Category Archives: INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Miraculous Ladybug Releases Webisode Series

Miraculous Ladybug has released an online webisode series with episode one launched HERE. Expect more webisodes to follow in this online series, as it takes the traditional 2D approach to the Miraculous Ladybug series.


What Actually Happened: Why Recounts Aren’t A Frivolous Waste Of Time, Simply The Left’s Inability To Accept Election Results

Worth underscoring too is Jill Stein was the perfect person to demand recounts be undertaken in strategic areas chiefly because she wasn’t Hillary Clinton, wasn’t part of the Democratic Party machine, was the image of an individual without an agenda save electoral integrity for the American people. As mentioned recounts were only asked for in meaningful areas, not ridiculously say nationwide, pointing to someone who was being genuinely realistic about what they were asking to be done, what they could feasibly get done. Add in documented problems and irregularities surpassing detailed voter suppression, long lines, limited polling places, minorities unexpectedly dropped from voting rolls, voting roll name mix-ups, voting machine issues topped off with a good smattering of human error and Jill Stein had beyond a right to champion, see to a recount, but a mandate to do so… Irregularities continuing to grow exponentially as time goes on, we learn more and more about issues running the gambit from Russian hacking, voter suppression, in new and different ways, to basic counting errors… . Now there’s a dossier becoming the subject of high level presidential briefings alleging Russia stole gathered personally damaging, embarrassing evidence on Trump completed via a British spy originally commissioned by never Trump republicans, then democrats; that the crux of the information centers around sexual indiscretions engaged in by Trump while visiting Russia, not just Russian collusion in the Trump campaign, Russian interference should deem it less easy to dismiss noting the double digit number of American women accusing him of sexual assault, battery, harassment, most seriously rape. Foreign women from at least 2 countries, former Miss Universe pageant members also making twin allegations; one sexual assault accuser here countersuing Trump for defamation after he repeatedly called her a liar among other despicable things. Solidly substantiating Russian collusion claims minus the dossier, a timeline put together via the David Packman Show illustrating Trump’s U-turn language change on the soviet communist regime country, formal requests to the GOP to change language on Russia for which it appears Trump, his campaign received quid pro quo in the form of WikiLeaks releases damaging Hillary Clinton funneled to the rogue hacking organization through a currently discovered intermediary working on behalf of…Russia, the presence of Paul Manafort as campaign chair considering his pro-Russia work in Ukraine. Breaking, information Trump aides and Russian state liaisons were in constant contact while president Obama was expelling diplomats, response to hacking’s confirmation and its extent; national security advisor Michael Flynn texting them as they were being told to exit the country…. there were the shots fired at a California polling place, scene out of a 3rd world country or bad movie, 27 states where the interstate crosschecking system purged minority voters on grounds they registered with intent to vote in multiple states, no proof they actually were and no definitive answer on whether or not 7 million eligible Americans were blocked from voting, but the winners want to balk at Jill Stein’s insistence we carefully count solid votes we do have?… more votes than there are voters in the city of Detroit according to one tally indicating voting machine errors continuously showing up in such pockets of the country. Wisconsin’s vote margin in favor of Trump evaporated by 20% as the result of a discovered counting error, many places’ exit polling data doesn’t match electoral vote outcomes suggesting indeed the election was rigged, the opposite of what candidate, president elect, now full-fledged president Trump relentlessly insinuated, against Hillary Clinton not him. Discrepancies between voting machines and paper ballots, paper ballot utilizing areas overwhelmingly going to Clinton causing scientists to champion recounts; speaking of voting machines, the congressional organization created to certify voting equipment was, you guessed it, hacked, hacker trying to sell pilfered information to foreign countries, still think Jill Stein was out of her mind to ask votes be recounted?…. Stacked complications upon complications with the election process held up alongside his, our president elect’s, response to recount petitions, reaction to those attempting to verify election results—calling them a green party scam, touting they need to accept election results and move forward. Simultaneously alleging he won the popular vote if you deduct all the people who voted illegally, providing no proof that definitively happened, railing against 1.8 million dead people registered to vote, though no evidence they truly voted Election Day; then utterly illogically tweeting about ‘serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California,’ predictably states that went profoundly for Clinton. A judge soundly rejecting his claim polling stations in Nevada stayed open well past voting hours to admit illegitimate ballots; never mind as we learned from 2012’s long line mess if there is a line of persons waiting to vote, they must stay open until everyone has had an opportunity to cast a ballot, that is your right as a registered voter. Trump lawyers filing suit against the Michigan recount calling it a 1% temper tantrum that cannot go unchecked to the local elections board, once more defying logic countering Stein’s request with a lack of evidence signaling election fraud; begging the question if the vote was so legitimate, as to be beyond reproach or a request to confirm numbers, double check people’s math, you won so easily there is no need for a recount then what are you afraid of?