think that more than anything, I feel like when I was in college I went to a music school, and the main thing about the school and the most that I learned was playing with other musicians. More than the classes. More than everything else. It was about meeting the musicians that you vibe and gel with, and you create some new shit. With Colorado too, it’s the same thing. Everybody gets stoked on what they are doing and they can expand it. I feel like Colorado is a very interesting place where it’s kind of unknown in a worldwide sense. The Pretty Lights, the Big G, and Paper Diamond. It’s very brand new.


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