Thursday, May 31, 2012

Foreigner's Michael Bluestein Diagnosed With Cancer; Taking Time Away From Group

Michael Bluestein, the keyboard player for Foreigner since 2008, has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be taking an indefinite break from the group while he is treated.

Bluestein had the following message posted on the boards at Foreigner's official website:
I recently went to the hospital following some symptoms, and it was discovered that I have Colorectal cancer. This has required me to take a leave of absence from the band for a significant period. The good news is that I caught this early enough so that through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, I will be able to treat this and return to normal life after it’s over. And of course normal life for me includes rocking with Foreigner!! I want all the dear fans to know that your support means everything to me, and that I will sorely miss performing for you while I focus on my health. I am so proud to be involved with such world class musicians playing such incredible songs, so just know I am working very hard to get better so I can be back out there once again as soon as possible!

Meanwhile I have started a blog that I will be updating regularly to keep everyone in the loop. It is located at You can sign up if you’d like, and you will be notified whenever I make a new update. I’m planning on updating it roughly once a week.
On his Tumblr blog, he says that he has adopted a mostly vegetarian diet and will be starting chemo and radiation in about a week.

Bluestein is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and spent ten years in San Francisco playing mostly jazz music, including making three albums. He moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and toured with Boz Scaggs, Anastacia, Enrique Iglesias and Roger Hodgson before going full time with Foreigner.

Set List: Madonna @ Ramat Gan Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel

There was almost no reason to publish the set list from Madonna's opening show of her new tour because the leaked list published by (and, through our affiliation, by us) just about nailed it.

With the exception of the switching of set positions for Give Me All Your Luvin' and Turn Up the Radio, the rest of the list was spot on perfect.

The set list:
  • (Transgression)
  • Girl Gone Wild
  • Revolver
  • Gang Bang
  • Papa Don’t Preach
  • Hung Up
  • I Don’t Give A
  • (Best Friend)
  • Express Yourself/Born This Way
  • Give Me All Your Luvin
  • Turn Up The Radio
  • Open Your Heart/Sagarra Jo
  • Masterpiece
  • (Masculine/Feminine)
  • (Justify My Love)
  • Vogue
  • Candy Shop
  • Human Nature
  • Like A Virgin
  • (Nobody But Me)
  • I’m Addicted
  • I’m A Sinner/Cyberraga
  • Like A Prayer
  • Celebration

Set List: Jimmy Buffett @ Moody Theatre, Austin, TX

Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band kicked off their 2012 Lounging at the Lagoon Tour on Wednesday night at the Moody Theatre in Austin, TX with a set list of old favorites and a few from deep in his catalog.
All the hits were included but there were also nods to work that Buffett has done with other artists throughout his career including Alan Jackson (It's Five O'Clock Somewhere), the Zac Brown Band (Knee Deep) and, his latest collaboration, All Night Long from Lionel Richie's album Tuskeegee.

The set list:

Main Set
  • One Particular Harbour (from One Particular Harbour, 1983)
  • You'll Never Work in Dis Business Again (from Floridays, 1986)
  • It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (with Mac McAnally) (from the Alan Jackson album Greatest Hits 2, 2003)
  • Growing Older But Not Up (from Coconut Telegraph, 1981)
  • Son of a Son of a Sailor (from Son of a Son of a Sailor, 1978)
  • Come Monday (from Living & Dying in 3/4 Time, 1974)
  • Knee Deep (from the Zac Brown Band album You Get What You Give, 2010)
  • Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (from Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, 1977)
  • Swingin' Hula Girl (from the Blue Hawaiians album Savage Night, 1999)
  • Volcano (from Volcano, 1979)
  • Sea of Heartbreak (from License to Chill, 2004)
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise (from Son of a Son of a Sailor, 1978)
  • Give Henry the Receipt (Nadirah Shakoor) (from the Nadirah Shakoor album Nod to the Storyteller, 2008)
  • Piece of Work (with The Beach Band) (from License to Chill, 2004)
  • Pencil Thin Mustache (with The Beach Band) (from Living & Dying in 3/4 Time, 1974)
  • Southern Cross (with The Beach Band) (from Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays, 1999)
  • Mermaid in the Night (with The Beach Band) (from Off to See the Lizard, 1989)
  • Margaritaville (from Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, 1977)
  • A Pirate Looks at Forty (from A1A, 1974)
  • Who's the Blonde Stranger? (from Riddles in the Sand, 1984)
  • Why Don't We Get Drunk (from A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, 1973)
  • All Night Long (from the Lionel Richie album Tuskegee, 2011)
  • Jolly Mon Sing (from Last Mango in Paris, 1985)
  • Gulf Coast Highway (from Evangeline album Evangeline, 1992)
  • Scarlet Begonias (from License to Chill, 2004)
  • Brown Eyed Girl (from One Particular Harbour, 1983)
  • Fins (from Volcano, 1979)

