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Day in Rock Report for 01/09/2018

Today's Day in Rock Stories

Van Halen Documentary Film Is In The Works

(hennemusic) Bassist Michael Anthony has confirmed that a documentary about his former band, Van Halen, is in production. Few details about the production are known at this time, including the possible participation of other past and current Van Halen members as 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the group's groundbreaking self-titled debut album.

"Filmed an interview today for a Van Halen documentary in the works," Anthony posted on Instagram on January 6. "Brought up many great memories! I'll let you all know when it will air. Cameraman John on the left worked video camera on our monsters of rock tour with AC/DC in Europe!"

Anthony joined Van Halen in 1974 and appeared on the band's albums and tours through 2004, when he was removed from the lineup by guitarist Eddie Van Halen because he remained friendly with Sammy Hagar after the singer's stint in the band.

The bassist joined the group's ill-fated 2004 reunion trek with Hagar only after taking a pay cut and signing away his rights to any future use of the VH brand name in a business move by the guitarist. Read more here.

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Moody Blues Icon Ray Thomas Dead at 76

(Radio.com) Ray Thomas of legendary classic rock band the Moody Blues has died at the age of 76. Thomas died on Jan. 7. The cause of death has yet to be revealed, but it was reported that he was battling prostate cancer in 2014 (via Billboard).

"It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January 2018," reads an announcement on his record label's Facebook page.

"We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness. It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time."

"Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14…two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars…and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side," wrote bandmate John Lodge. Read more here.

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Gene Simmons Reunited With Ace Frehley 'The Vault' Event

(Radio.com) KISS bass player and singer Gene Simmons has revealed the full tracklist for his mammoth box set, The Vault, which clocks in with a whopping 166 tracks.

Simmons delivered The Vault over the weekend (Jan. 6) to a group of fans at the first release event at the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. The full-day event featured live performances, with Simmons being joined by former KISS members Ace Frehley, Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (via Ultimate Classic Rock).

There was also a special acoustic session with just Simmons and Frehley, with the pair riffing on KISS classics, including "Rocket Ride" and Frehley's solo hit, "New York Groove."

Simmons spent one on one time with all fans in attendance who were there to pick up their huge, 38-pound box set. Read more here.

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Radiohead Sue Pop Star Lana Del Rey Over 'Creep' Similarity

(Radio.com) Radiohead have filed a lawsuit against pop star Lana Del Rey for allegedly ripping off their career-launching 1992 hit "Creep" for her track "Get Free."

Del Rey confirmed the news via Twitter, following rumors that the British group was taking legal action over similarities between their song and Lana's "Get Free." She wrote, "It's true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn't inspired by 'Creep,' Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing – I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court."

This won't be the first time "Creep" has entered the litigation arena. Radiohead were previously sued for the similarities between "Creep" and The Hollies' 1974 single "The Air That I Breathe." Radiohead lost the lawsuit and Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood are now listed as "Creep" co-writers. Compare and contrast Radiohead's "Creep," Lana Del Rey's "Get Free" and The Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe" here.

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David Bowie's Birthday Celebrated With Demo Release

(Radio.com) An early demo of one of David Bowie's "Let's Dance," has been released on what would have been the artist's 71st birthday. The funky pop song was featured on the 1983 album of the same name, and the demo is raw but easily recognizable despite its lack of background vocals, horns, lush production and guitar solo by Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Bowie recorded the demo with Nile Rodgers on December 19 and 20, 1982, in Switzerland after Rodgers flew to Bowie's home to work on some tunes. Excited by their progress, they decided to track the songs immediately and scrambled to enlist a band to assist at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland.

Rodgers considers his experiences working with Bowie to be some of the greatest of his life. "I've been blessed with a wonderful career but my creative partnership with David Bowie ranks very, very, very high on the list of my most important and rewarding collaborations," Rodgers said in a press release. "This demo gives the fans a bird's eye view of the very start of it! I woke up on my first morning in Montreux with David peering over me. He had an acoustic guitar in his hands and exclaimed, 'Nile, darling, I think this is a HIT!'"

Rodgers mixed the original demo shortly before Christmas of 2017. In retrospect, he said the song was the first hint of how innovative and exciting it would be to work with Bowie.

