Friday, January 30, 2015

We Are Scientists concert review: Riverside, Calif.

Humor plays a major role in We Are Scientists’ creative approach.  
Recent concept music videos saw them get into a series of gruesome mishaps and fight alien characters. They also did a series of comedic television shorts for MTV UK in ’09. 

Over the past decade, We Are Scientists have notched half a dozen UK top 40 singles and garnered regular college radio airplay here. 2005’s excellent “With Love and Squalor” album moved more than 100,000 copies. Fifth studio album “TV en Francais” came out last year. The solid effort was produced by Chris Coady (Future Islands, Beach House) and featured session drummer Andy Burrows (ex-Razorlight). 

During an engaging  65-minute concert Wednesday night at the University of California, Riverside, singer/guitarist Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain did plenty of bantering between songs. At one point, Murray hilariously rattled on for five minutes (he’d probably do a decent standup routine). 

This gig at The Barn served as a homecoming of sorts for the Brooklyn-based pair, who both attended Pomona College - another school located in the Inland Empire area of SoCal. Surprisingly, the guys claimed they’d never actually played in Riverside before (that could’ve been a joke though).  

We Are Scientists opened with “Dumb Luck,” the first of five songs off “TV en Francais.” Murray did some spidery guitar work on the math rock-type number. The initial melody to the frenetic “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” – among the band’s best-known tunes – drew immediate cheers from young fans. Murray shook himself all around while singing and playing angular lines. Meanwhile, touring drummer Keith Carne thrashed about.

A blissful “Make it Easy,” with silky harmonies, was an early highlight. Then some pure exhilaration came via “It’s a Hit.” Carne triggered the glossy keyboards on “Lethal Enforcer” and it still worked well live.

The drummer definitely proved his mettle amid the high “ooh ooh” backing vocals during a dynamic “Sprinkles” and elsewhere. For the dense alt-rock of “Textbook,” Murray pulled out all the stops: he laid flat on the floor, went into the crowd and stood on the drums.

Needling wonder “After Hours” found the singer ably displaying defiance and vulnerability (key lyric: “say that you’ll stay”). Come encore time, “Chick Lit” had people dancing as Cain got his groove on and Murray played guitar like a madman. Then another sharp dose of post-punk fury came in the form of closer “The Great Escape.”

We Are Scientists, The Barn, UC Riverside, Jan. 28, 2015
Setlist: Dumb Luck/Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt/I Don’t Bite/Make it Easy/It’s a Hit/Lethal Enforcer/Rules Don’t Stop/Sprinkles/Textbook/Courage/After Hours/Nice Guys
Encore: Chick Lit/Slow Down/The Great Escape 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nick Waterhouse concert review: Costa Mesa, Calif.

photo by Joshua Suddock
My review originally ran in the Orange County Register.

Nick Waterhouse epitomizes cool.

The Huntington Beach native kept the annual Off Center Festival running on high gear Saturday night with a snazzy concert that harked back to a simpler era – a time when coolness had a distinct vibe and music didn’t rely so much on effects.

That became evident when the mild mannered singer/guitarist said he was thankful for having a small black piano available onstage and dryly noted, “We usually have to deal with the trappings of modern technology.”

Held outside the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the show was the first of two free “party on the plaza” events scheduled during the festival. Drawing an audience that ranged from children (who did chalk drawings on the sidewalk or played a giant Jenga game) and men in fedoras to the elderly, there was a distinct family friendly vibe.

Food trucks were busy with long lines, and venue partner Kia displayed one of its vehicles. Most people sat in folding chairs in front of the stage; some brought their own. The wind had decreased, so it didn’t affect the crisp sound quality.

Backed by a five-piece band, Waterhouse and company locked into a tight groove early on with a sumptuous “Dead Room,” punctuated with fast jazz flourishes. It was among several selections from 2014’s “Holly” – a concept album of sorts inspired by film noir titles like “The Big Sleep” and “Chinatown.”

photo by Joshua Suddock
A memorable finger-snapping, reverb-drenched guitar take on the Troggs’ “I Can Only Give You Everything,” complete with doo wop-style female backing vocals, prompted Waterhouse to talk about time spent at the old Distillery studio in Costa Mesa.

