Friday, October 31, 2014

Tower of Power's Rocco Prestia To Have Kidney Transplant

Francis "Rocco" Prestia, bass player for Tower of Power since 1970, will undergo a life saving kidney transplant in December.

Prestia has had serious medical problems since 2001 that has, at times, limited his ability to participate in his music. On Wednesday, Rocco began the preparations to finally receive a new kidney.
Hey everybody, Rocco here. I just wanted to give you an update on what's happening with me. First off I'd like to thank everyone who has either donated to my medical fund or given their time and energy. It is greatly appreciated to say the least!

Today, October 29th, I began the process and the transplant surgery is scheduled for December 5th. I have been cleared for the surgery and after months of testing a compatible donor has been found and we have both gone through the lengthy process of testing and screening and have been given the green light to get this done. After about 3 months of recouperation time I will be rejoining my TOP Brothers back on stage.

For now, I have to go through a series of pre-transplant procedures and prepare for my body to receive this precious gift. I will keep you updated as we get closer to December 5th.

It's hard to find the right words to express how much I appreciate the generosity and love you have shown me so for now I'll just say so long and and I'll see you down the road!!

THANK YOU so much for your support!

Sincerely, ROCCO
When Rocco auditioned for Tower of Power, he was a guitarist, but the band asked him to switch to bass which he has played for TOP since 1970. During his time with the band, Tower of Power has established themselves as one of the premier R&B/funk bands in music. Their hits include You're Still a Young Man (1972), So Very Hard to Go (1973) and What is Hip? (1974).

Those interested in donating to Rocco's fund can do so via Paypal.

This is Halloween! The Top Songs of the Season on Spotify

by Newsdesk

Spotify reveals the most popular scary songs set to be streamed at parties this Halloween.

The streaming service analyzed over 600,000 Halloween themed playlists with Thriller by Michael Jackson coming out as the most featured song, with Bobby 'Boris' Pickett's Monster Mash, following closely behind.

Halloween continues to grow in popularity, with themed playlists growing by 117% year on year. Spotify predicts that this Halloween is set to be one of the biggest ever in the UK with Brits getting into the spirit of it and rivalling the States with Halloween themed parties.

Spotify has identified which cities have been creating the most playlists for Halloween. Brighton is leading the way when it comes to the most frightening streamers in the UK, closely followed by Bristol and Liverpool. In addition Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds and London also make the top ten, confirming Halloween as one of the key times of year when music plays a pivotal role to festivities.
  1. Thriller - Michael Jackson
  2. Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett
  3. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker, Jr.
  4. This Is Halloween - Disney Characters for A Nightmare Before Christmas
  5. Time Warp - Richard O'Brien
  6. (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
  7. Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
  8. Bark at the Moon - Ozzy Osbourne
  9. I Put a Spell on You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
  10. A Nightmare On My Street - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Fleetwood Mac Favorite to Headline Glastonbury; Oasis Odds Fall

Update (10/31/14 - 9:30 AM) - NME is reporting that Glastonbury's Michael Eavis has ruled out Fleetwood Mac and Queen.
Asked about rumours regarding both bands potentially headlining in 2015, Eavis replied: "Queen? Not Queen, no. Fleetwood Mac don't seem to be available at the moment. But we've got three excellent headliners for next year." He went on to confirm that one of the three artists has "been around for a long time" and that all three names will be announced on April 1.

by Newsdesk

Noel Gallagher has put the dampeners on fans hopes of Oasis reforming in 2015 and Oasis have drifted from 16/1 to 25/1 to headline at Glastonbury next year.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are 10/1 to headline at the festival.

