Daily Archives: April 6, 2017

Melvins Detail 'A Walk With Love and Death' Double Album

Melvins have announced a new double album via Ipecac Recordings. Dubbed A Walk With Love and Death, it will include the score to a short film of the same name that the band produced, Pitchfork reports.

The two-part set will be released via CD, vinyl and digitally. It includes Death, which is a full LP, and Love, which comprises the film score for the Jesse Nieminen-directed short film. A release date has not been set for the film, but Ipecac unveiled a trippy, ominous trailer.

“This was a huge undertaking,” frontman Buzz Osborne wrote in the trailer’s accompanying post. “All three things: the album, the soundtrack and the film are benchmarks for us.”

Self-produced by the band with engineer Toshi Kasai, A Walk With Love and Death will feature guest Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender, who’s also a member of Osborne and drummer Dale Crover’s supergroup Crystal Fairy. Other guests include Pixies’ Joey Santiago and That Dog’s Anna Waronker.

A Walk With Love and Death is one giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip! Not for the faint of heart,” Crover added in the trailer post. “You’ll sleep with the lights on after listening.”

The Melvins’ first-ever double album will be released on July 7th.

A Walk With Love and Death Track List

Love
1. “Aim High”
2. “Queen Powder Party”
3. “Street Level St. Paul”
4. “The Hidden Juice”
5. “Give it to Me”
6. “Chicken Butt”
7. “Eat Yourself Out”
8. “Scooba”
9. “Halfway to the Bakersfield Mall”
10. “Pacoima Normal”
11. “Park Head”
12. “T-Burg”
13. “Track Star”
14. “The Asshole Bastard”

Death
1. “Black Heath”
2. “Sober-delic (acid only)”
3. “Euthanasia”
4. “What’s Wrong With You”
5. “Edgar the Elephant”
6. “Christ Hammer”
7. “Flaming Creature”
8. “Cactus Party”
9. “Cardboro Negro”

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Hear A$AP Ferg, Remy Ma's Blistering New Song 'East Coast'

A$AP Ferg has teamed up with fellow New York rapper Remy Ma for his new song, “East Coast.”

On the blistering, bass-driven track, the pair “run it up” as Ferg repeatedly rapid-fire raps on the hook. “This that East Coast mothafucka,” Ferg spits. “Call me Mr. East Coast, mothafucka.”

He continues to rep for his favorite coast. “This that ground zero music, sit and listen to it,” he raps. “This the children of the sewer, finally winnin’ music/ This confessions of a lord, I’ve been sinnin’ music/ The rap book is my Bible, just repent through it.”

Remy Ma takes on unnamed adversaries on her verse. “The bar was low, I brung it up/ And y’all hoes just stunk it up,” she raps. “I been one, you been done/ You been shoulda just hung it up.

“You was hatin’ when I was comin’ up/ You fake bitch, you need to woman up,” she spits. “You a wack bitch, you a rat bitch/ And I’m that bitch, just sum it up.”

“East Coast” is the first single from the A$AP Mob member’s forthcoming effort, Still Striving, which does not yet have a release date. It will be the follow-up to Ferg’s sophomore album, Always Strive and Prosper, which he released last April.

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Aldo Giampaolo is resigning from CDA / Feeling Productions

LAS VEGAS, April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –
“Today I announce the resignation of Aldo Giampaolo from his position with CDA Productions (Las Vegas), Inc.
Aldo has been an integral part of my management team for several years, and is now resigning for personal and family reasons….

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Tom DeLonge on Why UFO Research Just Might Save Mankind

For a long time, Tom DeLonge’s interest in aliens came out in small ways. In the early years of Blink-182, he would read about abductions and quantum physics for hours as the band drove from gig to gig through the desert. For 1999’s Enema of the State, the multi-platinum album that launched the group to TRL megastardom, the singer/guitarist wrote the song “Aliens Exist.” And in the years that followed, as DeLonge founded a tech company, continued to play with Blink and started the band Angels and Airwaves, he kept researching what he calls “the phenomenon,” the collection of eyewitness accounts that has led generations to believe we’re not alone.