The musician also recalled how, as a teenager, he and longtime friend and collaborator Ty Segall had to attend college in San Francisco “just to get out that OC head space. You know what I mean?” An extended version of “It #3,” penned by Segall, gave the band members a chance to stretch out with solos.

Elsewhere, the jaunty sax-driven “(If) You Want Trouble” from the 2012 debut album, “Time’s All Gone,” boasted swelling organ and grittier-than-usual lead vocals. Other standouts included “High Tiding,” the Latin-tinged melody of “Some Place” and a slinky Allah-Las’ “Don’t You Forget It,” in which Waterhouse, totally immersed in his playing, admitted: “My favorite part is I never know how it’s going to end.”

Meanwhile, at the side of the stage, half a dozen couples danced the night away – a sure sign of a successful gig.

NAMM 2015 Roundup

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM
Here's my comprehensive coverage of the major live performances and keynote talks at NAMM 2015...

The NAMM Show returned to the Anaheim Convention Center last week and was bigger than ever.

Held annually in Southern California, the National Association of Music Merchandisers event drew a record 99,342 registrants and 1,621 exhibiting companies (a six percent increase over 2014) from around the world. There is such a dizzying amount of activities taking place over the four day trade show (ranging from product demonstrations, talks and awards presentations to musician appearances, signings and live performances) that it’s difficult to fit in everything you want to see even if you’re there for the duration. Still, I managed to see quite a bit.

JAN. 22

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM
Influential electronic artist Moby held court at the Hilton Anaheim’s NAMM Foundation Lounge for the Thursday morning Generation Next Keynote, “Inside the Practice Room.”

It was moderated by the foundation’s executive director Mary Luehrsen.

Moby discussed his traditional music background studying classical guitar, how everything changed after discovering punk rock as a teenager and said his goal as a musician and listener is to find things that resonate.

“I don’t care how it’s made, whether it’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ or ‘Drop it Like it’s Hot’ [by Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell]. Each person relates to music subjectively. How it is disseminated is up to the individual. Be open to everything.”

After touching upon studies which found music education has been proven to improve students’ SAT scores, Moby asked, “so why are we taking money away from arts education in favor of sports” that can do irreparable harm? That drew loud applause.

He started working with a music therapy organization a dozen years ago and discovered “music is one of the best healing modalities on the planet. This is documented fact. So many of our individual experiences have the power to heal. I love different art forms, but nothing has affected me like music,” he said.

Then Luehrsen asked Moby about his career arc. One interesting anecdote revolved around the moderate success of “Everything is Wrong” in 1995. A more aggressive follow up “sold nothing and my career ended, basically.” A gig in Paris drew only 40 people. “I thought of going back to school.” 

Before the release of 1999's “Play” – “made on crummy equipment in my bedroom on a $10,000 budget” - it was rejected by various American labels. Upstart V2 took interest and the album eventually went double platinum here.

Moby gave advice to young musicians in the audience: “Don’t learn how to do anything else. Love what you do. Be as open minded as possible to what people say."

After his U.S. popularity took a downturn in later years, Moby focused more on Europe. A speech by David Lynch, where the director said “creativity is beautiful,” was inspiring. “It is the only thing worth pursuing,” noted Moby. “Fame and wealth in themselves deliver nothing.”

Other subjects in the thought-provoking chat included Moby’s home studio, still located in his bedroom (“I have 350 analog drum machines; the world’s largest collection”); fear of failure (“don’t be afraid to sound bad…we’re all human and get scared. Even rappers and pop stars do”). 

Luehrsen tried to get Moby to play one of his songs with the keyboards onstage. Instead, he grabbed an acoustic guitar and humorously demonstrated some of his party tricks involving cover songs.      

