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Wednesday
Mar042015

Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu & More Added to BET Experience Lineup 

Image courtesy Frank Micelotta/FOX

Ne-Yo and Erykah Badu are among the latest performers to join the BET Experience 2015.

The network announced that ScHoolboy Q and Rae Sremmurd  are also set to perform when the three-day event takes place June 25 through June 27 at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

The new acts join previously confirmed performers including Nicki Minaj, who is scheduled to headline at the Staples Center, as well as Snoop Dogg, Ice CubeMiguel, TDE's Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, Bell Biv DevoeDoug E. Fresh, and the Roots, among others.

Comedian Kevin Hart will also be on hand for the festival, which leads up to this year's BET Awards. Additional performers will be announced at a later time.

Tickets range from $59 to $169 for three-day passes, visit BETExperience.com for more information.

 


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Wednesday
Mar042015

J. Cole, Ice Cube, Big Sean Confirmed for Soundset Festival 2015

Image Courtesy Sony Music Entertainment/Roc NationOrganizers of Soundset Festival 2015 have announced the lineup for their eighth annual event.

This year's edition of the independent hip-hop event will include performances from J. Cole, Ice Cube, Big Sean, Ludacris, Logic, Yelawolf, Dilated Peoples and Vic Mensa, among others.  It takes place May 24 in Shakopee, Minnesota. 

Concertgoers will see the entertainers perform across three stages during the festival, which also includes B-boy and B-girl battles, a DJ tent and skateboard activities.  Tickets, ranging from $64 to $140 for VIP, go on sale Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT via the Soundset Festival website.


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Wednesday
Mar042015

Imagine Dragons Discuss the "Magical Realism" of "Smoke + Mirrors" 

Credit: Eliot Lee HazelWith a name like Smoke + Mirrors, you'd figure the latest album from Imagine Dragons would involve a little bit of magic, and not just the magic of debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.

In fact bass player Ben McKee tells ABC Radio that a kind of magical theme runs through the whole presentation of the album, and its accompanying videos.

"We're always trying to expand on how we can be creative and how we can represent our music," McKee says. "With 'I Bet My Life' the music video, we were trying to create something that went along with the theme of sort of magical realism, or surrealism, that we have going for the whole album."  The vibe extends also to the album's artwork by surrealist painter Tim Cantor.

The video for the Smoke + Mirrors track "Gold" seems to step back a bit from that surrealist flavor, simply showing Imagine Dragons performing the song live.

"We haven't really done just a straight live performance video, something that really shows the experience that you have coming to see us live," McKee says. "So we liked the idea of getting something out there to represent that, and 'Gold' is a great song for that kind of vibe. It's something that really hits you hard and that we sort of go crazy with when we play it live."

But, even "Gold" features a little bit of otherworldliness in the form of frontman Dan Reynolds' eerie whistle, which recurs throughout the song.  And the way in which the whistling itself wound up on the track was something a little magical, the singer explains.

"Funny story, I was sitting by the ocean with my laptop out when I recorded that whistle," Reynolds tells ABC Radio. "[I recorded it] just straight into my laptop, thinking that it was just going to be a demo, but a wave crashed right in the background during it."

"We were going to record it into like a nice mic or something, but the crashing of the wave was just so cool that it almost crashed in time," he continues. "So then we just kept that whistle that was recorded through my laptop." 

Imagine Dragons will be bringing the magic on their North American tour, which begins June 3 in Portland, Oregon and runs through August 1 in Boise, Idaho.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Is Chris Brown a Father?

Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA RecordsIs Chris Brown a proud papa?

TMZ is reporting that Chris is the father of a nine-month-old girl whose mom is a former model named Nia. The website says Chris has known Nia, 31, for years, but is not currently romantically involved with her.

It's unclear what kind of support Chris is providing the child. TMZ says the 25-year-old singer is happy that he's a parent.

Chris has recently been spotted with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Karrueche Tran.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Nickelback Goes Disco for "She Keeps Me Up" Video

Credit: Michael MullerNickelback turns back the clock in the video for their new single, "She Keeps Me Up," posted on LiveNation.com.

The clip begins during the nighttime, with two women following instructions to a door with a star in it. Once they're permitted inside, they find a disco hall where Nickelback is performing "She Keeps Me Up."

When the song ends, the women leave, and the sun is shining brightly outside.

"She Keeps Me Up" is off Nickelback's most recent album, No Fixed Address.

The band is currently touring North America. They visit Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

1D's Zayn Malik Making Music on the Side, but Simon Cowell Approves, Says Producer 

Jeff Daly/NBCLet's get one thing straight: One Direction isn't breaking up.  But that doesn't mean the guys can't do a few things on the side here and there.  For example, Zayn Malik has recorded a song with a top British producer...and 1D's label boss Simon Cowell doesn't have a problem with it.

