Daily Archives: April 28, 2017

DMX Checks Into Rehab After Canceling Tour Dates

DMX entered a rehab facility Thursday night, just days after he postponed a string of concerts due to a “medical emergency.”

The rapper checked himself into a treatment center in southern California, TMZ reports.

“It is important right now that he take some time off to focus on his health so that he can be a better father, friend and entertainer,” DMX’s manager Pat Gallo said in a statement. “We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of concern and support that has poured in. We ask that you please keep X in your prayers as he embraces your support.”

DMX has long battled addiction and substance abuse issues, with the rapper entering rehab back in 2002 to deal with the issue; two years later, DMX was arrested for drug possession at a New York airport.

Over the next few years, DMX’s rap career stalled as he served jail time for drug possession charges then violating his court-ordered probation by using drugs.

However, the rapper’s last drug-related arrest came in 2013. Since then, DMX experienced a revival of sorts as he joined Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Family Reunion tour, but at a Ruff Ryders and Friends reunion gig at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 21st, the rapper was noticeably incoherent when bantering to the crowd. Soon after, he dropped off the tour.

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Ozzy Osbourne to Reunite With Zakk Wylde for Summer Tour

Ozzy Osbourne will reunite with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde for a summer tour that marks the 30th anniversary of when the two first collaborated together.

The Black Sabbath singer and Wylde first teamed up in 1987 when the guitarist replaced Osbourne’s then-guitarist Jake E. Lee. Wylde contributed to Osbourne solo album stretching from 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked to 2007’s Black Rain, which was the last Ozzy album to feature the guitarist.

“I haven’t fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk’s got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like Black Label Society,” Osbourne said in 2009 after revealing he was parting ways with Wylde. “I just felt like I wanted a change, you know?”

So far, the duo has announced four dates together, their first tour since 2006, although Wylde played sporadically with Osbourne’s Ozzy and Friends unit. The four summer dates will also be Osbourne’s first solo shows since 2015, with “additional dates to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Osbourne and Wylde will be joined on the road by the singer’s go-to touring unit of bassist Blasko, drummer Tommy Clufetos and keyboardist Adam Wakeman.

“I’m so happy to be getting back on the road with Zakk, Blasko, Tommy and Adam,” Osbourne said in a statement. “This is what I do. This is where I belong, on the road.”

The singer also reiterated his plans to record a new solo album that will arrive in 2018; it’s unclear if Wylde will also take part in the recording.

Ozzy Osbourne Tour Dates

July 14 – Oshkosh, WI @ Rock USA
July 16 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Open Air Festival
August 9 – Sturgis, SD @ The Legendary Buffalo Chip
August 21 – Cartersville, IL @ Moonstock Festival 

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Jack White, Third Man Records Detail 'American Epic' Soundtracks

Jack White and Third Man Records have detailed their soundtracks for American Epic, a documentary co-produced by the rocker that focuses on music of the 1920s, the “Big Bang” of popular music.

Four days before American Epic premieres on PBS on May 16th, a pair of soundtracks for the film, American Epic: The Soundtrack and American Epic: The Collection will be released physically and digitally on May 12th.

The Soundtrack boasts a 15-song anthology from the documentary, featuring “restored” songs from Memphis Jug Band, The Carter Family, Charley Patton and more. The Collection packs 100 songs from the era onto a five-disc set, with each track “restored to unprecedented levels of sonic fidelity.”

“This is not ‘remastering,’ in the normal sense, but something closer to fine art restoration,” Third Man said in a statement. “The intent is not for people to marvel at the antiquity of these discs, but rather to experience them as vital, immediate performances that speak to us as directly as they did on the day they were recorded—not simply great art for their time, but great art for all times.”

Legacy will also release companion albums dedicated to certain 1920s artists: American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson American Epic: Lead Belly, as well as thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country.

On June 9th, White and producer T Bone Burnett release American Epic: The Sessions. For that companion LP, White, Burnett and engineer Nicholas Bergh “reassembled the very first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s” and recruited a roster of 20 contemporary artists to tracks under similar circumstances as singers from that era.

“The musicians have roughly three minutes to record their song direct to disc before the weight hits the floor,” Third Man wrote. “In the 1920s, they called this “catching lightning in a bottle.” All the musical performances in this film are live. The audio you hear on the soundtrack is taken directly from the discs they were recorded to, with no editing or enhancements.”

The participating artists are Alabama Shakes, The Americans, Ana Gabriel, Ashley Monroe, The Avett Brothers, Beck, Bettye LaVette, Bobby Ingano, Elton John, Frank Fairfield, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, Los Lobos, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Nas, Pokey LaFarge, Raphael Saadiq, Rhiannon Giddens, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard and Jack White himself.

Each album is available to preorder now on vinyl at the Third Man site.

“In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent,” Third Man described the film, which debuted at the 2016 Sundance Festival.