…We aren’t supposed to stand up and say, the 3 million more of us who voted for someone else, this isn’t the democracy we want, that a liar, a con and a person possibly in cahoots with foreign powers is the textbook definition of unfit therefore we have a few processes by which to keep him from our highest office, recounts being one?…
Impending threats, silly, serious or no, Electoral College delegates had an obligation, a responsibility to, in light of what they knew then, fulfill the lesser known portion of their mandate— keeping the unqualified from the presidency, from forever hobbling democracy; and, they responded the exact opposite of the way they should have, the way citizens desperately needed them to. Not because of threats, some death threats, rather due to loyalty holding almost sacred votes their state cast, an, anywhere else it would be viewed as admirable, sense of duty to administer their task the way voters declared they wanted it done, maybe defiance thumbing their nose at aforementioned death threats and implied pending retaliation against delegate family members detailed in individual anti or pro-Trump hate mail they received, clearly crossing the line… A big enough gap in democracy, in protecting the integrity of our country form hidden, unusual dangers to be sure, but a much more troubling problem came instead from Electrical College members who didn’t seem to have a rudimentary grasp of why they were there, what their function was. You had electors, surpassing ignoring who their state voted for, going against their state’s documented choice interested in serving the greater good, ‘defecting’ from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders and submitting names, putting forth votes for persons not on any ballot anywhere including Colin Powel and a Native American who thought the story was fake news when her name was called as a vote; John Kasich famously telling Ohio’s electors not to try and vote him to the presidency. Absolutely electors should be free to vote for whomever they choose, dissolving faithless elector laws precisely because of situations exposed by the 2016 election process; caveat, electors should know what they are doing, know ahead of time that selecting oddball, out there names of people who didn’t so much as run in the first place, have expressed no interest in the presidency, forget have made no preparation for stepping into it doesn’t get a candidate closer to 270, give us a firm answer on our next president, promote the peaceful transfer of power… Electoral College convening apparently going far deeper, it wasn’t just what The Young Turks’ interviewed faithless elector said, viewing link 19 below, about why he wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, what he wanted from her before making his final decision that should be riveting our attention, his split vote lo and behold voting John Kasich for president and Time Kaine for vice president rendering it a virtually meaningless vote; however, the jaw dropping errors, maneuvering orchestrated to strong arm a singular, already probable outcome. Disputes over oaths electors must sign, a judge, deliberating, ruling right there the new oath chosen by the state official was unconstitutional, oaths signed under protest, duress, failure to separate ballots according to constitutional law for president and vice president; 23 out of 31 delegates for Trump guilty of this, out of that 31 only 8 abiding by constitutional 12th amendment law. Findings in the same report listing other laws actually broken top down throughout the process, beyond the unsavory appearance of Pam Bondi as an elector; returning to the duel office holding in states disallowing it, a whopping 34 tallied, not living in the districts they were called to represent a total of 16 tallied penitential for over 100 improperly selected delegates, improperly filed Certificates of Vote, 50 enough to change Electoral College final results…. but recounts are frivolous and the Electoral College shouldn’t have so much as been asked to vote their conscience, in the best interest of America, not panicked, deluded, alternate reality believing voters shystered by a shyster…. If we want to talk about something wholly undemocratic look no further than North Carolina and what currently seated powers tried to do when the opposing party won; things deteriorating to such a degree democracy watchers, the EIP (electoral integrity project) internationally have named the state no longer a democracy. Receiving a failing score on par with developing, pseudo democracies in Cuba, lesser notoriety African continent nations, Indonesia; speculations justifying that score included their voter ID law struck down by the Supreme Court as deliberately discriminatory to minorities, their bathroom bill rightly depicted as something a democratic government shouldn’t do and the shameless power grab attempted when sitting powers lost… Forcing state senate confirmations