Interview: Yusuf Talks About His New Show, Cat Stevens' Moonshadow, and Previews Production Numbers

Paul Cashmere and had the privilege of talking with Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens) about his show Moonshadow which opened Thursday night in Melbourne, Australia.

Yusuf has been living in Melbourne developing the stage show for it’s world premiere. Here, he also previews three songs from the show for the cameras.

Neil Young Releases 40-Minute "Silent" Film to Accompany Americana

It seems that the four promo clips for Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Americana using vintage film clips were all leading up to this.

Today, Young released a forty-minute silent-style film to accompany the release of the album, coming on June 5. Directed by Young's alter-ego, Bernard Sharkey, the film follows an author as he looks for the right illustrations for a book he is writing on American songs. The songs, including the previously released shorts, are interspersed between the newly shot footage which has a piano accompaniment.

The illustrations shown in the film are by designer/illustrator Shepard Fairey and will be available for viewing at Perry Rubinstein Gallery in Los Angeles for the next two months.

To see the full film, go to NPR.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Have Big Plans for New Music on Vinyl

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been busy making small hints about their next project which appears to be a series of vinyl and digital releases of b-sides and other previously unreleased music.

A total of 18 sides are planned for release over the next six months although titles and a schedule are not known. It is known from Twitters by both Flea and Chad Smith that there will be a total of ten b-sides from their latest release I'm With You.

The details, as we know them, were floated out over the last four days with lead singer Anthony Kiedis first telling a Grand Rapids crowd "We gotta storm of seven inches coming out over the next six months. Keep one eye open."

That was followed by tweets from Smith and Flea:

Chad Smith (Sunday):
Hi! Over the next 6 months at least 10 more IWU b sides I promise!

7 inch vinyl and digital...stay tuned
Flea (Tuesday):
yes we have been writing stuff while touring. We are also going to put out 18 new songs over the next 6 months on 7 inch and digi
Stay tuned for more details.

Elton John on the Mend, Still Plans to Open Summer Tour on Friday

Elton John was hospitalized last week for a respiratory infection, forcing him to cancel a number of his Las Vegas dates, but it looks like he is well on his way to good health.

His partner, David Furnish, said on Tuesday that the singer is home resting and the he was "doing incredibly well and recovering."

Elton planned on attending the 3,000th performance of his show Billy Elliot in London's West End on Wednesday night and open his summer tour on Friday in Wetzlar, Germany. A statement on his website also said that he was excited about Monday's Queen's Jubilee Concert.
Elton is now back at his home in England and is feeling much better following his recent chest infection. He is looking forward to playing a series of concerts in the UK and Europe this summer and, of course he is very excited about playing at The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace on Monday, June 4.
Elton will be performing for the queen along with Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Shirley Bassey, Kylie Minogue, Jools Holland, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Madness, Stevie Wonder, Jessie J, JLS, Lang Lang, Alfie Boe and Ed Sheeran.

Could Queensryche Be Finished?

There is speculation all over the internet on whether the band Queensryche may have called it quits, at least under that name.

The band originally formed in 1991 and four of the five original members (Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield) are still with the group. The fifth member, guitarist Michael Lundgren, joined in 2009.

