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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Thursday
Sep182014

U2 Developing New Digital Music Format with Apple

Image Courtesy UMusicDon't let the fact that U2 gave away their new album, Songs of Innocence, to roughly half a billion iTunes subscribers last week make you think they believe in free music.  Just the opposite -- which is why the band has partnered with Apple to develop a new digital music format.

The idea, Bono tells Time magazine, is to create a new digital format that's so fresh, cool and irresistible, folks will want to pay for songs and albums, which in turn will make it possible for songwriters to once again make a living from their craft.  Bono says it'll not only help established artists, like U2, but also the little guys. "Songwriters aren’t touring people," he says. "Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn't coming to a stadium near you."

No details yet about the new technology, or when it might be available.

U2 is featured on the cover of Time's next issue.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Sep182014

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLee Ann Womack sang her signature hit, "I Hope You Dance," at the recent funeral of which major literary figure? ANSWER: Maya Angelou.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Tyler Farr Plans to Keep Singing About What He Knows on Upcoming Sophomore Album

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr plans to include several songs about drinking beer, partying and driving trucks on his upcoming sophomore album because that's what he does to have fun. Instead of living near downtown Nashville, Tyler lives south of town in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, which is home to the largest tractor pull in the South.

He tells the Arizona Republic, "There's not a lot more that you do on the weekends than drink and party.  And I write what I know about.  So I am gonna have songs that have partying and hot girls and pickup trucks."

"A Guy Walks Into a Bar" is the lead single from Tyler's new album, due out next year.  Fans can look forward to hearing a collaboration with his friend and tour mate Jason Aldean on the project, too.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Aloe Blacc Talks Movie Plans, Possible Bruno Mars Collaboration 

ABC/Adam TaylorThis past summer, "Wake Me Up" singer Aloe Blacc made his acting debut in Get On Up, the movie biography of the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown.  In addition to his music career, he now says he'd like to pursue a career in the movie business as well -- both in front of the camera and behind it.

"I really would love to," he tells ABC News Radio of his acting aspirations. "I'm definitely taking scripts in, I'm checking to see what kinda roles I think will fit...where I wanna go in my career as an actor, as a storyteller. But, I feel like I may be writing the story pretty soon. I have some ideas for films."

Aloe, speaking backstage at Tuesday night's Dancing with the Stars, wouldn't reveal what those ideas are, but he was happy to talk about the fact that he's currently working on new music, which he says he'd like to release in 2015.  So, is there a chance that he'll collaborate on some new songs with Bruno Mars, since the two toured together all this past summer? 

"Aww, man, I wish. I hope so!" laughs Aloe. "I haven't talked to him since tour, we've both been running around, I've been all over the world since, and he's continuing to finish his tour. It would be great to get in the studio with a guy like Bruno Mars, he's the real deal, y'know: singer, songwriter, entertainer."  

Next month, Aloe heads to Australia and New Zealand for more touring.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Slipknot's Jim Root Says He Channeled the Late Paul Gray When Working on New Album

Image Courtesy Universal Music Group DistributionPaul Gray is alive and well on the new Slipknot album; that's the word from his surviving band mates.  In a new interview with Revolver magazine, guitarist Jim Root states that he is neither spiritual nor religious, "So when somebody loses someone who's close to them and says that they're still with them, I've always thought that was bulls**t."

Root says he had an abrupt change of perspective when he was working on a song arrangement for .5: The Gray Chapter, and he noticed, "I wasn't just throwing the riff down [doing what I usually do] -- I was trying different variations on it, trying different positions on the neck, and thinking about melodies while coming up with what the chord progression was going to be…[and] I suddenly realized, 'F**k, man!  That's what Paul used to do!'"

"Paul was so meticulous.  He would overthink everything.  He would explore every possibility on the fretboard.  And it made me go, 'He's here, man -- he's helping me write this s**t!  And it blew my f**king mind.  I had to put my guitar down, and I put my head in my hands.  I was like, 'You f**ker!'"

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor reveals in the interview, "There’s a lot of pain on here [about Paul], there's a lot of honesty, there's a lot of insight as far as what we've been through, [and] there's some anger, too."

Taylor says that he and his fellow 'Knotters have "a lot of survivor's guilt going on, like, 'What could I have done?'  That's the burden of people left behind.  You never get a good answer.  All you can kind of do is make peace with it.  And that's what a lot of this album is about -- making peace with the loss that we've suffered."

