Daily Archives: May 4, 2017

Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads and his all-star friends will rock The Chapel at the Fifth Annual Law Rocks San Francisco this Saturday!

LOS ANGELES, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Law Rocks, the nonprofit organization that hosts a global series of fundraising concerts starring bands of legal professionals, is presenting the Fifth Annual Law Rocks San Francisco this Saturday, May 6. Five bands of musically talented legal…


'I'm Singing for the Servicemen'

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/05/DIVA_magazine_Beccy_Cole.jpg?p=captionLONDON, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The following information is an article that was published by DIVA magazine on March 3rd, 2017.
Beccy Cole, Australian country music star and out-lesbian, has defended her scheduled performance in front of President Donald Trump on Thursday evening…


LCD Soundsystem Give Album Update, Release Two New Songs

LCD Soundsystem released two new songs, “Call the Police” and “American Dream,” that will appear on their highly anticipated new album expected to arrive this year. The tracks mark LCD Soundsystem’s first since 2015’s “Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” a surprise single that preceded the group’s 2016 reunion tour.

“Call the Police” is a seven-minute synth-laden slow burner constructed around a motorik beat that steadily increases volume and velocity before exploding into a prototypical climax that LCD Soundsystem has mastered.

“We don’t waste time with love / It’s just a push and a shove,” LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy sings near the tail end of the cut. “Oh, there’s a full-blown rebellion / But you’re easy to confuse / By trigger kids and fakers and some questionable views / Call the cops / Call the preachers.”

The second track, “American Dream,” channels a girl group vibe over its six minutes, culminating in a final coda complete with the “sha-bop sha-bop” of the era.

“You took acid and looked in the mirror / Watched the beard crawl across your face / Oh, the revolution was here / That would set you free from the bourgeois,” Murphy sings, later telling the listener. “Find the place that you could be boring.”

On Thursday, Murphy offered an update on the band’s new album, which will be their first since 2010’s This Is Happening. In a post on Facebook, Murphy said the band is trying to finish the record quickly, though did not estimate a release date, noting he still had to record vocals for one song, mix two songs and get the album mastered, pressed and shipped. “I insist that there is vinyl on the day it’s released (because … well … because I’m an old person),” Murphy wrote.

The frontman said the band is trying to finish the record quickly, though he did not estimate a release date, noting he still had to record vocals for one song, mix two songs and get the album mastered, pressed and shipped. “I insist that there is vinyl on the day it’s released (because … well … because I’m an old person),” Murphy wrote. 

Of the album itself, Murphy said, “It’s been one of the most enjoyable records to make in my life, if not the most fun ever (I think it is, for sure, the happiest I’ve ever been making a record). So it will be sad in some ways to see it leave the house etc. But we’re really looking forward to not feeling ‘late’ all the time, and being able to do things like plan a weekend to do something fun.” 

Murphy also said LCD Soundsystem were planning additional live dates, though they were still figuring out logistics such as locations, venue size and ways to ensure scalpers don’t snatch too many tickets. The band recently played five nights at new New York City venue Brooklyn Steel and have several festival dates lined up this summer. LCD Soundsystem will also play Saturday Night Live May 6th. 

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Toyota and Broccoli City collaborate to focus on sustainability during music and culture infused festival returning to Congress Heights

In an effort to charge their phones, festival-goers take a spin on electric-fueled stationary bikes at the Toyota Green Initiative activation space during the 2016 Broccoli City Festival in Washington D.C. Toyota is back as a major sponsor of this year’s eco-friendly music festival. This event is just one of many the brand will sponsor throughout the year under its African-American millennial-focused sustainability platform, the Toyota Green Initiative. (Photo: Donald Traill)TORRANCE, Calif., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Toyota Green Initiative will once again take center stage as hot music, hip art, and eco-consciousness collide at the third annual Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. The festival, which got a humble start as a platform to promote…


Dead Cross' Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo Talk Spastic New Album

Dead Cross’ self-titled debut won’t come out for another three months, but frontman Mike Patton is already cracking up about recording a gristly hardcore-punk LP at his age. “Let’s be honest, being in a band like this at almost 50 years old is a little comical,” he says. “I’m not some young tough guy trying to prove a point anymore. For me to make a record like this, it’s entirely a musical adventure. I just think it’s fun, and it makes me smile and laugh a lot.” And on cue, he laughs.

Judging from the spasmodic vocal acrobatics he pulls off on the record, which is due out August 4th, it certainly sounds like he’s having fun. Easily the snottiest record the Faith No More and Mr. Bungle frontman has made in years, Dead Cross contains 10 charging, head-spinning ragers, like the sub-two-minute “Grave Slave” premiering here, that whirr by in just 28 minutes. The group – which includes former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Retox/Locust bassist Justin Pearson and Retox guitarist Michael Crain – originally sounded a bit like acronym-punks D.R.I. and M.D.C. when they recorded the album last year with aggro-rock producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot). But the recent addition of Patton as their vocalist gives their music a certain mania. It’s a union that almost didn’t happen, because Lombardo, who worked with Patton in Fantômas, didn’t think he’d be into it.

