Monday, June 29, 2015

Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes concert review: Irvine, Calif.

A version of my review originally appeared at 
Photos by Drew A. Kelley

Lady Antebellum's latest studio release is called "747."

That title could easily refer to the Nashville trio's soaring career trajectory since the late 2000s as it steadily racked up chart topping singles, albums and awards.

Seeking to change things up a bit, several new songs utilize pop-oriented programming and loops without being a major departure.

Saturday's sold out, seven hour-long Go Fest show at Irvine Meadows was put on by LA radio station Go Country 105 FM. The event paired one of this year's hottest country music tours with up and comers on a side stage, line dancing, plus moonshine and western wear vendors.

Half of Lady Antebellum's 22-song Orange County, Calif. set (which was being filmed for a future DVD release) concentrated on its quadruple platinum 2010 album "Need You Now" and "747."

Opening with the stomping "Long Stretch of Love," all three members walked onstage in unison and displayed some supple harmonies. The crowd immediately went crazy for the fun and hedonistic, laser lit "Bartender."

When Hillary Scott sang "nothing's sweeter than summertime" during the comforting acoustic-based "American Honey," it couldn't have felt truer. She and co-lead singer Charles Kelley brought their usual intense dramatic delivery to "Just a Kiss" as a sparkling sky scene was projected on the back screens. Later, their connection proved equally riveting during "I Run to You" and encore selection "Need You Now" (Scott is married to the band's drummer, Chris Tyrell).

A spirited "Compass" had an appealing homey feel with prominent banjo and guest mandolin work by main stage opener Hunter Hayes. After Scott praised his talent, Hayes remained onstage to lead "Where it All Begins," a great new song they all wrote and recorded together. It recently entered the country singles chart.

Kelley provided a brief history of Lady A before fervent rocker "Love Don't Live Here" (the group's first hit in '07). Then he, Scott and Dave Haywood headed to the B stage for an acoustic mini-set including the tender "One Great Mystery," a sweet "Dancin' Away with My Heart," Ed Sheeran cover "Thinking Out Loud" and acapella bit of "Hello World." The slinky grooving' "Downtown" was a highlight.

Scott fared well during a feisty take on Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine." Hayes and fellow opener Sam Hunt joined everyone for "Walk This Way." Hunt handled lead vocals on the raucous Aerosmith tune and almost got lost in the rapid fire wordplay. Finally, "We Owned the Night" was apt choice to close the proceedings.

Immediately preceding Lady Antebellum was Hayes, whose hour-long set was mostly a high energy affair.

The young, charismatic singer and guitar whiz began with a breezy "Tattoo," pogoed with his band and barely paused between songs.

A circuitous "Storm Warning" and extended "Somebody's Heartbreak" (containing some call and response action with the keyboardist) were winning showcases for Hayes' impressive fretwork.

Darkly intense rocker "Secret Love" was a standout, as were new songs like the poppy, insanely catchy "21" and "Young and in Love." While the earnest piano ballad "Invisible" (and heartfelt intro by Hayes) prompted some snide comments from a few older male concertgoers, the song has an important message for kids. Buoyant closer "I Want Crazy" prompted young females to loudly sing along.

Since the venue's seated section opened 15 minutes before the music's scheduled start time, I ended up missing most of Sam Hunt's set due a bottleneck jam of people trying to get inside. The college football player-turned-singer's acoustic guitar playing mixed with hip hop proved an odd fit during "Single for the Summer"; the edgy rap rock of "Breakup in a Small Town," even more so. But the energetic country chart topper "Leave the Night On" went down a storm.

Among side stage acts on the concourse area, giddy female singer Cam was delightful. Performing songs from her new Arista Nashville "Welcome to Cam Country" EP, the Long Beach native often came across like a young Dolly Parton and got enthusiastic reactions from the crowd. Highlights included latest single "Burning House" (about a man she did wrong), infectious Go Country fave "My Mistake" and fast-paced revenge tale "Runaway Train."

Amie Mangola's ballad-heavy country set was pleasant enough, but really didn't kick into gear until the Jimmy Buffett-esque "Tequila and a Broken Heart." Earlier, Mo Pitney had a style that brought to mind an edgier Randy Travis. He did a mildly engaging tune about meeting Merle Haggard and a passable cover of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me."

Next: 7 p.m. July 10, Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, $30.75-$60.50,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness joins New Politics on tour

One of my highlights of the recent Coachella Festival, McMahon always puts on a memorable show....

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and New Politics announced The Wilderness Politics North American co-headline tour. Kicking off in October, the bands will visit major markets through November.

Tickets go on sale on June 26 at and

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ eponymous album has produced the smash single, “Cecilia and the Satellite,” garnering over 6 million Spotify plays and has become a top 10 hit across both Alternative and AAA radio, now exploding at Hot AC.

Aside from his professional successes, McMahon is a survivor of leukemia and founder of the Dear Jack Foundation which advocates for and supports initiatives that benefit adolescents diagnosed with cancer.