.5: The Gray Chapter will be released on October 21.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Classic Rolling Stones Shows Hitting Stores in November

Eagle Rock EntertainmentTwo vintage Rolling Stones concerts will be released on DVD, CD, vinyl and via digital formats in November.


Eagle Rock Entertainment's new From the Vault series will kick off with Hampton Coliseum -- Live in 1981 on November 4, followed by L.A. Forum -- Live in 1975 on November 18.

Footage from both concerts has been carefully restored, with the sound newly mixed by producer Bob Clearmountain, whose previous credits include the Stones albums Tattoo You and Still Life.

The two-and-a-half-hour Hampton Coliseum show features footage from the December 18, 1981, tour stop in Virginia that was also guitarist Keith Richards' birthday.

The L.A. Forum show from 1975 was from the group's Tour of the Americas '75 -- its first trek with then-newcomer Ronnie Wood on guitar.

Check out the track listings below:

From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum — Live in 1981

"Under My Thumb"
"When the Whip Comes Down"
"Let's Spend the Night Together"
"Shattered"
"Neighbours"
"Black Limousine"
"Just My Imagination"
"Twenty Flight Rock"
"Going to a Go Go"
"Let Me Go"
"Time Is on My Side"
"Beast of Burden"
"Waiting on a Friend"
"Let It Bleed"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Band Introductions"
"Happy Birthday Keith"
"Little T & A"
"Tumbling Dice"
"She's So Cold"
"Hang Fire"
"Miss You"
"Honky Tonk Women"
‘Brown Sugar"
"Start Me Up"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction"

From the Vault: L.A. Forum — Live in 1975

"Introduction"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"All Down the Line"
"If You Can’t Rock Me" / "Get Off of My Cloud"
"Star Star"
"Gimme Shelter"
"Ain’t Too Proud to Beg"
"You Gotta Move"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Happy"
"Tumbling Dice"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll"
"Band Intros"
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
"Fingerprint File"
"Angie"
"Wild Horses"
"That's Life"
"Outta Space"
"Brown Sugar"
"Midnight Rambler"
"Rip This Joint"
"Street Fighting Man"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"Sympathy for the Devil"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Producer No I.D. Praises Jhene Aiko's "Souled Out"

Image Courtesy Artium Records/Def JamJhené Aiko’s critically acclaimed album Souled Out has not only won over fans, the singer's set has gained the approval of famed hitmaker No I.D., who served as the executive producer.

“The first time I heard Jhené’s voice,” said No I.D. in a statement, “I knew that we were looking at an exceptional artist. The immediate success of Souled Out confirms our belief in Jhené as the flagship artist of ARTium/Def Jam.”

As previously reported, the disc bowed at #1 R&B Albums chart debut and #3 on Billboard's 200 chart.

Fans can expect Jhene to perform new material from the album when she takes stage on the Today show Friday morning, September 19. She will then serve as a supporting act on The Weeknd's fall tour, beginning that same day at Barclays in Brooklyn, NY and concluding October 10th at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Thursday
Sep182014

The Sound of Shakespeare: Paul Simon to Appear in Charity Play with Tom Hanks 

PRNewsFoto/Live Nation/Mark SeligerPaul Simon has done a little acting in the past -- remember his 1980 film, One Trick Pony? -- but an upcoming charity event will find the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer appearing onstage alongside one of the greatest film actors of our time: Tom Hanks.

Paul is among the stars who'll participate in the 24th annual Simply Shakespeare benefit event, which features a cast of celebrities reciting one of the bard's classic plays.  This year's edition, scheduled for September 22, will feature a reading of As You Like It, and other luminaries confirmed to take part in the performance include William Shatner, Steve Carell, Martin Short, Christopher Lloyd, Sam Waterston and Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, among others.

The Simply Shakespeare performance, described as "a hilarious and entertaining evening of impromptu Shakespeare and song," will be staged at the Freud Playhouse, UCLA Campus.  Proceeds will go toward the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, and will help support its various arts-themed employment initiatives and local arts-education programs.

Tickets for the event cost $750.  To find out more information about the show, contact Lauran@LPAevents.com.  You can also bid on two VIP tickets at CharityBuzz.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

John Legend Tapes "CMT Crossroads"

ABC/Randy HolmesJohn Legend teamed up with country singer Lee Ann Womack to tape a new episode of CMT Crossroads Wednesday night in Franklin, TN.

