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Tuesday
Sep022014

Justin Bieber Arrested Friday in Canada; Charged with Dangerous Driving, Assault 

Credit: Ben WattsJustin Bieber's Crime Spree (Alleged) 2014 continues.  On Friday, the singer was arrested after being involved in a vehicular accident in Ontario, Canada.

According to Perth County, Ontario police, when officers arrived at the scene of a crash between a minivan and an all terrain vehicle, they found an occupant of the minivan and the driver of the ATV "engaged in a physical altercation."  It's not clear which one of those two was Justin, but he was arrested at the scene and changed with dangerous driving and assault.  He now has a court date in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario on September 29.

TMZ reported that the minivan was being driven by paparazzi.  The website also noted that on Friday, Justin and Selena Gomez were seen riding an ATV together near his dad's home in Ontario.

Justin's lawyer told ABC News in a statement, "Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’ peaceful retreat in Stratford this weekend was unfortunately disrupted by the unwelcome presence of the paparazzi. This has regrettably resulted in charges of dangerous driving and assault. Mr. Bieber and Ms. Gomez have fully cooperated in the police investigation. We are hopeful that this matter will be quickly resolved.”

So far this year, Justin's escaped serious consequences for allegedly egging his neighbor's house in Calabasas, CA, and for a DUI in Miami, Florida. He's also been named in a variety of lawsuits involving his bodyguards roughing up photographers and fans who attempt to take a picture of him.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Ariana Grande Denies Nude Photos Are Her: "My Lil A** Is a Lot Cuter than That" 

ABC/Richard HarbaughA spokesperson for Ariana Grande has already denounced as "completely fake" the alleged nude photos of the singer that have popped up online, but now Ariana herself has taken to Twitter to explain why they couldn't possibly be her.

"to every1 going on about my "nudes" and my [meet and greet] prices neither are real!" she tweeted. "My lil a** is a lot cuter than that lmao & tour details r comin soon."

She adds, "but forreal tho whoever thought those were actually me...... love u but I'm praying for u."

The alleged nude shots were part of a massive leak of revealing celebrity photos that an unknown hacker perv was able to access through an alleged iCloud security leak.  Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Becca Tobin and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have already confirmed that the photos purporting to show them in the nude are real, while others, like Victoria Justice and gymnast McKayla Maroney, have denounced theirs as fake.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Stevie Nicks Says "Half the Songs" on New Album Are About Lindsey Buckingham

Warner Bros. RecordsOver the years, many of Stevie Nicks' songs have documented her love life, including, perhaps most famously, her years with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.  The couple broke up during the 1970s, but on Nicks' new album, she's revisiting their relationship: a good portion of the songs, she says, were inspired by Buckingham.

The album, 24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault, is made up of songs that Stevie wrote years ago, but never recorded, and some date back as far as 1969.  She tells Rolling Stone that nobody in Fleetwood Mac has heard the album yet, but she predicts, "Lindsey will love it.  Half the songs are about him!"

For example, she tells the magazine that "Lady," a tune on the album for which she recently released a lyric video, "captures the mood of me and Lindsey being scared to death when we moved to L.A. in 1971."  She adds, "Our producer...gave us this white carved piano -- I wrote 'Rhiannon' on it.  But I didn't know how to play.  'Lady' was me figuring it out."

Nicks reveals that she only had two months to make 24 Karat Gold because she had to start rehearsing for Fleetwood Mac's reunion tour with Christine McVie, which starts September 30.  Her friend Dave Stewart, the former Eurythmics member who produced her last solo album, In Your Dreams, advised her to make the record in Nashville because the musicians there work very quickly. 

Stevie took his advice, and she says she was shocked at just how fast everything came together: They did 17 tracks in three weeks, and there was no drama involved.

"I'm used to bands where we argue over how to do the song," she tells Rolling Stone.  "These Nashville guys just say, 'Yes, ma'am.'"

24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault is in stores on October 7.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Alicia Keys Stuns in Givenchy's Dahlia Divin Fragrance Commercial

Michelangelo Di Battista/RCA Records

Alicia Keys has a commercial out for her new fragrance with Parfums Givenchy, part of a fragrance deal announced back in May.

In the 30-second spot, posted on YouTube, the singer is radiant in a gold dress with her hair slicked back as she touts the new fragrance Dahlia Divin, part of Alicia's first-ever collaboration with the French fashion house's perfume division.

The new fragrance retails for $90 and is available at Sephora now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Phillip Phillips Reveals His Secret Obsession: Food

Credt: Nick WalkerPhillip Phillips fans know that the guy loves music.  But it turns out when he's not thinking about writing songs or performing live, the former American Idol champ has one thing on his mind: food.

