Sunday, December 30, 2007

Short Takes - Gene Simmons, Lulu, R.E.M.

The Chicago Sun-Times recently talked with Gene Simmons on his appearance on the Celebrity Apprentice (starts this Thursday night at 9 PM EST). He told them that he ran into Donald Trump in a restaurant and Trump invited him to be on the show. Simmons said to himself, "Well, I got a lot of stuff, KISS is going back out on tour, I got to tie my shoe and — wait a minute. That's an interesting idea."

He admits that he is at a disadvantage coming from the rock world where everyone is supposed to be "big and bad, and you're supposed to be surrounded by beautiful women all the time." He also said it's a disadvantage in the business world because he doesn't drink.


According to Liz Smith, Paul McCartney will be co-producing some of the tracks on the new Lulu album. They will be recording at Abbey Road Studios.

Emmylou Harris will be hitting the road in January with Shawn Colvin, Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin on the Three Girls and Their Buddy tour. All four will perform together on stage for the entire show.

Ken Stringfellow has confirmed that he won't be keyboardist for R.E.M. at any time in the near future.

On his website, he wrote, "I won't be a part of REM's upcoming tour. I spoke with Mike Mills, it was his birthday last week and I gave him a call. During the call we spoke about the tour, and confirmed what I had already pretty much figured out—the band was moving in a purely guitar-based direction, same as the new record, and they didn't really need my bleeps and blops for this new direction".
Japan's Burrn! magazine has named the fifty best albums for guitar riffs. Topping the list is Master of Reality by Black Sabbath followed by Reign in Blood by Slayer. The full list can be seen here.

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Short Takes - Kinks, James Brown, R.E.M.

Dave Davies says brother Ray is way ahead of himself in talking a reunion of the original line-up of the Kinks.

On his website, Dave wrote that a reunion would be a disaster. "It would be like a poor remake of "Night of the Livin Dead." There is nothing wrong with the old songs or new songs that we have both been writing on our own; but not more torture Please. no more Hannabal lectur.aah!?the swan song Ray and Dave tour should be called the Kinks are 'The Fractured Mindz preservation Society'. 'Preserve in Peace.'"


It was just a year ago on Christmas day that James Brown passed away, but it seems like an eternity with all of the infighting over his will. Now, his children want the will invalidated, stating that earlier versions showed that he did not intend to leave the majority of his money to his grandchildren and charity and that his advisers applied undue pressure.

Both the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen have donated $5,000 to buy a seat at Melbourne, Australia's Palais Theatre. The money is going towards the restoration of the theatre in opposition to making it part of a planned shopping complex. Actress Rachel Griffiths kicked off the campaign on Friday.

R.E.M. have named their new album Accelerate, at least according to Britain's Q magazine.

Another sign of the times. Slipped Disc records in Valley Stream, New York, one of the best known sellers of metal, rock and alternative music, is closing its doors after losing its lease.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chart Watch - December 28, 2007

Our weekly recap of classic artists on the current music charts. Chart highlights:

  • Christmas, stagnation is thy name. Take a look through this week's charts and you will notice that there is nothing new and most albums/songs have changed little from the previous week. Here's to 2008 and, hopefully, a bit of a shake-up in the charts.
Previous week position noted in parenthesis.
Comprehensive

Top 100 Albums

Top 50 Singles
  • #33 (30) - Into the Night - Santana Featuring Chad Kroeger

Top 25 Pop Catalog Albums

R&B

Top 50 R&B Albums

Top 50 R&B Singles
  • #38 (30) - Baby - Angie Stone featuring Betty Wright
  • #42 (40) - Angel - Chaka Khan
  • #48 (62) - Put You Up On Game - Aretha Franklin with Fantasia

Country

Top 25 Country Albums

Top 25 Country Singles
  • #8 (3) - How 'Bout Them Cowgirls - George Strait
  • #24 (23) - How Long - Eagles

Rock

Top 10 Rock Albums

Top 10 Hard Rock Albums

Adult Contemporary

Top 20 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • #8 (8) - Winter Wonderland - Wynonna
  • #11 (12) - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Barry Manilow
  • #17 (14) - How Long - Eagles

Top 20 Adult Top 40 Tracks
  • #6 (7) - Into the Night - Santana Featuring Chad Kroeger
  • #17 (15) - Lost Highway - Bon Jovi

Dance

Top 25 Dance Club Play
  • #2 (3) - No, No, No - Yoko Ono
  • #6 (9) - Baby - Angie Stone featuring Betty Wright
  • #19 (22) - Sing - Annie Lennox
  • #21 (20) - Two Times Blue - Debbie Harry vs. Soulseekerz

Electronic

Top 10 Electronic Albums
  • None

Jazz

Top 15 Jazz Albums

Top 15 Contemporary Jazz Albums


Classical

Top 10 Classical Albums

Top 10 Classical Crossover Albums

Holiday

Top 25 Holiday Albums

Top 10 Holiday Tracks
  • #1 (2) - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
  • #2 (7) - Merry Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • #3 (3) - Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
  • #4 (6) - A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
  • #6 (9) - White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • #7 (1) - The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) - Nat King Cole
  • #8 (4) - Please Come Home for Christmas - Eagles
  • #9 (8) - Felice Navidad - Jose Feliciano
  • #10 (12) - It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis

Americana

Americana Music Association Top 40 Airplay

British

Top 100 British Albums

Top 100 British Singles
  • #4 (8) - Fairytale of New York - Pogues featuring Kirsty Maccoll
  • #16 (14) - Last Christmas - WHAM
  • #20 (22) - Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade
  • #21 (21) - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
  • #22 (23) - Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens
  • #24 (27) - Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
  • #33 (35) - Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea
  • #41 (40) - Happy XMas (War is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
  • #42 (48) - White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • #43 (44) - Here Come the Girls - Ernie K-Doe
  • #44 (70) - Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
  • #47 (61) - Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord - Boney M
  • #49 (64) - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Perry Como
  • #51 (76) - The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
  • #53 (65) - Step Into Christmas - Elton John
  • #60 (83) - Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Bruce Springsteen
  • #65 (New) - When You Believe - Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston
  • #68 (82) - Mistletoe & Wine - Cliff Richard
  • #73 (97) - Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby & David Bowie
  • #80 (47) - Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • #86 (85) - Santa Baby - Earth Kitt
  • #87 (92) - Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow - Dean Martin
  • #89 (67) - In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins
  • #93 (116) - Please Come Home For Christmas - Eagles
  • #94 (109) - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee

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