But since DeLonge parted ways with Blink-182 in 2015, his interest in extraterrestrials has become more than a hobby. “The more I got into it, the more I realized it was all real,” he tells Rolling Stone. “Then I was like, ‘OK, what am I going to do about it?'” So he started spreading the word. He began creating a multi-part, multi-platform rollout of an entirely new philosophy, one based on the theory that aliens have been visiting Earth for most of our species’ existence – and the only way for us to have a prosperous future on the planet is if we take that into account, and soon.

The newest addition to this project is the book Sekret Machines: Gods, the first in a non-fiction trilogy he’s co-writing with occult historian Peter Levanda. Released in March, the book opens with an extended scene of a primitive tribe in the South Pacific experiencing their first contact with the outside world during World War II – a metaphor for humanity’s alien encounters. “These people had never seen anybody outside of their tribe before,” explains DeLonge. “They saw the planes drop cargo so they automatically assumed they were gods. They started worshipping these planes, trying to get medicine and food. And their religion still exists to this day.” Just as these communities were changed after more advanced civilizations dropped items from the sky, DeLonge and Levanda suggest, so were humans changed by a visit from above.

“Religions around the world consistently say that beings from the heavens came down and taught us this or gave us that,” says Levanda. “In Gods we go into the nuance of this, from Aztec blood sacrifices to various creation epics that say we were created as servants to some other race of beings.” For this volume, they went back and looked at original texts from various civilizations to see what information they could glean. “We don’t create myths out of whole cloth,” says Levanda. “Something happens and we create a myth around it. We’re talking about events that are being described by people using the vocabulary they had.”

But, as the authors point out, they’re not claiming that everything you’ve seen on shows like Ancient Aliens is real. “Humans are responsible for building the pyramids, for instance,” says Levanda. “I think we can agree on that. But what was the impetus behind it? What we’re saying is the initial contact is what prompted all this. Not that there were aliens out there telling us how to build pyramids. I think that just devalues the entire conversation, and we’re trying to get beyond that.”

DeLonge and Levanda are not the first high-profile believers to expound on the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. In 2010, Stephen Hawking said that, given the size of the universe, it was a statistical probability that we aren’t alone; more recently, Neil deGrasse Tyson called it “inexcusably egocentric” to believe that we’re the only planet with life. But DeLonge veers from the scientific establishment when he suggests that alien beings have not only visited our planet, but were integral in helping us establish human society as we know it. “What would happen if those intelligences were roaming around the universe and getting involved in the genetics and colonization of other types of life?” he says. “Look, we do that to animals and indigenous tribes.”

Subsequent books in the Sekret Machines trilogy will move away from ancient texts to focus on claims of interactions with aliens documented by government agencies since the 1940s, many of which are available by Freedom of Information Act requests and a recently digitized cache of CIA documents. 

Instead of continuing the adversarial relationship between UFO researchers and the government, DeLonge reached out to officials like Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta – a correspondence that was revealed when Wikileaks published the last batch of the Clinton emails last October. Though he declines to talk about it, he notes that “one thing I can say is, when the Wikileaks came out, at least people found out I wasn’t lying.”

“When the Wikileaks came out, at least people found out I wasn’t lying.” –Tom DeLonge

DeLonge’s plan is bigger than just a few books. In addition to the nonfiction series, he is writing a historical-fiction trilogy with novelist A.J. Hartley, the first book of which was released last spring, as well as a documentary and a scripted film, all of which discuss the theory that we’re not alone. He’s also putting to use methods he developed for his software company Modlife, which he created to help musicians monetize their media in the post-Napster age. “I learned a lot about how fans want to absorb art: a combination of digital and physical products coming together,” he say. “Here I am with all this knowledge of something I want to communicate to the world. So that’s what I’m doing now.” He’s also working on a movie called Strange Times that begins filming later this year (“A lot of people think ‘skateboarders and UFOs’ – that’s not what it is, even though there are skateboarders and there is a part with UFOs,” he says.)

DeLonge and his team are careful, though, to emphasize that their theories are only that. “People have been spending 70 years trying to prove it’s real, and if you’re waiting for the government to do it, good luck,” says Levanda. “What we’re saying is, let’s proceed under the assumption that this is real. What does that mean for history, for medicine, for physics, for chemistry, for astronomy? What does it mean for us as humans if we accept that the phenomenon has always been real?” 

