Monday, October 31, 2011

King Crimson, Eagles Fighting a Losing Battle With Grooveshark

Robert Fripp
Both King Crimson and the Eagles are at odds with Grooveshark, an online service that allows users to upload music and stream songs, including those of friends and others.

The service has been under attack for some time with EMI filing suit in 2009 and Universal Music Group in 2010. The management of Grooveshark has maintained that they are abiding by the laws of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act but that hasn't been the experience of either Crimson or the Eagles.

The problem is that, as fast as artists request that their music be removed from the service, other users re-upload it and, because the process puts them under a new URL in the company's system, a new round of removal requests must be made.

Digital Music News has published a series of letters between Robert Fripp and other members of the King Crimson team and Grooveshark showing the growing frustration with the seemingly endless attempts to have their music reviewed.

This was followed today by a statement on Digital Music News' site from Lisa Thomas Music Services which handles publishing for both Glenn Frey and Don Henley of the Eagles (note that Paul Geller is Senior Vice President of Grooveshark):
Click to Enlarge
Check out the Digital Music News site for further information on the Eagles fight and updates on the Grooveshark situation.

New Releases by Veteran Artists for November 1, 2011

The complete list of new releases by veteran artists is after the cut.

Listen: The Immortal Megamix by Michael Jackson

The first track from the upcoming Michael Jackson album, Immortal, was released at 11:00 AM today. The Immortal Megamix combines "re-imagined" versions of four tracks, Can You Feel It, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean and Black and White.

The track showcases some of the reworked music that is being used in the Cirque du Soliel touring show The Immortal World Tour. The soundtrack album, in both single and double CD versions, will be out November 21 via Epic Records.

Review: Live Over Europe - Black Country Communion

by Andy Snipper

Live Over Europe
There are a dozen ways to skin the cat of performance DVDs and all too many ‘artists’ fall into the camp of believing that they have to create lasting filmic statements of their ‘journey’ while many others feel that the backstage battles and the rehearsal sessions are far more important than the actual gigs that their fans pay to go to see.

Thankfully BCC seem to have taken the view that the fans want to see them laying it down live and the filmic elements are confined to giving insights into the make up of the performance – the bead of sweat rolling down the side of Bomassa's face in the middle of Battle For Hadrian’s Wall or the looks between Hughes and Bonham during Black Country signalling the changes in tempo and interviews between the tracks that are about the band and the music and not their views on Global warming or local politics.

End result is what I – and I suspect many others – wanted, a close up of the songs and solos and the sheer power of the finest straight rock band on the planet.

I was lucky enough to see Black Country Communion twice last year and I can say that this DVD really does capture the band in full flow.

Anyone who knows the band will know the tracks: Black Country, Crossfire, Save Me, Battle For Hadrian’s Wall – look at the two albums and you can see the tracklisting. But what you can’t see from the tracklistiong is the way that all four musicians play as a unit and how the individual performances add together rather than being subsumed in to the overall sound.

Just looking at Hughes and Bonamassa leaning into each other at the climax of Song of Yesterday while Bonham is hammering out the power and Sherinian’s keys are creating a huge soundscape for them to play against you begin to understand BCC as a band rather than four superstars.

All over the DVD you see Hughes as the total rock frontman, all poses and grimaces alongside his belting bassplaying but watch Bonamassa to see how it frees him to play when he isn’t worrying about being the vocalist as well and similarly watch Derek Sherinian to get a greater insight into what a great keyboards player can bring to a rock band.

The DVD is filmed sumptuously but the producers have kept to the job of getting Black Country Communion over as an outfit and satisfying the thousands who weren’t luckey enough to see them live: Job done and very well at that.

Brian Eno Announces New EP

Brian Eno, who recently worked on the new Coldplay album Mylo Xyloto, has announced a new EP of his own material.

The forthcoming EP is derived from the same sessions that produced this years Drums Between The Bells album, in conjunction with British poet Rick Holland.

Eno found Holland during a series of collaborative works between British colleges in the late-‘90s, and started recording soundscapes overlaid with poetry back in 2003, but Drums Between The Bells was the first release of their work together.

Panic Of Looking houses another six tracks from the sessions, with Eno’s original artwork on the CD, vinyl and digital formats.

Panic Of Looking will be released on November 8 in the U.S. and November 11 in Australia through Warp Records via Inertia in Australia.

Watch: Talking Heads Perform Psycho Killer in 1975

The Talking Heads DVD Chronology (full details here) has been pushed back from it's late-October release date to November 21, so distributor Eagle Rock has decided to give everyone a little tasted of what is to come. This is Psycho Killer as performed in 1975 at CBGB's.

