Thursday, May 31, 2012

Robert Plant and Band of Joy home video release

Artists Den Entertainment/Universal Music Group will release Robert Plant & the Band of Joy: Live from the Artists Den on 5.1 Blu-ray and DVD in the US on July 10.

This show was filmed as a rare, intimate performance at the historic War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Selections from the show aired nationwide on public television's Live from the Artists Den, the hit music series featuring acclaimed artists performing in extraordinary settings.

Now released in full for the first time, the DVD features bonus interview clips and concert footage not included in the television broadcast, including six Led Zeppelin classics, three of which have never been shown before.

Robert Plant explains the excitement of the evening in his own words in the liner notes included with the DVD:

"Some years back I was propelled by chance, with little planning or expectation into an American way...with a lean and pull into a new direction...voices and harmony, restraint and explosion, tight and loose, great joy in great a blizzard in Nashville. My thanks to one and all for aiding and abetting this exciting bend in the road."

Track List:

Robert Plant & the Band of Joy: Live from the Artists Den

         1. Black Dog
         2. Angel Dance
         3. Houses of the Holy
         4. House of Cards
         5. Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday
         6. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
         7. Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
         8. Tangerine
         9. A Satisfied Mind
         10. Move Up
         11. Down to the Sea
         12. Ramble On
         13. Gallows Pole
         14. In the Mood
         15. Rock and Roll
         16. I Bid You Goodnight

ZZ Top news

Next Tuesday will see the release of Texicali, a four track digital collection from ZZ Top that offers the first new studio recordings from “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” in nine years. 

The four new songs, available from iTunes and all digital retail outlets, offer a preview of the group’s full-length album, as yet untitled, that will be released on American Recordings late this summer or early fall.

Those purchasing the four songs will benefit from a pro-rated discount on the purchase of the full album when it is released. All four tracks will be previewed through an audio stream at on June 4 only.

These four tracks that comprise Texicali, like the forthcoming album, were produced by Rick Rubin and the band’s Billy F Gibbons and include “I Gotsta Get Paid,” “Chartreuse,” “Over You” and “Consumption.”

“I Gotsta Get Paid,” based on the underground 1990s rap song “25 Lighters,” is also heard on the soundtrack to Battleship. The title of the collection is a reference to the locations where the album was recorded. founding of ZZ Top more than 42 years ago and an acknowledgement that the band’s line-up has remained constant ever since.

“Based on the visibility of the ‘Gotsta Get Paid’ song, we decided to make available more of a taste of the album than just the one song,” said American’s Rubin.  “That’s the beauty of the new digital landscape; we can put out what we want when we want, in the best service of the artist.”

Notes Gibbons, “We were itching to get some new music out before the full album release; making available these four tracks seems like a good way to accomplish that most expeditiously.  Dusty, Frank and I are happy with what’s been accomplished in the studio so we figured we’d provide some hot and tasty ‘hors d’oeuvres’ before the main course is served this fall.”

The band embarks this week as the headliner for a six-week “Gang of Outlaws” tour that includes bills shared with 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson. Thereafter, ZZ Top departs for Europe where they will be playing concert and festival dates in Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Norway in July.

Additional North American dates are planned for August and September. All of this activity underscores the fact that ZZ Top continues as a vital force in music today, more than 42 years after its founding and with its ever-enduring line up totally intact.

Gang of Outlaws Tour dates

May 25 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Arena*
        26 - Atlantic City, NJ – Trump Taj Mahal/Etess Arena*
        27- Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods*
June 1 - Winston Salem, NC - Joel Coliseum*
         2 - Fayetteville, NC - Fort Bragg*
         3 - Fredericksburg, VA - Celebrate Virginia Live!*
         5 - Richmond, VA – Innsbrook Pavilion*
         6 - Simpsonville, SC - Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park*
         8 - St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre*
         9 - Atmore, AL – Wind Creek Hotel & Casino Amphitheater**
         10 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre*
         12 - Hollywood, FL - Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel**
         15 - Estero, FL - Germain Arena*
         16 - Orlando, FL - Universal Orlando Resort Music Plaza Stage**
         17 - Clearwater, FL - Tropicana Field*
         19 - Southaven, MS - Snowden Grove Park & Amphitheater*
         20 - Nashville, TN- Bridgestone Arena*
         22 - Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge River Center*
         24 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion*
         26 - Des Moines, IA - Wells Fargo Arena*
         27 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre*
         29 - Hinckley, MN - Grand Casino Amphitheatre*

*ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down, Gretchen Wilson
**ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nick Cave 2000s album reissues out this summer

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have announced release plans for the final set of remastered and expanded reissues of three albums.