"Some Oasis fans were convinced that Glastonbury was perhaps the one event that could tempt the brothers back on stage together but it looks like a forlorn hope now," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

Odds to headline Glastonbury 2015:
  • 8-to-15 - Fleetwood Mac
  • 3-to-1 - AC-DC
  • 3-to-1 - Muse
  • 7-to-1 - Stone Roses
  • 8-to-1 - Elton Jones
  • 8-to-1 - Prince
  • 9-to-2 - U2
  • 10-to-1 - Daft Punk
  • 10-to-1 - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
  • 10-to-1 - Pink Floyd
  • 12-to-1 - David Bowie
  • 14-to-1 - Iron Maiden
  • 14-to-1 - Queen
  • 16-to-1 - Kate Bush
  • 20-to-1 - Coldplay, Radiohead
  • 25-to-1 - Oasis

Almanac: October 31, 2014

  • 1896 - Ethel Waters (d. 1977)
  • 1902 - Julia Lee (d. 1958)
  • 1912 - Dale Evans (d. 2001)
  • 1927 - Anita Kerr (87)
  • 1937 - Tom Paxton (77)
  • 1940 - Eric Griffiths (Quarrymen) (d. 2005)
  • 1944 - Kinky Friedman (70)
  • 1945 - Russ Ballard (Argent) (69)
  • 1945 - Rik Kenton (Roxy Music) (69)
  • 1949 - Bob Siebenberg (Supertramp) (65)
  • 1951 - Doug Bennett (Doug and the Slug) (d. 2004)
  • 1952 - Tony Bowers (Simply Red) (62)
  • 1952 - Bernard Edwards (Chic) (d. 1996)
  • 1957 - Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices) (57)
  • 1961 - Larry Mullen (U2) (53)
  • 1961 - Kate Campbell (53)
  • 1963 - Johnny Marr (born John Maher) (Smiths) (51)
  • 1963 - Mikkey Dee (born Micael Delaoglou) (Motörhead) (51)
  • 1964 - Darryl Worley (50)
  • 1964 - Colm Ó Cíosóig (My Bloody Valentine) (50)
  • 1966 - Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock, Beastie Boys) (48)
  • 1966 - Annabella Lwin (Bow-Wow-Wow) (48)
  • 1967 - Vanilla Ice (born Robert Van Winkle) (47)
  • 1968 - Ally McErlaine (Texas) (46)
  • 1968 - Al Mackenzie (D:Ream) (46)
  • 1970 - Linn Berggren (Ace of Base) (44)
  • 1970 - Johnny Moeller (Fabulous Thunderbirds) (44)
  • 1970 - Rogers Stevens (Blind Melon) (44)
  • 1981 - Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) (33)
  • 1982 - Monica Irimia (Cheeky Girls) (32)
  • 1982 - Gabriela Irimia (Cheeky Girls) (32)
  • 2000 - Willow Smith (14)

  • 1989 - Roger Scott (British DJ) - Cancer (46)
  • 1994 - Lester Sill (executive, Phillies, Colpix, Colgems) (76)
  • 2003 - Ron Davies (songwriter, It Ain't Easy, Long Hard Climb) - Heart attack (57)
  • 2011 - Liz Anderson - Heart and lung disease (84)

Linda Eastman
On This Day
  • 1952 - Chuck Berry was hired to play guitar for Johnnie Johnson.
  • 1959 - The Quarry Men (with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison) changed their name to Johnny and the Moondogs.
  • 1963 - Ed Sullivan was at Heathrow Airport when the Beatles came through and saw full fledged Beatlemania, causing him to look into booking the group.
  • 1964 - Ray Charles was arrested in Boston for heroin possession.
  • 1967 - Iggy & the Stooges made their live debut at a Halloween party in Michigan.
  • 1968 - Linda Eastman moved to England to live with Paul McCartney.
  • 1974 - Led Zeppelin started their label, Swan Song.
  • 1975 - The Marshall Tucker Band performed at a fund raiser for presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.
  • 1986 - Roger Waters was in court trying to stop his former bandmates from using the name Pink Floyd.
  • 1989 - The first MTV Unplugged show was tapped in New York with Squeeze.
  • 1993 - The Red Hot Chili Pepper's Flea was a witness to the fatal collapse of River Phoenix in Los Angeles.
  • 1993 - Tupac Shakur is arrested for shooting two off-duty police officers in Atlanta.
  • 1995 - James Brown was arrested for assaulting his wife, Adrienne.
  • 1996 - Slash announced his departure from Guns N' Roses.
  • 1998 - Kiss opened their Psycho-Circus tour in Los Angeles.
  • 2003 - Cher completed her Farewell Tour by being named Billboard's top touring female artist.
  • 2004 - R. Kelly was fired from a tour with Jay-Z after an altercation with his entourage.
  • 2013 - The family of Marvin Gaye announced they were taking action against Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams over the song Blurred Lines and its similarities to Got to Give It Up

