Friday, July 27, 2012

Springsteen No. American tour extended

Photo by Jo Lopez/Shore Fire Media
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announce sixteen additional dates in the U.S. and Canada for the fall leg of the 'Wrecking Ball' World Tour, which will kick off Aug. 14 at Boston's Fenway Park.

The tour closes out an 11-week European run this week that has included three of the longest shows of Springsteen's career and garnered universal acclaim, being called "gigantic" (Rolling Stone), "thrilling" (The Atlantic) and "the stuff of legend" (Irish Independent). Tickets are currently available for previously announced shows in Moncton, NB (Aug 26); Vernon Downs, NY (Aug 29); Philadelphia, PA (Sept 3); and East Rutherford, NJ (Sept 19).

Springsteen is the subject of a 19-page profile in this week's New Yorker by editor David Remnick. Remnick sheds light on Springsteen's approach to recording and touring in 2012, link here:

New 2012 'Wrecking Ball' Dates:

October 19 – Ottawa, ON – Scotiabank Place (on sale 8/17,
October 21 – Hamilton, ON – Copps Coliseum (on sale 8/17,
October 23 – Charlottesville, VA – John Paul Jones Arena (on sale 9/14,
October 25 – Hartford, CT – XL Center (on sale 8/10,
October 27 – Pittsburgh, PA – CONSOL Energy Center (on sale 8/17,
November 1 – State College, PA – Bryce Jordan Center (on sale 8/04,
November 3 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center (on sale 8/17,
November 11 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center (on sale 8/04,
November 15 – Omaha, NE – CenturyLink Arena (on sale 8/18,
November 17 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center (on sale 8/03,
November 19 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center (on sale 8/13,
November 26 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena (on sale 9/28,
November 28 – Portland, OR – The Rose Garden (on sale TBD,
November 30 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena (on sale 9/21,
December 4 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center (on sale TBD,
December 6 – Glendale, AZ – Arena (on sale 9/15, 

Previously Announced 2012 'Wrecking Ball' Dates:
August 14 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park (on sale now,
August 15 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park (on sale now,
August 18 – Foxboro, MA – Gillette Stadium (on sale now,
August 24 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre (on sale now,
August 26 – Moncton, NB – Magnetic Hill (on sale now,
August 29 – Vernon, NY – Vernon Downs Raceway (on sale now,
September 2 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park (on sale now,
September 3 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park (on sale now,
September 7 – Chicago, IL – Wrigley Field (on sale now,
September 8 – Chicago, IL – Wrigley Field (on sale now,
September 14 – Washington, DC – Nationals Park (on sale now,
September 19 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium (on sale now,
September 21 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium (on sale now,
September 22 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium (on sale now,

Bruce Springsteen's 'Wrecking Ball' (Columbia) was released in March 2012 and debuted at #1 in the U.S. and 15 other countries.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Return of Maximo Park

Maximo Park, the British rock sensation, is back with their fourth album “The National Health” via Straight To The Sun/Musebox Label Group. It was released digitally on July 3, with a physical release date of Aug. 28, and will be supported by their first tour in five years including eight US dates.

An exclusive concert ticket bundle includes one ticket to the US show date of your choice, free album download and autographed physical album.

“The National Health” manifest a fresh twist on the band’s signature power pop anthems which has propelled them to selling over two million records worldwide since 2005. 
Member Paul Smith says, "we’ve been waiting for a few years to make our return to North America and now, with 'The National Health' under our belts, we’re pleased to announce some new dates. The new album is a crowd-pleasing blockbuster (in our not so humble opinion) so spread the word and let’s make these shows special. We assure our American friends we’ll make it up to them with a dose of pure, melodic, rock!”

Maximo Park also just released a brand new remix of their hit single “Hips and Lips” by Linton Brown, which is now available as a free mp3 download. 

9-10: Middle East Downstairs – Boston, MA
9-12: World CafĂ© Live Downstairs – Philadelphia, PA
9-13: Webster Hall – New York, NY
9-15: U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC
9-17 Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
9-20 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
9-21 El Rey - Los Angeles

Mavericks set date for reunion album

photo by Justin Nolan Key
When I caught the band at this year's Stagecoach Festival, it was one of the standout performances [see my review elsewhere on this blog].

A few of these songs were debuted live then and the 'Suited and Ready' EP provided a great taster. I look forward to hearing how the rest of the new material came out..