The new CD/DVD Collectors Editions, to be released in the U.S. on Aug. 14, include Nocturama (2003), Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (2004) and DIG!!! LAZARUS, DIG!!! (2008).  
These latest releases are the fourth set of reissues from a series where Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ entire studio album catalogue was released in 5.1 Surround Sound.
Each deluxe collectors edition includes the remastered original stereo album, the new 5.1 surround mix, a specially commissioned short film made by UK artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, non-album b-sides from the singles, videos, and exclusive sleeve notes.

New Jersey band Early November set for return

It's been six years since New Jersey's The Early November released what appeared to be their final album The Mother, The Mechanic & The Path. Now back with its original lineup, the band will be releasing its Rise Records debut In Currents on July 10.

The track "Frayed In Doubt" can be exclusively streamed at Alternative Press Magazine online. Little has changed for the band from Hammonton, N.J. They had frontman Ace Enders produce and engineer at his newly built studio. He describes the process of creating In Currents as "a journey through life's joys and struggles" and "being pulled in a direction you can't an ocean current or the flow of electricity."

Tour dates:

25 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues*
26 - Howell, MI - Bledfest*
27 - Toronto, ON - Opera House*
29 - Chicago, IL - Metro*
30 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity*

1 - Denver, CO - Summit*
2 - Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue*
4 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon*
6 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's*
7 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey*
8 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues*
9 - San Diego, CA - Soma*
30 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero (In Currents release show)

1 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall (In Currents release show)
3 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's (In Currents release show)

* = w/ The Wonder Years, The Swellers, Young Statues

Reel Big Fish tour, album news

Reel Big Fish (pictured) and Goldfinger are teaming up for the Summer of Ska tour, with support from Big D and the Kids Table, Suburban Legends and The Maxies.

See for lineup details.

Currently recording their next full-length titled "Candy Coated Fury," featuring original tunes and new covers, RBF plans to have it out this summer. In other RBF news, the band has partnered with ASG (Artist Series Guitar) on a new RBF series guitar designed by front man Aaron Barrett. The guitar is now available for purchase.

North American Tour Dates: 

6/17 Sound Academy – Toronto

6/19/12 Toad’s Place – New Haven
6/20/12 House of Blues Boston – Boston
6/21/12 the Lost Horizon – Syracuse
6/22/12 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – Providence 
6/23/12 The Town Ballroom – Buffalo
6/24/12 House Of Blues – Cleveland
6/25/12 –Upstate Concert Hall (Formerly Northern Lights) – Clifton Park
6/26/12 9:30 Club – Washington, DC

6/27/12 Best Buy Theater – New York City
6/28/12 The Chance – Poughkeepsie
6/29/12 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville
6/30/12 Crocodile Rock – Allentown
7/01/12 The NorVa – Norfolk 

7/02/12 The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte
7/04/12 Revolution – Fort Lauderdale

7/05/12 House of Blues – Orlando 
7/06/12 Masquerade – Atlanta 
7/07/12 – Bogarts – Cincinnati 
7/08/12 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus 
7/9/12 – St. Andrew’s Hall – Pontiac 
7/10/12 – House of Blues – Chicago 
7/11/12 – First Avenue – Minneapolis
7/12/12 – The Pageant – St. Louis 
7/13/12 – Wooly’s – Des Moines 
7/14/12 – The Beaumont Club – Kansas City
7/15/12 – House of Blues – Dallas 
7/16/12 – Backstage Live – San Antonio
7/17/12 – House of Blues – Houston 
7/19/12 – Ogden Theatre – Denver 
7/20/12 – Belly Up – Aspen 
7/21/12 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City 
7/22/12 -the Knitting Factory – Reno 
7/23/12 – Regency Grand Ballroom – San Francisco 
7/24/12 – Fat Cat Music House – Modesto 

7/25/12 – House of Blues – West Hollywood 
7/26/12 – House of Blues – San Diego , CA
7/27/12 – House of Blues – Las Vegas 
7/28/12 – The Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Duran Duran 'All You Need is Now' tour collection due

After the successful All You Need Is Now tour of the UK and announcement as one of the headliners at the upcoming BT London Live Opening Ceremony Concert in Hyde Park to celebrate the London 2012 games, Duran Duran, will put out live DVD/Blu-ray/CD A Diamond In The Mind on July 10 [Eagle Vision/Records].