Naughty Boy, best known in the U.S. for the song "La La La," which featured a then-unknown Sam Smith on vocals, tells the British paper The Sun, "Zayn is going to feature on my next album. We’re making music and having fun. This is just like a side gig and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it."

"It’s a good time for Zayn to showcase what he really can do," he adds. "I don’t think that is being fully exploited within the band because there are five people and it needs to be balanced out. They all have something to show the world as individuals. They can always come back together and do their thing. I don’t think they will ever split up."

Naughty Boy, whose last album featured Sam, Ed Sheeran, Bastille and Emeli Sande, tells the Sun that Simon Cowell is fine with the lads branching out.

"Simon’s very happy with the song and supports the whole thing....I know Simon loves every one of them and wants them to stay together," reveals the producer. "I still think there’s nothing wrong with trying different things. They are all experimenting and dabbling but I think the band will be together for the next 20 years.”


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Tuesday
Mar032015

The Yardbirds Postpone Spring US Tour Because of "Health Concerns and Extenuating Circumstances"

Credit: Trevor HeathDisappointing news, Yardbirds fans: The influential British blues-rock group has postponed its recently announced spring tour of the U.S.  The band issued a statement explaining the dates were being postponed "due to health concerns and extenuating circumstances."

The trek was supposed to kick off on April 3 in Norfolk, Connecticut.  The gigs would have marked the U.S. debut of The Yardbirds' recently revamped lineup, which along with founding drummer and longtime band leader Jim McCarty and guitarist Top Topham, who rejoined the group in 2013, includes three new additions.  Those new members are singer/guitarist John Idan, who previously played with The Yardbirds from 1992 to 2009; veteran rock bassist Kenny Aaronson; and singer/harmonica player/percussionist Myke Scavone, who was the lead singer of the late-'70s rock group Ram Jam.

This isn't the first time health issues has affected The Yardbirds in recent years.  In 2012, founding rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja was forced to take an indefinite hiatus from the band after suffering a series of strokes.  Visit TheYardbirds.com to keep track of what's happening with the group.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Justin Timberlake Instagrams Sweet Birthday Message for Jessica Biel 

Dana Edelson/NBCWith a baby on the way, it seems Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are closer than ever. Justin posted the sweetest birthday message for his pregnant wife Tuesday.

The singer and dad-to-be uploaded a cute photo of the smiling couple to Instagram, along with the caption, “Happy Bday to the sweetest, most GORGEOUS, goofiest, most BAD-ASS chick I know. You make me smile 'til it hurts. I love you like crazy! --Your Huz.”

Jessica, who turned 33 Tuesday, is reportedly due to give birth in April. Last week, Justin surprised her on the New Orleans set of her new movie The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. And over the weekend, the two were spotted on a cozy double date with Jessica’s co-star Mary Steenburgen and her husband Ted Danson.

 

 


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Brian Wilson Tribute Concert Scheduled for March 30 in L.A; Lineup Includes Brian, Al Jardine, Ann Wilson & More

Image Courtesy of The Best FestA new all-star concert paying tribute to founding Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is scheduled to take place on March 30 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.  The first-ever Brian Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of Brian Wilson will feature an guest appearance by Wilson himself, as well as performances by fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine, Heart's Ann Wilson, Boz Scaggs, Wilson Phillips, Norah Jones, The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, The Killers' Brandon Flowers and many more.

The event is being curated by The Best Fest, the same people who have organized similar tribute shows to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones and George Harrison.  Tickets will go on sale this Thursday, March 5, at 10 a.m. PT via AXS.com.  Proceeds from ticket sales for the show will go to the Jameson Neighborhood Fund to benefit the Sweet Relief organization, which aids musicians in need of financial assistance because of illness or other issues.

Brian Fest is timed to coincide with the release of Wilson's new solo album, No Pier Pressure, which hits stores April 7.  The record features contributions from a number of musicians who will participate in the concert, including Jardine, She & Him's M. Ward and Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Brandon Flowers, Wayne Coyne & More to Perform at Brian Wilson Tribute Concert

Image Courtesy of The Best FestA new all-star concert paying tribute to founding Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is scheduled to take place on March 30 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. 

The first-ever Brian Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of Brian Wilson will feature an guest appearance by Wilson himself, as well as performances by The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, Wayne Coyne and Stephen Drozd of The Flaming Lips, She & Him's M. Ward, Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino and Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities.

Tickets will go on sale this Thursday, March 5, at 10 a.m. PT via AXS.com.  Proceeds from ticket sales for the show will go to the Jameson Neighborhood Fund to benefit the Sweet Relief organization, which aids musicians in need of financial assistance because of illness or other issues.

