One key piece is a new director who can make the story "come alive," said the celebrated lyricist. "What we need is a director -- a director who gets it, who likes the basic songs and likes the story and can think of a new way of doing it."
Mellencamp's 22nd album is accurately described by the title "Plain Spoken," released last week. It contains 10 literate, acoustic-based songs on religion, redemption, mature love and self-reflection, with humor thrown in.
Also on hand for the evening, which included an afterparty at Lavo, were fellow New York MC Busta Rhymes, Michael Strahan, frequent Nas collaborators AZ and DJ Premier, hip hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, Sway, DJ Marley Marl, J. Crew's Jenna Lyons, and Nas' daughter Destiny Jones.
The theme of Flying Lotus' upcoming album You're Dead! is right there in the title, so it's fitting that the just-released music video for "Never Catch Me," featuring Kendrick Lamar, is set at a funeral. What's surprising, however, is that a seemingly sad video turns instantly joyful when the two late children -- a boy and a girl -- bound out of their caskets at the front of the church and dance gleefully down the aisle.
Americana-flavored performer Lauren Shera is a recent transplant to Tennessee, having moved to The 615 a couple of years ago from her native California. She stands amazed at how the city has grown in those 24 months.