Monday, December 24, 2012

Justice Collective's Charity Single Wins Christmas No. 1 Title

The U.K.'s much sought-after Christmas No. 1 crown was won on Sunday (December 23) by the Justice Collective's cover of the Hollies' 1969 hit "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother." Emeli Sandé's "Our Version Of Events," already the bestselling artist album of 2012, climbed back 4-1.

The Justice Collective is an all-star aggregation of artists, mainly but not entirely from Liverpool, gathered by producer Guy Chambers to raise funds for the legal battles still being endured by the families of 96 Liverpool Football Club fans killed in the infamous 1989 tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

The track features contributions from such local heroes as Sir Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden (Gerry & the Pacemakers), Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Melanie Chisholm (Spice Girls), Peter Hooton (The Farm), John Power (Cast) and Rebecca Ferguson plus other notables including Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith, Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze), Mick Jones (Clash, Big Audio Dynamite et al) and Beverley Knight.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Quadrophenia Documentary To Air On BBC America As Who Tour Continues In 2013

One of rock’s most powerful and legendary bands, the Who will be celebrated when The Who: Quadrophenia-Can You See The Real Me? airs Friday, January 4 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) on BBC America.  Originally screened earlier this year as a one-night in-theater event, the documentary takes fans on a riveting ride back to the 1970s when the Who's creative musical genius was taking the world’s music stage by storm.  The Who: Quadrophenia-Can You See the Real Me? gives fans an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into one of rock’s most influential bands and the creation of their celebrated album, Quadrophenia originally released in October 1973.

The Who kicked off their critically acclaimed Quadrophenia And More Tour, in early November. The trek features the Who performing their iconic 1973 double album Quadrophenia in its entirety, along with a selection of Who classics. Founding members Roger Daltrye and Pete Townshend are being joined by Zak Starkey (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), Simon Townshend (guitar/backing vocals), John Corey (keyboards), Loren Gold (keyboards/backing vocals) Reggie Grisham (horns), JG Miller (horns) and Frank Simes (musical director, keyboards/backing vocals) for the tour.

The 2012-2013 AEG Live-promoted Quadrophenia And More Tour features the Who performing on a sleek, stripped-down stage with 10 musicians on board, a sophisticated lighting rig and multiple screens that provide footage of world events from World War II to the present day, concentrating on popular culture and the history of the band, including live footage from throughout their storied career.  The visuals tie in closely to the Quadrophenia album and movie, particularly the themes of disillusionment, teen angst and rebellion, plus social issues--both from the ‘60s and now--as well as the beach and ocean that are pivotal in Quadrophenia.  Tickets for the tour will be available at www.aeglive.com

The Who’s 2013 tour dates are as follows:

Mon - 1/28 - Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
Wed - 1/30 - Los Angeles, CA - STAPLES Center
Fri - 2/1 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
Sat - 2/2 - Reno, NV - Reno Events Center
Tue - 2/5 - San Diego, CA - Valley View Casino Center
Wed - 2/6 - Glendale, AZ - Jobing.com Arena
Fri - 2/8 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sun - 2/10 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tue - 2/12 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
Thu - 2/14 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
Sat - 2/16 - Louisville, KY - KFC Yum! Arena
Sun - 2/17 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
Tue - 2/19 - Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum
Thu - 2/21 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
Fri - 2/22 - Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall
Sun - 2/24 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Wireless Arena
Tue - 2/26 - Providence, RI - Dunkin’ Donuts Center

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ted Nugent Blames Connecticut Tragedy On Political Correctness, Moral Decline

With the issue of gun control more hotly debated than ever following Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, it should be no surprise that Ted Nugent – a board member of the National Rifle Association and staunch Second Amendment supporter – would make his opinion known.
The rocker, outdoorsman and political activist penned an editorial for the Washington Times in which he blamed the massacre that left 20 children dead on political correctness out of control and a decline in moral values.
“The ugly and dangerous truth is that we live in an embarrassing, politically correct culture that exalts and rejoices in the bizarre; aggressively promotes an ‘anything goes’ value system; and vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity,” Nugent wrote.
“We’ve embraced a culture of contempt that attacks the very institutions that make for a healthy and strong society, and then we’re shocked when it spirals out of control. The only thing I’m shocked about is that anybody is shocked.”
Nugent also accused anti-gun proponents of using the mass shooting to further their agenda.
“Some blabbermouths already are using the Connecticut school massacre to promote their anti-gun agenda even though more gun laws won’t prevent a psychotic from getting a gun and killing us,” he wrote.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top Artists Adjust To New World Of YouTube Bootlegs

From Rolling Stone

"Most of the artists have kind of conceded to it," says Josh Grier, attorney for Ryan Adams, Wilco and Fountains of Wayne, all of whom have live shows on YouTube. "Metallica might be inclined to take a stand, but it would be a serious legal expense, and just manpower. I expect that everybody, slowly but surely, is going to accept it – as a recording group, your live material is going to be up there. Or join the club and just see if you can get advertising attached to all of it and get revenue-share for everything."

