It's never too early to start looking for the next big thing, and Time's Melissa Locker joins Soundcheck to talk about her picks for up-and-coming artists and bands for 2014. Her list includes groups that haven't even yet released an EP -- to artists who are already signed to major labels.
Among others, Locker predicts 2014 will be a breakout year for Diane Birch, who was plucked out of a hotel lobby by Prince and has already released two albums. Locker also picks two rappers -- Chance the Rapper and Lizzo -- who each have a unique sound that she thinks will change the direction of R&B. Plus, hear the band that Locker crowns "the next pop overlords."
One of Locker's picks for 2014: Lizzo
All this week in Soundcheck's House of Horrors, we’ve been posing this question: Who is the scariest musician of all time? Today, it’s time to pit some of your nominees for scariest musician against each other in a quickfire Soundcheck Smackdown.
Chris Weingarten, senior editor for Spin magazine, and Melissa Locker, freelance music writer for outlets like Time and Rolling Stone, help decide who's the scariest in each round of our smackdown, from Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper, to Insane Clown Posse and Slipknot, to Kenny G and Michael McDonald.
Who do you think wins each matchup? Who did we leave out? Tell us below.
New York music fans traveled to Austin, Texas this week to see their favorite New York bands play the annual South by Southwest Music Conference. The festival kicked off Tuesday night and runs through Monday.
Get a sneak peek of the Whitney Biennial with a short film by artist Rashaad Newsome. Here, dancers explain what it takes to be a Vogue performer. Watch the video.
During the Biennial, Sasamoto will perform alongside her sculptures. In this short video, produced by the Whitney, she talks about tubes and dreams.
Watch this video game within a video from the Whitney, featuring artist Ari Marcopolous.
Download the country-tinged track "What's In It For?" by Avi Buffalo.
Download the Baltimore band's mellow track, "Turned On."
Celeste Headlee sits down for an after-air conversation about the first mass-market rap single, "Rapper's Delight," which was released by The Sugarhill Gang 30 years ago this week. She's joined by hip hop musician Paul Miller (better known as DJ Spooky) and Keith Shocklee, who produced Public Enemy with The Bomb Squad.
Today marks the eighth anniversary of the U.S. sending troops to Afghanistan. To help mark the occasion we get the personal stories of three veterans of that war: Joe Sturm, Marco Reininger and Genevieve Chase.
On Oct. 7, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the U.S. military would be making strikes against al-Qaida targets and Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan. By November 2001, the U.S.-backed military alliance had taken Kabul. By December 7, the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar had fallen. Eight years later we are still there. There are currently 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, and 869 American lives have been lost since the beginning.
Conde Nast announced yesterday that it will close Gourmet magazine after nearly 69 years of taste making and recipe writing. The November issue will be its last. The decision came after a three-month study by McKinsey & Co., which looked at cutting the publishing company's costs. Along with Gourmet, Conde Nast is closing Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. The magazine, headed by longtime editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl, has been a gourmet bible for many young chefs and foodies. Joining us to talk about the demise of the magazine is chef and author Mark Bittman.
“It is a tragedy from an editorial point of view, because it was place where probably the most serious food journalism was being done on a regular basis."
—Chef and author Mark Bittman on closing of Gourmet magazine after 69 years of publication.
The H1N1 vaccine is being slowly distributed around the country. We talk to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease, about when the vaccine will hit doctors' offices nationwide. Then, we turn to two practitioners who are also parents: Dr. Sandra Arnold, a pediatric specialist in infectious diseases at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, who was one of the first in the nation to get the vaccine. We also talk with Dr. Matthew Davis, a pediatrician and internal medicine doctor at the University of Michigan Medical Center, who just conducted a poll on whether parents will be vaccinating their kids. It turns out that less than half of parents polled are convinced that the vaccine is necessary for their kids.
Flu season starts officially on Sunday, and while the government has been urging schools to close only as a last resort in the battle against H1N1, there have already been at least 187 school closures since the school year started last month. Ross Hammond from the Brookings Institution discusses his new report that reveals that the true cost to the nation of closing schools and day care centers could be as much as $47 billion. Kathleen Murphy is a registered nurse and the health services coordinator for the Milwaukee Public Schools; she tells us what her school district is doing to prevent closings. We also speak to Dr. Faheem Younus, the medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at the Upper Chesapeake Health Center in Bel Air, Md., who has some practical advice for parents who can't take the day off of work.
