Daily Archives: March 2, 2017

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Devalued in Real Estate Market

Michael Jackson‘s former home, Neverland Ranch, is back on the real estate market with a new asking price of $67 million, The Associated Press reports.

The price tag is a significant decrease from the $100 million the estate was going for last year, when it was rechristened Sycamore Valley Ranch (though per photos of the listing, the Neverland clock topiary still remains out front). The 2,700 acre property also boasts a pool, tennis courts, a lake, a “Disney-style” train station, barn, guest house and another separate building with a dance studio and 50-person movie theater.

Jackson bought the sprawling estate in Santa Barbara County, California in 1987. He named it after the fictional world in Peter Pan where kids never grow up and filled it with amusement park rides, a petting zoo and other attractions to entertain visiting kids. However, Jackson stopped living at Neverland after his 2005 molestation trial and an extensive search of the property. Neverland almost went to auction in 2008 after Jackson failed to repay a $24 million loan on the estate, but in 2009, before his death, he sold it to Colony Capital for $22.5 million.

After Jackson’s death, the property fell in to disrepair, though Colony Capital slowly redeveloped the home, ridding it of several prominent feature including the amusement park rides, exotic animals and the Jackson-owned Neverland Valley Fire Department, an on-property emergency service that would respond to injured kids. A 2014 Forbes report suggested that Colony put more than $50 million into the estate.

In a recent cover story for Rolling Stone, Jackson’s daughter, Paris, spoke about life at Neverland, saying, “We couldn’t just go on the rides whenever we wanted to. We actually had a pretty normal life. Like, we had school every single day, and we had to be good. And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever. But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things.”

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Liam Gallagher Announces First Solo North American Show

Liam Gallagher will play his first solo show in North America this August, Pitchfork reports. The former Oasis and Beady Eye singer will perform at the Osheaga Festival in Montreal August 4th and a handful of international festivals in Serbia, Spain and France. Gallagher is expected to release a solo album this year.

Gallagher appeared at an Irish pub where he performed an impromptu concert that included a new song – which, fittingly, featured a dig at his brother, Noel. (“When I wake up and I hear you say/ There’s no love worth chasing yesterday,” aimed at Noel Gallagher’s Flying Birds and their LP, Chasing Yesterday)

In an interview with Q about his upcoming solo effort, Gallagher qualified that he was “not embarking on a solo ‘career,'” adding: “There are just 10, 11 songs I’ve written that are eligible to be recorded. They’ve got flair, attitude, the melodies are sick and the words are fucking funny … It’s a record written by me that’s got all the right ingredients and sounds, well, tasty. You won’t be scratching your chin. It’s not Pink Floyd and it ain’t Radiohead. It’s chin-out music.”

At the time Gallagher didn’t offer any other details about the project, other than he was crafting the record with “two lads” and described the sound as “Proper sparse, really pumping. How it should be.” Gallagher’s last studio effort was Beady Eye’s 2013 LP, BE. The band split in 2014.

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No Doubt's Tony Kanal on 'Rebirth' With New Supergroup Dreamcar

“It’s almost like pressing the reset button and going back to the garage,” says Tony Kanal of Dreamcar, his new band with fellow No Doubt mates Tom Dumont and Adrian Young and AFI frontman Davey Havok. “It’s like a rebirth, a really beautiful, pure and positive thing.”

Formed in 2014 – though their existence was only announced a year ago – the supergroup finally unveils their first single, “Kill for Candy,” today. With its propulsive groove, echoing guitar and soaring chorus, the song offers a tasty preview of Dreamcar’s self-titled 12-song debut album, out May 12th on Columbia Records. Produced by Tim Pagnotta (Neon Trees), the record is heavily reminiscent of such Eighties icons as Duran Duran and Flock of Seagulls, though with a decided 21st-century twist.

“There are a lot of things on the album that are Eighties-influenced,” says Kanal, “but I feel like what we’ve created is something very fresh and new, too. You have to find that balance, and I think we’ve achieved that.”

We spoke with Kanal about the origins of Dreamcar, their music, their touring plans and what their existence means for the future of No Doubt.

How did Dreamcar originally come together?
It started about two and a half years ago. Tom, Adrian and myself have realized after all these years that we really love playing music together, and we’d been flirting for a long time with the idea of doing another project. We finally started writing some music together, but we weren’t going to go out and look for somebody to be the singer for this project – that just didn’t make any sense, and I don’t think that would have worked. It was more about someone coming onto our radar, and that’s kind of what happened with Davey.

