Friday, August 31, 2012

Preview: Afterglow - Black Country Communion

Artist: Black Country Communion
Title: Afterglow
Release Date: October 29, 2012
Label: Mascot Records
Format(s): CD, DD

Black Country Communion, the supergroup made up of Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham, will release their third studio album, Afterglow, on October 29 via Mascot Records.

Once again, Kevin Shirley is helming the album. Glenn Hughes says of the effort "There were six months to write this album, and I’m really excited by the way it came out. I wanted to make a record that stood up to the first two, but not to repeat either of those records. There would be absolutely no point beginning it with a song like Black Country [the distinctively energetic track that kicked off the debut].

In terms of content, ‘Afterglow’ expands upon the progression that took place between ‘BCC’ and ‘BCC2’. Rich in hooks, melodies and choruses, it’s nonetheless another of those highly rewarding albums that bears additional fruit with repeated spins.

“I wanted this album to have more acoustic moments than the previous two,” explains Hughes. “I wanted to hear more of Derek [Sherinian] and I wanted the more angelic voice of Glenn as well as the more aggressive one which is there on songs like ‘Crawl’ and ‘Midnight Sun’. Above all, I wanted more drama.”

Here is Glenn Hughes' descriptions of the eleven tracks on the album:

“It’s very quirky and British-sounding. Jason Bonham is an incredible timekeeper. I love the way he provides the engine room on that song.

“Let’s give Jason Bonham a little more love. He writes his songs on an iPhone whilst driving his car, which is completely nuts. It really helps the groove factor. He emailed me some footage of him playing this song. He wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics. It has a huge chorus, too. Jason is not just a brilliant drummer – he’s a great songwriter.”

“I had my wallet stolen in a Starbucks and arrived late at the studio. When I got there the guys were fooling around with a song that sounds quite a lot like The Who, thanks to those Rabbit Bundrick-style keyboards. I picked up my bass and joined in. It’s quite a romp; there’s a definite vibe of Moon and Entwistle.”

“The first album had ‘No Time’, which was slow and groovy. I wrote ‘Confessor’ that way too, but when Jason heard it he insisted upon playing it – in his own words – like his dad would have done. We’re a democratic band and I went along with that. When he turbo-d it up it really came to life.”

“I sang this one alone originally until Kevin pointed out that the album didn’t have a song with split vocals. Joe and I sing well together. I’ve never had a problem sharing a microphone with other great singers. We really let rip off one another on this one, which has a ZZ Top/Humble Pie kind of a vibe.”

“[At more than six minutes long] it’s an epic song. I was adamant that this album should have a proper title instead of a number. I played it to the band right at the end of sessions – purposely so. When they heard it on acoustic guitar, everybody agreed that it should name the album.”

“I wrote it slower than we recorded it; maybe I had too much coffee that day. Had we done it that way then maybe it would have sounded a bit dirge-like. Jason sets the tempos – he’s got a really good ear for the way that a song should sound.”

“It’s one of my favourites on this record. It gives me the chance to use my ‘breathier’ voice. Kevin asked me to sing it an octave higher than I intended, and it worked. The high voice in the chorus is not my falsetto, it’s my upper register natural voice. I’m singing about being powerless; being in a dreamlike state. People have spoken about my voice and bass playing for so many years, I hope that this time they notice my lyrics because I’m very proud of them.”

“That’s another of the songs that came from Jason. When he sang me its melody acapella I could hear myself singing it. It could have been a song from Deep Purple’s ‘Stormbringer’ album; he wrote it for my voice.”

“When you listen to the end of the song, if people are trying to figure out what key it’s in, I’m playing a capo [a device that raises the pitch of notes] on the fifth fret. When I wrote it, I deliberately held back from completing it because it needed Joe’s input. Kevin helped as well.”

“Some people may know that this song was going to be on ‘BCC2’ but we held it over because there simply wasn’t enough room. To me, it fits this album a lot better. It’s a really aggressive song – it’s dangerous and angry. I love it. It’s a great way to finish the record.”

Jimmy Bain of Rainbow and Dio Charged With DUI

Jimmy Bain, the former bassist for Rainbow and Dio, was arrested for drunk driving following an car accident on Tuesday night in Burbank, CA.

Bain turned left out of a store's parking lot, not seeing an oncoming driver who hit his 1995 Toyota Camry. When Burbank police arrived, they became suspicious of Bain's sobriety and administered standard tests which he failed.

In addition, they found that he had Vicodin for which he didn't have a prescription and that he had an outstanding felony warrant.

Bain was released on Wednesday after posting $60,000 bail.

The bassist played with Rainbow from 1975 to 1977, Wild Horses from 1978 to 1982 and Dio from 1983 to 1989 and 1999 to 2005.

Listen: Leaving, Second Single From the Pet Shop Boys Album Elysium

The Pet Shop Boys have announced that Leaving will be the second single from their upcoming album Elysium, following the song Winning.

The album will be released on September 11 while Leaving will be out October 15 in the U.K.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

David Bowie Returns...For One Post on Facebook

Bowie's Current Facebook Icon
David Bowie has made his first public statement in two years.

The enigmatic singer has been out of the spotlight since a heart attack in 2004 and has pretty much made it known that he is retired, but on Thursday he posted to his official Facebook page.

The occasion is a retrospective of Bowie's career at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. David, obviously, has no problem with the show but he wants to make it clear that he wasn't involved in the selection of items to be shown.

Contrary to recently published reports relating to the announcement by the V&A of an upcoming David Bowie Exhibition, I am not a co-curator and did not participate in any decisions relating to the exhibition.