"Approximately 75-80% [of students] eat two meals a day at school, so right there, when schools close, there's an impact on their nutritional status and a family's ability to meet that child's needs."
—Kathleen Murphy, registered nurse and health services coordinator for the Milwaukee Public Schools, on a side effect of closing schools in case of an H1N1 outbreak
The floodwaters in the Philippines are starting to recede now that Typhoon Ketsana (locally known as Typhoon Ondoy) has passed through, but the situation in Manila and the surrounding areas is still dire. The city is still recovering as 20 feet of floodwater begins to drain away and the government struggles to cope with 450,000 displaced citizens.
We talk with Stephen Anderson, head of the World Food Program in the Philippines, who talks to us from Manila; and Bing Branigan, Filipina American community liaison for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, who is leaving for Manila on Wednesday to assist in the relief effort.
Last week close to a million New Yorkers received a special edition of the New York Post emblazoned with the giant headline: "We're Screwed!" Plausible as the headline seemed, the paper was not the work of the Post staff, but rather an elaborate prank by The Yes Men, a group dedicated to pranking for change. We talk to one of the two Yes Men, Mike Bonnano (his partner-in-pranks, Andy Bichlbaum, would have joined us, but is still in jail after being arrested yesterday) about their goals, their pranks and their agenda for the week. We also talk to Steven Heller, co-chair of MFA design at the School for Visual Arts, about whether such pranks change conversations in a positive way or just distract from important topics.
For more from the Yes Men, check out their movie, The Yes Men Fix the World, which opens nationally on October 23rd, or read their book The Yes Men: The True Story of the End of the World Trade Organization.
Lately the Yes Men have been touting the benefits of a new product, the Survivaball. Click through for more videos from the Yes Men:
President Obama added another TV appearance to his recent media tour last night. He stopped by the fabled couches of "The Late Show with David Letterman" and brought his bully pulpit with him. Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times joins us with a look at whether the president's policy goals were met by his late-night appearance. And Delaina Dixon, founder of delainadixon.com, brings us her thoughts on whether the president was more fun to watch than stupid pet tricks.
Hot on the heels of a recently-released report in which Afghanistan commander General McChrystal said the U.S. mission in Afghanistan "will likely result in failure" without calling up additional troops, President Obama hit the talk show circuit expressing concern about sending more troops. How are these mixed messages playing out for those about to be deployed?
Kristen L. Rouse is a first lieutenant in the Army National Guard and recently found out she would be deployed for a second tour in Afghanistan. Mary Galeti's husband Russell is also soon to be deployed to Afghanistan. They join us with their thoughts on the continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan. We're also joined by Larry Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a senior advisor for the Center for Defense Information.
"We have a moral obligation to fulfill the promises that we've made to the Afghan people. I think that Afghanistan is a profoundly impoverished nation that has suffered from thirty years of warfare."
—Kristen L. Rouse, first lieutenant in the Army National Guard and soon to deploy for a second tour in Afghanistan, on the U.S. mission there
They can't wait for Amazon.com to ship it. They can't wait until 9 a.m. for Barnes & Noble to open. They are Dan Brown's biggest fans, and they can't wait even a minute past midnight to get a hold of his new book, "The Lost Symbol," on the day of its release. We speak to Tom Holbrook, the owner of River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, who kept his doors open last night until 1 a.m.
"What a lot of people forget is that "The Da Vinci Code" was really fascinating and attention-grabbing. It was this sort of hand grenade book. It seemed like a thriller, but it just unpacked all of these crazy ideas."
—Tom Holbrook, owner of River Run bookstore, on why crowds are so avidly anticipating Dan Brown's newest book
President Obama set off a trade dispute on Friday when he announced that the U.S. would impose a 35 percent tariff on imported Chinese tires. China retaliated by launching an investigation into whether the U.S. is dumping cheap chicken and automotive parts into China's marketplace. How is all this playing out in the U.S. business scene? We talk to Mike Cockrell, the chief financial officer of Sanderson Farms in Laurel, Mississippi; and Ross Kogel, the president of Tire Wholesalers International in Michigan.