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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Tuesday
Nov252014

American Authors Will Skip Traditional Eating Contest This Thanksgiving 

Andrew Zaeh/IslandAmerican Authors will have a couple days off this Thanksgiving to reflect on their successful year, which has been fueled by their hit "Best Day of My Life."  But unlike past years, the New York-based band says they won't be indulging in one of their usual Thanksgiving traditions: competitive eating at a local buffet restaurant.

"This will be the first Thanksgiving I think we're not actually going to be together," guitarist James Shelley tells ABC News Radio. "For every other Thanksgiving for, like, the last seven years, we go to Old Country Buffet -- OCB -- and we have an eating contest. And there's no prize, except your stomach hurts for four days."

So who usually wins this so-called eating contest?  "Usually our crew," laughs drummer Matt Sanchez.  "Though in the end, no one wins."  "But it's a true American Thanksgiving," notes James. "On one plate you can have pizza, tacos, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, Jell-O and a piece of cake."  "And turkey!" adds singer Zac Barnett.

Zac gets serious, though, when he considers what the band will be thankful for this Thursday.

"I guess thankful for such an amazing past two years," he tells ABC News Radio. "We've pretty much been on the road nonstop. We've never had any time to really sit back and reflect on it all. So while we're not taking that much time off, it'll going to be really nice to look at it all and just think back on all the touring. 'Cause I know even now when we're talking about it, it'll be like, 'What show was that? Where was that? Who was there?' So it's always really cool to think back on the amazing events and things we've done since it all began."  

American Authors have been in Germany this week, but they're flying back to the U.S. to do a series of Christmas shows starting November 30. Those shows will take them all the way through the end of December.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

Stuff Yourself Silly on Billy: MSG Network Plans All-Billy Joel Thanksgiving Day Lineup

Courtesy Library of CongressIf watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade or football isn't your thing, you may want to spend your holiday on Thursday watching The Piano Man instead....over and over again.

Starting at 8 a.m. The MSG Network is airing A Thanksgiving State of Mind: The Billy Joel Marathon, an entire day's worth of programming dedicated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.  You can watch six concert events, as well as a 30-minute documentary about Billy's residency at Madison Square Garden.  This summer, he'll set the record for most shows performed at the legendary venue by a single artist: 65.

Among the concerts that will be airing are Live from Rome, The Last Play at Shea, Live from Yankee Stadium, Live from Long Island, The River of Dreams and Live from Shea.  Each special will be repeated throughout the day, and the whole thing wraps up at 2 a.m. on Friday.  Check your local listings for more details.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Tuesday
Nov252014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockToby Keith's new video for "Drunk Americans" premieres on CMT Thursday.

Garth Brooks appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday.

Jake Owen premiered the video for his latest single, "What We Ain't Got," at ETOnline.com Monday.

Kelly Clarkson loves Little Big Town's next single, "Girl Crush," so much she covered it during a recent concert. A video of the performance is on YouTube.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

Dustin Lynch Gets a Big Career Boost with First #1 Hit, "Where It's At"

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsDustin Lynch had a party in Nashville Monday night celebrating the first #1 hit of his career, "Where It's At." The song has elevated Dustin's career to a new level on the road.

"It's crazy to go in any town in the country and have that many faces looking back at you singing," Dustin says. "Our audience has grown tremendously over the course of the summer as this song has grown in numbers and in just energy that they're bringing to the show."

When Dustin has a big hit song like "Where It's At," his band and road crew feel the effects, too.

He explains, "We rely on hit songs to make a living and to pay for diapers, too. A hit song definitely benefits a lot more people than just myself out there."

Dustin's mom and dad drove into Nashville from their hometown of Tullahoma, Tennessee, about an hour outside of Music City. Dustin's sister, however, felt bad that she couldn't get away for the party since she has two kids.

Dustin says, "Since Thanksgiving starts tomorrow, I'm gonna see them tomorrow, so I told them not to worry about it."

Dustin has released the new song "Hell of a Night" as the follow up to "Where It's At." Both tracks are included on his sophomore album, Where It's At, out now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

Surviving Beatles Sign Antique Piano to Help Raise Money to Aid Louisiana Veterans

Image Courtesy of Kim Bergeron for East St. Tammany Habitat for HumanityThe two surviving Beatles have lent a hand to help raise money for an effort to build affordable homes for local military veterans in the New Orleans area.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have both autographed a restored piano decorated with painted images of the Fab Four. The piano is scheduled to be auctioned off soon to benefit an effort of a branch of Habitat for Humanity.