Tour dates:

10/12 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre***
10/13 - Seattle, WA @ Sodo Showbox**
10/14 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue
10/16 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater**
10/17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia
10/18 - Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theater
10/20 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/21 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto
10/23 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Complex
10/26 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
10/31 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues**
11/01 - Austin, TX @ Emo’s**
11/03 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
11/04 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
11/06 - Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live*
11/07 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
11/08 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
11/09 - Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore
11/11 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall*
11/12 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery
11/13 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
11/14 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
11/15 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
11/17 - Washington, DC @ Echo Stage
11/18 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/19 - Providence, RI @ Lupo’s*
11/20 - Announcing Soon
11/21 - Albany, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/22 - Portland, ME @ State Theatre
11/24 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland
11/25 - Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
11/27 - Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
11/28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Fillmore

*New Politics, The Griswolds & LOLO only
**No The Griswolds
***New Politics & LOLO only

New Richard Thompson music, world tour dates

Richard Thompson's new album Still is available today via Fantasy Records and is available at all digital retainers and record stores. 

It was recorded in a two-story rehearsal loft in Chicago over the course of nine days with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy at the helm, backed by several longtime players from both Thompson's and Tweedy's bands.

"[He's] been one of my favorite guitar players for a very long time," stated Tweedy. "When I think about it, he's also one of my favorite songwriters and favorite singers. He's the Ultimate Triple Threat. Getting to work closely with him on this record was a truly rewarding experience, not to mention a great thrill. And he keeps alive my streak of working exclusively with artists who make me look good as a producer."

A recipient of BBC's Lifetime Achievement Award and Mojo's Les Paul Award, Richard Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen of England's 2011 New Year Honours List. The Americana Music Association also recently honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded Thompson's songs.

Thompson will be on tour in the US and Europe through 2015. 

Track listing:

1) She Never Could Resist A Winding Road
2) Beatnik Walking
3) Patty Don't You Put Me Down
4) Broken Doll
5) All Buttoned Up
6) Josephine
7) Long John Silver
8) Pony In The Stable
9) Where's Your Heart
10) No Peace No End
11) Dungeons For Eyes
12) Guitar Heroes

World tour dates:

JUN 26 - Town Hall Theatre - New York, NY
JUN 27 - Solid Sound Music & Arts Festival - North Adams, MA
JUL 10 - Bearsville Theater - Bearsville, NY*
JUL 12 - RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest - Ottawa, ON*
JUL 17 - Vancouver Folk Fest - Vancouver, BC*
JUL 19 - California Worldfest - Grass Valley, CA*
JUL 25 - Calgary Folk Music Festival - Calgary, Alberta*
AUG 01 - The Kent Stage - Kent, OH*
AUG 02 - Dublin Irish Fest - Dublin, OH*
AUG 08 - Edmonton Folk Fest - Edmonton, AB*
AUG 13 - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT*
AUG 16 - Folks Festival at Planet Bluegrass - Lyons, CO*
AUG 27 - Tonder Fest - Tonder, Denmark*
AUG 28 - Purbeck Valley Folk Fest - Wareham, UK*
AUG 30 - Shrewsbury Folk Fest - Shresbury, UK
SEP 01 - Vicar Street - Dublin, IRELAND
SEP 02 - Perth Concert Hall - Perth, UK
SEP 03 - Aberdeen Music Hall - Aberdeen, UK
SEP 05 - Queens Hall - Edinburgh, UK
SEP 06 - The Sage - Gateshead, UK
SEP 08 - Philharmonic Hall - Liverpool, UK
SEP 09 - The Lowery - Salford, UK
SEP 10 - City Hall - Sheffield, UK
SEP 12 - Royal Centre - Nottingham, UK
SEP 13 - Birmingham Symphony Hall - Birmingham, UK
SEP 15 - St. David's Hall - Cardiff, UK
SEP 16 - Colston Hall - Bristol, UK
SEP 18 - Regent Theatre - Ipswich, UK
SEP 19 - Corn Exchange - Cambridge, UK
SEP 20 - Royal Festival Hall - London, UK
SEP 23 - New Morning - Paris, France
SEP 24 - Hedon - Zwolle, Netherlands
SEP 25 - Patronaat - Haarlem, Netherlands
SEP 26 - Gebouw T - Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
SEP 28 - Theatrehaus - Stuttgart, Germany
SEP 30 - Hirsch - Nurnberg, Germany
OCT 01 - Zoom - Frankfurt, Germany
OCT 03 - Treviglio - Bergamo, Italy
OCT 06 - Papiersaal - Zurich, Switzerland
OCT 07 - AB Flex - Brussels, Belgium
*Solo Acoustic

The return of Simple Plan

Atlantic recording group Simple Plan has announced details of their new single. “Saturday” – the multi-platinum band’s first new music in almost four years – is available now in the iTunes Store and DSPs worldwide, and can be heard here –

Produced by Howard Benson, “Saturday” heralds Simple Plan’s new album, set for worldwide release later this year with further details to be announced soon.

