Daily Archives: May 8, 2017

Big Sean Turns Video Game Character in Playful 'Jump Out the Window' Video

Big Sean goes on a 16-bit adventure in his new video for “Jump Out the Window,” the latest single off the rapper’s I Decided.

In the video, Big Sean arrives at his girl Princess’ house, only to discover that a video game villain has abducted her into a Super Nintendo console.

The rapper then jumps into the pixelated world, fighting his way through several video games – including one inspired by Mario Kart, a nod to the lyric, “Remember when you used to come through and hit the Mario Kart / And you always picked the princess” – in pursuit of Princess.

When the two finally escape the video game world, they discover the baddie has followed them into reality. Thankfully, Princess unplugs the Super Nintendo, ending the ordeal.

“Jump Out the Window” follows the heavy, just-released video for “Light,” a track that tackled police brutality, racism and senseless violence. The rapper has previously dropped videos for I Decided‘s “Moves” and “Halfway Off the Balcony.”

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Folgers® and GRAMMY® Nominated Country Music Star, Chris Young, Announce Winning Duo in the 2017 Folgers® Jingle Contest

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/05/The_JM_Smucker_Company_Folgers_Logo.jpg?p=captionORRVILLE, Ohio, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Folgers®, in partnership with GRAMMY® nominated country music star Chris Young, is thrilled to share that dynamic duo, J Dodd and Stephen James, are the grand prize winners of the 2017 Folgers Jingle Contest. The duo put a unique twist on the…

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Meek Mill and Yo Gotti Announce 21-City Nationwide "Against All Odds Tour"

http://rockbands.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2017/05/Live_Nation_Meek_Mill_and_Yo_Gotti.jpg?p=captionLOS ANGELES, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On July 5th, multi-platinum rap artists Meek Mill and Yo Gotti join forces for the Against All Odds Tour, an epic 21-city summer run produced by Live Nation.
Hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of rap’s few voices for the everyman,” Meek Mill’s…

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U.K. Music Festivals Launch Joint Campaign Against Sexual Assault

Dozens of U.K. music festivals have banded together for a 24-hour online campaign condemning sexual assaults at their respective fests.

On Monday, visitors to the websites for Bestival, Parklife, End of the Road and 25 more fests were greeted to a video for “Safer Spaces at Festivals,” which reiterate a “zero tolerance to sexual assault” policy.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and four U.K. organizations fighting “sexual violence” teamed to launch the Safer Spaces at Festivals campaign.

“This campaign is building upon the positive measures that are already being taken by our members. We are reiterating that we have a zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment or assault at our events,” said AIF campaign manger Renae Brown said in a statement.

“We are aiming to tackle these issues in both a sensitive and impactful way – pushing awareness of sexual safety to the fore, while ensuring all those working onsite are properly trained, and that UK festivals continue to provide the safest, securest and most enjoyable environment for their customers,” Brown added.

The AIF site added, “Sexual assault can happen anywhere and to anyone. There is no evidence to suggest that more of these incidents take place at festivals but organizers take this issue incredibly seriously in their planning and practices – these include the provision of welfare services, 24-hour security on campsites and arenas and close working relationships with police and other relevant agencies.”

According to the Guardian, three women reported sexual assaults at 2015’s Glastonbury event, the U.K.’s largest music festival. However, statistics show that “only 15 percent of those who experience such violence choose to report it to the police,” the AIF wrote.

Bestival founder Rob da Bank told the Guardian, “It’s really important that as promoters of these big events where people come to have fun, we all tackle this head on and make sure our crowds are really safe. It’s not in vast numbers, but it is going on, so we are trying to flag this up before it becomes a problem, rather than being told after the event that we haven’t done enough.”