The David Bowie Archive gave unprecedented access to the V&A and museum's curators have made all curatorial and design choices.

A close friend of mine tells me that I am neither "devastated", "heartbroken" nor "uncontrollably furious" by this news item.

David Bowie. August 28th, 2012
Britain's Mirror reports that there may be a disagreement with the curators of the show, saying that he is not comfortable with the items selected and displayed. A source told the paper "Quietly he isn’t comfortable with some of their decisions. He also wants to make it totally clear that this isn’t a vanity project. He does not like the implication that he has essentially created some sort of shrine to himself."

Mark David Chapman Says He Didn't Target John Lennon

John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, claims he didn't target the Beatles singer and only shot him because he was the most famous person he knew of.

The 'Imagine' hitmaker was shot dead outside his New York apartment in December 1980 by Mark Chapman but he claims he only killed him because he was the most famous he knew about .

Speaking during his seventh parole hearing, Chapman told the New York State Board of Parole he committed the "cold-blooded" crime "simply because (Lennon was) the most famous person I knew of".

Speaking about John's widow, Yoko Ono, Chapman added: "I would like Mrs. Lennon to really know that. I think it would help somewhat that it wasn't anger. It wasn't anything against her husband as a person, only as a famous person. If he was less famous than three or four other people on the list, he would not have been shot."

Chapman, 57, went on to reveal that he had a list of six or seven potential targets, including Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor and actor George C. Scott.

Chapman, who had waited for Lennon to return to his apartment building before shooting him in the back of the head, had contemplated abandoning his murder plot when earlier in the day he met Lennon, who had signed his album cover.

He said: "It wasn't all totally cold-blooded, but most of it was. I did try to tell myself to leave. 'I've got the album, take it home, show my wife, everything will be fine.' But I was so compelled to commit that murder that nothing would have dragged me away from that building."

Chapman pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in August 1981, with the judge ruling that he must receive psychiatric treatment.

Rolling Stones to Play New York and London; To Air Documentary on HBO

Billboard is reporting that the Rolling Stones will play two shows at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and two at the O2 Arena in London in November.

According to their source, the shows will be promoted by Richard Branson and Paul Dainty from Australia and the Stones will received $25 million for the series of shows.

Although the dates for the shows are not known, the band did announce that November would also be the premier of the documentary on their career, Crossfire Hurricane. The film will premier on HBO on November 15 and will contain a host of vintage film and inside information on the band.

Brett Morgan, who directs, said in a statement "Crossfire Hurricane invites the audience to experience firsthand the Stones' nearly mythical journey from outsiders to rock and roll royalty. This is not an academic history lesson. Crossfire Hurricane allows the viewer to experience the Stones' journey from a unique vantage point. It's an aural and visual roller coaster ride."

While the film will show on the pay channel in the U.S., it will receive a theatrical release in England.

James Taylor Receives France's Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters

James Taylor has been honored with the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, an award given by the French government to "recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as individuals who have contributed to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world."

From James Taylor's official site
The award was established in May of 1957 by the country's Minister of Culture and is given to French citizens 30 year old and older or foreign artists of any age. There are three grades of the award, Commander (up to 20 awards per year), Officer (up to 60) and Knight or Chevalier (up to 200). It is possible to move up to a higher award after five years with the demonstration of further meritorious activity.

Notable musicians who have previously received awards include:
  • Commander - Bob Dylan, Patti Smith
  • Officer - Van Morrison, Frederica von Stade
  • Knight - Philip Glass, Juanes, Kylie Minogue, Andre Rieu
Taylor will formally receive the award on a future date at the French Embassy in New York.

Gene Thomas of Gene & Debbe Passes Away at 73

Gene Thomas, who was part of the country duo Gene & Debbe and went on to a career as a Nashville songwriter, passed away on Sunday from lung cancer at the age of 73.

Thomas fell into music while in his early twenties when a family friend asked if he would like to record a song. Gene wrote the song Sometime and recorded it in March 1961, taking it around to various small town Texas radio stations. It took a few months before the record was picked up by United Artists and until October before it made an impact nationwide, making it up to number 53 on the Hot 100.

Roy Orbison came across the record and asked if he could produce more music from Thomas but the only success that came from the pairing was Baby's Gone which stalled out at 84 in 1963.

After returning to Houston, Thomas spent a couple of years writing music until he met up with Debbe Neville. The duo recorded in a romantic country style that was popular in the late 60's, working with Acuff-Rose Music who eventually put them on the Hickory label. There they had a minor success with Go With Me (1967/#78 Pop) before finally reaching the top twenty with Playboy (1968/#17 Pop). One final record charted (Lovin' Season (1968/#81 Pop)) before Thomas returned to writing music.

He spent the rest of his career as a songwriter, scoring a number 2 hit in 1969 with Don Gibson and Dottie West's version of Rings of Gold and another hit with Glen Barber's Kissed by the Rain. His songs were also recorded by Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, Lonnie Mack, Buffy Sainte Marie, Tina Turner, Dean Martin, the Everly Brothers and many more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eddie Van Halen Undergoes Emergency Surgery; All Tour Dates Postponed

Van Halen's official site announced tonight that Eddie Van Halen has undergone emergency surgery for a sever bout of diverticulitis and it will take four-to-six months for him to recover from the surgery.

That means all future dates, including the band's upcoming tour of Japan, are being postponed into 2013.