Filmed and recorded at Manchester’s MEN Arena in December of last year, it was shot in high definition. The recording of the show will be simultaneously released on standard DVD, Blu-ray, CD, and triple-pack Deluxe Edition, containing all three formats (Blu-ray, DVD & CD) in an 8 panel digipack with bonus features, and an expanded 20 page booklet, all inside a foil blocked slip-case.

The DVD, Blu-Ray and Deluxe Edition releases also feature interviews with the band, behind-the-scenes footage of the 2011 tour and bonus tracks ”Come Undone” and “Is There Something I Should Know?”

The band’s first live release in almost a decade, A Diamond In The Mind bristles with classic hits alongside new tracks taken from their critically acclaimed album All You Need Is Now,  which hit #1 on download charts in 15 countries (including the UK).

Known for their epic productions, amazing visuals, ground-breaking stage sets and iconic style, this is only the second time in 10 years that the band have recorded one of their concerts in high definition sound and vision, giving fans a rare and unique opportunity to relive the experience.

Talking from Brazil, where the band are currently on the South American leg of their world tour, keyboardist Nick Rhodes said “we wanted to create a dynamic, interactive show, combining new technology with edgy design. The brief for our lighting designer was 'pixel punk.'

"This manifested itself in the convergence of hi-tech screens with a powerful, asymmetrical lighting rig. The primary aim was to re-invent our songs visually and introduce material from the new album as a unique sensory experience. With this in mind, the screens were populated by science fiction, supermodels, anime, psychedelic patterns and graphic design. 

"Four massive mechanical arms were programmed to swoop down over the stage, firing beams of light, like the aliens in War of the Worlds. And the audience was integrated with the show, as live cameras were turned on them, projecting their images behind the band. Hanging high above the stage, four giant heads presented another dimension to the production, as they came alive as band members, skulls, robots and a girl transforming into a leopard.

The show is a journey. It was already our movie, but the challenge loomed to translate this into a film that tells the same story for those who were not there on the night. In this case we used many cameras, to ensure no detail escaped. We deployed both slow motion, animation and various stylized film grades, which give the performance a dreamlike quality in places; but most of all, I think A Diamond in the Mind truly captures the widescreen energy and vibrancy of what really transpired that night, when Duran Duran played live in Manchester.”

Adding to this, lead singer Simon Le Bon said, “the 2011 UK tour was particularly significant for all of us on a number of levels. In the early part of the year, I lost my voice and we were forced to cancel several months of touring, including all of our British dates. It was a really difficult time for us as a band as we had a new album out that we were just breaking in and loving playing live.

"When I blew my voice out in Cannes, at the film festival in mid-May, we weren’t sure when we would be able to resume and the summer wait was long and full of anxiety – especially for me. The UK shows which were finally rescheduled for December, proved to be some of the best we’ve ever done – so the year that had been rather a roller-coaster, ended on a really high note.”

DVD, Blu-ray, and Deluxe Edition Track Listing:

1) Return To Now
2) Before The Rain
3) Planet Earth
4) View To A Kill
5) All You Need Is Now
6) Blame The Machines
7) Safe (In The Heat Of The Moment)
8) The Reflex
9) Man Who Stole A Leopard
10) Girl Panic!
11) White Lines
12) Careless Memories
13) Ordinary World
14) Notorious
15) Hungry Like The Wolf
16) (Reach Up For The) Sunrise
17) Wild Boys/Relax
18) Rio
19) A Diamond In The Mind

Bonus tracks:
Come Undone
Is There Something I Should Know?

CD Track Listing:
1) Before The Rain
2) Planet Earth
3) View To A Kill
4) All You Need Is Now
5) Come Undone
6) Blame The Machines
7) The Reflex
8) Girl Panic!
9) Ordinary World
10) Notorious
11) Hungry Like The Wolf
12) (Reach Up For The) Sunrise
13) Wild Boys
14) Rio


Friday, May 25, 2012

St. Etienne returns with new album

Saint Etienne returns with “Words and Music by Saint Etienne,” due out digitally May 29 and vinyl/physical CD on Aug. 14 through Universal Music (stream it on NPR First Listen now).

