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Day in Rock Report for 12/07/2017

Today's Day in Rock Stories

Surviving Nirvana Members Reunite During Foo Fighters Concert

(hennemusic) Surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear reunited for a one-song performance during the Foo Fighters show at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, OR on December 5, and video from the event is streaming online.

"Back in the day, I had this song that I thought might be kind of cool," Grohl told the crowd as Novoselic arrived onstage, "…and we had nothing to do all day long. I was like, 'I got an idea.' And we recorded this song together. It wound up on the first Foo Fighters record. It's called 'Big Me' and it sounds like this…"

The fifth single issued from the Foo Fighters' 1995 self-titled debut, "Big Me" hit No. 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 while the album peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard 200 on its way to sales of more than a million in the States alone.

Novoselic and Kurt Cobain founded Nirvana in Aberdeen, WA in 1987; following a series of drummers, Grohl joined in 1990 in time to record the group's breakout album, "Nevermind", in 1991, with Smear added as a touring rhythm guitarist in 1993.

The three surviving members have rarely reunited on stage since Cobain's death in 1994; they did regroup for Nirvana's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014. Watch some footage of the reunion jam here.

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Avenged Sevenfold Releasing Special Album This Week

Avenged Sevenfold are celebrating receiving a Grammy nomination for next year's event by releasing a very special digital acoustic live album on Friday (December 8th).

The band had this to say about this week's special release, "We're excited about our Grammy nomination so we're releasing a special acoustic album, 'Avenged Sevenfold Live at the GRAMMY Museum'," the band shared.

"A portion of the proceeds from this digital-only release will benefit the education initiatives of the GRAMMY Museum, which seek to inspire youth to the enduring qualities and cultural significance of music."

The group has been nominated for Best Rock Song for their track "The Stage" along with Metallica's "Atlas, Rise!," K.Flay's "Blood in the Cut," Nothing More's "Go to War" and Foo Fighters' "Run." See the tracklisting here.

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Aerosmith's Joe Perry Streams New Song With Cheap Trick's Robin Zander

(hennemusic) Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is streaming "Aye, Aye, Aye" - featuring Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander - as the lead track to his forthcoming solo album, "Sweetzerland Manifesto."

"Being friends and fans of each other for 40 years, Robin and I had always talked about writing together," Perry tells Rolling Stone. "I was in L.A. working on my newest solo record and Robin was in town with Cheap Trick and called me with an idea for a song. He sang the chorus over the phone which was all he had at the time. I dug it and said, 'Hell yeah, come on up.'

"This song turned out to be one of two tracks on the album I hadn't written the music for before. Robin came up to Sweetzerland and six hours later 'Aye, Aye, Aye' was born. The song moved along as fast as a ride on a Japanese bullet train. In fact, we were able to track it live that night."

Due January 19, "Sweetzerland Manifesto" sees Perry collaborating with guest vocalists Zander, David Johansen and Terry Reid, and others including Johnny Depp, Zak Starkey and his own sons Tony and Roman Perry. Stream the song and read more here.

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Eagles Add Over A Dozen New North American Dates

It won't be a heartache tonight for Eagles fans in over a dozen cities with the superstar group announcing additional dates for their 2018 North American tour.

The band has added additional concerts for their An Evening with the Eagles tour in Grand Rapids, Kansas City, Columbus, Lexington, Charlotte, Columbia, Raleigh, Birmingham, Houston, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh.

They have added second shows in Nashville, Vancouver and Toronto and announced a new stadium concert with Chris Stapleton that is set to rock Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Tickets for the new dates will be going on sale Friday, December 15, 2017 at 10 AM. See all of the dates here.

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As Cities Burn 'Are Back' Announce Dates With Emery

After teasing their Facebook followers late last month with word that a new show announcement was coming, As Cities Burn announced on Wednesday that they are back.

The band took to their Facebook page on Wednesday and declared "we are back" and shared a handful of early 2018 tour dates where they will be supporting Emery.

This latest reunion comes after the band declared back in the summer of 2016 that they were over and "this time for good". Apart from the tour announcement, the band has yet to reveal details about their reunion plans. See the dates here.

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New Director Hired For Freddie Mercury Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

(Radio.com) This week, X-Men director Brian Singer was dismissed from the Freddie Mercury biopic on which he'd been working. A Hollywood Reporter story alleges that on-set "chaos" led to the termination, which Singer denies. 20th Century Fox has announced that director Dexter Fletcher will take the reins from Singer, and production on the film (which features Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek as Mercury) will resume next week.

The BBC describes Fletcher as a "Guy Ritchie favorite" who has directed the musical Sunshine On Leith and last year's Eddie The Eagle. Singer refutes the claims that a chaotic set environment led to his departure; The director released a statement which said he needed time to care for a "gravely ill parent" as well as his own health.

"Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services," Singer wrote. "This was not my decision and it was beyond my control." Read more here.

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Singled Out: WildeStarr's Beyond The Rain

WildeStarr released their brand new album "Beyond The Rain" today (Dec 8) and to celebrate we asked vocalist London Wilde to tell us the story behind the title track. Here is the story:

"Beyond the Rain" is about my brother and I growing up in a violent and abusive environment, and how the love of music became our source of inner strength and sanctuary. In particular, metal and heavy guitar oriented music. There is something so empowering about the sound of traditional metal. The electric guitars and driving beat almost sound like a battle cry. Life can be a battle, and for my brother and I as kids, this kind of music uplifted us and gave us the strength to not only want to survive, but to want to achieve great things as well.

On This tune, "Beyond The Rain" Dave had already final tracked the guitars and bass, and Josh final tracked the drums. I had to work within that framework that was established.

I don't approach lyrics as poetry written and planned beforehand. I find that poetry written this way rarely translates well into a pleasing flow musically. I typically write and record the lyrics and melody at the same time. I establish what I want the song to be about in my mind, and may write down single words, and short phrases that get the concept across in an interesting way. I like to include words that are visual. Colors, elements from nature, things that are descriptive enough that the listener can "see" something in their mind. I find that balance between the cerebral, emotional, and visual makes for a more interesting lyric. Then I spread these papers around me at the recording console, press record, and I improvise the melody and phonetics on the fly. If I glance down and see and interesting word or phrase on my note papers, I'll try them. Sometimes not ONE idea from my notes make it into the song. Usually a lovely phrase just comes out from my subconscious, and I keep it. There are a few of my songs that were written entirely this way, almost 100% improvised. Usually I have a good portion of parts that sound great phonetically but are just gibberish nonsense words. I replace them with similar sounding words that make sense later. The first challenge I had, was that the music in the verses sounded very light and happy for such a serious subject. Major chords tend to sound cheerful, and minor chords tend to sound pensive or sad. There was this nice open light guitar strumming going on in the verse, which sounded really uplifting to me. I decided to just go with it, and sing something that sounded light and happy as well. "I'm living in the sunlight, I got a little peace of mind"
Then I turned it darker with the next line "So strike your blows". I like this kind of unexpected direction, it keeps the listener on their toes.

I hate to admit it, but usually I don't rehearse ANYTHING or even warm up before I record. You can call it being lazy, but I like to think of it as streamlining my time! I also don't like to perform the song so much that the fire is gone. Sometimes the first words out of my mouth are the most passionate, and I can never recapture the performance of it. Sometimes I do have a specific line and melody in my head. For example, I had written words and melody in my head for the chorus, and the words are "Somewhere beyond the rain". When I rolled tape for the first time, and the chorus part came up, I got my timing wrong. I came in too soon, so there was a slight stutter. It was like S---Somewhere Beyond the Rain…I thought it sounded really cool like that, so I kept it. "Somewhere beyond the rain...I found another place. Where music kills my pain..It's Steel and It's Fire. The sound it makes you Fade." In the last line of the chorus, I was thinking about my father's face screaming and yelling at me, and how I developed the ability to tune it out by going somewhere else in my mind. The sound of the music made the bad things fade away. Negative thoughts replaced by positive ones.

Music also ignited the dream of being a musician both my brother and myself, and it felt like a having a "pact" with music itself; So I decided to give music an entity in the song, and called her "Tranzation Angel of the air" in the vocal bridge. Tranzation is a made up word, but I thought it sounded good. It is a combination of the words Transmute and Vibration. "And I'll trace it all, one more time inside.." These lyrics mean that no matter where you are, you can simply recall a song in your mind, and replay it mentally. I still do this today. If I am stressed, like in the dentist's chair or something, I just play a favorite song in my mind. That's the beauty of music..no one can take it away from you. It's always there.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the album right here!

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Elton John Plays 'Your Song' In Tribute To His Late Mother

(Radio.com) Sir Elton John performed his 1970 classic "Your Song" on Tuesday (Dec. 5) to honor his late mother; Sheila Farebrother passed away the day before at age 92.

The pop legend performed the song at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany and preceded it with a comment about his mother's death, Billboard reports. "Yesterday was a sad and hard day for me because my mother passed away," he said. "I'm glad to say she passed away peacefully, with no pain, but maybe sooner than she should have done, so I was quite shocked. And I was thinking how I could pay tribute to her tonight, and what song I should choose."

He told the crowd that he wrote "Your Song" at his mother's house and added, "I can remember every single minute of writing this song with Bernie [Taupin]. So this is the song I want to dedicate to her. And it's taken me from nowhere to somewhere. So thank you, mum." Read more here.