Short Takes: U2, Metallica, Yoko Ono, Flaming Lips, Nikki Sixx, Jimmy Saville, Royal Teens, Moonglows

Bono has told the U.K.'s The Sun that U2 must find a way to "make hits" if they are going to continue as a working entity. Their last album, No Line on the Horizon, only produced two marginal hits (Get Your Boots On, Magnificent).

Bono said "We’ve been on the verge of irrelevance for the last 20 years but this moment, now, for me, feels like really close to the edge of relevance. We can be successful and we can play the big music and the big places. Whether we can play music for small speakers of the radio or clubs, or where people are living right now, remains to be seen. We have to go to that place again if we are to survive."

Metallica was forced to cancel their first ever show in India as part of that country's F1 race and fans were not happy. Although the cancellation was blamed on technical problems, it was only announced about two hours before the concert starting time and 25,000 were already at the site.

Many of those in attendance began to riot, tearing down the stage and trashing a reported $200,000 in equipment along with numerous people being injured.

Yoko Ono will introduce a tribute to Steve Jobs at MTV's O Music Awards which will be broadcast on the internet tomorrow night (Monday) starting at 8:30 PM PT. The intro will lead to the Flaming Lips playing a version of the Beatles' Revolution created completely on iPads.

John Goodman has joined the cast of the Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis which is based on the folk music scene in Greenwich Village during the 60's. Also in the cast are Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac.

There was a little excitement over the weekend in the home of Nikki Sixx. He called the Malibu Police Department to report his son missing, believing that the boy had run off to a friend's house after a family fight and that's exactly where police found the boy and took him home.

Jimmy Savile, the British disc jockey who is widely credited with being the first to use two turntables to produce continuous music, passed away on Saturday at his home in Leeds, England. He was 84.

Along with his innovation for radio and dance clubs, Savile was also the host of Top of the Pops from its inception and returned for the last show in 2006. 

Two additional passings that have been reported by the site The Topshelf Times. Bill Dalton of the Royal Teens died on October 23; however there are no further details and Reese Palmer, who performed with the Marquees, Harvey Fuqua's New Moonglows and the Spinners, passed away on October 26.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chart Watch America: Chart of November 5, 2011

Our weekly recap of veteran artists on the current American music charts. Chart highlights:
  • It's four weeks as the top veteran for Tony Bennett as Duets II moves up from 6 to 5. 
  • Chris Isaak comes up just short of his last studio album, 2009's Mr. Lucky (peak at #29) with Beyond the Sun. The new album of covers premiers at 34 on the Albums and 10 on the Rock Albums.
  • The Time, now known as the Original 7ven, debut at 58 on the Albums and 10 on the R&B Albums with Condensate. It's their first charting album since 1990's Pandemonium
  • Sting's single disc version of his box set, The Best of 25 Years, debuts at 104, far short of past compilations but not surprising based on the number that have been released.
  • Mannheim Steamroller become the first veteran artist to chart a new Christmas album this year with Christmas Symphony. It debuts at 160.
TW = This Week, LW = Last Week, N = New, R = Returning to Chart. The highest charting entry by a veteran artist is shown in red.


Top 200 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 2 21 Adele
2 N Come to the Well Casting Crowns
3 4 Clear As Day Scotty McCreery
4 1 Evanescence Evanescence
5 6 Duets II Tony Bennett
34 N Beyond the Sun Chris Isaak
37 34 I'm With You Red Hot Chili Peppers
46 35 Here For a Good Time George Strait
53 17 Still Winning Johnny Gill
58 N Condensate Original 7ven (formerly The Time)
73 59 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd
77 56 Chickenfoot III Chickenfoot
82 72 1 Beatles
85 80 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd
88 178 Superheavy Superheavy
89 30 New Blood Peter Gabriel
92 84 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Eric Clapton
95 91 It's Only Natural Oak Ridge Boys
104 N Best of 25 Years Sting
123 93 Play the Blues: Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton
124 123 An Afternoon in the Garden Elvis Presley
135 116 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Three Dog Night
138 129 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Barry White
142 126 The Wall Pink Floyd
143 118 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Aerosmith
147 105 What Matters Most Barbra Streisand
149 140 Greatest Hits Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
152 146 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lionel Richie
153 138 Greatest Hits, Volume 1 Hank Williams, Jr.
154 120 When Folk Meets Rock Various Aritsts
155 71 The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams Various Artists
159 181 Mockingbird Time Jayhawks
160 N Christmas Symphony Mannheim Steamroller with Members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
161 154 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Temptations
162 143 Extended Versions Creedence Clearwater Revisited
165 144 Greatest Hits Journey
168 135 Super Hits Willie Nelson
172 160 Extended Versions Bad Company
173 169 Number Ones Michael Jackson
179 134 Duets: An American Classic Tony Bennett
180 150 Worship Music Anthrax
181 165 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of George Strait
182 170 Icon George Strait
189 R VH1 Storytellers Johnny Cash/Willie Nelson
191 195 Nothing But the Best Frank Sinatra
196 156 Super Hits Janis Joplin