When the band’s original frontman, Retox and Locust member Gabe Serbian, quit last year to spend more time with his daughter (according to Lombardo) the drummer entertained drafting a couple of other singers. But one name kept popping up. “My assistant said, ‘Dave, why don’t you just call your friend, Patton?'” he recalls. “I said, ‘No, he’s busy with Faith No More, and he’s doing film work.’ I just didn’t think of it. But after she was persistent three or four times, I asked him if he’d do it over text, and he said, ‘Absolutely. I would love to work on this.’ It blew me away. This guy is one of the top 10 vocalists in the world.”

The way Patton remembers it, he’d reached out to Lombardo asking to issue Dead Cross’ debut on his Ipecac label but didn’t hear anything back until he got the drummer’s text. “My jaw dropped,” he says. “I was like, ‘Who, me? Hmm …’ And I think it took like all of 30 seconds, but in a sarcastic way, I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course. I can do this. Are you sure you want me?’ So I kind of second-guessed him a little bit. And he said, ‘Man, you’d be our dream vocalist.’ And then it was just a matter of logistics. I decided to record it here in my basement, which is fitting. It shouldn’t sound too polished.”

From the time the band turned its recordings over to Patton until he sent them some scratch vocals (Patton demonstrates his gibberish vocals by flapping his lips à la Looney Tunes), they had no idea how he would approach their music. They didn’t even ask for it to sound a certain way. “It was a total surprise,” Lombardo says. “At two in the morning, he’d email a song, and we’d listen to it and be floored. It’s Patton singing hardcore. He’s dabbled in it, but not in this capacity. I don’t know what the hardcore community is going to do with all this information.”

“To me, it is a traditional hardcore record,” Patton says. “It is very pointed, direct and visceral. Like, I wasn’t going to play keyboards, add samples or any kind of orchestration. It was like, ‘Yo, just go for it.’ In some ways, it reminded me of stuff that we had collectively all grown up with and loved when we were like teenagers – bands like the Accüsed, Deep Wound or Siege, stuff that was just brutal, uncompromising and right to the point. I was listening to all those bands again before this came to be, so it was already back infused in my blood. And now I got a chance to do a pencil-in-your-eye record.”

That said, he made no qualms about departing from hardcore by adding layers of operatic background vocals and stereo voice effects throughout the record. “Can’t avoid that,” he says with a laugh. “That surprised them too. I was like, ‘Dudes, that’s just the way I’m hearing it.'”

“The harmonies are what gets me,” Lombardo says. “He has such a great ear. They add so much depth to a vicious album.”

“I did it to create these paths and different textures and give it more depth in certain parts,” Patton says. “Not the whole time, because it’s still got to go for the throat.”

Lombardo wanted to create the group as an aggressive, go-for-the-throat band a few years back when he was going through what he describes as “a bit of turmoil in my life.” Then he became enraged by the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris and decided to funnel his ire into Dead Cross. “The album is only 28 minutes long,” he says. “And the funny thing is [Slayer’s] Reign in Blood was 29 minutes. This album carries so much anger and frustration. You hear it in my drumming. It was the perfect birth of a hardcore album. It’s one of the most brutal albums I’ve ever done.”

Also ruthless are Patton’s lyrics, which he wrote loosely around themes but more around the syllable constructions of his scratch vocal tracks. “Grave Slave,” whose title predates Patton’s lyrics, finds the vocalist singing about a “pistolero” – just a word that fit his gibberish. “I was like, ‘This could be about a gunslinger or drug dealer at the border – a cartel,'” he says. “The other guys in the band come from Southern California, and I’ve spent a lot of time in San Diego, so pistoleros are a part of our lives.” He laughs. “It’s a huge point of contention with our new president, so I thought it was a cool topic.”

Another violent track is “Shillelagh” – a charging, punky number that leaked in March –­ whose title references an Irish walking stick that doubles as a weapon. “It reminded me of a time I had trouble in Ireland with a bunch of skinheads maybe 20 years ago,” he says. “After a show, I got chased down and one of the guys had one of these things – or at least I thought he did – and they were also weirdly homophobic, like, ‘Faggot, blah, blah, blah.’ Those things stick with you, but I’ve got no bad blood. It’s no big deal. I just love the idea of a walking stick that can be used to beat someone up. The song is done with humor.”

