Daily Archives: May 1, 2017

Hear Yoko Ono's Distorted Screams on New Black Lips Song

Garage rockers Black Lips recruited Yoko Ono‘s on their new song “Occidental Front,” a thunderous track from their upcoming LP, Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? Ono’s wordless, distorted moans appear throughout the song, propelled by bluesy guitar swells and drummer Oakley Munson’s snare rim groove.

Ono’s son, Sean Lennon, produced Satan’s Graffiti. Black Lips recently previewed the LP, their first since 2014’s Underneath the Rainbow, with gritty garage-rocker “Can’t Hold On.” Last month, the band released another new track, the psychedelic “Squatting in Heaven.” Along with Ono, the album features contributions by Fat White Family’s Saul Adamczewski.

Black Lips’ revamped lineup now includes singer-guitarist Cole Alexander, bassist Jared Swilley, newly reinstated guitarist Jack Hines (who played with the band from 2002 to 2004) and two new members, Munson and saxophonist Zumi Rosow.

The quintet will kick off a North American tour in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The trek stretches throughout May and concludes the 23rd in Birmingham, Alabama. Black Lips also appear in Terrence Malick’s new rock drama, Song to Song, which recently premiered at South by Southwest.

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Tryke Companies Teams With RiFF RAFF for Exclusive Cannabis Strains

Tryke CompaniesLAS VEGAS, May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Tryke Companies, operators of Reef Dispensaries in Nevada and Arizona, is proud to announce a new partnership with American recording artist and global ambassador RiFF RAFF as the exclusive producer and distributor of two strains of med…

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Jay Z, J. Cole, Solange Lead 2017 Made in America Festival

Jay Z has revealed this year’s lineup for the Made in America Festival, with The Blueprint rapper himself and J. Cole headlining the two-day fest taking place over Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia.

Solange, Run the Jewels, Migos, DMX, Little Dragon, Pusha T and EDM stars Chainsmokers, Marshmello and Kaskade will also perform September 2nd and 3rd at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Made in America tickets will go on sale at 2pm EST Monday for Tidal subscribers. Check out the festival’s site for general on-sale information.

Jay Z last headlined his annual Budweiser-sponsored festival in 2012. Other artists on this year’s bill include 21 Savage, DJ Mustard, Sampha, Marian Hill, Wizkid, Francis and the Lights and Vic Mensa.

The 2016 iteration of the Jay Z-curated festival featured headlining performances by Coldplay and Rihanna along with Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz’s ColleGrove project, Grimes, A$AP Ferg and Jamie xx.

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Watch Brother Ali's Spiritual 'Never Learn' Video

Brother Ali basks in the bright light of spirituality in his new video for “Never Learn,” a track off the Minnesota rapper’s All the Beauty in This Whole Life, due out Friday.

“Never Learn” was filmed at New Mexico’s Dar Al Islam, an American Muslim worship center that also served as the setting for Tupac Shakur’s posthumous “I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto” video.

In the video, Brother Ali stands in Dar Al Islam as Al Taw’am, twin dancers from the rapper’s native Minneapolis, deliver a synchronized dance to the uplifting track.

“Their movement speaks of their family legacy of dignified regality,” Ali said in a statement (via NPR) of the dancing duo, which he also called “royalty.”

“Never Learn” follows new LP cuts “Pen to Paper” and “Own Light (What Hearts Are For).” 

“Articulating the pain and navigating the healing allows the people who really feel my music to travel with me. It’s not only that we hurt together, we heal together as well,” the rapper previously said of All the Beauty in This Whole Life, his follow-up to 2012’s Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color.

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Feist on the Unnamed Pain That Inspired 'Pleasure'

Before this year, the last time Leslie Feist appeared in public was on her short Mettle Tour in 2014. She’d put out the intricately textured Metals three years earlier and wanted to get away from the dense arrangements that defined that LP as well as her breakthrough hit, 2007’s “1234.” “I needed to prove my mettle to myself again after playing live with so many other people,” she says. “I was leaning on them more than I felt I should. I should be able to hold it up by myself.” So she gave it a shot and then disappeared for three years.