How did Davey come onto your radar?
Well, we knew Davey from the music scene, and seeing his bands play. Back in 2012, his band Blaqk Audio supported No Doubt when we played some shows at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, and he was incredible; he’s an incredible frontman, one of the best. And then he moved to L.A. about a year later, and I would see him out and about, since we eat at similar places. So it was like all these little seeds were planted along the way to finally make us go, “Wait a minute – let’s ask Davey!”

How did you extend the invitation?
We literally courted Davey. We asked him on a date! [Laughs] We took him to one of our favorite restaurants in L.A. – this was back in, like, May 2014 – and we said, “Hey, we’ve got a bunch of tracks, and we wanted to know if you’d be interested in working on some music with us.” And he was like, “Yep!”

We sent him the stuff we’d been working on a day or two later; and in a few days we got back these four ideas from him, and it was like, “Awww, this could be interesting and cool!” We went into the studio with him and worked on them, and that was kind of the beginning.

The ideas that Davey came back to you with – was it pretty much the sort of thing that you’d envisioned for the material, or did he take it in a different direction?
We had no idea what he was going to come back with. But you just know if something’s working, though; there’s a feeling inside that you can’t quantify, but it just happens. It was like, “Wow, we need to keep exploring this!” Over the course of the next two years, I think we wrote 30 ideas, 12 of which made it onto the album.

There’s definitely a serious Eighties “New Romantic” vibe to these tracks. Was that something you were trying to do, or did the music just come out like that?
No, it just came out like that. We were teens in the Eighties, and that’s the kind of music that we all grew up on. When you’re in those really formative years, from, like, 13 to 19, what you listen to is so influential, and I think that’s just part of our being now. It was never like, “Oh, let’s try to do this!” It’s just the stuff that makes you feel comfortable.

Tell us a little about the first single, “Kill for Candy.”
It’s always hard to talk about music and describe a song. But it was one of the first four songs that we worked on with Davey, and I think it’s a great way to introduce the band to the world. I can’t be more excited about it – and the fact that the single is finally being released is pretty awesome and epic.

You did an excellent job of keeping the band’s existence a secret.
Yeah! The beautiful thing is that for the first year or year and a half, it was just the four of us working on music. Other than, like, our significant others, who obviously knew where we were going to, nobody knew that we were doing this project. We were doing it kind of in secrecy, because we didn’t know what it was going to become; we were working on music just to work on music. It’s almost like you don’t want to talk about it – you just want to do it, and see if something is going to come of it. So there was a beauty to that, because we really haven’t experienced something like that for such a long time.

Did doing it on the down-low allow you more creative freedom?
Oh, yeah. We weren’t bouncing the ideas off of managers, record companies, anybody. You’re doing it only because you want to get in the same room and make music together. There’s something so pure and exciting about that, and you can lose that when you’ve been doing it for a long time – when there’s lots of people involved, it can sometimes become a machine. This way, it allowed us to work in a completely pressure-free environment. You’re just making music, being experimental, and seeing what’s going to happen. I highly recommend it! [Laughs]

It’s such a great thing, because it just reminds you of what you were doing when you first started. That’s what you did – you made music! And [with No Doubt] we were lucky enough to capture a moment, and people related to it, and things happened. But that’s really what it’s about: creating something that comes from within, and hoping that people connect with it, as well.

So, even though three-fourths of the band are from No Doubt, this isn’t meant to be a reboot of No Doubt in any way, shape or form?
Oh, no. To be abundantly clear, No Doubt is four people, and that could never be recreated or replicated. This is a completely different project, and we would never, ever characterize it as anything to do with No Doubt.

What does the future hold for No Doubt?
I think it’s the kind of situation where you go through different phases. Right now Gwen’s focusing on her solo stuff, and we’re focusing on Dreamcar. No Doubt will always be there; we’ve experienced things together that no one else will ever experience with us. It’s a family that will always be there, and the music we’ve created will always be there. We’re just going through a period where everybody’s kind of doing their thing.

Will you be taking Dreamcar on the road?
Yes, absolutely! We’re doing Coachella, and we’re going to do a bunch of warm-up shows prior to Coachella, which I’m really excited about. We’re going to do a bunch of small club shows on the West Coast, and then we’ll be playing some East Coast shows soon. Tom, Adrian and I, we haven’t done club shows in years, so that’s another exciting component of this. We’re getting together this week in Adrian’s basement to just start getting our chops together, which is awesome. It’s part of that whole no-pressure thing I was telling you about – just jamming in his basement, which is frickin’ so much fun!

