Day in Rock Report for 01/17/2014

Metallica To Begin Working On New Album

(hennemusic) Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett says the band has "run out of excuses" will start working on material for their long awaited new studio album "in a couple of weeks."

"When we start, that's going to be our main priority," Hammett tells Billboard, "and we're pretty excited about it because we've been saying we need to start working on this album, but we've been procrastinating greatly with it. We've pretty much come up with every sort of excuse we can not to start work on the album, but we've run out of excuses, so we pretty much have to start work on it now."

Some of the foot-dragging, Hammett says, is the idea of facing a plethora of musical ideas the group has assembled. "We're a band that never has a shortage of ideas," he notes.

"You hear about these bands that are sitting in the studio and they don't have any songs, what are they gonna do? That's not Metallica. Metallica's problem is the total opposite. We have too many ideas. James (Hetfield) has, like, 800 ideas. I have 400. Those number alone are just crazy. That's formidable." more on this story

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Jack White and Neil Young Working On Album?

(Radio.com) Get ready for a retro Americana throwdown of epic proportions if early reports of a collaboration between Jack White and Neil Young to record an album of cover songs are to be believed.

According to veteran music writer Michael Goldberg (via his blog Days of the Crazy-Wild), the dynamic duo of White and Young laid down versions of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," Phil Ochs' "Changes" and Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" among others for the covers album his sources say is destined for White's Third Man Records label, with a possible release on Warner Bros. as well.

The blog also references Neil Young fan site Thrasher's Wheat, alleging the covers collaboration back in December of last year and adding that Third Man would release the album in a special vinyl format. more on this story

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Billy Joel Announces North American Tour Dates

(Radio.com) Retirement doesn't become Billy Joel. Weeks after announcing his open-ended residency at New York's Madison Square Garden, Joel has been adding tour dates that take him well beyond the reach of the Long Island Railroad.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and recent Kennedy Center Honore has announced concerts in Cleveland, Louisville, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago. A press release announcing the Chi-town show at Wrigley Field trumpets the fact that "the first time a musical artist has made a return appearance to the storied ballpark."

While Joel said that each of his Madison Square Garden shows would be "unique," it's more likely that his shows outside of the Empire State will be more conventional "greatest hits" concerts. more on this story

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Guns N' Roses, Avenged Sevenfold And Kid Rock To Rock on the Range

(Radio.com) Guns N' Roses, Avenged Sevenfold and Kid Rock will headline this year's Rock on The Range festival, taking place May 16-18 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Over 60 acts will perform at the annual hard rock fest, including Five Finger Death Punch, Slayer, Staind, Motorhead, Seether, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage and more. The fest will also include a comedy tent featuring Jim Breuer, Jim Florentine and some up-and-coming comedians.

A revitalized Guns N' Roses have reemerged on the festival scene in recent years, though Rock on the Range is the first U.S. appearance for 2014 they've announced. Axl and co. hit South America in March.

"We are so honored to be headlining Rock on the Range," said M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold in a press release. "We take pride in our show and always try to outdo ourselves from the time before. Rock on the Range will be the perfect place to celebrate with our fans from all over the world and put on the killer show that they have come to expect from us. We are pulling out all the stops." See who else is playing.

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Bruce Springsteen, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt To Tribute Jackson Browne

(Radio.com) Jackson Browne's music has gone in and out of fashion in recent years, but one thing that hasn't changed is the amount of respect he gets from fellow artists. That's evident in the list of artists who are contributing to Looking Into You: A Tribute To Jackson Browne. And in the volume of artists, as it will be a double disc set.

Some of Browne's peers (Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley) contribute to the album, as do "younger" artists (Ben Harper, the Indigo Girls, Joan Osborne, Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek).

Springsteen's contribution, billed as collaboration with his wife/bandmate Patti Scialfa, is "Linda Paloma." The song was originally from Browne's 1976 album The Pretender, and was, incidentally, produced by Springsteen's longtime manager, Jon Landau.

Henley is an artist with some shared history with Browne; the two co-wrote the Eagles hit "Doolin-Dalton" together, along with Eagle Glenn Frey, and songwriter J.D. Souther, who also is featured here. More details and tracklist.

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Eagles Relaunch Forum With Epic Three-Hour Show

(Radio.com) They call it classic rock for a reason. On Wednesday night (Jan. 15), Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and the Eagles glided through the band's long history of music with an epic three-hour show to commemorate the relaunch of legendary Los Angeles concert venue, the Forum.

The time-worn harmonies and even the group's signature melodic guitar solos of yore are deeply ingrained in the subconscious of anyone who's spent any time with legacy rock radio.