The balance of the American charts are after the cut.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Most Likely There Will Be No Solo Career for Michael Stipe Post R.E.M.

Don't expect any Michael Stipe solo material for awhile or possibly ever.

R.E.M. called it a day in September after 31 years together. While Peter Buck and Mike Mills has continued music outside the group. Mills told Mojo that he cannot see Stipe ever making a solo record. “I don’t think music is where his passion lies,” Mills said.

Stipe has kept creative outside music in film. He is the co-founder of C00 Films and was the executive producer for the movies Being John Malovich, Velvet Goldmine and Man On The Moon.

Pete Buck is active in his other band The Minus 5.

R.E.M. will release the compilation album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 in November.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Music of John Denver Being Used For New Show

The music of John Denver is being used as the basis of a new theatrical production which had an industry reading in New York on October 20 and 21.
Plans are in development for a fully staged production of A Moment in Time. The musical features such well known # 1 hits like Annie’s Song, Sunshine on My Shoulders, Rocky Mountain High, Thank God I’m a Country Boy, and Gold-certified songs including Leaving on a Jet Plane, Calypso and Take Me Home, Country Roads.

The 11-member cast for last week’s reading included Drake Bell (Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh), Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde, Les Miserables), Liz Larsen (Hairspray, The Most Happy Fella) and Lindsay Pierce (The Glee Project, Glee).

Created by Stewart F. Lane, A Moment in Time follows the story of a mortally wounded marine in Afghanistan who recalls a happier time with his family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and finds a reason to live through those memories.

The musical director, arranger and orchestrator for A Moment in Time is Christine Riley. The musical is produced by Stellar Productions.

The book for the show is by Stewart F. Lane, a five-time Tony Award-winner and a four-time Drama Desk Award winner. He was recently honored with the 2011 John Denver Spirit Award. He is also an author, playwright and the co-owner/operator of the Palace Theatre in New York.

John Denver (1943-1997) One of the world’s best-known and best-loved performers, John Denver earned international acclaim as a songwriter, performer, actor, environmentalist and humanitarian. He wrote and recorded more than 300 songs and released 12 Gold and 4 Platinum-selling albums. Denver’s career spanned four decades and his music has outlasted countless musical trends and garnered numerous awards and honors.

Review & Set List: George Michael Symphonica Tour @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by David Spencer

There are many things that fit perfectly together; lamb and mint, red wine and cheese and Simon Cowell and the X Factor. George Michael at The Royal Albert Hall is another. Why one of Britain’s most successful male singers has not performed a set of shows here before is unclear. Perhaps it is because, as he himself points out during the evening, the venue is pretty intimate for its size. Michael we all know is a delicate person, not able to let our fixation with celebrity baiting wash over him.

But however intimate he may feel the venue is, he should feel safe. He is surrounded by people who have let him get away with a lot more than they might their partners or family members. Although he finally gave in and started touring a few years ago, the recorded output has been nothing more than a trickle of weak singles, since 2004’s appropriately titled Patience.

The opening Through contains a line about the audience being “so cruel”, but that could not be further from the truth as they greet Michael from behind the grand red curtain with a great warmth. That is displayed later too, when a loud unified “Awwee” is heard after Michael talks about his split from Kenny Goss. It is like one giant mental hug has been released from the crowd. In fact one woman near me confesses “I’d sort him out!”

Perhaps more frustrating than the slow output from George Michael, is his seeming insecurity, which you would understand if he sang like the X Factor stars who are in the audience to see him (Frankie, Craig and Marcus are all sat just left of stage). But Michael’s vocal and musical talents unquestionably put him amongst the best the country has produced in the last 25 years.

Tonight he displays exactly why he is loved by the people here, performing an excellent range of covers; from a breathless rendition of Rihanna’s Russian Roulette to the divine slowed down take on Roxanne and a kicking version of Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares For Me. Most poignant of all the covers though is Amy Winehouse’s Love Is A Losing Game. As he performs, pictures of the late singer appear behind him. That emotion is matched at the end of You Have Been Loved, where Michael is visibly moved by performing the song about his late mother.