“We are extremely excited to finally release a new song for our fans! After spending the last two years writing and recording, we cannot wait for them to hear the entire album new album and to start playing shows everywhere!” says Simple Plan’s Pierre Bouvier.

Following the release of “Saturday,” the Canadian pop/punk band will celebrate by hitting the road with a wide-ranging summer tour schedule highlighted by a series of top-billed dates on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour beginning July 19 at Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center. 

From there, the group does select headline dates and appearances at England’s Reading/Leeds Festival. Simple Plan will be among the stars performing at the second annual Journeys Alternative Press Music Awards, set for July 22 at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. For complete details and ticket information, please visit

“Saturday” marks Simple Plan’s first new music since 2011’s internationally successful “Get Your Heart On” Produced by Brian Howes, that album found the combo joined by All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, and UK songstress Natasha Bedingfield. “Jet Lag,” the collection’s lead single, was a worldwide hit, earning chart success and commercial milestones including 2x platinum certification from Australia’s ARIA.

In addition to their studio forays and frequent touring, Simple Plan has long been involved in philanthropic efforts spearheaded by their own Simple Plan Foundation. Created in 2005, the Simple Plan Foundation supports a variety of social and medical organizations dedicated to helping young people in need. The Simple Plan Foundation has raised over 1.5 million dollars in donations to date. For more, please see

Simple Plan is: Pierre Bouvier – vocals; Chuck Comeau – drums; David Desrosiers – bass, backing vocals; Sebastien Lefebvre – guitar, backing vocals; Jeff Stinco – lead guitar.

For up-to-the-minute news and information, please visit

US TOUR 2015

All Dates with tthe 2015 Vans Warped Tour

19 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
21 Scranton, PA The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
24 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills Parking Lot
25 Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheater

Peter Frampton reissues due this summer

After an incredible run through the 1970s on A&M Records, Peter Frampton reemerged in 1986 on a new label, with a new album and single that found him back on the Billboard charts and radios across the world.
Frampton's Premonition and When All The Pieces Fit will be re-released on Omnivore Recordings on August 28. Now will follow on September 4.

Premonition became Peter’s first release to make the Billboard Top 100 Albums in five years. Anchored by the mainstream rock hit “Lying,” he shared album production duties and was joined by Steve Ferrone (Average White Band, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Tony Levin (King Crimson) and Omar Hakim (Sting, David Bowie). After Premonition’s release, Frampton joined his friend David Bowie on the latter’s 1987 album Never Let Me Down and its ensuing Glass Spider Tour, another step in his reintroduction to the masses.

Frampton capped off a successful mid-’80s with his tenth studio release, 1989’s When All The Pieces Fit. The album hit the Billboard Top 200, following in the wake of 1986’s Premonition.

Co-helming the project with Chris Lord-Alge (Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Stevie Nicks), Frampton also brought in some new song collaborators, notably the Rembrandts’ Danny Wilde and John Regan. Regan, who’d worked with Frampton since 1979, was also a member of Frehley’s Comet and played on records by Billy Idol, Bonnie Tyler and others. 
The album’s first single, “Holding On to You,” was co-written by Peter with award winner Will Jennings (“Up Where We Belong,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “Tears in Heaven”). Other musicians on When All The Pieces Fit include Fourplay’s Nathan East, Steve Ferrone, and percussionist Lenny Castro.

Now, originally released in 2003, was Peter’s 12th studio release. Proclaiming “I’m Back,” he addressed his longest gap between releases, and offered up a seriously strong collection of material. From riff-filled rockers to shimmering ballads and instrumentals, Now was not only a culmination of what made Frampton a superstar, but showed he was far from done creating.
Frampton reached back into his history with Bob Mayo (who played in his Frampton Comes Alive! band) on keyboards, and found a new songwriting collaborator in George Kennedy. 
In addition to Now’s 10 originals, Peter pays tribute to his then recently departed friend George Harrison with a cover of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” 
All three reissues, which include liner notes from writer Scott Schinder based on new interviews with Peter, are timed to coincide with Frampton’s first acoustic tour this fall.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Order confirms album details

New Order has announced the release of their new album, Music Complete, out on Sept. 25. Listen here for a teaser

The long-awaited album will be New Order’s first full studio release since 2005's Waiting For The Siren's Call, and their debut for Mute.
Music Complete finds the group revitalized, and where the group has previously pushed toward electronics or guitars, here the two are in balance. Music Complete also marks a return to the studio for Gillian Gilbert; this is her first album with New Order since 2001's Get Ready.

The album will be released on CD, download, black vinyl and limited edition clear vinyl. In addition, there will be an exclusive 8-piece deluxe vinyl collection that includes the album plus extended versions of all 11 tracks on colored vinyl – Pre-order HERE.

New Order is: Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris, Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham.

Music Complete is produced by New Order, except ‘Singularity’ and ‘Unlearn This Hatred’, both produced by Tom Rowlands, while ‘Superheated’ features additional production by Stuart Price. Long-term collaborator Peter Saville provides art direction.