Dreamcar Tour Dates
April 5 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room at the Observatory
April 9 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
April 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy Theatre
April 15 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
April 19 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box
April 20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
April 22 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

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Inside Lou Reed's Revelatory New Public Archive

The voice comes out of a laptop-computer speaker like a ghost with attitude: the familiar bone-dry monotone of Lou Reed, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar as he sings about body counts and an unjust war. It is a rare marvel in the avant-rock legend’s half-century canon: a Bob Dylan–style protest ballad, rescued from a cassette of solo demos taped in 1971 when Reed – halfway between leaving his band, the Velvet Underground, and launching a solo career – was living in exile at his parent’s home in Long Island. Reed, who died in 2013, never officially recorded the tune. But he saved the main hook, which resurfaced in 1974 as the chorus and title of Reed’s searing memoir of his teenage hell in electroshock therapy: “Kill Your Sons” on the 1974 album, Sally Can’t Dance.

“He trusted tape,” Reed’s wife, the artist Laurie Anderson, says as she listens to that recording in her lower-Manhattan studio. The original humble-looking cassette is on a table next to her with that laptop and a box of other, vintage tapes with handwritten labels and tantalizing contents: live shows from Cleveland in 1986 and a Long Island radio station in late ’72, right after the release of Reed’s turning-point hit, Transformer; another set of solo demos from 1974, including impromptu readings of some of Reed’s greatest songs for the Velvets.

“Lou wrote in his head,” Anderson goes on, her voice soft with awe, as “Some Kinda Love” and “Candy Says” from that ’74 tape play in the background. “That was the weirdest thing. He could just wake up, and the song was done. But he had been putting it together over a period, with little phrases.” She cites a lyric from Reed’s 1996 album, Set the Twilight Reeling: “Light glances off the blue glass we set/Right before the window.” “I would go, ‘Oh, he said that two weeks ago.’ You could hear it being routed to a song somehow.”

Those cassettes and the stories they tell – about Reed’s roots and influences, songwriting process, performing history and serial triumphs on record, with the Velvets and across more than 30 studio and live solo albums – are now part of the Brooklyn-born rock & roll provocateur’s extraordinary gift to his hometown. Today, on what would have been Reed’s 75th birthday, Anderson and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center announced the latter’s acquisition of Reed’s complete personal archive. It includes 300 linear feet of correspondence, business papers and photographs; more than 600 hours of concert, studio, demo and interview tapes; 1,300 video recordings; and extensive personal memorabilia, including his LP collection.

Among the many highlights revealed during an exclusive preview for Rolling Stone a week before the announcement: an original cassette from Reed’s last night onstage with the Velvets in August 1970 at Max’s Kansas City in New York; memos from RCA Records detailing David Bowie’s role – and payment – as Reed’s producer on Transformer; a personal phone book with listings for Allen Ginsberg, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno and favorite restaurants on the road; and detailed itineraries and receipts from Reed’s notoriously confrontational mid-and-late Seventies tours. One five-inch reel of tape from May 1965 in an unopened package, is thought to be the Velvets’ earliest demo, made at Pickwick Records where Reed was then employed as a staff songwriter.

The archive will be accessible to the general public as well as scholars and researchers. A selection of material is on display through March 20th at Lincoln Center and at NYPL’s main building on Fifth Avenue. The Library is also hosting a free, live performance on March 13th of Reed’s 2003 concept album, The Raven, curated by his producer Hal Willner at Lincoln Center, and a presentation of Reed’s guitar-feedback installation, Drones, at the Fifth Avenue branch on March 15th.

“That’s one of the things Laurie wanted from the beginning – as much access as possible,” says Don Fleming, an archivist for the Alan Lomax and Hunter S.Thompson estates who worked with Anderson for the last three years to catalog the Reed collection. “One of the strongest things about it is that this is a major-label artist with the type of paperwork that goes along with that – his whole life on that level, shown day by day.” Fleming, a producer and guitarist who played in the alternative-rock bands Velvet Monkeys and Gumball, points out that there are “a lot of papers” where Reed is “asked yes or no on some deal and he’ll just scrawl ‘No.’ He had to make that decision. That was part of his day-to-day routine.”

For Anderson, speaking at her studio two weeks before the announcement, the most revealing thing in Reed’s archive is “his curiosity. He is relentlessly finding out about new things. You see it again and again, in each new band he formed, whatever it was. It was all ‘Let’s move on.'”