From its launch in 1967 through the '90s, the L.A. Forum was the city's premiere arena, the longtime home to championship NBA franchise the Lakers that also played host to an impressive list of music titans, including Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Led Zeppelin.

After falling out of favor with the advent of the Staples Center in downtown L.A. in the 2000s, the Forum is back after a $100 million renovation (complete with the world's largest vinyl record on the roof), the arena debuting it's bold new look with a six-stand stand from the Eagles, which kicked off with last night's show.

Opening with the band members sitting in a circle with acoustic guitars to invoke the "simple rehearsal shack atmosphere of 1971," as Henley said in a recent interview, the first segment of the show was a well-paced retrospective of the band's humble beginnings.

True to the tour's "History of the Eagles" moniker, the opening set closely paralleled the popular 2013 Showtime documentary of the same name, chronologically covering the band's first few full-lengths such as 1973′s Desperado and breakout 1975 collection One of These Nights, alternating between video and onstage introductions detailing the scenarios behind those nascent albums. More.

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Spock's Beard Star Joining Transatlantic For Upcoming Tour

(Prog) Transatlantic touring member Daniel Gildenlow will miss a number of shows on the band's upcoming world tour. Drummer Mike Portnoy has confirmed that Ted Leonard of Spock's Beard will stand in until the Pain Of Salvation mainman is able to return.

He explains: "We are saddened to announce that, because of some personal issues that have unfortunately arisen, Daniel will not be able to join us for the first half of the tour."

Portnoy adds, "Ted will be coming to our rescue as Transatlantic's 5th touring member. He'll be standing in until Daniel is able to join back up with us." more on this story

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Foreigner Rock Classics On Leno

(hennemusic) Foreigner performed come of their classic hit songs on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday, and video of their appearance is available online.

The band ripped through a medley of three of their biggest rock hits, including "Feels Like The First Time", "Cold As Ice" and "Hot Blooded."

Foreigner are hitting the road for more live dates this year, with shows starting January 31 in Valley Center, California. This week, the band announced a February 3rd UK release of "I Want To Know What Love Is - The Ballads."

Check out the Leno performance here.

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Bruce Springsteen May Offer Fans Official Bootlegs

(hennemusic) Bruce Springsteen is gearing up to hit the road in support of his newly-released album, "High Hopes", and he says he's considering offering official live bootlegs on the tour.

"I think we live more in a touring idea that everything you do is recorded now," Springsteen tells NPR. "And that's OK with me, you know. As a matter of fact, I believe on this tour, we're starting to do something like you can come in, you can buy a [wrist]band, you can get a copy of the night's show. So hopefully we're gonna do that at a really nice-quality level."

The notoriously controlling artist has opened up his mind to sharing material, especially online. "I think I'd like to get an archival series going in some way," he says. "I'd like to make things more available through the Internet. The Internet has become our friend, you know. We went to South America — hadn't been to South America in 25 years — we played for a lot of people. And I guarantee you very few of them had ever seen us before but I was shocked by how knowledgeable they were about the band. The first night we went into Santiago, Chile, and I realized after a few songs: "I got it. The Internet." In other words, if you're anywhere today, you're everywhere. There's no such thing as having not gone someplace anymore."

"We sold 40,000 seats like the first day in Johannesburg," he continues. "We've never been there. But you've been there somehow, because someone wants to come and see you. So the Internet now is something that I'm becoming very interested in and trying to find ways of just, you know, getting more music out there. I mean, I'm not gonna be, you know I'm not gonna be tweeting. Somebody tweeted — I think I have someone that tweets for me, you know — "Real men don't tweet" or something. I don't know, something. But someone has tweeted in my name." More.

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Rare Beatles Album Sells For $175,000

(Classic Rock) A rare first pressing of Beatles classic Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has sold at auction for $175,698. The mono edition of the 1967 album was signed by all four members of the Fab Four at a hotel in England.

Sellers RR Auction, who'd set a reserve of $10,000, say the record was taken into the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay in September that year by a young porter who worked there.

In a letter written in 1985 he explained: "To my and everybody's amazement, the Beatles stayed at the Atlantic for a few days while they were filming Magical Mystery Tour. The manager told all the staff who worked at the hotel not to bother or ask them for their autographs

"I thought it was a good idea to take something back and have it signed. I sneaked the album into work up my top as I didn't want the manager to see." more.

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Mike Portnoy Helped Resurrect Bigelf

(Prog) Damon Fox has revealed the artwork and tracklist for long-awaited fourth Bigelf album Into The Maelstrom. Only he and bassist Duffy Snowhill remain from the lineup that recorded 2008′s Cheat The Gallows, and the band now includes Mike Portnoy behind the kit.