When Bob Stanley of the long-running British pop trio talks about their new album, he affectionately refers to the “strange magic” of pop: the special alchemy that transmutes even the most mundane of experiences – walking home with the headphones on at night, sitting in a bedroom with your friends in the day, getting ready to go out on the weekend – into a lingering moment of seamless enchantment, one that resonates for the rest of your life.

Saint Etienne are a band who have had an enduring relationship with pop music. From the distinctly English sonic collages of their groundbreaking debut “Foxbase Alpha,” through to the darker folk-inflected turns of “Tiger Bay” and even the glacial electronic landscapes of “Sound of Water,” the history of pop has clearly had a powerful impression on the trio of Pete Wiggs, Sarah Cracknell and Bob Stanley, with the result being that for this, their ninth studio album, they have assembled what constitutes a long form aural essay explicitly exploring the throughline of themes and memories triggered by music which has run through their entire body of work.

As Stanley elaborates, “Words and Music by Saint Etienne” is an album about “how music affects your life. How it defines the way you see the world as a child, how it can get you through bad times in unexpected ways, and how songs you’ve known all your life can suddenly develop a new attachment, and hurt every time you hear them. More than how it affects and reflects your life though”, he sums up, “the album is about believing in music, living your life by its rules."

To that end, the album opens with “Over the Border,” a wry, moving spoken-word reflection with singer Sarah Cracknell ruminating on her first, tentative steps into a lifelong love affair with pop, beginning with her using “'Top of the Pops' as my world atlas” as a child, before mixtapes from first loves soundtrack her teenage years; finally she asks “when I was married, and when I had kids, would Marc Bolan still be so important?”

It’s a powerful, emblematic introduction to the album, one that sees the unabashed, glitter strewn, delirious disco highs of “I’ve Got Your Music” and “DJ” sit comfortably alongside the gorgeous, plaintive laments of “I Threw it All Away” and “25 Years.”

But from Cracknell calling for salvation through song in the gospel-tinged “Record Doctor” right through to her chanting “tonight when the lights are going down/I will surrender to the sound” on taster single “Tonight”, the endlessly emotive, sometimes redemptive relationship between music and listener has never been so celebrated and revered, and through the LP there isn’t a moment when Saint Etienne break that pact.

In the course of their work, Saint Etienne have always celebrated the greats of pop past – Stanley credits Goffin and King, Mann and Weil, Greenwich and Barry with helping him to understand relationships at a formative age, for instance – but with “Words and Music By Saint Etienne” they have made an album which sees them join that rich lineage, those writers of pop songs full of strange magic.

Tracks such as “When I Was 17” and the aforementioned “Tonight” see the group as vital and fresh as ever. Surrender to the sound now; as the group say, there’s no turning back.


1. Over the Border
2. I’ve Got Your Music
3. Heading For the Fair
4. Last Days of Disco
5. Tonight
6. Answer Song
7. Record Doctor
8. Popular
9. 25 Years
10. DJ
11. When I Was Seventeen
12. I Threw it All Away
13. Haunted Jukebox

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More reissue news: Michael Jackson's 'Bad': 25

Epic/Legacy Recordings, in collaboration with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will celebrate the legendary Bad album and tour on Sept. 18 with the release of a deluxe package - three CDs, two collectible booklets, and the first authorized DVD release of a concert from the Bad tour.

The 25th anniversary deluxe edition will encompass a DVD of Jackson’s July 16, 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium. The concert is not a compilation of performances, but rather one complete show, exactly as Michael performed it for Prince Charles, Princess Diana and the 72,000 fans who were in the London audience for that night’s sold out show.

This show was one of the record-breaking seven nights played at the venue and attended by more than half a million people. The DVD was sourced from Michael Jackson’s personal VHS copy of the performance as shown on the JumboTrons during the concert. This footage was only recently unearthed and is the only known copy of the show to exist. The visuals have been restored and the audio quality enhanced. 

