Category Archives: Music

Aimee Mann’s New Album Mental Illness Out March 31, 2017

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Aimee Mann’s new album, Mental Illness, is out on March 31st. You can listen to the full version of “Goose Snow Cone” below and pre-order the album at www.aimeemann.com. Upcoming tour dates are HERE.

Mann discussed the album with Rolling Stone:

Aimee Mann says her upcoming LP, Mental Illness, is the “saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they’re-all-waltzes-so-be-it-record” she could possibly write. The singer-songwriter’s ninth studio album, her first since 2012’s Charmer, is out March 31st via SuperEgo Records.

‘It’s like having a candy coating, and then the inside is totally different’

Mann showcases that sad, folky approach on lead single “Goose Snow Cone,” which is available to stream on her website. “Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly,” she croons over fingerpicked acoustic guitars and strings.

Mann says she wrote the material assuming the general public views her work as “really depressing.” “I don’t know – people may have a different viewpoint – but that’s my own interpretation of the cliché about me,” she said. “I mean, calling it Mental Illness makes me laugh, because it is true, but it’s so blunt that it’s funny.”

The 11-track album, which was inspired by her favorite Sixties and Seventies folk-rock LPs, features a core studio crew of Jonathan Coulton (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Jay Bellerose (drums), Jamie Edwards (piano), co-writer John Roderick and longtime producer Paul Bryan (string arrangements). Ted Leo, who recently collaborated with Mann in their joint side-project, the Both, adds background vocals.

Track Listing

1. Goose Snow Cone
2. Stuck In The Past
3. You Never Loved Me
4. Rollercoasters
5. Lies Of Summer
6. Patient Zero
7. Good For Me
8. Knock It Off
9. Philly Sinks
10. Simple Fix
11. Poor Judge

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Squeeze Box: The Complete Recordings of Weird Al Yankovic Features 14 Remastered Studio Albums & Bonus Disc of Rarities

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Weird Al Yankovic, rock music’s legendary satirist, is partnering with Legacy Recordings and PledgeMusic for the release of Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic, a career-spanning box set.

The ultimate tribute to one of the most prolific musical careers of the last four decades, Squeeze Box features all 14 of Weird Al’s studio albums remastered on CD, 150-gram vinyl and digital, spanning from his debut album “Weird Al” Yankovic (1983) to Mandatory Fun (2014). Mandatory Fun was not only the first comedy album in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard chart, but also the first to even reach that lofty position in over 50 years. Altogether, the albums included in Squeeze Box have earned multiple Grammy awards, as well as dozens of gold and platinum records in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Six of these albums will make their debut on vinyl as part of Squeeze Box. Each has been newly remastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Mark Wilder and personally approved by Yankovic. An Al-curated 15th bonus disc, Medium Rarities, features specially selected non-album tracks from across his remarkable career.

Fans can pre-order the collection now on “Weird Al” Yankovic’s campaign page (pledgemusic.com/weirdalyankovic). The leaders in direct-to-fan platforms, PledgeMusic allows artists to get more personal with their fans, offering pledgers behind-the-scenes updates and items not available anywhere else. Pledgers who pre-order the Squeeze Box set will receive the AccessPass which offers access to exclusive artist updates, bonus content, and more.

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Available in Fall 2017, Squeeze Box comes in a unique package worthy of Weird Al’s inimitable style: an amazing replica of his signature accordion, with each album stored in its bellows. An accompanying 100-page book will feature a trove of rare and unseen photos and memorabilia.

Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic will be sold through an exclusive partnership with Legacy Recordings, the Grammy Award-winning catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, and PledgeMusic, a direct-to-fan music platform that will offer exclusive content and insight into the making of this one-of-a-kind set. Fans can purchase various bundles featuring signed test pressings and other merchandise available only through the PledgeMusic campaign. Upon pre-ordering the set, fans can check back for videos, images and updates on the project, from a trip to the mastering studio to early looks at the packaging and content.

Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic (1983)
“Weird Al” Yankovic In 3-D (1984)
Dare To Be Stupid (1985)
Polka Party! (1986)
Even Worse (1988)
UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff (1989)
Off The Deep End (1992)
Alapalooza (1993)
Bad Hair Day (1996)
Running with Scissors (1999)
Poodle Hat (2003)
Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)
Alpocalypse (2011)
Mandatory Fun (2014)

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U2 Detail The Joshua Tree Summer Tour

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U2 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree this year by performing the seminal 1987 album in its entirety at stadiums across America and Europe, including a stop at Bonnaroo. The festival slot will mark the group’s first-ever headlining set at an U.S. festival. The tour – which features Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and OneRepublic rotating as opening acts – kicks off May 12th at BC Place in Vancouver and wraps up July 1st at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland before heading over to Europe for a run of eight shows with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 will mark the group’s first time playing a classic album in concert. They picked one packed with hits, including “Where The Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” For hardcore fans, the tour is an opportunity to hear rarely played deep cuts like “Exit,” “Trip Through Your Wires” and “In God’s Country.” It will also feature the first live performance of “Red Hill Mining Town.”

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The idea to take The Joshua Tree on tour came last year when U2 were putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album Songs of Experience. “The election happened and suddenly the world changed,” says Edge. “We just went, ‘We’ve got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what’s going on in the world.'”

The band noticed the parallels between the worldwide political situation that gave rise to The Joshua Tree in 1987 and today. As a result, taking it on tour would give them time to re-think the new album. “[The Joshua Tree] was written in the mid-1980s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics,” says the guitarist. “It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. It just felt like, ‘Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn’t have three years ago, four years ago.’ We needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about [it] one more time before putting it out; just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say.”

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Bono shared his thoughts on the tour in a statement. “Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years,” he said. “It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current: love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarization … all the greats … I’ve sung some of these songs a lot … but never all of them. I’m up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are … it’s gonna be a great night.”

Tickets for the U.S. shows (which will have general admission seating on the field and reserved seats in the stands) will go on sale Tuesday, January 17th.

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Dates

May 12 – Vancouver, BC @ BC Place*
May 14 – Seattle, WA @ CenturyLink Field*
May 17 – Santa Clara, CA @ Levi’s Stadium*
May 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rose Bowl**
May 24 – Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium**
May 26 – Dallas, TX @ AT&T Stadium**
June 3 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field**
June 7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field**
June 11 – Miami, Fl @ Hard Rock Stadium***
June 14 – Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium***
June 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field**
June 20 – Washington, DC @ FedExField**
June 23 – Toronto, ONT @ Rogers Centre**
June 25 – Boston, MA @ Gillette Stadium**
June 28 – East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium**
July 1 – Cleveland, OH @ FirstEnergy Stadium***
*With Mumford & Sons
**With The Lumineers
***With OneRepublic

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John Mayer Announces Release Plans For New Music

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John Mayer announced via Facebook on Monday that he’ll be releasing four new songs from his forthcoming album, The Search for Everything, once a month until the project’s official release. The first “wave” of songs will be out January 20, 2017.

“There were too many songs to ever get out the door at once,” Mayer wrote.

The singer also posted artwork for the tracks, revealing titles for the first four songs: “Moving On and Getting Over,” “Changing,” “Love on the Weekend,” and “You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me.”

“Love on the Weekend” first premiered in November, after Mayer teased the song’s release on social media.

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British Artist Chris Barker Creates “Sgt. Pepper” Styled Tribute To Those Lost in 2016

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British Artist Chris Barker has created a “Sgt. Pepper” themed tribute to all the beloved celebrities we’ve lost in 2016. Legends like David Bowie, Prince, Leon Russel and Glenn Frey grace the photo along with Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali, John Glenn and Nancy Reagan.

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Beethoven, Boldness, Passion, And The Heart of Creative Expression

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Ludwig von Beethoven, the “man who freed music,” once said, “…it is always acceptable to miss a few notes while playing, but it is never acceptable to play without passion!”

This, coming from a man who created some of the most recognizable anthems in history, should be a hallmark for modern musicians, performers, composers, and all types of creative individuals. Beethoven’s statement speaks to the importance of letting a desire to create and express, override the potential for criticism and the fear associated with true expression. A few modern musical enterprises like those owned by Coran Capshaw, still embody this sentiment.