Grammy winning country/rock group The Mavericks have revealed the songs and cover art for their album In Time, slated for Sept. 25 (Valory Music Company). Lead singer Raul Malo and Niko Bolas (Neil Young) produced.

“The idea that we came together and made this record is a testament to faith, fate, and chance. All three were essential in the making of In Time. In turn, this is the record we are most proud of," said Malo.

Initially formed in 1989, the self-proclaimed “most interesting band in the world” have placed more than a dozen songs on the Billboard country charts, including the hits “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” “Here Comes The Rain” and “Dance The Night Away.”

Their honors include a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal as well as ACM Awards for Top New Vocal Group and Top Vocal Group. In 2003, members pursued other musical interests but recently reunited.

1. Back In Your Arms Again (Raul Malo, Gary Nicholson, Seth Walker)
2. Lies (Raul Malo, Al Anderson, Bob DiPiero)
3. Born To Be Blue (Raul Malo, James House)
4. Come Unto Me (Raul Malo)
5. In Another’s Arms (Raul Malo)
6. Fall Apart (Raul Malo)
7. That’s Not My Name (Raul Malo, Wally Wilson)
8. Amsterdam Moon (Raul Malo)
9. As Long As There’s Loving Tonight (Raul Malo, Alan Miller, Seth Walker)
10. Call Me When You Get To Heaven (Raul Malo)

Sam Phillips 'Martinis' reissue out now

I tend to associate Phillips music with LA's much-missed Adult Alternative station 101.9 FM, which used to play her often during the '90s. Read more about the reissue...
A newly remastered edition of Sam Phillips' 1994 effort Martinis & Bikinis is out now on CD - and for the first time ever on limited edition white vinyl - via Omnivore Recordings.

Both editions will feature four bonus tracks: “I Need Love (with The Section Quartet),” “Black Sky (Version 2),” a new recording of “Strawberry Road (2012 Version)” and a remix of “Fighting with Fire,” which first appeared on the compilation Zero Zero Zero in 1998.

Produced by then husband T Bone Burnett, with arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, the  Martinis cast of musicians included XTC’s Colin Moulding, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Marvin Etzioni and Don Heffington from Lone Justice, Benmont Tench, Marc Ribot and Mickey Curry. The album earned a Grammy nomination in 1994.

Phillips recounted, "it was my first CD-only release; it was never released on vinyl. Because we recorded to analog tape and because it's my favorite cover art of all my own albums, I am happy to finally have a vinyl version available -- in shiny white vinyl no less!"

Acclaimed songwriter/singer Sam Phillips began her career writing and recording six albums with producer Burnett. In 2000, she composed and performed the score to Gilmore Girls, with the series running for seven years.

Recently, Phillips devised an innovative way to release her music directly to her fans by creating the Long Play subscription project through her website (, during which she recorded five EPs as well as a full-length album, for digital-only release to subscribers.

She would go on to finish the project by releasing the Solid State physical album, a sampling from the Long Play material for her listeners who desired to own a physical CD. While composing and performing the music for the upcoming ABC Family television series Bunheads, Phillips is currently putting the finishing touches to her ninth full-length release.

Sam Phillips Martinis & Bikinis CD/2LP track listing:
1)     Love and Kisses
2)     Signposts
3)     Same Rain
4)     Baby I Can’t Please You
5)     Circle of Fire
6)     Strawberry Road
7)     When I Fall
8)     Same Changes
9)     Black Sky
10)  Fighting with Fire
11)  I Need Love
12)  Wheel of the Broken Voice
13)  Gimme Some Truth
Bonus tracks:
14)  I Need Love (with The Section Quartet) *
15)  Fighting with Fire (remix) **
16)  Black Sky (Version 2) *
17)  Strawberry Road (2012 Version) *

* previously unissued on CD and LP
** previously unissued on LP

Old '97s news

Omnivore Recordings has announced the release of special, 15th Anniversary editions of Old 97's seminal album Too Far To Care as deluxe versions on two CDs - and for the first time on vinyl - as a double LP on October 9.

The reissue will feature the original Too Far to Care 13 track album in its entirety, including a rare promo track and three previously unissued bonus outtakes. The second disc of the deluxe set is titled They Made A Monster: The Too Far To Care Demos and features 11 previously unissued demo recordings from the Too Far To Care sessions.