Reed “was such an adventurer,” she goes on as Fleming, manning that laptop, plays more of those ’71 and ’74 demos. “He wasn’t afraid. He wasn’t trying to please anybody. There just isn’t anybody like that now. We’re all kind of going, ‘Well, was that alright for you?’ He didn’t care. He had that need to just keep doing what he believed in. You feel that come across in the archive.”

On a recent morning at NYPL’s Book Operations facility in Long Island City, Jonathan Hiam – curator at the Library’s American Music Collection and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound – conducts a personal guided tour of several storage boxes from the Reed collection. This is a very small part of the acquisition, which is still in the process of being cataloged.

“It is kind of dense,” Hiam admits as he opens one box full of large business envelopes packed solid with cancelled checks, hotel bills and notes of payment for Reed’s touring musicians. One scrap of yellow legal-tablet paper is marked “Reimburse Doug Yule, I have receipts, $32.61.” Yule, who replaced original bassist John Cale in the Velvets, played with Reed on the road in the Seventies. Another box contains a startlingly detailed accounting of Reed’s royalties for the Velvets’ late-Sixties albums. At one point, for several months in 1971, Reed made $907.04 from the group’s label, MGM Records, from sales of 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico and 1968’s White Light/White Heat – a life-saving amount of money at a time when Reed was out of the Velvets, without a record deal and writing songs that would appear on his early solo albums.

“It’s the underpinnings of the art,” Hiam goes on, “and one of the reasons we were so interested in this archive. It’s Lou Reed, of course. But he was also at the front of all of the twists and turns in pop music. And you see his engagement, his role, in the business. He’s not just along for the ride.”

Surprises seem to come out of nowhere. A Sony Walkman lightly coated with rust turns out to be a special edition, presented to Reed by the company, with a custom silver case made by Tiffany. A reissue copy of the Byrds’ 1966 raga-jazz single “Eight Miles High” has a handwritten note inside the picture sleeve: “Thought you might enjoy a little more Coltrane.” It is signed “Jimmy Page” – an early Reed fan who, as a Yardbird in 1968, was covered the Velvets’ “I’m Waiting for the Man” on stage. And the pleasant shocks keep on coming, even for Hiam. He recalls looking through one binder of business papers with Fleming when a Polaroid of Andy Warhol, the Velvets’ first manager, fell out.

“We were faced with a storage place full of boxes and no one knew what was in them,” says Fleming, who was asked by Anderson to work on Reed’s archive shortly after his death in October, 2013. “About 50 boxes in, we started seeing a lot more consistency: ‘Here’s binders of press from every album and tour.’ It blew my mind that so much stuff was kept from the touring years. It showed so much of his performing life: the audio, the paperwork, the posters. That was one reason why we liked having it go to the Performing Arts library.”

Fleming and Anderson spoke to other institutions including the University of Texas and Reed’s alma mater, Syracuse University. “But we felt like if we could keep this in New York, that would be the best,” Fleming says. Anderson, he notes, “wanted as much access to it as possible.”

“The first thing I wanted was it to be free and online immediately,” Anderson says with a bright, eager smile, then laughs. “I realized that is going to take a little work. But I never wanted this to be socked away in some hard-to-reach place. I wanted people to use it. And he was so generous with that, with his work.”

Reed made no stipulations before he died for the use or sale of his archive. “He wasn’t a legacy guy,” Anderson claims. “He was ‘I want to get the new guitar, the new pedal. Throw that thing away.'” (NYPL’s acquisition does not include Reed’s guitars or studio gear; Fleming and Anderson are considering other options for those.)

“I wasn’t prepared for how overwhelming it was,” Anderson admits. “At first, I thought it’s more like clearing out the office. Then I realized how many layers there are to this.”

“We’ve crossed a point in history,” Hiam points out, noting similar, recent acquisitions – Bob Dylan’s papers to the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma; the establishment of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University in his home state of New Jersey. “We are getting to a point where we’ve got major, creative people with valuable assets beyond, say, research value.

“What is unique about this is that, unlike a museum, you can handle all of these documents,” Hiam says of NYPL’s plans for the Reed archive. “We have to protect them, so there’s always a balance. But you’re going to be able to dig through this stuff.”

Near the end of the preview in Long Island City, Hiam brings in a file box with yet more papers. He pulls out one set of attached papers with a remarkable series of signatures: a September 1969 contract affirming the Velvet Underground’s deal with their manager at the time, Steve Sesnick. It is signed by all four members: Reed, Yule, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker. In the same box, right under that contract, is a carbon of a legal agreement dated just one year later – November 1st, 1970, two months after Reed left the group.

