Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris

Drew Ressler

GBV Broke Up: Have A Beer  

Guided By Voices fans bereft over its abrupt September breakup can soon drown their sorrows in a beer inspired by the Robert Pollard-led indie band and the 20th anniversary of its classic 1994 album Bee Thousand. On Nov. 17,  Delaware microbrewer Dogfish Head will release Beer Thousand, a brew that founder Sam Calagione describes as “the most rustically elegant malt liquor you could ever imagine.”  

The 45-year-old craft brewer says Bee Thousand was a “touchstone” for him when he was writing his business plan in 1994.   “The way that album kind of moves from punk to pop to psychedelia was a real inspiration," he says. "It's the aural equivalent of the beers I wanted to make -- big, bombastic, rustic but memorable beers that would be all over the map stylistically.” Calagione says he symbolically chose 10 different types of hops and 10 different grains for the beer and gave it a 10 percent alcohol by volume, noting "Ten times ten times ten, gives you Beer Thousand." He also says “added the hops to the test vats."

When GBV was together, Pollard and company "drank a lot of beer while they played," Calagione says. "They usually drank very light lager --Budweiser, Miller Lite, Rolling Rock -- so they could drink a lot. I wanted to do a special, stronger beer that they could slowly sip on after the show.

Pollard declined to comment for the story, but avid GBV fans will have another good reason to buy up lots of the beer. One thousand cases of Beer Thousand in 750 ml bottles will contain a 10-inch, 10-song vinyl record of a never-bootlegged GBV show took place on June 25 at Thread Waxing Space in Manhattan. There will be no other way to get the recording, so drink up.--Frank DiGiacomo

Don't Kill Calvin!

The set of Calvin Harris’ new music video for “Open Wide” featuring Big Sean was a nail biter. The clip’s pretend violence, which features a dancer balletically dodging bullets fired by rival gangs, had “everyone on edge,” says director Emil Nava, particularly when explosives used to blow out a window inches from Harris enveloped him a cloud of dust. The crew's pulse rates returned to normal when Harris emerged unscathed. Nava had wanted to shoot the video in downtown Los Angeles but couldn't get permission to close roads and have the cast shoot off dozens of guns for the clip. Instead, the crew headed to the California desert, setting up shop at a film set called The Four Aces in Lancaster, about an hour northeast of the city.

Blood, Ballet & Guns: Calvin Harris & Big Sean's 'Open Wide' Video

A Little Piece of Grohl

On Friday, Oct. 24, Foo Fighters played an intimate three-hour set for 700 or so people at The Black Cat in Washington D.C. During the show, which included Foos favorites and eclectic covers of David Bowie/Queen’s “Under Pressure” and Tom Petty's classic song “Breakdown," Grohl reflected on his Virginia roots and how good it felt to be back home. He told the adoring crowd that a few nights before a fan had approached him with a piece of wood and asked him to sign it. The man then told the Foo frontman that it was a piece of Grohl’s old house in Virginia. Before the show, the club screened the D.C. episode of the Grohl-directed HBO series, Sonic Highways

Downward Facing Flyleaf

Flyleaf's new leading lady, Kristen May, has taken it upon herself to make sure the rest of the band stays healthy on its current U.S. tour in support of their newly released album Between the Stars. May tells Overheard that she's organized a yoga class with her tour manager while on the road. And from time to time, bassist Pat Seals even joins in on the meditative fun.

Silversun Pickups Go with Garret

A source close to alt-rock band Silversun Pickups says the band is recording its next album in Garret Jacknife Lee's Topanga Canyon recording studio in Los Angeles. Lee, who’s worked with everyone from Weezer to Taylor Swift to U2, produced Neck of the Woods, as well as the single "Cannibal" off the Silversun Pickups’ recent compilation album, The Singles Collection.

How Spoon Became Spoon

Spoon played a special stripped-down acoustic set at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Oct. 20. The event was part of the Grammy Museum’s series "The Drop" which showcases artists with new albums. The band played songs from its latest, They Want My Soul, including “Rainy Taxi”, “Do You” and “Rent I Pay." At one point, members reminisced about how their band name was a hasty decision before an early gig back in 1994 and stemmed from the trend of one-word band names -- such as Pulp and Oasis -- that were popular back then.

YACHT Rock

Musical explorers of philosophy and technology, YACHT has been busy lately. From conceptualizing apps to designing sunglasses, YACHT’s Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans are constantly pushing the limits of creativity with everything they do. And their upcoming EP Where Does This Disco? is no exception. 

Where Does This Disco? is meant to be a deep-dive into the relationship between humanity and technology. Claire L. Evans describes it as a “three-act science fiction play.” The first act is title-track “Where Does This Disco?” which Evans says is about “love and compact discs.” The second act is “Works Like Magic” which Evans says is about “sex and computers, experienced in the now." Finally, the third act is the mysterious unreleased track “Terminal Beach," which is “an extrapolation about what comes next, once the touch between people and technology is consummated.”

But this isn’t the only music that’s on the way from the dynamic duo. Evans let Billboard in on a little secret -- they’re planning on releasing their first full-length album since 2011’s Shangri-La next year.

Double Anniversary

On Friday, Oct. 24, Linkin Park brought diehard fans together for a monumental night of angst and nostalgia at Los Angeles’ Wiltern in celebration of Guitar Center's 50th Anniversary.

The entire show was taped for an upcoming Guitar Center Sessions, which will air on Dec. 5 on DIRECTV’s Audience Network. The Grammy Award-winning rock band led the audience through classic tunes like “Numb” and “In The End” from their 2003-second studio album Meteora, as well as more recent songs like “Guilty All the Same." Linkin Park’s energetic lead-singer Chester Bennington imparted a little tidbit of LP history upon his fans towards the middle of their set, stating that it happened to be the 14-year anniversary of the release of their debut album, Hybrid Theory.

Smashing Musical Mentor

It looks like the Smashing Pumpkins’ eccentric leader has started divulging some of his musical genius on up-and-coming bands.

Billy Corgan recently took time out of his busy schedule to executive produce indie-pop duo Ex Cops’s forthcoming album Daggers, set for release on Nov. 11. For two weeks straight in Chicago, Corgan worked with the Brooklyn-based band, made up of Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“Billy was working on the new SP album literally next door to us. So Amalie is playing piano while we can hear faint mixes of a new Pumpkins’ song six feet away from us,” Brian Harding of Ex Cops told Billboard. "He was, and is a mentor to us. He was fair and completely helpful to us in the whole process.”

Ariel Pink co-wrote two songs with the band on Daggers.

An edited version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of Billboard.