Daily Archives: September 15, 2017

Review: Foo Fighters Bring Heartfelt Thunder With Help From Some Very Special Friends

“I feel an earthquake coming on,” Dave Grohl sings on “Dirty Water,” a moment of fragile guitar poetry from Foo Fighters’ ninth album. Of course, keeping things steady amid chaos has been one of Grohl’s signature themes since the Foos were born from the wreckage of Nirvana a couple of forevers ago. Musically and emotionally, Concrete and Gold is their most balanced record yet – from stadium-punk dive bombers like “Run” and “La Dee Da” to the acoustic soul that opens “T-Shirt,” in which Grohl gets his Nina Simone on, singing, “I don’t wanna be king/I just wanna sing a love song.” “Sunday Rain” is a guitar weeper so late-Beatles great it even has Paul McCartney playing drums on it.

Adeleco-writer Greg Kurstin’s production adds big-studio texture without dilutingthe band’s raw tumult; even Justin Timberlake’s appearance – as a backingvocalist on the space-truckin’ “Make It Right” – is subtle ratherthan ostentatious. The highlight is “The Sky Is a Neighborhood,” ahulking dream-metal anthem: “Trouble to the right and left,” Grohlsings, driving into the darkness with a Bic lighter raised to the heavens.

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Watch Lil Yachty Conjure Tropical Paradise in 'Better' Video

Lil Yachty turns a deserted island into a tropical paradise in the new video for “Better,” from his major label debut, Teenage Emotions.

The video opens with Yachty inexplicably washing up on the shores of a remote beach. As the rapper walks around the island in search of food and water, he begins to hallucinate. The woman he sculpted out of sand turns into an actual human and his cove becomes a luxury oasis.

Midway through the track, rapper Stefflon Don emerges out of the mirage to deliver her guest verse. By video’s end, the hallucination ends and Yachty is again left alone, Castaway-style.

Even though Teenage Emotions came out in May, Lil Yachty is already teasing his new release Lil Boat 2, the sequel to the Atlanta rapper’s breakthrough 2016 mixtape. Yachty also recently guested on Macklemore’s “Marmalade” in addition to starring in his own “Forever Young” video.

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Watch Shakira's Surreal New 'Perro Fiel' Video With Nicky Jam

Shakira‘s new “Perro Fiel” video alternates between playful and surreal. Director Jaume de Laiguana cuts between the Colombian singer dancing at a race track and shots of solemn musicians sawing away at women decorated like cellos.

On “Perro Fiel,” Shakira trades vocal hooks with guest singer Nicky Jam over a reggaeton drum groove laced with muted strings, whistles and EQ-shifting electronics. The track is Shakira’s third official single from her 11th studio album, El Dorado, following “Chantaje” and “Me Enamoré.”

The LP also features her hit collaboration with Carlos Vives, “La Bicicleta” (which won 2016 Latin Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year) and previously issued tracks “Deja Vu,” “Comme Moi” and “Nada.”

Shakira will promote El Dorado on a world tour launching this fall with a run of European dates. Her North American leg will kick off January 9th in Orlando, Florida and conclude February 10th in Las Vegas. 

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LiveXLive Media To Stream Rock in Rio Music Festival With Performances From Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers And More

LiveXLive (PRNewsFoto/Loton, Corp.)BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –LiveXLive Media, Inc. (OTC:LIVX) LiveXLive Media, the premiere digital network devoted to live music and music-related video content, will be livestreaming performances from both weekends of the Rock in Rio Music Festival. Beginning…

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Review: Prophets of Rage, Rap-Rock Supergroup, Calls for Revolution

This rap-rock supergroup – featuring PublicEnemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, and CypressHill’s B-Real – revved up old PE and RATM classics on their debut 2016 EP. Theband’s first full-length contains 12 hardrocking lefty diatribes againstgovernment conspiracies (“Drones – they got ya tapped, they got ya phone,”Chuck D raps in “Take Me Higher”), civil injustice (“We fuckin’matter,” he declares on “Who Owns Who”) and, in the case of B-Real’srhymes, restrictive weed laws (“Legalize Me”). The only thing they’remissing is Rage singer Zack de la Rocha’s bloodthirsty snarl. 

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Drummer Jon Wurster Remembers Grant Hart: 'The Center of the Sonic Hurricane'

Jon Wurster has been the longtime drummer for Superchunk and the Mountain Goats, but in his work with the Bob Mould band, he had a chance to fill the throne of one of his heroes: Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart, who died Thursday at 56. Here, Wurster remembers Hart as a force of nature on the skins, as well as an utterly original personality.

“Well, damn. Those songs are going to be way harder to pull off than I thought.”