for all cabinet appointees, merging election and ethics panels, adapting a rules change stipulating the governor’s party cannot hold the majority it does under existing law. A proposed 80% slash in the number of employees reporting to the governor doubtlessly impacting staff available to assist him in expediently, efficiently executing his duties, overseeing things in his state, even snatching away his power to appoint University of North Carolina board of trustee members. Things no one batted an eye at the governor doing before the election just passed, in sweet, sweet irony they do this; where 4 years prior, truly exposing republican intentions then and now, under McCrory lawmakers increased10-fold the number of state government, adjacent entity positions subject to his jurisdiction….Battles nothing out of the ordinary for forward thinking tar heel state residents pushing back against GOP spearheaded legal maneuvering to curtail voter initiated hikes to their minimum wage, denial of Medicaid to half a million persons, gutting social programs, protesting hate in the form of HB2 the state’s bathroom bill… Remembering North Carolinians voted out McCrory in favor of Cooper because national entities symbolizing business, tourism and economic growth voted with their feet, their capital exc. saying if you insist on anti-LGBT practices I won’t conduct concerts in your state, I won’t continue my business plans in your state, pro/college basketball franchises will find a more accepting place to play playoff games, tournaments. Revisiting too that HB2 commonly known as North Carolina’s bathroom bill forcing people to use the restroom, locker room, department store fitting room corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, not their gender identity, wasn’t about rehearsed rhetoric on keeping children safe in public toilets, rec center showers/locker rooms, aforementioned store fitting rooms, shock to young children seeing opposite gender anatomy, upholding student safety in k-12 or college universities. Bill having exactly the reverse effect making things more dangerous for LGBT citizens, especially kids; it was expressly about preventing select municipalities, cities, counties from enacting LGBT protections… Going back to states no longer deemed democracies, receiving low scores on their scale determining strength of that democracy 11 other states fared worse; Wisconsin where privatization and school funding schemes have gutted one bright spot in education. Michigan where the Flint water crisis was caused by a business man republican and whose response to their own failing schools is an attorney who doesn’t believe literacy is a right. Ohio where governor Kasich many hoped would be the next president, radiating calm sanity during chaotic primary debates quietly, another word for sneakily, deliberately trying to fly under constituency forget national radar, banned voters from raising Cleveland’s minimum wage. Arizona once home to papers please immigration legislation, brain freeze governor Jan Brewer who used non-existent Mexican drug cartel beheadings on U.S. soil to justify said legislation, controversial sheriff Joe Arpiao who cost the state millions refusing to comply with federal orders on civil, human rights violations in his prisons, illegal, illegal immigration arrests, legal fights against those orders; the copper state’s score the absolute lowest. Kentucky joining a flurry of states passing abortion bills banning pregnancy termination after 20 weeks adding to legislation mandating the burial of fetal tissue either in cases of abortion or miscarriage. Seemingly oblivious to the devastating toll visited upon North Carolina for its anti-LGBT choice an equally growing group of states are pushing to replicate their disaster Virginia, Alabama and Texas among them… North Carolina also glaringly shows who exactly needs to ‘get over it,’ who needs to accept election outcomes; reiterating for all the disappointed liberals, progressives and democrats are, all the vows to fight president elect Trump on his more audacious policies is about protecting America rather than partisan backbiting, personal revenge. Proposed polices that could devastate trade i.e. a trade war with China, avoiding a Muslim registry, a Muslim ban because it is A- discriminatory to innocent, non-radical Muslims and B- could spark another 9-11 like attack, pushing back against social media usage that could tweet us into a nuclear war. Confirmation battles, they are slowing down confirmation hearings to properly vet appointees the way they weren’t by Trump, standard procedural, disclosure paperwork yet to be submitted needing to be reviewed ideally before hearings take place, forced to question them thoroughly due to many nominees showing up to hearings vastly unprepared and unqualified for positions they’ve been asked to fill mandating in-depth scrutiny about fringe plans, ideas, past statements, financial holdings, issue stances… We don’t have a democracy we can trust less because of outside interference whether it’s Russia, 4chan, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and more because we keep shutting out bigger and bigger swaths of the citizenry, the ordinary people, average public, making it harder for them to vote, purposefully marginalizing voters who don’t agree with, usually conservative, ideologies and ideals, making voters feel their voices are insignificant, forcing them to choose between the lesser of immoral, tainted, who cares candidates; sentiments Trump played into and amplified to win. We don’t possess