In Beethoven’s day, music was steeped in the mimicry of ancient styles. It was the time of great revolutionary ideas in Europe stemming from the collision of modernity and progress. The times were marked by Napoleon’s rise to power, and his inevitable collapse due to the love of that power. Beethoven struggled his entire life with the loss of hearing, and the desire to express a new musical style that was truly revolutionary. Though he died in 1827 without fully realizing his impact upon the world, he was able to express his musical and philosophical ideas just enough to incite a change in the world of art, music, and popular culture.

There is so much pressure in the modern world for artists and musicians to display perfection and the exposition of uniqueness. This pressure is so great that the pursuit of beauty and truth often plays second chair to showmanship and acclaim. This is absolutely contrary to Beethoven’s heartfelt desire for every person engaged in the arts to strive for connections, rather than empty applause.

It is disturbing to realize the number of individuals who give up on pursuing a talent because they do not receive immediate recognition for their works. The title of “genius” is passed around so loosely in the modern artistic world that it has lost all meaning. With Beethoven’s sentiment genius, and being set apart, is not necessary for artistic success. This applies to music, dance, theater, literature, and all other art forms. According to him, all that is necessary is to present a work of art to the public with the same passion that brought it forward.

Beethoven’s most recognizable musical creation is his Symphony No. 9. The musical evolutions in this magnum opus are centered on its Nietzchean libretto, “An Die Freude.” Most people recognize this as an Ode to Joy, but it is better classified as the Love for Brotherhood. Beethoven recognized that music has the power to cross cultural and political barriers when imbued with a composer’s passion for his fellow human beings. The Capshaw model also reflects this.

This power is present in every art when the artist goes about creating under the spell of passion. When the entire artist is infused into the work of art, projects become something in which all people, if willing, can find value and meaning. Beethoven’s adamant believe that the presentation, not the material, is what moves people and is at the heart of every art. This is true for modern musicians, dancers, actors, model builders, comic book artists, writers, and sci-fi genre fans. It’s also true for bus drivers, construction workers, stay-at-home moms, and corporate human resource directors. The occupation and the art mode itself is not the key to communication. It’s the passion involved in every pursuit that allows it to leave a lasting impression on fellow human beings.

Ludwig von Beethoven left an obvious mark on the history of the musical arts, but his greatest work might have been his ideas on how people with talent should engage their fellow man. The goal should never be perfection, but an accurate outpouring of what moves an artist to create.

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BoseBuild Speaker Cube

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More than just a Bluetooth box, the BoseBuild Speaker Cube ($149) is a chance to get your child interesting in electronics. The kit includes everything you need to build the speaker, with rugged components designed with kids in mind and app-based instructions.

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Along the way, your child will learn about concepts ranging from magnets and electromagnets to how sound works, and when finished will end up with a high-quality speaker they can take pride in having built themselves.

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Phil Collins, Not Dead Yet: The Memoir

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Phil Collins pulls no punches—about himself, his life, or the ecstasy and heartbreak that’s inspired his music. In his much-awaited memoir, Not Dead Yet, he tells the story of his epic career, with an auspicious debut at age 11 in a crowd shot from the Beatles’ legendary film A Hard Day’s Night. A drummer since almost before he could walk, Collins received on the job training in the seedy, thrilling bars and clubs of 1960s swinging London before finally landing the drum seat in Genesis. Soon, he would step into the spotlight on vocals after the departure of Peter Gabriel and begin to stockpile the songs that would rocket him to international fame with the release of Face Value and “In the Air Tonight.” Whether he’s recalling jamming with Eric Clapton and Robert Plant, pulling together a big band fronted by Tony Bennett, or writing the music for Disney’s smash-hit animated Tarzan, Collins’s storytelling chops never waver. And of course he answers the pressing question on everyone’s mind: just what does “Sussudio” mean?