A CD of the re-mastered original album will contain previously unreleased material, including early demo versions of songs from
Bad as well as demos for songs not included on the final album. All of this material is being released as it was recorded during the original sessions. Nothing has been added. In addition, this CD will also include new remixes from internationally renowned DJ/producers. 

A second CD will showcase audio from the sound truck recordings of the July 16/Wembley performance. The first-ever live Michael Jackson CD to be released, this is the only concert from the tour known to exist on multitracks.

This 3 CD/1 DVD box set will also include two extensive booklets with yet unseen photos from the recording sessions, video sets and the concert tour, the original Bad cover art, a two-sided poster and more. A two-CD standard edition featuring the original album plus the CD of demos and new remixes will also be made available as will a stand alone edition of the DVD and a picture disc of the original album.

On June 5 in America, Epic/Legacy Recordings will re-release the original first single from the album, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," as a CD Single with a previously unreleased bonus track from the same sessions, "Don't Be Messin' 'Round (demo)." This is a Wal-Mart exclusive CD single in the U.S. and will not be available digitally.

Then on June 26, a replica edition of the original 7" vinyl of this single with the original B-side "Baby Be Mine" will be made available to the world. The first single for
Bad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” was originally released on 7" vinyl in 1987. The 7" single edit of the song has only been available on that original 7" vinyl until now.

Recently, Pepsi announced an exclusive global partnership with the Estate of Michael Jackson as part of its new “Live for Now” campaign. Starting this month, Michael Jackson and Pepsi fans in more than 20 countries around the world will experience this partnership in a variety of ways, including a retail campaign featuring one billion special edition Michael Jackson Bad 25 Pepsi cans, live events, and opportunities for fans to access special edition merchandise and new music from Bad 25.

More details on this and other exciting projects relating to
Bad’s 25th anniversary will be announced soon.

Paul Simon's 'Graceland' 25th Anniversary+documentary

Legacy Recordings marks the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon's Graceland with the release of new commemorative editions (including the new documentary "Under African Skies") on June 5.

"Under African Skies," a new documentary film chronicling the controversial recording of Graceland and its subsequent impact--and enduring influence--on world music and pop culture, premiered to rave reviews at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and continues its festival run throughout the spring and early summer.

The critically-acclaimed new documentary from Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger ("Brother's Keeper," "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster," the West Memphis Three/"Paradise Lost" trilogy) will have its broadcast debut on the A&E Network on May 25 (10 p.m. Eastern, check local listings).

Additional festival screenings of "Under African Skies" include Human Rights Watch Film Festivals, the Sydney Film Festival (June 6-17) and Jacob Burns (June 22). The film recently completed simultaneous full-week bi-coastal runs at the Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles and the IFC Center in New York.

AMEX will host a special premiere event at the fabled Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 5, to celebrate the release of the Graceland 25th Anniversary editions.

"Under African Skies" travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa, a quarter century after the making of Graceland. Simon revisits the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album's genesis.

His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Paul Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

The universal appeal of the music of Graceland proved more powerful and enduring than the political hotbed attending its creation. In 1986, the album sold 14 million copies worldwide, and received universal praise from critics around the globe.

By January of 1987, "You Can Call Me Al" was everywhere and Graceland won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Then, in an unprecedented carryover, the album earned the Song of the Year Grammy with its title track in 1988. The album generated three hit singles--"You Can Call Me Al," "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" and "The Boy in the Bubble"--while keeping Paul Simon and the Graceland tour on the road for five years.

"Under African Skies" features interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel.

"Under African Skies" will be available in the following Graceland 25th Anniversary configurations:

Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD - Original album plus bonus tracks including previously unreleased demos from the 1987 legendary Ovation Studio Sessions in Johannesburg, South Africa and "The Story of Graceland" as told by Paul Simon. DVD features "Under African Skies" plus bonus scenes and extended interviews.

* * * * *

25th Anniversary Edition Collector's Edition Box Set 2 CD/ 2 DVD - Includes all CD/DVD material plus two books and collectible poster housed in deluxe slipcase. First book collects new and archival photographs, new interviews with Paul Simon and a complete telling of the Graceland story. The second book is a facsimile reproduction of  handwritten lyrics pad for the album.

