Thursday, July 31, 2014
Dick Wagner, the guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith, among others, died Wednesday (July 30, 2014) at the age of 71.
In his lifetime, Wagner played guitar with a number of notable names in pop and rock, including Rod Stewart, Hall and Oates and Meatloaf, among others. He also made a name for himself as a songwriter for his mid-Seventies work with Cooper.
Wagner was born in Iowa but grew up in the Detroit area and, as a self-taught guitarist, was asked to back Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on one-off gigs. By the later part of the decade, he came to prominence as the frontman for the rock group the Frost and, after moving to New York City in the early Seventies, as a member of Ursa Major.
The latter group, whose original group featured keyboardist Billy Joel, recorded with Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, who recognized Wagner's talent and brought him in to play additional guitar on a few albums.
The Ezrin connection would pave the way for Wagner's biggest gigs. His playing was featured on some of Lou Reed's greatest recordings.
Wagner's final album was 2009's Full Meltdown. MORE HERE & HERE
Mindrocker: The Complete Series Vol. 1-13 Anthology of 60 US Punk Garage Psych
Jenny Lewis' new LP The Voyager is out now and as an added bonus, she's created a new wine that'll presumably pair well with the record. It's called—you guessed it—The Voyager Wine.
It's reportedly a blend of carignan, valdiguie and petit sirah from Solano County, California, costs $29.99, and comes with a download code for the album.
It's available for a limited time via Domaine LA and at the Los Angeles restaurants Night + Market and Night + Market Song (which are reportedly two of Lewis' favorite spots). source
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
HERE & HERE
As Beck continues his lap around the country in support of his February (2014) album Morning Phase, he's shared a startlingly surreal track for one of that LP's standouts "Heart Is a Drum" (above).
Monday night (July 28, 2014), the singer-songwriter made his way to The Colbert Report for a mellow performance of that same track, as well as another cut from the new Beck Song Reader album and an endearing chat with Stephen Colbert himself. source
Prepare to enter a world of pure imagination this October (2014), as veteran thrash-funk eccentrics Primus release their eighth studio album, a wall to wall tribute to the 1971 musical Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
The clanging, ill-angled LP, titled Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, will be released on October 21, 2014.
It will be the first album-length release from the classic, multi-platinum lineup — leader Les Claypool, guitarist Larry Lalonde and drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander — since 1995. MORE HERE
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Two members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot are suing the Russian government in the European court of human rights (ECHR) over their imprisonment for a 2012 protest performance at a Moscow cathedral.
Maria Alyokhina (above left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (above right), who were given an amnesty in December (2013) after serving 21 months in prison and pre-trial confinement, are demanding €120,000 each in compensation, plus €10,000 in court fees. They argue that the investigation and prosecution violated their rights and amounted to torture. MORE HERE & HERE
Paul McCartney has announced new deluxe reissues of two Wings albums, Venus And Mars and Wings At The Speed Of Sound.
Originally released in 1975 and 1976 respectively, the remastered albums are the latest additions to The Paul McCartney Archive Collection and will be available in several formats including a 2CD standard edition, a 3-disc (2CD/1DVD) deluxe edition (featuring a book of unpublished photos and new interviews), gatefold vinyl and via digital download. Each edition will include bonus demos and unreleased tracks.
The reissues Venus And Mars and Wings At The Speed Of Soundwill be released September 23, 2014. MORE HERE & HERE
Jail Guitar Doors) has successfully seen prisoners in British jails allowed to use steel stringed guitars.
Musicians including Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Philip Selway, Elbow's Guy Garvey, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour and Johnny Marr also supported the campaign to overturn the ban on steel-strung guitars in British prisons. source
Monday, July 28, 2014
We get our first dispatch from the love-sick Oscar nominee as she unveils a delicate, lo-fi ballad called “Rapt” (above).
Crush Songs is due out September 9, 2014 via Julian Casablancas’ own Cult Records. The album will first be released as a limited-edition vinyl incorporating Karen’s own personal drawings and handwritten lyrics. It will then be available digitally, on CD, and as a single vinyl release. Pre-order HERE. source
Unlocking the Truth, the teenage Brooklyn band who signed a $1.7 million contract with Sony Music, including a $60,000 advance on a two-album deal with an option for four more records, will be the subjects of a feature documentary. MORE HERE
The band also plans to release a book next year (2015). MORE HERE
The Brooklyn trio – consisting of 13-year-olds Malcolm Brickhouse, Alec Atkins and 12-year-old Jarad Dawkins – rocketed to fame after YouTube videos of busking performances went viral.
