Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: "Pierced Arrow" - The Rides (Steven Stills, Barry Goldberg, Kenny Wayne Shepherd

by Andy Snipper,

The first album by The Rides was staggering. A true tour-de-force and a breathtaking example of Blues/Rock at its best. I fully expected them to quietly disappear, box ‘form another supergroup’ ticked and two fingers up to those who thought Barry Goldberg and Steven Stills were yesterday’s news but, here they are again and guess what – another stunning album!

The magic of Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s marriage is developed and expanded and Goldberg’s keyboards adds enormously to what might otherwise be slightly stilted. Vocals are shared between Stills and Shepherd and egos seem to be well and truly shelved as the band share all the responsibilities.

The songs are better than on Can’t Get Enough: obviously developed along with the relationship between the three and showing the understanding of band members as opposed to individuals.

They kick off with a rollicking bit of rock ‘n’ roll with Kick Out Of It, riffing like the Stones at their best and soloing like goons. Danceable as all hell and a great start to the album.

Virtual World is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard this year, the emotion in Stills voice is almost physical and the guitar work is simple, understated and plain lovely. The message about the virtual world as opposed to reality mirrors the actions of those who can only see a gig through the pictures they take on their mobiles and tablets. They pull the same musical strings on By My Side only with Kenny Wayne Shepherd on lead vox. The guitar parts are heart wrenching and dark and the whole song shows what the band are capable of.

I’ve Really Got To Use My Imagination has a soulful feel and Goldberg’s lovely Hammond creating a deep and dense soup of texture.

They can rock out as well and on numbers such as Mr Policeman or Game On they had me bouncing all around the room.

The Rides are clearly more than a one album trinket and the three members are showing just how much fun can be had from playing with mutual love and respect.

In many respects it is better than the first album but really, considering the experience of the three, it is the second disc of a very fine double album.

RZA Partners With Atari to Craft Music For Their Video Games

via Press Release

Atari has announced a co-production agreement with award-winning, hip-hop legend RZA, the producer, rapper and original member of the Wu-Tang Clan. The partnership will serve as a platform to create new music based and inspired by the sounds and music in Atari's vast collection of games.

As a pioneer in music, RZA paved the way for musical artists to express their creativity and unique sound for decades. Similarly, Atari is known as the original pioneer of video games creating popular classics including Asteroids, Centipede, and Pong, among many others. The collaboration between the two innovators will mark the second time they have worked together. RZA provided the voice over for Atari title Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure in 2006. Being an avid video game player and fan of retro Atari games, RZA will use his special talent to craft music that will be fresh, original and unlike anything anyone has ever heard.

"I'm so excited to work on these iconic games to deliver what I believe will be one of my best albums," said RZA. "I am going to invite some of my friends to join me and it will be Game On with the first beat!"

"We are thrilled to partner with RZA, one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time," said Fred Chesnais, Chief Executive Officer, Atari. "RZA is a multi-talented artist and soundtrack virtuoso and we cannot wait to hear the new tracks he creates based on Atari's iconic video game sounds and music."

RZA and Atari are also exploring other multi-media projects based on Atari intellectual property. RZA will head production of the new album and Fred Chesnais and Stephen Belafonte will executive produce for Atari. Production on the new album will start soon and more details will be shared at a later time.

Tom Jones on His Late Wife and Moving On

by Newsdesk

Tom Jones' "heart stopped" when he found out his wife of 59 years had just a week to live.

The Welsh singer lost Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, known as Linda, in April, after a brief battle with cancer. In a new interview, Tom opened up about the moment he found out about the devastating diagnosis, and consequently decided to cancel the Asian leg of his tour to be with his spouse.

"We knew each other since we were kids. It was fast, she had cancer," Tom told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "I got the call that it was terminal, my heart stopped. I flew back to Los Angeles, and she had a week left."

