Super cities, super music

January, 28, 2015
Jan 28

Boston and Seattle are separated by an entire continent, three time zones, two oceans and their devotion to the football teams they sent to Arizona in pursuit of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

But the two Super Bowl cities have a lot more in common. They're both important port cities and big college towns. They're both centers of high-tech innovation. And they're the place a lot of great musicians and bands have called home over the years.

Think about it: Boston is known for Aerosmith's blues rock, but the Hub also gave the world the Queen of Disco herself, Donna Summer, the New Wave hits of The Cars and alternative rock icons such as The Pixies.

Extreme calls Boston home; so do Godsmack, New Edition, Juliana Hatfield and yes, Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch.

Seattle might be known for the flannel shirts and hard-rock attitude of grunge from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, but it's also the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and the place where rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis got their start.

And don't forget Sir Mix-A-Lot -- really, who could? -- or Queensryche, Mudhoney, Candlebox and Death Cab For Cutie.

When it comes to Women Who Rock, both cities can be justifiably proud: Seattle, led by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Boston, home to the likes of Susan Tedeschi and Letters To Cleo's Kay Hanley.

Which end of Interstate 90 rocks the most? We're going to let your ears be the judge with playlists including some of the best of both cities.

Enjoy ...

Super Bowl

Little Big Town playing to fight hunger

January, 28, 2015
Jan 28
Jimi WestbrookFrederick Breedon/WireImage/Getty ImagesJimi Westbrook and Little Big Town are nominated for a Grammy for the single "Day Drinking."

Grammy award winning country band Little Big Town will be part of the Super Bowl festivities as part of a charitable party on Saturday.

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jimi Westbrook is a lifelong football fan who plays in several fantasy leagues, so being at the Super Bowl is a special experience. However, as he and the other three members of the band -- his wife, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet – are parents, they are happy to perform for "Party with a Purpose," which is raising money for food banks across the country. Approximately 20 percent of children in the U.S. live in poverty, according to a 2013 report. talked to Westbrook about his involvement and his love of sports.

Tell us about the "Taste of the NFL" party and how Little Big Town got involved.

We had gotten a call from our manager telling us about this amazing function where all of these chefs were coming in to do a tasting, and they inivited us to come play while this is happening. ... To be able to be there with these amazing chefs is an exciting opportunity.

Of course, it's all for hunger relief -- the proceeds go to a lot of different hunger relief organiuzations, some of which we've been involved with for the past few years, some that have to do with child hunger. For the band, we all have kids, and of course that opens your heart to those things.

You always think of hunger issues being in other places and other smaller countries, but to know there is so much hunger still going on within our own country, and to know that even with child hunger that one in five children in America are suffering from hunger -- that's an astounding thing to know. Anything we can do to help with that, we try to lend our talents.

How does playing at the Super Bowl stack up to other events the band has played?

I'm so excited about this. I've never been able to go to a Super Bowl. I am a huge football fan, I love fantasy football, I'm involved in several fantasy leagues every year.

All of us are really big football fans in the band. we have the Titans here (in Nashville) and we're big fans of the Titans ... it's a big deal. We're going to be able to go see the game -- I am thrilled.

Who was your team growing up?

This is a different thing for me -- I grew up in Alabama being a huge college football fan. Of course, being an Alabama fan was huge in my household, but also I did love pro football. When I was growing up I didn't feel like I had a team that I identified with. The Cowboys were a huge team when I was growing up, but I kind of hopped around from team to team.

When I moved in Nashville it was the year the Titans came to Nashville, or maybe the year before. ... The very first pro football game I went to was the Music City Miracle game. So I was hooked. And I had great seats where I could see that whole play develop as it was happening. It was one of the coolest sporting events I have ever been a part of.

[The Titans] ended up going to the Super Bowl and coming up short by a couple yards, which was heartbreaking, but what an inaugural season for me being a Titans fan, to watch that whole thing the way it happened. That would be my biggest Super Bowl moment, even though I was on the wrong end of it.

Did you play football when you were a kid?

I played for a couple of years in high school. I didn't really get a lot of playing time. I was small .. and thin (laughs). But I did play. I did play a lot of sports growing up.

What do you think about this Super Bowl? Any thoughts about who's going to win?

Man, I think it's gonna be a great game. I kind of feel like the Seahawks are gonna take it. That defense is super-intense.