And of what of the song’s strangest lyric, “I took a pee and it came out red/I took a dump, and it came out dead”? “Well, you know, if you get beat, those things happen.” He laughs. “All I’m going to tell you about that.”

But perhaps the most interesting song on the record is a cover of Bauhaus’ goth epic “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” “When we started, we realized we only had 20 minutes of music,” Lombardo says. “Justin suggested ‘Bela Lugosi,’ because it was a little longer, mid-paced song to break up the chaos.” But where Bauhaus’ lasted nine minutes, Dead Cross’ “long” song is two-and-a-half minutes long. “Yeah, it’s got a dark vibe to it,” the drummer says. “It’s eerie. I like it.”

“I was nervous about it because that to me is kind of sacred ground,” Patton says. “And I also thought it was maybe obvious. I asked if we could do another song, but they were playing it so well, I was like, ‘You know what, let me give it a try.’ And it worked. Hopefully it doesn’t sound like too much of a parody or a caricature, which was what I was worried about, like, ‘Ugh, here we are going goth.’ But I think it came out pretty solid. Also, it’s like a great detour on the record, in between all this spastic stuff.”

The band has yet to rehearse the songs with Patton, but they’re looking forward to some light touring after the LP comes out. They’ve announced an appearance at Riot Fest in Chicago in September, and are setting up a roughly two-week West Coast run in August and another one on the East Coast in September. “I really don’t like going out on tour without fans hearing the new record,” Lombardo says. “It’s not cool when we start a song and nobody knows what we’re doing.”

“Live, it’s going to be pretty fucking … pretty goddamn simple,” Patton says. “The one thing that I wanted to do – and I doubt it’ll happen, just because of finances – was to have three backup singers, but all skinheads. Like, in full boots and braces. So instead of, like, three black, female, hot backup singers, it’s three tough skinheads with good falsettos. I thought that would be really, really funny.”

Beyond Dead Cross, both musicians are busy with other projects. Lombardo joined the long-running hardcore group Suicidal Tendencies last year and has been touring with them and played on their World Gone Mad LP. He also played drums for the Misfits reunion last year, and he’s hopeful they’ll consider doing more shows in the future.

Patton has been working on a film score for a Netflix movie called 1922 based on a Stephen King novella (“It’s more haunting and Hitchcock-y than you might thing,” he says), and has been collaborating with onetime Serge Gainsbourg collaborator, composer and arranger Jean-Claude Vannier, on an album of orchestral ballads. “It’s very, very lush,” he says. “I’m doing a lot of crooning in different languages, and the instrumentation is all over the map.” And will it contain Gainsbourg’s famous dirty lyrics? “There are plenty of those, don’t worry,” he says. “They just don’t sound so sexy in English.” Faith No More, he says, are an “open-ended book,” so “if something happens, you’re pleasantly surprised.”

Overall, Lombardo hopes Dead Cross, the album, shakes up the heavy-music status quo a bit. “Metal bands have discovered a formula,” Lombardo says. “It’s very difficult to find things that are inspiring, at least in metal. I’ve heard it all before. Maybe that comes with age, seniority, but it’s like, ‘I know what’s coming now. There’s the breakdown, there’s the verse, there’s the chorus.’ Don’t’ get me wrong, there’s a lot of great talent out there, but a lot of people follow formulas that stifle their creativity and it becomes mundane.”

“It’s funny,” Patton says. “The few people that I’ve played the record for, I’m like, ‘Hey, what do you think of this thing I’m doing now? It’s really funny, right?’ And they’re like, ‘Funny? Jesus Christ, this is brutal.’ I almost consider it like a vacation. It’s fun. But different friends keep saying, ‘Holy shit, this is not old school. This is something else. Patton, you’ve done something great here!’ I’m like, ‘Oh, OK. I did not know that.’ So everyone’s got a warped perception of what normal and weird is, I guess, is my point. None of them compete with me.”

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Miley Cyrus Talks Reaching Out to Trump Voters, New Album

Miley Cyrus discussed unity in the age of President Trump and her decision to return to her rock and country roots in an expansive interview with Billboard.

Cyrus will release a new single, “Malibu,” May 11th with an as-yet-untitled LP expected to arrive later this year. Cyrus wrote the lyrics and melodies herself and recorded the LP with producer/multi-instrumentalist Oren Yoel. The record reportedly includes songs about Hillary Clinton and women in the workplace, but Cyrus said the deliberate aesthetic shift from 2013’s hip-hop heavy Bangerz and her 2015 psych romp with the Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, was partly inspired by a desire to reach those outside her bubble.

“This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a fuck, but right now is not a time to not give a fuck about people,” she said. “I’m ­giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good – I love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”

Cyrus said this instinct arose when she began her stint as a coach on The Voice and had the chance to engage with fans of country star, and fellow coach, Blake Shelton. Despite her Nashville roots, the country career of her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the fact that Dolly Parton is her godmother, Cyrus said she felt hurt that “country music fans are scared of me.”