Tom is still struggling to cope following his wife's death, but is hoping that a return to the stage this summer will help him in the mourning process. One of his gigs is at Castle Howard in York, England, on July 16 as part of the Summer Sessions. While he knows some people may criticize him for heading back to work just a few months after Linda's passing, he added she told him not to give up on music.

"I have to be strong," he said. "First of all, I love singing. I mean, I get out of bed and I sing. I can't help it. Linda wanted me to keep singing, she said not to stop. She was a strong woman."

The 76-year-old She's A Lady singer has been very open about how he is dealing with his grief. He recently spoke to British stage star Michael Ball on his Radio 2 show and said that while Linda is no longer here, she will always be with him in spirit.

"She’s still with me every day in my brain and in my heart, she’ll always be with me. We shared our life together," he smiled.

He added that when he sings he feels Linda is there with him, saying: "She was a strong woman and was always there. It was a wonderful feeling to have known someone like that all my life."

Neil Young, Whitford St. Holmes & a Lot of Vinyl Highlight This Week's New Releases


Almanac: June 25, 2016

  • 1922 - Johnny Smith (d. 2013)
  • 1925 - Clifton Chenier (d. 1987)
  • 1935 - Eddie Floyd (81)
  • 1936 - Harold Melvin (d. 1997)
  • 1940 - Clint Warwick (Moody Blues) (d. 2004)
  • 1945 - Carly Simon (71)
  • 1946 - Ian McDonald (King Crimson) (70)
  • 1946 - Allen Lanier (Blue Oyster Cult) (70)
  • 1952 - Tim Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) (64)
  • 1952 - Brian MacLeod (Chilliwack) (d. 1992)
  • 1954 - David Paich (Toto) (62)
  • 1963 - George Michael (born Georgios Panayiotou) (53)
  • 1968 - Candyman (born Candell Manson) (48)
  • 1972 - Mike Kroeger (Nickelback) (44)
  • 1976 - Johnny Mercer - Brain tumor (66)
  • 1987 - Boudleaux Bryant (67)
  • 1988 - Hillel Slovak (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - Heroin overdose (26)
  • 2006 - Arif Mardin (producer) - Pancreatic cancer (74)
  • 2009 - Michael Jackson - Cardiac arrest (50)
On This Day:
  • 1949 - Billboard magazine changed it's Hillbilly Music chart to Country & Western.
  • 1966 - Jackie Wilson was arrested and charged with inciting a riot and refusing to obey police in Port Arthur, TX. He was eventually just charged with drunkenness and given a $30 fine.
  • 1966 - A concert at the Hollywood Bowl features the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Captain Beefheart, the Lovin' Spoonful, Love and Percy Sledge.
  • 1967 - Jimi Hendrix played a free show in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco before playing two paying shows at the Fillmore West.
  • 1969 - Mick Taylor performed for the first time with the Rolling Stones.
  • 1976 - David Bryon performed for the last time with Uriah Heep.
  • 1982 - Lew Dewitt retired from the Statler Brothers.
  • 1984 - Patti Scialfa joined the E-Street Band.
  • 1986 - Jenifer Strait, the 13-year-old daughter of George Strait, is killed in a car accident in San Marcos, TX.
  • 1995 - Pearl Jam cancelled their tour as part of their ongoing disagreement with Ticketmaster.
  • 1997 - A warrant is issued in Jamaica for Sade who did not show up for a court date over failure to stop for an officer.
  • 1997 - A concert was held at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with over 70 artists performing for Chet Atkins Day. 
  • 2000 - Billy Gilman made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 12.
  • 2003 - The RIAA announced that it would fight internet piracy by suing individual computer users who they found were downloading music.