The problems seems to be between lead singer Tate and the rest of the group. What is known is that Tate is now working on a solo career while the rest of the group has joined with Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre to form the new group Rising West. Whether this is a permanent change or not is the part that is not clear.

The controversy started back on April 14 before a show the band was playing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sources say there was an altercation between the four band members and singer Tate where Geoff was told that he was being let go from the group. According to the unnamed source, this led to Tate pushing Wilton and going towards Rockenfield with a knife before security stepped in. To see the full story, check out the report at Metal Talk.

Jump ahead to last weekend at the Rocklahoma Festival where Tate told the audience "My God. This is Rocklahoma huh? I think we played here 2 years ago. I think it may be a different crowd though. You guys suck. I am serious."

Here's video of the incident:

Finally, on Tuesday the announcement was made about the forming of Rising West and the fact that they will be recording and doing live shows starting June 8 and 9 at the Hard Rock in Seattle.

So, the question becomes, is Tate out of Queensryche or not? A spokesman for the band told Classic Rock:
The fact of the matter is that Geoff Tate is concentrating on his acoustic solo performances this summer, while the other members of the band have formed Rising West. Everyone wants to stay busy, try new things and do what they do best: rock in front of the masses. Queensryche are slated to perform select dates throughout the year.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Robert Plant and Band of Joy's Artist's Den Show to Be Released on Video

The Artist's Den show with a performance by Robert Plant and Band of Joy is slated for release on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 10 (July 9 outside North America) via Universal Music Group. It is the first time that UMG has released any of the Artist Den's programs.

The Artist's Den premiered in February 2009 and has, so far, broadcast four seasons. The concept of the show is to have an artist perform a small, intimate concert in a non-traditional space such as at cathedrals or museums. For example, Elvis Costello played at the main branch of the New York Public Library and Adele at the Santa Monica Bay Women's Club.

In the case of Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, they were filmed at a more traditional venue, the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Included in the performance are versions of six Led Zeppelin songs (Black Dog, Houses of the Holy, Tangerine, Ramble On, Gallows Pole, Rock and Roll), four songs from the album Band of Joy, Page and Plant's Movin' Up and a few songs from Plant's solo work.

Plant created Band of Joy with guitarist Buddy Miller and singer Patty Griffin after his success with Alison Krauss on Raising Sand, his 2007 release that led to five Grammy wins. Plant's Band of Joy album (the title is a reference to the group he formed with John Bonham prior to Led Zeppelin) peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 in October 2010. It has sold 232,000 copies, according to Soundscan figures.

Full song list from the original Artist's Den program:
  • Black Dog
  • Angel Dance
  • House Of Cards
  • Cindy, I’ll Marry You Someday
  • Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
  • Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go
  • A Satisfied Mind
  • Move Up
  • Down To The Sea
  • Ramble On
  • Gallows Pole
  • Harm’s Swift Way
  • Rock And Roll
  • I Bid You Goodnight

Cat Stevens' Moonshadow Opening Tomorrow Night in Melbourne

Tomorrow night (Thursday, May 31) is the world premier of the musical Moonshadow written by Yusuf and featuring his music under the former stage name of Cat Stevens.

Yusuf has been a resident of Melbourne this year while he developed the musical but told today that he had been working on it for a long, long time.

“It’s been a dream for more than 10 years” Yusuf told “It’s been a dream for about 40 years… because I grew up in the West End and of course I was surrounded by theatres and my first great ambition was to be a composer of musicals. So, Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Bernstein of course… they were my idols before the Beatles”.

Asking if the “great” musicals like Mama Mia and We Will Rock You were an artists catalogue were made into a stage show inspired him to do Moonshadow raised a chuckle from the music legend. “The great musicals did you say?,” he laughed. “No, I mean, they’re great for this poppish era… but the great musicals are really that era of the West Side Story’s.. South Pacific and Sound Of Music. So many of those have actually created the real benchmark, I think”.

The Moonshadow musical will also feature a brand new Yusuf song titled World Of Darkness. “The story obviously has to be a story in its own right and therefore, not all of my songs would have fitted,” he said. I don’t know how we got Ruby Love in there, but anyway… I had to write certain songs in order to progress the story, to lay the ground for the story. The first song of the musical is called World of Darkness, so it’s like a prologue where it describes the world we’re about to enter, the world of endless night”.