Not Dead Yet is Phil Collins’s candid, witty, unvarnished story of the songs and shows, the hits and pans, his marriages and divorces, the ascents to the top of the charts and into the tabloid headlines. As one of only three musicians to sell 100 million records both in a group and as a solo artist, Collins breathes rare air, but has never lost his touch at crafting songs from the heart that touch listeners around the globe. That same touch is on magnificent display here, especially as he unfolds his harrowing descent into darkness after his “official” retirement in 2007, and the profound, enduring love that helped save him. This is Phil Collins as you’ve always known him, but also as you’ve never heard him before.

The 384 page hardcover is available now!

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Prince 4Ever Compilation Due On November 22, 2016

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Prince 4Ever will bring together 40 of Prince’s best-loved songs, including the hits “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Sign O’ The Times,” “Alphabet Street,” “Batdance,” “Cream,” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.”

Prince 4Ever includes “Moonbeam Levels” — a previously unreleased song originally recorded in 1982 during the “1999” sessions and later considered for the never released “Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic” album.  Prince 4Ever will also arrive with a 12-page booklet of never-before-seen photos by photographer Herb Ritts.

The collection will be released on November 22, 2016.

Track Listing:

Disc: 1

1. 1999 (Edit)
2. Little Red Corvette
3. When Doves Cry
4. Let’s Go Crazy
5. Raspberry Beret
6. I Wanna Be Your Lover (Single Version)
7. Soft And Wet
8. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?
9. Uptown (Single Version)
10. When You Were Mine
11. Head
12. Gotta Stop (Messin’ About)
13. Controversy (Single Version)
14. Let’s Work
15. Delirious (Edit)
16. I Would Die 4 U
17. Take Me With U
18. Paisley Park
19. Pop Life
20. Purple Rain

Disc: 2

1. Kiss
2. Sign ‘O’ The Times (Single Version)
3. Alphabet St.
4. Batdance
5. Thieves in the Temple
6. Cream
7. Mountains
8. Girls & Boys
9. If I Was Your Girlfriend
10. U Got The Look
11. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
12. Glam Slam
13. Moonbeam Levels
14. Diamonds And Pearls (Edit)
15. Gett Off
16. Sexy M.F.
17. My Name Is Prince (Single Version)
18. 7 (Album Edit)
19. Peach
20. Nothing Compares 2 U

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Introducing LEGO Ideas 21306 Yellow Submarine

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Let’s all live in a Yellow Submarine with The Beatles! After spending months submerged the Yellow Submarine has re-surfaced and it has brought along the first official images of the LEGO Ideas 21306 Yellow Submarine.

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You can find this iconic submarine and its legendary passengers in stores from on November 1, 2016 for a recommended retail price of 59.99. The set consists of over 550 LEGO bricks including the 4 minifigures representing John, Paul, George and Ringo, as well as a Jeremy figure, and is an ideal gift for fans of LEGO building and The Beatles alike, with great opportunities for role play or as a colorful, retro display piece.

Here is the official description:

Take a surreal trip under the seas in the LEGO version of the Yellow Submarine from the iconic 1968 animated musical fantasy film inspired by The Beatles. Ideal for display or role-play fun, the Yellow Submarine features loads of cool, authentic details including a cockpit for the included minifigures of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Kevin Szeto’s motivation for creating the Yellow Submarine:

“As an amateur musician and songwriter, I have always been drawn to the music of The Beatles. The creation of the Yellow Submarine model was really my way of showing my affection for The Beatles, as well as trying to pay a small tribute to The Beatles phenomenon. The Yellow Submarine is bright, fun, and colourful, which also made it a good subject to translate into LEGO form”, Kevin said as he shared his motivations for building the Yellow Submarine.

Justin Ramsden’s (LEGO designer) motivations were also very much centered around his love for the iconic band, as he was given the opportunity to refine Kevin’s initial model. “I€ watched€ the€ film€ when€ I€ was€ younger€ and€ was €really €inspired€ by €how €it €oozed€ so€ much€ imagination€ –€ comparable€ to€ how€ I€ view€ LEGO€ elements.Š €I’m €also €a €massive €fan €of €The€ Beatles ˆ€having €grown€ up€ with €their €music€ all€ my €life ˆ€so €to €see €The €Beatles €in €LEGO €form €is€ a €dream €come €true.”

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