  • 2005 - Sophie Ellis Bextor and Richard Jones (The Feeling)
  • 2006 - Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman
  • 1987 - Reba McEntire and Charlie Battles (filed)
  • 1965 - Make the World Go Away - Eddy Arnold
  • 1969 - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - Hollies
  • 1971 - I Wrote a Simple Song - Billy Preston
  • 1973 - Chicago VI - Chicago
  • 1975 - One Size Fits All - Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention
  • 1976 - Goes to Hell - Alice Cooper
  • 1976 - Softs - Soft Machine
  • 1976 - Whistling Down the Wire - Crosby & Nash
  • 1980 - Huey Lewis & the News - Huey Lewis & the News
  • 1982 - Let Me Rock You - Peter Criss
  • 1982 - Lexicon of Love - ABC
  • 1984 - Purple Rain - Prince
  • 1991 - Attack of the Killer B's - Anthrax
  • 1991 - Luck of the Draw - Bonnie Raitt
  • 1996 - Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z (debut)
  • 1996 - Dreamin' Out Loud - Trace Adkins (debut)
  • 2002 - Songs About Jane - Maroon 5 (debut)
  • 1967 - Our World - The first worldwide TV broadcast with performances by the Beatles (All You Need is Love), the Rolling Stones and the Who.
  • 1976 - Midnight Special - Natalie Cole (host), Captain & Tennille, Electric Light Orchestra, Sonny James, Pratt & McClain, Jethro Tull
Number Ones - U.S. Singles:
  • 1966 - Paperback Writer - Beatles (1 week)
  • 1977 - Got to Give It Up (Part 1) - Marvin Gaye (1 week)
  • 1988 - Foolish Beat - Debbie Gibson (1 week)
Number Ones - U.S. Albums:
  • 1983 - Flashdance - Soundtrack (2 weeks)
  • 1988 - OU812 - Van Halen (4 weeks)
  • 1994 - Purple - Stone Temple Pilots (3 weeks)
  • 2005 - X&Y - Coldplay (3 weeks)
Number Ones - U.S. R&B Singles:
  • 1955 - Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (2 weeks)
  • 1966 - Ain't Too Proud to Beg - Temptations (4 weeks)
  • 1977 - Best of My Love - Emotions (3 weeks)
  • 1988 - Joy - Teddy Pendergrass (2 weeks)
Number Ones - U.S. Country Singles:
  • 1983 - Fool For Your Love - Mickey Gilley (1 week)
  • 1988 - He's Back and I'm Blue - Desert Rose Band (1 week)
Number Ones - U.K. Singles:
  • 1964 - It's Over - Roy Orbison (2 weeks)
  • 1977 - Show You the Way to Go - Jacksons (1 week)
  • 1988 - I Owe You Nothing - Bros (2 weeks)
  • 2000 - Spinning Around - Kylie Minogue (1 week)
Number Ones - U.K. Albums:
  • 1977 - The Muppet Show - TV Soundtrack (1 week)
  • 1983 - Synchronicity - Police (2 weeks)
  • 1994 - Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We? - Cranberries (1 week)
  • 2000 - The Marshall Mathers EP - Eminem (1 week)

Passings: Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic (1944 - 2016)

by Newsdesk

Legendary Parliament Funkadelic musician Bernie Worrell has died, aged 72.

The star passed away after a long battle with stage-four lung cancer and the announcement of his death was made on Facebook on Friday (24Jun16).

A sad message, believed to have been written by his wife Judie, reads: "At 11:54, June 24, 2016, Bernie transitioned Home to The Great Spirit. Rest in peace, my love - you definitely made the world a better place..."

The writer of the post urges fans to "Check for further input" and "anything you want to post".

Judie has been posting updates about her now-late husband's medical condition online and last week she revealed to fans on Facebook that Bernie was on his deathbed.

The deceased legend helped pioneer the funk music genre in 1968 when he co-founded iconic band Parliament Funkadelic with fellow musicians George Clinton and bassist Bootsy Collins.

Worrell was a prolific keyboard player, who spearheaded the use of modern synthesisers, becoming one of the first musicians to use sounds from the Minimoog machine in Parliament Funkadelic's classic 1978 single Flash Light. Worrell's contribution to the band's sound influenced a host of other musical genres, such as new wave, hip hop and early electronica.

