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Day in Rock Report for 09/05/2017

Today's Day in Rock Stories

Steely Dan Icon Walter Becker Dead At 67

(hennemusic) Steely Dan guitarist and co-founder Walter Becker died on September 3 at the age of 67. Becker's website broke the news Sunday, without providing details, with a pair of photos of the musician - one from childhood alongside a more recent image.

The guitarist was noticeably absent from Steely Dan's appearances at the Classic West and Classic East music festivals in July, with co-founder Donald Fagen later telling Billboard that "Walter's recovering from a procedure and hopefully he'll be fine very soon."

"Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967," wrote Fagen in a tribute he shared online Sunday. "We started writing nutty little tunes on an upright piano in a small sitting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm.

"We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the twenties through the mid-sixties), W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind. Also soul music and Chicago blues."

"Walter had a very rough childhood - I'll spare you the details," Fagen continued. "Luckily, he was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter. He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny. Like a lot of kids from fractured families, he had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people's hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art. He used to write letters (never meant to be sent) in my wife Libby's singular voice that made the three of us collapse with laughter.

"His habits got the best of him by the end of the seventies, and we lost touch for a while. In the eighties, when I was putting together the NY Rock and Soul Review with Libby, we hooked up again, revived the Steely Dan concept and developed another terrific band.

"I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band." Read more here.

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Foo Fighters Cover Classic AC/DC Song

(Radio.com) During a spirited performance at the BBC Live Lounge, the Foo Fighters gave their fans something old, something new and something borrowed. The Foos dusted off "Best of You" from their 2005 album In Your Honor, which is the band's best-selling single to date. They also played "The Sky is a Neighborhood" from their upcoming ninth studio album Concrete and Gold.

Finally, the band rocked a cover of the AC/DC standard "Let There Be Rock," a classic celebration of devil horn-raised, high-energy, guitar-blaring rebellion.

The Foos have been making the rounds to promote their new album Concrete and Gold, which arrives September 15. They played festival dates in Europe and Asia this summer, and are gearing up for a massive North American tour that begins in October.

Watch teasers from the Foo's Live Lounge performance here.

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Robert Plant Streams New Song 'Bones Of Saints'

(hennemusic) Robert Plant is streaming the track "Bones Of Saints" as the latest preview to his forthcoming album "Carry Fire." The rocker recently debuted the project's lead single, "The May Queen", when announcing the set, which is due October 13th.

The album was recorded with his touring band the Sensational Space Shifters. "Carry Fire" features appearances by Albanian cellist Redi Hasa, renowned viola and fiddle player Seth Lakeman, and Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde.

"It's about intention, I respect and relish my past works but each time I feel the lure and incentive to create new work. I must mix old with new," says Plant. "Consequently the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat, the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation."

Plant's eleventh solo album marks the follow-up to 2014's "lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar", which debuted and peaked at No. 10 on the US Billboard 200 upon its release.

The singer will launch "Carry Fire" with a tour of the UK and Ireland in November. Stream the new song here.

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Metallica Share Video From Euro Tour Opener Online

(hennemusic) Metallica performed their 2016 single, "Moth Into Flame", during opening night of their European tour at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 2, and the band are sharing professional footage from the event.

The band's 18-song set delivered a few surprises for fans, including tour rarities "The Day That Never Comes" from 2008's "Death Magnetic", "Dream No More" from "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct", and a cover of Budgie's "Breadfan", as well as the first appearance of 1991's "Through The Never" in four years.

The Copenhagen stop was a rescheduled show from February after frontman James Hetfield was put on vocal rest by doctor's due to an illness during the group's planned 4-night stand to open the new venue in drummer Lars Ulrich's homeland.

Fresh from a break following a North American tour finale in Edmonton, AB on August 16, Metallica's extensive fall run across Europe will wrap up with two dates in Antwerp, Belgium in early November before resuming with a spring 2018 leg that will open in Lisbon, Portugal on February 1. Watch the video here.

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Queen Reveal Special Plans For News Of The World Anniversary

(hennemusic) Queen will release a 40th anniversary box set edition of their 1977 album classic, "News Of The World", on November 17. Led by the stadium anthems "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions", the UK band's best-selling studio release peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 on its way to worldwide sales of 6 million copies, including 4 million in the States alone.

