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Day in Rock Report for 02/16/2018

Today's Day in Rock Stories

The Smashing Pumpkins Announce Reunion Tour

The worst kept secret in popular music has been confirmed with The Smashing Pumpkins announcing a North American reunion trek that will be called Shiny And Oh So Bright Tour.

The outing will be the first tour in almost 20 years that will include founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, and James Iha and is set to kick off on July 12th in Glendale, AZ.

Frontman Billy Corgan had this to say, "Some 30 years ago, as The Smashing Pumpkins, James Iha and I began a musical journey in the cramped rear bedroom of my Father's house. And so it's magic to me that we're able to coalesce once more around the incredible Jimmy Chamberlin, to celebrate those songs we've made together.

He also had this to say about what fans can expect, "This show and staging will be unlike any we've ever done, and will feature a set unlike any we've ever played. For if this is a chance at a new beginning, we plan on ushering it in with a real bang." See the dates here.

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Corey Taylor Reveals Timeline For New Slipknot Album

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor shared some good news for fans during a recent interview. The masked group expects to release their next studio album next year.

Taylor was asked about the new material while talking to Musik Universe and responded, "It's awesome. That's all I'm gonna say about it. It's everything I wanted it to be. And they've been sending me stuff, kind of here and there… And it's so funny too, because they're like 'We don't want to send you anything until it's ready' and I'm like 'Alright, alright.' I'm being very patient and then I've gotten about six, gotten about six songs now. And they're… they're really, really good. And just in that demo form. And by demo I mean really just that fact that's little longer than it will end up.

"Because what you want to do is take that idea and extrapolate it to the point where you've exhausted every kind of idea. And then you kind of take it, you shorten it and you break it down and form it to get it a little more solid, a little more fluid.

"And that's where it's at right now and I'm actually writing lyrics for three of them as we speak. And it's dark. It's really dark. It's actually probably the most autobiographical I've been in years. Just for the fact that I've been through a lot in the last few years.

"And I've been sitting on a lot, so I'm writing from the standpoint of where I am now instead of where I was. Which is so easy to tap into sometimes. It's so easy to just kind of go there, almost like on impulse. Now, I'm writing it from the standpoint of a man who's been through a lot-not just a young man, but an older man, and trying to figure things out."

He was then asked about the timeline for releasing it and he said, "Next year... absolutely, next year, yeah." He added, "2019, sometime in that year we will definitely be recording it. We'll finish writing it, record it and be ready to go on the road." Watch the full interview here.

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Metallica To Receive 2018 Polar Music Prize

Hard rockin icons Metallica will be one of the recipients of this year's Polar Music Prize, it was announced earlier this week by Polar Music Prize award committee at Stockholm City Hall.

The band members have shared their reaction to the honor. Frontman James Hetfield said, "I feel very honored to be in such great company with the others who have accepted the Polar Music Prize. As myself and as Metallica, I'm grateful to have this as part of our legacy, our history. Thank you."

Guitarist Kirk Hammett reacted, "It means a lot to me because we've been added to a list of very distinguished artists and musicians who I respect. And to be acknowledged for the work we've done. I know how important this is and how much of an honor it is." Read more here.

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Muse Release New Song and Video 'Thought Contagion'

Muse delivered a post Valentine's Day treat for fans on Thursday (Feb 15) with the release of a brand new digital single and streaming music video called "Thought Contagion."

The new track was produced by Rich Costey and the band and was mixed by Adam Hawkins. The music video is described as a "'80s infectious neon love story" and was directed by Lance Drake, who previously worked with the band for their "Dig Down" clip.

Frontman Matt Bellamy had this to say about the new song, "The meaning of the song 'Thought Contagion' is about how other people's thoughts, ideas and beliefs can sometimes infect your mind, get into your head and change the way you think yourself". Watch the video here.

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Previously Unreleased Jimi Hendrix Track Streaming Online

(hennemusic) The team behind Jimi Hendrix is streaming a previously-unreleased studio version of "Hear My Train A Comin'" as the latest preview to the guitarist's forthcoming album "Both Sides Of The Sky."

An original blues composition inspired in part by Hendrix's childhood hero, Muddy Waters, USA Today reports the tune is one of the last songs the Experience recorded together, amid simmering tensions between the guitarist and bassist Noel Redding.

"What I love about this is you got Noel pretty much driving the band, because I think he's aware that he's out," says Eddie Kramer, a recording engineer who worked on all of Hendrix's records until the artist's death in 1970 at age 27. "You've got three musicians in the studio, a little bit of angst and the bass player pushing up against Jimi - it yielded a magnificent take."

"There was an undercurrent of Noel wanting to be a solo artist and be recognized on his own," adds co-producer and Hendrix historian John McDermott. "But when they put their focus together on a song or a concert, they had a tremendous chemistry. It's evident to anybody."

"Hear My Train A Comin'" follows Hendrix's previously-unreleased cover of the Muddy Waters classic, "Mannish Boy", as the second tune issued in advance of the project's release on March 9. Listen to the song here.

