Daily Archives: April 4, 2017

Rick Ross Settles Kidnapping, Assault Case

Rick Ross and his bodyguard, Nadrian Lateef James, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor kidnapping and assault charges Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Ross and James were sentenced to five years probation.

The charges stem from a 2015 incident during which Ross and James allegedly assaulted two groundskeepers who threw a party at the rapper’s home in Fayetteville, Georgia without his permission. According to police, Ross and James took the two workers to the guest house and attacked them, with one victim claiming he was pistol whipped.

A representative for Ross did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

Along with the kidnapping and assault charges, Ross and James pleaded no contest to three counts of pointing a pistol at another person. The rapper also pleaded no contest to a marijuana possession charge.

Per the terms of his probation, Ross cannot have contact with the victims or be in possession of drugs, alcohol or a firearm. The conditions also include a search clause and anger management.

Ross unsuccessfully tried to get the case thrown out several times. Last summer, he claimed self defense and at the hearing Tuesday attempted to use Georgia’s “stand your ground law” before ultimately entering his plea.

Atlanta’s WSB-TV reporter Tom Jones posted a short video to Instagram of Ross speaking outside the courthouse after the hearing. “I respect and appreciate how the court chose to resolve not only myself, but my co-defendant’s cases.”

Ross released his ninth album, Rather You Than Me, last month.

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David Byrne Slams Trump's Proposed Cuts to Arts Agencies

David Byrne slammed President Donald Trump‘s proposal to eliminate funding for federal arts agencies, arguing that the meager sums the government spends on such programs yield a remarkable return on investment. Along with the short essay on his website, Byrne spoke out against the proposed budget cuts at a rally in New York City Monday.

Trump’s proposed budget for 2018, which was unveiled last month, would cut the the full $741 million spent on the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports PBS and NPR. As Byrne notes, this amounts to “less than one-tenth of one percent of the United States’ annual federal spending,” yet many hold up the plays and projects arts agencies help fund as proof of wasteful government spending. 

“Well, my argument to those skeptics has nothing to do with the quality of the artworks – I might actually agree that some of it is indulgent and silly, but I would argue that there is undeniable and indisputable monetary and social value to the nation as a whole in the publicly funded arts,” Byrne says. “It is by far one of the best investments the government can make.”

Byrne notes a recent Arts and Economic Prosperity study that showed the non-profit arts generate $135.2 billion in economic activity in the U.S. – a number that jumps significantly when you include the for-profit art sector. Byrne also points to studies that show that art and cultural centers help increase the real estate value of homes and business, and have positive effects on health, safety, education and crime.

“These effects are not just in big cities and mainly for the elites that live in them – this funding goes to small organizations across the country – in thousands of small towns and communities,” Byrne says. “To both red and blue states – they all benefit.”

While Byrne acknowledges it’s unfair to consider the worthiness of art and arts organizations through a purely economic lens, he closes his argument with a plea to the business-minded conservatives in Congress and the White House. “It’s probably the best investment the government makes – as far as a means of generating jobs, growth and social good … surely the businessmen and women in our government can see this and get beyond making silly political points at the expense of the nation, its economy and people.”

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Watch Halsey Struggle With Star-Crossed Romance in 'Now or Never' Video

Halsey has returned with the first taste of her sophomore album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. The R&B slow jam “Now or Never” was produced by Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat and Happy Perez and comes with a violent, Mexico City-shot video co-directed by Halsey and Sing J Lee.

Moving away from the industrial-leaning alternative pop of her 2015 debut album Badlands, Halsey embraces a more sensual sound reminiscent of Justin Bieber’s Journals and the trap-soul of Bryson Tiller. The video deals with the same concept of star-crossed lovers that will permeate her forthcoming album, with a blue-haired Halsey trying to be with the man she loves despite being kept apart from him. Following a foreboding tarot card reading, a shootout occurs. Both Halsey and the man she loves miraculously survive, with the clip ending with the singer chopping off her hair.

“Now or Never” is Halsey’s directorial debut. “[It] is one part in the center of a long narrative that tells the story of two people in love despite the forces trying to keep them apart,” she says in a statement. “On its own, the song is about two impatient young lovers, but in the context of the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom universe, the stakes are much higher for these two star-crossed lovers.”

Hopeless Fountain Kingdom will be released on June 2nd. Like Badlands, the new LP is a quasi-concept album about a couple stuck in a limbo-like realm. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter teamed up with Greg Kurstin, Ricky Reed, Lido and Blanco to executive produce the album. Following the success of her Chainsmokers collaboration “Closer,” Halsey revealed to Rolling Stone that she’s open to creating more mainstream, radio-friendly pop. “I am more than capable of writing radio music,” she said. “And hopefully I’ll put my money where my mouth is on this album.”