Kim Bergeron, a freelance public-relations strategist who worked pro bono for the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity in Slidell, Louisiana, was instrumental in getting the rock legends to sign the piano -- no easy task since McCartney and Starr rarely autograph items these days.  NOLA.com reports that Bergeron contacted McCartney first, hoping that Sir Paul would lend his signature when he played an October 11 show in New Orleans.  That couldn't be arranged, but she was able to get Ringo to agree to sign the instrument when he and his All-Starr Band performed in Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 17.

Getting McCartney's John Hancock took a bit more doing.  His reps contacted Bergeron to tell her that Paul would be able to sign the piano if the instrument could be brought to Louisville, Kentucky, where he performed on October 28.  What was supposed to be a 10-hour journey turned into a 30-hour ordeal when the truck hired to transport the piano broke down multiple times along the way.  Eventually, the piano was brought to Louisville's KFC Yum! Center, where Macca signed it, and treated Bergeron and some of her associates to a meet-and-greet too.

The story behind the piano also is interesting.  The antique, upright instrument, which dates back to the late 1800s, was donated to the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity in August by a Mississippi woman.  The piano was then restored and painted by Slidell artist Lori Gomez, and the initial plan was auction it at East St. Tammany Habitat's "Home Is Where the Art Is" gala this past Friday.  However, when McCartney's and Starr's signatures were procured, it was decided to make the instrument available for bidding via a national auction, the details of which are still being finalized.  The piano was put on display at the Slidell charity event.

Funds raised by the sale will go toward the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity's Veterans Build initiative, which will supply housing to one or more local veterans.  Bergeron tells ABC News Radio that now that the piano has been autographed by the Beatles band mates, the organization is hoping it can bring in enough money to fund homes for as many as 10 vets and their families.

You can read the story behind the piano and Bergeron's quest to get it signed by the rock legends at her personal blog, RightBrainDiaries.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

Rihanna's New Fragrance, Rogue Love, Arrives

Image Courtesy PR Newswire

Rihanna continues to expand her empire. The singer's new perfume has arrived just in time for holiday season.

Following the launch of her first-ever men's line, Rogue Man, Ri Ri's new scent is tailored specifically for women with "rich florals" and notes of "vanilla and golden amber." Additional notes include jasmine sambac absolute, honeysuckle, coconut and orchid.

Fans seem to be pleased with the debut. " I'm so happy is out finally.. I asked for it for Christmas," one Twitter user wrote.

Prices range from $39 to $69 dollars a bottle. The fragrance is available now at Macys stores and Macys.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

J. Cole Covers Complex, Talks Retiring Like Jay Z

Image Courtesy Sony Music Entertainment/Roc NationJ. Cole has landed the cover of Complex magazine's December/January issue and gives a candid interview about the progression of his music career.

When asked if he would ever retire and then return in the same vein as Jay Z, Cole replied, "I don’t know. I love doing it, so I’m not going to use that as [a sales pitch], like, 'Last album -- make sure you go out and buy.'"

Cole adds that he'd be "content" if he never put out another project, especially with the message that he's leaving behind. 

"Listen to all my music and you’ll hear this n***a who went to New York City and started with a dream; he gained his confidence and his step with The Warm Up and was here to show y’all n****s 'I’m the best' -- and Friday Night Lights put a stamp on that," he says.

He continues, "Sideline Story was like, 'I have to figure this sh** out and sell records.' Born Sinner was 'F**k, that wasn’t how I wanted to do it. I gotta make up for that one, I got to get back to myself.' And then fighting through all of that to realize on 2014 Forest Hills Drive, 'No, this is where it was always at.'"

The rapper also gave the magazine a tour of his childhood home, which he intends to let family members stay in to help them get on their feet. The residence inspired the title of his third album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, due out December 9.

The entire interview can be read online now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

Nickelback's Chad Kroeger Was "Inspired to Try Different Things" on "No Fixed Address"

Image Courtesy of Republic RecordsFoo Fighters may have gotten a lot of attention for recording their new album, Sonic Highways, in studios all across America, but Nickelback took that plan a step further with No Fixed Address. In recording their eighth album -- the band's first since 2011's Here and Now -- Nickelback visited studios from Vancouver and Los Angeles to Zurich and Budapest. Frontman Chad Kroeger tells ABC News Radio that the constant changes of scenery helped shaped the sound of No Fixed Address.