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Linkin Park Announce Special Guest Snoop Dogg On October Dates Of One More Light World Tour

Linkin Park Announce Special Guest Snoop Dogg on October Dates of One More Light World Tour (image credit James Michin)LOS ANGELES, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Entertainment icon, SNOOP DOGG will join LINKIN PARK on their One More Light World Tour as special guest on six west coast dates in October. The rap legend and rock outliers will share the stage for six consecutive shows beg…

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Prince's Famous Vault Opens: Inside His Vast Archives' Uncertain Future

Soon after Prince signed on to star in 1984’s Purple Rain, he got to work writing songs. Before filming even began, he had more than 100 ready. He obsessively recorded over the next nine months, at his home studio and in front of audiences at Minneapolis’ First Avenue. “We rehearsed for six months, and he documented everything,” says guitarist Wendy Melvoin of the Revolution. Only nine of those songs made it to the final soundtrack, and the unreleased material has tantalized fans for 33 years. Now, some of it will finally see official release. On June 9th, Warner Bros. will release an expanded edition of Purple Rain, with four discs including extended tracks, B sides, and a DVD of a March 1985 concert with the Revolution in Syracuse, New York (with a 20-minute “Purple Rain”). Most intriguingly, the set features a full disc of outtakes from the sessions. Some of them, including the full version of “Father’s Song” and the studio version of “Electric Intercourse,” have never circulated before.

It’s the first big posthumous release delving into what Prince’s estate has said are “thousands upon thousands” of tapes in the singer’s vaults at Paisley Park, his home in Minnesota. In 2014, Prince told Rolling Stone the vault includes unheard albums with the Revolution, the Time and Vanity 6. “I didn’t always give the record companies the best song,” he said.

But the rest of Prince’s catalog has been caught in the kind of legal chaos that has surrounded his estate since his death last April. In February, Universal Music Group paid $30 million for the rights to distribute music Prince recorded after he left Warner Bros. in 1996 (he re-signed with the label in 2014). Even more exciting for fans, Universal announced that, beginning in 2018, it would “obtain U.S. rights to certain renowned Prince albums release from 1979 to 1995.” The deal also included unreleased material from throughout his career.

But that deal is now essentially dead: Sources close to Universal say it is seeking its money back for misrepresentation after discovering that it might not have access to Prince’s pre-’96 material until 2021, making the deal considerably less appealing. No plans for more archival releases have been announced; it is also unclear which vault material Warner Bros. owns, and for how long.

Prince’s estate has been in similar limbo. He kept no will, leaving his sister Tyka and five half-siblings to battle it out for estate control. As that was sorted out, a Minnesota court appointed a financial firm, Bremer Trust, as a special administrator. The company got to work making deals, from streaming to merchandising, to meet a $12 million estate-tax payment. But Bremer clashed with the family; the court has put another bank, Comerica, in charge, appointing Troy Carter, Lady Gaga’s former manager and now an executive at Spotify, to oversee the archives and future deals. The company met its first test when it put a stop to Deliverance, a six-song EP of unheard Prince music recorded between 2006 and 2008, co-written and produced with engineer Ian Boxill. “Ian had access to a lot more material they worked on together,” says David Staley, co-founder of Rogue Music, who announced the EP. “He felt this small selection was something Prince would have wanted out.” Comerica filed a restraining order to halt the sale of the EP; CD versions of it are sitting in a warehouse until the issue is resolved. (Last week, a court ordered Prince’s estate to post a $1 million bond in advance of the upcoming trial that will determine the fate of the release.)

Abright spot for fans is Paisley Park itself, now up and running as a museum. Itfeatures items like the Purple Rain motorcycle, as well as recordingstudios and stage clothes. Some areas, such as the basement vault, remainoff-limits. Susan Rogers, Prince’s engineer throughout the Eighties, visited inApril. She saw just how eager fans are for new recordings. “They want theunreleased material to come out: ‘Please don’t let them mess this up,'”Rogers says. “He must have thought, ‘Let the chips fall where they may.’But even when the chips hit the ground, they’re still rolling and moving.” 

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Say My Name the Russian Creators

Say My Name from St. Peresburg, Russia, started as a band about 3 years ago. They went on to play their genre of choice, power pop meets dark rock, doing live shows for more than …Read More

INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Hear Roger Waters' Lush New Song 'Deja Vu'

Less than a month before Roger Waters releases his first rock album in 25 years, the former Pink Floyd bassist unveiled one of his new songs, “Déjà Vu.” The new record, produced by Nigel Godrich, is called Is This the Life We Really Want? and arrives June 2nd. 