“I like talking to people that don’t agree with me, but I don’t think I can do that in an aggressive way,” she said. “I don’t think those people are going to listen to me when I’m sitting there in nipple pasties, you know?” Elsewhere, Cyrus added: “I like the way I think right now. But don’t Trump supporters like the way they think? So I’ve also got to be open with the way I approach people with my opinions. That’s the only way to make real change.”

While Cyrus said her new album is political, she quickly added, “The sound bite doesn’t stop there. Because you can write something beautiful and you know E! News will ruin our lives and say, ‘This is a political record.’ Because then I’m the Dixie Chicks and I’m getting my album smashed in the streets, and that’s not what I want. I want to talk to people in a compassionate, understanding way – which people aren’t doing.”

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Robin Hood And PepsiCo Foundation Take Center Stage With 2017 Robin Hood Rocks Concert Series

PURCHASE, N.Y., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The PepsiCo Foundation is teaming up with Robin Hood, the largest poverty-fighting organization in New York, to support Robin Hood Rocks, the organization’s successful fundraising concert series. With the help of iHeartMedia, the program will…


Songtradr Global Music Platform Launches 2.0 with Industry-First Features

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Songtradr, the fastest-growing, music licensing platform in the world, announces today that the company has introduced an industry first, exclusively for music creators and license buyers with its expanded, professional licensing service….


Review: Chris Stapleton's Second Album Is Equal Parts Otis and Waylon

He may appear to be a thick-bearded Seventies outlaw-country throwback, but make no mistake: Chris Stapleton is a soul singer, with a preternaturally creaky voice that can turn wizened or brawny, full of pained howls and distended vowels. His 2015 solo debut, Traveller, transformed him from an eclectically accomplished Nashville songwriter (for acts from Alison Krauss and Ashley Monroe to Adele; those are just the A’s) into an icon of artistic cred in a town starved for one. His gobsmacking Justin Timberlake duet at the 2015 Country Music Awards – which he swept, Adele-like – sealed the deal. The question, given country’s cookie-cutter tastes, was what comes next?

Thankfully, the follow-up to Traveller is a taut, nine-song LP geared mainly toward spotlighting those remarkable pipes, with scant pandering to mainstream country radio. The first of two volumes (the second is due later this year), From A Room was recorded in Nashville with throwback-country super-producer Dave Cobb at RCA Studio A, a venerable room where Waylon, Willie, Dolly and others made classics back in the day. Arrangements – for guitar, bass and drums, with touches of steel guitar and harmonica – are spare and lean. Songs smolder rather than blaze, amble instead of bolt, and generally keep the volume reined in. Even “Second One to Know,” a fierce rocker with rhythm guitar that attacks like John Henry’s hammer, still leaves space for Stapleton’s vocals to match it, blow for blow.

Even more potent is “Either Way,” a ballad set to acoustic guitar that goes from broken whisper to chilling holler, with extravagantly curled phrasing informed, one imagines, by hours spent watching smoke plumes rise
toward the ceiling. It conjures Otis Redding as much as Waylon Jennings. Elsewhere, Stapleton is a convincing bluesman. You could imagine B.B. King singing “Death Row” or Freddie King slashing through “I Was Wrong” with his jagged Texas guitar, which Stapleton impressively echoes.

Traveller lacked a bit for focus – it showed an artist moving toward a new voice. From A Room is strikingly focused, sonically and thematically. Its characters are flawed; there’s much bad behavior, with heartbreak to pay. “Them Stems” rues a shortfall of weed, a favorite Stapleton topic – few sing the word “stoned” more convincingly (see “Tennessee Whiskey,” “Might as Well Get Stoned,” “The Devil Named Music,” etc.). Aside from a cover of the Willie Nelson fave “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning,” the songs are Stapleton co-writes, plain-spoken sometimes to a fault. But that voice ensures that even generic bits come off as anything but. Here’s looking forward to Volume 2.

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Review: Mac DeMarco Unfurls Wiseacre Wisdom on 'This Old Dog'

“Hopefully make some sense of all this shit before you die,”laid-back wiseacre Mac DeMarco advises, like a cross between Bob Dylan andStephen Malkmus. His third LP ranges from the cheese-synth balladry of “Forthe First Time” to bedroom-guitar poesy like the forlorn fragment “Sister.”DeMarco’s weed-y lazy-day croon can be a little too tongue-in-cheek. He’s bestwhen he’s more earnest, both lyrically and melodically, as on “My Old Man,”a sweet shoulder shrug toward the harsh reality of turning into your dad.

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