Culled from the band archives, They Made A Monster: The Too Far To Care Demos will also be released as a stand-alone LP (w/download card) and also as a stand-alone digital version at all major digital retailers.

In celebration of the 15th Anniversary, Old 97's will launch the Too Far To Care tour on Aug. 23 in Houston. The band plans to perform the classic album in its entirety during the live show. In addition, the concert tour will feature a second set of fan favorites, as well as a solo set from Rhett Miller, in support of his new solo album The Dreamer (Maximum Sunshine Records).

Released in 1997 on Elektra Records, Old 97's major label debut catapulted the band onto the national scene. The album was followed by six studio efforts, most recently the critically acclaimed The Grand Theatre, Vols. 1-2 in 2010-11 (New West Records).

"Too Far To Care was a magical moment for the 97's," said Rhett Miller. "Starry-eyed and flush with confidence thanks to our brand-new deal with Elektra, we felt no fear, just giddy excitement. An adventurous producer and a world champion A&R guy shepherded us through the recording process.  And when it was all over, we had captured our little bit of lightning in a bottle.  I love Too Far To Care and can't wait to play it in its entirety across the USA."
Too Far To Care (expanded 2CD set) 
Disc One (original album & bonus tracks):   
1) Time Bomb
2) Barrier Reef
3) Broadway
4) Salome
5) W. TX Teardrops
6) Melt Show
7) Streets Of Where I'm From
8) Big Brown Eyes
9) Just Like California
10) Curtain Calls
11) Niteclub
12) House That Used To Be
13) Four Leaf Clover
14) Northern Line (bonus track from the Nothing To Attract You promo EP)
15) Beer Cans (bonus track, previously unissued)
16) No Doubt About It (bonus track, previously unissued)
17) Holy Cross (bonus track, previously unissued)

Disc Two: They Made A Monster: The Too Far To Care Demos (Previously Unissued)
1) Broadway 
2) Daybed
3) Barrier Reef
4) W. TX Teardrops
5) Niteclub 
6) When I Crash 
7) You Were Right 
8) Sound of Running 
9) Everybody But Me
10) Holy Cross
11) The 1

Too Far To Care (original album on 2LP vinyl/expanded) (first 1500 pressed on limited-edition translucent aqua blue vinyl; black thereafter)

Side One:
1) Time Bomb
2) Barrier Reef
3) Broadway
4) Salome
5) W. TX Teardrops

Side Two:
1) Melt Show
2) Streets Of Where I'm From 
3) Big Brown Eyes
4) Just Like California 
5) Curtain Calls

Side Three:
1) Niteclub
2) House That Used To Be
3) Four Leaf Clover

Side Four:
1) Northern Line (bonus track from Nothing To Attract You promo EP)
2) Beer Cans (bonus track, previously unissued)
3) No Doubt About It (bonus track, previous unissued)
4) Holy Cross (bonus track, previously unissued)

They Made A Monster: The Too Far To Care Demos (available as an LP w/ download card and as a separate digital album.  First 1500 LP's pressed on limited-edition translucent yellow vinyl; black thereafter)

Side One:
1) Broadway
2) Daybed
3) Barrier Reef
4) W. TX Teardrops
5) Niteclub 

Side Two:
1) When I Crash
2) You Were Right
3) Sound of Running
4) Everybody But Me
5) Holy Cross
6) The 1

Old 97's Too Far To Care 15th Anniversary Tour 

August 23        Houston, TX                 House of Blues
August 24        Dallas, TX                    House of Blues
August 25        San Antonio, TX           Sam's Burger Joint
August 26        El Paso, TX                 Tricky Falls
August 28        Phoenix, AZ                 The Crescent Ballroom
August 29        Solana Beach, CA        Belly Up Tavern
August 30        Santa Ana, CA             The Observatory
August 31        Los Angeles, CA          El Rey Theatre
September 1    Los Angeles, CA          El Rey Theatre
September 2    San Francisco, CA       The Fillmore
September 4    Seattle, WA                 The Showbox @ The Market
September 5    Vancouver, BC             Venue
September 6    Portland, OR                Roseland Theatre
September 7    Boise, ID                      Knitting Factory
September 8    Salt Lake City, UT        Urban Lounge
September 10  Boulder, CO                 Boulder Theater
September 11  Omaha, NE                  The Slowdown
September 12  Columbia, MO               The Blue Note
October 14      Austin, TX                    Austin City Limits Festival    
w/Salim Nourallah supporting:
October 16      St. Louis, MO               The Pageant 
October 17      Madison, WI                 Capitol Theater
October 18      Minneapolis, MN           First Avenue
October 19      Chicago, IL                   Vic Theatre
October 20      Columbus, OH              Newport Music Hall
October 22      Boston, MA                  Royale Night Club
October 23      New York, NY               Webster Hall
October 25      Philadelphia, PA            Union Transfer
October 26      Washington, DC            9:30 Club
October 27      Carrboro, NC                 Cat's Cradle
October 29      Nashville, TN                Cannery Ballroom