Moonshadow, featuring the music of Cat Stevens starts tomorrow (May 31) at Melbourne’s historic Princess Theatre. was at the media call today and will bring you footage from Moonshadow and our talk with Yusuf tomorrow (Thursday).

Preview: In the Nick of Time: Live in 2003 - Rick Wakeman and the New English Rock Ensemble

Artist: Rick Wakeman and the New English Rock Ensemble
Title: In the Nick of Time: Live in 2003
Release Date: Available Now
Label: Gonzo
Format(s): CD (as an import), DD

Rick Wakeman dips back in his catalog for the live show from 2003 recorded during his time touring for the album Out There. With Wakeman is the New English Rock Ensemble along with Ashley Holt, Tony Fernandez, Ant Glynne and Lee Pomeroy.

For the last forty years Rick Wakeman has immersed himself in music. Leaving the Royal College of Music Rick has worked with some of the biggest names in rock and pop music playing on some of the biggest hits by artists as diverse as Cat Stevens, Marc Bolan and David Bowie. Likewise he has played with one of the biggest rock bands in the world; As a member of Yes, Rick played some of the biggest arenas in the world and released massively successful albums including Fragile, Close To the Edge and the live album Yessongs. In 1973 he released his first proper solo album The Six Wives of Henry the VIII following that album up in the seventies and eighties with other hugely popular and successful albums. In the eighties Rick also recorded albums in the then popular genre entitled “New Age”, releasing such popular albums as The Aspirant Series of recordings (Aspirant Sunrise, Aspirant Sunset and Aspirant Sunshadows).

Track List:
  • Catherine Parr
  • Out There
  • No Earthly Connection
  • Dance of a Thousand Lights
  • The Cathedral In The Sky
  • White Rock
  • Wurm

ZZ Top to Tease New Album With Four-Song Digital Album

ZZ Top will take a unique road to their new album by releasing a four song digital sampler.

The four songs, I Gotsta Get Paid, Chartreuse, Over You and Consumption, form the Texicali EP and are from the forthcoming album which was recorded with the legendary Rick Rubin.

Some might have already heard I Gotsta Get Paid as part of the soundtrack to the new action flick Battleship or seen the band perform it in a beer cooler via the viral video for Jeremiah Weed liquor.

Billy Gibbons from the band said in a statement: “We were itching to get some new music out before the full album release; making available these four tracks seems like a good way to accomplish that most expeditiously. Dusty, Frank and I are happy with what’s been accomplished in the studio so we figured we’d provide some hot and tasty ‘hors d’oeuvres’ before the main course is served this fall.”

Texicali will be available online on June 5.

CBGB Movie Casting: Grint as Cheetah Chrome, Ackerman as Debbie Harry, More

The success of a historical movie on the popular music scene can only be successful if the actors can truly inhabit the look, attitude and style of the original artists. The road is littered with questionable choices along with a few brilliant successes. Now, the producers of the movie CBGB are hoping they are finding the magic in their casting.

The following is our look at the actors and actresses cast so far for the film that tells the story of the iconic New York punk music club.

Alan Rickman


Hilly Kristal

Estelle Harris


Bertha Kristal

Malin Ackerman


Debbie Harry of Blondie
Rupert Grint


Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys
Joel David Moore


Joey Ramone of the Ramones
Julian Acosta


Johnny Ramone of the Ramones

Elton John Top Veteran Music Artist on the Forbes Celebrity 100

Forbes has released its annual Celebrity 100, the top personalities from TV, film, fashion, sports, books and music. To get the ranking, they rate each celebrity on income, TV/Radio exposure, press exposure, presence on the web and activity on Facebook and Twitter.

There's a new personality topping the list this year, Jennifer Lopez. While she didn't rank in the top ten in any of the individual criteria, her work across all areas placed her ahead of all others. She unseated Oprah Winfrey who moves to number 2 after a bad year launching her new television network.