The best place for people to watch rising talent in an intimate live setting without distractions is the Taylor Guitars showcase room. Each year, the El Cajon, Calif.-based instrument company puts together a solid lineup on the convention center’s second level away from all the hustle and bustle below.

Chase Bryant got the ball rolling in the afternoon with a fine dose of modern country sounds. “It’s like the living room sessions in here,” quipped the 21-year-old Texas singer/guitarist, before rousing opener “Wayfarer Weather.”

The first of several tracks played from last year’s great self-titled debut EP, it expertly segued into Bryan Adams’ “Run to You.”

Bryant’s heartfelt, wailing vocal on the marriage-themed ballad “Change Your Name” was a highlight, while an upbeat new song from the upcoming full-length effort was catchy in a Hunter Hayes way.

Joking about his look, Bryant affirmed that he’s worn tight jeans and short cropped hair for several years. Then he closed with top 20 country hit earworm “Take it on Back,” displayed some fine fretwork and the group did exceptional cascading harmonies.

JAN. 23

Stewart Copeland had nearly everyone in stitches during most of Friday morning's H.O.T. Zone opening session.

The legendary drummer, best known for his stint in The Police, arrived early for his talk and graciously offered to sign items for fans. Following a quick career montage video, Copeland started his fun yet fascinating keynote talk by recalling how his music career began, an early punk band and how Sting and Andy Summers were recruited.

On the guitarist, he said, “Andy had harmonic sophistication which prompted Sting to write songs.” When the moderator asked whether they had any notion of pop stardom ahead, Copeland admitted, “We had no expectation of it lasting beyond six months.”

Having some UK hits led to record execs being in the recording studio for the first time as they made “Zenyatta Mondatta.”

There were some tidbits about songs such as “Every Breath You Take” (“we fought over it for two weeks”), “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” (“we tried it every which way; it was done in one or two takes") and “Murder By Numbers” (“it’s really raw; the first run through is what is on the record”).

Turning to technological changes, Copeland discussed how “it is a D.I.Y. world now. The threshold has been lowered. Kids these days do it all. The process has been democratized…you don’t need to practice for hours. It goes back to the campfire days. 

“The downside is the bar has been widened,” he continued. “How do you get noticed? It’s down to you and that’s an improvement. It’s no longer up to ‘the man.’”

Among the more interesting audience Q&A topics: Copeland’s shrewd self-promotion in the 1970s Curved Air days (he’d send letters to Melody Maker in different handwriting raving how brilliant the band was live – and got in the music paper) and rhythmic style (“it’s no intellectual exercise; it was all visceral and instinctive”).

Back over at Taylor, Blondfire’s indie pop music was just as enthralling in a semi-acoustic format (two acoustic guitars, drums, Moog synth) as it is on sophomore album “Young Heart.” The LA-based band has shared stages with the likes of Relient K, Kongos, Foals, The Sounds and Mowgli’s in recent years. Here, they opened with a luxurious “Hide & Seek.”

Some dual male/female vocal interplay between Erica Driscoll and tour guitarist Steve Stout sometimes recalled The Naked and Famous and Ivy (that band’s Andy Chase produced early Blondfire material). Standouts included the infectious, dancey “Dear in Your Headlights” - Driscoll called it a “party anthem” - the upbeat “Walking with Giants” and strident “Waves,” which proved perfect in this format.

The same held true for Vintage Trouble, whose most recent EP is “The Swing House Acoustic Sessions.” Following Blondfire on the Taylor stage, the LA band definitely didn’t disappoint.

Having only seen a previous appearance at the Coachella Festival from afar, this was a much better way to experience their R&B/soul hybrid sound. The amazing set started out with the guys seated on stools, but lead vocalist Ty Taylor could barely contain his enthusiasm.