“Déjà Vu” conjures familiar motifs from Pink Floyd’s past, from the subtle Dark Side of the Moon beat beneath the strings to the musique concrete war recordings. The song is also reminiscent of Waters’ understated late-era Floyd ballads like “The Final Cut” and “Fletcher Memorial Home.”

“If I was a drone/ Patrolling from the skies/ With my electric eyes for guidance/ And the element of surprise,” Waters sings on the ballad as the strings swell. “I wouldn’t be afraid to find someone home/ Maybe a woman at a stove, baking bread, making rice, but just boiling down some bones/ If I were a drone.”

“Déjà Vu” is the second new track Waters released following the similarly nostalgic “Smell the Roses.” On May 26th, just before the album’s official release, Waters will embark on his Us + Them North American Tour. 

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Watch Harry Styles Walk on Water in 'Sign of the Times' Video

Harry Styles soars over mountains and walks on water in his cinematic video for new power ballad “Sign of the Times.” The clip, filmed on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, shows the singer on a panoramic solo journey.

“Breaking through the atmosphere/ Things are pretty good from here,” he croons over the grandiose arrangement, which builds from somber piano chords to a keyboard-strings and an electric guitar solo.

“Sign of the Times” is the first single from Styles’ upcoming debut solo LP, Harry Styles, out May 12th. The former One Direction singer announced the 10-track album, which Jeff Bhasker executive-produced, last month. Styles’ solo tour begins September 19th in San Francisco. 

The recent Rolling Stone cover star recently performed both “Sign of the Times” and acoustic track “Ever Since New York” on Saturday Night Live. The singer also appeared in multiple sketches, including “Celebrity Family Feud: Time Travel Edition,” in which he played a young Mick Jagger.

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How Southern-Soul Survivor Don Bryant Finally Got His Second Chance

In the past decade and a half, reissuers and documentarians have risen to counter the star-focused narrative of pop history, especially when it comes to Sixties and Seventies soul. At the forefront of this movement was the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, about the indispensable musicians who contributed to countless hits at one of R&B’s most famous institutions. More recent examples include Muscle Shoals, a film about the studio that helped turn Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin into forces of nature, along with reissues of albums by Ann Peebles, a Hi Records singer whose work was overshadowed by Al Green’s crossover success, and a collection from Betty Harris dubbed The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul.

These musical rescue efforts have also led to some lesser-known artists returning to the studio and releasing new material. Bettye LaVette’s rediscovery has allowed her to make seven albums since 2003. William Bell, a Stax writer who has hardly recorded since the 1980s, put out a record last year. And now comes Don Bryant, a former Hi Records writer who just released Don’t Give Up on Love, only the second album of his career, at age 75.

Bryant originally had solo-artist ambitions of his own. But when Willie Mitchell, the producer and songwriter who shepherded Hi through its most successful period, chose to focus his attention on others, Bryant went with the flow: “At the time, there were so many greater artists coming along – Ann [Peebles], Al [Green] – that had something unique in their voices,” Bryant remembers, speaking over the phone from his Memphis home. “I wanted to be a part of it. If it wasn’t gonna be the singing, I was content with trying to do the writing.”

“Don was great back then,” explains Howard Grimes, who drummed on almost everything coming out of Hi Records during the 1970s and fills the same role on Don’t Give Up on Love. “Willie Mitchell signed up a bunch of artists, but [that was] before he got Al Green, and that kind of stopped Don. Don took up the writing with Earl Randle, Dan Greer and Darryl Carter – they were the top staff writers there. Everybody always felt that Don didn’t get what was due to him.”

When Ann Peebles debuted with This Is Ann Peebles in 1969, Bryant was present with a credit on”Solid Foundation,” which condensed vicious big-band swing into a miraculous two-minute soul strut. He continued to write for Peebles throughout the Seventies – the two married in 1974 – while also helping other members of Hi’s roster: Otis Clay, the girl group Quiet Elegance and the short-lived act Teacher’s Edition.