Live dates to be announced soon.

Track listing:

Tutti Frutti
People On The High Line
Stray Dog
Nothing But A Fool
Unlearn This Hatred
The Game

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stagecoach Festival 2016 advance ticket sale

I had a great time as usual covering this year's fest (see review elsewhere on this blog) and hope I get to do it again next year. Here's the latest news...
Stagecoach 2016 -- set for Friday, April 29, Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2016 -- marks the festival’s tenth year at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA.

Festival passes will go on advance sale Friday, June 19 at 11am PDT through Friday, June 26 at 6pm or while supplies last. Purchasers can pay in full or spread out their payments using the EZ Pay purchase plan. Festival passes can be purchased during the advance sale through

Three-day GA weekend passes are $269. Corral Standing Pit and Corral Reserved Seating passes are $899. All taxes, shipping and fees are included in listed ticket prices. What you see is what you pay! Children 10 and under are free.

The expanded RV Resort is back for 2016. Returning 2015 RV Resort purchasers will be able to buy an RV pass during the advance sale. New 2016 RV Resort spots are not sold during the advance sale. Prices remain $550 for dry camping, $850 for 30amp and $950 for 50amp.

For complete festival information, to review reserved seating options or learn about available travel packages, please visit

Duran Duran news

photo by Stephanie Pistel
Duran Duran will release their 14th studio album, Paper Gods in the U.S. on Sept. 18 (elsewhere Sept. 11) through Warner Bros. Records.

Singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor, and drummer Roger Taylor recorded the album in London with producers Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson and others.
It features special guests Janelle Monáe (on the first single "Pressure Off"), former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, Canadian singer Kiesza and more. The album was mixed by Mark 'Spike' Stent. Paper Gods will be available for pre-order and "Pressure Off" will be available for purchase at all participating digital retailers and this week.

The songs on Paper Gods capture the duality and sense of conflict at the heart of Duran Duran's music.
"It really goes back to that strange early Duran mix: the hard-edged pop, coexisting with this dark, weird, experimental side," John says. "That's something that's essential to all of us," Nick adds. "It's great to be able to lift people's spirits - and your own - with a strong shot of pure pop, but the world we live in isn't all just made of that stuff, so it seems natural to me that we have kept one foot in the darker, more Gothic side of life."

Early sessions began in 2013, with Mark Ronson joining the band in their south London recording studio, as they had for 2011's All You Need is Now, which was produced by Ronson.
When Ronson was called away to begin working on his own album, Duran Duran and engineer Josh Blair hooked up with Kanye West/Jay-Z collaborator Ben "Mr" Hudson. In the summer of 2014, Ronson returned once more to the project, adding long-time Duran collaborator, Nile Rodgers to the mix for two of the album's standout tracks. The remaining songs were co-produced by Blair and the band.

"We found a whole new level of inspiration on this album," says Rhodes. "We've allowed ourselves the time to make music that we can be proud of," adds Le Bon. "I judge what we release by my favourite albums - Horses, Harvest, Let It Bleed, Blue, Transformer, Aladdin Sane. Those are classic albums. The only rule is it's got to be music you can live with for the rest of your life."

CHIC co-founder Nile Rodgers and Mark Ronson co-wrote, and produced the tracks "Pressure Off" and "Only in Dreams." Rodgers also features on the first single from what will be the band's 14th studio release.
The former harks back to the taut funk of Duran Duran's 1986 album Notorious, which was also co-produced by Rodgers. "Notorious was a strong touchstone for the band," says Roger Taylor. All You Need is Now definitely reflected our earlier albums, but our starting point here was Notorious. We're fortunate to be able to be inspired by our own back catalogue - not many bands can say that."
In a collaboration overseen by China Chow, the band worked closely with Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel, who created the album's cover art. It features a collage of images that reference the visual history of Duran Duran, each placed like a sticker on a reproduction of Israel's "Sky Backdrop" painting. The logo and graphic design are by Brian Roettinger.

Alongside news of the new album, Duran Duran have also announced that they will perform a series of summer festivals, as well as several shows in the U.S. in September and October, followed by a UK arena tour that kicks off in late November.
Fan Community members ( will have access to pre-sale tickets and VIP packages. Following the Duran Duran VIP member presale, in the UK, American Express Card Members will have the ability to purchase tickets before the general public on-sale. (See below for full details and dates).