Of the back catalogue dipped into, Cowboys & Angels is a welcome new edition to his set, while Kissing A Fool, Praying For Time and A Different Corner all sound superb given the extra musical dimension. The evening is just a little one paced at times and a rousing encore (featuring the singer’s vocal warm up routine) is needed.

Overall though, it is a hugely impressive performance. Even more so, when you learn 24 hours later that he cannot perform the second night as he has a throat problem. Thousands of fans would have been left disappointed to miss out. But like all his other discretions I can imagine they will forgive him. After all, he is George Michael.

The set list:

Set 1
  • Through
  • My Baby Just Cares For Me
  • Idol
  • Cowboys & Angels
  • True Faith
  • Going To A Town
  • Let Her Down Easy
  • You Have Been Loved
  • Wild Is The Wind
  • Brother Can You Spare A Dime
Set 2
  • Patience
  • John & Elvis Are Dead
  • Roxanne
  • Song To The Siren
  • A Different Corner
  • Where I Hope You Are
  • You’ve Changed
  • Kissing A Fool
  • Love is a Losing Game
  • Russian Roulette
  • Praying For Time
  • Feeling Good
  • Amazing / I’m Your Man / Freedom 90
  • I Remember You

Prince Announces Welcome 2 Canada Tour

Prince has announced an eleven-date trek across Canada, his first since mid-2002.

Starting November 25 and 26 in Toronto, the tour will play ten cities, concluding on December 17 in Victoria, British Columbia. The shows are expected to be much like his recent Welcome 2 America Tour which started last December in New York.

The dates for the Welcome 2 Canada Tour:
  • 11/25/11 - Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
  • 11/26/11 - Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
  • 11/30/11 - Halifax Metro Centre - Halifax, NS
  • 12/02/11 - Bell Centre - Montreal, QB
  • 12/03/11 - Scotiabank Place - Ottawa, ON
  • 12/05/11 - John Labatt Centre - London, ON
  • 12/08/11 - MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB
  • 12/11/11 - Credit Union Centre - Saskatoon, SK
  • 12/13/11 - Rexall Place - Edmonton, AB
  • 12/16/11 - Rogers Arena - Vancouver, BC
  • 12/17/11 - Save on Foods Memorial Centre - Victoria, BC

Rolling Stones Unveil More Information on Some Girls: Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks

The Rolling Stones will release Some Girls: Deluxe Edition on November 21 via Universal Republic. Included is a remastered version of the original album on the first disc and twelve vintage unreleased tracks.

The following is the press release put out today by Universal Republic:
NEW YORK--The Rolling Stones are set to delight their millions of fans, and another generation of new admirers, as they unveil a treasure trove of vintage unreleased material from the ‘Some Girls’ era of 1978.

“It’s an extension of what was going on then”
Comprising an entire album of fresh material, the songs form the second disc on the deluxe edition of the band’s seminal, multi-million-selling 1978 album Some Girls, which is released on November 21. It follows the massive worldwide success and acclaim for Universal’s 2010 reissue of the Stones’ hallowed 1972 set ‘Exile On Main St.’

The appearance of the unreleased tracks on the deluxe ‘Some Girls’ means that after listening to such gems from the original album as ‘Miss You,’ ‘Far Away Eyes,’ ‘Before They Make Me Run’ and ‘Beast Of Burden,’ fans can enjoy a whole new set of contemporaneous work by the Stones. A fresh and compelling collection in its own right, it’s also the perfect complement to one of the band’s best-ever albums.

The unreleased tracks mostly feature performances by the whole band - Mick Jagger on lead vocals, piano, guitars and harmonica; Keith Richards on guitars,piano, harmony vocals (and lead vocal on ‘We Had It All’); Ronnie Wood on pedal steel, electric and slide guitar; and the vintage Stones engine room of Bill Wyman on bass and Charlie Watts on drums.

Produced by the Glimmer Twins,Chris Kimsey and Don Was, the material also includes guest appearances by Stones diehards Ian Stewart and Chuck Leavell on pianos, harmonica player Sugar Blue (who also provided the unforgettable motif on the ‘Some Girls’ smash ‘Miss You’), and for trivia freaks even handclaps on one song by former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty.