"It was incredibly beneficial," Kroeger says of recording in different locations. "That is my new favorite way to create music, just not [to] be in the same place and not fall into a stagnant rut, and it definitely inspires you to try different things."

One of those different things was "Edge of a Revolution" -- the first single released from No Fixed Address. The track is Nickelback's first big foray into political lyrics, while also retaining the band's heavier sound from previous albums.

"It's nice to hear the band getting back to some hard rock roots," says Kroeger of "Edge of a Revolution." "And it's subject matter that we've never really touched on before, so I think it's a win-win all the way around."

Even with the track's lyrical content, guitarist Ryan Peake doesn't see Nickelback as a "political" band.

"I don't think anybody's going to confuse us with putting out a rally cry to do these things," he tells ABC News Radio. "I think it's more just kind of a snapshot of what's going on in general."

That snapshot comments on the world of government and finance with lyrics like "Your secret's safe with the NSA" and "Wall Street, common thief."

"It's not about a specific thing, even though we were talking about a few things as examples, but it's just people getting upset," Peake says. "I don't think that's a problem, as long as it's focused, as long as it's justified, and not just the certain mob mentalities and stuff. But people do need to pay attention these days." 

No Fixed Address, featuring "Edge of a Revolution," is out now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov252014

Ariana Grande "Silly Beyond Belief," According to Bette Midler

ABC/Kelsey McNeal; Warner Bros. RecordsAriana Grande's sexy dance moves go over well with her fans, but music legend Bette Midler is calling out Grande and other young pop stars for using their sex appeal to sell albums.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph Midler, 68, bemoaned the state of today's female artists while discussing her latest album, It’s the Girls, a compilation of covers of the girl bands of her youth. She calls what's happening today "terrible."

"It’s always surprising to see someone like Ariana Grande with that silly high voice, a very wholesome voice, slithering around on a couch looking so ridiculous," she explains, adding, "I mean, it’s silly beyond belief and I don’t know who’s telling her to do it."

Midler stresses that she doesn't think it's Ariana's fault. She believes the "Problem" singer's managers are at the bottom of it.

"I wish they’d stop. But it’s not my business, I’m not her mother. Or her manager," Bette says. "Maybe they tell them that’s what you’ve got to do. Sex sells. Sex has always sold."

Midler thinks artists have the freedom to do whatever they want these days, but that's not always a good thing.  "Whatever strictures there were have fallen apart," she tells the newspaper. "And now it’s whatever you feel like doing you can do. I mean, apparently people really like to pretend they’re having sex. They really like to slap each other’s butts."

Midler acknowledges that she could be the one who's out of touch, but adds, "I don’t know what the end game is going to be. I don’t know where you go from all that sex in your twenties. I don’t know how you sustain it."

Midler's advice for a young woman who wants to get into show business today: "Trust your talent," she advises. "You don’t have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead. You really don’t."

It’s the Girls features The Divine Miss M tackling songs made famous by The Shirelles, The Ronettes, The Chiffons, The Supremes, Martha & the Vandellas and others.  The album also includes a cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov242014

Soundgarden Unveils Video for "Storm"

Image Courtesy of Geffen/Universal MusicToday is a perfect storm for Soundgarden fans.  In addition to releasing their new rarities collection, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, the band has unveiled the video for "Storm," one of the tracks from the compilation.  Directed by frequent Soundgarden collaborator Josh Graham, the moody "Storm" video essentially amounts to an incredibly ominous Rorschach Test. You can watch the video via NME.com.

Soundgarden originally recorded "Storm" in the mid-'80s as a demo, but was never released.  Earlier this year, the band teamed up with producer Jack Endino to re-record the track specifically for the Echo of Miles collection.

Echo of Miles features 50 tracks across three themed discs -- "Originals," "Covers" and "Oddities." "Storm" is the closing song on the "Originals" disc.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Bob Dylan Plays Concert for One Person, Show Filmed for YouTube Documentary

Columbia RecordsOn Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia's Academy of Music, Bob Dylan played what had to have been the most intimate show he's ever done, performing a short set of cover tunes with his backing band to one person -- a Swedish TV personality named Fredrik Wikingsson.  The event was organized and filmed for an ongoing Swedish movie series titled Experiment Ensam -- translation: Experiment Alone -- which captures an individual taking part in an activity usually experienced by crowds.