The rest of the top ten includes five other music personalities, Justin Bieber (3), Rihanna (4), Lady Gaga (5), Britney Spears (6) and Katy Perry (8). The balance of the ten are Kim Kardashian (7), Tom Cruise (9) and Steven Spielberg (10).

Elton John is the highest ranked veteran artist on the list at 17 with his strongest performance in the money ranking where he came in at 11. Paul McCartney is at 21 (number 2 in web presence), Bon Jovi at 25 and Will Smith at 58 (yes, he did have that music career starting 25 years ago with D.J. Jazzy Jeff).

The music artists that made the top 100:
  • 01. Jennifer Lopez
  • 03. Justin Bieber
  • 04. Rihanna
  • 05. Lady Gaga
  • 06. Britney Spears
  • 08. Katy Perry
  • 11. Taylor Swift
  • 16. Beyonce Knowles
  • 17. Elton John
  • 21. Paul McCartney
  • 24. Adele
  • 25. Bon Jovi
  • 26. Dr. Dre
  • 38. Jay-Z
  • 42. Sean "Diddy" Combs
  • 45. Kanye West
  • 49. Toby Keith
  • 53. Kenny Chesney
  • 58. Will Smith
  • 68. Brad Paisley
  • 69. Lil Wayne
  • 84. Tiesto
  • 92. Skrillex
  • 96. Zooey Deschenel
To see the whole list, go to Forbes.

Kansas Announces Fall Tour of the U.S.

Kansas has announced the first dates from their upcoming U.S. tour that will run from September to November. The tour is the followup to their recent Kansas Collegiate Symphony Tour that ran earlier in the spring. King's X will be opening.

Original member and guitar virtuoso, Richard Williams, had this to say about the fall tour, “We are really looking forward to the upcoming shows with King’s X. They're a great band and a force to be reckoned with. It's a tour like this that allow us to dig a little bit deeper into our catalogue and play a few songs that Kansas fans haven't heard for a while. It's gonna be a lot of fun!”

Tickets go on sale on June 15 for all of the following shows except the stops in St. Charles, IL and Salina, KS where tickets go on sales this Friday. More dates will be announced soon.
  • 09/13 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater
  • 09/14 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Events Center
  • 09/15 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Spa & Resort - Music Box
  • 09/21 – St. Charles, IL – Arcadia Theater
  • 09/22 – Minneapolis, MN – The Myth
  • 10/05 – Salina, KS – Steifel Theatre for Performing Arts
  • 10/06 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre
  • 10/12 – Montgomery, AL – Alabama National Fair
  • 10/14 – Dallas, TX – State Fair of Texas
  • 10/19 – Little Rock, AR – Arkansas State Fair

Watch: Joe Walsh Performs Wrecking Ball From His Album Analog Man

Joe Walsh's new album, Analog Man, is out on June 5. Here's Joe and his band performing the track Wrecking Ball at a recent appearance at the Troubadour.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Picture Leaked of Andre 3000 As Jimi Hendrix

Anyone questioning whether Andre 3000 could become Jimi Hendrix can at least rest assured that he looks the part.
The forthcoming biopic of Hendrix, to be titled All Is By My Side, has begun shooting in Ireland and things look good judging by a paparazzi-style photo that is spreading across the internet.

Andre 3000 signed up to play Hendrix and will reportedly shoot the film over six weeks at locations in Bray, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin, according to The Guardian. The film is being directed by John Ridley, who wrote Three Kings.

Andre 3000 is also readying his solo debut, according to Outkast bandmate Big Boi.

Andre Benjamin’s previous acting experience includes supporting roles in Guy Ritchie’s Revolver, Will Ferrell’s Semi-Pro, Four Brothers, Be Cool, and the crime series The Sheild.

Bob Geldof Proud of Activism But Regrets What It Did to His Music Career

Bob Geldof may be best known as the man who put together Band Aid (Do They Know It's Christmas) with Midge Ure and went on to put together Live Aid, the 1985 concert to raise funds for the starving in Africa. He is proud of his activism but has regrets as to what it did to his music career.