Now she has returned with Pleasure, a sharp reflection of her Mettle performances: cutting, emotional songs with sparse arrangements performed only by her and a couple of friends, most notably her frequent co-producer Mocky. Depending on the song, her voice sounds plaintive, distressed or confident. She strums folky chords and divines bluesy riffs, as she feels her way through the sadness, loneliness and “dark nights of the soul” in her lyrics. Despite a few bright moments (notably “Any Party,” with its chorus’ promise of dedication, “I’d leave any party for you”), the album is a statement of frustration that Feist says she’s still trying to understand herself.

It’s an April afternoon, and having misjudged the amount of time it would take her to drive between points, Feist has pulled her car over on a Los Angeles side street to talk to Rolling Stone. “It’s the liminal state of Californian driving reality,” says the singer, 41, who was born in Nova Scotia and grew up in Alberta but now spends her winters in L.A. “I guess I parked near an airport because there’s a tiny plane over my head here.” Her observations are both reflective and matter-of-fact, much like her lyrics on Pleasure, but she has a harder time talking about those.

Since the PR blitz of her 2007 LP, The Reminder, whose “1234” became ubiquitous thanks to an omnipresent iPod nano ad and earned her four Grammy nominations, the singer – a sometime member of indie collective Broken Social Scene – has cultivated a more guarded, almost evasive public persona and focused more on recording personal songs, less on obvious radio fodder. As with the break between the Mettle tour and Pleasure, she has treasured her time out of the spotlight. She enjoyed a year without writing and performing before tackling Metals, and this time she also waited until she felt she had something to say. With the exception of visiting Africa, which showed her how big the world was, she mostly lay low – “It was like a sabbatical or a recharge,” she says – and that’s about as much as she’s willing to say.

“I was having a bit of a difficult time in the last few years,” she says. “I felt like I didn’t know anything. It was like a limbo between feeling something and knowing something. … I’m still in the middle of it, so it’s hard to talk about. The message of the album would be ‘being lost is part of getting there,’ or something like that. I don’t know.”

And what got her feeling that way? “Oh, you know,” she says. “Insert whatever you felt bad about last. That kind of stuff.”

With lyrics like “I felt some certainty that you must have died/Because how could I live if you’re still alive” on the brash and folky “I Wish I Didn’t Miss You” and “It got hard for me to believe in true love” on the Fleetwood Mac–y “I’m Not Running Away,” is this a breakup record? Or did a family member die? “No.”

Well, what was it? “It’s not something I would even be able to talk about.”

Nevertheless, the feelings the songs evoke might be more important than the meanings behind them. The dynamic, almost PJ Harvey–like “Pleasure” is about duality – it’s about pain but she calls it pleasure – and it was sparked in part by a conversation she and Mocky had about sea creatures. “We were eating sushi and somehow got into a conversation about these bivalve creatures living on the bottom of the ocean that just have two emotions: either retract or go toward,” he says. “We liked the idea that, in a way, everything comes down to such simple equations, two basic emotions: a positive and a negative, a pleasure and a pain.” (“That is how we evolved,” Feist sings on the song. “We became our needs/Ages up inside/Escaping similar pain.”)

A similar sort of duality plays a role in another Pleasure song, “A Man Is Not His Song.” It begins with the sound of crickets and folky, jazzy guitar, leading to the chorus, “A man is not his song, and I’m not a story/But I wanna sing along, if he’s singing for me,” and it ends with 20 seconds of heavy-metal guitar riffing by her onetime collaborators Mastodon who donated their tune “High Road” to the outro. “I guess I felt it was symbolically like a flamethrower of masculine power,” she says of the sample. “It was the men commenting at the end of the song, sort of a poetry thought experiment. They come in and say, ‘OK to everything you just said, but here are our thoughts on that.’ I was following my instincts when I included that.”