"I took his 'folk song' and arranged it into something that the entire world would soon be dancing to and seemingly has not stopped dancing to for the last 35 years," Rodgers said. "It became the blueprint not only for 'Let's Dance' the song but for the entire album as well." Listen to the demo of "Let's Dance" in its entirety here.

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Early Nirvana Demos Streaming Online

(Radio.com) Four rare Nirvana demo tapes have been uploaded to YouTube. The recordings were shared by John Purkey, an old friend of Kurt Cobain's, according to Consequence of Sound.

The tapes feature early versions of tracks that would end up on Bleach and Nevermind. "This is the first tape Kurt gave to me. Sound quality is not perfect but it's not too bad. It is listenable.

"Paper cuts sounds a little warbaly at first and that is exactly how it was when Kurt gave it to me," Purkey writes of his first upload. "I got used to it. It slowly becomes clear sounding." Read more here.

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Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan Teaming For American Tour

The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan have announced that they will be joining forces on the road this spring and summer when they launch a coheadlining tour of North America.

The Summer of Living Dangerously tour is set to include shows in over 30 cities and is scheduled to kick off on May 10th in Charlotte, NC at the PNC Music Pavilion and will be concluding on July 14th in Bethel, NY at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

A special U.S. ticket presale for most shows will be available to Citi cardmembers via their Private Pass program. The presales are set to begin on Wednesday (Jan 10th) at 10 AM local time. See the dates here.

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Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper Announce Summer Tour

Rod Stewart has announced that he will be hitting the road this summer for an epic North American tour and he is brining along Cyndi Lauper as his special guest.

The tour will span four month and visit 22 cities. It is scheduled to kick off on June 25th at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, Ca and will get into high gear at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, FL on July 24th.

The trek will visit many markets across the U.S. and includes a show at Madison Square Garden on August 7th. The music icon will wrap things up on September 1st in Seattle, WA at the White River Amphitheater. See the dates here.

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Umphrey's McGee Streaming New Song 'Looks'

Umphrey's McGee have released a lyric video for their new track entitled "Looks." The song comes from the group's forthcoming album "it's not us", which will be hitting stores this Friday, January 12th.

The group will be celebrating the release by doing special appearance on the Sirius XM's Jam On channel featuring keyboardist Joel Cummins joining program director Ari Fink for a track by track for the new album. The episode premiered on Monday and will be re-run during the coming week.

The band will be playing a special home town album release party at The Park West in Chicago on January 14th and will be launching their North American tour on January 11th in Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE.

The 'it's not us' headline tour will be running until March 25th where is concludes in San Diego, CA at The Observatory North Park. See the dates and watch the new lyric video here.

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Chester Bennington Fans Asked to Not Leave Tributes At Family Home

(Radio.com) Linkin Park fans are being reminded to leave their flowers, letters and other tributes to Chester Bennington at the Los Angeles offices of his label Warner Bros. Records.

Bennington's widow Talinda re-tweeted a message to that effect from a WBR staffer and assured fans that they would still receive the items. She explained that there are currently new tenants in the house, and revealed that a special tribute is planned for Chester's birthday, which is March 20.

"Please go to Warner Bros Records as a place for memorial for @ChesterBe. We will have a special memorial for his birthday but we are still trying to figure out the details. Thank you for all of your love & support," she wrote. "Our family will receive all of your cards and gifts still. And we deeply appreciate them."

"We have moved into a new home…and the well meaning fans that still come to the house, are disturbing our tenants. We (our family & the band) are deciding on the best place for a permanent memorial. It's a big decision and your respect & patience is appreciated. We love you all." See the tweets here.

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Gogol Bordello and Regina Spektor Unplug For New Track

Gogol Bordello have recruited their friend Regina Spektor to create a new acoustic version of the title track to their latest studio album "Seekers and Finders".

Vocalist Eugene Hutz had this to say about "Seekers And Finders (Acoustic)": "It's the duet of the wandering Jew and the roaming gypsy by the campfire, which we represent most perfectly."

The new unplugged track comes as the band prepares to hit the road next month for a West Coast tour which will be kicking off on February 18th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC.

The short trek also includes a two night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco on February 27th and 28th and will be wrapping up on March 5th in Los Angeles at the Fonda Theater. See the dates and listen to the new song here.

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Franz Ferdinand Reveal New Song 'Feel The Love Go'

(Radio.com) Franz Ferdinand is having a rock and roll dance party and you're invited. The Scottish band has revealed its latest single, "Feel the Love Go."