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Violent Femmes, Echo and the Bunnymen Plot Co-Headlining Tour

Milwaukee folk-punks the Violent Femmes and British post-punk stalwarts Echo and the Bunnymen will embark on a co-headlining North American tour this summer.

The trek begins July 11th in Philadelphia and includes stops in Brooklyn, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Denver and Seattle before wrapping August 3rd in Vancouver. Tickets go on sale April 7th at 10 a.m. local time, while pre-sale will be available for some concerts.

The Violent Femmes are still touring in support of We Can Do Anything, their ninth LP, which arrived last March. We Can Do Anything marked the band’s first album since 2000’s Freak Magnet, though in 2015 they released an EP for Record Store Day, Happy New Year. The Violent Femmes are reportedly working on the follow-up to We Can Do Anything, which is expected to arrive this year.

Echo and the Bunnymen, meanwhile, continue to tour regularly, having released their most recent album, Meteorites, in 2014. Prior to the trek with the Violent Femmes, singer Ian McCulloch will embark on a solo tour of the United Kingdom.

Violent Femmes and Echo and the Bunnymen Tour Dates

July 11 – Philadelphia @ Skyline Stage at the Mann
July 12 – Brooklyn @ Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island
July 14 – Asbury Park @ Stone Pony Summerstage
July 15 – Boston @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
July 17 – Pittsburgh @ Stage AE
July 18 – Detroit @ Meadow Brook Amphitheater
July 19 – Columbus @ Express Live Outdoor Stage
July 21 – Milwaukee @ BMO Harris Pavilion
July 23 – Chicago @ Huntington Bank Pavilion
July 25 – Kansas City @ Crossroads KC
July 26 – Denver @ Fillmore Auditorium
July 29 – Costa Mesa @ Pacific Amphitheater
July 30 – Saratoga/San Jose @ The Mountain Winery
August 1 – Portland @ Oregon Zoo Amphitheater
August 2 – Seattle @ Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheater
August 3 – Vancouver @ PNE Amphitheater

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Martin Audio Announce Innovative New Live Sound Product Line Up

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/04/Martin_Audio.jpg?p=captionLONDON, April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —
Today, at Prolight + Sound Show in Frankfurt, Martin Audio unveiled an ambitious line up of 10 new products across Line Arrays, Stage Monitors and Amplifiers bringing innovation and value to live sound production.
     (Photo: ht…


Spotify's New Universal Deal Allows Two-Week Paywall for New Releases

Spotify will allow some artists to put their new albums behind a paywall for the first two weeks of release as part of a new licensing deal with industry giant Universal Music Group.

Under the terms of the new agreement, artists would be able to make their new records available exclusively on Spotify’s paid premium service for two weeks, though singles from that album would be available to all users. As part of the partnership, Spotify will also give UMG greater access to the service’s troves of data to reportedly help the label better expand and engage listeners.

“We will be working together to help break new artists and connect new and established artists with a broadening universe of fans in ways that will wow them both,” said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. “We know that not every album by every artist should be released the same way, and we’ve worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy.”

As The New York Times reports, the new deal with UMG will also make it easier for Spotify to finally go public. The company has been valued at more than $8 billion and boasts a user base of approximately 50 million paid subscribers and 50 million free listeners, but it has held off on going public as it has renegotiated its long-expired contracts with the three major labels, Universal, Sony and Warner. Without deals ensuring the presence of their vast catalogs, Spotify likely wouldn’t have been able to attract public investors. The agreement with UMG should help push ongoing negotiations with Sony and Warner.

UMG’s deal with Spotify also marks a major move for the label, which announced last year that it would no longer offer streaming exclusives. UMG Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge made the decision after a wave of exclusive album releases that found artists like Rihanna, Kanye West and Drake delivering albums exclusively to Tidal or Apple Music, partly as a way to attract Spotify users, but effectively cutting out an enormous swath of listeners. For Grainge, the turning point came after Frank Ocean released his visual album, Endless, on Apple Music – fulfilling his contractual obligations to UMG and Def Jam – then releasing a full LP, Blonde, 24 hours later also on Apple Music, but under his own label Boys Don’t Cry.