Wikingsson tells Rolling Stone that Dylan's set featured renditions of Buddy Holly's "Heartbeat," Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill," Chuck Willis' "It's Too Late (She's Gone)" and a blues jam that he couldn't identify.

"I was smiling so much it was like I was on ecstasy," he admits.  "My jaw hurt for hours afterwards because I couldn't stop smiling."

To make the amazing private show happen, Wikingsson says the filmmakers set things up through Dylan's representatives and paid the legendary singer/songwriter an undisclosed fee.

Fredrik doesn't know how much, but guesses "it was probably more than he gets for a normal gig."

Wikingsson was chosen to take part in the flick because he's friends with Experiment Ensam director Anders Helgeson, although he tells Rolling Stone he had to lobby hard for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I had an endless series of meetings where I managed to convince people my extreme fandom made me the best candidate for the enviable task," the 41-year-old explains.

Wikingsson also says he was skeptical that the performance would actually take place right until the time Dylan stepped on stage.

"I thought some a**hole would walk onstage and just laugh at me," he admits.  "I just couldn't fathom that Dylan would actually do this."

Wikingsson reveals to Rolling Stone that he chose to sit in the second row in front of the middle of the stage.  He also notes that he initially felt awkward about responding to the performance, but decided to yell out something after the second song.

"I realized I had to say something.  It was just too weird," he points out.  "I screamed out, 'You guys sound great!'  That caused Dylan to burst out laughing."

Following the third song, Dylan played an impromptu harmonica solo that Wikingsson says touched him so much that he almost began crying.  After Bob finished his last song, he jokingly said to Wikingsson, "Swing by anytime."

The show was captured by eight cameras, and the documentary about the event, which will be 15 minutes long, will premiere on December 15 on YouTube.

Wikingsson has been sharing stories about his amazing experience on his popular iTunes podcast, The Filip and Fredrik Podcast.  He tells Rolling Stone, that he has one more dream related to the show: "I want Dylan to release an official Columbia EP of the concert called Songs for Fredrick."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Fantasia Collaborates with R. Kelly: "This Man Is Teaching Me So Much"

Gomillion & Leupold/RCA Records

Fantasia is making progress on her fifth studio effort. The singer has announced via Instagram that she's teamed with R. Kelly for her upcoming project.

In a brief video, the newly engaged singer channels her happiness in a jazzy song while Kelz stands beside her giving vocal direction.

“Still Going... Rock Soul LIVES.... This Man Is Teaching Me So Much About Music what a Freaking Gift... My Big Bro for LIFE... R Kelly is Music #thatyoucant #takeaway,” she wrote in the caption.

She later revealed that their studio session lasted until the wee hours of the morning. "Stole Keyls hat, made me sing a little better," she says in a second clip.

The new project will serve as the follow-up to 2013's, Side Effects of You.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Faith Evans Releases Scandal-Inspired Video for "Fragile"

Image Courtesy Prolific Music Group

Faith Evans has released a new video to coincide with the launch of her eighth album Incomparable. The singer shows off her acting chops in the new visual for "Fragile," which was inspired by ABC's Scandal.

In the cinematic clip, directed by Derek Blanks, Faye portrays the first lady while actor Pooch Hall portrays her unfaithful husband and president. The singer grows increasingly suspicious of her man, who is cheating with one of his secretaries inside the White House.

The song, which samples The Mamas & the Papas’ “California Dreamin,’” appears on Incomparable, available now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Eminem Releases Powerful Video for “Guts over Fear”

Aftermath/Shady/Interscope

Eminem has released a cinematic video for his Sia-assisted single, "Guts over Fear," lifted from his double-disc Shady XV compilation.

In the video, posted on YouTube, an aspiring boxer overcomes various obstacles before he even steps foot into the ring, ranging from money woes to coping with an alcoholic father.  The visual was filmed in Slim Shady's hometown of Detroit.

The Shady XV compilation is available in stores now. The double-disc project will feature new music from Eminem, Slaughterhouse, D12, Yelawolf and Bad Meets Evil as well as the label's greatest hits including 50 Cent's "In Da Club" and Em's "Lose Yourself."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

K. Michelle Unveils New Song, “Going Under”

Image Courtesy Atlantic RecordsK. Michelle continues to surprise fans with new music prior to releasing of her sophomore album Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?  The singer has delivered a new offering called “Going Under,” which samples lyrics from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message.”

“I’m singing love don’t fail me now, don’t count me out / Oh love, don’t let me down, come back around,” sings K on the song, audio of which was posted to YouTube.

Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? will hit stores on December 9, the set will include her recent offerings: “Love ‘Em All,” “Maybe I Should Call” and “How Do You Know.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Robin Thicke, U2 Among GQ's "Least Influential People" of 2014

Credit: Harper SmithU2 is one of the biggest bands in the world, and last year, Robin Thicke had one of the biggest songs of the year, with "Blurred Lines."  This year, GQ magazine has named both artists to its list of the "30 Least Influential People of 2014.

In fact, U2 and frontman Bono tops GQ's list, because they "collaborated with Apple to strong-arm their new album [Songs of Innocence] into your iTunes library without your consent."  The magazine adds, "The worst part was the way both Apple and U2 treated this, like it was some kind of noble gift to The People; in fact this was a $100 million marketing campaign."

As for Robin, he's on the list because he "reportedly cheated on his wife. Wrote an album named after her to get her back. Literally titled the first single 'Get Her Back.' Sold just 530 copies of the (sh***y) album in the U.K. in its first week. Still getting divorced."

Adds the magazine, "The rest of this cheeseball's career is our collective punishment for making 'Blurred Lines' popular. Let's ALL get a divorce from this man."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

"Voice" Pals Gwen & Pharrell to Team for "Paddington" Movie Song 

Trae Patton/NBCGwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams just can't stop working together.  Pharrell worked on Gwen's upcoming album, and now Deadline reports that the two will team up to co-write and perform an original song called "Shine" for an upcoming movie.

The film, Paddington, is based on the popular bear character from children's books, and it'll arrive in theaters nationwide January 16 after a limited release in December. Of course, Pharrell's last effort for a movie worked out pretty well: "Happy," from Despicable Me 2, earned him an Oscar nomination.

We'll also see Gwen and Pharrell collaborate on next Monday's edition of The Voice. They'll perform "Spark the Fire," off Gwen's upcoming album. The song will be released digitally that same day.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Toby Keith and Lady Antebellum Playing College Football National Championship Concert Special

Image Courtesy Show Dog/UniversalToby Keith and Lady Antebellum will perform on CMT's Ultimate Kickoff Party Live from the College Football Playoff National Championship special. The show airs Friday, January 9, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET from Dallas, in connection with the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship.  That's set for January 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Big & Rich and Brett Eldredge will also perform on the 90-minute special. More acts will be announced soon.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

AC/DC's Video for "Rock or Bust" Title Track Debuts Online

Image Courtesy of James MinchinAC/DC has premiered an official video for the title track to its upcoming studio, Rock or Bust.  The clip, which can be viewed online now at the group's official website and VEVO YouTube channel, features footage of the band perform the riff-heavy, mid-tempo tune on a circular stage surrounded by a packed crowd of enthusiastic fans.

According to RollingStone.com, the video was shot early last month at Black Island Studios in Middlesex, U.K.  The clip was directed by David Mallet, who also was behind the camera for AC/DC's "Play Ball" video.  Absent for both clips is the band's longtime drummer, Phil Rudd, who -- as previously reported -- was recently arrested on several criminal charges in his adopted home of New Zealand.  Filling in behind the kit in the videos is Bob Richards.

"'Rock or Bust' was greatly, greatly, greatly helped by the wonderful fans," says Mallett in a behind-the-scenes video posted online.  "One chap, complete with an Angus [Young] outfit flew all the way from South America to watch AC/DC make a video for three-and-a-half hours.  And then he flew home to South America."

Rock or Bust will be released on Tuesday, December 2.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov242014

Fall Out Boy Announces New Album, "American Beauty/American Psycho" 

Image Courtesy of Crush ManagementAfter months of secrecy and speculation, Fall Out Boy has announced some details about their forthcoming album. The new record, FOB's sixth studio effort, will be called American Beauty/American Psycho and will be released on January 20.

American Beauty/American Psycho will be available for pre-order starting December 15. Those who pre-order the album from iTunes will get an instant download of its hit single, "Centuries," as well as the title track and another song to be named later. The full track list for American Beauty/American Psycho has yet to be announced.

Since FOB released "Centuries" in September, the single has occupied a spot in the top 10 on both Billboard's Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs chart.

American Beauty/American Psycho will be the follow-up to 2013's Save Rock and Roll, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Dating back to their breakthrough album, 2005's From Under the Cork Tree, Fall Out Boy has notched four straight top-10 appearances on the chart.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

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