The Jacksons concert review: Los Angeles

A version of my review originally appeared at 

The Jacksons’ performance at the Greek Theatre started with the group asking the musical question posed in their hit R&B single “Can You Feel It?”

On Sunday night, the answer was affirmative: a strong camaraderie between the four brothers and the presence of late sibling Michael were both definitely palpable.

Some people might think The Jacksons are simply cashing in after Michael’s death. They have countered during interviews that this “Unity” Tour is a way to pay homage to the legacy and continue the healing process three years later.

Nobody is better suited to sing the classic R&B/pop material than Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito - who all played with him on and off for two decades (Randy opted not to participate in the concerts).

A Jacksons reunion was actually in the works following Michael’s originally scheduled 2009 gigs at London’s O2 Arena; the topic also served as the basis for a short-lived A&E reality series later that year. The siblings’ first new studio album since the late ‘80s should emerge by year’s end or early ’13. 

The Greek appearance - The Jacksons’ first in Los Angeles together since playing six nights at Dodger Stadium during the 1984 “Victory” Tour - was not quite sold out.

Many fans were dressed to the nines. There were young guys in bomber jackets a la MJ (a few looked like impersonators/tourist money peddlers on Hollywood Blvd.) and kids in MJ t-shirts. Two older female twins with long flowing hair were dead ringers for Diana Ross circa 1975. One woman was selling full color professional shots of the brothers in a parking lot before the show.

A quick montage of archival clips (more would come later) was followed by The Jacksons being unveiled onstage, sporting dark shades and standing like statues. Once the music got to a certain point, they shifted positions and slowly removed the sunglasses - a bit reminiscent of the “Victory” Tour. The brothers did synchronized moves and took turns on the “Can You Feel It?” lead vocals, which were barely audible at first. 

Supported by a 10-piece band that included three backing singers, plus Tito on electric rhythm guitar, the classic Motown and Philly soul sounds came across smoothly. The song selection spanned 1969-91 and a good chunk of the set was devoted to medleys. Jermaine ably handled the lion’s share of Michael’s lead vocals with Marlon mostly picking up the slack.

They delved into such MJ solo albums as Off the Wall (a sleek, Marlon-sung “Rock with You”; the energizing, suggestive “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” toward night’s end), Thriller (a slamming “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” groove) and Dangerous (the New Jack Swing of “Can’t Let Her Get Away” included Marlon reprising Michael’s signature spins and howls).

Jermaine’s emotional reading of  “Gone Too Soon” (also from Dangerous) came amid a warm, mid-concert ballad segment where the brothers sat on stools and reminisced about the good old days. Pristine group harmonies on the peace espousing “Man of War” (off 1977’s Goin’ Places) was a high point. It ended with group hugs. 

Most of the signature hit singles were spotlighted (“ABC,” “The Love You Save,” “I Want to You Back,” “I’ll Be There”), but there were a few surprising omissions (“Dancing Machine,” “Enjoy Yourself”). Marlon and Jermaine constantly traversed the stage and the guys looked like they were having fun doing the different dance moves.

An abrupt transition came when three of the brothers suddenly exited without explanation. Jermaine played a sparkling silver bass that matched his outfit and did Eighties solo hits “Dynamite,” “Do What You Do” and “Let’s Get Serious.” Those prompted a mass exodus to the restrooms “Serious,” along with Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster,” were two of the most memorable R&B jams of 1980. Here, it simmered more than sizzled. 

Fans were in party mode for the string of uptempo numbers ending the evening, particularly “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).” Overall, The Jacksons did a decent job replicating Michael’s lead vocals and moves, but there's no denying The King of Pop was one of a kind. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Colin Hay revisits "Down Under" to mark 30 years

I had a great interview with Hay a couple years ago [which you can find elsewhere on this blog]. I look forward to hearing the fresh versions...