  • 1968 - Davy Jones (Monkees) and Linda Haines
  • 1970 - Michelle Phillips (Mamas & the Papas) and Dennis Hopper


  • 1974 - If I Could Only Win Your Live and Too Far Gone - Emmylou Harris

  • 1953 - Golden Teardrops - Flamingos (single)
  • 1992 -  - Prince & the New Power Generation
  • 1995 - Alice in Chains - Alice in Chains (vinyl only, the CD release would wait a week)
  • 2000 - Stankonia - Outkast
  • 2006 - Small Town Girl - Kellie Pickler (debut album)

  • 1986 - The Tube (U.K.) - Jermaine Stewart, Troublefunk, Bob Geldof, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Spandau Ballet
  • 1992 - Halloween Jam at Universal Studios (ABC) - AC/DC, the Black Crowes,  Ozzy Osbourne, En Vogue and Slaughter.

Early Projections Show Barry Manilow and Both Led Zeppelin Reissues in Next Week's Top Ten

Oh, the power of singing with dead people.

The early projections are in for the week from Hits Daily Double and it looks like Barry Manilow's new set, where he duets with a number of now deceased artists, will come in around 4 or 5. The estimates have My Dream Duets with sales of between 42,000 and 47,000, not good enough for top three but just eeking past Jason Aldean who is projected in fifty with 40,000 to 45,000 in sales.

Also looking at top ten starts, if projections hold, are both reissues from Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin IV, the one with Stairway to Heaven, has estimated sales of between 35,000 and 40,000 for the week ending Sunday night while Houses of the Holy is showing 30,000 to 35,000. In these early estimates, that would put the albums at numbers 7 and 10, respectively; however, houses is in a three way tie with Barbra Streisand's Partners and the new album from the Black Veil Brides, with all showing the sames estimates, so final positions are very much up in the air.

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't mention the big story of the week. We recently told you that no album released in 2014 had gone platinum, indicating cumulative sales of over one million copies and only one album released prior to this years has had those types of sales, the soundtrack to the Disney movie Frozen. Well, Taylor Swift is projected to put pass Frozen and become the first album of this year to go platinum, all in the span of one week. 1989 is projected to sell between 1,200,000 and 1,250,000 units before Sunday is over. If she does it, she will surpass the opening week sales of her last album, Red, and become the only artist to have had three million selleing weeks since the beginning of the SoundScan Era (1991).

According to Billboard, in the first two days, the album sold 450,000 copies through iTunes, 247,000 at Target (where it has three bonus tracks), 30,000 at Wal-Mart, 16,000 at Amazon, 5,000 at Best Buy and 3,000 at Starbucks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Robin Thicke & Pharrell vs. The Family of Marvin Gaye - The "Blurred Lines" Suit to Go to Trial

by Newsdesk

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's case against Marvin Gaye's family will now go to trial.

The musicians have been embroiled in legal proceedings for more than a year after Thicke, Williams and Clifford Harris Jr., better known as T.I., who raps on the track, sought in August 2013 to preemptively protect the song from claims it originated from the Motown legend's 1977 smash hit Got to Give It Up.

The Gaye family responded with a countersuit, accusing Thicke and Williams of stealing elements for Blurred Lines. They also allege Thicke ripped off Gaye's After the Dance for his song Love After War.