Fox last year told Prog: "I had been keeping in close touch with Mike after his very public and difficult departure from Dream Theater. My musical future seemed quite bleak and I was very vocal to Mike about not being able to sustain the band any longer on my own.

"He implored me to carry on. Recognising that I needed some new allies, I asked him if he would help fight the good fight – and he readily agreed." More including the artwork and tracklist.

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Porcupine Tree's John Wesley Releasing New Album

(Prog) Porcupine Tree, Fish and Sound Of Contact collaborator John Wesley will release his sixth studio album, Disconnect, on March 31. The renowned session guitarist has signed to InsideOut for the launch – and he's credited his colleagues with inspiring his latest work.

Wesley says: "Being able to perform with artists who take huge chances musically, such as Fish, Porcupine Tree and Steven, led me to a new place creatively. Disconnect is the culmination of all the musical input I've had in the past several years.

"It has many of the elements of my previous work – lyrical depth, song orientation – but I really feel that I pushed my boundaries with my playing and the arrangements." more on this story

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Scorpions Release Holiday Unplugged Video

(hennemusic) The Scorpions have released a new performance video of their classic track "Holiday" which was captured during their MTV Unplugged concerts in Athens last fall.

Last month, the band released "MTV Unplugged - Scorpions Live In Athens" in Europe; it was compiled from three concerts in Athens, Greece at the city's Lycabettus Theatre.

Set for release next Tuesday, January 21 in North America, the package features a mix of classic Scorpions tracks and new material. The German rockers begin their 2014 live dates on March 7 in Madrid, Spain. Check out the video here.

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Motorhead Release Aftershock Promo Video

(hennemusic) Motorhead have released an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for their latest album, "Aftershock." The footage features music from the album as well as portions of Lemmy's fall 2013 interview on Rockline with Bob Coburn.

The bassist shares stories about the album, his days as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and gives fans an update on his health at the time; Lemmy's issues caused the postponement of the band's fall European tour, which is now set to start February 13 in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Aftershock" scored the band's highest US chart position in Motorhead's career, debuting at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 with opening week sales of 11,000 copies. Watch the video here.

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Geezer Butler Releasing Signature Gear at NAMM Show

(hennemusic) Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler will launch his signature Lakland basses and EMG pickups at the NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, set to take place January 23-26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

Lakland basses will be located at booth #5496, while EMG pickups will be at booth #4784. "My first official signature gear! Come on down!!" says Geezer.

EMG Pickups and Geezer have collaborated to develop the GZR-P and GZR-PJ signature bass sets. "I never felt comfortable giving my name to any other pickups," says Geezer, "but this time these have blown me away." more on this story

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Steel Panther Preview The Burden Of Being Wonderful Video

(hennemusic) Steel Panther have issued a preview of the video for their forthcoming single, "The Burden Of Being Wonderful." The full clip will debut on January 21.

The track is from the band's third album, "All You Can Eat", which is due on April 1. Produced by Jay Ruston, the project features 12 new tracks from the Los Angeles group.

Steel Panther launch a European tour on February 4 in Groningen, Holland. Check out the "The Burden Of Being Wonderful" music video preview clip here.

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Gus G Surprised At All-Star Guests On New Solo Album

(Classic Rock) Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Gus G has released a video for his solo track My Will Be Done. It's taken from the Firewind leader's upcoming debut solo album, I Am The Fire, set for release in March via Century Media.

The track features vocals by Mats Leven of Candlemass, and he's joined on the album by other guests including Jeff Scott Soto, Billy Sheehan and David Ellefson.

Gus G says: "My Will Be Done is a cool rocker track with a modern edge to it. I can't believe all these great musicians got on board for the album. Everybody brought in their unmistakable style and talent, and they really lifted the songs." more on this story

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Little Caesar Reveal Lineup Change

(Classic Rock) Little Caesar have confirmed the departure of guitarist Joey Brasier as a result of scheduling problems. He's been replaced by Joey Malone ahead of the band's UK tour in April.

They say in a statement: "Due to conflicts and complications in our upcoming tour schedule, Joey Brasler will no longer be a member of Little Caesar. We will be eternally grateful for his contributions over the last four years in creating great music.

"Replacing Joey Brasler will be Joey Malone, who has made music with the likes of Steven Tyler, Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp. The four original members are excited about him joining our family for our UK and Europe tours, as well as future recordings." more on this story

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Throwdown Streaming New Song 'Defend With Violence'

(TeamRock Radio) Throwdown have streamed new track Defend With Violence from upcoming album Intolerance . The new 11-track studio record is set to be released next week.