Diverticulitis is a condition of the lower intestine where pouches (diverticula) form on the outside of the colon. On occasion, a particle of food may become trapped in one of the diverticula, causing inflammation which is normally treated with an antibiotic and rest. Symptoms can include abdominal pain and can progress to other problems if the infection worsens.

While chronic diverticulitis can be treated with surgery, emergency surgery normally only happens when the intestine is actually ruptured by the infection which then spreads to the abdominal cavity. This can be a life-threatening situation. As this was an emergency, it appears that the more urgent surgery was performed on Van Halen. In these cases, an additional operation is usually needed in about ten to twelve weeks.

Grand Ole Opry to Celebrate Loretta Lynn's 50th Anniversary on September 25

On September 25, the country music world will celebrate Loretta Lynn's 50th Anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

It was September 25, 1962 when Lynn was inducted into the Opry after only two country hits, 1960's I'm a Honky Tonk Girl and 1962's Success. She would go on to have over 65 more country top 40 hits and became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.

Artists scheduled to salute Lynn during the show include her sister Crystal Gayle, Miranda Lambert along with her group the Pistol Annies, Lee Ann Womack and Trace Adkins.

“There is no one at the Opry, in country music, or on Earth quite like Loretta Lynn,” said Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry vice president and general manager. “Her influence as a recording artist and songwriter reaches across musical genres, cultures, and generations. She’s earned her place among America’s musical icons, and we look forward to celebrating 50 years of Opry membership with her next month.”

Jackson Children & Guardians Go to Gary, IN For Michael's Birthday

Michael Jackson's family are reportedly dealing "with a range of emotions".

The King of Pop would have turned 54-years-old today (August 29).

Michael's mother Katherine and his sister LaToya took his three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket to their hometown of Gary, Indiana to celebrate the big day.

According to sources there is not much merriment going on.

"Katherine and Michael's children, along with LaToya and their co-guardian, TJ, are all in Gary, Indiana for birthday festivities for Michael," a source told Radar Online. "It's a very somber day filled with a range of emotions but they are trying to not let the sadness of Michael's death consume them. LaToya is just an absolute ray of light for Michael's children and she is trying to keep things upbeat."

Katherine, who is also mother to Janet, Jermaine and Randy, is said to be furious with her brood as the fallout over Michael's estate continues.

"There is also added stress because of the ongoing family drama with Michael's siblings, Janet, Randy and Rebbie who want the executors of the estate to resign," the source detailed.

"Janet and Katherine still aren't talking and it's just extremely sad that it has gotten to this."

Watch: The Video for Bob Dylan's Duquesne Whistle

Australia’s Nash Edgerton has once again produced a video for Bob Dylan. This time it is for the opening track of the Tempest album, Duquesne Whistle.

Nash also directed Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ from Bob’s Together Through Life album (2008) and Must Be Santa from Christmas In The Heart (2009).

The Blacktown boy is also a stunt man and doubled for Ewan McGregor in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones and worked on Moulin Rouge and Mission Impossible II.

He also directed Brandon Flowers Crossfire video.

Tempest is Bob Dylan’s 35th studio album. We first heard a preview of the album when the song Early Roman Kings in a trailer for the Cinemax series Strike Back.

Duquesne Whistle debuted on NPR earlier this week.

Tempest will be released in Australia on September 7 and in the USA on September 10.

Duran Duran Cancel Remaining Dates on Tour

Nick Rhodes
Late on Tuesday, Duran Duran announced that they would be cancelling all of the remaining dates on their world tour due to the illness of Nick Rhodes.

The group posted the following message on their website:
With just one week to go before the final dates of their two year ‘All You Need Is Now’ world tour, British rock band, Duran Duran, have been forced to cancel the remaining shows on the concluding North American leg, because keyboardist Nick Rhodes is too unwell to perform.

Following the loss of four shows already this week (in Pittsburgh, Atlantic City, Kettering and Chicago), the band members announced tonight that they would sadly have to cancel the remaining two Canadian dates as well – which were scheduled to take place on Friday 31st August and Saturday 1st September in Rama, Ontario.

Rhodes, who has been unwell now for over a week, was advised by doctors today that he is not yet ready to perform, as he is still experiencing the same symptoms that have kept him from the stage for the last few nights.

The band are devastated that what has been a triumphant tour for them, with many highlights, has ended this way – and know that the fans will be as disappointed as they are. Nick held out all week, hoping that he would be well enough to perform again for these final few shows, but unfortunately the medical advice he has been given today requires him to continue to rest.

All ticket holders for any of the shows that have been cancelled should now apply for refunds at the point of purchase, as rescheduling these dates has not been possible given the venues’ upcoming season schedules and availability. Members of the band’s VIP Fan Community should contact Customer Service on the dedicated Community website.
The band has been on the road for almost two years in support of their album All You Need is Now.

Slash Admits He Now Realizes His Mom and David Bowie Had An Affair

Slash says he once walked in on his mother and rock icon David Bowie when he was eight years old.

The former Guns N' Roses guitarist claims his late costume designer mother Ola Hudson shared a "mysterious romance" with the Ziggy Stardust singer in the 70's and he once accidentally walked in on them together when he was a child.

Slash told Australian radio station Triple M: "He was always over - they were always together. I caught them naked once. They had a lot of stuff going on, but my perspective was limited.

"Looking back on it, I know exactly what was going on. When I look back on that whole combination of people, I can only imagine how freaky it was."

Slash, who's parents separated in 1974, added he didn't dwell on what he had seen until later on in life, when he realized his mother and David must have fallen for each other after working on a professional level.

Slash explained: "My mum started working with David professionally at first. I'm pretty sure that's how it started.

"Then it turned into some sort of mysterious romance that went on for a while after that.

"She did his wardrobe for his whole 'Thin White Duke' period and The Man Who Fell To Earth movie that he did.

"She did all that and he was around for a while."

Chart Watch Britain: Julio Iglesias Debuts at 18 With First Top 40 Album in Over a Decade

A new compilation of Julio Iglesias' biggest hits, 1, gives him his first top 40 album in Britain in over a decade along with the biggest selling album by a veteran artist for the week. His last charting album was 2000's La Noche De Cuatro Lunas.

The only other premier by a veteran artist for the week goes to Ry Cooder and his politically charged Election Special. The album premiers at 41.

Chart of September 1, 2012

Top 100 Albums
TW LW Title Artist
1 1 Our Version of Events Emeli Sande
2 2 Fall to Grace Paloma Faith
3 N Four Bloc Party
4 N Hot Cakes Darkness
5 N Devotion Jessie Ware
18 N 1 Julio Iglesias
20 13 Total Madness Madness
29 21 The Whole Story Kate Bush
33 14 Waterloo Sunset: The Best of Kinks & Ray Davies
38 34 Number Ones Bee Gees
39 44 Legend Bob Marley & the Wailers
41 N Election Special Ry Cooder
65 47 Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield
85 175 Greatest Hits Cure
89 74 Graceland Paul Simon
91 84 Greatest Hits Bon Jovi
93 103 The Very Best of: 1980-2000 UB40
94 89 Greatest Hits Bruce Springsteen
98 98 The Ultimate Collection Whitney Houston
99 85 25 Years: The Chain Fleetwood Mac
100 114 Number Ones Michael Jackson
Dropped Off:
X 55 The Collection Vangelis
X 62 Greatest Hits & More Who
X 71 Good Morning to the Night Elton John vs. Pnau
X 79 Greatest Hits Queen
X 80 Greatest Hits 1, 2 & 3 Queen
X 83 Then and Now Who
X 93 A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd
X 100 The Collection Annie Lennox

Vintage Rolling Stones Footage From 1965 to Be Released

A documentary on the early days of the Rolling Stones, shot during their 1965 tour, will be premiered at the New York Film Festival on Saturday, September 29 with an encore screening on October 3. The Rolling Stones Charlie is My Darling: Ireland 1965 is produced by ABKCO Films, who has said an announcement on the broadcast premier of the film is expected to be made in the near future.

What was once rumor is now fact as ABKCO Films presents a meticulously restored and fully-realized version of this first-ever, legendary but never released film. Shot on a quick tour of Ireland just weeks after the Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction hit # 1 on the charts and became the international anthem for a generation, The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling: Ireland 1965 is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on the road with the young Stones. It features the first professionally filmed concert performances of the band and documents the early frenzy of their fans and the riots the band’s appearances inspired.

Charlie is my Darling is a rediscovered letter from a lost world. It has long been a holy grail of rock fans, surfacing in bits and pieces and tantalizing but frustratingly un-synched fragments. The band is shown traveling through the Irish countryside by train; dashing from cabs to cramped, basement dressing rooms through screaming hordes of fans. Motel rooms host impromptu songwriting sessions and familiar classics are heard in their infancy as riff and lyric are united.

This new 2012 version of the film with added never-before-seen footage was directed and restored by director Mick Gochanour and producer Robin Klein, the GRAMMY® Award winning team that brought the classic The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus to the screen. Charlie is my Darling’s dramatic and stunning concert footage, including electrifying performances of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, The Last Time and Time Is On My Side, shows the band developing its­­­­­­­ musical style by blending blues, R&B and rock-n-roll riffs, and captures the spark about to combust into The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World. Candid, off-the-cuff interviews are juxtaposed with revealing, comical scenes of the band goofing on one another as well as unsuspecting outsiders, and offers an unmatched look inside the day-to-day life of the Stones.

Originally directed by pioneering filmmaker Peter Whitehead and produced by Rolling Stones manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, Charlie is my Darling is the lost preamble to a life captured on screen. Like no other band, the Rolling Stones repeatedly put themselves under the microscope, allowing the greatest filmmakers of our era, including Jean-Luc Godard, the Maysles, Robert Frank, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Hal Ashby and Martin Scorsese, inside their world. Charlie is my Darling is the invaluable frame: the unseen story of the band becoming the legend.

Listen: Barbra Streisand Sings Randy Newman's I Think Its Going To Rain Today

Barbra Streisand released the first track from her upcoming album, Release Me, on Tuesday. Randy Newman's I Think It's Going to Rain Today is one of eleven songs from the vaults that span from 1963 to the new century.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Robert Plant Says His Big Voice is Back

Robert Plant has returned to his "big voice," after spending time concentrating on projects which have required him to sing more softly.

The former Led Zeppelin singer has been concentrating on softer projects, such as his 'Raising Sand' album with Alison Krauss, and his Band of Joy group, but after a recent concert in London, realised he his slipped back into full rock mode.

He said: "That was the great thing about the adventures with Alison, and singing with Patty [Griffin, his partner] and [Band of Joy guitarist] Buddy Miller, that I started singing differently.

"Somebody said to me in London when we played the Forum recently, 'You had your big voice back.'

"I put the big voice away for quite a long time because I thought, we know how to do that. So it was good to get it out again. It's all the same really, you just have to use the right colours for the right picture."

Robert has now formed a new band, Sensational Space Shifters, and is putting together a new album, which he describes as "12 tracks, 11 originals and no sentimental stuff," and was informed by his recently going back to the Mississippi delta where blues music originated from.

He added to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "I don't know when it was that I first came here. If I said I came looking for Robert Johnson... I was actually just looking for clues. And I found clues.

"When I came here in the 1980s, before the museum was here, when RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough were still playing, there was still an actual scene for that grinding [blues] stuff, so it was very easy for white kids to get on to that. I suppose that was the last really great flurry."

Preview: A Rita Coolidge Christmas

Artist: Rita Coolidge
Title: A Rita Coolidge Christmas
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Label: 429 Records
Format(s): CD, DD

Rita Coolidge will release only her second album in the last 14 years with A Rita Coolidge Christmas, out October 30 on 429 Records.

The album is the result of Coolidge's love of the season and her annual Christmas Tour. Working with her stalwart band featuring John McDuffie (guitar), John Thomas (keyboards), Lynn Coulter (drums) and Randy Landas (bass), Coolidge has put together a 12 track set of standards and several originals that seamlessly blend all of the styles that have defined her solo career since the 70's: pop, blues, jazz, country and notably, the Native American music of her Cherokee heritage. Like all of her musical endeavors, A Rita Coolidge Christmas is a project that comes straight from the heart reflecting the love she feels for the holiday and the many memories that are evoked by these performances.

Coolidge said "Everyone who knows me or has seen me perform knows I love Christmas and the music of the season. The Christmas show is very eclectic and I think the album reflects all the different styles we do very well."

Rita's last album, And So Is Love, was released in 2005 by Concord.

Track List:
  • Rockin' Around The Xmas Tree
  • Santa Baby
  • Let It Snow
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • Circle Of Light
  • Amazing Grace
  • Love In This Room

Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples on Schedule For Austin City Limits

The iconic Austin City Limits will being its 38th season on October 6 with a rare full-hour concert by Radiohead, leading into the first six weeks of a 13 week season.

Among the shows on the schedule is an evening with Bonnie Raitt, coming off the success of her latest album, Slipstream, with Mavis Staples whose last album was 2010's You Are Not Alone.

Raitt will also be part of ACL's best of program from the Americana Music Festival.

The schedule for the first half of the season:

  • 10/06 - Radiohead
  • 10/13 - Bon Iver
  • 10/20 - Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples
  • 10/27 - The Shins & Dr. Dog
  • 11/03 - The Civil Wars & Punch Brothers
  • 11/10 - ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2012 (Hosted by Jim Lauderdale and featuring performances by Carolina Chocolate Drops, Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin, Alabama Shakes, Lifetime Achievement Honoree Bonnie Raitt and more)
While the announcement of the artists for the final seven episodes of the season will be made sometime in the future, the ACL site has mentioned tapeings with Alan Jackson, Kat Edmunson and Norah Jones, 

Madonna Kicks Off North American Tour Dates

Madonna is opening the North American portion of her MDNA tour tonight in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. She'll finish up on November 20 in Miami before going to Mexico City for two shows.

According to Billboard, the tour has made $115,701,909 so far on sales of 985,340 tickets over 33 shows. Still, there are reports that many of the shows were not sellouts and that promoters have been a bit disappointed.

Live Nation has added that $111 million in tickets have been sold for the North American dates. That brings her total for the tour to about $227 million, far short of the $408 million made on the 2008-09 Sticky and Sweet Tour.

The dates:
  • 08/28 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
  • 08/30 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
  • 09/01 - Quebec City, QC - Plains of Abraham Site
  • 09/04 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
  • 09/06 - New York, NY - Yankee Stadium
  • 09/08 - New York, NY - Yankee Stadium
  • 09/10 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
  • 09/12 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
  • 09/13 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
  • 09/15 - Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall
  • 09/19 - Chicago, IL - United Center
  • 09/20 - Chicago, IL - United Center
  • 09/23 - Washington, D.C. - Verizon Center
  • 09/24 - Washington, D.C. - Verizon Center
  • 09/29 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
  • 09/30 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
  • 10/02 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
  • 10/03 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
  • 10/06 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion
  • 10/07 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion
  • 10/10 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
  • 10/11 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
  • 10/13 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand
  • 10/14 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand
  • 10/16 - Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center
  • 10/18 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
  • 10/20 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
  • 10/21 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
  • 10/24 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
  • 10/25 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
  • 10/27 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
  • 10/30 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
  • 11/01 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
  • 11/03 - St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
  • 11/04 - St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
  • 11/06 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
  • 11/08 - Detroit, MI - Joe Lewis Arena
  • 11/10 - Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena
  • 11/12 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
  • 11/15 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
  • 11/17 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
  • 11/19 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
  • 11/20 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
  • 11/24 - Mexico City, Mexico - Foro Sol
  • 11/25 - Mexico City, Mexico - Foro Sol

Preview: Music From Another Dimension - Aerosmith (Updated)

Artist: Aerosmith
Title: Music From Another Dimension
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Label: Columbia
Format(s): CD, DD

Aerosmith has released new information since our original story in May on their album Music From Another Dimension. The track list has changed and information on the deluxe version is included.

For the first time in eleven years, Aerosmith will release an album of original material with Music From Another Dimension. The set will be out on Columbia on November 6.

Aerosmith's last album of original material was 2001's Just Push Play. They also released the blues cover album Honkin' on Bobo in 2004.

The album is produced by Jack Douglas who previously helmed their albums Toys in the AtticRocks and Honkin' on Bobo, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and was recorded in Los Angeles and their studio in Massachusetts.

Joe Perry told Billboard, "This record is different from the recent past, say the last 20 years, where everybody is getting in the studio and throwing down their songs. This record is a lot more band-written stuff than there has been in the recent past."

The first two singles were released simultaneously this week with What Could Have Been Love going to hot AC and Lover A Lot to rock, active rock and classic rock stations.

A deluxe edition will also be released with four live performances, exclusive interviews with all members of the band and three bonus tracks.

Track List:
  • Oh Yeah
  • Beautiful
  • Tell Me
  • Out Go The Lights
  • Legendary Child
  • What Could Have Been Love
  • Street Jesus
  • Can't Stop Loving You
  • Lover A Lot
  • We All Fall Down
  • Freedom Fighter
  • Closer
  • Something
  • Another Last Goodbye
Deluxe Edition
  • Rats in the Cellar (Live)
  • Train Kept A Rollin' (Live)
  • Oh Yeah (Live)
  • Same Old Song and Dance (Live)
  • Up On a Mountain
  • Oasis
  • Sunny Side of Love
  • Group Interviews

Among Drummers, Ringo Starr is the Cash King

Unless you are a Keith Moon, being a drummer usually relegates you to keeping the rhythm and throwing in a few bits of flare behind the real "stars" of the band out at the front of the stage.

That doesn't mean that those rhythm men and women aren't making the big bucks, as is shown in the new list of the top earning drummers put out by the site Celebrity Networth. The site has taken public information about these musicians, including salaries, real estate holdings, music sales, royalties and other source to determine an estimate of the net worth of the top thirty drummers.

Here is the top ten from the list. To see the full list, go to Celebrity Networth.
  1. Ringo Starr - $300 million
  2. Phil Collins - $250 million
  3. Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) - $225 million
  4. Don Henley (Eagles) - $200 million
  5. Lars Ulrich (Metallica) - $175 million
  6. Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) - $160 million
  7. Larry Mullen Jr., (U2) - $150 million
  8. Roger Taylor (Queen) - $105 million
  9. Joey Kramer (Aerosmith) - $100 million
  10. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - $90 million

Preview: Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin' Land - Stryper

Artist: Stryper
Title: Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin' Land
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Label: MVD
Format(s): DVD

Stryper is one of the biggest Christian hard rock bands ever, scoring well with both the Christian and rock audiences.

The band will release their new live DVD, Live in Indonesia at the Java Rockin' Land, on October 23 via MVD.

Singer/guitarist Michael Sweet said "This show was an unexpected, but welcomed, addition to our tour schedule. It was added last minute and we scrambled to make it happen, but I'm glad it worked out. It was an opportunity to go to a primarily Muslim country and share our faith. Java Rockin' Land was a highlight moment of our career and I'm thrilled that we were able to capture it on video. It's definitely one of the better live performances by the band in a long time, and the fact that it was captured on video makes it even more exciting. I think the fans are going to really enjoy it."

The current lineup of the band includes Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums).

Track List:
  • Sing Along Song
  • Murder By Pride
  • Loud 'N Clear
  • Rock That Makes Me Roll
  • Reach Out
  • Calling On You
  • More Than A Man
  • Honestly
  • Open Your Eyes
  • All For One
  • To Hell With The Devil
  • Soldiers Under Command

Tom T. Hall to Receive BMI's Icon Award at 60th Annual Country Awards

Singer/Songwriter Tom T. Hall has been selected to receive BMI's Icon Award at the organization's 60th annual Country Awards on Tuesday, October 30 at their Music Row Offices in Nashville.

The Icon Award is given to those who have had a "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers."

Hall has had success as both a singer and songwriter and the country and pop charts. He topped the country charts seven times with A Week in a Country Jail (1970), The Year That Clayton Delaney Died (1971), (Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine (1973), I Love (1974), Country Is (1974), I Care (1975) and Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet) (1976). I Love also crossed over to the Pop charts, peaking at number 12.

He has also written hits for others including Harper Valley P.T.A. (Jeannie C. Riley), The Pool Shark (Dave Dudley), Little Bitty (Alan Jackson), (Margie's at) The Lincoln Park Inn and That's How I Got to Memphis (both Bobby Bare).

In recent years, he and his wife of 33 years, Dixie, have written numerous songs for bluegrass artists and have received a number of nominations and awards.

Hall was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Releases By Veteran Artists For the Week of August 27, 2012

Art Garfunkel

2 CDs
Robert Cray Band

Ian Gillan & Tony Iommi 2 CDs
Beach Boys

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

Madonna Gets Her 43rd No. 1 Dance/Club Play Song, Third for 2012

It's been a very up and down year for Madonna. Only moderate sales on her new album, MDNA, no big radio hits from the release and a tour that has been knee deep in controversy would all point to a bad year, but it has been one of the best of her career in the dance clubs.

Turn Up the Radio is the new number 1 record on the Dance/Club Play chart, giving Madonna her third chart topper for the year and a record setting 43rd of her career. Her closest competition, Janet Jackson, only has 19.

This is the fourth time she has scored three number 1's in the same year.

  • 2001 (Don't Tell Me, What It Feels Like For a Girl, Impressive Instant)
  • 2003 (American Life, Hollywood, Me Against the Music (with Britney Spears))
  • 2006 (Sorry, Get Together, Jump)
  • 2012 (Give Me All Your Luvin' (with Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.), Girl Gone Wild, Turn Up the Radio)
According to Billboard, this chart topper also puts Madonna just one away from tying George Strait for the most number 1's on any one Billboard chart. Strait has topped the Country Songs chart 44 times. 

Numerous Events Scheduled Leading Up to Release of Bob Dylan's Tempest

The release of Bob Dylan's 35th studio album, Tempest, is being greeted with a number of events around the world.

Today, NPR Online is premiering the song Duquesne Whistle, the first single from the upcoming album. The song was recently described by the Los Angeles Times as, "the folky sound of old-time country blues guitar licks quietly unfurling before the full band explodes into a driving big-beat rhythm as rollicking as the train ride the song explores."

The video for the song will premier this Wednesday at the site of Britain's The Guardian. The video was directed by Nash Edgerton, who also directed the clip for Beyond Here Lies Nothing from Dylan's 2009 release, Together Through Life.

On Friday, August 31, fans who visit will find a map of locations in the U.S. and nine other countries where selected songs from Tempest will be streamed to mobile devices. The tracks will be randomly streamed only when users are within the Tempest-tagged geographic areas, utilizing the free web-based Sound Graffiti app (which can be accessed directly through In addition to the U.S., other countries in which Sound Graffiti locations will be found include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Fans who stream the song will also be given an opportunity to pre-order Tempest from iTunes while they listen.

Finally, Bob Dylan Tempest pop-up stores will open in three cities on Monday, September 10.
  • 819 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014
  • 7763 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
  • 47 Beak Street, London, W1F 9SE
In addition, the Dussmann Store in Berlin will be dedicated to the album starting September 7 with special promotions starting on September 7.

Penn State Says No More Neil Diamond at Games

In today's example of really stretching things beyond all reality, we have the case of Penn State University banning the playing of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline at home football games.

Officials at the university say it has nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal, but the general word on the street is that they were actually concerned about the lyric "touching you, touching me."

Really, we are not making this up.

The Altoona Mirror has confirmed that the song will not be on the playlist for the games despite the fact that many sports teams (most notably the Boston Red Sox) have no problem with the song and that the song was written about Caroline Kennedy and not some sordid activity.

Officially, Gregory J. Myford, associate administrator of business relations and communications at the school, said "Although the lyrics were brought up and discussed, to say the song was 'banned' because of the lyrics would not be accurate. We hear from fans each year on whether or not we should continue it, given that it happens to be played in so many other professional and collegiate venues and has no real organization here at Penn State."

Rolling Stones in Paris Recording Studio

As they approach their 50th anniversary, it appears the Rolling Stones may be starting to record some new material.

The group was photographed at a studio in the city on August 21 followed, on the 23rd, by a Tweet from Mick Jagger saying "Had fun in the Paris studio this week!" along with this photo:
There has been speculation all year about how the Stones would be celebrating their gold anniversary with leaks about tours and rehearsals followed by quick retractions. Last week they asked fans to download an app to their phone and point it at the screen on their home page. All that happened (so far) was that the song Start Me Up started playing.

Australia Not Impressed With Madonna Apology

Madonna is kidding, right? One month after cancelling her Australian tour, Madonna has put what sounds like a completely insincere apology to her Australian fans on her website.

Madonna has only ever-stepped foot on Australian soil once, back in 1993 for The Girlie Tour. None of her world tours either before or after The Girlie Tour have included Australia.

Despite being on the road for seven months, Madonna is using her children as the reason she has cancelled the week or two an Australian tour would have needed.

Unlike other artists, like her “pal” Sir Elton John, Madonna seems incapable of touring with her children. In her apology in one breath she says she needs to cut short her tour to get back to her children then in the next breath says how her daughter is almost 16 and will be leaving home soon.

For what its worth, this is Madonna’s apology to Australia.
So I just want to say to all of my Australian fans that I am really and truly sorry to have disappointed you and it is something I don’t feel really good about.

I was going to write a letter to everybody but thought it would be better if I just filmed myself and you could hear it from me personally say how sorry I am that I am not going to come to Australia for the tour.

I know the last time I was on tour I missed Australia as well and I can promise you in my heart of hearts that it was my intention to come again. But, like the last time my children are my first priority.

I have two scales that I have to weigh in front of me. my job as a singer and entertainer and my job as a mother. Because my children are older I can’t take them on the road with me everywhere. At the end of the year I feel I would be an irresponsible parent if I didn’t stop my tour and spend time with them. My daughter is going to be leaving home soon. She is almost 16-years old.

It was a really hard decision for me to make and I feel really bad because I don’t take your support and your love for me for granted. I know a lot of you are angry with me, upset with me, disappointed. I did everything I could.

I thought long and hard about it and I thought the best thing to do would be to end my seven months on the road at the end of the year and not continue on with my tour to spend more time with my children who need me.

So please forgive me and do know that when I do come to Australia I will have made the wait worth your while. I will put on the greatest show on earth. I haven’t forgotten about you. I hope that you can understand and forgive me and I want to say I love all of you in Australia and I hope to get there very soon.
Why did this take so long to put out? Why didn’t she do it at the time the Australian tour was cancelled? This sounds completely like a manufactured statement to cover up the backlash after cancelling the tour.

Madonna, you would have been better off saying nothing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

AC/DC's Brian Johnson to Host Six-Week BBC Series

Johnson's Book of the
Same Name
Brian Johnson, lead singer for AC/DC, will host his own radio program on BBC Radio 2.

Over a span of six weeks, Johnson will discuss and play the music that influenced him and throw in anecdotes about his life and time with AC/DC. From the BBC site:
Lead singer of AC/DC and self-confessed car fanatic, Brian Johnson shares the songs and artists that have provided the soundtrack to his life. For six weeks on Radio 2.

Drawing from 32 years as the frontman of one of the world's biggest ever rock bands, Brian shares stories of rock 'n' roll loves, laughs and losses, plus anecdotes and pearls of wisdom from a lifetime of tour bus mischief and a devotion to rockin' all night long.

Listeners can expect massive hits from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Joe Walsh and ZZ Top, as well as rare gems from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Nashville Teens and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

The show is unmissable for AC/DC fans and an appointment to listen for anyone who loves classic rock, presented by a hugely passionate rock star.
Johnson told Britain's Sunday Sun that it wasn't easy putting the show together. "Everyone thinks doing radio is just sitting down, you put a mic in front of you and just waffle, but it’s not that easy. I sat in this studio with a big black mic in front of us and not an idea. Thankfully Ben Jones and Dan Cocker helped me out. I have to thank those two."

Brian Johnson's Rockers and Rollers starts on Thursday on BBC Radio 2. The stream of the station is available at the BBC site or through various apps.

Nominations For the Classic Rock Roll of Honor 2012

Britain's Classic Rock Magazine have announced their nominees for the Classic Rock Roll of Honor 2012. This is the eighth year for the awards.

ZZ Top has already been announced as this year's Living Legend. A host of other magazine selected awards are also given the night of the presentation, which will be Tuesday, November 13 at the Roadhouse in Camden, London.

Readers can vote in six of the categories. Those who would like to vote can go to the Classic Rock site.

Album of the Year
  • Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Alice Cooper
  • Wrecking Ball - Bruce Springsteen
  • The Roman Wilds - Howlin Rain
  • Driving Towards the Daylight - Joe Bonamassa
  • All I Was - Tremonti
  • The Hunter - Mastodon
  • Heritage - Opeth
  • Clockwork Angels - Rush
  • Apocalyptic Love - Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy
  • Siren's Song - The Union
  • Seven Deadly - UFO
  • A Different Kind of Truth - Van Halen
Reissue of the Year
  • Strange Euphoria - Heart
  • Smokestack Lighting: The Complete Chess Masters 1951 - 1960 - Howlin' Wolf
  • Aqualung: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - Jethro Tull
  • Single Cuts - Judas Priest
  • Abattoir Blues / Lyre of Orpheus - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
  • Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake - Faces
  • Quadrophenia: Super Deluxe Edition - Who
  • Box O Snakes - Whitesnake
Film/DVD of the Year
  • George Harrison: Living in the Material World
  • Mission Lars
  • The Ballad of Mott the Hoople
  • The Making of Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
  • Rock of Ages
  • Some Girls Live in Texas 1978 - Rolling Stones
  • Searching For Sugarman
Band of the Year
  • Black Sabbath
  • Guns N' Roses
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Rush
  • ZZ Top
New Band
  • Ancient VVisdom
  • Casablanca
  • Chris Robinson Brotherhood
  • Cory Brenan
  • Ghost
  • Monster Truck
  • Phantom Limb
  • Tedeschi-Trucks Band
  • The Civil Wars
  • Tracer
Event of the Year
  • Aerosmith Kiss and Make Up
  • Black Sabbath Reunite
  • Boss, Macca Get Silenced
  • Download 2012
  • Ginger Raises 250,000 Pounds
  • Lou Reed/Metallica
  • Queen/Adam Lambert
  • Classic Quo is Back
Living Legend
  • ZZ Top

Duran Duran Cancels New Jersey Show After Nick Rhodes Falls Ill

Duran Duran has been forced to cancel their Atlantic City, NJ show because keyboard player Nick Rhodes is ill.

The group was scheduled to play Saturday night (August 25) at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City. Rhodes had been ill for a number of days and under doctor’s orders has been told to pull out of the gig.

The Duran Duran keyboard player has been suffering from exhaustion.

In a statement Nick said, “I have struggled through the last few nights, hoping that I could simply work through this, but today I felt so unwell I had to see a doctor. We absolutely hate to disappoint our incredibly loyal fans and cancel a show at the last minute, but unfortunately the doctor has strongly recommended that this is what we do on this occasion – so it is with enormous regret that we are unable to perform in Atlantic City tonight.”

Duran Duran are hoping to reschedule the show in the next few days and ask fans to hang on to their tickets until an announcement is made.

Preview: Live in Texas '75 - The Who

Artist: Who
Title: Live in Texas '75
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Format(s): DVD

The last tour that all four original members of the Who played was in support of the album The Who By Numbers, which ran from late 1975 well into 1976. Early in that tour, on November 20, 1975, the group played in Houston, Texas. That show is captured on the new release Live in Texas '75, out on October 9 from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The 25 song 117-minute show spans the group's (at that time) ten year history with early songs like My Generation and Boris the Spider, through a ten-song set from Tommy and songs like Squeeze Box and Dreaming From the Waist from their latest album.

Restoration of the footage and sound was done by longtime Who contributor Jon Astley.

Track List:
  • Substitute
  • I Can’t Explain
  • Squeeze Box
  • Baba O’Riley
  • Boris The Spider
  • Drowned
  • However Much I Booze
  • Dreaming From The Waist
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Amazing Journey
  • Sparks
  • Acid Queen
  • Fiddle About
  • Pinball Wizard
  • I’m Free
  • Tommy’s Holiday Camp
  • We’re Not Going To Take It / See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You
  • Summertime Blues
  • My Generation
  • Join Together
  • Naked Eye
  • Roadrunner
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again
  • Magic Bus
  • My Generation Blues