A newly recorded version of the hit Men at Work song “Down Under” will be released globally on Compass Records in celebration of the song’s 30th anniversary. Colin Hay re-recorded the song without the “Kookaburra” flute line which is the subject of a drawn out and embittered lawsuit in Australia.

The track will be released as part of an EP (available on iTunes July 31) which will include three versions of the song: newly recorded studio, solo acoustic and live, solo, story-song takes (the latter finds Hay humorously describing how he wrote song. The three track EP will be released exclusively through iTunes with the single "Down Under 2012" available through other digital outlets including 

Marketing executives at Telstra, the Australian network provider, tapped the track as the theme for their Olympic games advertising campaign. "Down Under" has been the unofficial anthem of Australian sports since it was adopted by the Australian team during the 1983 America’s Cup which Australia won.

Telstra chose "Down Under" as the centerpiece for their campaign in recognition of its unparalleled representation of the Australian national spirit. The campaign features Colin Hay in a series of 30-and 60-second commercials singing the song with groups of various sizes, ranging from people on the street to a children’s chorus up to a football stadium of 60,000.

In addition to their TV campaign, Telstra is promoting the song through broadcasters Bigpond, Ninemsn, and worldwide via a social media campaign on Youtube, Facebook, Flikr, and more. Australian TV Channel 9 will also air a three-minute ‘making of’ video during the Olympics. Compass Records Group will be promoting the release of the digital EP with a “Down Under” trivia contest and social media campaign targeting Hay fans.
In 2009, a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed by Larrikin Music Publishing against EMI Music Publishing and co-writers Colin Hay and Ron Strykert for allegedly plagiarizing the folk melody “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.” Despite overwhelming popular support for Hay, the court ruled that the two-bar flute line did infringe on the original copyright, though ultimately the claimant was rewarded a fraction of what they were seeking.
Media attention surrounding this was further heightened this year with the death of Greg Ham, Men at Work co-founder, saxophonist and flute player who played the melody off the top of his head while recording the song.
The current re-release of the song and the simultaneous media campaign will serve as a vehicle for illustrating the integrity of the song.
Comments Hay:
Fortunately on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the song Telstra, the communications company, have decided to license "Down Under" and are about to show it on the telly, as well as the cyber-world to hopefully inspire our athletes at the upcoming Olympics. I was happy to help, and along with my friend Dorian West, created a spirited version of the song featuring footballers, pub goers, sailors on the Thames, school kids in Sydney, and, well, you get the idea. This led me to the idea of re-releasing "Down Under 2012" (without the so-called infringing flute line), to re-establish the song in the consciousness of the public, and in so doing, highlight that the power and strength of the song lies in its original words and music. It speaks for itself."

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Order announce more 2012 tour dates

Very exciting news for big fans like myself... 

Following a sell out U.K. tour and a series of festival dates throughout Europe this spring and summer, New Order now confirm their first dates in North America since 2005.

Today singer Bernard Sumner said, “We’ve been having such a great time together this year, playing shows all over Europe, and we're all really excited to be playing America again. We have so many friends and fans there we can't wait to get back!"

New Order's last U.S. show was New York's Hammerstein Ballroom in May 2005 and their last visit to Canada was in 2001.

The band features original members Bernard Sumner (vocals/guitar), Stephen Morris (drums), Gillian Gilbert (keyboard/guitar), plus Phil Cunningham (guitar/keyboards) and Tom Chapman (bass) in place of Peter Hook, who acrimoniously left the band [see my 2011 interview elsewhere on this blog].

Tour dates

5 OCT...SAN FRANCISCO...Oakland Fox Theatre
7 OCT...LOS ANGELES...Greek Theatre
10 OCT...DENVER...Broomfield 1st bank Center
12 OCT...DALLAS...Palladium
18 OCT...NEW YORK CITY...Roseland
21 OCT...CHICAGO...Aragon Ballroom
23 OCT...TORONTO...Sony Center

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Adam Lambert concert review: Costa Mesa, Calif.

photo by Kelly Swift
A version of my review originally appeared at 

Extremely popular “American Idol” contestants made a major showing during the Orange County Fair concert series this week. First up was 2011 winner Scotty McCreery on Wednesday; Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert followed Thursday.