Right now, there's a Kickstarter going on to help launch a new, free online high school for girls. School of Doodle is a "peer-to-peer, self-directed learning lab dedicated to activating girls’ imaginations through entertainment, education and community," and several incredible artists have signed on to teach courses and contribute rewards for contributors.
Kim Gordon, Chan Marshall, J.D. Samson of Le Tigre/MEN, Marina Abramović, John Baldessari, and others will be teachers at the School of Doodle, offering live video lectures on various subjects. Others have made original artwork (doodles) for anyone who contributes $50 or more, including Courtney Love, Yoko Ono, Pussy Riot, Jenny Holzer, Sia, Sarah Silverman, Natasha Lyonne, and Arianna Huffington. source
Sunday, July 27, 2014
On Tuesday July 29, 2014, Eric Clapton & Friends will release the album “The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale).” With performances by Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Derek Trucks and Don White, the album features 16 beloved Cale songs and is named for the 1972 single “Call Me The Breeze” (Clapton's new version above).
The full documentary for “The Breeze – An Appreciation of JJ Cale by Eric Clapton” is airing this weekend and leading up to the album release on VH1 Classic and Palladia. This behind-the-scenes look at Clapton’s tribute to JJ Cale features interviews with Clapton, Mayer, Knopfler, Trucks, White, Christine Lakeland and more. MORE HERE, HERE & HERE
I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss, is set to be released August 12, 2014, the first track is "Take Me To Church" (above).
Over the course of a career getting on for three decades, O'Connor, 47, has been called many things: a maverick, an attention-seeker, a crazy person… . But, as she begins an interview to promote her new album, there's one thing she's adamant she doesn't want to be labelled as; a feminist, she says. MORE HERE
Don Lanier, musician, songwriter and Nashville A&R man, died on Wednesday July 23, 2014 at the age of 78.
Born and raised in Texas, one of his earliest music associations was with Jimmy Bowen with whom he started the Rhythm Orchids. The band was called in to back up new singer Buddy Knox in the studio where he recorded his biggest hit, Party Doll. While Knox and Bowen wrote the big hit, Lanier contributed to others in Buddy's catalog including I'm Stickin' With You, Hula Love and Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep.
In 1964, Lanier followed Bowen to Los Angeles where he started to do arrangements for his friend, eventually becoming an in-demand studio guitarist and arranger. As a songwriter, his Here We Go Again became a hit for Ray Charles in 1967 and he wrote additional songs for artists such as Dean Martin, the Everly Brothers and Hank Snow. BMI, with which he was affiliated, credits him with 42 recorded compositions.
As an A&R man for MCA, Don found major hits for Reba McEntire, George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless and others.
Lanier was also a recording artist, cutting songs for Roulette, Dot, Gee and Apt record labels; including a killer version of Johnny Guitar Watson's classic Gangster of Love (above) as Donnie La Near. Released in 1962. source
Saturday, July 26, 2014
A diverse roster of big names in the arts, literature and entertainment – including Linda Ronstadt (above), dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, author Maxine Hong Kingston, Broadway composer John Kander and L.A.-nurtured visual artist James Turrell -- will receive the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
The winners of the award, the nation’s top honor in the arts, were announced Tuesday (July 22, 2014) along with generally less-famous winners of the National Humanities Medal, which recognizes career achievement in scholarship, cultural commentary, filmmaking and historic preservation.
President Barack Obama will present the National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals on Monday, July 28, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. ET, in an East Room ceremony at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama will attend. The event will be live streamed at WH.gov/Live. MORE HERE
Although its unclear what Ozzy Osbourne‘s next move will be concerning new music, the iconic rocker’s solo catalog will be the basis of a new career-spanning CD and DVD release.
‘Memoirs Of A Madman’ is set to arrive in both CD and DVD form on October 7, 2014, revisiting both Ozzy’s audio and video history. The audio disc features 17 of Osbourne’s greatest hit singles and it will be released in single-CD, two-LP and two-LP picture disc formats. source
Lily Allen's video for "As Long As I Got You" (above), from her latest album Sheezus, has the British pop star embracing her love of Glastonbury and boy, does it get adorably sentimental.
The video starts with Allen sharing a baby photo of herself at Glastonbury in 1986 alongside her cool dad. She goes on to talk about how she's played the fest, that she met her husband there, and this year (2014), she gets to take her children to the UK's major festival destination, bringing it all full-circle. source