Duran Duran tour dates:

06/20 Barcelona, Spain Sonar by Night Festival
06/27 The Hague, Netherlands Night At The Park
06/28 Kerry, Ireland Killarney Festival
08/05 Riverhead, NY FOLD Festival
08/06 Bethlehem, PA Musikfest - ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks
09/01 Ibiza Heart at the Ibiza Gran Hotel
09/05 Gibraltar Gibraltar Music Festival @ Victoria Stadium
09/11 Isle of Wight, UK Bestival @ Robin Hill Park

US Tour:

09/20 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit

09/23 Puyallup, WA Washington State Fair
w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers

09/25 Reno, NV Grand Theatre - Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
w/ Clean Bandit

09/26 Las Vegas, NV Life is Beautiful Festival
09/27 San Diego, CA Cal Coast Union Open Air Theatre
w/ Clean Bandit

10/01 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit

10/02 San Francisco, CA The Greek Theatre, Berkeley
w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit

10/03 Rancho Mirage, CA The Show - Agua Caliente Casino
w/ Clean Bandit

UK Tour: **

11/27 Manchester, UK Manchester Arena
11/28 Leeds, UK First Direct Arena
11/30 Cardiff, UK Motorpoint Arena
12/02 Brighton, UK Brighton Centre
12/04 Birmingham, UK Genting Arena
12/05 Newcastle, UK Metro Radio Arena
12/06 Glasgow, Scotland The SSE Hydro
12/08 London, UK The O2
12/09 Bournemouth, UK Bournemouth International Centre
12/11 Nottingham, UK Capital FM Arena
12/12 Liverpool, UK Echo Arena

** In the UK, thanks to American Express Invites®, all American Express Card Members get exclusive priority booking for tickets before the general public.
American Express Invites priority booking starts 9am 16 June 2015 and ends 9am 19 June 2015. Tickets are available through

Blur adds Hollywood and NYC concert dates in America

With rave live reviews for recent shows, a historic fourth headline appearance at London’s Hyde Park set for this weekend and having recently performed its new album The Magic Whip at an exclusive NYC Converse Rubber Tracks Live gig, the classic Blur lineup--Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree—has confirmed a pair of dates at two of America’s most famous venues: October 20 at the Hollywood Bowl and October 23 at Madison Square Garden.

Tickets to the shows--the biggest standalone headlines Blur has ever played in the U.S. and the band’s only currently scheduled Stateside dates—will be on sale 10 a.m. local time June 20 at

American Express® Cardmembers can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Monday, June 15 at 10:00am through Friday, June 19 at 10:00pm.  

In other Blur news, the band has released its official comic book Travel to Hong Kong with Blur. Created by famed Hong Kong artist Kongkee of Penguin Lab and inspired by The Magic Whip, Travel to Hong Kong with Blur is available for purchase at and will be sold at the U.S. dates.

Released this past April, The Magic Whip (Warner Bros) entered the Billboard 200 at #12—the highest U.S. chart position of Blur’s career—and generated unanimous plaudits.

The Magic Whip started life in Hong Kong in sessions during an unexpected break in touring in May 2013. The band spent five days at Avon Studios in Kowloon before putting the recordings aside and carrying on with their live dates and returning to their respective lives: Dave to his day job as a lawyer, Alex to his Oxfordshire farm, newspaper column and the hosting duties on The Big Feastival that he shares with Jamie Oliver.

Graham, who has released eight critically acclaimed solo albums to date, continued to work on his own material and, in 2014, Damon released and toured his Mercury-nominated debut solo album Everyday Robots.

Graham revisited the tracks in November 2014 and, drafting in Blur’s early producer Stephen Street (Leisure, Modern Life is Rubbish, Parklife, The Great Escape, Blur), worked with the band on the material. Damon then added lyrics to the 12 tracks, completing The Magic Whip—Blur’s eighth album and first since 1999’s 13 to feature the original Blur lineup.

“Ong Ong” Official Video Live at

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mika’s new album in stores Tuesday

Mika’s fourth full-length album, No Place In Heaven [Republic Records], is out on June 16. 

The performance video for “Last Party” is his love letter to Freddie Mercury of Queen.

Celebrated fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh helmed the clip and also photographed the album cover for No Place In Heaven, marking the first time he has ever collaborated with a music artist. Check it out HERE.

After Mika's performance of “Talk About You” on The Voice: Italy, No Place In Heaven jumped to #1 on iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart. You can watch it HERE

Produced with Mika by Grammy Award-nominated Greg Wells [Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Adele], the track listing for No Place In Heaven is below. 

Outside of music, his influence continues to expand worldwide too. Mika has been a judge on the X Factor: Italy and a coach on The Voice: France after topping the charts in France with the release “Boum Boum Boum.”

He’s also been tapped by watch innovator, Swatch, as a creative ambassador creating striking designs for the line. In addition, he’s collaborated with Italian fashion leader, Valentino, architecting suits with the creative directors for X Factor Italy.

Track listing:

1 Talk About You
2 All She Wants
3 Last Party
4 Good Guys
5 Oh Girl, you’re the devil
6 No Place In Heaven
7 Staring At The Sun
8 Hurts
9 Good Wife
10 Rio
11 Ordinary Man

Bonus tracks:

12 Promiseland (Bonus Track)
13 Porcelain (Bonus Track)
14 Good Guys, Night Time Mix (Bonus Track)

Of Monsters and Men tour dates, new album

Upon release, OF MONSTERS AND MEN’s second full-length album, Beneath The Skin [Republic Records], debuted #1 on iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart.