Frontman Dave Peters reports: "Completing this album felt great in so many respects – most important of which was the opportunity to finally give longtime supporters this music that I've had swirling around in my head over the past four years.

"The variety of people who have found the band through vastly different avenues will each get into it for their own unique reasons. And for those who think it's junk: it's only about 28 minutes they have to regret." Listen to the song here.

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Saxon Release Orchestral The Eagle Has Landed Video

(Classic Rock) Saxon have released a brand new lyric video for their orchestral version of their classic track "The Eagle Has Landed" which they say adds dimension to the original version.

This version of "The Eagle Has Landed" was taken from the band's rework album Unplugged And Strung Up, which was released back in November.

The band say: "We re-evaluated, reworked and re-energised the likes of The Eagle Has Landed and Crusader by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer an added dimension." Check out the video here.

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The Sword Reveal The Hidden Masters Lyric Video

(Classic Rock) The Sword have released a brand new lyric video for their track "The Hidden Masters", which comes from the band's 2012 studio album Apocryphon.

Apocryphon was The Sword's first album since original drummer Trivett Wingo left the band, citing extreme stress from touring, and was replaced by Jimmy Vela.

Soon after its release frontman JD Cronise admitted: "A lot of people are saying this is our most Sabbath album to date. I think that's true in a lot of ways – but that's just how it happened. We just tried to make it a classic rock album." Check out the video here.

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Loners Unite For Black Sabbath

(hennemusic) Black Sabbath are sharing handwritten lyrics to "Loner", a track from their latest album, "13." "LONERS UNITE!," posted the group. "A song for the outcast in all of us. These lyrics have been written and signed by the band."

Sabbath's latest project is nominated for three 2014 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album ("13"), and Best Rock Song and Best Metal Performance for "God Is Dead?"

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will be held January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Check out the lyrics here.

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The Brew Release 'Repeat' Video

(Classic Rock) The Brew, a three-piece Grimsby outfit poised to release their fifth studio album Control, which was produced by former Little Angels frontman Toby Jepson, have released a video for the track Repeat.

Described as "the future of modern classic rock music," the band is made up of vocalist and guitarist Jason Barwick, bassist and vocalist Tim Smith and drummer Kurtis Smith. They cite their main influences as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Wolfmother and Kula Shaker.

Control will be released on February 20 via Jazzhaus Records and The Brew will tour the UK later this year following a European trip in February and March. Watch the video here.

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Queen's Brian May Reveals Cancer Test Result

(Gibson) As previously reported, a biopsy undergone by Queen's Brian May has come back negative, the veteran guitarist has revealed. Symptoms experienced by May prompted physicians to perform the procedure last week, in order to check for the presence of prostate cancer.

In a post on his website, May said a specialist has since given him the news that no cancer cells were detected. "I am—thank God—in the clear," wrote May. "It's a great relief."

May joked that he "celebrated in the studio with a cup of tea." "Hey, I know how to rock!" he added. The 66-year-old guitarist said there were "still some mysteries to solve" regarding his symptoms, but he was "taking a moment to count his blessings, and get back into life in the big wide world." He also thanked fans for their concern. "I never realized I was so much thought of," he wrote. more on this story

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Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Perform at Grammy Awards

(Gibson) As previously reported, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will each perform at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony. The appearance of the former Beatles highlights a recently expanded lineup that now includes Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Kacey Musgraves, among others.

Remarkably, Starr's appearance will be his first performance at the annual event. Some sources have reported that McCartney and Starr will play together, but information at the Grammys website indicates only that both artists will perform. Whether they will take the stage at the same time remains uncertain.

The two ex-Beatles last played together in 2010, at a celebration of Starr's birthday at New York's Radio City Music Hall. As members of The Beatles, both men will be awarded the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Grammy ceremony and festivities will take place Sunday, January 26, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The event will be broadcast live by CBS. more on this story

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Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones Releasing New Album

(Gibson) As previously reported, Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones is set to release the debut album by Minibus Pimps, his collaborative project with Norwegian ambient musician Helge Sten.

Titled Cloud to Ground, the album is said to incorporate sounds generated by a computer-based sound design system—called Kyma—that creates mutations in recordings made with conventional instruments.

As reported by The Guardian, the album will also feature live performances by Jones and Sten, who first began staging shows together in 2011. The title track has been described as a "monstrous duet for icicles and cathedral organ."

Sten, who has also released music under the moniker Deathprod, says the music on Cloud to Ground "contains composed and improvisational elements on an equal scale." Cloud to Ground will be released March 3 on the Norwegian label, SusannaSonata. more on this story

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