Geldof talked with the London Evening Standard that not doing his charity work would have been "criminally irresponsible" but it "completely damaged my ability to do the thing I love. If it hadn’t happened I think I would have been able to make the transition from the Boomtown Rats to a solo thing more like Weller or Sting."

While with the Boomtown Rats, Geldof had three top ten albums and number 1 hits in the U.K. with Rat Trap and I Don't Like Mondays. Since that time, he has released five solo albums with 1990's The Vegetarians of Love being the best selling. Last year he released the album How To Compose Popular Songs That Sell.

The full London Evening Standard interview also delves into his home life and upcoming appearance for the Queen's Jubilee.

Doc Watson (1923 - 2012)

The folk music world lost one of its oldest and brightest stars. Doc Watson passed away on Tuesday at a hospital in Winston-Salem, NC where he had been a patient for over a week. He was 89.

Watson was admitted to the Watauga Medical Center near his home in Deep Gap, NC last Monday after taking a fall and was moved to Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem on Thursday. He subsequently had colon surgery for an undisclosed reason.

Watson was born in Deep Gap in 1923 and lost his sight before the age of 1 due to an infection. While he was young, he bought himself a guitar and proved to be a natural musician, playing popular folk and country tunes on street corners in his hometown.

He eventually moved from acoustic to electric guitar and began his professional career in 1953 playing with Jack Williams' country swing band in Johnson City, TN. Doc was known for being able to pick out the fiddle parts on his guitar, a technique that he later used to become one of the fastest flat pickers in the music business.

In 1960, Watson went solo with his first recordings on the 1961 album Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's, Volume 1.  In 1964, he made released his self titled debut album, the first of almost thirty that he would release during his career.

That same year, Doc began performing regularly with his son Merle Watson, a collaboration that would continue until Merle's untimely death in 1985 in a tractor accident. His tribute to his son has been MerleFest, a regular folk festival held in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

During the 70's, the Watson's continued to tour even though folk music had become a bit passe; however, he kept his name before the public with his recording of Tennessee Stud on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's landmark album Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Watson's last original release was 2002's Legacy, a three-CD set that included interviews with Doc along with music. It won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Over the years, Watson received the North Carolina Award (1986), the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award (1994) and the National Medal of Honor (1997). He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2000 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Overall, Doc received seven Grammy Awards.

Review: Apocalyptic Love - Slash

by Dan MacIntosh

Slash’s second solo album, Apocalyptic Love, just pours more salt into the wounds because it’s not a Guns N’ Roses or Velvet Revolver release. Slash is one of our greatest living guitarists, but he’ll never be one of our finest solo artists.

Apocalyptic Love is basically Slash’s regular road band in the studio. Myles Kennedy is the lead singer throughout just as he’s the primary vocalist whenever Slash tours. Slash’s previous self-titled solo release received the star treatment. Guys like Chris Cornell, Kid Rock, M. Shadows and Ozzy Osbourne all took turns playing lead singer. This collective at least made things interesting because these are all assertive, individualistic vocalists. Kennedy’s a passable singer; just not a distinctive one. In concert, Kennedy sings all those great Guns N’ Roses songs because, well, somebody’s got to sing the words, right?

Nothing particularly noteworthy happens on this new disc. Sure, Slash plays like a monster all over it, as he always does. However, it’s a lot like a Jeff Beck solo outing because these are only as interesting as the folks that surround Mr. Beck. If Rod Stewart is in the house, for instance, we perk up and pay attention. If it’s just another rock singer, though, we don’t really care.

About the only relatively memorable moment on this new work is Anastasia, which was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. It’s the sort of inclusion that makes one wish Slash would have recorded Slash Plays the Classics, instead. Then, at least, we’d have a lot of quality, familiar tunes to dig on.

Slash does his best marking time between major bands with this album, which is okay for now. It’s a time killer, however, rather than a meaningful statement. Apocalyptic Love may not be the end of the world, but it sort of feels like it when you consider what might have been, instead.