Bryant’s calling card is Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” which became her sole Top 40 hit and has endured through cover versions – from Tina Turner, Cassandra Wilson and Seal – and samples: See tracks from Missy Elliott, Talib Kweli’s Reflection Eternal project and Kaytranada. The hit was inspired by a real-life storm that elicited an offhand, snippy comment from Peebles: “I can’t stand the rain.” “At the time, there were a lot of records about the rain, but everyone was wanting the rain, trying to hide their tears,” Bryant explains, pointing to records like the Dramatics’ “In the Rain.” He moved in the opposite direction, writing from the song from the perspective of someone who just hated the downpour.

Mitchell later added a pinging intro on electric timbales. It made “I Can’t Stand the Rain” impossible to forget. “When I heard it, it blew my mind,” Bryant says.

Southern soul’s crossover moment was brief; Hi Records was sold in 1977. Bryant continued to write with Peebles, who recorded intermittently in the Eighties and Nineties. She suffered a stroke in 2012. “She’s not back to her best,” Bryant says. “It’s not a full progression of recovery. But we’re making the best of it.”

He was pulled back into the pop world by his old Hi comrades, especially Grimes. The drummer’s quest for satisfactory session work eventually led him to connect with Scott Bomar, who led a band called the Bo-Keys that includes multiple former players from Memphis’ great studios. After Grimes contributed to several Bo-Keys projects, including an album backing Cyndi Lauper, Bomar eventually asked about the possibility of enlisting Bryant as a singer. “I told him, ‘Man, if you get that guy? That’s the man you need,'” Grimes remembers. “He’s long overdue. God wasn’t through with him.”

But there was a catch. “I don’t know if you can get him to do R&B,” Grimes recalls telling Bomar. “[Bryant]’s dedicated to God.”

Grimes, also a religious man, proved to be persuasive recruiter. “I had an out-of-body experience, and God told me to give a testimony to Don and let him read it,” the drummer explains. “When he read my testimony, he changed. I saw the joy on his face, and he told me he was going to sign the contract.”

The fact that Bomar was a fair bandleader also helped Grimes’ case. “[Bryant] had a bad deal in the record business,” Grimes says. “None of us have ever been compensated properly for all the work we did.” In contrast, he explains, “I’ve made more money with Scott than I’ve made [the whole rest of] my career.”

Bryant admits that he was initially reluctant to return to soul music. But the presence of other players associated with Hi helped make him more comfortable. “It was kind of a like a family reunion situation,” he says, “and I think that helped urge it on.”

His voice remains marvelous, despite the fact that it’s rarely been recorded in the last four decades. “I never did stop singing,” Bryant says. “I’ve been doing some gospel things.”

Before his first live gigs with the Bo-Keys, Bryant told Grimes to cover him behind the kit if he made any missteps. “I said, ‘I got you,'” Grimes recalls. “‘I ain’t gonna let you down.'” But Bryant didn’t need any camouflage. “He started singing and something hit him up there,” Grimes says. “He started to come back to his old self.”

After success onstage, Bryant returned to the studio, assembling Don’t Give Up on Love from a repertoire of oldies – O.V. Wright’s “A Nickel and a Nail,” the 5 Royales’ “I Got to Know” – and a few new cuts. The band rendered them with a canonical, finely tuned Southern-soul sound. “It’s really a joy to have the opportunity to do it again,” Bryant says of the recording process. “It feels just as good now as it did then.”

Peebles came to the studio to provide feedback as her husband worked on the new album. “That was very uplifting,” he says. “Whatever she offers as far as the songs are concerned, as far as how maybe I could try it this way or that way, I listen. She still has it.”

Her advice must have been useful on “It Was Jealousy,” a glowingly downhearted ballad that Bryant wrote for Peebles’ 1975 album Tellin’ It. This may be the pinnacle of Don’t Give Up on Love: Bryant demonstrates the full extent of his range, stretching from low, scratchy entreaties to wordless falsetto, as the band articulates delicate, languid soul behind him. “That one has always been my favorite,” Bryant says. “Otis Clay did it. Ann did it. And now, I have a chance to do it.” 

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