Disc One – remastered Graceland CD

1. The Boy in the Bubble
2. Graceland
3. I Know What I Know
4. Gumboots
5. Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes
6. You Can Call Me Al
7. Under African Skies
8. Homeless
9. Crazy Love, Vol. II
10. That Was Your Mother
11. All Around The World or the Myth of Fingerprints

Disc Two – Bonus Tracks

1. Homeless (demo)
2. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes (alternate version)
3. All Around the World or The Myth of Fingerprints (early version)
4. You Can Call Me Al (demo) (previously unissued)
5. Crazy Love (demo) (previously unissued)
6. The Story of "Graceland" - as told by Paul Simon (previously unissued)

Disc Three - DVD 1 - UNDER AFRICAN SKIES- Paul Simon's Graceland Journey

Bonus footage includes extended interviews with film participants

You Can Call Me Al
The Boy In The Bubble
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes – From Saturday Night Live, November 22, 1986

Disc Four - DVD 2 - GRACELAND: THE AFRICAN CONCERT - Released on DVD for the first time

* * * * *

The full-length "Under African Skies" documentary will also be released as a stand-alone Blu-ray title on June 5.

The original Graceland album was released on audiophile-grade 180-gram vinyl in April in honor of Record Store Day 2012. The highly-collectible new vinyl edition of Graceland includes a collectible poster plus MP3 downloads of the album and bonus songs.

Digital configurations will include the Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition (original album plus bonus tracks including previously unreleased demos from the 1987 legendary Ovation Studio Sessions in Johannesburg, South Africa and "The Story of Graceland" as told by Paul Simon) and the "Under African Skies" long-form video will be available for download in standard and high-definition formats.

Pre-orders for the Graceland - 25th Anniversary Edition digital album (with bonus tracks and videos) are being taken now on iTunes.

All Graceland - 25th Anniversary Editions, including the deluxe box set,
may be pre-ordered now on the official Paul Simon website.

Peter Gabriel 'So' tour and reissue

Following a critically acclaimed New Blood tour in 2011 that re-imagined Peter Gabriel's best known songs through orchestral arrangements, he will return to North American stages to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking album So. 
Focusing on the entirety of that multi-platinum album, the tour, entitled BACK TO FRONT, will feature Gabriel with members of the original So touring band and will feature the album’s songs from start to finish plus some of his other biggest hits.

Tickets go on sale beginning today in Canada and May 31 in the U.S. for fan club members with general on-sales to follow at and
To coincide with the tour, So will be re-issued on Sept. 18 as a CD, special edition 3-CD set, and Super Deluxe Box Set. So is the best-selling album of Gabriel’s career and debuted at the top of the music charts around the world, going on to achieve five-times platinum sales and becoming one of the most seminal albums of the 1980s.

It features hits such as “Sledgehammer,” “Big Time,” “Red Rain,” the duet “Don’t Give Up” with Kate Bush and “In Your Eyes.” The songs were also part of the emerging video revolution and the groundbreaking “Sledgehammer” became one of the most awarded videos of its time. To this date, “Sledgehammer” remains the most played video of all time on MTV.
More details on the CD reissue can be found at
PETER GABRIEL     2012 North American Tour Itinerary
Sunday, September 16           Quebec City, QC        Colisee Pepsi
Tuesday, September 18         Montreal, QC              Bell Centre
Wednesday, September 19    Toronto, ON                Air Canada Centre
Friday, September 21             Philadelphia, PA          Wells Fargo Center
Sunday, September 23           Wantaugh, NY            Nikon at Jones Beach
Monday, September 24          Boston, MA                 TD Garden
Wednesday, September 26    Detroit, MI                   Palace of Auburn Hills
Thursday, September 27        Chicago, IL                 United Center
Sunday, September 30           Denver, CO                Red Rocks
Tuesday, October 2                San Jose, CA              HP Pavilion
Friday, October 5                    Las Vegas, NV            Planet Hollywood Showroom
Saturday, October 6               Los Angeles, CA         Hollywood Bowl
Tuesday, October 9                Santa Barbara, CA     Santa Barbara County Bowl
**Additional dates could be announced and itinerary subject to change.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eric Hutchinson/Graffiti6 concert review: Orange County, Calif.