She also followed her instincts on the record’s highest and most uplifting point, the swinging acoustic sing-along “Any Party,” after she and Mocky found their way into a discussion about friendship. “When we were working on the album in Toronto, we went out to a bar and ended up looping back to the studio to work on music,” the co-producer says. “We were having a conversation about how the real test with somebody is if they’ll leave a party with you. It’s one thing to say, ‘Hey, will you come with me to this party,’ but it’s another when you get there and are not feeling it to say to that person, ‘Will you leave with me? Because I can’t do this right now.’ That’s the deeper test of the relationship.”

“It’s a different version of a romantic idea,” Feist says. “If you leave a party with the right person – a person you actually love – they might be able to solve some puzzles for you.”

That sort of gang-of-two mentality is also what led her to want to collaborate so closely with Mocky on this record. She met him in Toronto in the early 2000s, and the two bonded over their backgrounds of both coming from “prairie roots”: Alberta and Saskatchewan for her, Saskatchewan for him. She contributed some vocals to his 2004 LP Are + Be, and he in turn made a remix of her breakthrough single, “Mushaboom,” for her 2006 Open Season comp. And by 2007’s The Reminder, he was credited a co-producer, alongside fellow Pleasure co-producer Renauld Letang. “It’s been constant,” he says. “You need people in your life that just go beyond the latest hype and trend to find the deeper truth of what you’re trying to express as a person, and the night we recorded that song ‘Any Party’ was a moment when we were looking at each other realizing, ‘We’re sort of accessing this part of us that comes so natural.’ … When we’re playing together, there’s a certain oneness, or a rhythmic consensus between us.”

“You know how you can feel alone in a room full of the right people, because there’s zero self-consciousness? It’s like that with Mocky,” she says. “To have him playing on the record, both of us were protecting that feeling. Björk has that song, ‘Army of Me,’ and there’s a Canadian songwriter I love called Peter Elkas who has a song called ‘Party of One’ that’s fantastic. The feeling between us is something between those two song titles.”

To try to capture that feeling as authentically as possible, Feist, Mocky, Letang and friends (including Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, who cameos on “Century”) recorded the album live on three different occasions in Northern California, New York State and Paris, France. “These songs are a simple rendering of a mood into movement,” she says. “There was no studio trickery of any kind. We did it over a couple of months to give ourselves time. I would go in each time and rely on my body memory for how the song would go that day; I wouldn’t listen to versions from the previous studios.”

“There are all these great alternative takes,” Mocky says. “It’s like something from the golden era of recording where you give it all on the take and it’s either there or it’s not.”

“Recording in different places was a bit of a luxury because we were so light on our feet, since it wasn’t like a 50-person crew; it was just the three of us and some hard drives traveling to different spaces,” she says. “It was almost like a solo album.”

Now that Pleasure is done and out there, Feist looks at it a bit like a time capsule. “Since I was young, I’ve had a natural tendency to take whatever experience is a little bit tangled, unclear or a bit of a sandstorm in my life and not examining it but more putting a lens between whatever I’m feeling and whatever I might be able to say to my 20-years-in-the-future self about it,” she explains. “When I wrote [2004’s] Let It Die, I was a much different version of myself. And now I see what those songs said to me and how I can fold that feeling forward. So I started to get interested in what I could write to 60-year-old or 70-year-old Leslie.”

The songs on Pleasure to Feist are “trying to write about what you know about a difficult situation when you’re in the thick of it.” “It’s giving myself permission to write about that questioning feeling,” she says. “If you’re feeling a bit lost, you kind of double down on feeling bad by feeling bad about feeling bad. Most people close to me do that, and I do that. I’ve found that it’s worthwhile to formulate some version of the story in songs. It’s like putting a Rubik’s Cube together.”