It was March 24th, 2008 and I’d just played my first show with the Bob Mould Band. Things hadn’t worked out with their regular drummer and I’d been asked to fly directly from the final date of a Mountain Goats tour in Philadelphia and join Bob’s band mid-tour in Solana Beach, CA.

I’d been a big fan of Bob’s music for decades and, for a guy like me, this was like getting to play with John Lennon. On the flight to California I studied the list of songs bassist Jason Narducy sent me. Bob was playing a career-spanning set that touched on his solo work as well as songs from his two influential bands Sugar and Hüsker Dü. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get to play Hüsker Dü songs with Bob Mould.

The show went surprisingly well considering we had only that day’s soundcheck for rehearsal. The Hüsker Dü songs, however, were much tougher to play than I expected. Though the Twin Cities rage-pop trio provided the soundtrack to my late-teens, I’d never actually PLAYED any of those songs on the drums before that day. I thought I was a pretty good drummer but I realized I was going to have to work extra hard if I was going to come even close to replicating drummer Grant Hart’s swing, feel and…DAMN him…those lightning-fast rolls.

“His voice was … sweet and angelic one minute, menacing the next.”

Here we are almost 10 years later and I still feel like a bit of a fraud when trying to replicate Grant’s drumming when we play classics like “In A Free Land,” “Chartered Trips” and “Celebrated Summer.” I would say Grant’s were big shoes to fill but he didn’t actually wear shoes, at least not when he drummed with Hüsker Dü. He played barefoot. And that tells you something right there: the guy was different.

I first laid eyes on Grant in December of 1983. Hüsker Dü were sharing a bill with SST Records labelmates the Minutemen at Love Hall, a rundown punk dive on South Broad Street in Philadelphia. Grant was being shown around the freezing venue by the promoter before the show and I remember thinking how “un-punk” he looked in his trench coat, paisley shirt and long hair. He looked like a hippie who was on his way to see Hot Tuna but walked into the wrong club.

Any doubts I harbored were obliterated when Hüsker Dü launched into “Something I Learned Today,” the lead-off track from their upcoming double album Zen Arcade. I can only liken seeing Hüsker Dü that night to the daze of disorientation you feel after accidentally banging your head on something very hard. It was punk, it was pop, it was jazz, it was psychedelic; it was an ear-splitting swirl of sound. And at the center of the sonic hurricane was Grant Hart, arms flailing, feet flying, laying waste to every drum and cymbal in his path.

His drumming alone is enough to secure Grant Hart a place in the alt-rock history books, but that’s only part of his story. Grant was a top-shelf songwriter, penning and handling lead vocals on Hüsker Dü classics like “Terms of Psychic Warfare,” “Diane,” “Green Eyes” and “The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill.” 

And what a voice. His was arguably the best to come out of the post-punk/hardcore/alternative scene: sweet and angelic one minute, menacing the next. Grant also handled much of the band’s visual side, designing Hüsker Dü’s album covers and helping other bands with theirs, most notably the Replacements’ 1983 LP, Hootenanny.

It’s no secret that Hüsker Dü didn’t end on the best of terms in late-1987. It’s also no secret that Grant struggled with personal demons and engaged in self-sabotaging behavior that often kept him from realizing his full post-Huskers potential. But he continued writing songs and making records, many of them outstanding. “The Main,” a haunting, piano-driven waltz from his 1989 album Intolerance is one of the most powerful songs ever written about the nightmare of drug addiction.

I only met Grant a few times: brief “hello”s in the mid-Eighties and an awkward phone conversation in the early Nineties. Superchunk was playing at Minneapolis’s First Avenue club and I had a faulty snare drum hoop that needed replacing. One of the club’s employees put me on the phone with “Greg”  – a local drummer who might be of help. “What kind of drum is it?” Greg asked. “The company’s name is Darwin,” I replied. “Darwin?!” Greg laughed, “Doesn’t sound like the evolution of drums to me.” Turns out I misheard the name. It was Grant, and his response could not have been more tell-it-like-it-is Grantastic.

About six years ago I went to see Grant play at the Cave, a tiny, stage-less beer joint in my hometown of Chapel Hill, NC. I spotted Grant in a corner booth and asked him to sign my weathered copies of Zen Arcade and Flip Your Wig. He placed the albums on the table and studied them intensely until he found just the right places to sign.

When I mentioned I played with Bob Mould he perked up and asked me to sit down. I would say we talked for an hour but that would be inaccurate. I listened to Grant talk for an hour on a variety of subjects: travel, record-making, relationships and, of course, Hüsker Dü. I loved it. For a guy like me, it was like getting an audience with Paul McCartney.

The show that night at the Cave was an intimate affair. A popular garage band was playing just up the block so only a handful of people came out, but Grant was in good form. He may have looked frail but the voice was still there, belting out “Flexible Flyer,” “2541” and “California Zephyr.” He even took my request for “Now That You Know Me,” one of the last new songs Hüsker Dü worked up before imploding.