“The recordings they made of all the ethnic groups of America democratized the nation and gave a voice to everyone. Country singers in the Appalachians, Blues guitarists in the Mississippi Delta, Gospel preachers across the south, Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana, Tejano groups from the Texas Mexico border, Native American drummers in Arizona, and Hawaiian musicians were all recorded. For the first time, a woman picking cotton in Mississippi, a coalminer in Virginia or a tobacco farmer in Tennessee could have their thoughts and feelings heard on records played in living rooms across the country. It was the first time America heard itself.”

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Legacy Recordings, Columbia Records, Third Man Records And Lo-Max Records Set To Release American Epic Documentary Series Music Collection, Soundtrack And Sessions Film Recordings

NEW YORK, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release AMERICAN EPIC: The Collection, a 5-CD/100 song deluxe box set, and AMERICAN EPIC: The Soundtrack, a single disc anthology of 15 songs featured in the AMERICAN EPIC…


Fyre Festival Head Billy McFarland: 'We Were a Little Naive'

Fyre Festival, the music fest that was supposed to take place over two weekends on a private island in the Bahamas with headliners such as Blink-182, Migos and Major Lazer, collapsed Thursday night in a quagmire of broken sewer pipes and delayed international flights. Guests who paid thousands of dollars for chartered yachts and planes found themselves stranded with no bands, no luggage and, in some cases, no places to stay. 

Music fans have been posting distress signals from the Bahamas via social media for the past 24 hours, with some suggesting they’re unable to leave the island. Festival promoters have so far issued only brief statements, but in an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, Billy McFarland, the 25-year-old Fyre Fest co-organizer with rapper Ja Rule, gives his regrets, promises refunds and hopes to return for a make-up festival next year.

Today is definitely the toughest day of my life. I’d love the opportunity to go through and tell my story of how we got here and how I see it now and where it’s going.

I was a computer programmer, and after computers, the two things I love most are the ocean and, for some reason, rap music. So these three hobbies of mine somehow led me to meeting my partner, Ja Rule. Together, we became friends and business partners. For us, it was always a battle of pushing the limits. Once we got flying lessons together, we got on these really bad 40-year-old planes and flew from New York to the Bahamas – not really knowing the Bahamas very well – ran out of gas and landed in the Exumas and both of us immediately fell in love.

We started this website and launched this festival marketing campaign. Our festival became a real thing and took [on] a life of its own. Our next step was to book the talent and actually make the music festival. We went out excited, and that’s when a lot of reality and roadblocks hit. 

The Exumas didn’t have a really great infrastructure – there wasn’t a great way to get guests in here – we were a little bit ambitious. There wasn’t water or sewage. It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen, and everything we had, to make this festival go on. We thought we were ready and built two different festival sites. 

The morning of the festival, a bad storm came in and took down half of our tents and busted water pipes. Guests started to arrive and the most basic function we take for granted in the U.S., we realized, “Wow, we can’t do this.” We were on a rush job to fix everything and guests were arriving and that caused check-in to be delayed. We were overwhelmed and just didn’t have the foresight to solve all these problems.

We made sure all guests got a place to stay and had a really long conversation overnight last night after everyone was housed about what to do next and realized we couldn’t risk the safety challenges. So that was the decision that we made — the first thing for us was making sure all these guests get refunded [and] all the vendors get taken care of. All the guests are going home, the refunds are being processed. 

The weather unfortunately delayed flights and made them run into each other in terms of being close to when a lot of people were arriving. That was unfortunately something we had no control of, but it made things unacceptable for guests and we feel bad for it.

We thought we were making timeframes that were correct. We were a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren’t experienced enough to keep up.

Everybody who wants to go home is being sent home tonight. Some of the guests who are staying in private homes, we’re asking them to stay longer, if they can. We’re going to take every measure to make this right for everybody now, and make this right for everybody next year, on a large scale.

There will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival. We will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross. It’ll keep the theme of being on water and beach. It’ll be not just music, but all forms of entertainment. The one change we will make is we will not try to do it ourselves. We will make sure there is infrastructure in place to support us.

As told to Steve Knopper

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Fyre Fest Attendee Describes Chaotic Scene: 'It Was Just a Nightmare'

In retrospect, Gunnar Wilmot, who works in New York commercial real estate, should have known something was wrong with the Fyre Festival when organizers in the Bahamas immediately served tequila and rosé. “I think they wanted us to be drunk enough to not complain,” says Wilmot, 28, who arrived at rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland’s festival on a private island in the Bahamas early Thursday morning. “Yesterday was fun. We were just drinking on the beach, until we realized what happened, and it was just a nightmare.”

The entire festival, which promised performances by Blink-182, Migos, Major Lazer, Lil Yachty and “first-class culinary experiences and a luxury atmosphere” for guests who’d paid thousands of dollars for tickets and chartered yachts and planes, collapsed Thursday night in what Wilmot calls “one shitstorm after another.” Wilmot and his three friends, who’d paid $500 apiece for what organizers called “villas,” found themselves in refugee tents. One by one, each of the performers canceled, including Blink-182 last night, announcing in an online statement, “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.”