The eight-song set included the two singers swapping vocals on their biggest hits, including John's pop hits "All of Me" and "Green Light," as well as Lee Ann's "I Hope You Dance" and "I May Hate Myself in the Morning." John's new offering, "You and I (Nobody in the World)," also made the set list.

CMT Crossroads: Lee Ann Womack and John Legend premieres Friday, September 26 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Sep182014

Lee Ann Womack Tapes CMT "Crossroads" with John Legend

Image Courtesy Sugar Hill RecordsLee Ann Womack teamed up with pop/R&B star John Legend to tape a new episode of CMT Crossroads Wednesday night in Franklin, TN.

The eight-song set included the two singers swapping vocals on their biggest hits, including Lee Ann's "I Hope You Dance" and "I May Hate Myself in the Morning," as well as John's pop hits "All of Me" and "Green Light." Lee Ann's new single, "The Way I'm Livin'," also made the set list, as did John's new offering, "You and I (Nobody in the World)."

CMT Crossroads: Lee Ann Womack and John Legend premieres Friday, September 26 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT. Lee Ann's new album, The Way I'm Livin', is due out this Tuesday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Chicago Mayor Declares September 23 "David Bowie Day"

Brian Duffy/The David Bowie Archive and (Under License from Chris Duffy) Duffy Archive LimitedGround control to Mayor Rahm. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has declared September 23 "David Bowie Day" in Chicago, reports SPIN.com.  The date coincides with the opening of the upcoming "David Bowie Is" exhibit at the city's Museum of Contemporary Art.  The exhibit showcases the British musician's life and his career.

Emanuel declared in an official proclamation that Bowie is "an undisputed global icon." He added, "His remarkable half-century career has bridged cultures and faiths while both transcending and fortifying the music, art, fashion & design and theatrical canons."

The traveling Bowie exhibit previously visited London's Victoria and Albert Museum and Germany's Martin-Gropius-Bau.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Sep182014

Aretha Franklin Releasing New Album at the End of the Month

Matthew Jordan SmithThe release of Aretha Franklin's new album is just around the corner.

Showbiz411.com reported the Queen of Soul will debut the album -- a collection of covers tentatively titled Aretha Franklin Sings Songs of the Great Divas -- on September 30. Producer Clive Davis subsequently confirmed the date to Billboard.

Showbiz411.com says Aretha will appear on Late Show with David Letterman the night before the release to discuss the project and perform one of the tracks: her version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." She'll also stop by the Today show on October 3.

The website notes Davis set the late-September deadline for the album so it can qualify for next year's Grammys ceremony.

In addition to Adele, Aretha Franklin Sings Songs of the Great Divas features Aretha covering classics by Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand and Alicia Keys, among others.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Sep182014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockAlan Jackson will re-release his holiday album, Let It Be Christmas, on October 27 to all digital retailers.

Lady Antebellum's new song, "Freestyle," is now available for download at iTunes. It's included on their new album, 747, coming out September 30.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Lee Brice Gives the Inside Story of Performing the National Anthem with Luke Bryan in New York City

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice still gets emotional talking about his performance of the national anthem with Luke Bryan during their September 12 concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Since it was the day after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Luke gave a shout-out to those who lost their lives on that day in the attack on the World Trade Center. As the crowd chanted, "USA! USA!" Luke brought Lee onstage and whispered in his ear, "I just feel like we should do the national anthem."

After they decided Luke would start it off, Lee then jumped in on harmony. Says Lee, "It was something really special. I've never heard a crowd sing the national anthem that loud. It was a moment I will never forget, and I think Luke's the same way."

Lee especially loves that the big display of patriotism was all off-the-cuff, too.

"I don't think he even knew he was going to ask me to do that," Lee says of Luke's decision to sing the anthem, "but he definitely just threw it at us as we're walking out onto the stage in front of people, he's whispering in my ear. So, that was the coolest part."

Lee is very thankful to Luke for letting him warm up the crowd every night on the That's My Kind of Night tour. They've played two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden this year before moving on to become the first country concert ever held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last week.

Lee says of the opportunity to tour with Luke, "There has been a lot of experiences that I, you know, who knows if I would have ever gotten to do?"