DeLonge’s own theories on the matter aren’t flawless, and in talking about his work, he can sometimes come off like one of the conspiracy theorists he’s made such an effort to distance himself from. (In discussing his new project, he veers into topics like the Astors and the Kennedy assassination; he’s also claimed to have seen alien crafts first-hand.) 

Yet it’s clear that he sees this research as a last hope for his children’s generation: “This project is aimed at creating a beacon and a vehicle to be able to interact directly with Millennials across the world,” says DeLonge. “Some of this stuff is empowering, and some of this stuff is frankly kind of scary. But you need to understand it, and you’re going to need to deal with it when we’re gone.” 

Inside Tom DeLonge’s UFO obsession and Blink-182 turmoil.

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Hear Gorillaz's Bruising New Song With Mavis Staples, Pusha T

Gorillaz team with Pusha T and Mavis Staples on their foreboding new track, “Let Me Out,” which will appear on the group’s upcoming album, Humanz, out April 28th.

Pusha T delivers two scathing verses on “Let Me Out,” flying over a crackling instrumental of spacey synths and massive boom-bap drums: “Tell me there’s a chance for me to make it out the streets,” he spits. “Tell me that I won’t die at the hands of the police/ Promise me I won’t outlive my nephew and my niece.” Elsewhere, Staples delivers a soulful hook teeming with hope and despair, and buoyed by an eerie echo of whispered chanting.

“Let Me Out” follows previously shared Humanz tracks, “Andromeda” featuring D.R.A.M., “Saturnz Barz” featuring Popcaan, “Ascension” featuring Vince Staples, “We Got the Power” featuring Savages’ Jehnny Beth and “Hallelujah Money” featuring Benjamin Clementine. Gorillaz debuted the entire album at a secret show at London’s Printworks last month. The group has a handful of live dates scheduled in support of Humanz, though currently their only U.S. stop is an appearance at Outside Lands in San Francisco, August 11th through 13th. 

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Billy Joel Thrills on Opening Night at New Nassau Coliseum

Let’s start with the good news. As expected, Billy Joel was the best possible choice to open up a newly renovated Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum after a $260 million update that kept the Long Island arena closed for nearly two years. It would be hard to top his farewell party to the old Nassau Coliseum in August of 2015, but his 31-song set on Wednesday, packed with hits, deep cuts and guest appearances from Joan Jett, Kevin James and Leah Remini (you read that right), managed to pull it off. The 67-year-old singer sounded ageless from the opening notes of “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go out on Broadway)” all the way to the finale of “You May Be Right” nearly three sweaty hours later.

Now the bad news. There were more than a few problems with the new arena, though hopefully most of them have to do with opening-night jitters. The team in charge of the renovation did a stellar job with the exterior, transforming the drab building into something sparkling and modern, and the venue’s new parking system cuts the drive from freeway to lot down to a mere 15 minutes. For a precious few seconds it seemed like everything would be different at the new Nassau Coliseum, until the security line came into view at the entrances. It must have been at least 80 people deep at every door, moving painfully slowly.

Once you finally enter it becomes instantly clear that the concourses are still far too narrow. Getting around feels like squeezing through a crowded subway car during rush hour. There are plenty of new concession stands; the only problem is the lines were so ludicrously long at every single one of them the people in the back probably didn’t make their seats until “Piano Man.” The lines for beer, T-shirts, food and the bathrooms all ran into each other, making it hard to tell where one began and another began. For lack of a better term, it was a complete shit show. 

With 15 minutes until showtime and an empty stomach, this writer found a tiny stand labelled “Fan Favorites” that sold nothing but bottled water, popcorn and hot dogs with a line that seemed reasonable. It turned out that this was because they were out of popcorn and water, with a supply of hot dogs dangerously close to vanishing. We managed to snag two of the last ones, and then had to travel to the other side of a bustling entranceway and squeeze past a dense beer line just to get some ketchup.

But once the lights dimmed and Joel and his band took the stage to the theme from The Natural, the hassles were largely forgotten. After all, nobody goes to an arena concert for a great meal or to escape from enormous crowds. And to the credit of the arena, some of the $260 million clearly went towards making the place sound a lot better than the old one, something Joel pointed out very early on in the evening. “This place sounds a lot better than the old coliseum,” he said. “It’s got a little more ambience in it. This is cool. Sounds good.”