Wilmot and his friends were relatively lucky. They saw festivalgoers on the grounds, stranded, surrounded by luggage with nowhere to sleep for the night. They watched in horror as festival employees tossed visitors’ bags off a freight truck and “people were just rummaging through them.” They decided to escape early this morning, bathed in the ocean, brushed their teeth with bottled water and paid a festival employee $100 to return them to the airport in a flatbed truck. When they arrived at the airport gate, an official told them they couldn’t access the airport unless they were on one of the two festival school buses – but Wilmot and his friends paid $40 to move past the barricade.

“We were sold on villas with beds and furniture – they had renderings of what it was going to look like. It could not have been more different,” Wilmot says. “The fact that these were the same tents as a refugee camp was a running joke. That’s what it felt like.”

Festival organizers said they “set out to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences on the Islands of the Exumas” and blamed “circumstances out of our control” for the problems. The festival chaos appears to have backed up the local airports, stranding guests in terrible conditions, including understaffed kitchen tents jammed with random pots of uncooked food, all of which visitors have documented via social media. In a statement, Ja Rule said he was “heartbroken” and insisted Fyre was “not a scam,” adding that his first priority was to make sure stranded festivalgoers could leave the Exumas islands safely.

Some who helped organize the festival took issue with the “out of our control” portion of the festival’s statement. In early March, former Saturday Night Live talent associate Chloe Gordon traveled to the Bahamas to tour the site as a producer hired to work with the talent. “It was about two months out, and it was a mess,” she says, adding that she quit after returning to New York. “They had already, when we got down there, hired and fired two full production teams. And they hadn’t started planning anything. They basically just fired everyone along the way that told them it wasn’t feasible.”

As of Friday afternoon, Wilmot was waiting for his flight to take off, after he spent 25 hours in the Bahamas. He and his friends were the first to arrive at the airport for return U.S. flights, and observed one or two planes, part of one airline, shuttling passengers back and forth. “Everyone’s left [the festival],” he says. “The airport is an absolute zoo.”

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Watch Sean Paul, Migos Head to Carnival in Wild 'Body' Video

Sean Paul takes rap group Migos to a Carnival celebration in Miami for the beach-set video for “Body.” The track is the lead single off Paul’s forthcoming, as-yet-untitled new album.

In the clip, Paul and Migos are surrounded by women wearing lavish, colorful costumes for the celebration. The artists take their many dates around the city and on various yachts and vehicles as the women dance around them.

“This video had to be stylish and sexy,” Sean Paul told The Fader, where the video was premiered. “Migos is one of my favorite rap groups, and it was wicked to have them flowing over a dancehall oriented track, so the video had to translate that energy too. Miami Beach was the obvious choice to capture that vibe.”

Paul’s upcoming LP will be his first since 2014’s Full Frequency. He recently had a Top 10 hit with Clean Bandit and Anne-Marie with the single “Rockabye” and hit Number One early last year with his remix of Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”

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Ja Rule on Fyre Festival: 'I'm Heartbroken at This Moment'

Ja Rule is “heartbroken” following the disastrous first day of the Fyre Festival, a Bahamas-based luxury music festival that he co-created. The rapper promised to issue refunds to festival-goers. He reiterated that Fyre “was not a scam.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Ja Rule said that his first priority is to ensure that the festival attendees who are still stranded in the Exumas are transported safely off the island.

“We are working right now on getting everyone off the island safely; that is my immediate concern,” the rapper said.

For over a thousand dollars per ticket, the high-end music festival promised acts including Blink-182, G.O.O.D. Music and Disclosure at the all-inclusive resort-like getaway. But when attendees gathered at the festival grounds Thursday, they found the area was a garbage-strewn site severely lacking the many amenities promised with admission.

Blink-182 canceled their headlining performance at both Fyre Festival weekends, and festival-goers who were traveling to the island were informed that, because the fest was already overcapacity, they would not continue on to Fyre. Those who did make it to the festival were greeted by feral dogs, shoddy tents, a lack of security or festival employees and meals consisting of cheese and bread.

The festival was ultimately postponed indefinitely, leaving stunned attendees to find transportation back to the U.S.

“I’m heartbroken at this moment,” Ja Rule told Rolling Stone. “My partners and I wanted this to be an amazing event, it was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting. I don’t know how everything went so left but I’m working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded … I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT … but I’m taking responsibility I’m deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this.”

The rapper promised to make another statement at a later time.

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Las Vegas Shines As Stars Unite To Honor Ronald O. Perelman At Keep Memory Alive's 21st Annual Power Of Love® Gala, April 27

On April 27, stars united at Keep Memory Alive’s 21st annual Power of Love® gala to raise funds and awareness for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and honor Ronald O. PerelmanLAS VEGAS, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On Thursday, April 27, 2017, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry joined Keep Memory Alive to honor remarkable philanthropist and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, Ronald O. Perelman,…


Veuve Clicquot Announces The 10th Anniversary Of The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Hosted By Neil Patrick Harris With A Live Musical Performance By Alicia Keys On Saturday, June 3, 2017

NEW YORK, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic will return to Liberty State Park on Saturday, June 3, with a spectacular star-studded celebration in honor of the iconic event’s 10th anniversary. First brought to New York in 2008 by Veuve Clicquot and…