Before launching with “Lo and Behold,” he compared NAMM to being like Christmas for musicians and said the band was glad to pay homage to the guitar company. A breezy “Never Mine” had the crowd dutifully waving their hands in the air upon Ty’s urging. “Strike Your Light,” propelled by Nalle Colt’s quick guitar work, featured wild call and response action and saw Ty go on walkabout like the show was in a small club. Later, he’d spin in circles and fall to his knees recalling the heyday of James Brown and Wilson Pickett. Finally in electric mode, Vintage Trouble closed with the powerful “Blues Hand Me Down.”

There are plenty of hot tickets at NAMM. One of the most sought-after is the Yamaha Dealers Concert. Presented at the Hyperion Theater in Disney’s California Adventure park, the Friday evening event featured top names in jazz, classical, adult contemporary pop and soul music. Many of them played a Yamaha piano.

It was emceed by actor/comedian Sinbad, who arrived onstage pretending to play trumpet in front of the large house band and orchestra. YouTube sensation The Piano Guys opened the 3 1/2-hour show with instrumental cello and piano versions of the “Charlie Brown Medley,” a racing “Kung Fu Panda: Cello Ascends” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” On the latter, main Guys Jon Schmidt and Steven Nelson were joined by their two collaborators to comically pluck and pound the inside of the piano as it was played.

Then famed sax man Tom Scott did one of his funky songs from the 1970s. Band leader/bassist Nathan East stepped front and center for a take on Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” – made supremely soulful by three female backing vocalists. David Paich and Steve Porcaro, the keyboardists for Toto, did an intriguing version of their band’s 1983 chart topper “Africa” with full orchestra. Paich even gave some background on how it was written using the technology of the time.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM
Colbie Caillat was quite busy at various NAMM events. She was at the breakfast session on Thursday and the She Rock Music Awards on Friday night. Then she immediately came to the Yamaha shindig.

Playing acoustic guitar (accompanied by the huge ensemble), Caillat did her sweet hit “Bubbly.” Moving to piano, she performed a dramatic “Try” off last year’s “Gypsy Heart.” Considerably lightening the mood, the artist ended with the upbeat, ebullient “Brighter Than the Sun,” heightened by supple backing vocals.

Veteran Grammy-winning keyboardist/producer Bob James (the “father of smooth jazz”) displayed his prowess on some classy instrumentals.

“I’m thrilled to be playing with an orchestra,” enthused James Blunt, who apparently flew in just for this occasion. The popular Brit started out on piano for the insistent, string section-enriched “1973” and slow, solemn “Goodbye My Lover” (both UK top 10 singles). Switching to acoustic guitar, Blunt did his multi-million selling ballad “You’re Beautiful” to much applause. But the highlight was the inspiring “Bonfire Heart” from 2013’s “Moon Landing.”

Jonathan Butler was downright jubilant on his ’87 pop hit “Lies.” The smooth jazz guitarist also sang a song in his native Africa’s language before seguing into a slow and beautiful “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley. The audience gave it a standing ovation.

Yet the best was saved for last. Jamie Cullum – whose new album “Interlude” finally arrived in American stores this week – served as the de facto headliner. One of the most successful jazz/pop artists from Britain, he opened with best known number “These Are the Days,” eventually ditching a coat and rolling up his sleeves. Cullum energetically played piano, left it to sing front and center, then hopped back on the bench during the relaxed arrangement’s trumpet solo.

“Yamaha supported me from the very beginning, even when they were advised not to,” said Cullum, whose forceful style can wreak havoc on a piano. The snazzy, slow build revamp of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” was a highlight; it found him beating on the instrument and beat boxing a nod to Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” Bob James joined Cullum for a terrific piano duet of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things.”

Prior to the syncopated glee of “Mix Tape,” the Brit admitted he “goes mental sometimes.” Indeed, he proceeded to kick away the piano bench and jump up as the orchestration swelled.

The spirited Yamaha finale featured East, Sinbad and another vocalist leading Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which East won a Grammy for playing on. 

