Daily Archives: May 5, 2017

Hear Skrillex's Smooth, Breathless New Song, 'Chicken Soup'

Skrillex and Habstrakt aim for zooming propulsion on “Chicken Soup,” their contribution to HOWSLA, which is a new, house music-themed compilation released by Skrillex’s OWSLA label.

The two producers set up a lithe, syncopated rhythm immediately on “Chicken Soup.” This is the song’s engine; the lyrics are simple and intensify the track’s breathless momentum. Since Skrillex became famous for making tracks with massive drops, “Chicken Soup” moves adeptly between the forward march of house music and the type of build-and-release progressions: long, buzzing climbs followed by vicious nosedives. 

Though Skrillex was initially known for the shuddering power of his productions, his palette has become increasingly wide in recent years – most notably, he co-produced Justin Bieber’s Number 1 single, “Sorry.” His label, OWSLA, has frequently shown far-reaching taste with introspective music from acts like Hundred Waters and Mark Johns alongside the big-room electronic music of Porter Robinson and Marshmello.

OWSLA’s house music compilation shows the genre is becoming mainstream. House music used to be an underground form, but now its variations are all over pop radio like Ariana Grande (“Into You”), Kanye West (“Fade”), Zara Larsson (“Never Forget You”) and Drake (“Get It Together”).

Skrillex curated the HOWSLA compilation, which features songs from multiple artists. OWSLA will build on its new public commitment to house by hosting a series of nights devoted to the genre at the Los Angeles club Le Jardin this summer.

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Watch Black Lips' Quirky New 'Can't Hold On' Video

Black Lips released the wild new video for “Can’t Hold On,” the first single from the group’s new Sean Lennon-produced album, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?

“Can’t Hold On” features a rapid montage of quirky images, all transmitted in glorious VHS-quality. Cole Alexander and company perform the song in a variety of different outfits, from rhinestone cowboy suits to leather-wearing rockers, as well as shots of a woman breastfeeding, a car on fire and a white husky.

The Atlanta garage rockers also previously dropped the song “Occidental Front,” featuring the wordless moans of Lennon’s mother, Yoko Ono.

Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, Black Lips’ first LP since 2014’s Underneath the Rainbow and their first album with former guitarist Jack Hines since 2004, is out today. The album also features new members Oakley Munson (drums) and Zumi Rosow (saxophone).

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Chris Stapleton, Logic, Blondie and 23 Other Albums to Stream Right Now

Rolling Stone Recommends:

Chris Stapleton, From A Room: Vol. 1
The country troubadour’s follow-up to the world-beating Traveller is “a taut, nine-song LP geared mainly toward spotlighting those remarkable pipes, with scant pandering to mainstream country radio. … Songs smolder rather than blaze, amble instead of bolt, and generally keep the volume reined in,” writes Will Hermes in a four-star review. 
Read Our Review: Chris Stapleton’s Second Album Is Equal Parts Otis and Waylon
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Logic, Everybody
On his third album, Maryland rap phenomenon Logic extends his sing-song speed-game rhymes for a wide, inclusive view of our imploding country — if Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was our There’s a Riot Goin’ On, then Logic’s third LP takes a step back in the timeline to take a righteous Stand! The main theme of the album originally titled AfricAryan is navigating life as a mixed race citizen (“My skin’s fair, but life’s not”), but he also shouts out suicide hotlines, shouts down MAGA, talks through his anxiety and generally fights the power with a throwback conscious-rap style. His melodic flow should be instantly enjoyable to anyone who enjoyed the cadences and tumbles of Lamar’s latest; his “music doesn’t discriminate” attitude is perfect for Chance fans; and his flecks of spiritual house music and Baltimore club give his songs a high-octane propulsion all their own. He’s not exactly the most insightful or vivid or even self-aware conscious rapper ever, often sounding like Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy if Michael Franti spent more time on the internet than in the library: “That’s what I’m taught by the media,” he raps, “Television telling my vision to get greedier.” But Logic has passion, a roster of guests with a history in righteous indignation (Chuck D, Killer Mike, Black Thought) and, most importantly, ridiculous skills. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Perfume Genius, No Shape
By his usual standards, Mike Hadreas’ fourth Perfume Genius LP feels startlingly optimistic, with pop and rock tropes queered into dream-like scenarios. “Go Ahead” conjures “Kiss”-era Prince over dyspeptic electro-funk, “Die 4 You” is goth Sade, and the darkly ecstatic “Wreath” invokes Kate Bush (“Running up that hill/I’m gonna peel off every weight”). Producer Blake Mills brings guitars to this keyboard-centric world, Rob Moose does the same with strings, and Weyes Blood drops by for a duet. And go figure: the company does this forlorn singer-songwriter well. Will Hermes
Read Our Review: Review: Perfume Genius’ Goth-Glam Gets Optimistic on ‘No Shape’
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / SoundCloud GoSpotify / Tidal

