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Full Report for 07/17/2009

Melissa Auf der Maur Hit With Swine Flu
Jam! reports: It seems celebrity skin is just as susceptible to swine flu as everyone else's. Former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf der Maur says she's recovering from a bout with the H1N1 influenza strain.

"It turns out that, somewhere between a video shoot in Vermont, a heavy metal concert in London, and my own musical showcase in Toronto, I had indeed fallen victim to a world pandemic," Auf der Maur wrote in a first-person account at online magazine, the Mark.

"I am now officially on the mend - thanks to a combination of naturopathic treatments and heavy-duty antibiotics, among other survival tools." - more on this story

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Yoko Prevented Beatles Reunion?
Nightwatcher reports: The UK's Daily Mail is reporting that John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney planned a Beatles reunion in 1974 but it was stopped by Yoko Ono, a new book claims.

In Paul McCartney: A Life, author Peter Ames Carlin suggests that he missed working with Lennon and tried to orchestrate a comeback. Carlin claims that thirty five years ago Sir Paul, paid a surprise late night visit to a studio in California where Lennon was recording.

According to the book the pair played music into the early hours of the morning with Stevie Wonder, who was also working there. The session went so well Lennon invited Sir Paul, now 67, and his first wife Linda over for dinner at his rented house in Malibu with girlfriend and assistant May Pang.

....But Mr. Carlin states that Sir Paul inadvertently doomed the comeback by telling Lennon that he had recently seen his estranged wife and that she was keen to see him. After Sir Paul's message the pair were reconciled and the plans for a reunion concert were cancelled. - more on this story

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Coldplay's Historic First
PR reports: Based on Nielsen SoundScan data, Coldplay is the first artist to sell more than 1 million full digital albums in the United States. The band has sold 1.358 million digital albums in the States and its label, EMI, reports sales from around the globe total two million digital albums worldwide.

Coldplay has a long history of setting digital sales records. Viva La Vida (Capitol), its most recent album, is the top-selling digital album in SoundScan history while 2005's X&Y was the first-ever digital album available for pre-order. After the release of X&Y, Coldplay became the first artist to sell one million digital tracks in the U.S.

The video for "Strawberry Swing," Coldplay's next single, will premiere on Monday, July 20th. The groundbreaking short film was directed by visual artists Shynola and features vocalist Chris Martin as an animated superhero in a chalk-drawn world. For a sneak preview of the video plus some stills from the full version - go here

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Motley Crue Feeling Good About Tour
antiMusic reports: Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx is feeling good about their upcoming Cruefest 2 tour, which kicks off this Sunday. He had this to say about the rehearsals for the outing:

"Just drug my tired ass back from production rehearsal day three. The set is insane. All new stage. All new lighting, pyro and video. Tons of new music. Some of these songs have never been played live before so we're still blowing off the cobwebs. To be honest it sounds pretty damn good. This is my fav set so far and feels so good be doing something new production wise. I can't wait to see your faces when the show starts… it's pretty sick, beginning to end…

"I have to say, this show really is a labor of love for us but the real credit goes to all the crew. They have been working around the clock for over a month on this. That is the part fans don't see. It doesn't matter if it's a Broadway play, a rock show or even a movie… sometimes the real stars of the show are behind the curtain… Thank you guys… so much." - more on this story

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Metallica Announce Intimate Benefit Show
antiMusic reports: Metallica hit their website on Thursday to tell fans about a very special upcoming show. Here is what they had to say:

We have made Marin County in Northern California our home for many years, so we were more than honored when the Marin History Museum asked us to participate in their benefit concert as they prepare to launch the exhibit Marin Rocks. That's right, finally, a show in our own back yards . . . something that has NEVER happened!

So we're hoping you can join us at the Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium on Friday, September 11 as we rock the 2,000 seat auditorium before heading back out in N. America on the World Magnetic tour. - more on this story

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Def Leppard Pour Some Free Sugar on Vets
PR reports: Def Leppard and Raven Drum Foundation announced that they will be celebrating America's military veterans with the gift of music - free tickets to Def Leppard Summer concert dates.

The offering is intended to thank these heroes in a meaningful way for their service. In a time where families are unsure of their personal and professional stability, many of our heroes are coming home to families that are suffering in the wake of a turbulent economy and these families are often forced into a position of having to do more with less, eliminating the opportunity for a night out for an important, bonding entertainment experience.

Def Leppard's involvement did not come by chance: "It came through a desire to give something back and what better way to honor these heroes than with a night of music," said Def Leppard drummer and Raven Drum Foundation founder Rick Allen. "Our mission with Raven Drum Foundation is to serve, educate and empower veterans and people in crisis through the power of the drum, and music is just one of the tools we use to promote healing. It is so exciting to have my band, family and so many others contributing to this effort; it is a significant part of who I am as a person. To have this moment means a great deal in ways I cannot measure. And I thank everyone involved, especially the veterans." - more on this story

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Thrice Announce New Album Details
Vagrant reports: Thrice announce that Beggars, their [overused cliche removed] sixth studio album, will be released on October 13, 2009 on Vagrant Records. The California-based quartet recorded the 10-track set at producer and guitarist Teppei Teranishi's New Grass Studios this spring.

"I'm really excited about this record," said vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue. "Beggars is more visceral and more raw - both in the songwriting and in the overall sound. It moves with a different energy than any of our past records. It was born out of us playing together in a room, almost as a backlash to the giant headgame that was The Alchemy Index."