JAN. 24

photo by Bob Steshetz
NAMM President/CEO Joe Lamond interviewed Apple co-founded Steve Wozniak for the Saturday breakfast session at Hilton Anaheim’s packed Pacific Ballroom. The absorbing conversation covered various facets of the tech titan’s life.

Regarding the 1982-83 US Festivals in Devore, Calif., he said, “the goal was to have a good product, not to make money.” The festival also was the first to use a large projection screen near the stage. Promoter Bill Graham apparently didn’t think much of it.

Neither did concertgoers when the images shown were the first satellite video link to the Soviet Union. Band sets were shared from each country. “It got some boos. Back then, the Soviets were like Al-Qaeda.”

Woz talked about designing primitive color video games, relayed that one of his goals was to “have the end in mind and ask, ‘how do I get there?’” and discussed being proud of the evolution of early Apple computers.

When Woz said he really likes musicians because “a little mischievousness leads to creativity,” it drew cheers. So did the statement that “the best engineers at Apple always had a good music background…I like simplicity. What people wear or their haircut shouldn’t matter.”

The topic of education led to Woz to recall his time spent teaching middle schoolers, but admitting that “life education doesn’t necessarily have to come from schools.” Growing up, Woz said he wanted to be an engineer and “build things to make life easier.” Much later, a life mantra of “food, fun and friends” became very important. Equally vital is “the quality of life is how much fun you had.” 
Back at the convention center, an afternoon H.O.T. Zone session featured producer/musician/label head Don Was and engineer Ed Cherney discussing their work on Bonnie Raitt’s multi-platinum, triple Grammy-winning “Nick of Time” album from 1989. 

“It’s a tour de force vocally,” said Was, about the project. “I get very emotional listening to it now. She found songs that really struck true. She’s a great communicator.

“Nobody saw that success coming,” he continued. “We didn’t think we were going to be on the radio.”

Harry Bowens, who performed in Was (Not Was) and sang background on the Raitt album, was in the audience to Was’ surprise. They hadn’t seen each other in a while and hugged.
“Bonnie blessed us with this record. She’s real and a sister for life,” said Bowens.

The third day of Taylor Room performances started with an intense 50-minute solo set by Zane Carney.

Although the electric guitarist feared his voice would give out, it never did.

Carney - whose studio and tour credits include John Mayer, Five for Fighting, Natasha Bedingfield, the “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” cast album with Bono & The Edge and more – often recalled Jeff Buckley with his fragile falsetto. Standouts included “Talk to Me Baby” and “Cry Me a River,” from the 2013 EP “Confluence” as well as the jazz standard “Round Midnight” (featuring guest vocals by his sister Paris) and the seething rock undertow of “Little Miss Untamed.”

Next up was Alex & Sierra, winners of the third season of “The X Factor.” Their major label debut came out last October. Lots of teenage girls were in the crowd (and how exactly did they get into NAMM?).

Backed by a four piece band, the pop duo – and real life couple - had a good natured repartee onstage, usually staring directly at each other as they sang the lyrics.

Striking ballad “Little Do You Know” had a dramatic buildup as Alex broke a string on one of several acoustic guitars he tried out throughout the performance.

"This is the best place for something like this to happen," he noted. A resonant cover of Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow,” with just the two of them onstage, was a perfect fit. The luxurious jazzy/rock version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” was a pleasant surprise. Then Alex & Sierra branched out into folk territory a la The Lumineers on the whimsical “Cheating” and “Scarecrow” – both high points here.

All told, it was another whirlwind and exciting time again at NAMM. Here's looking to 2016!

Read more of my Taylor Guitars coverage at:

Special thanks to Lippin Group Public Relations and NAMM organizers. Photo of Chase Bryant by Bob Steshetz 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

They Might Be Giants news

This year, They Might Be Giants have three albums slated for release (two in 2015, one in 2016), national and international touring across the world and the return of Dial-A-Song for the digital age.