Brian Fest is timed to coincide with the release of Wilson's new solo album, No Pier Pressure, which hits stores April 7. The record features contributions from fun. frontman Nate Ruess, as well as a number of musicians who will participate in the concert, including Ward and Simonian.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

L.A.-Area Rock Against MS Benefit Concert Featuring Ex-Guns N' Roses Members & More Taking Place Tomorrow

Rock Against MS FoundationThe third annual Rock Against MS benefit concert is scheduled for tomorrow night, March 4, at the famous Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California.  The show's star-packed lineup features such well-known rockers as ex-Guns N' Roses members Steven Adler and Gilby Clarke, Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, Foreigner's Jeff Pilson and MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer.

The event raises money to support multiple sclerosis research.  Many of the participating artists are friends or associates of Nancy Sayle, a rock publicist afflicted with disease who founded the Rock Against MS Foundation.  Other acts on the benefit's bill include Jack Russell's Great White, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Blasko and Minutemen/Stooges bassist Mike Watt.

Tickets for the fundraiser are still available at TicketFly.com, with prices spanning from $35 for general admission to $1,000 for a reserved VIP booth for eight people that also includes a meet-and-greet with the artists.

If you can't make it to the concert, you can watch a live stream of the event online at StageIt.com for $15.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Big Sean Releases Dark Video for "Blessings" 

Image Courtesy Island Def JamBig Sean has released the video for his new single, "Blessings" featuring Drake and Kanye West.

In the dark clip, the rapper walks among the clouds as he reflects on his life alongside Drizzy and Kanye. "Blessings on blessings on blessings/Look at my life, man, that's lessons on lessons on lessons," Sean raps. "I treat the beat like it's a reverend/I tell the truth like father, forgive me, these are all my confessions."

"Blessings," comes from the rapper's recently released album Dark Sky Paradise. Big Sean's third studio effort is projected to land atop the Billboard 200 chart with week, according to the publication, with more than 140,000 in sales and streams. If it does it would be Sean's his first chart-topper.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Robin Thicke, Pharrell Each Earned More than $5 Million from "Blurred Lines," Lawsuit Reveals 

Credit: Harper SmithEver wonder just how much a smash hit song is worth?  The ongoing copyright infringement suit over "Blurred Lines," is offering a glimpse at hit music finances, and yes, it's big money.

An accounting statement revealed in court shows that the biggest song of 2013 generated more than $16.6 million in profits, of which Thicke received more than $5.6 million. Pharrell, who co-wrote, produced and appeared on the song, earned more than $5.1 million from it; while T.I.'s guest verse was worth more than $700,000 to him.

Testimony is proceeding in a Los Angeles court in a suit brought by the family of Marvin Gaye accusing Thicke and his co-writers of plagiarizing Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" for "Blurred Lines."

In addition to seeking a big chunk of the $16 million that "Blurred Lines" has earned, the Gaye family is seeking some portion of Thicke's touring profits as well as damages of as much as $40 million arguing that "Blurred Lines" has reduced licensing value of "Got to Give It Up."

Pharrell is due on the stand Wednesday.

Thicke also has a second song to defend -- the family is also alleging that Thicke's "Love After War" misappropriated Gaye's "After the Dance."


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Matt Bellamy Says New Muse Single Is "Too Offensive for Radio"

Credit: Gavin BondWith Muse recently confirming the title of their new album, Drones, one might expect a new single to surface in the near future. According to frontman Matt Bellamy, however, that single won't be coming to radio.

When asked about the prospective new single on Twitter, Bellamy replied that it is "too offensive for radio."

Another fan then asked if the new single would also be entitled "Drones," to which Bellamy replied, "#Psycho handler, brainwashing us to become human #drones," which doesn't really answer the question. However, Bellamy did tweet last weekend that "Psycho is coming," which may indicate that the new, potentially offensive single is called "Psycho." That tweet was also accompanied by a link to an article on brainwashing.

Drones is expected to be released later this year.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Willie Nelson to Headline Fourth Annual Heartbreaker Banquet at His Luck, Texas Ranch

Image Courtesy Shock InkWillie Nelson will perform at the fourth annual Heartbreaker Banquet at his Luck, Texas ranch near Austin. The event takes place March 19, and tickets are now on sale at HeartbreakerBanquet.com.

The Heartbreaker Banquet showcases artists in the roots music community and is timed to coincide with the South by Southwest conference each year. Willie's son, Lukas Nelson, is also on the bill with his band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Omarion Kicks Off European Tour Tonight 

Image Courtesy Matthew Welch/Atlantic RecordsFollowing the success of his hit single, "Post to Be," with Chris Brown and Jhene Aiko, Omarion is kicking off an international tour.