Until recently, many major artists fiercely opposed the spread of any type of concert footage or audio. Bruce Springsteen famously criticized bootleggers throughout the 70s and 80s. Performers were historically concerned about losing creative control or having to live with gaffes or other spontaneous happenings – like when Paul McCartney fell on his face during a recent performance of "The End" in St. Louis, and footage appeared on YouTube within a week. They also were worried about bootleggers unfairly making money off their work.

But attitudes have changed, in part because the DVD market for live concerts has become less lucrative, with the exception of top-tier stars like Adele. "We tried to put out a Fountains of Wayne special edition recently – they made a lot of videos through the years that didn't get much play," Grier says. "Adam [Schlesinger, the band's co-songwriter] just said, 'They're all on YouTube.' And I looked, and yeah, they were."

As for shaky fan-camera footage, Grier says it's more of a curiosity than a threat to a band's revenue stream when people want to check out, say, Lou Reed performing the Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" with Pete Townshend at a pub in 2007. Still, some acts, including Springsteen, ask ushers to police the audience to ensure nobody brings in cameras or even shoots cell-phone video. It's almost an impossible task. "The idea that someone is shooting with cameras at festivals – that's very, very hard to control," says John Peets, manager of the Black Keys. "It's a new world out there. Our concern is more, if we put this out, we need to make sure it's of a certain level. That's the line we're trying to control, more than slapping down people at a show."

The concert industry's general philosophy in recent years has evolved into "If you can't beat them, join them." Bonnaroo has been live-streaming the sets of top performers since roughly 2003, when its partner was AOL, and while the occasional headliner asks not to participate, most do. "You just can't stop it when everyone has a mobile device," says Jonathan Mayers, co-founder of Superfly Presents, the Manchester, Tennessee, festival's promoter. "If you can't control it, use it as a marketing device – go with it."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rolling Stones End Anniversary Tour With All-Star Blowout In Newark

Mick Jagger has sung the words "This could be the last time" hundreds of times – yet the line had a special resonance tonight. The Rolling Stones’ December 15th show in Newark, New Jersey was the final gig of their 50th anniversary tour, their first live performances in five years. And with no shows scheduled for 2013, many fans had to be wondering if tonight meant it’s all over now.

But whatever the future holds for the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band, they blew it out tonight, rampaging from classic to classic in true Stones fashion – through the past, darkly. The Stones treated this show as a lavish celebration loaded with special guests, from Lady Gaga torching up "Gimme Shelter" to Bruce Springsteen strapping on a guitar for "Tumbling Dice."

Yet all eyes were on Jagger, a cosmic blur of hips and ribs and lips, attacking each song with an unbelievably ruthless rocks-off energy, whether he was shimmying through "Honky Tonk Women" or strumming his guitar for "Dead Flowers," in its first appearance of the tour. (It was a fan selection, as voted via the band’s new smartphone app.) For most of the show, he wiggled in the same skintight outfit he wore on the Stones’ 1969 tour: black drainpipe trousers, clingy long-sleeve T-shirt, Cuban-heel boots. In his case, actually, it might have been the *exact* same outfit – no doubt the old one still fits. (How does this man do it? Zumba? Tantric Pilates? Or just generally getting his ya-ya’s out?)

Keith Richards played heroic amounts of guitar all night, especially in "Gimme Shelter" and "It’s Only Rock & Roll," and though he mostly glowered over his guitar at the back of the stage, he took the mike to rasp through a Mick-free interlude of "Before They Make Me Run" and "Happy." Ron Wood looked gratifyingly hale, dancing around and resuming his mischievous-schoolboy role, while Charlie Watts drummed with his unflappable gravitas.

The brisk pace of the show didn’t leave much room for ballads or idle chit-chat. Mick whisked the guests on and off the stage so fast that at one point he joked that he felt like David Letterman. Lady Gaga did a spectacularly soulful duet on "Gimme Shelter," teetering in a striped jumpsuit and platform heels that could have come straight from the inner sleeve of Tattoo You. The Black Keys sat in for Bo Diddley’s "Who Do You Love," while the Freddie King tribute "Going Down" became a metallic blues jam featuring Gary Clark Jr. and John Mayer, who played extended solos with Wood and Richards.