In addition, the band recently gave performances of their hit single “Crystals” on ABC’s Good Morning America and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 

OF MONSTERS AND MEN just opened up a special album artwork creator on their official site. Fans can upload images and design their own personal versions of the band’s logo online. Their custom images can then be download and shared to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram tagging #BeneathTheSkin.

Beneath The Skin is available everywhere now, and OF MONSTERS AND MEN will be on tour (see below).

OF MONSTERS AND MEN have come a long way from their native Iceland. They quickly became a phenomenon in 2011 with the quadruple-platinum “Little Talks” and their chart-topping debut, My Head Is An Animal, which has since moved 2 million copies worldwide. 

Since then, the group have delivered performances at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Newport Folk Festival, Osheaga, Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Pukkelpop, and Splendour in the Grass as well as at countless sold out headline shows.

In the midst of it all, they lent the single “Dirty Paws” to a trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the iPhone 5 introduction video, while “Silhouettes” was featured on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.

World Tour Dates:

June 16th London, UK London Forum
June 17th Paris, France Le Trianon
June 19-21 Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany - Southside Festival
June 20th Hilvarenbeek , Holland - Best Kept Secret
June 19-21 Scheessel, Germany Hurricane Festival
June 24th Zagreb, Croatia INmusic Festival
June 26th Werchter, Belgium Rock Werchter
June 27th Nantes, France Le Stéréolux
June 28th Marmande, France Festival Garorock
June 30th Lausanne, Switzerland - Les Docks
July 1st Frankfurt, Germany Batschkapp
July 3rd Gdynia, Poland Open'er Festival
July 5th Turku, Finland Ruisrock Festival
July 7th Milan, Italy Unaltrofestival
July 8th Rome , Italy Auditorium Parco della Musica
July 10th Barcelona, Spain Cruilla Festival
July 11th Bilbao, Spain BBK Live
July 21st Melbourne, Australia The Forum
July 22nd Sydney, Australia State Theater
July 24th Teninedewa, Australia – Splendour In The Grass
July 26th Niigata, Japan Fuji Rock
July 31-8/1 Montreal, QC Osheaga Festival
August 1st Chicago, IL House of Blues
August 2nd Chicago, IL Lollapalooza
August 5th Calgary, AB Grey Eagle Casino and Bingo Event Centre
August 6th Edmonton, AB Edmonton Folk Festival
August 8th Squamish, BC Squamish Valley Music Festival
August 9th Seattle, WA Marymoor Park Concerts
August 12th Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
August 13th Las Vegas, NV The Pool @ The Cosmopolitan
August 15th Elverta, CA Radio 94.7 City of Trees
August 16th Portland, OR 94.7 Alternative Portland’s Birthday Party
August 19th Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa
August 20th Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa
September 15th Philadelphia, PA Skyline Stage at the Mann Center
September 16th Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Sept.18-20th Toronto, CA Toronto Urban Roots Fest
September 20th Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
September 22nd New York, NY Beacon Theatre
September 24th Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre
September 25th Boston, MA Boston Calling Festival
September 26th Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Casino
September 28th Columbus, OH The LC Pavillion
September 29th Detroit, MI Masonic Temple Theatre
October 1st St. Paul, MN Roy Wilkins Auditorium
October 2-4th Austin, TX Austin City Limits
October 2nd Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at Midland
October 7th Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
October 8th Charlotte, NC Uptown Amphitheatre at the Music Factory
October 9th Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
October 9-11 Austin, TX Austin City Limits
October 13th Broomfield, CO 1st Bank Center
October 14th Salt Lake City, UT The Great Salt Air
October 17th San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
October 29th Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
October 30th Stockholm, Sweden Munchenbryggeriet
October 31st Copenhagen Vega
November 4th Paris, France Zenith
November 9th Vienna, Austria Gasometer
November 10th Florence, Italy Obihall
November 13th Winterthur, Switzerland – Eishalle Deutweg
November 18th Manchester, UK Manchester Academy
November 19th Birmingham, UK O2 Academy
November 20th Bristol, UK O2 Academy
November 22nd Dublin, Ireland Olympia Theatre
November 23rd Glasgow, UK Barrowlands
November 24th London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
November 25th London, UK O2 Academy Brixton
November 27th Sheffield, UK O2 Academy Sheffield
November 28th Lincoln, UK Engine Shed
November 29th Newcastle, UK O2 Academy Newcastle

Beneath The Skin track listing:

Standard version-

Wolves Without Teeth
Slow Life
Black Water
Thousand Eyes
I Of The Storm
We Sink Included on Deluxe:
Winter Sound
Black Water (Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear Remix)
I Of The Storm (Alex Somers Remix)

Deluxe version-

Winter Sound
Black Water (Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear Remix)
I Of The Storm (Alex Somers Remix)

The Band's catalog LPs get remastered box treatment


The Band’s seven Capitol Records studio albums and Rock Of Ages double LP concert album have been remastered from their original analogue masters for The Band: The Capitol Albums 1968-1977, a new 9 LP vinyl box set to be released July 31 by Capitol/UMe.