Over the past few weeks, the latter singer has popped up in entertainment news reports on a regular basis. He had the rare distinction of serving as Queen’s front man during half a dozen European live dates and got rave reviews in London. The YouTube clips were so good that the band should team up with Lambert again in America sometime soon.

Among the rumored replacements for departing “Idol” judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez - a far better proposal than Mariah Carey - Lambert will also have a cameo role on the ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars” in October.

This past spring, the San Diego native’s sophomore album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The infectious songs are more dance music-oriented this time around, with contributions from Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Sam Sparro and others. Lambert co-wrote all but one of the tracks, which he describes as “more honest and self-aware. It paints a clearer picture of who I am.”

Inside the Pacific Amphitheatre, many devoted fans (known as “Glamberts”) dressed in black and yellow striped attire, just like the artwork that adorns the latest album “Trespassing.” Some even waved homemade cardboard signs and cutouts. One middle-aged woman and two teenage girls all wore matching blue hair extensions.

Although the venue curfew might’ve been a factor, Lambert’s hour-long, 13-song set (the exact length of his July 2010 performance here, despite having double the amount of original material to pull from) still seemed awfully short. I would’ve axed middling opening Nashville electronic rock group This is She to provide more breathing room.

photo by Kelly Swift
Clad in a sheer horse print blazer, Lambert and his six-member band kicked everything off with the energetic, fierce attitude of “Trespassing.”

They primarily focused on newer material. “Kickin’ In” found a sassy Lambert singing about a club going guy with “a dirty mind” waiting for the affects of alcohol to take affect. It boasted a seething, old school Prince-style groove.

Whenever the singer did a flirtatious body move or engaged in trademark vocal acrobatics, the crowd reacted wildly.

Keeping with the already sexual theme, Lambert said, “we’ll get a little sleazy now” to introduce the slinky sounds of “Shady.”

The female backing vocal duo really elevated the soulful vibe throughout various songs. Meanwhile, the band’s subtly tweaked live arrangements allowed the dance songs to breathe more.

A stripped down segment, beginning with a piano-led “Whataya Want from Me,” was quietly effective. Backed by subtle electric guitar and a single drum, Lambert’s tender delivery on the personal “Outlaws of Love” (concerning discrimination against gays and lesbians) was magnificent and a set highlight.

Later, several concertgoers waved glow sticks during the slamming, electronica-tinged “Naked Love,” where a jubilant Lambert engaged in some call and response action. Double entendre-laden “Pop That Lock” was a tour debut. The rousing electronic rock number included fun and quick synchronized dance moves by Lambert and the backing vocalists, who added a snatch of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” at the end.

Having removed his shoes earlier, Lambert looked comfortable, said he already felt as if he knew everybody “at least on Twitter” and described how the experience with Queen re-energized him as a performer. This would’ve been a prime opportunity to do a Queen cover (coincidentally, tribute band Queen Nation appeared nearby at The Hangar).

Instead, another vibrant “Trespassing” selection, the Mars-assisted single “Never Close Our Eyes,” came next. Wrapping up with “Cuckoo,” people yelled for an encore to no avail. Despite the brevity, Lambert still put on a solid, satisfying show. 

Adam Lambert, Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, July 19, 2012
Setlist: Trespassing/Kickin’ In/Shady/Fever/Whataya Want from Me/Outlaws of Love/Chokehold/Broken English/Naked Love/If I Had You/Pop That Lock/Never Close Our Eyes/Cuckoo

Friday, July 20, 2012

Therapy? band news

Aggressive Irish rockers Therapy? unveil 13th album A Brief Crack Of Light on Sept. 11 in North America via MVD. The album's title comes from Vladimir Nabokov, who describes life as "a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness." 
Therapy? is:
Andy Cairns - vocals, guitar, producer
Neil Cooper - drums, producer
Michael McKeegan - bass, vocals, producer 
1. "Living in the Shadow of the Terrible Thing" 3:55
2. "Plague Bell" 4:11
3. "Marlow" 4:36
4. "Before You, With You, After You" 3:32
5. "The Buzzing" 3:38
6. "Get Your Dead Hand off My Shoulder" 4:07
7. "Ghost Trio" 5:20
8. "Why Turbulence?" 3:33
9. "Stark Raving Sane" 2:36
10. "Ecclesiastes" 5:42

Little Big Town album track listing

Grammy-nominated country group Little Big Town will release their fifth studio album Tornado on Sept. 11. The album was recorded with producer Jay Joyce (Wallflowers, Eric Church) and features the hit single “Pontoon.” 