The collection includes a wealth of fine Jagger-Richards compositions along with some fascinating cover versions, collectively reflecting the stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll, blues and country flavours of the famed 1978 album. ‘So Young,’ ‘When You’re Gone’ (co-written by Ronnie Wood), ‘Keep Up Blues’ and ‘Petrol Blues’ all evoke the band’s enduring rhythm and blues roots. ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ is an infectious shuffle and ‘Love You Too Much’ an archetypal Stones rocker.

‘Do You Think I Really Care,’ with its lyrical imagery of New York City, and the mid-tempo road tale ‘No Spare Parts’ dovetail with ‘Far Away Eyes’ and the ‘Some Girls’ title track in reflecting the band’s longtime love of country music. No Spare Parts will be released as a single.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to keep the hungriest Stones fan happy, there are three exceptional interpretations to add to their long list of distinguished cover versions. Keith takes the lead vocals on ‘We Had It All,’ written by the great Southern songwriters Troy Seals and Donnie Fritts and recorded by such country greats as Waylon Jennings and Conway Twitty. There’s a rocking take on Freddy Cannon’s 1959 favourite ‘Tallahassee Lassie’ and an assured version of the Hank Williams standard ‘You Win Again.’

“It’s wonderful to see the quality of these tracks measuring up to the songs that came out on the original album,” says Ronnie Wood. “It’s an extension of what was going on then,” adds Keith Richards. “Sometimes great stuff gets left behind and its great to see it out there.”


Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Keith Richards - electric guitar and harmony vocals
Mick Jagger - acoustic guitar, vocals
Ronnie Wood - acoustic guitar
Ian Stewart - piano

Mick Jagger - vocals
Keith Richards - electric guitar & harmony vocals
Ronnie Wood - electric guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Ian Stewart - piano
Chick Leavell - piano solo

Mick Jagger - vocals + acoustic guitar
Keith Richards - acoustic guitar + harmony vocals
Ronnie Wood - pedal steel + electric guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Ian Stewart - piano

Mick Jagger - vocals, guitar & harp
Keith Richards - guitar
Ronnie Wood - guitar
Bill Wyman - bass
Charlie Watts - drums

Mick Jagger - vocals, el piano, guitar, tambourine
Keith Richards - piano
Ronnie Wood - electric guitar & pedal steel
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass

Mick Jagger - vocals, percussion
Keith Richards - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion
Ronnie Wood - acoustic guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - marimba
Don Was - bass
Sugar Blue - harp
Matt Clifford – percussion

Keith Richards - vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Ronnie Wood - pedal steel
Sugar Blue - harp

Mick Jagger - vocals
Keith Richards - electric guitar
Ronnie Wood - electric guitar
Bill Wyman - bass
Charlie Watts - drums
Ian Stewart - piano
Handclaps by Mick Jagger, John Fogerty and Don Was

Mick Jagger - vocals
Keith Richards - electric guitar, harmony vocals, piano
Ronnie Wood - electric guitar
Bill Wyman - bass
Charlie Watts - drums

Mick Jagger - vocals & harp
Keith Richards - electric guitar
Ronnie Wood - slide guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass

Mick Jagger – vocals, acoustic guitar
Keith Richards - electric guitar & el piano
Ronnie Wood - pedal steel
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Ian Stewart - piano

Mick Jagger - vocals and piano

Recorded by CHRIS KIMSEY
In addition, the track No Spare Parts, backed with the Some Girls album track Before They Make Me Run, will be released on an exclusive limited edition 7" vinyl single to mark Record Store Day's Black Friday on November 25. The song will also be available via digital download on November 14.

Madonna's First Single From Her New Album Could Include M.I.A., Nicki Minaj

Madonna is working on a new album and rumors are rampant that the first single, which she'll most likely perform at the Super Bowl (if she is ever officially announced as the half-time performer), will feature both M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj.

Madonna fansite hears from “sources” that nine tracks of Madonna’s new album are completed.

They report that she’s been working with William Orbit (see: Ray Of Light), “Solveg” (that would be French electro-pop producer Martin Solvieg) and Italian electro-house DJ Benny Benassi (of the saucy Satisfaction fame). That seems right; both Orbit and Solvieg have previously been confirmed as producers.

Apparently the first single has been chosen and it will be debuted at her forthcoming SuperBowl appearance.

There’s no title yet, but word is she’s drafted Superbass star Nicki Minaj and Paper Planes troublemaker M.I.A. to guest on the track.

It’ll be very interesting to see what Madonna can do on her first album since 2008’s Hard Candy especially since Rihanna and, particularly, Lady Gaga have be jostling for the “salacious pop queen” crown.