It finds Alex Kapranos and company setting up shop in the heart of the dance floor with a pulsating beating and rhythmic guitars. There's also a pretty great sax solo towards the end of the song.

"Feel the Love Go" is the latest song from the band's upcoming album, Always Ascending, which is due to debut on Feb. 9. Franz Ferdinand is set to hit the road with a clutch of North American tour dates which kick off in April. Listen to the new track and see all the dates here.

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Talking Heads' David Byrne Announces New Solo

(Radio.com) David Byrne is back. The legendary Talking Heads frontman has revealed an upcoming solo album, American Utopia, which is slated for release on March 9.

The album announcement arrived with the first taste of new music, the upbeat and danceable track "Everybody's Coming to My House." While announcing the release, Byrne shared a lengthy explanation behind the inspiration and meaning of this latest project:

"These songs don't describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world--the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves--well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking," he said in a prepared statement.

This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses," he continued. "Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step. The songs are sincere--the title is not ironic. The title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible. The description, the discontent and the desire--I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on."

"I have no prescriptions or surefire answers, but I sense that I am not the only one looking and asking, wondering and still holding onto some tiny bit of hope, unwilling to succumb entirely to despair or cynicism," he concluded. "It's not easy, but music helps. Music is a kind of model--it often tells us or points us toward how we can be." Listen to the new track here.

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Nine Inch Nails Video Director Eric Zimmerman Releasing Feature Film

Director Eric Zimmerman, responsible for Nine Inch Nails' "Down in It" and "Head Like a Hole," and Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Rusty Cage," has announced the release of his feature film Caller ID Entity.

Based on actual phone messages and testimonials, this sci-fi movie explores phenomena from victims of mind control research and features James Duval, Nathan Bexton, Denny Kirkwood, Douchan Gersi, Triton B. King, Carrie Hayes, Roxy Saint, Elissa Dowling, with John Cho and Peter Greene. Zimmerman's film debut will be released via ITN Distribution. Watch the trailer here.

Zimmerman had this to say "This movie was inspired by real-life phone messages I received from an anonymous woman. The messages are very disturbing, and I imagined what the story behind them could be. As I investigated further, I discovered a whole underground network of psychological torture, victims of mind control experimentation. Everything in the movie is based on real messages and victim testimonials. It makes you wonder where this technology is really going in the near future." Read more here.

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State of Illusion Release 'Blind' Video

State of Illusion have not only unleashed a new remix of their track "Blind" but they have followed up with a music video for the song. The original version appeared on their 2014 album "Aphelion".

Frontman Jacob Porter had this to say, "I wrote 'Blind' in the middle of the night roughly 10 years ago, but we still feel life and energy from it every time we play it. Those 10 years can definitely be felt on 'Blind' because the new mix takes tiny recordings from almost every member we've had over the years and subtly inserts them throughout the track. We included it on Aphelion because we knew that it was a song that needed to be heard.

"Despite originally promoting another song as the single for Aphelion, 'Blind' was the song that seemed to connect most with listeners, probably because of the back and forth volley of mellow and hard-hitting elements and personal lyrics written so that they can be applied to the listeners' unique situations. That's why we decided to team up with Silent Flight Productions to create a visual to go along with the music.

"Hopefully, the new version of 'Blind', along with the awesome video, will resonate with new listeners on an emotional level and give them a little taste of what State of Illusion is all about." Watch the video here.

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Singled Out: Phillip Broussard's Best Friend

Acoustic blues-pop singer-songwriter Phillip Broussard recently released his EP 'Wavelength' and to celebrate we asked Phillip to share with us the story behind the moving track "Best Friend". Here is the story:

"Best Friend" came about out of a simple guitar riff that I had written. I was dealing with some personal anguish at the time and I enjoyed the sound of the riff enough to work backwards with it. I had already penned some lyrics the previous year about losing my dad when I was younger.

The riff matched the tone of the song so it gave me the key that I wanted to write the song in. The chords fell into place fairly quickly after maneuvering some song meter around. I knew it was going to work when someone described the feeling the music gave them as "thinking about themselves standing alone in a field pondering life's decisions."

I still think about that when I listen to this song except it has special significance about the loss of a loved one.

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

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