He was also a regular collaborator with superstar post-punk band Talking Heads during the height of their success in the 1980s.

Worrell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with 15 other members of Parliament Funkadelic in 2007. He was also the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in May.

Friday, June 24, 2016

This is Getting Ridiculous: Red Hot Chili Peppers Outsell Drake 3-to-1 Yet Drake Will Have the Number 1 Album

by VVN Music

It's time to examine the methodology used to determine the record charts.

Yes, the charts must change as technology changes but the current industry model is so new that it looks like the "calibration" might be off.

In November 2014, Billboard added two new measurements in determining its top 200 albums in what it called the biggest upgrade in more than 23 years. The first, to offset the trend of consumers buying individual tracks on the digital sites instead of entire albums, awards one album unit of sales for every ten individual tracks sold from the album. It didn't make any difference if it was ten of the same track by ten different buyers, it was still considered one album.

The second, to compensate for the growing trend of only consuming music through streaming, awarded one album sales unit for every 1,500 song streams from that album.  This is where the problem seems to lie.

Does a consumer listening to 1,500 tracks on a streaming service actually equal their purchasing a full-length album?  Looking at it from the artist's perspective, does 1,500 people listening to a track from your album pay you the same as if you sold one full length album?

These questions are important when you look at this week's projected sales and streams from Hits Daily Double. The site surveys a sampling of retailers across the U.S. and then projects sales based on that sample.

For this week in the U.S., the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album The Getaway has sold a projected 105,855 units, not counting streaming. That's three times as many copies as any of the next four albums on the list:
  1. The Getaway - Red Hot Chili Peppers (105,855)
  2. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead (35,495)
  3. Johannesburg (EP) - Mumford and Sons & Baaba Maal (34,503)
  4. Views - Drake (33,391)
  5. Lemonade - Beyonce (31,692)
A very impressive week for the veteran band. 

Now, when streams are added in, suddenly Drake jumps from 4, over the Chili Peppers, to number 1.

Here's how it works (remember, these are estimated sales and streams based from Hits Daily Double):

Red Hot Chili Peppers

105,855 Sales
Album Equivalent Streams (estimated 16,234,500 streams)
 = 116,678 Sales + Streaming

Album Equivalent Streams (estimated 132,223,500 streams)
121,540 Sales + Streaming

Yes, Drake does have a LOT more people streaming his album but, we repeat, is that truly equivalent to 88,149 people putting $10 down on the counter and buying his album?

With this methodology and the increased use of streaming by youth and young adults, it is going to become harder and harder for veteran artists to ever place well on the charts again.

It looks like there will be three veteran artists in the top ten next week, even after streaming is taken into account. The release of Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool on CD and vinyl has pushed the album back to the top ten with 38,124 equivalent units, putting it at number 6 while the previously mentioned Mumford and Sons album with veteran singer and guitarist Baaba Maal from Senegal, is projected at 7 with 36,874.

The trio of Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs, now known as case/lang/veirs, moved an estimated 9,833 units of their new self-titled album, good for number 23 on Hits Daily Doubles' Sales chart but they did not have enough streams to make the Sales + Streaming Top 50.

Final chart positions will be out on Tuesday.

Wife of Jermaine Jackson Files For Divorce

Jermaine Jackson's third wife has filed for divorce.

Halima Rashid lodged the papers on Tuesday, citing irreconcilable differences, and listed November 28, 2015 as the date of separation, according to

The couple's separation fell on the same day Rashid was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony corporal injury on a spouse following an alleged bust-up at the pair's California home, which included claims from Jermaine that Rashid attacked him and bit his leg.

She later escaped charges after officials dropped the investigation against her because there was no evidence to prove who was the aggressor in the dispute. After the charges were dropped in January, TMZ reported Jackson and his wife had reconciled.

In the divorce papers, Rashid is seeking spousal support. She and Jermaine have no children together.