continued faith in our democracy because people stopped paying attention to core issues that matter nationwide not limited to your backyard, town, state, stopped taking voting as seriously as they should, for some bothering to vote at all… Parts of the electorate eligible to cast a ballot, registered to vote who don’t know, are so uninformed, ill-informed, misinformed they literally are in the dark that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare are the same thing who, when presented with facets of the ACA meant to benefit consumers, health insurance purchasers throughout the public, insure their families, their children they like them, support them, think them good polices to have; call it Obamacare and they instantly hate it. One man bragging on social media he got his healthcare from the ACA not Obamacare shocked he’s in public bashing his own insurance…. . Bigger than people who don’t possess the faintest idea about sources of their ‘news’, don’t vet it for satire, hyperbole or comedy, know if it’s conservative, liberal, progressive, independent, mainstream, geared toward young millennials, senior citizens, middle-aged persons, working class individuals, professionals exc., are those who don’t take time, think, putting it through their own internal logic filter asking does this make sense, is this real, is it plausible? No one seeing the ‘news story’ on Facebook about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, allowing it to impact their voting decision the least little bit bothered to ask themselves why the pope would endorse a candidate for elections half a world away from him, utterly outside his political system; further seeing Pope Francis’ dedication to the poor, rectifying global income inequality, prescribing compassion and help for the most destitute and economically effected, even if he were inclined to endorse a candidate, make international public comment on America’s election, why would he choose Donald Trump, praise Donald Trump?… Pizza-gate, again total lack of stopping to think how would that even work running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, not in some foreign country, South Asia catering to American, western world tourist with sick proclivities, but in America? And even if every twisted, crazy thing ever said about Hillary Clinton was true, none of the 90’s BS files, purported scandals encompassed harming children, marketing pedophilia for cash, ‘her greedy motivation;’ continuing, why would her former campaign chair, already having lost the election, and the owner of the pizza place go along with it? Doesn’t the real story make much more sense, carrying much more probability that it was a possible campaign stop abandoned, e-mail correspondence supporting that conclusion? Or assuming there was allusion to a child sex trafficking ring, illegal activity, the thing to do would be call the police either in your home state, in D.C. where Comet Ping Pong operates, attempt to contact the FBI presenting them your evidence; not travel hundreds of miles with your AR15 rifle shooting in an open business potentially hurting bystanders for something that wasn’t remotely real, epic logic failure strike 3… Similarly not only allegations millions of illegal immigrants voted, but voted because president Obama said they could; woman who brought that up to a CNN reporter couldn’t pass a basic litmus test of correctly identifying the network she heard it on, claiming the interviewer’s network had provided coverage on the story when they plainly had not. That story came from Info Wars news channel run and hosted by Alex Jones; identical Alex Jones who believes Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama smell like sulfur therefore are demons, conveniently without ever having been close enough to smell either person confirming the suspicion, relying on second and third hand accounts from individuals who think B.O. is an indication of spiritual standing, health. Forgetting there are logical people on the planet who don’t believe in the very existence of demons, if they did smell by virtue of medical problem, poor hygiene wouldn’t it have become mainstream media information, enfolded into exclusive interviews by news outlet X, not relegated to something solely hear on the internet? Illegals voting rumors simultaneously undergirded by an unethically edited interview chopped up by, surprise, surprise Fox Business, to make it seem like that’s what president Obama said, implied: undocumented persons could cast ballots without anyone watching the whole interview in its entirety…. It’s time to change some laws in this country, few liked that independents were shut out of voting for Bernie Sanders in states with closed primaries, accused DNC officials of rigging things they actually didn’t, chaffed at voter roll mix-up’s in closed primary states putting people in the wrong party; even less liked, Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, his vague plans to detangle himself from his businesses if he achieved the presidency, that he got media circus weird on something as uncomplicated as releasing his medical records, a standard summary of major medical information about you. Populous failing to grasp you correct that using legal statutes, demanding the creation of new ones…; law changes explored above implemented so we can have a democracy we trust, everyone’s voice is heard, each person’s vote matters and it’s significance can be seen, people again fell empowered to affect their government in ways that benefit them, their families. Read More