Now, for all of 2015, the Brooklyn duo return to their high concept/no budget idea with a toll free number at (844) 387-6962 as well as via the web at Fans can hear the songs streaming on the site, and YouTube. Those that prefer a download can purchase tracks individually at iTunes, and all other digital retailers or join the band’s Dial-A-Song Direct service on and get the whole year's worth of tracks for $30.

In celebration of the reactivated Dial-A-Song and to raise awareness of “Erase”, They Might Be Giants are sponsoring Dial-A-Song’s first video contest, challenging all video, film and visually minded people to create a video companion for the track by April 7.

Judged by Black Francis of The Pixies, three winners will be awarded a $1000 cash prize in addition to having their video posted on and TMBG’s YouTube channel. The possibilities are endless and the Giants encourage competitors to “Express yourself in your favorite medium,” keeping in mind all imagery must be original. For more information about submissions, click here.

They Might Be Giants celebrate Brooklyn and keep the home fires burning with a monthly stand at Music Hall of Williamsburg, beginning with their sold-out show this Sunday, Jan. 25. 

Known for recording numerous themes most notably The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and the Grammy-winning Malcolm In the Middle theme, the band has two platinum and gold albums, plus two Grammys to their credit.

Tour Dates:

1/25 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg ***SOLD OUT***
2/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (First Album Show)
3/29 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg ***SOLD OUT***
4/16 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small's Theatre
4/17 Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
4/18 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
4/19 Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
4/21 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
4/22 Albany, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
4/23 Boston, MA @ House of Blues
4/24 Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
4/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
4/26 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (Dial-A-Song Show)
5/1 Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
5/2 Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
5/3 San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
5/5 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
5/6 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
5/7 Seattle, WA @ Neptune
5/8 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
5/9 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
5/10 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
5/13 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
5/14 Austin, TX @ Stubb's
5/15 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
5/16 St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
5/17 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
5/31 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (The Else Show)

Nadine Shah preps second album for spring

Nadine Shah will release her second album Fast Food on April 7 via Apollo/R&S Records. 
This is the follow up to 2013 debut Love Your Dum And Mad. The songs were created during a writing session with her collaborator/producer Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, Depeche Mode).
First single "Stealing Cars" was released in December and already made waves in Nadine's native UK, placing on BBC 6 Music's A-List, Amazing Radio's A-List and the XFM Evening Playlist as well as being named one of the Top Tracks of 2014 by Time Out.

“The last album took so long to make that by the time it came out it didn’t feel like it was a very clear representation of where I was musically, but this time it’s different,” Nadine explains.

The album is a reflection upon a world obsessed with instant gratification and a life full of complicated relationships, she admits. “My favourite love stories are the unconventional ones. The ones that aren’t like rom-coms because those aren’t the real stories, that’s not how it actually happens. For years I had this romanticised ideal of what love would be. I thought it would be perfect and that I would always be someone’s first love but as you get older, people have been in love before. That’s a large part of what 'Fast Food' is about, the sudden realisation that you're never going to be anybody's first love ever again."

Fast Food will be available on vinyl, CD and via digital download (AMB1506). You can pre-order the album via iTunes here.

Nadine kicks off a UK tour in April. US plans to be announced soon.

Track list:

1. Fast Food
2. Fool
3. Matador
4. Divided
5. Nothing Else To Do
6. Stealing Cars
7. Washed Up
8. The Gin One
9. Big Hands
10. Living

Nettwerk marks 30th Anniversary with covers collection

This year marks Nettwerk Music Group’s 30th Anniversary. The Vancouver-launched, now international label, management and publishing company will be celebrating throughout the year, starting with the release of a covers compilation called From Cover To Cover: 30 Years At Nettwerk

Due out Jan. 27, From Cover To Cover: 30 Years At Nettwerk features current label artists covering popular songs from the company’s rich and diverse history. See full track list below.