Joan Shelley, Joan Shelley
The blue Kentucky gal is now three for three. Produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy with a light touch, this LP of gorgeous folk-rooted ballads is bolstered by the quietly psychedelic guitar picking of Nathan Salsburg. The difference here, helped along by drummer Spencer Tweedy, is an an English folk-rock undertow recalling groups like Fairport Convention — a sound Shelley always suggested, now made corporeal. Her voice, though, is still the main attraction, and it’s worth discovering. Will Hermes
Read Our Review: Review: Joan Shelley’s Self-Titled Fourth LP Is Exquisitely Hushed Folk
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

The Afghan Whigs, In Spades
These soul punkers’ post-reunion explorations of the dark side have possessed an urgency that jolts their heady mix of ominous vibes, guitar fuzz and stomping beats. Greg Dulli’s yawp – which can curl from a coo to a sneer depending on the moment – turns the hip-shaking “The Spell” into a revival-tent meeting, while the jittery, handclap-assisted “Light as a Feather” brings him back to the corner of Fountain and Fairfax. The band’s musical remit has grown in surprising ways, too; the swaying, horn-assisted “Toy Automatic” could be the opening salvo from an alternate-universe Forever Changes, while the back-of-the-bar singalong “I Got Lost” pits a wavering drone against insistent piano in a way that sounds both lush and disconcerting. A potent, unnerving statement from one of the best rock bands elevated by the alt-rock gold rush. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Blondie, Pollinator
The 11th album from the Debbie Harry-led New York New Wave legends finds them teaming up with pop guru Sia, fellow downtown denizen Nick Valensi, and über-cool R&B producer Dev Hynes – yet remains true to their hybridized sound. 
Read Our Review: Blondie Team With Sia, Charli XCX, Indie Pals on Pollinator
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / SoundCloud GoSpotify / Tidal

Also of Note:

Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
A collection of religious music from cassettes that the pianist and harpist distributed to late-20th-Century visitors of Sai Anantam, the ashram she launched in 1983. “The songs were a combination of traditional Hindi themes and melodies that my mother would orchestrate with her own jazz- and blues-influenced style,” saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, Alice’s son, told RS. “She would accompany these songs and create new arrangements for them. And some of the tunes were her own compositions, using some of the standard chants and praising of this particular deity or this particular god.”
Read Our Feature: Revisiting Alice Coltrane’s Lost Spiritual Classics
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel, I Can Spin a Rainbow
The collaboration between the TED Talk darling and the Legendary Pink Dots founder was dreamed up at the house of fellow experimentalist Imogen Heap. “The rainbow metaphor – which is also a nod to the ‘spinning beach ball of death’ on a Mac – was a wide-open image that kept popping up as a recurring theme on the record,” Palmer said in a statement. “It’s both dark and light at the same time. To me, the songs are simultaneously frightening and comforting, like a thunderstorm heard from a living room.”
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Spotify / Tidal

Ásgeir, Afterglow
The second album from the Icelandic composer and multi-instrumentalist shivers with precision and longing.
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

At The Drive-In, in•ter a•li•a
Run ragged by the demands of the rock industry, El Paso punks At The Drive-In disbanded only months after the release of their 2000 breakthrough, Relationship of Command. This month the band makes a full-throttle comeback with their first LP in 17 years, which forges an easy transition from the post-hardcore fury of their classic. “We need to honor where we left off sonically last time,” frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala recently told The New York Times, “and we need to honor how we used to paint outside the lines.”
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple MusicSpotify / Tidal 