Review: Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert Hitmaker, Goes Solo on 'Puxico'

A Music Row A-lister, Natalie Hemby’s name brands most every great song on Miranda Lambert’s latest LP, not to mention her co-writes for Little Big Town and Maren Morris. After a decade-plus behind the stars, her singer-songwriter debut is a tight-focus set inspired by her granddad’s Missouri hometown (also the subject of her documentary, Puxico). It’s a nostalgic LP, musically and thematically, about the value of roots – surprising, maybe, from a woman behind songs like Lambert’s “Pink Sunglasses” and “Getaway Driver,” which broaden country’s palette. But Hemby’s a master craftswoman, and in an era of rule-by-Twitter, songs like “Grand Restoration” and “Time Honored Tradition” make a case for traditionalism being its own kind of progressivism.

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Listen to 'Rolling Stone Music Now' Podcast: The Edge on U2's Joshua Tree Tour

The latest episode of Rolling Stone Music Now podcast is now available. Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or check it out below.

U2 is taking their 1987 masterpiece The Joshua Tree on tour in stadiums across America and Europe this year in honor of the album’s 30th anniversary. It’s a chance for the band to re-connect with fans after the rather disappointing reception to their 2014 LP Songs of Innocence, and it gives them a chance to hit the road while continuing to put the finishing touches on their upcoming album Songs of Experience. So why is U2 replanting The Joshua Tree? The Edge tells Rolling Stone‘s Andy Greene how the current political climate led U2 back to The Joshua Tree, how the shows will work and what U2’s future looks like.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify and tune in next week for another episode.

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Soulja Boy Charged With Felony Firearm Possession

Soulja Boy was charged Monday with illegal possession of firearms, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. The rapper (real name DeAndre Cortez Way) faces two felony weapons possession charges and one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property. If convicted, he faces over four years in state prison. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Way was arrested by Los Angeles police at his house on December 15th. The rapper was on probation from a previous firearms charge and had been ordered not to possess any weapons, but law enforcement allegedly found the rapper with a Mini Draco AR-IS assault weapon and a Glock 21 handgun, according to the D.A.’s office. Prosecutors said one of the firearms had been reported stolen from a police vehicle in Huntington Beach, California. 

A rep for the rapper did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Soulja Boy, who broke out in 2007 with his Number One debut single, “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” will release his fourth studio album, Draco, on February 21st. Last week, the rapper detailed the project and unveiled the black-and-white artwork, which shows his smiling face next to the titular weapon. 

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How David Bowie Brought Thin White Duke to Life on 'Station to Station'

In 1975, David Bowie moved to Los Angeles, and his life descended into chaos and turmoil. He was consuming massive amounts of cocaine, remaining awake for days on end (“I hate sleep,” he said. “I would much prefer staying up, just working, all the time”), and subsisting primarily on a diet of peppers and milk. At one point, his weight dropped below 100 pounds.

His state of mind was agitated and manic – holing up in a rented house in Bel Air and burning black candles, he claimed to see bodies fall past his window and became obsessed with the occult. In interviews, he proclaimed his admiration for Adolf Hitler (“One of the first rock stars … quite as good as Jagger”) and called for “a right-wing, totally dictatorial tyranny.” The songs on the album he recorded that year, Station to Station, were born from this madness and ended up transcending it as well.

Bowie would later refer to this period as “singularly the darkest days of my life.” Describing the time during a 1999 taping of the VH1 Storytellers series, he claimed it was “so steeped in awfulness that recall is nigh or impossible.” Before performing Station to Station‘s melancholy “Word on a Wing,” he added that the song was “unwittingly … a signal of distress; I’m sure that it was a call for help.”

And yet, according to guitarist Carlos Alomar, when Bowie and the band hit Cherokee Studios to make a new album in the fall of 1975, all of the havoc was left at the door. “When we were in work mode, it was always about the work,” he says. “If it was fueled by coke or by whatever, David was always able to manage the decision-making. And it was always the same concern for him: ‘What are the lyrics, and what am I going to talk about?’

“That professionalism was what enabled him to keep going,” Alomar continued. “He would write something, express something – ‘Get to work, and let’s make the doughnuts.'”

The result was an album that was both musically accessible and lyrically elliptical, a transition between the plastic soul of Young Americans and the chilly electronic hum of the Berlin trilogy that followed – and Bowie’s highest charting record in the U.S. until The Next Day, in 2013. Pioneering critic Lester Bangs, an outspoken Bowie skeptic, wrote that the album “has a wail and throb that won’t let up … a beautiful, swelling, intensely romantic melancholy.” Bowie, Bangs concluded, “has finally produced his (first) masterpiece.”

Bowie went to L.A. for the most American reason of all: to become a movie star. In April 1975, he announced his retirement from rock & roll. “It’s a boring dead end,” he said. “There will be no more rock & roll records or tours from me. The last thing I want to be is some useless fucking rock singer.” (Of course, he had previously proclaimed that he was done with rock during the encore of a 1973 concert in London.)

Under new management after splitting with the unscrupulous Tony Defries, Bowie moved West with a deal to star in and provide the soundtrack to The Man Who Fell to Earth, an existential sci-fi film to be directed by another British expatriate, Nicolas Roeg. Bowie’s lawyer claimed his client had nine finished movie scripts and plans to direct. The relocation was also related to tensions with his wife, Angie.