I think Brady's playing with a chip on his shoulder from all the talk [at the start of the season] that he's on his decline and he's losing his game. I think he's got something to prove, which is gonna make for a great game. I just don't know if they can hold out long enough under the pressure of that defense. And of course the beast - Marshawn [Lynch], man, he wears people down from an offensive standpoint. And I'm a big fan of Russell Wilson. I think he's a talented dude and definitely a winner. he finds a way to win.

I think it's gonna be close but I think the Seahawks are going to edge 'em out at the end.

How did you do in fantasy this season?

I had a terrible year. I'm in a couple of leagues here in Nashville, there's one with my friend Darius Rucker -- there's a bunch of us from Nashville that are in a league. And that's the one for me that really counts. And I ended up just doing terrible. I won last last year, which was exciting ... everything just seemed to go right, all the players had good games on the same day. This year was quite the opposite.

What went wrong?

I could never get it all lined up on the right day. I had a great team; it's just that I couldn't get everybody playing. And of course injuries play such a big part. It was not a good year ... but I'll be back.

Your son will be 5 years old in March. Does he watch football with you yet?

Yeah, he's getting into it. It's still a little hard to hold his attention as much but he defintiely loves it he loves the excitement of it.

I'm a loud watcher of football, once in a while I'm up screaming and shouting ... he loves it, he jumps in and joins with me.

Australian Open music on ESPN

January, 22, 2015
Jan 22
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's Australian Open coverage, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

30 Seconds to Mars: "Kings and Queens" from the "This is War" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Sheppard:"Geronimo" from the "Bombs Away" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Jessie J: "Masterpiece" and "Ain't Been Done" from the "My Type" EP. (iTunes | Amazon)

Avicii: "The Days" from the "My Type" EP. (iTunes | Amazon)

ESPN The Magazine Music Issue: Uncommon Connections

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Katy Perry, JJ WattJoe Pugliese Katy Perry and J.J. Watt have muscled their way to the top of their games.

Katy Perry and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt share the cover of ESPN The Magazine's annual Music Issue, in which the pop music performer and pro football's top defensive performer tell Chris Connelly about their respective rises to the top.

This exchange between the singer, who's performing at halftime of this year's Super Bowl, and the defensive end, whose goal is to play in one, sums it up nicely:

"A lot of people would agree that it's easy to get to the top, but it's about staying there, following it up," Perry says, turning to Watt, "with great plays every time."

"Yeah, great songs," he says. "Everybody's trying to bring you down. So what are you gonna do to stay there? How are you gonna work that much harder?"

The Music Issue also features a profile of one of music and sports' highest-profile power couples, singer Iggy Azelea and "Swaggy P" himself, Lakers small forward Nick Young. Amanda Hess writes how the unlikely pair -- he's from inner-city Los Angeles, she's from rural Australia, he first spotted her on Twitter -- both have gained power (and infamy) from their use of social media, as well as how rap music and NBA celebrity culture have gone mainstream on a global scale.

Another seemingly unlikely pair profiled in the Music Issue is the friendship of rap star J. Cole and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. In an interview with Marty Smith, Cole and Earnhardt explain how they formed a friendship over the music and their shared North Carolina roots:

"Our worlds have a lot more in common than people want to think," Cole says. "Stereotypes prevent the worlds from colliding and connecting more. The powers that be like it like that. They like it that the cultures don't mix, because if they ever were to mix, they would realize they're in the same boat and have a lot more in common than they have differences."

X-Games music: Chromeo, Skrillex

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's X-Games programming, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Chromeo: "Come Alive" and "Jealous" from the "White Women" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Skrillex: "Recess" and All is Fair in Love and Brostep" from the "Recess" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Wiz Khalifa: "We Dem Boyz" and "You and Your Friends" from the "Blacc Hollywood." album. (iTunes)

Bryce Vine: "Where the Wild Things Are" from the "Lazy Fair" EP.

Super Bowl music: Katy Perry featured

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Katy Perry AP Images, Rex Features Katy Perry's Super Bowl moment will arrive at halftime on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.

Katy Perry is headlining the halftime show at the Super Bowl, and ESPN will be featuring the pop singer's music in its coverage of the Seahawks-Patriots matchup from Glendale, Ariz.

Here's a list of the music, along with artists' websites and links where you can sample or download the singles and/or albums:

Katy Perry:
"Roar," "This Moment" and "This is How We Do" from the "PRISM" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

"Firework" from the "Teenage Dream" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Los Lonely Boys: "Ecstasy of Gold" single.

'Uptown Funk' fueling ESPN college hoops

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars is being featured this month on "ESPN College Gameday."