The singer confirmed the news via Instagram, along with the official dates for the European trek, which begins tonight in Birmingham and wraps March 16 in London.

"UK Get ready!! I'm coming your way this March...Don't miss out #PostToBe#UK#themandem get wavvy!!" he writes in the caption.

Unlike his last outing, the singer is bringing along his girlfriend, Apryl Jones, and their son, Megaa Omari Grandberry. "Look who just landed in Heathrow. #ontourwithhispops we here uk!!" Omarion wrote.

The 11-city tour will further support Omarion's latest album, Sex Playlist, available now.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

K. Michelle Begins Filming Second Season of Reality Show, Visits Old High School

Image Courtesy JimmyFontaine/Atlantic

Back in January, K. Michelle confirmed that her VH1 reality series, My Life, has been renewed for a second season and now the singer has given fans the first look at one of the upcoming scenes for the show.

The signer posted an Instagram picture of herself visiting Overton High School of Performing Arts in Memphis, Tennessee. "Filming all day! Went to visit my high school choir and speak to them," she wrote in the caption.

A casually-dressed Michelle posed inside her old auditorium and reflected: "On that very stage behind me is where I begin singing." She also recalled taking "dance lessons" and cutting class.

After getting a chance to meet some of the students, she added: "Talking to the kids today brought me to tears. The world is so cold. People can be so mean and hateful. If I could go back to high school I would!"

Before she concluded her visit, the singer revealed that she encountered a familiar face. "One of my peers I went to school with is now a teacher at our high school, and he wrote me a love song! Awww shucks," she wrote.

No word yet on when the second season of My Life will premiere. Michelle is currently on her My Twisted Mind Tour, which ends at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on March 12.


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Wiz Khalifa Might Be Dissing Amber Rose in Juicy J's "For Everybody"

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ABCWiz Khalifa seems to be venting about Amber Rose on Juicy J's newly released track "For Everybody," which also features guest verses from Rock City.

On the track, posted on SoundCloud, Khalifa makes several lyrical references that seem to point to his ex, Amber Rose.

"Man, I fell in love with a stripper," Wiz raps. "Funny thing is I fell back out of love quicker/They don't pay attention to the love anyway/They only concerned with what the haters say/Bottles be turning these girls into THOTs/Instagram turning these wifes into hos."

Wiz then takes a personal turn on the catchy tune and even alludes to his divorce: "My n***as is looking like what is he on/my family was too scared to talk to a n***a/ain't coming back the case just got closed."

The song will appear on Juicy’s album The Hustle Continues, arriving this summer.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Mar032015

Metallica to Release Early Demo on Cassette

Image Courtesy of BB Gun PressMetallica is releasing a remastered version of its 1982 demo No Life 'til Leather as a limited-edition cassette for Record Store Day 2015.  The demo, which has never been released commercially, features Metallica's original lineup: frontman James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, bassist Ron McGovney and guitarist Dave Mustaine, who would go on to create Megadeth.

"This year we decided to celebrate Record Store Day with our friends at independent retail by taking a huge leap back in time to our humble beginnings with that little rectangle of plastic known as the 'demo tape,'" says Metallica in a statement.  "In 1982 we recorded seven songs that became our initial calling card known as No Life 'til Leather and it led us to our first record deal..the rest, as you some of you may know, is history!"

No Life 'til Leather will be released on cassette on Record Store Day, April 18.  An expanded version of the demo will be released on CD, vinyl and as a collector's set this summer.

Here is the track list for No Life 'til Leather:

"Hit the Lights"
"The Mechanix"
"Motorbreath"
"Seek & Destroy"
"Metal Militia"
"Jump in the Fire"
"Phantom Lord"


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Tuesday
Mar032015

Brian Wilson Tribute Concert Scheduled for March 30 in L.A; Lineup Includes Brian, Al Jardine, Ann Wilson

Image Courtesy of The Best FestA new all-star concert paying tribute to founding Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is scheduled to take place on March 30 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.  The first-ever Brian Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of Brian Wilson will feature an guest appearance by Wilson himself, as well as performances by fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine, Heart's Ann Wilson, Boz Scaggs, Wilson Phillips, Norah Jones and many more.

The event is being curated by The Best Fest, the same people who have organized similar tribute shows to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones and George Harrison.  Tickets will go on sale this Thursday, March 5, at 10 a.m. PT via AXS.com.  Proceeds from ticket sales for the show will go to the Jameson Neighborhood Fund to benefit the Sweet Relief organization, which aids musicians in need of financial assistance because of illness or other issues.

Brian Fest is timed to coincide with the release of Wilson's new solo album, No Pier Pressure, which hits stores April 7.  The record features contributions from a number of musicians who will participate in the concert, including Jardine, She & Him's M. Ward and Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian.


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