Jagger told the crowd that some of the Stones’ guests had flown thousands of miles to be there in New Jersey, from exotic locales like Russia, Norway and Saskatoon. Then he added, "Our next guest just had to walk here." And with that, Bruce Springsteen came on for "Tumbling Dice," the undisputed highlight of the night. Springsteen traded verses with Jagger while playing guitar, grinning broadly, busting out his Otis Redding moves as he grunted "You got-ta roll me!" over and over.

For guitar freaks, another highlight had to be the showcase for Mick Taylor, who played with the Stones in the Sticky Fingers/Exile on Main Street years between Brian Jones and Ron Wood. All three guitarists jammed on "Midnight Rambler," as Jagger honked along on harmonica. Even as the Stones stretched the song way past the ten-minute mark, luxuriating in all the sex-and-doom longeurs, there was still a restless twitch in the music. Like the rest of the show, it was a moment that seemed to encapsulate the band’s whole history.

But even on a momentous occasion like this, it wouldn’t be the Rolling Stones’ style to get sentimental. And true to form, they stuck to their hardass sense of menace. Five of the first six songs they played touched explicitly on the theme of death, and the one that didn’t – the show-opening "Get Off Of My Cloud" – was the ultimate Stones ode to flipping off the human race and zoning out into your own private dream-world. As always, the Stones didn’t offer any easy comfort tonight – just mean guitars, high energy, and plenty of satanic majesty.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Inside Abbey Road Events Scheduled For March 2013

Following the glowing critical and public response to the series of unique events held at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios earlier this year,  a new series of talks will be held in the famous Studio Two for six special days in March 2013.

Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan (authors of Recording the Beatles), will give their second series of  talks on Abbey Road Studios’ rich history and continued success.

Kehew and Ryan’s talk will explore the studios’ decades of landmark recordings, celebrating the technology and sonic creativity that lead to epoch-defining music from artists such as Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Adele and of course, the Beatles.

With over 20 years of research into EMI history, they have uncovered many secrets of the Studios and have worked with Abbey Road to preserve and illuminate the Studios' immense history and ongoing legacy. The talks will explore the history and the present day action at Abbey Road Studios with rare archive photos, film and audio, showing changes to the studio and equipment. They will illustrate Abbey Road Studios’ long progression through all kinds of music, from classical to rock and beyond, plus the methods used to record in each style/period.

These events will also give more focus to the more recent hits recorded, mixed and mastered at the studios, and artists who currently use the studios to create new and innovative music. They will also explore the studios’ rich experience in film scoring and even demonstrate how sound and images are synched for some of the biggest movies ever made such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The King's Speech, Prometheus and the new James Bond film, Skyfall.

If all that wasn’t enough, the authors will bring the authentic, classic sound of the past to life with demonstration of a vintage 4-track mixing console and tape machine, as well as the studio’s legendary echo chamber, used on countless classic recordings. The popular display of original instruments, microphones, and studio hardware used to create classic tracks at Abbey Road, will be making a welcome return.

Visitors will be allowed early entrance with time to explore and take photographs in the famous Studio Two, where seminal acts like the Beatles, Oasis, the Hollies, the Shadows, Pink Floyd and Kate Bush recorded their music.

More recently, Elbow recorded their theme for the 2012 Olympics in this legendary studio and  artists such as Brian Wilson, Paul Simon, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ryan Adams, Laura Marling and Feist laid down performances for the Live From Abbey Road television show.

Inside Abbey Road events schedule:

Friday 8th March
Session 1: doors open 2pm / event starts 3pm
Session 2: doors open 7pm / event starts 8pm

Saturday 9th March
Session 1: doors open 10am / event starts 11am
Session 2: doors open 3pm / event starts 4pm

Sunday 10th March
Session 1: doors open 10am / event starts 11am
Session 2: doors open 3pm / event starts 4pm

Friday 15th March
Session 1: doors open 2pm / event starts 3pm
Session 2: doors open 7pm / event starts 8pm

Saturday 16th March
Session 1: doors open 10am / event starts 11am
Session 2: doors open 3pm / event starts 4pm

Sunday 17th March
Session 1: doors open 10am / event starts 11am
Session 2: doors open 3pm / event starts 4pm

For more information, check out the official Inside Abbey Road: The Best Studio In The World.