After testing the waters in L.A. during the spring, he then left the city from June through August for the movie shoot in New Mexico. In addition to his stellar performance as the disaffected alien Thomas Jerome Newton, which Bowie prepared for by studying Buster Keaton, during downtime on the set he was also working on music and on a novel-memoir titled The Return of the Thin White Duke (a copy of part of the handwritten manuscript can be found in the archives at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).

Roeg had warned Bowie that the experience of playing Newton would be hard to shake, and, sure enough, after the singer returned to L.A., the elegant, emotionally detached Duke – “a nasty character indeed,” said Bowie, complete with a costume of white shirt, black pants and vest – would develop into the last of his great alter egos, in the tradition of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. When the book petered out and Roeg rejected the few instrumental tracks that had been recorded for the Man Who Fell to Earth score, Bowie quickly shifted focus back to his usual job and began working on a new album.

Bowie decided to co-produce the album with Harry Maslin, who’d been on hand for his hit John Lennon collaboration “Fame.” Then he called in Alomar, a veteran of the Young Americans sessions. The guitarist was excited to get back in the studio with Bowie but wanted to streamline the way he recorded. After the singer sketched out a song, drummer Dennis Davis, Alomar and bass player George Murray, a.k.a. the DAM Trio, would create a rhythm track. Then the other instrumentalists (in this case, lead guitarist Earl Slick and E Street Band keyboard player Roy Bittan) would add their parts, before Bowie would finally record his vocals.

“With the rhythm section locked down, you had a bird’s-eye view of the whole song,” says Alomar. “We were able to get the skeleton of what we needed, which allowed the other musicians to have a bigger palette of sounds to work with. And the different ways we were looking at arrangements allowed David to look at the music the way he looks at words, which is to cut them up.” It established the way Bowie would record, and the core of his band, for years to come.

As always, Bowie worked feverishly. Musicians got used to being called into the studio at any time of day. “I remember one night when we didn’t even have the studio booked, and I was at the Rainbow Bar and Grill,” recalls Slick. “As we used to say, I was ‘under the weather.’ Suddenly, one of the roadies comes in. They search the whole place and find me at a back table. He says, ‘Time to go to work.’ I say, ‘It’s one in the morning, and I’m drunk.’ He says, ‘That’s OK. David’s at the studio. There’s a car outside.’ So I paid my tab, jumped in the car and worked all night. I mean, that was not an unusual thing to happen.”

Bittan’s entrance into the sessions was equally spontaneous. “I was staying at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles when we [the E Street Band] were on the Born to Run tour in 1975,” says Bittan. “I bumped into Earl Slick at the hotel, and he said, ‘I can’t believe you’re here. We were just talking about you.’ When I arrived the next day at the studio, David said to me, ‘Do you know who Professor Longhair is?’ I said, ‘Know him? I saw him play at a little roadhouse in Houston about three weeks ago!’ I wound up doing an imitation of Professor Longhair interpreting a David Bowie song. We began with ‘TVC 15,’ and I wound up playing on every song besides ‘Wild Is the Wind.’ It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on.”

The first track they cut was “Golden Years,” the new album’s closest connection to the straight-up soul of Young Americans. Bowie claimed that he wrote the song for Elvis Presley, who turned it down; it would go on to become a Top 10 hit in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Alomar says that the blistering funk-rock workout “Stay” was the real breakthrough. “It was so hard to play that in-troduction, like trying to hold onto a bull,” he says. “Then the song kicks in, and it had that more glass-breaking rock & roll–ness to it. We didn’t want to just go back to making another funk-R&B record.”

A new musical direction was immediately evident on the album’s opener, the 10-minute title track. Starting with the sound of an approaching train, more than three full minutes pass of a slow, hypnotic instrumental march before Bowie’s voice appears. After several stately, cryptic verses, a celebratory groove suddenly erupts, leading into a lengthy, wild outro.

The song also revealed Bowie’s new interest in electronics and industrial rhythms – in “sound as texture,” as he put it at the time. “My favorite group is a German band called Kraftwerk,” he said. “It plays noise music to ‘increase productivity.'”

“Station to Station” also hinted at the drug use, paranoia and odd fixations that were filling Bowie’s mind. “It’s not the side effects of the cocaine,” he sang. “I’m thinking that it must be love.” The title referred not to a train, but to the Stations of the Cross; elsewhere, he drew images from the Kabbalah, occultist Aleister Crowley and European fascist mythology.

“There was so much he was going through – at home, with his wife, the drugs, the pressures,” says Alomar, who remembers spending a lot of time keeping an eye on Bowie’s son, Zowie, during the sessions. “I could feel his pain, but I was there to work, to ground him. He didn’t bring his misery from home into the studio.”