Black Lips, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?
Sean Lennon produced the eighth album by this Atlanta gutter-garage outfit.
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Best Troubador
Like that of most great songwriters, Merle Haggard’s work shape-shifts with the singer, and this set of Haggard covers is full of surprises. There are fragile arrangements with jazzy horns – and even a flute – fluttering like sparrows over a field. And there are plenty of left-field selections, a reminder that latter-day Hag was still writing potent stuff. With his sweetly crackling vocals (and yodeling on “My Old Pal”), indie journeyman Will “Bonnie ‘Prince'” Oldham is, as always, an idiosyncratic and illuminating interpreter. Maybe there’s a Dylan-style standards trilogy in his future. Will Hermes
Hear: Bandcamp

Café Tacvba, Jei Beibi
The Mexican rock innovators celebrate a quarter-century of pushing boundaries with their eighth studio album. “Exploring distinct paths is a way for us to feel alive, or feel like we’re doing something different,” guitarist Joselo Rangel told RS. 
Read our feature: Café Tacvba Talk 27 Years of Rock Experimentalism
Hear: Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Carl Craig, Versus
The most elegantly rangy of Detroit techno’s elders, Carl Craig follows his classical music remix project ReComposed with a full-on orchestral collaboration, weaving electronics around Barcelona-based pianist Francesco Tristano and the Paris-based Les Siècles Orchestra. The set includes a brassy reimagining of his 2004 sirocco jam “Sandstorms,” with other wide-screen displays of shifting timbral colors and a sly relationship to four-on-the-floor pulse. It’s EDM for those who like their beats dressed to the nines and playing hard to get. Will Hermes
Hear: Apple MusicBandcamp

Cayetana, New Kind of Normal
On their second full-length, the Philly emo-pop trio tackles mental health and self-preservation in spiky, hooky songs. 
Hear: Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Diana Krall, Turn Up the Quiet
The pianist and bandleader collaborates with three different ensembles on this collection of jazz standards. 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Forest Swords, Compassion
This goth-tinged producer record – the second full-length from critically acclaimed Liverpool studio rat Matthew Barnes – crosses the lines between ambient music, mutant techno and 20th-century composition. Its individual parts drift through all kinds of bleary and beautiful strains of contemporary hipster mood music: the lush, decaying orchestral loops of the William Basinski variety; Arthur Russell-esque cello sawing; Four Tet-style chopped up samples; and live reverbed percussion that could have come from an early-Eighties Peter Gabriel record. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Ho99o9, United States of Horror
For the last three years, New Jersey noise-rap duo Ho99o9 have been performing a post-modern bloodfeast somewhere between the horrorcore of Geto Boys, the lo-fi synth shred of Suicide and the digital hardcore pixel poison of Atari Teenage Riot. For their full-length debut, they emerge more as an anti-war, anti-capitalist machine with the politics and grind of bands like Napalm Death, Crass and D.R.I., without losing their hip-hop swagger or love of Omen-style synths. Check out the way that punk sloganeering and rap chants join in a way where Odd Future meets “No Future”: “Raw power/Rest in peace/Fuck pigs/Love your enemies/Eat the rich/’Til you make them bleed/’Til you kill ’em all/Then repeat.” Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Mac DeMarco, This Old Dog
The slacker-pop hero dispenses accidental wisdom over charming bedroom-pop textures. 
Read Our Review: Mac DeMarco Unfurls Wiseacre Wisdom on This Old Dog
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Nite Jewel, Real High
The first LP in five years from R&B disciple Ramona Gonzalez filters early-Nineties Janet Jackson vibes through 21st-century cool, and features assists from Dâm-Funk and Julia Holter.
Hear: Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Patti LaBelle, Bel Hommage
The R&B legend takes on old-school jazz standards like “Wild Is the Wind” as well as newer offerings like Diana Krall’s “Peel Me a Grape.”  
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Penguin Café, The Imperfect Sea
Released on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1976, Music From The Penguin Café embraced folk naiveté and pop melody on arguably the most inviting avant-garde chamber music LP ever recorded. This dreamy set by Arthur Jeffes, son of the late Penguin Café leader Simon, reboots the franchise handsomely. If its compact minimalism conjures film scores, its because soundtrack composers have been shamelessly biting the Jeffes style for decades. Good to have the café re-opened. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Sigrid, Don’t Kill My Vibe
The title track of this Norwegian pop upstart’s debut EP balances her wounded balladry with a fist-raising chorus that’s equal parts Kendrick Lamar and Kelly Clarkson. Her slightly scratchy alto gives her the affect of a more world-beaten Adele, a persona only enhanced by the gimlet-eyed lyrics on gritted-teeth dance-pop like the storming “Fake Friends” and the jittery “Plot Twist.” Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Slowdive, Slowdive
The British shoegaze pioneers’ first album in 22 years is full of washed-out guitars and hazy vocals. 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal

Taj Mahal/Keb’ Mo’, TajMo
This summit between two living blues legends features a touching, Bonnie Raitt-fronted cover of John Mayer’s stirring “Waiting on the World to Change.” 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Various Artists, Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of “The Story”
Pearl Jam, Dolly Parton, Adele, Kris Kristofferson and other big names pay tribute to The Story, the 2007 album by hardscrabble troubadour Brandi Carlile, on an album benefiting the charity War Child UK.  
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

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20 YoungArts Winners Named 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts

Salute to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars, directed by Debbie Allen at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts featuring National YoungArts Foundation Winners and U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts (left to right): Kaylin Sturtevant and Lydia Graham. (c)Teresa WoodMIAMI, May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) congratulates the 53rd class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, with special acknowledgement to the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The U.S….

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See Linkin Park, Pusha T, Stormzy on Stark Basketball Court in New Video

Linkin Park enlisted Pusha T, the English grime MC Stormzy and former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for their new “Good Goodbye” clip. In the video, Abdul-Jabbar directs a supernatural dunk contest, where some contestants have flaming heads and exceptional jumping abilities.

“Good Goodbye” is the kind of rap-rock mixture that’s come storming back on the airwaves. Power chords and arena-friendly hooks mingle with brusque, staccato raps. All the MCs set a dismissive tone, starting with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda: “I’ve been here killing it/ Longer than you’ve been alive, you idiot.”

The video takes place in a gloomy warehouse, empty except for a shoddy basketball hoop. As the song pounds and writhes, the dunk contest becomes increasingly acrobatic, with players executing fantastical plays, spinning and twirling through the air as they fly high above the rim.

Linkin Park’s One More Light album arrives May 19th. Lead single “Heavy,” featuring Kiiara, is currently sitting at Number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart . In July, the band embarks on the One More Light tour.

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Lil Yachty Plots Summer Tour, Channels the Eighties in 'Bring it Back'

Lil Yachty released the new clip for “Bring it Back” on Friday and announced a tour that will bring him to 27 different venues around the country in August, September and October.

Although Yachty was born in 1997, he is in full-on 1980s pop mode on “Bring it Back,” which features cascades of drums that would make Phil Collins proud. The crisp instrumentation and mathematically precise arrangements serve as a backdrop for Yachty’s tale of lost love. “You’ve been gone too long,” he sings repeatedly. “I know you’re happy where you at, but you was happier with me.”

The video is set at what looks like a high school prom, with balloons and dancing couples everywhere. Despite Yachty’s mournful lyrics, he is the life of the party, dancing on a table in a magnificent green suit and leading “the Love Boat” band.

Yachty releases his major-label debut, Teenage Emotions, on May 26th. In August, he kicks off a tour in Dallas, Texas. After touching down in cities around the country – including New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles – Yachty wraps up his live dates with a performance in his hometown of Atlanta on October 20th.

Lil Yachty Tour Dates

August 11 – Dallas, TX @ Bomb Factory
August 12 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live!
August 13 – New Orleans, LA @ The Joy Theater
August 15 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
August 16 – Jacksonville, FL @ Mavericks
August 17 – Columbia, SC @ Music Farm
August 18 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
August 22 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
August 23 – Washington, D.C. @ Echo Stage
August 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
August 25 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
August 26 – Boston, MA @ The Wilbur
August 28 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
August 30 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
August 31 – St. Paul, MN @ Myth
September 2 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
September 3 – Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot Festival
September 5 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
September 6 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Historic El Rey Theatre
September 14 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
September 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
September 18 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory
September 19 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
September 21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
September 23 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
September 24 – Vancouver, BC @ P.N.E. Forum
October 20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Fox Theatre

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Review: Joan Shelley's Self-Titled Fourth LP Is Exquisitely Hushed Folk