To sample or download the song or Ronson's "Uptown Special" album, click here: (iTunes | Amazon)

Pitbull, Mark Steele on 'ESPN NBA on ABC'

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's NBA on ABC programming, as well as links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Pitbull "Celebrate" frrom the Original Motion Picture "Penguins of Madagascar." (iTunes | Amazon)

Mark Steele "Greatness" single.

Music from ESPN's Pro Bowl coverage

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's coverage of the Pro-Bowl, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars: "Uptown Funk" from the "Uptown Special" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Saint Motel: "My Type" from the "My Type" EP. (iTunes | Amazon)

Dylan Gardner: "Let’s Get Started" from the "Adventures in Real Time" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Mystery Skulls: "Magic" from the "Forever" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Los Lonley Boys: "Rule the World" single.

Viv and the Revival: "I Want It" from "The Introduction" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Steven Cooper: "Born to Do" from the "Life and Love" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Music on ESPN gymnastics coverage

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's gymnastics coverage, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Sheppard: "Geronimo" from the "Bombs Away" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Jessie J: "Masterpiece" from the "My Type" EP. (iTunes | Amazon)

MisterWives: "Our Own House" from the "Our Own House" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Snoop Dogg's son chasing football dream

January, 14, 2015
Jan 14
Snoop DoggESPNSnoop Dogg's son, Cordell Broadus, has a big choice to make: Which college to attend?

For Snoop Dogg and his son, a top Division I football prospect, the college football dream is getting real.

And over the next month, ESPN will tell the story in a five-part documentary series, "Snoop & Son: A Dad's Dream." The first episode airs on tonight ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

Cordell Broadus of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas isn't the undeserving recipient of celebrity kid hype. He's a legit Division I prospect at wide receiver, ranked 134th overall and No. 12 at his position in the ESPN 300.

In his senior season, Broadus caught 39 passes for 602 yards and 11 touchdowns as Bishop Gorman went undefeated and won the Nevada Division I state championship. Here's a snippet from his ESPN Recruiting Football Nation scouting report: "Has great pass catching skills and body control ... Plays with confidence and likes one-on-one competition for the football ... Very good prospect."

Snoop's efforts to be a part of his son's life, even when he's on the road, are also a central theme in the series.

"People will see a very different side of Snoop," executive producer Rory Karpf says. "They'll see a man navigating the line between father and friend. They'll see someone whose interest in his son's life reflects what he himself never had. Above all, they'll see a father extraordinarily proud of his son."
Want to see Lenny Kravitz and Sting at "AT&T Playoff Playlist Live," but can't make it to Dallas?

No problem -- ESPN Music has got you covered! We're streaming Saturday and Sunday's concerts live, right here.

Saturday's live stream of Lenny Kravitz with special guests Keri Hillson and Vintage Trouble starts at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT).

Sunday's live stream of Sting with special guest Echosmith will start at 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT).

The links for both shows will posted here at ESPN Music shortly before both shows begin, so you can settle in and enjoy the music.

The streams won't be archived, so you'll need to tune in live. But since the concerts are also being streamed on ESPN3, you'll be able to check out the performances on all Watch ESPN platforms, wherever you are and with any device -- on your computer, smart phones or tablet, or using Xbox 360, Xbox 1, AppleTV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV or Roku.

See you back here Saturday and Sunday night!

Fallout Boy, Fuego featured in January

January, 9, 2015
Jan 9
Here's a list of the featured music of the month on ESPN, along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Fall Out Boy: "Favorite Records" and "The Kids Aren't Alright" from the "American Beauty/American Psycho" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Fuego: "Prendelo" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

AC/DC featured on Sunday NFL Countdown

January, 9, 2015
Jan 9
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, along with links to the artists’ websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

"Play Ball" from the "Rock or Bust" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

"Back in Black" from the "Back in Black" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

David Guetta: "Dangerous" from the "Listen” album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Lupe Fiasco: "Battle Scars" single. (iTunes)

January 'First Take' music

January, 9, 2015
Jan 9
Here's a list of songs from performers featured on ESPN's "First Take," along with links to the artists' websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

Troy Ave: "All About the Money" single. (iTunes | Amazon)

Gary Calamar: "I Got an Idea" from the "You Are What You Listen To" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Boaz: "Champion Flow" single.

Sleigh Bells: "That Did It" single.

New Beat Fund: "Why So Mean" single.

The Mounties: "Made Up My Mind" from the "Thrash Rock Legacy" album. (iTunes | Amazon)

Lana Shea: "Shut Ya Face" from the "RAPS" album.

Canon: "Point of View" from the "Loose Canon Vol 2" album. (iTunes | Amazon)