She won’t explain the event that spun her out of orbit, leading her to create Pleasure, but she does have an allegory for what she’s going through. “I met this Colombian woman a long time ago who had gone through actual Hollywood-movie amounts of violence,” Feist says. “She had a terrible youth, and the way she introduced herself to me was saying, ‘I know you heard all about what I’ve gone through, but I am not my story.’ She had this big smile on her face. I remember thinking, ‘There’s power in that.’ She’s telling herself a version of the story that serves her. Life doesn’t have to stop you if something bad happened, and you come that version of that story forever.

“So maybe [Pleasure] is about shifting from that tangle, or that foggy situation where I couldn’t see the forest for the trees,” she continues. “I’m getting a grasp on that feeling by naming it something that had a little bit more aspiration in it. It’s me figuring out how not to tend toward pessimism, or a teenage investment in darkness that stuck with me, as I always have. It’s my own version of alchemy.” 

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Kendrick Lamar agrega nuevas fechas en Brooklyn y Los Ángeles a "The DAMN. Tour", presentada por TDE

Kendrick Lamar agrega nuevas fechas en Brooklyn y Los Ángeles a "The DAMN. Tour", presentada por TDELOS ÁNGELES, 1 de mayo de 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The DAMN. Tour, de Kendrick Lamar, agrega hoy nuevas fechas en Brooklyn y Los Ángeles en vista de la abrumadora demanda para el rey actual del hip-hop. El artista, ganador de siete premios Grammy, regresará al Barclays Center…

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JAY Z, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers Headline 2017 "Budweiser Made In America" Festival

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/05/Budweiser_Made_In_America_Festival_Philadelphia.jpg?p=captionPHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK, May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —
What:”Budweiser Made in America,” the JAY Z curated two-day music festival and staple of Labor Day Weekend, returns to Philadelphia for a sixth year.
This year’s concert will benefit both the ACLU of Pennsylvania and United…

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Michael McDonald Preps First New LP in Nine Years, 'Wide Open'

Michael McDonald will release Wide Open, his first studio album in over nine years, on September 15th via BMG. The LP will feature collaborations with guitarist-singer Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule), guitarist Robben Ford, bassist Marcus Miller and saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

Wide Open – which follows a trio R&B/soul cover LPs for Motown, the most recent being 2008’s Soul Speak – marks the singer-songwriter’s first set of original material in 17 years. McDonald wrote Wide Open over several years and recorded the tracks at his Nashville studio with drummer Shannon Forrest (Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Toto) and a crew of the city’s session players.

McDonald will promote the album with a massive U.S. tour launching June 10th in Lincoln, California. The trek’s first leg stretches throughout the summer and concludes August 20th; following a September 15th slot at the Kaaboo Festival, the trek will resume October 13th and conclude November 17th in Los Angeles.

The former Doobie Brothers frontman and Steely Dan collaborator – known for his distinctive, ultra-smooth vocal style, which famously enraged Paul Rudd’s character in 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin – will celebrate the LP with a performance on PBS’ Soundstage, scheduled for this fall.

A younger generation of artists have embraced McDonald’s music in recent years, leading a groundswell of unexpected collaborations. Virtuoso bassist Thundercat recruited the singer (and Kenny Loggins) to co-write “Show You the Way,” a track on his 2017 LP, Drunk, which they performed together at last month’s Coachella Festival. They also performed the 1978 Doobie Brothers hit “What a Fool Believes” last year at the Hollywood Bowl. 

“[McDonald’s] singing is so specific, and it has so much depth,” Thundercat recently told the The L.A. Times. “Michael is such a stark example of staying honest and open in your music.”