While UMG will likely continue its policy prohibiting exclusives on one streaming service, the deal notably marks a major change in the way Spotify will do business. Unlike Apple Music and Tidal, Spotify has refrained from offering exclusives, but as Billboard has reported, industry executives have been pushing for some form of “windowing” that would make certain releases only available to paid subscribers. Spotify remains the only major streaming service with a free, ad-supported option, which – to the music industry’s chagrin – has regularly paid out lower royalties.

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Guitarist Duane Betts Joins Jimmy Lumpkin & the Revival

Jimmy Lumpkin and The Revival - "Every Time I Leave" aka "Home" (Official Music Video)MOBILE, Ala., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Skate Mountain Records announces the newest additions to Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival including guitarist Duane Betts. The announcement comes in time for Betts to perform with the band at the SouthSounds Music and Arts Festival in Mo…


Who, Metallica, Gorillaz, Lorde Top 2017 Outside Lands Lineup

The Who, Metallica, Gorillaz, Lorde and A Tribe Called Quest top the stacked lineup for the 10th installment of Outside Lands. The festival will take place August 11th through 13th at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Outside Lands will also feature Queens of the Stone Age – marking their first scheduled North American show of 2017 – as well as alt-J, Fleet Foxes, Solange, Empire of the Sun, Above and Beyond, the Avett Brothers, Belle and Sebastian, Future Islands Schoolboy Q, Young the Giant, Vance Joy, Bleachers, Tove Lo, Action Bronson, Thundercat, Sleigh Bells, Hamilton Leithauser, Foxygen, How to Dress Well, Porches, Noname and Kamaiyah.

Tickets for Outside Lands go on sale April 6th at 10 a.m. PT via the festival’s website. Outside Lands announced its 2017 lineup in a vibrant clip featuring footage from past events and the peppy psych-pop track “Certainty,” from festival performers Temples.

Along with its many music offerings, Outside Lands will once again feature a comedy lineup, though performers have yet to be announced. The festival will also boast an array of food and drink options from Bay Area restaurants, wineries and breweries. 

For festival headliners the Who, the Outside Lands gig will take place immediately after their scheduled Las Vegas residency, which begins July 29th and wraps August 11th. While the group is set to end their “last big tour” with several rescheduled shows in England this month, guitarist Pete Townshend suggested to Rolling Stone that they would continue to perform live, noting the excitement he felt playing to crowds comprised mostly of millennials.

Meanwhile, Metallica will play the festival at the tail end of their North American tour in support of Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, while Outside Lands marks another festival appearance for Lorde, who will release her long-awaited album, Melodrama, June 16th. Outside Lands is also currently the only North American date Gorillaz have scheduled as they prepare to release their new album, Humanz, April 28th.

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527 Districts and 92 Schools Recognized as Best Communities for Music Education by The NAMM Foundation and U. of Kansas

CARLSBAD, Calif., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — This week, 527 school districts and 92 schools across the nation are being recognized by The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for their outstanding music education programs. In cooperation with researchers…


Flashback: Radiohead Cover Carly Simon's 'Nobody Does It Better'

Radiohead have never played a lot of covers in their live set, though over the years they have attempted everything from Glenn Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” to Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” to Tim Buckley’s “Sing a Song for You.” Most of their covers were played a single time and forever dropped, like New Order’s “Ceremony” and Blondie’s “Union City Blue.” Even at their earliest club shows before Pablo Honey came out they filled their sets with original material rather than cover songs.

Strangely enough, the cover song they’ve played the most is Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better.” The 1977 theme to James Bond’s The Spy Who Loved Me was first played by Radiohead on August 18th, 1995, during a TV appearance on MTV London to promote The Bends. (You can watch that performance above.) They must have liked it since they added it to their setlist through the rest of the year, and even brought it back a couple of times on the OK Computer tour a couple years later, playing it a total of sixteen times, odd as it was for them to be singing about James Bond’s sexual prowess night after night. Thom Yorke told the crowd at a 1995 gig it was the “sexiest song ever written.”

It’s also the only James Bond theme (excluding Dr. No in 1962) up to that point to have a different title than the name of the movie, though the line “the spy who loved me” does appear in the song. It was still an enormous worldwide hit and got songwriters Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch nominated for an Oscar, though it lost to Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.”

Thirty-eight years later, Radiohead wrote “Spectre” for the James Bond movie of the same name, but it was rejected in favor of Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall.” It may have been a mistake since most critics weren’t too impressed and preferred Radiohead’s song. After all, nobody does Bond better than Radiohead. Well, maybe Duran Duran did it better with “A View to a Kill.” Paul McCartney probably did it better to with “Live and Let Die,” not to mention Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever.” OK, a lot of people did it better than Radiohead – just not Sam Smith. 

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