He then let the audience decide whether or not he’d play his 1977 hit “Just the Way You Are” or the album cut “Vienna.” “Vienna” won in a landslide. In Long Island, there really is no such thing as a Billy Joel rarity. The place showed as much euphoria at the prospect of hearing “Sleeping With the Television On,” “Sometimes a Fantasy” and “The Entertainer” as they did for “My Life” and “The River of Dreams.” There was also no shortage of songs about Long Island, including “No Man’s Land” (the greatest song in rock history that references Amy Fisher), “The Downeaster Alexa” (“I took on diesel back in Montauk yesterday …”) and, of course, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” which is basically the official song of the island. They should sing it at all sports games right after the National Anthem.

Paul Simon was the surprise guest at the 2015 farewell gig to the old arena, but this time around Joel went for his fellow Long Island Hall of Famer Joan Jett. She came out midway through and blasted through “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” A little earlier in the night there was an unexpected King of Queens reunion when Kevin James and Leah Remini performed an interpretive dance to “She’s Got a Way” that culminated with Remini leaving James for another man. By the end, James was dancing with an enormous sandwich that looked pretty tasty to this hungry reporter.

In an interview with Rolling Stone last week, Brett Yormark, the Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, which operates the Nassau Coliseum, said that Joel was their only choice to serve as the debut act of the renovated arena. “When we knew we were going to get the coliseum and reinvent it one of the first calls I made was to Dennis Arfa, Billy Joel’s longtime agent,” he said. “He and I talked about partnering on the close and the open. It was no different than what we did with Jay Z in Brooklyn when he did eight sellout shows. There was no second choice. The only choice was Billy Joel.”

In the coming months the venue will host an impressive slate of shows, including Metallica (in one of their only non-stadium gigs of their upcoming tour), Stevie Nicks with the Pretenders, Roger Waters, the Weeknd and Barbra Streisand. Some of those acts are also playing the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (just 27 miles away), but both venues are now under the same umbrella and will be working together. “When we did our research we realized that even in the first two years of Barclays Center very few people were coming from Long Island,” says Yormark. “We realized that it was a separate and distinct market. … We can create a lot of synergies between the two buildings.”

As of now, the Long Island Nets of the NBA Development League are the only sports team to call the Nassau Coliseum home, but the New York Islanders are leaving the Barclays Center in two years and could conceivably be coming home to their old stomping grounds. “We’re in discussions with them about what their future is,” says Yormark. “Obviously we control two venues in the market, so we’re having healthy dialogue on all the possibilities.”

On opening night, though, nobody was thinking about anything but Billy Joel. “The first time I was here was 40 years ago, 1977,” he said early on. “It’s an honor to be doing this tonight. Thanks for coming with all the traffic bullshit. We’re going to try and do a sampling of all the albums over the years.” They managed to hit every one besides The Bridge, and even though the bullshit went far beyond traffic it was well worth it to see Billy Joel in his native environment still somehow in peak form just three years away from his 70th birthday. We’d happily go through all of it again, but next time just put the ketchup a little closer to the hot dog stand. That’s all we ask. 

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Yes: An Animated Breakdown of the Band Over 19 Iterations

The induction of Yes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the culmination of an amazing 50-year journey for the progressive rock giants. They’ve gone through a lot of lineup changes through the decades, and now tour in two competing camps. The spinoff group Anderson Rabin Wakeman actually has two more Hall of Fame inductees than the band billing themselves as Yes. It’s so complicated that we created a cartoon that tells the whole story. We have some fun with some of their stranger moments, but this all comes from a place of real love for the band. In order to keep it under 45 minutes, we had to glide past some albums and lineup changes. We know all about Relayer, Tormato, Talk, Open Your Eyes, Magnification, Fly From Here, Patrick Moraz and Igor Khoroshev. We just couldn’t cram them into this thing or it would have been longer than Lawrence of Arabia.

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Watch Billy Bragg's Aching Woody Guthrie Tribute at BBC Folk Awards

Billy Bragg honored Woody Guthrie with a poignant cover of “I Ain’t Got No Home” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Wednesday, Spin points out. The legendary folkie was being inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame.