After the show, I felt a little sad as I watched the club owner hand Grant a small wad of twenties. Grant knew he was worth more. Everyone in that room knew he was worth more.

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Hear Evanescence's Operatic New Song, 'Imperfection'

Evanescence achieve electronic-symphonic symmetry on their lush new single, “Imperfection.” Singer Amy Lee commands the track with a swaggering cadence along with her signature belting. “You know you can’t deny it,” she sings. “The world’s a little more fucked up every day.”

“Imperfection” is one of two newly written songs on Evanescence’s upcoming LP, Synthesis, out November 10th. Lee recruited producer Will Hunt and composer David Campbell to revamp older songs (including breakout hit “Bring Me to Life”) with an orchestra.

In a statement, Lee felt “Imperfection” was the most important song on the new album. The lyrics, she said, were written from the perspective of someone “left behind” after a suicide or loss.

“I struggled with the lyrics for a long time because there was a lifetime of work to live up to and I wasn’t sure what to say or how to be good enough,” Lee said. “When it finally started pouring out of me, it was undeniable. I had no choice. It’s for all the people we’ve lost, all the people who we could lose, to suicide and depression. I’m singing from the perspective of the person left behind, the person in the waiting room. It’s a plea to fight for your life, to stay. Don’t give into the fear – I have to tell myself that every day. Nobody is perfect. We are all imperfect, and it’s precisely those imperfections that make us who we are, and we have to embrace them because there’s so much beauty in those differences. Life is worth fighting for. You are worth fighting for.”

Lee will perform the retooled Evanescence tracks with a full orchestra on the Synthesis tour, which launches October 14th in Las Vegas.

“This will be our first time touring with an orchestra, and I’m so excited to perform this way – really focus on the vocals, and the emotion and the story we’ve built over the years,” Lee said. 

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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors' Picks

Foo Fighters, Concrete and Gold
Writes Jon Dolan: “Musically and emotionally, Concrete and Gold is their most balanced record yet, from punk-Zep dive-bombers like ‘Run’ and ‘Make It Right’ to the acoustic soul that opens ‘T-Shirt,’ in which Grohl gets his Nina Simone on, singing, ‘I don’t want to be queen/I just wanna sing love songs.’ ‘Sunday Rain’ is a guitar weeper so late-Beatles great it even has Paul McCartney playing drums on it.”
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Ringo Starr, Give More Love
The latest solo offering from the Beatles’ drummer “is a well-timed all-star candygram,” writes Will Hermes. 
Read Our Review: Ringo Starr Brings Unfadable Rock & Roll Optimism, Just When We Need It
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Rostam, Half-Light
The first solo LP from Vampire Weekend MVP turned pop auteur Rostam Batmanglij, who’s worked with the likes of Solange Knowles and Carly Rae Jepsen, hybridizes “his former group’s Ivy League-aesthete indie rock and modern vernacular electro-pop” on “gorgeously inventive tracks,” writes Will Hermes.
Read Our Review: Vampire Weekend Auteur Rostam Batmanglij Channels Worldly Vision
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Michael McDonald, Wide Open
The gruff yet smooth soul singer’s first album of original material in 17 years places his singular voice amidst stretched-out soul. On the opening track “Hail Mary,” he asks, “After all this time … does the sound of my voice still carry any kind of message to you? Or should I just let it die?” “I’m almost posing [that question] to the listener,” he told Rolling Stone. “What do you think [about my return]? Is this nuts?” 
Read Our Feature: Inside Michael McDonald’s Unlikely Comeback 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Antibalas, Where the Gods Are in Peace
The Brooklyn-based afrobeat believers have been keeping the spirit of Nigeria’s Fela Kuti and his orchestras burning since the early ’00s, through the triumphant musical Fela! and various side gigs (including work on Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk). On their latest, frontman Duke Amayo walks convincingly in Fela’s footsteps, balancing politics against mighty, crosshatched horn squalls and kinetic grooves. It ends in the three-part epic “Tombstown,” featuring polyglot vocal outfit Zap Mama – a cosmic-funk journey that rockets past afrobeat formalism into provocative new regions. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Lee Ranaldo, Electric Trim
The 12th solo album from the former Sonic Youth guitarist was inspired by the studio wizardry behind albums like Pet Sounds and Revolver. “I’ve been involved in a lot of amazing records over the years,” Ranaldo tells Rolling Stone, “and this record goes right up there as one of the most fun ones I’ve ever worked on. That’s a good place to be right now.”
Read Our Feature: Lee Ranaldo on Beatles-Inspired New Solo LP, Life After Sonic Youth
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | PledgeMusic | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Musiq Soulchild, Feel the Real
Philly-born hip-hop/soul singer Musiq Soulchild stretches out on this double album full of languid grooves and world-weary, yet pointed lyrics. “Hard Liquor” spins a fuzzed-out guitar line into some real talk about the ever-present conflict between old heads and the youth; the string-laden “Start Over” brings the weight of time to a long-dormant relationship. His expansive vision is rounded out by guests like the honey-voiced Marsha Ambrosius (who brings heat to the luminous opener “Feel the Real”), the pop astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson (who adds a bit of scientifically minded romanticism to the sweetly open-hearted “The Moon”) and Musiq’s own alter ego MC the Husel. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Open Mike Eagle, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
Motor-mouthed rapper Open Mike Eagle has gotten raves for albums that explore the comedy of neurosis and the neuroses of comedy. His sixth album, and headiest yet, is a concept album built around Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes, a famously mismanaged housing project opened in 1962 and destroyed in 1998. Here, he intertwines his own psyche with real and imagined events of decades ago, masterfully adding a “historical” circle to hip-hop’s powerful Venn diagram of the personal and political. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Gary Numan, Savage (Songs From a Broken World)
The New Wave pioneer combines the harsh and the hooky on his 22nd album, which is set on a near-future Earth that’s been ravaged by global warming. 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, Ladilikan
This warm, mournful, minimal collaboration joins some modern-traditional sounds of Mali – the soaring voice of Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, the chiming balafon of Lassana Diabaté and the leisurely complex bass ngoni of Mamadou Kouyaté – with San Francisco’s boundary-crossing string crew the Kronos Quartet. Together its a cinematic mix of pluck and bow, percussive lope and waves of string. Highlight “God Shall Wipe the Tears Away” is a gorgeous mix of soul ballad, drone and a phenomenal gospel-style vocal performance. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify |

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Watch Marilyn Manson, Nuns Terrorize Suburbia in Disturbing New Video

Marilyn Manson and a quintet of evil nuns wreak havoc on suburbia in the singer’s disturbing “WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE” video. The gun-wielding crew blow up a family’s van, break into their home and sexually assault the husband and wife living inside.

The volatile single, highlighted by Manson’s signature shriek and a pummeling guitar riff, is the first sample of the singer’s upcoming 10th studio album, Heaven Upside Down, out October 6th. The LP is a stylistic departure follows 2015’s The Pale Emperor, even with Tyler Bates producing both records.

“It’s not very much in any way like The Pale Emperor,” Manson previously told Rolling Stone of the project. “The people who have heard the new songs said it reminded them of their favorite parts of Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals – but with a new, different approach. It’s pretty violent in its nature for some reason.”

Ahead of Heaven Upside Down‘s release, Manson will launch a North American tour September 27th in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

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Johnny Cash Label Sends Cease-and-Desist to White Nationalist Radio Show

A white supremacist website will stop using Johnny Cash‘s cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” as the theme of its weekly radio broadcasts after Universal Music and American Recordings sent a cease-and-desist letter to the hate-based organization.

Stormfront Radio, the weekly radio show for the white supremacist site Stormfront, stopped using Cash’s version of the Petty tune in early September after receiving legal action from the labels, NPR reports.

In the cease-and-desist letter, obtained by NPR, Universal Music accused Stormfront Radio of “unlawfully exploiting” the song; since Cash’s “I Won’t Back Down” is the show’s theme music, it features in hundreds of archived and downloadable episodes of Stormfront Radio.

Universal Music and American Recordings reiterated in the letter that they “have not licensed, granted permission, or otherwise authorized” Stormfront Radio’s use of the song.

On September 6th, after the cease-and-desist letter was sent to Stormfront Radio, the show’s host Patrick Slattery assigned blame for the legal action.

“These Jews are trying to crack down on us every way they can,” Slattery said (via NPR). “Who else is going to go after our theme music, really? The music industry is an industry they [Jewish people] have been dominating since Tin Pan Alley… they dominate the music industry today, that’s for sure.”

“There aren’t ‘two sides,’ there are no ‘decent’ or ‘fine’ Nazis and we will not tolerate any such group using our dad’s work for their purposes,” Rosanne Cash tells Rolling Stone on behalf of the Cash family.

A rep for Rense Radio Network, the organization that distributes Stormfront’s content online, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

In August, the Cash family issued a blistering statement where they vehemently condemned white nationalist groups like neo-Nazis and the KKK after a white supremacist at the Charlottesville, Virginia protests was filmed wearing a Johnny Cash shirt.

“We were sickened by the association,” the Cash family wrote. “To any who claim supremacy over other human beings, to any who believe in racial or religious hierarchy: we are not you. Our father, as a person, icon, or symbol, is not you. We ask that the Cash name be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology. We Choose Love.”

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