If Nick Drake and Sandy Denny had had a kid, she may have grown up to be Joan Shelley, a Kentucky folkie whose exquisitely hushed fourth album sounds like a collection of the world’s most downcast sea shanties. As guitars gently curl and coil around her, Shelley recalls romantic expectations and disappointments in terse, almost haiku-style verse (“I’ve seen the sun rise over you/Now I watch it setting down”), and only the slightest uptick in the beat signifies she’s in love. Producer Jeff Tweedy wisely keeps the focus on Shelley’s unsullied voice, adding perfect touches like squeaky lead guitar on “I Got What I Wanted.” He never rains on Shelley’s parade; she does it all on her own, and beautifully. 

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Review: Perfume Genius' Goth-Glam Gets Optimistic on 'No Shape'

Mike Hadreas’ goth-glam songs of longing uncoil like someone who’s waited a long goddamn time for things to go right; when they finally rise to a crescendo, the release is thrillingly palpable. They do this often on his fourth Perfume Genius LP, which by his standards feels startlingly optimistic, with pop and rock tropes queered into dreamlike scenarios. “Go Ahead” conjures “Kiss”-era Prince and mid-Sixties Dionne Warwick (“say a little prayer for me/Baby”) over dyspeptic electro-funk. “Die 4 You” is goth Sade, while the darkly ecstatic “Wreath” invokes Kate Bush (“Running up that hill/I’m gonna peel off every weight”) over harpsichord gilt. And who knew dude had a penchant for yodeling?

ProducerBlake Mills brings myriad guitar sounds to the keyboard-centered affair, andRob Moose does the same with strings – check his fiercely spiraling violin on “Choir,”which suggests a whole realm of sound Hadreas might fruitfully explore. On “Sides,”with Mills’ rusted guitar tones clattering like something dragged from TomWaits’ junkyard, Hadreas duets with art-pop auteur Weyes Blood. For all thepower of his rapturously forlorn persona, it turns out Hadreas sounds betterwith company. Even more striking: satisfaction kinda becomes him. “Alan,”the album’s brooding denouement, is startled by its own happy ending. “Everythingis alright … How weird!” Hadreas hollers. Good news can seem like that,sometimes. 

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Watch Halsey Perform Scrappy 'Now or Never' on 'Fallon'

Halsey brought her latest hit, “Now or Never,” to The Tonight Show on Thursday, performing the aching power ballad in front of two large “Make peace” signs and a shrouded religious statue. 

Behind the signs, Halsey’s band – all dressed in white – conjured a swirling, biting sound: a wave of synthesizer and harsh, flat drums that swelled and receded. Halsey paced the stage unhurriedly as she issued an ultimatum to an absent partner. “Baby, I done enough talking,” she sang, before adding, “need to know that you’re mine.”

“Now or Never” climbed to No. 52 on the Hot 100 this week. The song will appear next month on Halsey’s sophomore LP, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. The singer worked on the album with fixtures in the Top 40 pop machine, including Greg Kurstin and Benny Blanco.

Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tracks the slow death of a romantic relationship. “I had killed off a version of myself just so we could make our love work,” Halsey told Rolling Stone. “Sometimes you’re in a relationship for so long and you become a different person.”

Halsey will hit the road this fall in a bill that also brings Charli XCX and PARTYNEXTDOOR to a series of arenas around the U.S. and Canada.

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Watch Green Day Perform Raucous 'Still Breathing' on 'Corden'

Six months after Green Day stopped by The Late Late Show to hype their then-new LP Revolution Radio, James Corden’s late-night program shared a second musical performance from that visit, with the Rock Hall trio performing their persistent new single, “Still Breathing.”

Green Day’s initial appearance in November featured a rendition of first single “Bang Bang,” and came just days after the band’s controversial performance at the American Music Awards where they chanted “No Trump/ No KKK/ No fascist USA” during the award show.

“We didn’t rehearse it,” Armstrong told Corden at the time. “We’re just as much in shock as everybody else is about this … But I think with the AMAs [performance], it was a good start to challenge [Trump] on all of his ignorant policies and his racism.”

Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool are currently on the Australian leg of their Revolution Radio world tour. In June, Green Day will embark on a monthlong tour through Europe before returning to North America on August 1st to begin a six-week jaunt that concludes September 16th at Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl.

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