Category Archives: INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Watch Korn Perform 'Daddy' for First Time in 20 Years

For the first time in nearly two decades, Korn performed their track “Daddy” live as the rockers kicked off the 20th anniversary of Korn tour March 13th at Las Vegas’ Brooklyn Bowl. The band last performed the devastating track, which recounts singer Jonathan Davis being molested as a child, back in April 1995. As the group is performing their entire self-titled LP onstage this trek, Davis was once again forced to confront “Daddy” in front of an audience (via Blabbermouth).

The Korn version of “Daddy” ends with four minutes of Davis sobbing in the vocal booth, and as he told Rolling Stone in our oral history of their debut album, the singer had no idea producer Ross Robinson was still recording. “It was just a special moment that I did not know was being recorded, for one, because Ross is a prick and kept the fuckin’ tape running.” Brian “Head” Welch added, “It was one of the most intense things I ever witnessed in my life. It was so crazy; I thought he was joking at first ’cause he was really bawling and everything. But it was very, very intense.”

Davis didn’t try to replicate that emotional moment as Korn performed the album-closing track, but considering how long it’s been since the band had played the track, the rendition showed no signs of rust. The 20th anniversary trek – which does not feature drummer David Silveria – also featured Korn busting out “Shoots and Ladders” for the first time since 1997.

“I’ll be playing ‘Daddy,’ but that song is just so old news to me,” Davis told Rolling Stone. “It’s not going to affect me like it did back then. There was abuse there, I dealt with it, and the person who abused me is dead now. Karma took them [laughs]. And, y’know, I’ve buried that. I’m just going to play the song for the people that need it, you know what I mean?”

Tool Speed Up Progress on New Album After Settling Lawsuit

Now that a nearly decade-long lawsuit that weighed on Tool has finally been settled – and a previously undisclosed serious illness afflicting an unnamed band member has subsided – the Lateralus crew is making serious progress on their much-anticipated, much-delayed follow-up to 2006’s 10,000 Days. In a new interview with Yahoo! Music, Tool guitarist Adam Jones says the band have finished one track and that another 10 songs are in “various states of completion. The band hopes to finish their new LP by year’s end.

For years, Tool have been involved in a lengthy lawsuit brought about by their own insurers that was stifling the band financially and creatively. However, after eight years and millions of dollars in legal fees, a new judge assigned to the case took the reins and pushed it towards a resolution and ultimately a settlement that sided in favor of Tool.

“We moved over to a North L.A. courthouse and we had a brand-new judge, who was fantastic,” Jones told Yahoo! “You know what his name was? Randy Rhodes! I knew the power of metal, and my appreciation of metal was someday going to be like a guardian angel.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone last July, Jones reiterated how the lawsuit was affecting the band. “It’s costing millions and millions and millions of dollars to defend us. And the fans are all going, ‘We want a new Tool album. What the fuck?'” Jones said. “But the point is, we’re fighting the good fight. We’re going to trial and we want to crush them. But every time we’ve gotten close to going to trial, it gets postponed and we’ve wasted money and time and it has just drained our creative energy. We bought an insurance policy for peace of mind, but instead we would have been better off if we never had it and just dealt with the original lawsuit.”

Legal issues weren’t the only things preventing the group from working on their next album: Jones reveals that a member of the band dealt with “a really scary do-or-die, serious illness.” “When you’re trying to write music and you have that eating away at you – this person you’re married to and you love and hate at the same time has something they’re dealing with that’s out of their control – it’s distracting,” Jones said.

However, with the lawsuit and illness behind them, Tool is finally making progress on their next LP with one finished track and 10 songs that are almost ready for singer Maynard James Keenan, who adds his vocal parts after the instrumentals have been constructed. “Some of it’s really heavy, some of it’s complex and some is more atmospheric, but it’s definitely Tool. I think having this lawsuit out of the way should really speed of the progress of getting the album done,” Jones said, noting that while they’d like to finish the album by the end of 2015, Tool won’t be governed by “an arbitrary deadline.”

In February, Keenan told fans after a studio visit, “Things are progressing nicely. Slowly, but definitely progressing. Nothing is recorded yet, but the guys are confident that the pieces are coming together swimmingly and will be ready for me to begin writing melodies and content ‘soon.'”

Elton John Boycotts Dolce & Gabbana Over 'Synthetic' Babies Remark

Sir Elton John is leading a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana after the renowned fashion designers made disparaging remarks about same-sex families and children conceived via artificial insemination. “You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be,” Domenico Dolce told Italian magazine Panorama last week, (via NBC New York). “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalog.”