Bob Dylan Receives the Medal of Freedom

Bob Dylan was given the Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, the highest honor a United States civilian can receive. Dylan was presented the Medal at The White House by the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

At the presentation, the President said, “Bob Dylan started out singing other people’s songs. But, as he says, “There came a point where I had to write what I wanted to say, because what I wanted to say, nobody else was writing.” So born in Hibbing, Minnesota — a town, he says, where “you couldn’t be a rebel — it was too cold” — (laughter) — Bob moved to New York at age 19. By the time he was 23, Bob’s voice, with its weight, its unique, gravelly power was redefining not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel. Today, everybody from Bruce Springsteen to U2 owes Bob a debt of gratitude. There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music. All these years later, he’s still chasing that sound, still searching for a little bit of truth. And I have to say that I am a really big fan. (Laughter.)”

“I remember reading “Song of Solomon” when I was a kid and not just trying to figure out how to write, but also how to be and how to think. And I remember in college listening to Bob Dylan and my world opening up because he captured something that — about this country that was so vital”.

In total, 13 recipients received the award at the White House today. Amongst them, astronaut John Glenn, Toni Morrison, the first African American to receive a Nobel Prize and Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State.

Bob Dylan has finished work on his 35th album. The album, due in September, will contain a 14 minute epic about the Titanic.

Giveaway: Win a Copy of the Remastered Version of Paul & Linda McCartney's Ram

Here's your chance to win a copy of the remastered version of Paul & Linda McCartney's 1971 album Ram.

Just issued by Hear Music/Concord, this album sounds better than in any previous version and captures McCartney in the early days after the breakup of the Beatles. Included are the number 1 hit Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey along with other classic tracks like Too Many People, Heart of the Country and The Back Seat of My Car.

One entry per person. Simply enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chart Watch Britain: Death of Robin Gibb Pushes Bee Gees 34 to 5; Tom Jones In at 8; Cult Have Biggest Studio Album in 20 Years

The passing of Robin Gibb has pushed the Bee Gees album Number Ones from 34 to 5 this week giving them the biggest selling album by a veteran artist in England. Now in its third run on the chart, that's the highest the album has ever been. It had previously made it to 7 in 2004 and 29 in 2006.

There are a number of new albums by veteran artists this week topped by Tom Jones' Spirit in the Room which starts at number 8. That's off from 2010's Praise and Blame which started at number 2.

At number 20 is Choice of Weapon by the Cult. That's their highest they've been with a new studio album since 1991's Ceremony reached number 9.

Slash premiers at 27 with Apocalyptic Love.  His last album started at 17.

Finally, at 41 is the new remastered version of Paul & Linda McCartney's Ram, an album that originally topped the charts in 1971.

Chart of June 2, 2012

Top 100 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 3 Our Version of Events Emeli Sande
2 N Driving Towards the Daylight Joe Bonamassa
3 4 21 Adele
4 N Born and Raised John Mayer
5 34 Number Ones Bee Gees
8 N Spirit in the Room Tom Jones
20 N Choice of Weapon Cult
27 N Apocalyptic Love Slash
35 R Ultimate Bee Gees
37 21 Release Me: The Best of Engelbert Humperdinck
41 N Ram Paul & Linda McCartney
56 36 MDNA Madonna
62 69 Legend Bob Marley & the Wailers
68 50 Wrecking Ball Bruce Springsteen
71 53 18 Hits ABBA
76 58 Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
81 62 Rumors Fleetwood Mac
87 80 Greatest Hits Guns N' Roses
90 81 Greatest Hits Bruce Springsteen
97 R Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd
98 78 The Very Best of Bread
99 63 Like Comedy Proclaimers
100 110 Gold: Greatest Hits ABBA
Dropped Out:
49 49 Shapshifter Santana
67 67 The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer
73 73 Heroes Willie Nelson
84 84 Take Me Home John Denver
85 85 Soup: Cream of Beautiful South / Housemartins
97 97 Gold: Greatest Hits Carpenters

Listen: Dayglo Reflection by Bobby Womack (Featuring Lana Del Rey)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bobby Womack is about to release The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first studio album in over ten years. Previously, he has released videos to promote the tracks Please Forgive Me and the title song from the album and now here's the third preview, Dayglo Reflection featuring last year's "it" girl, Lana Del Rey.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Robin Gibb to Have Public Memorial in September

Robin John and Robin Gibb
The family of Robin Gibb have announced that there will be a public memorial for the late singer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London this coming September. He will be buried in a private ceremony in the coming days.