Remastered for vinyl at Capitol Mastering and manufactured by Quality Record Pressings, the collection’s eight albums are presented on heavyweight, 180-gram vinyl with faithfully replicated original album art and packaging.

The Band: The Capitol Albums 1968-1977 

unboxing video:

The Band: The Capitol Albums 1968-1977 [vinyl box set]

Music From Big Pink
The Band
Stage Fright
Rock Of Ages (2LP)
Moondog Matinee
Northern Lights-Southern Cross

Foals returns with new music in August

I had a great interview with Yannis for the last album for the OC Register (find it elsewhere on this blog), so I'm really looking forward to the new music...

Foals has announced fourth album What Went Down is set for release Aug. 28 on Warner Bros. Records.
The first single and title track of the Oxfordshire, UK quintet's new album will debut exclusively on Annie Mac's Radio 1 show in England this Tuesday, June 16 between 7-9pm. 
It signals the return of a band who made their name in 2006 playing at house parties, and who, six years later, in 2013, became UK festival headliners. Fans will be able to download the song directly after it is played on Radio 1.

For this album, Foals teamed up with producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Jessie Ware, Mumford & Sons) and retreated to the South of France to record in a rural 19th-century mill. 
Lyrically, vocalist Yannis Philippakis deals with themes around cultural identity, generational anxiety, cynicism, pessimism and heartbreak.
"I wanted to tap into my inner madman and feel like I was channeling some sort of fevered creature," he says. 

Foals have released three top ten albums to date: Antidotes (2007), Total Life Forever (2010) and Holy Fire (2013).
2013 was the year that Foals broke through. Appearing high up the bill at festivals around the world, Foals became festival headliners in the UK, headlining Bestival, Latitude and Parklife, drawing the biggest crowds of the weekends.
By the end of 2013 Foals had won another slew of awards: Best Live Act at the Q Awards, Best Live Act at The Sun Bizarre awards, Best Single ("Inhaler") at the NME Awards and a Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize nomination (the band's second in a row).

Foals are:
Yannis Philippakis (vocals/guitar)
Jimmy Smith (guitar/keys)
Walter Gervers (bass)
Jack Bevan (drums)
Edwin Congreave (keys)

Track listing:
What Went Down // Mountain At My Gates // Birch Tree // Give It All // Albatross // Snake Oil // Night Swimmers // London Thunder // Lonely Hunter // A Knife In The Ocean

Live Nation SoCal offers one day ticket sale

Southern California concertgoers: here's a chance to score some low dough tickets...

As summer heats up, Live Nation Entertainment is pleased to celebrate concert season with specially priced $15* tickets to some of the biggest & best shows of the year, for one day only on June 15 starting at 12:01 a.m. and running until 11:59 p.m.

Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (formerly Verizon Wireless Amphitheater) and San Manuel Amphitheatre are offering 15 shows across multiple genres of music.
The OC venue opened in 1981 and has long been a popular destination for outdoor music.
San Manuel Amphitheatre (formerly Hyundai and Blockbuster Pavilion), inside Devore's Glen Helen Regional Park, is North America’s largest outdoor amphitheatre and the original site of the 1980s US Festivals.

With Live Nation announcing its summer concert season lineup, which features some of the world’s most popular bands, there will be something for everyone to see under the stars this summer. The specially priced shows with $15* tickets (on June 15 only / while supplies last) include...

Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre:

93.1 Jack FM – Jack’s 10th Show: Tears For Fears, Bush + more June 20
Nickelback with Lifehouse June 26
The Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson July 9
Van Halen with Kenny Wayne Sheppard Band July 14
Sublime with Rome July 17
The Art Of Rap Festival – Ice-T, The Game + more July 18
Third Eye Blind & Dashboard Confessional July 19
5 Seconds Of Summer July 20
Cathouse Live! – Extreme, Dokken, Sebastian Bach + more August 15
Incubus & Deftones August 29
Australian Pink Floyd September 6
Counting Crows with Citizen Cope October 2

San Manuel Amphitheatre:

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival – Slayer + more June 27
Van Halen with Kenny Wayne Sheppard Band July 11
Kid Rock with Foreigner August 29

More info about this offer can be found here:
More information about our venues can be found here

*plus applicable fees

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New EP from ex-Carrie Underwood sideman Ashley Clark out now

Greyhound, the debut EP from I.R.S. Nashville recording artist Ashley Clark, is out today and available now on iTunes, Amazon, Google play and Spotify. The five-song EP gives listeners a taste of Clark's upcoming full-length debut, which was produced by Mutt Lange (AC/DC, Shania Twain, Maroon 5, Muse).
Over a two-year period, the pair recorded Clark's original compositions and co-wrote a host of other songs - marking Lange's closest collaboration with a brand new artist since his work with Shania Twain 20 years ago.