photo by Jeff Lipsky
A version of my review originally appeared at

The Coach House spent some rare time in the spotlight on Friday night.
While hosting two acts that are currently making waves at Adult rock radio (Eric Hutchinson, Graffiti6), the packed San Juan Capistrano venue also became the subject of an impromptu song.
A quarter ways into the thoroughly entertaining 80-minute, 19-song set, Hutchinson (pictured above) used acoustic guitar to ad-lib hilarious lyrics about the food, seating angles, signed wall photos and cracked himself up in the process. The Washington D.C. native definitely has sharp improv skills.
Nearly five years have past since his solid debut CD Sounds Like This came out, moved 250,000 copies and spawned three hit Triple AAA format singles (including the gold-certified “Rock & Roll”) whose cumulative sales total are over a million.
Excellent new album Moving Up, Living Down finds the singer/songwriter continuing to mine classic 1970s pop/rock sensibilities with intriguing rhythm dynamics (Latin instruments, loops) and R&B touches thrown in for good measure.
Backed by a tight, happy three-man band (plus two horn players on various tunes), Hutchinson opened the show on keyboards with the jaunty, optimistic “Best Days.” He switched to electric guitar for the funky “You Don’t Have to Believe Me,” where the energetic vintage Prince vibe was bolstered by a snatch of Naughty by Nature’s “O.P.P.”
Barely pausing for a break, the reggae-tinged “Outside Villanova” saw a second keyboardist/guitarist follow Hutchinson’s scatting note for note. The vocalist said that good time shuffle “Not There Yet” was about “blowing off work” and followed it with an equally fun audience sing along cover of The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”
Moving ballad “Break Down More” dates back to Hutchinson’s early career and was revamped for the new album. Here, it took on a haunting quality with lap steel guitar work that almost silenced fans. Several of them danced amid the tables and aisles when upbeat piano pop hit “Oh!” arrived next and continued through a strong take on Sublime’s “Santeria” (not surprisingly, it went down a storm).
Elsewhere, the drummer displayed some fine percussive changeups on “Watching You Watch Him” and Hutchinson turned in vulnerable vocal. “OK, It’s Alright with Me” prompted boisterous audience participation.  
By the encores, the whole place was standing for “Rock & Roll” and a frenetic “The Basement,” where Hutchinson and company were in old school rock ‘n’ soul revue mode. His rapid-fire vocal delivery, name checking (Little Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner) and “Land of 1000 Dances” snippet made for an exhilarating finish.
Back in January, England’s Graffiti6 put out its first Stateside album, Colours. The mix of 1960s psychedelia, pop and U.K. Northern Soul elements and Jamie Scott’s truly soulful falsetto vocals equals one of the year’s more absorbing debuts so far. Standout track “Stop Mary” would totally appeal to Bruno Mars enthusiasts.    
The duo comes with quite a resume: Scott previously toured with Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson, collaborated with members of Travis, penned songs for Enrique Iglesias and One Direction and had a small acting role in the Channing Tatum flick “Step Up.” His musical partner Tommy D. Danvers is a respected producer/arranger/writer, whose credits include Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” Janet Jackson, Bjork, Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Kanye West and Jay-Z.
Out in Capistrano, Graffiti6 managed to rise above an inattentive, too-chatty crowd filled with many young ladies obviously there solely for Hutchinson. 
Scott (pictured left) performed on acoustic guitar, accompanied by a bassist and organist. The hunky singer was dressed casually in a t-shirt and jeans (a far cry from his stylish look in the music video to hit “Free”).
Stripped-down arrangements during the half hour set gave Scott’s amazing pipes ample opportunity to shine (“Lay Me Down”; the moody boyfriend-kills-girlfriend tale “Goodbye Geoffrey Drake”). Others packed an emotional punch (the plaintive, Fender Rhoads-driven “Over You”; a cover of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody”).
Although sweeping orchestration from the Motown-ish “Free” was missing, Scott still provided plenty of drama. I look forward to seeing what he’s like in front of a full-fledged electric band.    

Ultravox reunion album scheduled for U.S.

EMI Records will put out Brilliant, the first studio album from Ultravox in 28 years, digitally in America on May 29

Brilliant sees the classic lineup - Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann - expanding their classic sonic template and reminding us of their strength as songwriters of the highest calibre. Full details of the album will be revealed soon.