Michael Jackson's older brother met Rashid while waiting in line at a Starbucks in January, 2004, and proposed that March. Just five months later, they tied the knot in Los Angeles.

Jermaine has five kids from his two previous marriages - he was wed to Alejandra Genevieve Oiaza from 1995 to 2003 and his union to his first wife, Hazel Gordy, lasted from 1973 to 1988.

News of Jermaine's divorce comes just days after the emergence of an old police report that suggests his late sibling, Michael, had a stockpile of pornographic images stashed away at his Neverland Ranch home in Santa Barbara, California.

The documents date back to 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo's child molestation accusations. In June 2005, Jackson, who denied the charges, was found not guilty and acquitted of 14 charges, which included four counts of molesting a minor. He died in 2009.

Since the report surfaced, Michael's family has been quick to defend the star - and Jermaine launched into a Twitter rant on Thursday (22Jun16), attacking the gossips behind the report.

"In death, Michael still suffers trial by media but his exoneration is enshrined in court transcripts 'journalists' are too lazy to read," he wrote. "Let Michael rest in peace. Leave. Him. Alone."

Radiohead Takes Number 1 Convincingly Over Red Hot Chili Peppers in Britain

by VVN Music

Radiohead has very convincingly beat out the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the top spot on this week's British Albums chart.

Not only did A Moon Shaped Pool top the Albums, but also pure Album Sales, Physical Album Sales, Record Store Sales and Independent Album Sales. RHCP's The Getaway only topped the Album Downloads chart, which makes sense as, although A Moon Shaped Pool is newly released on CD and vinyl, the digital version of the album was released in May.

The Getaway opens at number 2, their first album to not reach the top since 1999's Californication. Since then, By the Way (2002), Stadium Arcadium (2006) and I'm With You (2011) have all gone to number 1.

The resurgence of Rick Astley continues to amaze as 50 only drops 1 to 3 in its second week.

At 6 is Mumford & Sons with Johannesburg. While Mumford released their first album in 2009, its their partner, Baaba Maal, that qualifies the album as from a veteran artist. Maal is a singer and guitarist from Senegal who released his first album in 1989.

The trio of Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs start at 28 with case/lang/veirs. This is Veirs first trip to the British charts and the second for Neko Case who went to 63 in 2013 with The Worse Things Get, The Hard I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. For lang, it is her eleventh trip to the list and her highest charting since Invincible Summer (2000 / #17).

The Swans are in at 61 with The Glowing Man, their third album to chart in Britain but the first since 1989's Saved. The Glowing Man is the highest charting of the three.

On the singles chart, there are now two veteran artists in the top ten. Justin Timberlake continues to hover near the top with Can't Stop the Feeling sitting at number 3 and, at 9 is Give Me Your Love by Sigala Featuring John Newman and Nile Rodgers.

