The Deep Six: Why Getting Weird Al Yankovic to perform at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show might not be such a weird idea at‏ all‏

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by Ryan Meehan

As die hard sports fans, we’d all like to think that we have no real opinion on the Super Bowl Halftime Show. This is the time that we use to relieve ourselves from all of the Busch Heavy that we drank in the first thirty minutes of the contest, and perhaps type up a few first half wrap-ups. But in reality, like it or not it is part of the experience. Over the past couple of weeks, a petition started by Ed Ball of Washington over at change.org has been getting a lot of attention.  Ball supposedly drafted the petition while intoxicated, but the purpose of this petition is clear as day:  He wants the National Football League to get Weird Al Yankovic to perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLIX this February in Glendale, Arizona.

I used to listen to Weird Al a lot when I was younger.  We used to get the tapes and copy them for each other, and Al was a seemingly never-ending source of entertainment.  “Dare to be Stupid” was one of my favorite albums.  Eventually my tastes progressed towards much darker subject matter, and there was a certain passage of maturity that came with saying “I don’t listen to that stuff anymore”.  Nevertheless, I still respected the guy and the career he was able to put together with an accordion and wire-rimmed glasses.    Continue reading

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7 QUESTIONS WITH MONTE PITTMAN

by Ryan Meehan

Born and raised in Longview, TX, Monte Pittman made the decision at 24 to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a professional musician, and unfortunately having to leave his family, friends, and band Myra Mains behind. Upon arrival in LA, he made ends meet by working at a local music store. Realizing he was better at teaching than selling, he left to start providing guitar lessons.  As fate would have it, his third student would end up being British filmmaker Guy Ritchie, who had just received a guitar from his then girlfriend, Madonna. Soon after, Monte was introduced to the iconic performer, and became her guitar teacher as well. A month later, Monte was invited to join Madonna on stage at the David Letterman Show to promote her album, “Music.”  Monte has since played guitar on all of Madonna’s live tours and albums, starting with the 2001 Drowned World Tour, and shares writing credits on some of her songs. Monte has also played guitar for the band Prong. He is credited with co-writing songs on “Scorpio Rising” and “Power of the Damager” to which he also added backing vocals and bass. He also played guitar on Prong’s live album “100% Live.”  In November 2009, Monte released his debut acoustic solo album, “The Deepest Dark.” Almost a year after its release, a special bonus version of “The Deepest Dark” was released and immediately reached the No. 1 spot on the Best-Selling Acoustic Albums list at CD-Baby.com. It was also No. 9 in the Top 10 Best-Selling CDs for the Fall of 2010. In 2011, Monte launched a Kickstarter campaign for his second album, “Pain, Love & Destiny”. It raised a staggering $65,500, making him the top rock musician to raise the most money on the crowd-funding platform at that time. Monte met his initial goal of $5,000 in under 24 hours. It was released later that year and within its first week made it to No. 1 Rock Album, No. 1 Pop Album, and made it onto the Top 10 Albums chart on CD Baby. In addition, it cracked the iTunes Top 200.  Monte performed at the 2012 Super Bowl with Madonna and toured around the world on the MDNA Tour. He also performed at the 2012 Artists In Music Awards where he was given an award for Best Solo Artist in addition to being nominated in four other categories. Monte has also been honored with a Career Achievement Award from the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards. The Los Angeles Music Awards nominated him for Best Male Singer/Songwriter and Best Modern Rock Album for “Pain, Love, & Destiny”.  In November of last year, “M.P.3: The Power Of Three, Pt. 1″ was released. It’s a stripped down acoustic EP marking the beginning of Monte and Flemming Rasmussen’s working relationship.  In 2013, Pittman, along with band members Kane Ritchotte on drums and Max Whipple on bass, went to Copenhagen to record the upcoming album “The Power of Three” with producer Flemming Rasmussen. This marks Monte’s return to heavy music, and we are pleased to have Monte Pittman as our guest today in 7 questions.  Continue reading