On Thursday U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt denied Williams and Thicke's motion for a summary judgement, ruling the issue must now go to trial, Billboard reports. In his ruling, the magistrate wrote members of the Gaye family "have made a sufficient showing that elements of Blurred Lines may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of Got to Give It Up," adding, "Defendants have identified these with particularity for purposes of analytic dissection."

Kronstadt also cited "conflicting analyses" on "signature phrases, hooks, bass lines, keyboard chords, harmonic structures and vocal melodies" by experts hired by both the plaintiffs and the defendants.

Jury analysis will be limited to sheet music compositions.

The judge also touched on comments made by Thicke in an April deposition obtained by The Hollywood Reporter in which he claimed his previous remarks to the media about his contribution to Blurred Lines were embellished because he "had a drug and alcohol problem for the year" and "didn't do a sober interview".

According to the judge, 'Thicke's inconsistent statements do not constitute direct evidence of copying," although "concede access" of Got to Give It Up on the singer's part is noted, Billboard reports.

The trial is scheduled to begin February 10.

Watch: "Lost in the Woods" - Afghan Whigs (plus European Tour Information)

by Newsdesk

The Afghan Whigs have new music and a video for their track Lost In The Woods.

Following the Western-themed revenge drama of Algiers and the kinetic Matamoros videos, the dream like Lost in the Woods is the latest visual from The Afghan Whigs’ Do to the Beast, directed by longtime collaborator Phil Harder.

The Afghan Whigs' Do to the Beast is the group’s acclaimed new album and first-ever U.S. & U.K. Top 40 debut. In the U.S. the album entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart at number 32 and in the U.K. at number 40.

The band have also announced a second European tour starting at the beginning of February 2015 with shows in Dublin, Edinburgh and London, before playing shows in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Spain and Israel.

Tour dates:
  • 02/02 – Dublin, IE – Whelans
  • 02/03 – Edinburgh, UK – Liquid Room
  • 02/04 – London, UK – Koko
  • 02/06 – Bruges, BE – Magdalenazaal
  • 02/07 – Brussels, BE – Cirque Royale
  • 02/09 – Paris, FR – Trabendo
  • 02/10 – Amsterdam, NL – Melkweg
  • 02/11 – Hamburg, DE – Gruenspan
  • 02/13 – Prague, CZ – Lucerna Music Bar
  • 02/14 – Krakow, PL – Fabryka
  • 02/15 – Warsaw, PL – Basen
  • 02/18 – Gothenburg, SE – Pustervik
  • 02/19 – Stockholm, SE – Strand
  • 02/21 – Barcelona, ES – Apolo
  • 02/24 – Tel Aviv, IL – Barby

US Charts: Aretha Franklin, Billy Idol Hit Multi-Decade Highs, Scott Walker Charts For First Time, Yoko Ono Has 12th Dance Number 1

Veteran artists continue to have a firm grip on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart as they take nine of the top 25 spots including three in the top ten.

Neil Diamond has the highest of those albums as Melody Road gives him his eighteenth top ten album in the U.S. The album's number 3 debut also puts it in rare territory among Diamond albums. The singer has released 77 albums, including studio, live and compilation sets, over his career and only six have made it to the top three:
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull (soundtrack) (1973 / #2)
  • Serenade (1974 / #3)
  • The Jazz Singer (soundtrack) (1980 / #3)
  • Home Before Dark (2008 / #1)
  • Hot August Nights/NYC (2009 / #2)
  • Melody Road (2014 / #3)
Barbra Streisand's Partners drops 5 to 8 in its sixth week while passing the 500,000 mark in sales, one of the few albums that have done so this year.

Annie Lennox debuts at 10 with her covers album Nostalgia. This seems to be her normal territory on the charts as her last non-holiday studio album, 2007's Songs of Mass Destruction, went to number 9 and 1995's Medusa, to number 11. Only 2003's Bare broke out of that narrow space, peaking at number 4. 

As we wrote earlier in the week, Aretha Franklin has equaled her best charting album in 29 years with Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics. The album debuts at number 13, the same position where her Who's Zoomin' Who? album premiered in 1985. Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to 1972 and Young, Gifted and Black, which went to 11, to find a better performer.

Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, the album, inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, debuts at 17, falling just short of the band's 2011 album Green Naugahyde (#15). Overall, it is their eighth studio album and the fourth highest charting.

Bush have the lowest charting album of their career as Man on the Run debuts at 33. The band has released six studio albums in their twenty year recording career, sending 1996's Razorblade Suitcase to number 1. Their previous low was 2001's Golden State, which went to 22.

Billy Idol improves on his last couple of releases with a number 34 start for Kings and Queens of the Underground. While not at the heights reached by his albums from the 80's, it is, nonetheless, his highest charting set in 24 years, since Charmed Life (1990 / #11).

At number 37 is the latest from Boyz II Men, Collide. The group's eleventh studio album, it comes in short of 2011's Twenty which, ironically, peaked at number 20.

Andrea Bocelli premiers at 57 with Opera: The Ultimate Collection. Bocelli is no stranger to the top of the Albums chart; however, it is his pop-oriented albums that have done well in the past including such hits as Sogno (1999 / #4), Amore (2006 / #3) and Passione (2013 / #2). His classical albums have, in general, fared much worse although 2008's Incanto did peak at number 8.

The Jerry Garcia Band's latest archive release, Garcia Live Volume Five: December 31, 1975, Keystone Berkeley, opens at 81, falling right into the same area as four of the five releases in the series (Volume 1 (87), Volume 2 (82), Volume 3 (102), Volume 4 (74)).

Scott Walker, who started his career in the 60's blue eyed soul band the Walker Brothers, has become a very eclectic performer in recent decades, a trend he continues with Soused which he recorded with +Sunn O))). Opening at 88, it's the first time he has ever been on the Billboard Albums chart. He had his best showing on the Singles chart in 1966 when The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) went to 13 for the Walker Brothers.

Just like the Guardians of the Galaxy album played like a K-Tel album from the 70's, 21 Totally 80's Hits does the same for the 80's. The new compilation with music from Cyndi Lauper to Run-DMC, debuts at 98.

Dave Hollister, formerly of Blackstreet, premiers at 110 with Chicago Winds...the Saga Continues. He previously had seven albums reach the top 100 including 2002's Things in the Game Done Changed which went to number 10.

Mark Lanegan hits the top 200 for the first time in his solo career with Phantom Radio (#148). He had previously made the chart as part of Screaming Trees with Sweet Oblivion (1992 / #141) and Dust (1996 / #134).

Finally, Sleater-Kinney open at 176 with their compilation Start Together /// 1994-2006 and former Sonic Youth member Thurston Morre starts at 193 with The Best Day.

Over on the Dance Club Songs chart, Yoko Ono has done it again, scoring her twelfth number 1 with Angel.

The top five albums this week in the U.S.:
  1. 5: The Gray Chapter - Slipknot
  2. Paperwork - T.I.
  3. Melody Road - Neil Diamond
  4. Under Pressure - Logic
  5. Anything Goes - Florida Georgia Line
The top five singles:
  1. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (8 weeks at #1)
  2. Shake it Off - Taylor Swift
  3. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo
  4. Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
  5. Animals - Maroon 5
Veteran artists at the top of other Billboard charts:
  • R&B Albums - Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics - Aretha Franklin
  • Bluegrass Albums - Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn - Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
  • Jazz Albums - Nostalgia - Annie Lennox
  • Soundtrack Albums - Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1 - Various Artists
  • Catalog Albums - The Ultimate Hits - Garth Brooks
  • Comedy Albums - Mandatory Fun - Weird Al Yankovic
  • Classical Albums - Opera: The Ultimate Collection - Andrea Bocelli
  • Rock Airplay - Something For Nothing - Foo Fighters
  • Mainstream Rock Song - Something For Nothing - Foo Fighters
  • R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - New Flame - Chris Brown Featuring Usher and Rick Ross
  • Dance Club Song - Angel - Ono (Yoko Ono)
  • Smooth Jazz Songs - Slam Dunk - Gerald Albright