The good times keep rolling for Lee. He had a party in Nashville Wednesday to toast his latest #1 hit, "I Don't Dance." It's the title track from his latest album, which just debuted at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Clean Bandit Says US Success Is a "Massive Surprise" 

Asylum UK/Big Beat/Atlantic RecordsClean Bandit -- a British quartet that mixes dance music and classical music -- is experiencing huge success in the U.S. charts with their hit "Rather Be."  They've just kicked off a headline tour of North America, and say they're shocked by how popular they seem to be on this side of the pond.

"Well it's a massive surprise that the shows sold out," said Bandit cellist Grace Chatto backstage at ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday.  "Because we didn't know whether anyone would really come or if anyone would know the songs if they did come."  The band played New York City on Tuesday, and she tells ABC News Radio, "Yeah, it was completely sold out, and it was such a kind of electric atmosphere. It was a very nice surprise."

The crowd reaction when the group performs "Rather Be" live has also thrown them for a loop. "It's so crazy," Grace tells ABC News Radio. "It's really exciting when it starts.  Everyone just kind of starts screaming."  And Neil Amin-Smith, who plays violin in the group, adds, laughing, "Hundreds of iPhones get pulled out!"

The lead vocals on "Rather Be" are provided by a woman named Jess Glynne, who's not actually in Clean Bandit.  In fact, none of the singers who are featured on the band's debut album New Eyes are members of the group: the four actual members recruit vocalists on a case-by-case basis for each song, including "Rather Be."

"We actually had the song like kind of finished a long time before we met Jess," Neil says, explaining how the band got her to sing on their hit.  "And we played it at a lot of festivals in the U.K. last summer, kind of trying it out, and it just seemed audiences were reacting to it in a way we never really experienced before, but it took quite a while to find the right vocalist for it."

After hearing Jess sing on a track called "My Love," which was a big hit in the U.K., they realized that she was the perfect fit for "Rather Be."  "She recorded it and took it to another level," says Neil.

Of course, Jess can't go on tour with Clean Bandit, and neither can any of the other singers who are featured on Clean Bandit's album.  But that doesn't mean that if you go to see them live, all you'll see is two people playing violin and cello.

"We have a lot of people onstage," explains Grace. "We have a live violin, live cello, live drums played on this kind of massive electronic kit with some acoustic elements built in. And keys, and an electronic saxophone, and two amazing singers called Elisabeth Troy and Florence Rawlings, who are very versatile and sing all of the songs on the album -- even though on the album we've recorded twelve different vocalists."

When Clean Bandit wrap up their North American tour in early October, they'll head back home to the U.K. for a string of dates there.  While "Rather Be" is really just getting started in the U.S., in the U.K., it was the fastest-selling single of the year, and spent four weeks at #1.

"It really broke us in the U.K. as well because we've been working together as a band for quite a few years, but we never really thought of ourselves as pop musicians and it's all been so sudden," says Grace. "And it's kind of crazy that it's going so well in America [too]."  


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Amy Lee Is Prepping Her Newborn Son to Like Good Music

Wind Up Records

As previously reported, Amy Lee has two big projects out now: Aftermath, a soundtrack for the indie film War Story; and a newborn baby, named Jack Lion Hartzler.  Though she says she's wanted to score a film since she was a teenager, Lee calls motherhood "the most incredible thing ever."

Music has been a part of Lee's life for as long as she can remember.  When asked by ABC News Radio about the possibility of something terrible -- the idea that her son might like awful music -- Lee admits, "I'm trying to prepare myself for that.  I'm also trying to head it off by playing lots of awesome music now.  Ever since he was born and before he was born, lots of good stuff [has] been playing around our house."

Lee says she even played Jack her film score, repeatedly, while she was pregnant.  "I definitely felt him responding in there to it," she tells ABC News Radio.  "I would feel him moving around, and I would think swimming or dancing.  Besides that, I [just] want him to love good music.  Lot of Beatles [or] anything that has real soul."

Aftermath is at digital outlets and brick-and-mortar stores now.

 

Thursday
Sep182014

Rod Stewart Is "Halfway" Finished with a New Album

Credit: Penny LancasterRod Stewart's most recent album, Time, marked the first album in years that featured any new original material written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.  Now, Stewart's in the middle of writing a new album.  He says of his songwriting, "The flood gates have been reopened."

Speaking to an Australian entertainment news website, Stewart says, "I'm actually halfway through a new album.  I was very encouraged by the success of Time; it was a very long period where I wasn't writing any songs."  He adds, "It's encouraged me to take another step forward and come up with more songs, and I'm finding it quite easy.  The flood gates have been reopened."