"I am so excited for people to hear this new record,” said member Jimi Westbrook. “We worked with Jay Joyce and he really pushed us to be in the moment. There was such an amazing energy between all of us in the studio and I think you can feel it." 

The album’s lead single “Pontoon” was released to radio in April and is currently Top 15 on Billboard’s country radio chart. This has been Little Big Town’s fasting rising single to date. “Pontoon” is #1 on the Soundscan Digital Country chart for the second week in a row and has sold over 520,000 tracks in only eight weeks. The official music video has been viewed over 1.7 million times.
1. Pavement Ends                
*Jason Saenz/Brent Cobb
2. Pontoon                          
*Barry Dean/Natalie Hemby/Luke Laird
3. Sober                            
*Liz Rose/Hillary Lindsey/Lori McKenna
4. Front Porch Thing            
*Chris Stapleton/Adam Hood
5. On Your Side Of The Bed  
*Lori McKenna/K.Fairchild/J.Westbrook/K.Schlapman/P.Sweet                 
6. Leavin’ In Your Eyes          
*Brett Warren/Brad Warren/Jay Joyce/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild/K.Schlapman
7. Tornado                          
*Natalie Hemby/Delta Made
8. On Fire Tonight                
*Luke Laird/P.Sweet/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild/K.Schlapman
9. Can’t Go Back                  
*Natalie Hemby/Kate York/Rosi Golan
10. Self Made                
*Natalie Hemby/Jedd Hughes/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild
11. Night Owl                      
*Natalie Hemby/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild/K.Schlapman/P.Sweet

Two Door Cinema Club new album, tour dates

Irish rock band Two Door Cinema Club is set to release sophomore album Beacon on Sept. 4. It was produced by Jacknife Lee (U2, REM, Snow Patrol).

Their debut album Tourist History achieved platinum status in the UK and Ireland, selling over 1 million copies worldwide.

Tickets are on sale now for most tour dates below.

North American Tour Dates

9/28 - New York , NY @ Rumsey Playfield
9/29 - Philadelphia , PA @ Electric Factory
9/30 - Boston , MA @ House of Blues 
10/2 - Washington , D.C. @ 9:30 Club 
10/5 - Toronto , ON @ Sound Academy  
10/6 - Montreal , QC @ Metropolis
10/8 Columbus , OH @ Newport Music Hall
10/9 - Chicago , IL @ TBD
10/10 - Minneapolis , MN @ First Avenue  
10/11 - Kansas City , MO @ Beaumont Club 
10/13 - Houston , TX @ House of Blues 
10/14 - Austin , TX @ Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/16 - Denver , CO @ Ogden Theatre 
10/18 - Vancouver , BC @ Commodore Ballroom 
10/19 - Vancouver , BC @ Vogue Theatre 
10/20 - Seattle , WA @ TBD
10/21 - Portland , OR @ Crystal Ballroom 
10/23 - Oakland , CA @ Fox Theatre 
10/25 - Los Angeles , CA @ Hollywood Palladium
10/26 - San Diego , CA @ Soma
10/ 27 - Las Vegas , NV @ House of Blues 
10/28 - Santa Ana , CA @ The Observatory 

Young Fresh Fellows album due next month

Yep Roc Records will release Tiempo De Lujo by garage rock band Young Fresh Fellows on Aug. 21.

“This record is one of the most collaborative we’ve ever made,” says Scott McCaughey. “We learned the songs on the spot, if we’d written them already. If we hadn’t written them we just played them without learning them. That saved time, and therefore money. Tiempo y dinero, amigos. The Golden Rule. We never even stopped to get beer. Or burritos. I think we had a cup of tea once. Or a seltzer water with a hint of lemon. Rick Buckler of the Jam came by to return a blazer, but otherwise we forged ahead pretty much uninterrupted.”

The songs for Tiempo De Lujo were recorded in a twelve-hour session the long-time band members “booked” in order to have an excuse to get together. What resulted was a surprisingly cohesive grouping of twelve songs -- hmm, that’s one per hour... seems like it shouldn’t have taken that long -- seasoned bountifully with the energy and lyricism that YFF fans have come to expect.