Also launching today is Nettwerk’s new podcast series, Nettcast. Hosted by Nettwerk publicist Penny Palmer and online-marketer Raj Sharma, the twice-monthly podcast features Nettwerk artists passing through Los Angeles in a series of fun and playful scenarios.
From industry themed Madlibs to Tinder trolling to a round of Cards Against Humanity, nothing is off limits (at least not yet). The first episode features Scars On 45, who were in LA while on tour supporting their latest album, Safety In Numbers. Listen here:

Nettwerk’s official birthday party will take place in Austin during SXSW on Wednesday, March 18. Stay tuned for more details.

Track listing:

1. Let Her Go (Cover by Scars On 45; Original by Passenger)
2. Big Jet Plane (Cover by Coves; Original by Angus & Julia Stone)
3. You Me & The Bourgeoisie (Cover by Madi Diaz; Original by The Submarines)
4. World Spins Madly On (Cover by Joshua Hyslop; Original by The Weepies)
5. Wagon Wheel (Cover by Lily Kershaw; Original by Old Crow Medicine Show)
6. In Spite Of All The Damage (Cover by Dave Beckingham (Hey Ocean!); Original by The Be Good Tanyas)
7. Gold In Them Hills (Cover by Admiral Fallow; Original by Ron Sexsmith)
8. I Hear You Calling (Cover by Dave Vertesi (Hey Ocean!); Original by Gob)
9. Shiver (Cover by Run River North; Original by Coldplay)
10. Yellow (Cover by Caroline Pennell; Original by Coldplay)
11. Jane (Cover by Twin Bandit; Original by Barenaked Ladies)
12. Ice Cream (Cover by William Fitzsimmons; Original by Sarah McLachlan)
13. What Was Going Through My Head (Cover by Great Lake Swimmers; Original by The Grapes of Wrath)
14. Assimilate (Cover by Radical Face; Original by Skinny Puppy)

“Weird Al” Yankovic N. American tour dates

“Weird Al” Yankovic has announced his 2015 Mandatory World Tour.

Slated to visit over 100 cities throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, the tour follows the release of Weird Al’s #1 album, Mandatory Fun (RCA Records).
The album was released last July and went to #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart. This was the first time in over 50 years that a comedy album topped the charts, and the first time a comedy album debuted in the top position. Mandatory Fun has also been nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Comedy Album.

Special pre-sales will be held at starting Jan. 27 at 10am local time and will go on sale to the public Jan. 30 at 10am local time.

The Mandatory World Tour begins on May 12 with a five-night run at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas. Dates are listed below.

Las Vegas, NV
Planet Hollywood

Tulsa, OK
Brady Theater

Oklahoma City, OK
Hudson Performance Hall

Biloxi, MS
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Nashville, TN
Ryman Auditorium

Robinsonville, MS
Horseshoe Tunica - Bluesville

Bloomington, IL
Bloomington Center For the Performing Arts

Indianapolis, IN
Old National Centre - Murat Theatre

Mount Pleasant, MI
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort

Cleveland, OH
Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica

Greensburg, PA
The Palace Theatre

Boston, MA
Wilbur Theatre

Concord, NH
Capitol Center for the Arts

Ledyard, CT
Foxwoods Resort Casino

New York, NY
Governor's Ball Music Festival

Lancaster, PA
American Music Theatre

Richmond, VA
Carpenter Theatre at Richmond Center Stage

Vienna, VA
The Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Baltimore, MD
Pier Six Pavilion

Roanoke, VA
Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre

Bethlehem PA
Sands Bethlehem Event Center

Cary, NC
Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Charlotte, NC
Ovens Auditorium
Atlanta, GA
Chastain Park Amphitheater