The songs that close each side of Station to Station had a very different tone. “Word on a Wing” was a dramatic hymn that seemed to express Bowie’s confusion about religion. The closing “Wild Is the Wind,” crooned in a torch-song style, was the title track on a 1966 album by the “High Priestess of Soul,” Nina Simone. Bowie had befriended the brilliant, troubled singer in 1974, telling her, “Where you’re coming from, there are very few of us out there.” (“He’s got more sense than any- body I’ve ever known,” said Simone. “David ain’t from here.”)

“At first I thought [those songs] didn’t seem to fit,” says Alomar, “but they took the album into a more human area. They were a release moment so that he could actually cry – there was pain there, and he was able to open up on those songs.”

By November 1975, the album was finished. Bowie hastily arranged a satellite interview with England’s most popular talk-show host, Russell Harty, to announce that his retirement was over, he had a new record, and he would be setting off on a six-month world tour.

Following his three Los Angeles arena shows in February 1976, he packed up the house in Bel Air and moved back to Europe – first to Switzerland, and then to Berlin for the next chapter in his musical evolution.

“I haven’t a clue where I’m gonna be in a year,” said Bowie, after Station to Station was released in January 1976. “A raving nut, a flower child or a dictator, some kind of reverend – I don’t know. That’s what keeps me from getting bored.”

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Hear Ray Davies' New Song 'Poetry' From Autobiographical 'Americana' LP

Ray Davies returns this April with Americana, his first solo album since 2008’s Working Man’s Cafe. The album is based around Davies’ recent memoir, Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story. The record, out April 21st, includes spoken-word portions from the book. 

Fittingly, the singer recruited an American band, the Jayhawks, to support him on the album, which was recorded in London at Konk. Guy Massey and John Jackson helped Davies with production. 

The singer shared “Poetry,” the first taste of Americana, on Monday via NPR. It’s a crunchy power-pop tune, full of jangly guitar leads and pretty backing vocals, concerned with the material obsessions of the modern world. “I kneel down and say grace for the comforts the world bestows on me/ And the great corporations providing our every need,” Davies sings. But at least one of his needs remains unsatisfied. “Where is the poetry?” he wonders.

Though Davies hasn’t released a solo record in close to a decade, he’s been staying busy. In 2010, he put out a collaborative album, See My Friends, which featured Metallica, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Corgan. Davies’ memoir arrived in 2013. A few weeks ago, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth

“Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed,” he said in a statement after receiving the honor. “But after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write.”

Americana Track List

1. Americana

2. The Deal

3. Poetry

4. Message From The Road

5. A Place In Your Heart

6. The Mystery Room

7. Silent Movie

8. Rock ‘N’ Roll Cowboys

9. Change For Change

10. The Man Upstairs

11. I’ve Heard That Beat Before

12. A Long Drive Home To Tarzana

13. The Great Highway

14. The Invaders

15. Wings Of Fantasy

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The 1975 Plot Headlining North American Spring Tour

The 1975 announced a headlining North American tour in support of their breakout 2016 LP, I Like it When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. The British art-pop quartet will open with a trio of dates in Mexico on April 9th before hitting venues throughout the U.S. and Canada. The trek includes a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden and will wrap in early June at Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bunbury Music Festival.

I Like it When You Sleep, full of Eightes-styled funk-pop and sleek synth hooks, hit Number One on the U.S. album charts. Despite its breezy arrangements, singer Matt Healy channeled a variety of dark subject matter – like depression, ruined relationships and drug use – to craft the songs.

“I’m not that mentally stable, if I’m honest with you,” the singer told Rolling Stone. “I don’t really venture very far out of the world of the 1975, and nobody judges me here, and I’m safe here. I make records, and then I get praised for my honesty. But it drives me crazy because it’s my whole life. And I can’t give my life to anybody else. And then I think, ‘Am I a narcissist?'”

The 1975 are nominated for two Brit Awards – British Group and British Album of the Year (for I Like it When You Sleep) – at the 2017 ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday, February 22nd.