Dramatic, passionate, and epic in scale and sound, Brilliant is not only a prescient reminder of how great this reborn band is, but an exciting and vital addition to an extraordinary catalogue of music which today sounds more current and influential than ever. 
Emerging from the new wave and electro scenes of the late ‘70s, Ultravox fashioned a form of electronic rock music that was uniquely powerful and delivered massive European hits through the 1980s such as “Hymn,” “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes,” “The Voice,” “Reap The Wild Wind,” “Love’s Great Adventure,” “We Came To Dance,” and the timeless, atmospheric “Vienna.”
ULTRAVOX: Brilliant track listing [digital album]

1. Live Again
2. Flow
3. Brilliant
4. The Change
5. Rise
6. Remembering
7. Hello
8. This One
9. Fall
10. Let It Lie
11. Satellite

Bob Mould's Sugar reissues due

Merge Records will reissue the catalog of Bob Mould's post-Husker Du group Sugar on July 24. 

Mac McCaughan of Superchunk and Merge has this to say recently about the band's catalog in a press release:

"When word went around that Bob Mould had new band, not only a "band" band (as opposed to hired band to play his solo albums on tour) but also a trio, of course anyone raised from teenhood on punk rock and Husker Du in particular (like myself) went into high expectation mode.

"Copper Blue turned out to be a distillation of Bob's pop mode and roaring guitar mode into one tightly wound explosion of sound. There was space enough for the songs to breathe, but a driving urgency & energy in the rhythm section of Barbe & Travis that gives the whole album a barely-harnessed feel. Sonically, on songs like "The Act We Act" (Copper Blue), "JC Auto" (Beaster) & "Gee Angel" (File Under: Easy Listening) Sugar took Husker Du's aesthetic widescreen, the center held steady by Bob's focused songwriting. It's kind of incredible what Sugar did within such a small discography; there's no wasted space and the flow of great songs is a surprising, exciting listen 20 years later."

CD track listings/details:

Copper Blue / Beaster (3CD set)
Copper Blue & Beaster will be released as double LP with b-sides & live show as bonus downloads. CD1 & CD3 of this release will be sold together digitally. CD2 will be sold separately digitally only

CD1 (tracks 1-10 are original Ryko Copper Blue remastered, 11-14 are Ryko b-sides)
1 The Act We Act
2 A Good Idea
3 Changes
4 Helpless
5 Hoover Dam
6 The Slim
7 If I Can't Change Your Mind
8 Fortune Teller
9 Slick
10 Man on the Moon
11 Needle Hits E
12 If I Can't Change Your Mind (Solo Mix)
13 Try Again
14 Clownmaster

CD2 Beaster EP (original Ryko version remastered)
1 Come Around
2 Tilted
3 Judas Cradle
4 JC Auto
5 Feeling Better
6 Walking Away

CD3 Live at Cabaret Metro Chicago, Illinois, July 22, 1992
1 The Act We Act
2 A Good Idea
3 Changes
4 Running Out of Time
5 Helpless
6 If Can't Change Your Mind
7 Where Diamonds Are Halos
8 Hoover Dam
9 Beer Commercial
10 Slick
11 Anyone
12 Clownmaster
13 Tilted
14 Armenia City In the Sky
15 JC Auto
16 The Slim
17 Dum Dum Boys
18 Man on the Moon

File Under: Easy Listening (aka FU:EL)
FU:EL will be sold as a single LP with b-sides & live show as bonus downloads.

CD1 (tracks 1-10 are original Ryko FU:EL remastered, 11-16 are Ryko b-sides)
1 Gift
2 Company Book
3 Your Favorite Thing
4 What You Want It To Be
5 Gee Angel
6 Panama City Motel
7 Can't Help You Anymore
8 Granny Cool
9 Believe What You're Saying
10 Explode And Make Up
11 Mind Is an Island
12 Frustration
13 Going Home
14 In the Eyes of My Friends
15 And You Tell Me
16 Believe What You're Saying (Campfire Mix)

CD2 - The Joke Is Always On Us, Sometimes - Live at First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2, 1994
1 Gift
2 Company Book
3 Hoover Dam
4 After All the Road Have Led to Nowhere
5 Where Diamonds Are Halos
6 Slick
7 Going Home
8 Running Out of Time
9 Frustration
10 Changes
11 Can't Help You Anymore
12 Helpless
13 If I Can't Change Your Mind
14 In the Eyes of My Friends
15 Clownmaster
16 Gee Angel
17 Explode And Make Up
18 The Slim