Addressed to the singer at his parents’ house, it is a letter from Sesnick sealing Reed’s departure in blunt terms: “You hereby acknowledge that you withdrew from the group […] voluntarily. You further agree that you shall not in any manner utilize the name Velvet Underground with respect to any entertainment activities in which you may be engaged from the date of this document.” Another year later, in December 1971, Reed was in London recording his debut solo LP, Lou Reed. He had also begun his friendship with Bowie.

“That’s the treasure of an archive,” Anderson contends. “You stand back and look at someone’s whole life, and you realize, ‘He did that there, and then did this over there.’ You get to see the big pictures. It’s such a thrill to see that, in as many shapes as he did.

“It is a real treasure for people,” she says of Reed’s archive and its new home, “and I’m so glad that they’re going to get to use it.”

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Hear Coldplay's Soothing 'Hypnotised' From New EP

Coldplay released a gentle new song called “Hypnotised” from their forthcoming Kaleidoscope EP. “Been rusting in the rubble, running to a faint,” Chris Martin sings wistfully. “Need a brand new coat of paint.” 

Despite Martin’s dreariness, the song captures a similar sense of hope as the band’s 2011 hit “Paradise.” The track ends with Martin on an upbeat: “It was dark, now it’s sunrise.”

“Hypnotised” will appear on Kaleidoscope along with four other songs including “Something Just Like This,” a recently released collaboration with the Chainsmokers, which broke YouTube’s single-day streaming record with nine million views. The track debuted at Number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

Coldplay originally announced Kaleidoscope last November via Twitter. The EP be released on June 2nd. 

Kaleidoscope Track List

1. “All I Can Think About Is You”
2. “Something Just Like This”
3. “Miracles 2”
4. “A L I E NS”
5. “Hypnotised”

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Music Business Regains Confidence In the Chinese Market

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WESTAF Launches Website Connecting Indie Musicians With Nonprofit Venues

WESTAF LogoDENVER, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — WESTAF, nonprofit organization and developer of arts-focused technology systems such as ZAPP®, CaFE™, and CVSuite™, continues its artist-first approach with the launch of IMTour.org™.
An extension of the Independent Music on Tour (IMTour™) grant,…


Daryl Hall & John Oates, Tears for Fears Plot Joint North American Tour

Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears for Fears will unite this summer for a co-headlining North American tour. The 29-date arena trek kicks off May 4th in Tulsa, Oklahoma and concludes July 28th in Los Angeles. Soul singer Allen Stone will open each show with an acoustic set.

“I am very excited to be touring with Tears for Fears,” Daryl Hall said in a statement. “Their music has a timeless quality that complements what we do.” The singer tells Rolling Stone that the outing “could be the start of a long relationship between Tears for Fears and us.” Oates added that he “cant wait to get back out there on the road” with Tears for Fears, whom he called “one of [his] favorite bands.”

Tickets and VIP packages go on sale Friday, March 10th at 10 a.m. local time. American Express cardmembers can access a special pre-sale, which runs from Tuesday, March 7th at 10 a.m. through Thursday, March 10th at 10 p.m. local time. (The July 28th concert in Los Angeles goes on sale Friday, March 17th at noon.)

Last June, Tears for Fears announced they were “working hard” on a new album, their first in 13 years, tentatively slated for 2017. Daryl Hall & John Oates’ most recent studio set is 2006’s Home for Christmas.

Daryl Hall & John Oates / Tears for Fears 2017 Tour Dates

May 4 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
May 6 – St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
May 8 – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena
May 11– St. Paul, MN@ Xcel Energy Center
May 13– Milwaukee, WI @ BMO Harris Bradley Center
May 15- Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena
May 17- Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
May 20- Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
May 22- Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
May 24- Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena*
June 7 – Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena
June 9 – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
June 11 – Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Center*
June 13 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
June 16 – Queens, NY @ Forest Hills Stadium
June 17 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
June 19 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
June 21 – Quebec City, QC @ Videotron Centre
June 24 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
June 26 – Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center
July 11- Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
July 13- San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
July 15- Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
July 17- Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
July 19- San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center
July 21- Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
July 23 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
July 25- San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
July 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center

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Skullcandy® Presents The STAYLOUD Showdown Where Emerging Music Acts Will Win Their Spot on the Big Stage

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Quai D'Orsay marca el intermedio del XIX Festival del Habano

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Protagonismo de la marca que comienza una prometedora etapa con el rediseño de su imagen y el lanzamiento de dos vitolas
La Alianza Habanos unió este año a las denominaciones Habanos y Brandies de Jerez
El próximo 3 de…