Kettering, OH
Fraze Pavilion

Newark, OH
Midland Theatre

Louisville, KY
Palace Theatre

Windsor, ON
Caesars Windsor - The Colosseum

Chicago, IL
Chicago Theatre

St. Louis, MO
Peabody Opera House

Kansas City, MO
Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland

Wichita, KS
Orpheum Theatre

Council Bluffs, IA
Harrah's Hotel & Casino - Stir Cove

Prior Lake, MN
Mystic Lake Casino - Mystic Showroom

Bowling Green, KY
Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center

Greenville, SC
Peace Center for the Performing Arts

Erie, PA
Warner Theatre

Albany, NY
Palace Theater

Burlington, VT
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

Verona, NY
Turning Stone Resort Casino - Showroom

Buffalo, NY
University at Buffalo - Center for the Arts

Hamilton, ON
Hamilton Place Theatre

Rama, ON
Casino Rama - Entertainment Centre

Ottawa, ON
Ottawa Bluesfest

London, ON
Centennial Hall

Halifax, NS
Casino Nova Scotia - Schooner Showroom

Moncton, NB
Casino New Brunswick - The Centre

Portland, ME
Main State Pier

New Bedford, MA
The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center

Williamsport, PA
Community Arts Center

Knoxville, TN
Tennessee Theatre

Newport News, VA
Ferguson Center for the Arts

North Charleston, SC
North Charleston Performing Arts Center

Orlando, FL
Hard Rock Live at Universal Citywalk

Clearwater, FL
Ruth Eckerd Hall

Melbourne, FL
King Center for the Performing Arts

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Jacksonville, FL
Florida Theatre

Houston, TX
Bayou Music Center

San Antonio, TX
Majestic Theatre

Austin, TX
Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater

Grand Prairie, TX
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

Denver, CO
Paramount Theatre

Arcata, CA
Van Duzer Theatre

Jacksonville, OR
Britt Pavilion

Bend, OR
Les Schwab Amphitheater

Portland, OR
Oregon Zoo Amphitheater

Vancouver, BC
Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Penticton, BC
South Okanagan Event Centre

Enoch, AB
River Cree Resort & Casino - The Venue

Calgary, AB
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

Airway Heights, WA
Northern Quest Resort & Casino - Pend Oreille Pavilion

Puyallup, WA
Washington State Fair

Laughlin, NV
Harrah’s Laughlin – Rio Vista Outdoor Amphitheater

Full track listing for Madonna’s 'Rebel Heart'

Madonna’s 13th studio album Rebel Heart will be released March 10 on Interscope Records. Six of the album’s songs were released last month following a leak of unfinished cuts.
Upon their release, several of those songs debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 49 countries. Two additional songs will be available with a pre-order of the album on iTunes on Feb. 9. Fans that preordered Rebel Heart in December will have the two additional songs automatically delivered to them. 

“'Rebel Heart' explores two very distinct sides of my personality, the rebellious renegade side of me and the romantic side of me” commented Madonna recently in Billboard.
The new album features collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Nas, Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson and was recorded in NY, LA and London. Producers include Madonna, Diplo, Kanye West, Billboard, Avicii, DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds, Ryan Tedder, Toby Gad, and Ariel Rechtshaid.

Four remixes of the single “Living for Love” were serviced last week to to DJs and clubs and are currently available on Madonna’s Youtube channel.

The four new mixes include:
Offer Nissim Living for Drama Remix 7:15
Dirty Pop Remix 4:58
THRILL Remix 5:11
Mike Rizzo's Funk Generation Club 7:03

Album track list:

1 “Living For Love”
2 “Devil Pray”
3 “Ghosttown”
4 “Unapologetic Bitch”
5 “Illuminati”
6 “Bitch I’m Madonna” (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
7 “Hold Tight”
8 “Joan Of Arc”
9 “Iconic” (Feat. Chance The Rapper & Mike Tyson)
10 “HeartBreakCity”
11 “Body Shop”
12 “Holy Water”
13 “Inside Out”
14 “Wash All Over Me”
15 “Best Night”
16 “Veni Vidi Vici” (Feat. Nas)
17 “S.E.X.”
18 “Messiah”
19 “Rebel Heart”
Additionally, Madonna will perform on the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 8.