The top twenty albums this week in the U.K. by veteran artists according to the Official Chart Company:
  1. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead (1)
  2. The Getaway - Red Hot Chili Peppers (2)
  3. 50 - Rick Astley (3)
  4. Johannesburg - Mumford & Sons / Baaba Maal
  5. All Over the World: The Very Best of ELO - Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) (7)
  6. Pure McCartney - Paul McCartney (12)
  7. The Very Best of the Stone Roses - Stone Roses (13)
  8. Stranger to Stranger - Paul Simon (15)
  9. The Essential Collection - Gilbert O'Sullivan (17)
  10. Greatest Hits - Red Hot Chili Peppers (19)
  11. Best of Bowie - David Bowie (22)
  12. Soulsville - Beverly Knight (25)
  13. The Very Best of Prince - Prince (26)
  14. case/lang/veirs - case/lang/veirs (Neko Case, k.d. lang, Laura Veirs) (28)
  15. Legend - Bob Marley & the Wailers (29)
  16. The Stone Roses - Stone Roses (34)
  17. Greatest Hits - Bruce Springsteen (37)
  18. I Still Do - Eric Clapton (29)
  19. The Ultimate Collection - Paul Simon (40)
  20. The Lexicon of Love II - ABC (41)
  21. The Very Best of Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan (42)
The top ten albums overall:
  1. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  2. The Getaway - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. 50 - Rick Astley
  4. On My One - Jake Bugg
  5. A Head Full of Dreams - Coldplay
  6. Johannesburg - Mumford & Sons / Baaba Maal
  7. All Over the World: The Very Best of ELO - Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
  8. Chaleur Humaine - Christine & the Queens
  9. Views - Drake
  10. Lemonade - Beyonce
The top ten vinyl albums:
  1. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  2. The Getaway - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. On My One - Jake Bugg
  4. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses
  5. Never Mind the Bollocks...Here's the Sex Pistols - Sex Pistols
  6. Everything Must Go - Manic Street Preachers
  7. The Clash - Clash
  8. The Specials - Specials
  9. Brave New World - Iron Maiden
  10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Original Soundtrack
The top ten singles:
  1. One Dance - Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla
  2. This Girl - Kungs vs. Cookin' on 3 Burners
  3. Can't Stop This Feeling - Justin Timberlake
  4. This is What You Came For - Calvin Harris Featuring Rihanna
  5. Too Good - Drake Featuring Rihanna
  6. Tears - Clean Bandit Featuring Louisa Johnson
  7. I Hate U I Love U - Gnash Featuring Olivia O'Brien
  8. Cheap Thrills - Sia
  9. Give Me Your Love - Sigala Featuring John Newman & Nile Rodgers
  10. No Money - Galantis
Veteran artists at the top of other British charts:
  • Albums
    • Album Sales - A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
    • Physical Album Sales - A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
    • Album Downloads - The Getaway - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    • Record Store Sales - A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
    • Independent Albums - A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
    • Independent Album Breatkers - Alive in Amsterdam - Walter Trout
    • Country Artist Albums - Colvin & Earle - Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle
    • Country Compilation Albums - At San Quentin - Johnny Cash
    • Soundtrack Albums - Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Volume 1 - Various Artists
    • Scottish Albums - A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
    • Classical Artists Albums - One Voice - Aled Jones
  • Tracks/Singles
    • Vinyl Singles - 100 Degrees - Kylie Minogue & Dannii Minogue
    • Urban Singles - Can't Stop This Feeling - Justin Timberlake
  • Video
    • Music Videos - iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE: Live in Paris - U2

Sinead O'Connor Announces She Was Not Suicidal

by Newsdesk

Sinead O'Connor dismissed reports that she is suicidal.

On Thursday, TMZ reported cops in Chicago were hunting for the 49-year-old singer after she allegedly called home to relatives in Dublin, Ireland, to tell them she was going to kill herself by jumping off a bridge in the Windy City.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department then verified with journalists at Entertainment Weekly that authorities had issued an "all call" alert throughout the region to inform officers to be on alert for O'Connor's whereabouts after being notified of her alleged plans by her family members in Ireland.

But on Friday morning, the Nothing Compares 2 U singer decided to set the record straight about her wellbeing with an impassioned post on her Facebook page.

"Oh and by the way it's bulls**t I jumped off a bridge," she wrote. "Some stupid b***h up at Swords Garda station (in Dublin) decided she'd like to throw a bit of false and malicious gossip about is all. AM FAR TOO F**KING HAPPY FOR THAT!!"

Sinead had initially decided to break her silence to comment on Britain's decision to leave the European Union, which was confirmed on Friday following a referendum.


O'Connor, who has been open about her mental health issues in the past, sparked similar concerns for her welfare weeks ago, after she failed to return from a bike ride she set out on at 6am in Wilmette, Chicago on May 15.

The star's family members were so concerned following last month's disappearance, they called Chicago police to report her as a missing person the following day but, fortunately, O'Connor was found by police hours after the report was initially placed.