“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’?” John wrote on Sunday via Instagram. “And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children.”

The musician has two sons – Zachary and Elijah – with husband David Furnish, and both were conceived through in vitro fertilization with a surrogate mother. Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, both gay, were previously a couple for 23 years before breaking up in 2005.

“Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions,” John continued. “I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again.  #BoycottDolceGabbana”

According to The Telegraph, Dolce said that procreation “must be an act of love,” adding, “You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be.” Elsewhere in the interview, Gabbana reportedly noted, “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.” 

As the pair’s remarks spread online — #boycottdolcegabbana was trending nationally on Twitter Monday morning — other celebrities have expressed their frustration. “These designers’ horrifying views are never in fashion,” wrote Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and American Horror Story, on Twitter. “Their clothes are as ugly as their hate. #BoycottDolceGabbana”

“Just round up all my Dolce & Gabbana pieces, I want to burn them,” tweeted Courtney Love. “I’m just beyond words and emotions. Boycott senseless bigotry! #boycottD&G”

Firing back at John on his own Instagram, Gabbana called the performer “fascist” and started the hashtag “boycotteltonjhon” (sic). But on Monday, in response to the widespread criticism, both designers released separate statements to clarify the intent behind their comments. 

“We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it,” Gabbana said. “We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.”

“I’m Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children,” Dolce said. “I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don’t understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people’s choices and decisions.”

Grateful Dead's Original Lyrics, Posters and Furniture Go to Auction

A selection of Grateful Dead memorabilia, including posters, original drafts of lyrics and even the group’s office furniture, is headed to auction. The Grateful Dead Family Jubilee Auction will take place at Donley Auction Services in Union, Illinois on April 11th and 12th, in advance of the band’s upcoming block of summer Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago. Former employees and friends of the Dead contributed the items in the auction.

Most notable among the offerings are an original draft of Robert Hunter’s lyrics to “He’s Gone,” which appeared on the band’s Europe ’72 live release; it is expected to go for $150,000. A chair with lion-paw legs used by Jerry Garcia in a 1987 Rolling Stone photo is expected to fetch $50,000.

Other items include the kitchen table that once sat in the band’s San, Rafael, California office – which, the auction house colorfully offers, “the band gathered around to drink coffee and consider the day” – original poster art by Rick Griffin and Stanley Mouse and the “Soto List,” a list of the band’s concerts that served as the basis for one of the first Grateful Dead Internet databases. A desk, the government patent document entitling the band to the name the Grateful Dead, original “long strange trip” lettering and a photo signed by Garcia, Hunter and Dave Nelson are also going to auction.

The Dead will commemorate their 50th anniversary in July with three farewell concerts featuring help from Phish frontman Trey Anastasio and pianist Bruce Hornsby. It will be the last time that percussionists Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, bassist Phil Lesh and guitarist Bob Weir will play together.

Watch Mickey Guyton's Roof-Raising 'GMA' Performance

Calling it “the ballad that’s gonna blow you away,” Good Morning America co-host Amy Robach introduced “Better Than You Left Me,” the current single by Mickey Guyton, who dropped by the morning show to perform Monday. (Watch the performance above.)

The radiant Guyton, decked out in a yellow sundress, was complimented by Robach on her big smile, with the host pointing out that the widespread critical acclaim she’s received and the record-breaking success of the single, are no doubt helping put the smile on the Texas native’s face.

Inspired by a difficult break-up, Guyton, one of Rolling Stone Country‘s Artists You Need to Know, penned “Better Than You Left Me” — with co-writers Jennifer Hanson, Jenn Schott and Nathan Chapman — during her first-ever Nashville writing session.

“This was one of those songs that just fell from the sky,” Guyton tells Rolling Stone Country. “I had my final fight with my ex-boyfriend — he was trying to come back into my life after we’d been going back and forth for about four years. He just couldn’t get it together, and I was telling him no. He said to me, ‘Don’t make me find someone else.’ I couldn’t believe he would say something like that! I was charged up from that conversation and went into my first co-write in Nashville…. I went through the whole relationship, and Jennifer Hanson said, ‘But you know what? You’re better than he left you.'”

Noting the dearth of African-American women in country music, Robach said to Guyton, “You’re changing that.” The singer replied that there have been a few throughout history, but country music could use more. “And more girls,” she added.

Guyton’s debut album is due this summer. She’ll hit the road in June with Brad Paisley.

Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi's Widow Launch Blues Brothers Label

Dan Aykroyd is taking the next step in his commitment to the blues with the launch of his own record label. Alongside Judy Belushi, widow of his Blues Brothers co-star John, Aykroyd has created Blues Brothers Records in order to nurture and develop new blues artists. The label will be distributed by Capitol Music Group’s famed Blue Note Records.

“The recorded music industry today presents huge challenges but also great opportunities,” Aykroyd says. “Judy and I are excited to partner with the master ear for talent Don Was and Blue Note Records in fulfilling the true ‘Mission From God’ — to find, develop and nurture emerging blues performers. After all, that’s where American music began in the first place and now it is in the hands of the next generation.” 

Aykroyd, who co-founded the House of Blues chain of venues in 1992, has been a steadfast promoter of blues music throughout his career. In addition to performing as his Blues Brothers alter-ego Elwood Blues, he has hosted the syndicated radio showcase Elwood’s BluesMobile for the past 22 years. “The incredible contribution of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi towards keeping the blues alive cannot be overstated,” Blue Note President Don Was says. Was will be handling A&R for the new label, with Judy Belushi serving as creative director, Billboard reports.

The label is currently accepting audio and video submissions from prospective artists.

Grand Ole Opry Celebrates 90th Anniversary

In 1925, Mount Rushmore was established, future First Lady Barbara Bush was born, and the theory of evolution went on trial in Tennessee. Also in Tennessee that year, on November 28th, to be exact, the Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting on Nashville’s powerful WSM radio. On Tuesday, March 24th, the longest-running live radio show in the country will kick off a nine-month celebration of its 90th birthday with two shows at the Grand Ole Opry House, featuring Brad Paisley, Del McCoury Band and Old Crow Medicine Show, and including Western swing legends Asleep at the Wheel.

To help commemorate the anniversary kick-off, the artists appearing on stage that night will share stories behind some of the seminal instruments and artifacts that have been a part of the venerable institution for the past nine decades. The artifacts will then become part of a backstage display at the Opry House throughout the celebration.

Among the one-of-a-kind items featured will be the fiddle played by Uncle Jimmy Thompson on the very first broadcast of what would become the Grand Ole Opry; the steamboat whistle used by Opry founder George D. Hay to introduce countless Opry broadcasts (with his cry of “Let ‘er go, boys!”); and a guitar used by Opry icon Little Jimmy Dickens, who passed away at the beginning of this year. Contemporary Opry inductees, including Paisley, Darius Rucker and Josh Turner, will also be represented in the display.

As the night’s two shows unfold, the Opry will also announce plans for the nine-month celebration. Florida Georgia Line, Charlie Daniels Band, Oak Ridge Boys, Racal Flatts and Reba McEntire are among the acts slated for upcoming appearances.

Originally called the WSM Barn Dance, in 1927, following a classical music program, “the Solemn Old Judge” George D. Hay spoke the line that would rename the show and rewrite music history. “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera,” Hay announced. “From now on, we will present the Grand Ole Opry.”

Originally owned by the National Life and Accident Insurance Co., WSM was housed in the company’s downtown Nashville headquarters (the stations call letters were derived from the company slogan: We Shield Millions) and the first Opry broadcast took place in a tiny fifth-floor studio. As the show’s popularity grew, it was staged in other venues, including the Hillsboro Theatre (now home to the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village), East Nashville’s Dixie Tabernacle, the downtown War Memorial Auditorium, and from 1943 to 1974, the Ryman Auditorium, which still hosts Opry shows on occasion.

Forty-one years ago today, on March 16th, 1974, with then-President Richard Nixon on hand, the 4,000-seat Grand Ole Opry House opened. Situated next to the new Opryland USA theme park (which closed in 2007) and the still-vibrant Opryland Hotel, the Opry House sustained significant damage in the devastating flood of the Cumberland River in May 2010. Temporarily relocated to other venues throughout town, the show returned to the Opry House in September of that year.

In January of this year, the Grand Ole Opry House was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Ryman Auditorium also earned that distinction in 1971.

Talib Kweli: Why Kendrick Lamar's 'Parks and Rec' Joke Is Important

Talib Kweli is always on the lookout for rising talent, so when it came time to recruit emcees for his Prisoner of Conscious track “Push Thru,” he knew to enlist Rolling Stone cover star Kendrick Lamar for the 2013 track.

“Kendrick is somebody who in his music is very much aligned with movement and activism and the whole ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” Talib Kweli tells Rolling Stone in a new interview on what the mainstream success of rapper Kendrick Lamar means. “I hear that movement in his lyrics.”