Drummer Riley Breckenridge added, ""With The Alchemy Index, I think we broadened the scope of what we can do as a band, and while the writing and recording of the four EPs was a great learning experience, it was definitely an arduous, and at times, fragmented process. Beggars was a chance for us to apply the things we'd learned and push ourselves to create something more cohesive. At the root of that, was the four of us getting back in our studio, focusing on jamming song ideas out until they felt right, letting 'happy accidents' happen, and building on the energy of the four of us being in the same room together playing live." - more on this story

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3 Doors Down Cruising With Lifehouse and Shinedown
vh1 reports: As their new video featuring the GEICO cavemen makes its debut today, platinum-plus-selling rockers 3 Doors Down (Universal Republic) announced they will host "VH1 Best Cruise Ever," taking place April 15-19, 2010.

The cruise, from Tampa, Florida to Grand Cayman on board the Carnival Inspiration, will feature the popular Mississippi rock quintet, Lifehouse, Shinedown, and special guests Carolina Liar, Finger Eleven, SAFETYSUIT and more. Exclusive pre-sale signups will take place through July 22 via the event's website www.vh1bestcruiseever.com. Cruise tickets go on sale to the general public on August 3.

As it prepares to go cruising, 3 Doors Down also goes primal with the debut of their newest video, "Let Me Be Myself," featuring the GEICO cavemen.
- more on this story

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Megadeth Better Than Metallica?
BW&BK reports: Bravewords.com/Metal Hammer scribe Dom Lawson posted a controversial blog regarding Megadeth's upcoming album Engame. An excerpt follows:

"When you compare (Metallica's) Death Magnetic to the new Megadeth album, it vanishes in a puff of Danish hot air. There is simply no comparison. Endgame f**king rips, from start to finish. It is remorselessly metal from start to finish, and not in an old-guys-giving-it-a-jolly-good-go kind of way, but in a state-of-the-art, teach-those-youngsters-a-thing-or-two, come-and-have-a-go-if-you-think-you're-metal-enough-even-though-you-don't-stand-a-chance kind of way.

"The band are on blazing form, whether its Mustaine and Broderick's magnificent six-string mastery or the pinpoint grind 'n' thud of James Lomenzo and Shawn Drover, and every single song crackles with pure energy and real, chest-out-and-f**k-right-off attitude. Cosy obsolescence? No, sir! Metal up your ass? Yes please, and one for the horse!" - We'll see when it's released, for now read more here

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Slash Was Miserable in Velvet Revolver
BW&BK reports: Scott Rowley of Classic Rock recently interviewed former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash. An excerpt follows:

"I always support whatever group I'm playing with – I'll never say anything bad about them while I'm in it. But f**kin Velvet Revolver – that was the toughest five years, dealing with that band, just because of the obvious [Weiland] and really, really bad management. Joke management for the entire time.

"For some reason in that entire five years I could never be happy. I could never get comfortable and happy with it because it was such a f**king mess. That last tour in the UK was the first time I ever had any fun in that band – because I knew that Scott was leaving and it was a huge relief."
- more on this story

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They Might Be Toddlers
Girlie reports: They Might Be Giants are proud to announce the release of a brand new kids CD and full length animated DVD, Here Comes Science, the follow up to this years Grammy Award winning Best Children's Album Here Comes the 123s. The 2-disc set will be available as exclusives physically on Amazon and digitally on iTunes September 1, full-scale release September 22 on Idlewild/Disney Sound.

John Flansburgh and John Linnell have put their heads together once again to create engaging and educational tunes, this time for older kids! Though this release is geared towards post-toddlers, like most TMBG family releases, adults won't be surprised when they catch themselves popping these songs into their own iPod. Packed with TMBG's signature melodies and highly energized arrangements, Here Comes Science examines a wide array of scientific ideas. Titles include "Photosynthesis," "Meet the Elements" and the fully rocking "I Am a Paleontologist". - more on this story

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August Burns Red Week: Final Day
antiMusic reports: August Burns Red's new album, Constellations hits stores this week. To celebrate the release we asked JB Brubaker and Matt Greiner to pick some of their favorite tracks from the album and tell us the stories behind the songs. They more than came through! Here is today's song "Paradox"":

JB Brubaker "Paradox" was the first song we brought together as a band, but it was the sixth song I had written for the album. It was one of the most straight up, to the point songs I had written so we decided to learn this song first since it was easier.

Even though "Paradox" is a pretty straight up metal jam, it's also the fastest song on the record tempo wise. Most of the song is in the 220 BPM range, and most of the breakdowns are basically half time of the actual tempo. This made for some of our slowest rhythms to date, as well as some of our fastest leads. The melody over the last breakdown of the song was the fastest riff I play on the entire record. It's in 7/8 and it took me FOREVER to get up to speed. I sat down and played the riff to a metronome for 20 minutes a day for about two weeks before I was remotely close to playing it up to speed. No one likes taking that approach because it's boring and time consuming, but I had no other choice.

Matt Greiner Paradox was the first song I wrote to on drums. The first :30 seconds of this song on drums were inspired by The Agony Scene's ex-drummer, Brent Masters. Brent always had a way of grooving at fast tempos and it helped me understand how to make that happen in Paradox. I spent more time writing drum parts to Paradox than any other song on Constellations. Such is usually the case with the first song I write to on any of our records.

The rhythm at the end of the song is in 7/8. The interesting thing about this rhythm is how it is played and essentially felt on the drums. I match the 7/8 rhythm with my feet but my hands are playing in straight 4/4. In this way, the rhythm is groovier and more to feel 'circular.' JB changes things up not long after the rhythm starts by bringing back the 8/4 and 6/4 lead and cycling it over the rhythm.

Learn more about the band, preview tracks from the album and more - right here!

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