Gibb died on May 20 and his son, Robin-John, told Britain's Sunday Express that "The end was peaceful and dignified. It was only later that I cried and cried."

The younger Gibb also said that his father died of kidney failure. "Dad had actually gone into remission and the cancer was completely unrecognizable. No scan could see it. He was then dosed with sedatives to deal with the side effects of his chemotherapy and his liver just couldn't process them. He deteriorated to the point where it started to affect his kidneys as well … It was a really sudden downturn."

RJ went on to say a last effort was made through a blood transfusion but, twelve hours later, he died.

Robin-John will continue to make appearances at performances of The Titanic Requiem which he composed with his father.

Julien's Auctions Selling Elvis' Original Crypt, Items From the Estate of Les Paul

Julien's Auctions has two big sales coming up in June, one focusing on the guitar and technology wizard Les Paul and the other on a variety of memorabilia including Elvis Presley's original crypt.

The Les Paul Estate Auction will be held on June 8 and 9 in Beverly Hills and include 741 lots of items from throughout the innovator's career. Among the big items:
  • Late-1950's Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar. Signed. (est. $60,000 - 80,000)
  • Late-1960's/early-1970's Mixing Console (est. $40,000 to 60,000)
  • 1968 Gibson Prototype Les Paul Guitar. Signed (est. $40,000 to 60,000)
  • 1951 Fender No-Caster. Gift from Leo Fender to Paul. Signed by Fender. (est. $40,000 to 60,000)
  • 1982 Gibson Les Paul Prototype Recording Model Serial No. 001 (est. $20,000 to 30,000)
Two weeks later, on June 23 and 24, Julein's will hold a Sports Legends/Music Icons auction with almost 1,000 lots. 

Probably the strangest lot of the auction is number 796A, Elvis Presley's Original Crypt. It is located in Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis and, for a time, was the resting place of both Presley and his mother Gladys while Vernon Presley worked with the city to allow the two bodies to be buried on private property at the Graceland mansion. The auction is for the crypt, the internment, an inscription on the vault and the internment ceremony. Auction estimate is set at $100,000.

Also up for auction:
  • Elvis Presley owned motorcycle jacket and pants (est. $30,000 - 50,000)
  • Elvis Presley's 14k gold medallion necklace inscribed with "E.P." (est. $25,000 - 30,000)
  • John Lennon signed registration card for his 1965 Rolls Royce Phantom V (est. $20,000 - 30,000)
  • David Bowie's Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar (est. $20,000 - 40,000)
  • Amy Winehouse's robe from the Rehab video (est. $15,000 - 17,000)
  • Elvis Presley signed acoustic guitar (est. $15,000 - 20,000)

David Gilmour and Wife Evacuated From Home After Bomb Found

David Gilmour and his wife, Polly Samson, weren't expecting any surprises when they renovated their East Sussex, England mansion but they ended up with one big problem.

An unexploded World War II German bomb was found under the building which forced the couple from their home while the Royal Navy bomb squad was called in for removal. The almost five-foot long bomb was safely removed.

The incident last Thursday was announced by Samson on Twitter:
Well, this is exciting. We've all been evacuated because they've found a bomb under our building site!

We think it's a bit of old pipe but MOD on their way.

They're here *sticks fingers in ears*

They've taken away *our* bomb. Incendiary but missing the bit that makes it go bang.

Bomb disposal people now having an ice cream.

Then, the next day:

Yesterday's WW2 incendiary bomb in thrilling close-up.

New Releases By Veteran Artists for the Week of May 28, 2012

Public Image Ltd.
Bachman & Turner

2 CDs
Ian Tyson

2 CDs
Rory Block

Click on a cover to get more information on the album.

The rest of the new releases by veteran artists are after the cut.