Michael McDonald 2017 Tour

June 10 – Lincoln, CA @ Thunder Valley Casino
June 12 – Sugar Land, TX @ Smart Financial Centre
June 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
June 16 – Thackerville, OK @ WinStar World Casino
June 17 – Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Ctr for the Performing Arts
June 18 – Des Moines, IA @ Hoyt Sherman Place
June 20 – Moline, IL @ iWireless Center
June 23 – Aspen, CO @ Jazz Aspen Snowmass—June Experience
June 25 – Denver, CO @ Hudson Gardens & Event Center
June 27 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival
June 28 – Interlochen, MI @ Interlochen Center for the Arts
June 30 – Lenox, MA @ Tanglewood Music Festival
July 1 – Cohasset, MA @ South Shore Music Circus
July 2 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
July 7 – Hyannis, MA @ Cape Cod Melody Tent
July 8 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Tropicana Hotel & Casino
July 9 – Ridgefield, CT @ Ridgefield Playhouse
July 12 – Dayton, OH @ Fraze Pavilion
July 14 – Mequon, WI @ Gathering on the Green
August 6 – Costa Mesa, CA @ OC Fair & Event Center
August 8 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery
August 10 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau Ste Michelle Winery
August 11 – Spokane, WA @ Northern Quest Resort & Casino
August 12 – Goldendale, WA @ Maryhill Winery Amphitheater
August 15 – Livermore, CA @ Wente Vineyards
August 16 – Paso Robles, CA @ Vina Robles Amphitheatre
August 18 – Reno, NV @ Carson Valley Inn Casino – TJ’s Corrall
August 19 – West Wendover, NV @ Peppermill Concert Hall
August 20 – Steamboat Springs, CO @ Strings Music Festival
September 15 – Del Mar, CA @ Kaaboo
October 13 – Northfield, OH @ Hard Rock Live
October 15 – New London, CT @ Garde Arts Center
October 19 – New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall
October 21 – Clearwater, FL @ Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park
October 22 – Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall
October 24 – Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center
October 28 – Washington, DC @ Warner Theatre
October 30 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
November 2 – Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
November 3 – St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House
November 4 – Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
November 16 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
November 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre

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Watch Shawn Mendes Launch World Arena Tour, Debut New Song

Shawn Mendes launched a headlining arena tour in Europe last week, and in exclusive footage, the teenage singer-songwriter gives Rolling Stone a quick look at the show from his point of view. The tour is in support of his 2016 album Illuminate, and he just released a brand new song, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” for the album’s deluxe edition.

In the clip, Mendes is seen performing in clips cut together from the first two shows of his world tour in Glasgow and Manchester. Backstage, he gets ready with his band before debuting his dance-y new pop-rock track “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” When he sings “Life of the Party” from the piano, the crowds light up the arenas and sing every word back to him.

Mendes will be touring Europe through early June before crossing back to North America for a hefty set of July and August dates. His 61-date tour will span 24 cities and includes runs in South America, Australia and Asia, where the tour will end in Tokyo on December 18th. 

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Watch Flea, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith Praise People's Climate March

In a new video compilation, Flea, Michael Stipe and Patti Smith praised the thousands of protestors who participated in the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C. on April 29th.

With a tone of wonderment, Flea effused about the physical beauty of the natural world. “The majestic mountains that I hike in; the deep, clear rivers that I swim in; the deserts that I trip out in; the ocean which I surf and swim in, which throws me around like a little rag doll … without that I am nothing,” he said. “Without that we are nothing.”

Smith surveyed the “sacred” Earth as “our heritage” and thanked the protestors for protecting it. “And then tomorrow we continue, and the next day and the next and the next day, we continue,” she said. “Thank you. People have the power.”

In his brief message, Stipe noted, “I’ll see you out in the streets.”

The video, organized by climate justice organization Pathway to Paris, features over 50 contributors from around the world, also including guitarist Lenny Kaye, garage rock artist King Tuff and Pathyway co-founders Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon. In addition to the D.C. event, hundreds of sister marches were staged across the U.S. and the world.

The People’s Climate March, which coincided with Donald Trump’s 100th day in office, protested the president’s fossil fuel policies. “Since inauguration, we’ve seen what people power can achieve: Trumpcare? Withdrawn. Muslim ban? Blocked,” the organization writes on its website. “Now Trump’s entire fossil fuel agenda is next.”

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