NEW YORK — Everyone is in Bruno Mars’ ear about one thing when it comes to performing the Super Bowl halftime show: How will you deal with the freezing cold? “Everyone’s putting the fear of God in me like there’s going to be a blizzard,” Mars said in a phone interview this month from Los Angeles, where he talked about the weather conditions in the New York-New Jersey area.
MIAMI — The feared high and low notes of the national anthem should be easily navigated this year at Super Bowl XLVIII. That’s because the honor of performing the difficult song has been given to famed soprano Renée Fleming, who will perform it before the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb 2, as 164 million people watch from home.
LOS ANGELES — The Grammy Awards celebrated outcasts and outsiders, lionizing a couple of French robots, white rappers and a country gal espousing gay rights, and a Goth teenager who’s clearly uncomfortable with the current themes in pop music.
The biggest-selling albums of 2013 were by Justin Timberlake, country star Luke Bryan, and rappers Jay-Z, Drake and Eminem. Timberlake topped the list with more than 2.3 million copies sold of the first part of his two-part “The 20/20 Experience,” according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Snow-clad scenery, relaxing travel and superb singing combine these next three Saturdays on the snow train to Leavenworth, and on December 14 travelers get the added bonus of hearing Stephanie Anne Johnson, Tacoma native and recent contestant on NBC’s “The Voice.”
Oksana Ezhokina plays piano the way she talks. As she launches the staccato opening of Beethoven’s first piano concerto — which she’ll perform with the Tacoma Symphony next weekend — her phrases are direct, forthright, and with a bluntness that echoes her words. But as she switches to a dreamy Scriabin etude, her tone is as veiled and mellifluous as her voice.
“There’ve been four or five times where someone quit the band because a terrible show turned into a fight after,” says singer-guitarist Josiah Johnson of the Seattle nu-folk phenomenon The Head and the Heart, whose highly-anticipated second album, “Let’s Be Still,” comes out Tuesday and will be a featured item at Starbucks nationwide. “Then the next morning everyone’s like ‘OK, never mind.’ ”
DETROIT — Even the most grizzled rock ‘n’ roll veterans can still get bowled over once in a while. So it’s been for Black Sabbath founding members Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, the pioneering English metal musicians who have watched as their new album, “13,” tops sales charts across the globe.