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Singled Out: Small Town Titans' Dragonfly

Small Town Titans' Phil Freeman shares the deeply personal and moving story behind their latest single "Dragonfly", which was released last month. Here is the story:

The story behind our latest single is a song that is incredibly personal for me. The name of the single is Dragonfly. It's in tribute to my mother Lauren Freeman who passed to the other side in February of 2017. We released the single on what would have been her 57th birthday.

It was a song that I started writing a week before she passed because we knew that her time on Earth was coming to a close. I didn't really know what I was going to do with the song or whether I'd even release it when I started writing it. All that was going through my mind and heart at the time was a way to express the gratitude and love that I have for my best friend who I was watching slowly slip away.

It was the same week I decided to go to my buddy Frank's tattoo shop and permanently pay tribute to my mother in the form of a dragonfly. She always loved dragonflies which have significant meaning in many cultures across the globe. It's a constant reminder of her presence and the love and guidance she bestowed and I feel continues to bestow upon me.

I hope a spark of her spirit lives on in the ears of those who listen to the song. She was a very special human and a very special soul that I miss dearly and I'm so grateful for.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself as you watch the video right here!

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Megadeth's David Ellefson Announces Meet and Greet Events

Megadeth cofounder David Ellefson has announced a series of meet and greet events next month Midwest appearances including the launch of the Urban Legend Coffee Stout with Sioux Falls microbrewery Hydra Beer Company.

Ellefson had this to say, "It's always fun to get out and meet the fans, especially when I can get back home to the Midwest. Minnesota Always shows us a great time. With my brand manager, and partner, Thom Hazaert, we've launched a lot of exciting new things this year, and it's really great to get out and meet fans and spread the word and get their feedback."

Also appearing on several of the dates are the Ron Keel Band, celebrating the EMP release of Keel's debut outlaw country/Southern Rock release Metal Cowboy Reloaded, also featuring Frank Hannon of Tesla, and guest appearances from Eric Brittingham and Jeff Labar of Cinderella, Paul Shortino, Troy Lucketta of Tesla, and more, in stores 3/23 via EMP Outlaw/EMP Label Group. Read more here.

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Royal Blood Release 'Look Like You Know' Video

(hennemusic) UK rockers Royal Blood are premiering a video for "Look Like You Know", the latest single from their second album, "How Did We Get So Dark?"

The clip mixes footage from various live performances by the duo of bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher - including a December 16, 2017 performance at the House Of Vans in London, UK that was streamed live after more than 10,000 fans applied for free tickets to the intimate event.

Recorded in Brussels, Belgium with producer Joylon Thomas and London with co-producer Tom Dalgety, "How Did We Get So Dark?" debuted atop the UK charts upon its release last June to duplicate the success of the band's 2014 self-titled record, the fastest-selling British rock debut album in their native country in three years.

Royal Blood will play a series of South American dates next month - including appearances at Lollapalooza festivals in Argentina, Chile and Brazil - before heading to Australia and New Zealand in late April.

The band will launch a US headlining trek in Brooklyn, NY on May 28. Watch the new video here.

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Neil Young Blames Record Label Greed For Pono Failure

(Radio.com) Neil Young opened up during a new interview about his much-discussed but short-lived his-res downloading service and accompanying player, Pono, and he put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the labels.

"The record labels killed it," Young told the L.A. Times. "They killed it by insisting on charging two to three times as much for the high-res files as for MP3s. Why would anybody pay three times as much?"

Young reflected on Pono while detailing his recently revealed online music archive, a one-stop shop for all things Neil Young, from studio recordings to rarities, movies, and more.

"It's my feeling that all music should cost the same," he added in regards to Pono. "The [hi-res] file doesn't cost any more to transfer. And today with streaming, you don't have the problem [of unauthorized file sharing]. Who wants to copy something if you can stream it? The record companies, by charging three times as much for hi-res music as they charge for regular music, they've killed hi-res music. It's the dumbest thing I've ever seen." Read more here.

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Ted Nugent's Willie Nelson Guitar Aspiration

(Gibson) Ted Nugent's 1962 Gibson Byrdland electric hollowbody was recently profiled on Vintage Guitar's website, as part of the magazine's "Classic Instruments" series. The article describes the Byrdland as "unique among Gibson electric guitars."

"Designed with the input of guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland (the name is derived from their surnames), it was introduced in the mid 1950s as one of the company's first 'thinline' hollowbody models," notes the writer. "Its 23 1/2? scale is also unusual, being more typical of a student guitar than a professional instrument.

After noting that Nugent has owned his Byrdland since his days with the Amboy Dukes-a fact reflected by the instrument's bruised finish-the writer goes on recount an anecdote from the rocker's guitar tech, Dean Mitchell.

"I was looking at the wear on it …" said Mitchell, "and I asked Ted if he wanted me to sand it down and put a little lacquer on there. He told me if I touched it, he'd shoot me. He wants it to be like Willie Nelson's acoustic!" Read more here.

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