Tickets on sale now at http://www.seetickets.com/tour/abbey-road-studios.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Deep Purple To Release New Studio Album In 2013

Deep Purple have officially announced a new studio album set for release next year. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2005's Rapture Of The Deep is set for release in late April 2013.

After being written mainly in Europe, the disc was recorded and mixed in Nashville, Tennessee, with producer Bob Ezrin.

Song titles will include "Out Of Hand," "Hell To Pay," "Weirdistan," "Uncommon Man" and "Above And Beyond," the last of which being a tribute to the band's longtime keyboard player Jon Lord, who passed away earlier this year.

As for the lack of a title, Ian Gillan had this to say earlier this month: "The title of our new album is still a question mark to all of us ... We have recorded a new album, and it's a fantastic collection of songs. At the moment that's the only affirmative point we can offer ...”

Fans can keep up to date on the new album by way of a new website launched in support of the release at http://www.deeppurple2013.com.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sandy Benefit Concert Aims For 2 Billion Viewers Worldwide

Tonight's (December 12) commercial-free benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in New York will be seen both around the world and around the World Wide Web.

The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, The Who, Roger Waters, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Kanye West and many other artists will perform at the benefit to the Robin Hood Relief Fund and victims of Hurricane Sandy. The broadcast will be accessible by an estimated 2 billion people worldwide, according to the concert's website
http://www.121212concert.org.

U.S. television viewers will have a difficult time missing the event. The broadcast will be carried on 34 channels, from AMC to VH1 Classic. Even pay channels HBO and Showtime 2 and the newsy Bloomberg will carry the broadcast.

But not all networks will carry the event. Fox will air a two-hour semi-final of "The X-Factor." NBC, CBS and ABC will carry on with their normal Wednesday evening schedules. The benefit concert will air on the CBS station WLNY in-TV in New York and the CW station in Philadelphia, however. A handful of local PBS stations in New York and New Jersey will also carry the broadcast.

The live webcast will be carried by 30 different websites, including YouTube, MTV.com, MySpace, Yahoo, Yahoo, Vevo, AOL, Hulu, People.com and BMI.com.

In the U.S., free tickets to view the simulcast in movie theaters will be given away at select theaters in storm-affected areas. Simulcasts can be viewed around the country at Cinemark Theaters for the price of a regular Child admission. All of the proceeds will go toward the Robin Hood Relief Fund. A full list of broadcasters and participating theaters can be found at the concert's broadcast page http://www.121212concert.org/broadcast.

The broadcast will also be seen in countries around the world. MTV and VH1 will carry the telecast in Canada, Latin America, the U.K., France, Australia and dozens of other countries. Numerous channels will carry the concert in Japan, Korea, Tawain, India and Africa.

Social media will also play a role in raising support for relief efforts. Foursquare has created a "Be Robin Hood #121212concert" badge for users who check in using the #121212concert hashtag. Samsung Galaxy will donate $10 to the Robin Hood Relief Fund on behalf of each of the first 25,000 unlocked badges.

The Twitter hashtag #121212concert is sure to be a trending topic throughout the day. Sponsored by Chase, the hashtag on Twitter's trend section in the U.S. as well as the U.K., Mexico, Japan, Canada, Italy and many other countries.

Shazam will make it easy for its 250 million users to help. Proceeds from music purchased through the music identification app during the concert will be donated to the Robin Hood Foundation Relief Fund. Shazam users can also use the app to donate directly to the charity during the broadcast.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The new class of inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been announced, and it includes rockers, the Queen of Disco, a group of hip-hop pioneers and a band whose fans have long been clamoring for the honor.

In the performer category, Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush and Donna Summer will receive the prestigious induction. Lou Adler and Quincy Jones will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to non-performers.

A few of those selected to be part of the 2013 group had been nominated before, but none have had the fan support for entry into the hallowed Hall of Fame as first time nominees Rush. The band had been eligible for nomination for the past 14 years.

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson said after the group was nominated back in October that the honor meant a great deal to his group's fan base.

"For our fans, it's very, very important, and we feel great for them," he said. "We're at the next stage and we'll see if we're actually inducted. If so, we'll support it in every way we can for our fans."

To be eligible for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, artists had to have released their work at least 25 years prior to appearing on the ballot. That means this year's group released their first single in 1987 or earlier.

For the first time since 1993, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on the West coast. The 28th annual event is scheduled for April 18 and will be held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. in Los Angeles, California.

The ceremony will be open to the ticket-buying public, and will air on HBO at 9 p.m. on May 18.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rolling Stones Add Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Black Keys To Final '50' Show

The Rolling Stones have invited Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga and the Black Keys to their final "50 and Counting" concert, celebrating an astounding half-century as a band, being held Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The concert will be telecast live pay-per-view in a Ken Ehrlich-produced special called One More Shot.

"We're excited these extraordinary artists have agreed to help celebrate our 50th Anniversary as we share the night live with our fans all over the world," the band said in a statement. "Now the fun begins of trying to figure out the best songs to perform together."

May we humbly suggest "Honky Tonk Woman" for Gaga, a dirty/bluesy "Midnight Rambler" with the Keys and take-your-pick with The Boss.

Fresh off a triumphant debut in Brooklyn on Saturday, where the band gave the borough a 2-hour onslaught of hits spanning five decades, the Stones next play the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief on Wednesday before starting their 2-show stint in Newark on Thursday.

"People ask us why we're still doing this," Jagger said to the Brooklyn audience late in the show over the weekend. "It's for you."


Friday, December 7, 2012

Spirit Drummer Ed Cassidy Dead at 89

Ed Cassidy, the drummer for the classic rock band Spirit, died in San Jose, California on Thursday (December. 6) of undisclosed causes. Notable for his shaved head (which inspired the nickname “Mr. Skin”), head-to-toe black wardrobe and massive drum kit, Cassidy was considered very influential on other drummers of the ’60s rock era. He was 89 years old at the time of his death.

Born on May 4, 1923, in a rural town outside of Chicago, Cassidy began his career at an early age in 1937, after his family moved to Bakersfield, California. He served in the Navy during World War II and thereafter held a series of jobs before returning to music full-time in the ’40s, working steadily in a succession of show bands, country and western acts, and big bands. He also worked on film soundtracks and played briefly with the San Francisco Opera.

Cassidy spent the 50s working primarily in jazz in California, playing with such historically important performers as Art Pepper, Roland Kirk and Gerry Mulligan. He played with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder briefly in a band called Rising Sons before forming a new group, the Red Roosters, in 1965. That group comprised Cassidy, his stepson Randy California on guitar, Mark Andes on bass, and singer Jay Ferguson.

Changing their name to Spirit with the addition of keyboardist John Locke, that ensemble created a sound that was an amalgam of jazz, hard rock, and psychedelic influences. Signed by 60s L.A. music impresario Lou Adler, the group released their self-titled debut album in 1968. They followed it up with The Family That Plays Together later that year, which featured their highest-charting single, ‘I Got a Line on You.’

In 1969 they toured successfully with a then-little-known band called Led Zeppelin as their opening act, and their impact on the new group was substantial; Cassidy often performed his live drum solo with his bare hands, which reportedly influenced John Bonham’s performance on ‘Moby Dick,’ while Jimmy Page reportedly began using a theramin to alter the tone of his guitar after seeing Randy California doing it on stage. Many fans and critics have noted the similarities between Spirit’s song ‘Taurus‘ and the intro to Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ which appeared several years after.

After the release of their landmark fourth album, 1970′s Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, the original lineup of Spirit fell apart. Cassidy would continue with the group through various lineups over the course of decades until Randy California’s untimely drowning death in Hawaii in 1997. After that he continued to play with surf musician Merrell Fankhauser until he retired from performing. In later years, he was also involved in acting, appearing in 2010 and The Escape Artist on the big screen, and twice in minor roles on the television soap opera General Hospital.

Spirit bassist Mark Andes paid tribute to Cassidy in a Facebook post Thursday, writing, “RIP Ed Cassidy, one the worlds greatest drummers…loved you cass…” and posting a picture of the pair together.

Bob Irwin produced a series of Spirit re-masters, starting at Sony in the 80s and eventually carrying over into vinyl reissues on his own label, Sundazed Records. He recalls his friend and colleague fondly. “What can I say, other than Ed was a friend, a consummate professional and mighty-ass drummer,” he said. “He was close – and stayed close –  to his entire body of work, and certainly took great pride in the band’s recordings and accomplishments.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fleetwood Mac Announces 2013 Tour

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow.

That's because Fleetwood Mac is sticking to its promise of hitting the road in 2013.

The legendary group will kick off a 34-city North American tour on April 4th in Columbus, Ohio, with tickets going on sale December 14th.


The tour coincides with the 35th anniversary of the band's classic disc Rumours, which is one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

What's more, unreleased studio and live tracks will reportedly be included in a re-release of the 1977 album early next year, and there is talk that the upcoming concerts may include new songs as well.

The dates will feature vocalist Stevie Nicks, singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. (Christine McVie retired from the group in 1998.)

Fleetwood Mac last toured together in 2009.