Kweli uses a scene from the Parks & Recreation finale to expound on the significance of a rapper as socially conscious as Lamar reaching beyond primarily black communities. “For [his] name to have so much recognition that it makes it to a joke on that show is impressive for someone who started on the mixtapes,” says Kweli.

Kweli also notes how Lamar’s versatility has allowed myriad subcultures to “claim” him as their own. “It’s very interesting that everyone is trying to claim Kendrick in their audience. The underground, ‘real’ hip-hop fans are saying Kendrick Lamar is to us. The mainstream pop is saying he’s to us. And he’s just trying to figure it out.”

To Pimp a Butterfly, Lamar’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2012 major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city was surprise-released Sunday night, one week earlier than expected.

In his Rolling Stone cover story, the Compton rapper described the new material as “fearful, honest and unapologetic” as it explores the landscape of being black in America throughout history and up to this very moment. “You take a black kid out of Compton and put him in the limelight, and you find answers about yourself you never knew you were searching for,” he said. “There’s some stuff in there, man. It’s a roller coaster. It builds.”

Kweli’s last studio album, Gravitas, was released in 2013. He recently signed rapper Niko Is, who released his latest album Brutus in February, through his label Javotti Music.

Toby Keith, Eli Young Band to Kick-start SoCal Motorcycle Festival

Bikers, start your engines. Motorcycles and country music, along with a healthy dose of rock, come together at the first-ever Lost Highway Festival, May 29th and 30th in California. And Toby Keith — who sang about a rebellious preacher’s daughter who clutched tight on the back of his chopper in “God Love Her” — is set to headline.

Held in San Bernardino at the San Manuel Amphitheater, the two-day rally features a pair of centerpiece rides and a varied lineup of music. Along with Keith, kicking off his Good Times & Pick-Up Lines Tour, the concert features Texas four-piece Eli Young Band, who recently released the new single “Turn It Up.” Keith is no stranger to playing for rowdy motorcycle crowds. In 2013, he headlined South Dakota’s infamous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which marks its 75th anniversary this summer.

The Lost Highway Festival also recruits Southern California punk icons Social Distortion. While best known for the defiant sing-alongs “Ball and Chain” and “Bad Luck,” the band, led by Mike Ness, is also rooted in Bakersfield twang. One of their most famous hits is a raucous cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” The like-minded Lucero are also set to perform, as are rockabilly stalwarts Reverend Horton Heat and Lindi Ortega, a Canadian chanteuse who embraces classic country.

In addition to the live tunes, the bike gathering includes a motorcycle show, stunt performances and an appearance by X-Games star Carey Hart. For more on the Lost Highway Festival, visit the event’s website.

Keith, meanwhile, will launch his summer tour in May. Last month, the “Drunk Americans” singer was chosen for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He’ll be formally inducted, alongside writers like Bobby Braddock, Cyndi Lauper and Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, in June at a gala ceremony in New York.

Leonard Cohen Live Album 'Can't Forget' to Feature Two New Songs

A new Leonard Cohen live album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, will feature two tunes the singer-songwriter has not released anywhere else and two previously unreleased covers.

New songs “Never Gave Nobody Trouble” and “Got a Little Secret” feature midway through the LP, recorded onstage and during soundchecks of his Old Ideas World Tour, and his takes on Georges Dor’s Quebecois love song “La Manic” and George Jones’ “Choices.” The rest of Can’t Forget, Cohen’s second live album since the release of 2014’s Popular Problems, contains many infrequently played tunes from throughout Cohen’s career.

Late last year, Cohen released the LP and video release Live in Dublin, which, as the title suggests, showcases his three-hour performance at Irish capital’s O2 Arena in 2013. But before that, he put out the studio album Popular Problems. The record won Album of the Year at Canada’s Juno Awards, the country’s analog to the Grammys, earlier this month.

In an interview with Rolling Stone around the time of Popular Problems, he explained how he knows when a song is working. “You can pretty well tell,” Cohen said. “We play it for select people, like my daughter – there’s a few people who aren’t afraid to tell you that it isn’t working. We had another song on the album, which was called ‘Happens to the Heart,’ which will be on the next album. It’s a very good lyric, a very good tune, but we didn’t nail it. So we didn’t put each other on about it – not for more than a week or two.”

Can’t Forget is due out May 12th.

Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour Track List:

1. “Field Commander Cohen”
2. “I Can’t Forget”
3. “Light as the Breeze”
4. “La Manic”
5. “Night Comes On”
6. “Never Gave Nobody Trouble”
7. “Joan of Arc”
8. “Got a Little Secret”
9. “Choices”
10. “Stages”