The 1975 Tour Dates

April 9 – Mexico City, MX @ Pepsi Center
April 11 – Guadalajara, MX @ Patio 2 Auditorio Telmex
April 12 – Monterey, MX @ Auditorio Banamex
April 15 – Allen, TX @ Allen Event Center
April 17 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at Moody Theater
April 18 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at Moody Theater
April 19 – Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater
April 21 – El Paso, TX @ Abraham Chavez Theatre
April 22 – Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre
April 23 – Tucson, AZ @ Tucson Music Hall
April 25 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
April 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
April 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
April 30 – Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater
May 1 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE Forum
May 3 – Boise, ID @ CenturyLink Arena
May 5 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Great Saltair
May 6 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
May 9 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
May 11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
May 12 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center
May 16 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Eagles Ballroom
May 17 – St Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
May 19 – Lancaster, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Amphitheater
May 22 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
May 23 – Rochester, NY @ Main Street  Armory
May 25 – Ottawa, ON @ Richcraft Live at Canadian Tire Centre
May 26 – Montreal, QC @ Plaine des Jeux (Parc Jean Drapeau)
May 26-28 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling Festival
May 28 – Glens Falls, NY @ Glens Falls Civic Center
May 30 – Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theatre
May 31 – Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theatre
June 1 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden (SOLD OUT)
June 3 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live!
June 2-4 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bunbury Music Festival

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Sprint Buys 33 Percent Stake in Jay Z's Tidal

Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal and telecommunications company Sprint announced a new partnership on Monday that will provide 45 million Sprint users with access to Tidal and exclusive content from the platform. In addition, Sprint acquired a 33 percent stake in Tidal, and the company’s CEO, Marcelo Claure, will sit on Tidal’s Board of Directors. Billboard reports that the company paid approximately $200 million for their share in Tidal. 

The two organizations said little about the nature of this exclusive content. Last year, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Beyoncé’s Lemonade both appeared initially as Tidal exclusives; the platform also streamed a number of live events. As part of the new deal, Sprint plans to establish a “marketing fund” for Tidal artists that seems geared towards generating exclusive content. A rep for Tidal did not immediately clarify a request for comment for specifics, but the fund will allow artists “the flexibility to create and share their work with and for their fans.” Billboard reports that this fund will be around $75 million annually.

In a statement, Claure praised Jay Z and the streaming service he oversees. “Jay saw not only a business need, but a cultural one, and put his heart and grit into building Tidal into a world-class music streaming platform that is unrivaled in quality and content,” Claure said. “The passion and dedication that these artist-owners bring to fans will enable Sprint to offer new and existing customers access to exclusive content and entertainment experiences in a way no other service can.”

“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” Jay Z said in a statement. “Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”

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Jaki Liebezeit, Can Drummer and Co-Founder, Dead at 78

Jaki Liebezeit, drummer and co-founder of the German krautrock pioneers Can, died Sunday at the age of 78.

The band’s official Facebook wrote of Liebezeit’s death, “It is with great sadness we have to announce that Jaki passed away this morning from sudden pneumonia. He fell asleep peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. We will miss him hugely.”

Liebezeit, as well as Can’s original vocalist Malcolm Mooney and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley, were scheduled to perform a 50th anniversary concert celebrating Can’s legacy in London this April. “So sorry to hear the news of Jaki Liebezeit’s passing,” Shelley wrote Sunday.

A student of the free jazz scene in Dresden, Germany, Liebezeit co-founded Can in 1968 alongside keyboardist Irmin Schmidt, bassist Holger Czukay and guitarist Michael Karoli; Mooney joined later that year. Exploring the outer reaches of psychedelic rock, the group soon recorded an oft-bootlegged collection of songs that later appeared on their Delay 1968. Their official debut LP, Monster Movie, arrived in 1969.

Liebezeit would soon settle on the repetitive, hypnotic and rigorous drumming style – dubbed motoric – that would become the backbone and trademark of krautrock, with Liebezeit’s steady presence guiding Can through long epics like “Yoo Doo Right,” “Mother Sky” and “Halleluhwah.” Liebezeit’s precision also highlighted tracks like “Vitamin C” and “Moonshake.”

Liebezeit served as Can’s drummer over the entirety of their 12-album (plus Soundtracks) recording career, stretching from Monster Movie to their string of influential krautrock classics – 1971’s Tago Mago, 1972’s Ege Bamyasi and 1973’s Future Days – up through their final LP, 1989’s Rite Time.

In addition to his tenure in Can, Liebezeit handled drums on Brian Eno’s Before and After Science, the Eurythmics’ In the Garden and multiple albums by Jah Wobble and Neu!’s Michael Rother, as well as his own Drums Off Chaos project.

Rother wrote Sunday following news of Liebezeit’s death, “I am very sad but I feel deep gratitude for his wonderful and unique contributions to our musical world. My thoughts go out to his loved ones. Thank you, Jaki! Your music will stay with us.”

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