The 2017 3CD/1DVD/1LP package delivers engineer Bob Ludwig's 2011 remaster of the album alongside two discs of bonus tracks, a DVD of a new one-hour documentary, and a pure analogue re-cut of the original vinyl LP direct from the unmastered analogue master mix tapes.

The "Raw Sessions" disc presents recently unearthed out-takes and rarities from the band's archives "mined deep from long-vaulted studio multi-track tapes, this extraordinary parallel album brings to light never-before-heard alternative versions of each of the album's 11 tracks," says the group. "Every lead vocal is different, as are most of the lead guitar parts and a great many other instrumental details."

The disc of bonus tracks features a variety of previously-released but hard-to-find versions of "News Of The World" tracks recorded in concert, for radio shows, or in alternate mixes, including the band's entire five-song final live session recorded for BBC Radio in October 1977.

The DVD documentary "Queen: The American Dream" offers material filmed - on and off stage - during Queen's 1977 US tour in support of the record, including footage from a Houston concert late in the year. here.

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Mastodon Stream New Song 'Toe To Toes'

(hennemusic) Mastodon are streaming the track "Toe To Toes" as the first preview of their forthcoming EP, "Cold Dark Place". Available via CD and digital formats, the project will also be issued as a limited-edition 10-inch vinyl picture disc on October 27.

Available as an instant download with pre-orders of the package, the tune was produced by Brendan O'Brien last year while the pairing worked on their current album, "Emperor Of Sand."

Due September 22, the 4-song EP also features "North Side Star", "Blue Walsh" and the title track, which were produced by Nick Raskulinecz and recorded during sessions for the band's 2014 album, "Once More 'Round The Sun."

Ahead of a fall tour of North America with Eagles Of Death Metal and Russian Circles, Mastodon will perform a benefit concert at The Metro in Chicago, IL on September 9 in honor of suicide prevention month.

100% of the proceeds from the event will support suicide prevention and mental health education.

"Please join us in breaking the silence around suicide and mental health," says the band, "it would mean the world to us." Stream the new song here.

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Whitesnake Previews Expanded Reissue Of Blockbuster Album

(hennemusic) Whitesnake are streaming a trailer for the October 6 release of multiple editions of an expanded 30th Anniversary reissue of their classic blockbuster 1987 self-titled album.

The band's most-commercially sucessful record delivered four singles - including the US No. 1 smash, "Here I Go Again", and No.2 ballad, "Is This Love" - on its way to US sales of more than 8 million copies and Top 5 chart status in several countries around the world.

The 4CD/DVD "Whitesnake: Super Deluxe Edition" includes the original album with newly remastered sound, unreleased live and studio recordings, classic music videos, concert footage, a thirty-minute documentary, a 60-page hardbound book that's filled with rare and unseen photos from the era, an extended essay based on new interviews with David Coverdale, plus a booklet of the album's lyrics, handwritten by the rocker.

2CD and 2LP Deluxe Editions will present the newly-remastered album alongside a selection of unreleased bonus recordings, while a single-disc version of the project will also be available; all will be available via digital download and streaming services.
The trailer follows the recent debut of a previously unreleased live version of "Still Of The Night" from the package. Watch the video

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Mick Ronson Film Documentary Coming To U.S. Theaters

(Gibson) A film documentary chronicling the career of guitarist Mick Ronson may soon be coming to a theater near you. As reported by Rolling Stone, "Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story" will be shown in select U.S. theaters beginning September 1.

Bowie himself provided voiceover for the film, which examines Ronson's collaborations with such artists as Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and John Mellencamp-as well as his groundbreaking work with Bowie and his acclaimed role as sideman for Ian Hunter.

"Both Mick Ronson and David Bowie together were the ultimate duo," said director Jon Brewer, in a prepared statement. "They performed and recorded like magicians and created masterpieces that will live on forever." Read more here.

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Alter Bridge Release Video From Live At O2 Package

(hennemusic) Alter Bridge are streaming a lyric video for the track, "Blackbird", as a preview to the September 8 release of a new collection, "Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities", via Napalm Records.