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Led Zeppelin Star's Work On R.E.M. Album Recounted

(Gibson) R.E.M.'s bassist-keyboardist Mike Mills recently had effusive praise for Led Zeppelin co-founder John Paul Jones's work on his band's classic album, Automatic for the People. Speaking with Billboard, Mills said Jones's string arrangements for 'Everybody Hurts', 'Drive', 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight,' and 'Nightswimming' added "a whole other level of beauty" to the LP.

"It hadn't occurred to us [to seek out Jones], and we didn't think he would say yes, but as soon as [producer Scott Litt] mentioned Jones's name and I thought about 'Kashmir,' it was like, 'Well … why not?'" recalls Mills. "And then we sent him the stuff and he liked it and he came down and listened and did exactly what we wanted, which was to elevate the songs without dominating them."

Mills and his former R.E.M. bandmates Michael Stipe and Peter Buck have been coordinating in recent weeks to promote the 25th anniversary Automatic for the People box set. When asked if there were any chance of a full-on reunion, Mills was emphatic in his response.

"In a word -- no," he said, with a laugh. "Michael and I have a really great time doing the press trips. We go off and we go to really fun cities and have great dinners and work hard all day. But if anything it reinforces the idea that we did the right thing by breaking up when we did." Read more here.

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Beck's 'Up All Night' 'The Tonight Show' Performance Goes Online

(Radio.com) On Wednesday night, Beck graced The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon stage with a live performance of "Up All Night" from his new studio album Colors.

The new single "Up All Night" encapsulates the jubilant, timeless pop Beck aimed for on the new record. He's described the track as an expression of "unadulterated joy."

"There was a very strong positive feeling that was happening while we were making this record, this renewed appreciation and affection for playing music and the relationship with the audience, the joy of being together," he told NME. Watch Beck perform "Up All Night" here.

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The Script's Mark Sheehan Gives Himself Advice

(Gibson) As part of their "10 Questions" series, Music Radar recently asked The Script's Mark Sheehan which of his guitars he would rescue from a burning building, if he could save only one.

"I would save … my Goldtop Les Paul," said Sheehan. "It's a standard guitar, it's got standard pickups, it's all very standard but it's just a very well-balanced guitar that works across the board for everyone."

Sheehan, who co-founded the Irish rock trio in 2001, was also asked to share some advice he would give his younger self about playing guitar, if he could go back in time.

"Don't be so erratic, don't try to fill every piece of silence with a sound," he replied. "Chill out, remember that the silence is as important as the sound and gives the space between notes time to breathe."

He added: "And the one other thing is to be able to sing everything you can play, because A) it improves your vocals, and B) it's always good in a band to have a guitarist to do vocals. So always sing all the parts you can play." Read more here.

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Yes Fan Convention Announces For Band's 50th Anniversary

Prog legends Yes have revealed some very special plans next spring to celebrate their 50th anniversary with their Yes Fan Convention in London, in addition to their previously announced shows in the city. We were sent the following details:

They have announced a weekend of events to coincide with their two London shows on 24th & 25th March, the final dates of their 2018 UK tour. On Sunday, 25th March, the London Palladium will host the Yes Fan Convention, an afternoon devoted to all things Yes, attended by both current members of the band and YES alumni. This unique event is sponsored by Prog Magazine and will feature:

* The official launch and world-wide exclusive availability of the Drama line-up version of Fly From Here, new lead vocals throughout by Trevor Horn, and remix by Trevor, including an unreleased track. (limited numbers available for purchase) Read more here.

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Towers Of London Follow Comeback Song With Live Shows

Towers of London will be playing their namesake city tonight in support of their brand new comeback song and video entitled 'Shot in the Dark', following by another show this weekend.

The band recently released the new track as the first taste of their new album 'Super Sounds Of K-Town' which was recorded in Korea Town in Los Angeles and is set to be released this coming spring.

They kick off the live shows tonight (December 7th) in London at The Crowndale and will be playing another show on December 9th in Manchester at Night People. Read more here.

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Small Town Titans Give A Christmas Classic A Hard Rock Makeover

Small Town Titans are gearing up for Christmas with the release of their version of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch," giving the dark track a hard rock makeover.

Drummer Jonny Ross explains the band's decision to put their own spin on the song, "We wanted to do something different for the holiday season this year, so we decided to revisit 'You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,' a tune we had covered for holiday shows in the past.

"Other than the Misfits, we really haven't heard a rock band of any kind cover this song. We rearranged our take on it together and created a dark, bluesy, sinister version, and we are very proud of the result, captured live in the studio." Watch the video for the song here.

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