Even so, Stewart is reluctant to perform many new songs from Time in his live shows, because he knows that fans want to hear the hits.  "It is a struggle," he says.  "I've got a unique method.  I'll say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to have to put you through the misery of a new song...just pretend you're listening to "Tonight's the Night" and give it a big round of applause at the end!'"

"Usually they fall for that ploy and they do," he adds with a laugh. "It's hard work selling new songs with the vast catalog I've got that people want to hear.  They pay the money, and they want to hear what they want to hear.  It's pointless being self-indulgent."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

The Sound of Shakespeare: Paul Simon to Appear in Charity Play with Tom Hanks 

PRNewsFoto/Live Nation/ Mark SeligerPaul Simon has done a little acting in the past -- remember his 1980 film, One Trick Pony? -- but an upcoming charity event will find the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer appearing onstage alongside one of the greatest film actors of our time: Tom Hanks.

Simon is among the stars who'll participate in the 24th annual Simply Shakespeare benefit event, which features a cast of celebrities reciting one of the bard's classic plays.  This year's edition, scheduled for September 22, will feature a reading of As You Like It, and other luminaries confirmed to take part in the performance include William Shatner, Steve Carell, Martin Short, Christopher Lloyd, Sam Waterston and Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, among others.

The Simply Shakespeare performance, described as "a hilarious and entertaining evening of impromptu Shakespeare and song," will be staged at the Freud Playhouse, UCLA Campus.  Proceeds will go toward the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, and will help support its various arts-themed employment initiatives and local arts-education programs.

Tickets for the event cost $750.  To find out more information about the show, contact Lauran@LPAevents.com.  You can also bid on two VIP tickets at CharityBuzz.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep182014

Rod Stewart Is "Halfway" Finished with New Album, Gives Sam Smith His Stamp of Approval

Credit: Penny LancasterRod Stewart's most recent album, Time, marked the first album in years that featured any new original material written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.  Now, Rod's in the middle of writing a new album.  He says of his songwriting, "The flood gates have been reopened."

Speaking to an Australian entertainment news website, Rod says, "I’m actually halfway through a new album. I was very encouraged by the success of Time, it was a very long period where I wasn’t writing any songs."  He adds, "It’s encouraged me to take another step forward and come up with more songs and I’m finding it quite easy. The flood gates have been reopened."

Even so, Rod is reluctant to perform many new songs from Time in his live shows, because he knows that fans want to hear the hits. "It is a struggle," he says. "I’ve got a unique method. I’ll say ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to have to put you through the misery of a new song...just pretend you’re listening to 'Tonight’s the Night' and give it a big round of applause at the end!’"

"Usually they fall for that ploy and they do," he laughs. "It’s hard work selling new songs with the vast catalog I’ve got that people want to hear. They pay the money and they want to hear what they want to hear. It’s pointless being self-indulgent."

While he's performing his old classics, Rod also keeps an eye out for what's new.  As a British blue-eyed soul singer himself, he says he's a fan of a younger one: Sam Smith.  

"He’s brilliant. I absolutely love him," Rod says. "He’s really good, and for a big fella he’s a good dancer, too."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Thursday
Sep182014

Chris Brown Confirms Relationship Status, Gives Advice to Karrueche Tran

Image Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA RecordsChris Brown has set the record straight and confirmed that he's currently dating Karrueche Tran.  Although their relationship status is often plagued by breakup rumors, the singer revealed why he doesn't get caught up in the chatter.

"[When] you read [things in] the media, you'll see 'this happened' and 'that happened,' but I just let them talk," he told MTV News.  "Because, at the end of the day, that's what their job is."

Breezy adds that he likely wouldn't have been as passive about the ongoing speculation two years ago.  "You've gotta mature at some point and not give them that attention…when it comes to all the extra hoopla, that just gets lost in translation with me," he says.

Despite all the whispers, Brown and Tran seem to support one another -- the singer recently gave her advice after she was heavily criticized for reading a negative message about Blue Ivy from a teleprompter during BET’s 106 & Park.

"We had a conversation about that, too, but she's good,” Breezy said.  "I know the comment on the prompter was kinda left field -- I don't know who wrote it up, or [why] it was done -- but I told her, next time, because I know it's your first time doing this, just look at it and say, 'Hey, hey, I don't know about this.'"

He continues, "But that comes with show business.  At the end of the day, it has to be something left, or most of the time, negative.  I felt it was unnecessary."

 
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio