Sunday, March 31, 2013
British chanteuse Charlotte Church’s first U.S. album in a decade is actually 10 tunes from the first two of five United Kingdom EPs she’s putting together, her first as an independent artist after departing from Sony in 2006 and threatening to chuck the whole dang music business.
Regardless, it’s a good thing she stuck it out. Though a teensy bit pretentious and overblown, the album showcases one of the best voices to come down the pike. There are Lou Reed elements in the depressing "Nerve" (above), but overall it’s a solid effort that heightens anticipation of the other three EPs. MORE HERE & HERE
Music.com interview HERE
As pop stars go, they are pretty much as inoffensive as you can get, a bunch of German pensioners who practically invented electronica with their hypnotic loops and robotic antics.
But Kraftwerk have apparently fallen foul of the Chinese authorities, not for their lyrics or their dissolute ways (the most you could ever accuse them of is eccentricity) but for something they did more than 10 years ago. A case of the past catching up with the futurists.
According to reports in Beijing, the ministry of culture denied the German quartet a visa because they were scheduled to perform at a pro-Tibetan independence concert in 1999. In fact, Kraftwerk’s performance at the Washington DC fundraiser was ultimately cancelled because of a lightning storm.
The Beijing-based record label Modern Sky originally invited the German group to headline its three-day Strawberry music festival in late April (2013) before China’s ministry of culture denied their application. MORE HERE
Earlier this week, the Rolling Stones confirmed that they would headline Saturday night of this year’s Glastonbury festival in the United Kingdom. Now the band is taking to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to prepare stateside fans for a big announcement on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. MORE HERE
The Rolling Stones will reign supreme until there is a new counterculture official website article HERE
Kiss frontman Gene Simmons made a surprise appearance at a Sioux Falls benefit concert Saturday, at which he spoke of music’s power to positively shape children’s lives.
Mr. Simmons’ appearance came on the final day of a week of concerts to benefit the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy for Sioux Falls Boys & Girls Clubs members.
“This is about kids. We’ve had our chance. We’ve got to give them a chance. Anything that gets them off the street is a good thing,” Mr. Simmons said.
Music, Mr. Simmons said, is self-empowering. MORE HERE
Phil Ramone, the instinctive music producer whose mixing mastery for Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Paul Simon and Billy Joel helped fashion some of the most sumptuous and top-selling albums of his era, has died. He was 72.
The 14-time Grammy winner and 33-time nominee once dubbed “The Pope of Pop” was hospitalized in late February (2013) with an aortic aneurysm died Saturday morning March 30, 2013.
A native of South Africa who at age 10 performed as a violinist for Queen Elizabeth II, Ramone spent years working as a songwriter, engineer and acoustics expert in New York before charting a path that would make him a trusted studio partner in the eyes (and ears) of the industry’s biggest stars. MORE HERE
NPR piece HERE
Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Breeders are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their Platinum-selling album Last Splash with a limited edition, seven-disc vinyl box set, now available for pre-order at 4AD Records. Release date is April 23, 2013.
The reunited Breeders are currently on tour to support the anniversary and release. Last night, Friday March 29, 2013 they performed at The Bell House the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Kiss Hello Kitty (working title) is now in development with the Hub Network, and it's based on this line of Kiss x Hello Kitty products, which made its debut in 2010. The show will feature four Kiss x Hello Kitty characters living their rock 'n' roll dreams and bringing pink anarchy to every situation they are in.Kiss' Gene Simmons is slated to be one of the executive producers, and the band sounds pretty pumped about the project.
Hear the exclusive World Premiere of "Let's Face The Music And Dance" from Willie Nelson & Family.
The new album will be released on Legacy Recordings on April 16, 2013 but SiriusXM Willie's Roadhouse listeners get to hear it first, along with comments from Willie himself, on Monday 4/1/2013 5 pm ET; Wednesday 4/3/2013 12 am & 12 pm ET; Saturday 4/6/2013 2 & 7 pm ET and Sunday 4/7/2013 8 am & 8 pm ET.
For more info visit www.willienelson.com
After the punk-folk singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked made remarks critical of homosexuality and same-sex marriage while performing in San Francisco two weekends ago, clubs around the country responded by canceling bookings they had made with her. But that hasn’t stopped her: Thursday night she turned up outside one such club with her face covered and her mouth taped shut to protest the way she is being treated. MORE HERE & HERE
Video HERE & HERE
In Revisionist Art, Bob Dylan offers silkscreened covers of popular magazines from the last half century that somehow escaped history’s notice.
As Luc Sante says in his introduction to this collection, they seem to emanate, “from a world just slightly removed from ours--a world a bit more honest about its corruption, its chronic horniness, its sweat, its body odor.”
Art critic B. Clavery provides a history of Revisionist Art, from cave drawings, to Gutenberg, to Duchamp, Picasso, and Warhol.
The book also features vivid commentaries on the work, (re)acquainting the reader with such colorful historical figures as the Depression-era politician Cameron Chambers, whose mustache became an icon in the gay underworld, and Gemma Burton, a San Francisco trial attorney who used all of her assets in the courtroom. According to these works, history is not quite what we think it is.
The book follows an art exhibit held at the Gagosian Gallery Madison Avenue New York November 28, 2012 to January 12, 2013. MORE HERE.
Paul Williams, the writer and editor who helped create what we now know as rock journalism with Crawdaddy!, a magazine he founded in 1966, died last night Friday March 29, 2013 at the age of 64 from complications related to a 1995 bike accident.
Williams began publishing Crawdaddy! at the age of 17, following his earlier work publishing science fiction fanzines. MORE HERE & HERE
John Lee Curtis "Sonny Boy" Williamson (March 30, 1914 – June 1, 1948) was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Sennheiser has posted a short film about the making of David Bowie Is online.
The film features contributions from the curators of the exhibition, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, along with some fascinating insights into the creation of the exhibition from some of those involved with creating the unique sound and vision for David Bowie Is.
Paul McCartney & Wings' vintage concert film “Rockshow” will be showing in theaters around the world starting May, 19, 2013 ahead of a yet-to-be announced DVD release.
Al Sussman of Beatlefan magazine told says he's learned that the film will be released on DVD separately from the much-anticipated “Wings Over America” reissue that is coming.
There's been no release date announced for the “Rockshow” DVD as of yet. MORE HERE
official website (w/screening dates) HERE
Full concert on YouTube
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recently assembled a panel of its producers and hosts to compose a list of its country’s 25 greatest singers ever, selecting k.d. lang for the top spot.
It's a very eclectic list with the top four, all veteran artists, containing country-pop singer lang, opera singer Maureen Forester, Guess Who rocker Burton Cummings and folk singer Joni Mitchell.
Missing from the list are two Canadian singers who may not be considered "great" but are certainly distinctive, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. MORE HERE
The full list is HERE
The 40th anniversary of the historic one-hour satellite broadcast of Elvis Presley from the Honolulu International Center Arena in January 1973, viewed by over 1.5 billion people worldwide, is now commemorated with the release of ALOHA FROM HAWAII VIA SATELLITE: LEGACY EDITION.
This deluxe double-CD package became available everywhere March 19, 2013, through RCA/Legacy. MORE HERE
Great article by Harvey Kubernik at Record Collector News HERE
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of the eagerly awaited new studio album by legendary TODD RUNDGREN "State” including a deluxe digipack 2 disc limited edition cd. US release date is April 9, 2013. GO HERE
Pollstar interview HERE
Rundgren Radio HERE
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Willie Nelson loves love. "Love is what I live on. Love is what keeps me going," he wrote in his 2006 book The Tao Of Willie. And Wednesday night, in an interview in Austin on his tour bus, Willie said he believes love doesn't discriminate, "and it shouldn't be discriminated against."
Nelson has been watching the Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. "[Gay people] should be just as miserable as the rest of us," quipped Nelson, before giving a more nuanced explanation of what he says has been a life-long, unwavering belief that all people deserve equal protection under the law. MORE HERE
James McCartney was surrounded by rock royalty at the Ambassadors theatre in London on Wednesday (March 27, 2013) when his famous father Paul and Ronnie Wood joined him on stage. MORE HERE & HERE
One of the world's most prestigious music festivals, the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival, has been sold out for quite some time, but finally has an official 2013 lineup.
Confirming previous rumors, the Rolling Stones will be on hand for a rare festival presence, although they've oddly received second billing to the Arctic Monkeys on the Pyramid Stage on the official lineup poster. MORE HERE
Brian Wilson has confirmed live shows in the States with Al Jardine and David Marks after the trio were dumped out of The Beach Boys reunion by Mike Love.
Wilson said he ‘couldn’t understand’ Love’s decision to axe him from the band after his return in early 2012 coincided with a new studio album and tour as the Beach Boys celebrated their 50th anniversary. MORE HERE & HERE
Greek Theater Los Angeles Show Added (October 20, 2013) GO HERE
Those lucky enough to have queued up early at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago Tuesday March 26, 2013 were treated to something memorable and exhilarating.
As the final offering on the MCA's artistically fertile Face the Strange series, Kim Gordon drew an impressive loop of freezing, wind-slapped fans around the museum.
With Sonic Youth's schedule indefinitely blank after Gordon's split with bandmate Thurston Moore, devotees were eager to get their hands on one of the very limited, very $0.00 tickets and see what new paths this sonic vanguard is embarking upon. MORE HERE
Gordon Stoker, the lead tenor in the Jordanaires vocal group that backed Elvis Presley, died Wednesday March 27, 2013. He was 88.
Stoker joined the Jordanaires in 1950, two years after they formed in Missouri. He originally played piano for the group. They caught the attention of Presley in the mid-1950s when they performed with Eddy Arnold at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
When Presley burst onto the national scene in 1956 on Steve Allen's TV show, Stoker and the Jordanaires were with him. They also sang on the original New York RCA studios recordings of "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel" and other hits. MORE HERE
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have unveiled the video for their new single 'Sacrilege.'
The track, which features a gospel choir, will be the first single from new album 'Mosquito', which is set for release on April 15, 2013.
Well, this is disappointing: Shortly after announcing his most extensive series of American concert dates in years, Lou Reed has reportedly had a change of heart.
All of the shows on Reed’s docket — including his scheduled appearances at Coachella on April 12 and 19, 2013 which were supposed to serve as a sort of bookend for dates in San Francisco, Monterey, and Los Angeles — have been canceled due to what one promoter is referring to as “unavoidable complications.” MORE HERE
While it's early for big new releases by artists like Bon Jovi, David Bowie and Dave Grohl to make the golden 500,000 sales level, a number of older releases have now sold enough to receive certifications.
Gold Albums have been awarded to three veteran artists over the last two months. The oldest release is Tom Waits' 1990 album Rain Dogs while the 1991 compilation, The Best of Ricky Nelson finally passes 500,000 in sales. Slightly newer is the 2003 compilation The Very Best of the Grateful Dead.
March 27, 1957 : Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera) from the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
This tale of an all-girl vocal group that comes out of the Australian outback and ends up making a name for itself entertaining American troops in Vietnam is so thoroughly appealing and utterly charming any flaws just fade away. MORE HERE
The film was released March 22, 2013 in the US.
Motion Picture Soundtrack available HERE
On first listen, the Pistol Annies’ new single “Hush Hush” immediately stands out as being their hardest rocking release to date. It sounds more like something one might expect to hear on one of Miranda Lambert’s solo albums than the Annies’ traditional-leaning debut. It seems the Annies are getting a harder radio push this time around – definitely a good thing since country radio has been largely in want of a good girl group for the past ten years.
Pistol Annies' new album "Annie Up" coming out May 7, 2013.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Happy birthday wishes go out to Diana Ross, who today turns 69 today (March 26, 2013).
We also mention that Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards who co-wrote "Love Child" (above) for Diana Ross & The Supremes, has died. He was 68.
Thirty years ago last night (March 25, 2013), the world first saw Michael Jackson moonwalk. The big moment came during the end of his performance of "Billie Jean" at the Motown 25th Anniversary special, taped at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and broadcast on NBC about six weeks later. MORE HERE
We admit it ...we were just as mesmerized as everyone else.
Some people are so talented it makes you want to spend the whole day watching The YouTube. Take Luna Lee, for example, whose cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” on a Korean string instrument called a gayageum is so fresh and inspired you’ll want to watch this over and over.
This is what viral video is all about!
See more of this extraordinary talent HERE
One album, sixteen special guests, two brand new songs and one songwriter: John Fogerty.
On his new album Wrote A Song For Everyone (March 28, 2013 release date), Fogerty produces a masterpiece, drawing from his classic songbook of hits and collaborating with some of the biggest superstars in popular music. Alongside these stellar collaborations, Fogerty has also penned two brand new original songs for the album. 14 songs, 16 special guests, one songwriter, and one amazing album. MORE HERE
Lukas Nelson had a surprise in store for fans attending his set Tuesday night March 12, 2013 in Austin.
Nelson and his band, Promise of the Real, performed before a sold-old crowd at Arlyn Studios, a 7,000-square-foot facility that occupies a part of the Austin Opera House downtown.
Midway through his set, Lukas invited his dad, 79-year-old Willie Nelson, to join him on stage. MORE HERE
Entire set video direct link HERE
While most of the album reflects a very young and developing Brian Wilson, it also represents a gritty garage band sound.
Mike Love and David Marks were there. The two founding members took the time to answer a quick q&a about this memorable album and single HERE
Monday, March 25, 2013
David Bowie will release the vinyl version of his huge album, The Next Day, on April 1, 2013 and will include three additional tracks bringing the total to 17.
In a change from the standard industry practice, the vinyl version of the album will also come with a new version of the CD with the tracks.
Guy Clark (above) and the late Hank Williams will receive the Poet's Award for their outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions to country music.
The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, which go to individuals who are pioneers in country music, will go to the Judds and the late Keith Whitley. MORE HERE & HERE
The artists assembled for a new John Denver tribute record, The Music Is You, likely fall into the latter category.
The album, out April 2, 2013 showcases some of Denver's most beloved songs, as performed by a cross-genre, cross-generational and impressive mix of musicians — many of whom were in elementary school in the '70s and '80s, when Denver was singing on The Muppet Show and appearing in kid-friendly TV specials.
NPR offers a first listen HERE
It has been 21 years since Michael Nesmith has done a full solo tour of the U.S. He has done dates here and there and participated in last year's Monkees tour, but this is a rare trek from a man whose brilliance is often overshadowed by his 60's TV legacy. MORE HERE
LA Times interview HERE
The 350 deluxe copies of Six String Stories by Eric Clapton completely sold out last year.
Deluxe copies of Six-String Stories by Eric Clapton are now available for pre-order from Genesis Publications. The collector edition which will be limited to 1650 signed and numbered copies.
Six String Stories is the story of Clapton's entire career told through his guitars, own words, archival photographs and a 50-year gig-ography.
Hand bound in leather with gold and silver blocking, housed in a silk-screened buckram slipcase.
Eddie Bond, a rockabilly singer and radio host who once told a teenage Elvis Presley that he would be better off driving a truck than trying to make it in music, died on Wednesday March 20, 2013 at his home in Bolivar, Tennessee He was 79.
Eddie James Bond was born on July 1, 1933, in Memphis. He was playing in bands by the time he was 16; after serving in the Navy, he continued making and recording music in Memphis. He also hosted radio programs, promoted concerts and owned nightclubs. MORE HERE
Brazil has lost one of its most beautiful and romantic voices. Early on Wednesday morning March 20, 2013, Emílio Santiago died at age 66.
Santiago began his famed musical career in the 1970s. In a career spanning over four decades, Emilio Santiago produced 30 albums, 4 DVDs and many memorable songs.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Garbage headlined a sold-out show at Terminal 5 in New York on March 22, 2013. With its first new album in eight years -- “Not Your Kind of People,” which dropped last year -- Garbage returned to New York to an adoring audience, mixing new songs and old favorites.
Much as they did in New Jersey two nights earlier, Garbage performed its cover of “Because the Night” with the help of Screaming Females lead singer Marissa Paternoster (above).
More Video HERE
The song is the title track off their forthcoming new album, which is due out in the U.S. on June 18, 2013. MORE HERE
Last year, the soul legend Bobby Womack hooked up with producers Damon Albarn and Richard Russell to release The Bravest Man In The Universe, an album that made him sound like a weathered human husk.
The album has a new extended edition, and one of its previously unreleased tracks is "It’s Been A Long Night". The song now has a video (above) that’s made up entirely of footage of Womack working in the studio.
A blue plaque has been unveiled in London to Beatles legends John Lennon and George Harrison.
The commemoration was at 94 Baker Street, London which was the site of the now dissolved Apple Boutique clothing store.
It was owned in the 60s by Apple Corps Ltd, a company formed by the band.
A blue plaque to Lennon was already there and has been replaced with one that also remembers Harrison, who died in 2001.
The plaque was unveiled by Rod Davis, the banjo player in Lennon's first band, The Quarrymen. It was formed in 1956 and would eventually morph into The Beatles.
The event had been organized by The Heritage Foundation.
A plot to rob and murder singer Joss Stone was uncovered recently and a trial has begun.
Two men, 35 and 32 years of age, were reportedly plotting to rob and decapitate the singer due to her "royal connections", but they were arrested near the singer's home before they could do so. They were allegedly found with a Samurai sword, rope and a body bag. MORE HERE, HERE & HERE
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Among the legions of Music City denizens who drifted down to SXSW last week (March 8th thru 17th, 2013) were Luella and the Sun, an all-star crew of Nashvillians that makes a truly singular gospel-blues-R&B-rock amalgam.
"Nashville's Luella and the Sun approach the blues and gospel-soul as if these traditions were the food of the gods and they haven't eaten for a week," writes NPR's Ann Powers.
A painstakingly detailed breakdown of the instrumentation of Beatles songs, with the parts played by John, Paul, George, and Ringo all broken out in color-coordinated lines. Volume I covers all original compositions from their very first releases through "Help!" in 1965, showing the group's progression from simple, catchy singles to complex arrangements like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."
Dozens of fans, media and legislative staffers gathered on the south steps of the Texas Captiol on March 18, 2013 for a ceremony to honor the contributions of country music legend Merle Haggard.
State Rep. Doug Miller authored House Resolution 634, highlighting the singer's long history.
Haggard and his Strangers created a sound that thousands of bands—including Miller's own—have tried to emulate, Miller said. MORE HERE & HERE
This April (2013) Willie Nelson turns 80 years old, a milestone which has not slowed down the American icon in the slightest.
Following up to his 2012 success Heroes, Willie Nelson returns,along with his 'Family', to deliver another beautiful new album of songs that are near and dear to his heart; Let's Face the Music and Dance is set to be released on April 16, 2013.
Like the man himself, this stunning collection is not easily defined by genre or style. The songs include American standards and country classics, Irving Berlin and Carl Perkins, Django Reinhart as well as Willie-penned originals.
The video premiere of the single I Wish I Didn't Love You So (written by Frank Loesser) is above.
Friday, March 22, 2013
EMI is repackaging the existing versions of the Low (1977), “Heroes” (1977), Stage (1978) and Lodger (1979) CDs together in a cardboard slipcase, under the box set name of DAVID BOWIE – ZEIT! 77-79.
The three studio albums here were released between 1977 and 1979 and are generally referred to as the somewhat misleading Berlin Trilogy.
A more unifying theme throughout the three recordings is the presence of Mr Bowie, Mr Eno and Mr Visconti.
On March 22 1963 The Beatles' released Please Please Me, their first studio album. The release was recorded quickly to capitalise on the success of the single Please Please Me, which had come out two months earlier, and went to number two.
Please Please Me changed the face of modern music, and cemented The Beatles as a phenomenon. At a time when the UK album charts were dominated by film soundtracks and easy listening vocalists, this pop record stayed at number one for 30 weeks in 1963, only to be replaced by the band's second album, With the Beatles. MORE HERE
Next month (April 2013), Prince will embark on an intimate seven-city West Coast club tour. He’ll play four shows in each city, including two each night, making for a total of 28 scheduled performances. The news was revealed last night by Prince’s backing band, 3rd Eye Girl, on a podcast hosted by Prince fan site Drfunkenberry.com. Ticket info will reportedly be announced next week.
It’s common sense: taking a thing that you used to pay for is not good for the people who created that thing. But when it comes to entertainment piracy, lots of folks—whether motivated by statistical curiosity, forward-thinking vision or a desire to rationalize their own law-breaking—have argued that things aren’t quite so simple.
Now, with the release of a new analysis of 16,000 European music consumers, those on the side of piracy have evidence to back them up.
A few findings of the study — conducted by Luis Aguiar and Bertin Martins using Nielsen “clickstream” data, and released by the European Commission Joint Research Centre — confirmed assummptions: attitudes differed by country, and piracy definitely affects off-line music sales.
But one was startling: illegal music downloads, they discovered, had essentially no effect on the number of legal music downloads. MORE HERE
Not everyone is ready to take these study results at face value. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry released a response on March 20, 2013…and they are not happy.
Art Garfunkel has said a major factor in the break-up of Simon & Garfunkel was the 1970 movie version of Catch-22. In the late 60s, the 71-year-old recalled, both he and Paul Simon were cast in Mike Nichols' adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel. But whereas Garfunkel received fourth billing, Simon's minor role never made the final cut.
Garfunkel was speaking at the Paley Center for Media in New York last Wednesday March 13, 2013, as part of a screening of Charles Grodin’s 1969 Simon & Garfunkel documentary “Songs of America.” Both the singer and Grodin implicated Nichols. MORE HERE
'Songs of America' available HERE
In 2011, Johnny Winter released "Roots," an 11-song collection of blues-rock standards featuring collaborations with Vince Gill, John Popper, Warren Haynes, Sonny Landreth, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and his brother, Edgar Winter, among others.
A follow-up to "Roots" is in the works. Mountain guitarist Leslie West, multi-instrumentalist Dr. John and guitarist Brian Setzer have already laid down tracks for the forthcoming release.
"It's better than the last one," Winter says, "It has a little more meat. We could do this forever." MORE HERE
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Yoko Ono has entered America’s gun control debate by tweeting a provocative image of John Lennon’s bloodstained glasses alongside messages calling for peace.
The photograph of the glasses the Beatle was wearing when he was shot dead on 8 Dec 1980 carries a message reminding people that, since then, more than a million people have been killed by guns in the USA.
She sent the image out four times in quick succession yesterday (Wednesday March 20, 2013), on the 44th anniversary of their marriage. The image was retweeted more than 8,000 times.
The artist and peace activist, 80, exclaimed that guns were turning the country into a warzone. MORE HERE
Pink Floyd's 1973 album, which received the highest number of public nominations for the registry, spent more than 700 weeks on the Billboard albums chart. The library called it a "brilliant, innovative production in service of the music." MORE HERE