“Tad’s Pad” explores the inner sanctum of a drummer’s mind. “Cleflo & Zizmor” cuts deep into a sordid world of self-help surgery. “Margaret” is all about Margaret – or IS it? “Death Of An Embalmer” and “(Life Is A) Funeral Factory” form a celebratory welcome to Side Two.

In between performing and recording with a multitude of other combos, the Young Fresh Fellows have been recording rough-edged, witty garage pop since 1981 or 1984 depending on which calendar is used. The Fellows are Jim Sangster - bass; Kurt Bloch - guitar; Scott McCaughey - guitar; Tad Hutchison - drums.  If there are four microphones available, each Fellow will use one, with his voice. Jim is the best screamer. The occasional mellotron or bass harmonica is bound to turn up. Don’t be afraid. 

If you can’t say Tiempo De Lujo very well, feel free to call the album Land Of A Thousand Places.  

Track listing
1. Another Ten Reasons   
2. Tad's Pad                 
3. A Fake Hello          
4. Cleflo & Zizmor
5. So Many Electric Guitars  
6. The Say Goodbye Center  
7. (Life Is A) Funeral Factory            
8. Death Of An Embalmer
9. Love Language
10. Margaret
11. I Don't Know Why
12. Broken Monkey

Noel Gallagher/Snow Patrol tour dates


Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Snow Patrol announced a new co-headlining North American tour. Gallagher was one of my highlights at Coachella #2 last April. I reviewed Snow Patrol soon after (see it elsewhere on this blog). Tickets are on sale now.

Here are the initial dates...


October 23 Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
October 24 Seattle, WA @ Wamu Theater
October 25 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
October 27 Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Expo Centre
October 28 Calgary, AB @ Stampede Corral
October 30 Winnipeg, MB @ Centennial Concert Hall
October 31 Minneapolis, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
November 1 Kansas City, MO @ The Midland by AMC
November 3 Hammond, IN @ The Venue At Horseshoe
November 4 Louisville, KY @ Palace Theatre
November 5 Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
November 7 Dallas, TX @ Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie
November 8 Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall
November 9 Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center

Ben Folds Five reunion news

Ben Folds Five will release The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, the group's first album of new music in 13 years, on September 18 via ImaVeePee Records/Sony Music Entertainment. Fans that participated in the PledgeMusic campaign will receive an exclusive early delivery. 

A portion of the funds generated by album sales will be used to support Music Education and Music Therapy. PledgeMusic builds a charitable component into each of the campaigns running under its auspices.

Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds (piano), Robert Sledge (bass) and Darren Jessee (drums) - launched in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1994 and released Whatever And Ever Amen in 1997. BFF recorded its last album, 1999's The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner, before disbanding in 2000.

In 2011, the original members recorded three new studio tracks for The Best Imitation Of Myself: A Retrospective. The band did its first concert in more than a decade at New York's Mountain Jam Festival on June 2 of this year and followed with US summer festival dates including Bonnaroo, Milwaukee Summerfest and Old St. Patrick's Church Block Party in Chicago.

BFF will return to the road this fall with a North American tour and dates in the UK, Ireland and Australia. More TBA.

Track listing 
Erase Me
Michael Praytor, Five Years Later
Sky High
The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
On Being Frank
Draw A Crowd
Do It Anyway
Hold That Thought
Away When You Were Here
Thank You For Breaking My Heart

World tour dates 
September 13 Holyoke, MA Mountain Park Amphitheatre
September 14 New York, NY Central Park
September 16 Cary, NC Koka Booth Amphitheatre
September 18 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
September 19 North Charleston, SC North Charleston Performing Arts Center
September 21 Pensacola Beach, FL DeLuna Fest
September 23 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom
September 24 Austin, TX Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheatre
September 25 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
September 28 Kansas City, MO Starlight
October 2 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
October 5 Buffalo, NY Kleinhas
November 10 Melbourne, Australia Harvest Festival - Werribee Park
November 17 Sydney, Australia Harvest Festival - Parramatta Park
November 18 Brisbane, Australia Harvest Festival - Botanic Gardens
November 23 Bristol, England O2 Academy
November 24 Nottingham, England Rock City
November 26 Dublin, Ireland Vicar Street
November 29 Manchester, England O2 Apollo
November 30 Glasgow, Scotland O2 Academy
December 1 Leeds, England O2 Academy
December 3 Birmingham, England O2 Academy
December 4 London, England O2 Academy Brixton
December 5 London, England O2 Academy Brixton

For more tour information, go to