The title track from the band's second album, the 2007 set debuted and peaked at No. 13 on the US Billboard 200 chart. The forthcoming 3-CD package captures Alter Bridge in concert at the London O2 venue on November 24, 2016 alongside a disc of 13 rarities from their career.

The group's live performance is rounded out with a third disc that delivers 13 rarities from their career, including never-before released tracks "Cruel Sun" and "Solace" that were recorded during the sessions for their 2004 debut, "One Day Remains", as well as the song "Breathe" from the same time, which has only ever been available as a US retail exclusive via Best Buy. These tracks join seven other songs that have only been released in Japan until this collection.

"Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities" will be available as a 3CD set, and limited deluxe editions - including a 4-LP set and a CD/DVD Earbook - which also include an exclusive Alter Bridge documentary featuring extensive interviews with the band, their crew, and family, giving a glimpse behind the scenes of the group's biggest UK show to date.

Alter Bridge will begin a series of South American dates in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 15 before launching a fall tour of Europe with a pair of shows at London's Royal Albert Hall in early October. Watch the video here.

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Mike McCready Announces The Glamour & The Squalor Details

(Gibson) Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready will release his original score for the film The Glamour & The Squalor on September 22. He has dedicated it all grunge-era musicians from Seattle who are no longer here.

The Glamour & The Squalor movie tells the story of radio DJ Marco Collins, whose passionate support for indie bands on Seattle's alt-rock station 107.7 The End helped bring Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Garbage, Weezer, and others to international renown throughout the early and mid 1990s.

The film's score is out on Lakeshore Records, and, in addition to the songs composed and recorded by McCready, Lakeshore will also released a companion Various Artist soundtrack containing rare live-on-the-radio performances by No Doubt, Mudhoney, Sebadoh, Bush, Presidents of the USA, Super Deluxe, and others who visited the 107.7 studios at the height of the grunge era.

For the 31-track soundtrack, McCready played not only his guitars such as his signature Gibson 1959 Les Paul Standard model, but also a Mellotron, autoharp, strings, and other instruments. Read more here.

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Van Morrison Released 'Bring It On Home to Me' Video

(Radio.com) Classic rock legend Van Morrison has released the video for "Bring It On Home". The new clip comes in advance of his new album, Roll with the Punches.

The track, which was captured at a concert at London's Porchester Hall this past July, is a cover of a Sam Cooke classic. Roll with the Punches is set for release on September 22

The album features five new Morrison originals alongside his interpretations of songs by Bo Diddley, Mose Allison, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lightnin' Hopkins. Watch the video

Check out "Bring It On Home" here.

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Singled Out: Becomes Astral's Paleblood Sky

Canadian progressive death metal outfit Becomes Astral Here just released their new album "Paleblood Sky" and to celebrate we asked Liam Frith to tell us about the title track. Here is the story:

Recording this album was a little different in general I would say, we had our pre-productions done but they wouldn't load into the DAW so we had to use our guitar pro 6 files for Pre-production which is what we recorded drums and vocals to. Christian's wife was really pregnant when we got there to record so we had to do drums and vocals first, and guitar and bass last (Marco records the guitars and bass), so when we had Youri come in to do the vocals he was recording over some very electronic guitars and blew us all away. As soon as the song was done we decided that would be our single with the music video off the album. Once we got to planning that, we really wanted Youri in the video, so we hit up our friends in Depths of Hatred about where to film a music video in Montreal, and as it turned out they also run a video company, Darkest Media. The day we got to Montreal to film is when the plans changed on what the video would be, because we got rained out. We drove to an underpass of the highway that runs through the city because that was the best dry place we could think of on short notice. The real trick came in when we had 0 power to play the music over a PA system while we filmed, so we had Josh wear headphones with the song and the click track playing. All any of us heard was his drums, so thankfully we were well rehearsed. I think it was really funny having people driving past us throwing metal horns up and honking at us, I saw a few people filming it. We were there for like 6 hours and did something like 15 takes, and then moved to our 2nd location, which was shot outside of an abandoned factory.

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

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