Fans can view Clark making his Grand Ole Opry debut and performing a soulful, stripped-down version of "Greyhound," the EP's title track and first single, in a new performance video, which premiered today.
It can be viewed HERE. Ashley penned the song with Austin Clark, one of his brothers. "Greyhound" has been added by numerous country radio stations and the official video, which premiered on, has been added by CMT Pure. The "Greyhound" video can be seen HERE and this short clip takes viewers behind the scenes at the video shoot in Los Angeles.

Clark is the subject of a "Who's New" feature in Country Weekly and Billboard recently singled him out in its "Tomorrow's Hits" column, which focuses on new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. He will be performing at a number of radio station concerts this summer. See below for itinerary.

Born in Virginia, Clark is one of 11 children. His father, a traveling Pentecostal preacher, brought the entire family on the road and each member was expected to perform as they stopped at churches, tent revivals and festivals across the South.
When Ashley decided to blaze a path of his own in country music, his winning vocals and lightning-fast fiddle playing set him apart. He quickly went from sleeping on the floor of a stranger's house in Nashville to touring the world with Carrie Underwood, who had just won the "American Idol" competition and was putting together a band.
After two-and-a-half years on the road with Underwood, Clark came to the attention of manager Simon Fuller - XIX Entertainment (Annie Lennox, Spice Girls, David Beckham) who hooked him up producer Mutt Lange.

Lange was knocked out by Clark's talent after hearing his initial batch of songs. "I thought they were very universal," Lange says. "He has authenticity in spades."

Clark hopes his songs evoke a wide range of emotions in listeners. "On 'Greyhound,' I want people to feel that longing," he says. "On 'To the Moon,' I want people to be cruising in their car at night and forget all their problems."

Upcoming Performances:

6/18 - Fresno, CA @ KISS Country Summer Concert @ Rotary Amphitheatre
6/21 -Denver, CO @ Jackson's All American Sports Grill - KWOF
7/4 - Greeley, CO @ Greeley Stampede (w/ Gary Allan and Jerrod Niemann)
7/5 - Los Angeles, CA @ Go Country 105 new artist series @ JW Marriott

Monday, June 8, 2015

Long awaited new music from Violent Femmes, concert schedule

Violent Femmes' first new collection of songs in 15 years, the Happy New Year EP, is out now via all major digital outlets. The EP was recorded this past New Year's Eve in Hobart, Tasmania, after the band performed a sold out concert at the Sydney Opera House.
The EP was originally released in April exclusively on 180 gram champagne clear vinyl for Record Store Day.
It ended up being one of this year's top sellers. Rolling Stone premiered the audio of the first single, "Love Love Love Love Love," and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon premiered the video of the song.

Violent Femmes - guitarist/singer Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie and drummer Brian Viglione - have announced they started recording again in May for a new album.
The trio will begin a major North American tour as special guests on Barenaked Ladies' "Last Summer On Earth 2015," now through late July (complete dates below).

Returning to action in 2013 with an acclaimed performance at Coachella, Viglione (The Dresden Dolls, Nine Inch Nails) came aboard as the newly reconstituted band embarked on a tour that included headline dates and festival sets around the world. 

Violent Femmes first came together in 1981 in Milwaukee, WI, and released eight studio albums and more than a dozen singles, notably "American Music," "Gone Daddy Gone," "Nightmares," "Add It Up," and "Blister In The Sun." The band's self-titled 1983 LP earned RIAA platinum certification eight years after its initial release.

Violent Femmes/Barenaked Ladies tour dates:

5 - Columbus, OH - LC Amphitheatre
6 - Cleveland, OH - Jacob's Pavilion
7 - Toledo, OH - Zoo Amphitheatre
8 - Cedar Rapids, IA - McGrath Amphitheatre
10 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks
12 - Welch, MN - Treasure Island Resort & Casino Island Events Center
13 - Milwaukee, WI - BMO Harris Pavilion
14 - Council Bluffs, IA - Harrah's Council Bluffs
16 - Chicago, IL - First Merritt Pavilion
17- Indianapolis, IN - Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
19 - Cincinnati, OH - PNC Pavilion
20 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
21 - Salamanca, NY - Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino
23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
26 - Portland, ME - Maine State Pier
27 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
28 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Music Center
29 - Boston, MA - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

1 - New York, NY - JBL Live at Pier 97
2 - West Windsor, NJ - Mercer County Park Festival Fairgrounds
3 - Solomon's, MD - PNC Waterside Pavilion @ Calvert Marine Museum
4 - Raleigh, NC - The Red Hat Amphitheatre
8 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Uptown Ampitheatre
10 - Boca Raton, FL - Sunset Cove Amphitheatre
11 - St. Augustine, FL - St Augustine Amphitheatre
12 - Atlanta, GA - Verizon Theatre
13 - Nashville, TN - The Woods at Fontanel
15 - Dallas, TX - Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
18 - Las Vegas, NV - Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan
19 - San Diego, CA - OAT
21 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
22 - Saratoga, CA - Mountain Winery
24 - Boise, ID - Idaho Botanical Garden
25 - Portland, OR - McMenamin's Edgefield Amphitheater
26 - Seattle, WA - Marymoor Park