Bragg previously covered the aching tune on his last solo album, 2013’s Tooth and Nail. At the Folk Awards, he tweaked that version’s already sparse arrangement into a mix of vocals, acoustic guitar and steel guitar. Against his own subtle guitar picking and the somber slides of the pedal steel, Bragg delivered Guthrie’s saga of an impoverished migrant worker with a resolute drawl that teetered on the edge of sorrow. 

Bragg has covered Guthrie’s music throughout his career and notably partnered with Wilco to put new music to a trove of unused Guthrie lyrics at the request of the late musician’s daughter. That album, Mermaid Avenue, arrived in 1998, while two follow-ups arrived in 2000 and 2012.

Last year, Bragg teamed with Joe Henry for the collaborative album, Shine a Light: Field Recordings From the Great American Railroad, which boasts covers of train songs popularized by artists like Jimmie Rodgers, Lead Belly, Hank Williams and the Carter Family.

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Review: Rockers Royal Thunder Find Their Heartbroken Sound on 'Wick'

After five tracks of soaring, gut-punching hard rock, Royal Thunder’s third full-length collapses in the best way possible. The band make a U-turn on “Plans,” a soulful, stirring ballad about feeling lost after a relationship’s end. Frontwoman Mlny Parsonz – whose raspy, powerful wail is one of the most moving voices in rock right now – sounds as though she’s banging her head against a wall in frustration as she pleads, “Come back.” On any other record, it could come off like an Adele torch song, thanks to its ethereal “ohh” background vocals, or something by Alabama Shakes with its southern looseness, but there’s a fragile earnestness in the way Parsonz pleads with her lover that makes the song unique.

Brittle emotions have been Royal Thunder’s calling card since they roared their way out of Atlanta with their 2012 breakthrough, CVI. That record, with all of its different shades of nervous breakdowns, sounded a bit like an alternate universe where Janis Joplin fronted Led Zeppelin. Their second LP, 2015’s Crooked Doors, was less focused – likely because it reflected the real-life breakup of Parsonz and Royal Thunder guitarist Josh Weaver – but its psychedelic overtones and curious lyrics about escaping a cult (“Floor”) made it one of the better hard-rock releases that year. Now it feels like Royal Thunder has found its sound.

Although Wick is still flawed – its track list puts three weak, sort of aimless cuts up front and some of the songs could use some editing – it suggests greatness. It’s middle-section could make up one of the best EPs in rock this year. Beginning with the bluesy, tumultuous fourth track, the soaring, beautiful “We Slipped,” the band hits a confident stride that carries into a swinging number, “Sinking Chair,” that hints at boogie-woogie rhythms without going full cornball. “Anchor” is a slinky, shamanic tune with a springy, catchy “round and round and round” chorus. There’s something almost upbeat about these songs, not the least of which is the way the band can play in major keys and yet still sound gutsy. Even their dourest offering, “Wick,” which basically lists all the ways Parsonz feels disaffected amid sheets of distortion, has an uplifting guitar solo.

The back third of Wick drags a little, as the group gets lost in moody chording (“Push”) and muddled, ill-conceived tempo changes (“We Never Fell Asleep”). But the galloping chorus of “Turnaround” (“Resistance is building … “) transcends the gloominess and the moody, meandering “The Well” features downright pretty guitar lines and backing vocals that make lines like “I won’t be there when you wake up alone” feel all the more cutting. They have the sensibility and the songwriting, and, with more focus, Royal Thunder could be the much-needed antidote to the blustery machismo that dominates active-rock radio. 

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Elliott Smith's Acclaimed "XO" And "Figure 8" Albums To Be Reissued On Vinyl April 7

Elliott Smith's major label debut masterpiece, "XO," and his kaleidoscopic final studio album, "Figure 8," will be reissued on vinyl on Friday, April 7 via Geffen/UMe.LOS ANGELES, April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Elliott Smith’s major label debut masterpiece, XO, and his kaleidoscopic final studio album, Figure 8, will be reissued on vinyl on April 7 via Geffen/UMe. The modern classics will be released on standard weight black vinyl with faithfully…

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