“Honestly, I love food,”  Phillip tells ELLE magazine, explaining why he's excited to play the very first Food Network in Concert festival.  The September 20 show outside of Chicago, Illinois will feature top musicians as well as cooking demonstrations by some of the Food Network's biggest stars.  "I love cooking too and baking and whatnot with my girlfriend. It’s just fun," he adds. "Cooking to me, it’s kind of therapeutic. It’s completely different from music as well."

So, is Phillip any good in the kitchen?  "I’m not amazing at it, but I can cook myself a good meal," he says. "And I’m not just saying this, but anytime I’m on the bus or at home, I’m watching Food Network or cooking on TV just cause it’s interesting to me. It’s pretty amazing how some cooks can just put together stuff off the top of the hat.  But yeah, I love cooking; I love eating; I love everything about food."

Phillip says his culinary specialties include burgers, chicken tacos and chicken wraps, but he'd rather eat his mom's cubed steak and gravy, homemade mashed potatoes and butter beans.  "She’s a master at [comfort food]," he gushes.

Joining Phillip on the bill for the festival will be his pal John Mayer, with whom he toured last winter.  "He’s a great guy. He’s an incredible musician," says Phillip of John. "It’s always an honor to share the stage with somebody like that. And he’s a great songwriter. Watching his show, he just goes out there and just plays the hell out of the music. And lets the music speak for itself."

After spending the summer on the road with the band O.A.R., Phillip will kick off a brand-new headlining tour this fall.  While he's now a seasoned road warrior, the singer says, "I definitely don’t get used to it. I’m always scared to death before I go up onstage." 

"It’s unbelievable to hear the crowd singing out loud and feel the vibe that I’m feeling... you never get used to it," he adds. "And I think it’s good because it always feels like the first kiss every time."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio  

Tuesday
Sep022014

Dustin Lynch Says Even the Fans Have Noticed His Major Crush on Reba

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsWhen Dustin Lynch recently Instagrammed a picture of Reba on #WCW-- Woman Crush Wednesday-- he wasn't kidding. In fact, his adoration for the country icon has gone so far that even the fans have noticed it.

"Well, she is my crush," he confesses, "and she knows that. That's what's awesome. I have a Reba cup onstage every single night. .. It's interesting, in, where was I -- Warsaw, Indiana. I look in the crowd and they've got Reba shirts on. So, it's getting out there. If they're not wearing my shirts, they're wearing Reba McEntire shirts to my concerts. So, it's pretty cool. But she is my crush. She's always been a dream girl of mine since I was a little bitty guy."

As you can imagine, Dustin would love to sing with the red-headed superstar, but he says he's not going to rush it.

"I think that's one of those things I want to earn my way into asking," he says. "I don't think I've gotten there yet, but hopefully, one day our paths will cross, and I can have enough courage to say, 'Hey, you know, I've got this song I'd love to record.'  How awesome would that be?"

Dustin goes on to say he gets chills just thinking about it. His new album, Where It's At, comes out September 9.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich one of Nicole Kidman's famous husbands is taller? ANSWER:  Keith Urban reportedly stands 5'10", while Tom Cruise is allegedly only 5' 7".


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

What's Next After Paramore's Tour with Fall Out Boy? Stay Tuned to Social Media to Find Out

Image Courtesy Fueled By RamenParamore wrapped its tour with Fall Out Boy this past weekend. Throughout the tour -- including when singer Hayley Williams had to cancel a couple of shows due to exhaustion -- the band members kept fans informed of their behind-the-scenes activities.

The band is taking a bit of time off until its next shows in early November, so what will they do with all that free time? The band members are sure to take to Twitter and such to let fans know; Hayley Williams tells ABC News Radio that she and her band mates have "always thought that was an important way to have a direct line to our fans, and for them to also have a direct line to us."

Williams uses Twitter for all sorts of stuff: baby pictures, fan shots, comments on the band's most recent shows and new music they're working on. She tells ABC News Radio, "I think it's important for people to know who's making the music, [and] who's behind it." Even when they're not on the road, Williams thinks staying active on social media is hugely important because "that connection with our fans is what makes Paramore...special for us." 

Paramore's next gigs are in Brazil on November 1 and 2. For their latest thoughts and goings-on, check out Hayley Williams' Twitter account, yelyahwilliams -- "yelyah" is "Hayley" backwards.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Remastered Versions of George Harrison's First Six Solo Albums Coming this Month 

Capitol/UMeDigitally remastered versions of George Harrison's first six solo albums -- released between 1968 and 1975 on the Beatles' Apple Records label -- are hitting stores later this month.

The albums -- Wonderwall Music, Electronic Sound, All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World, Dark Horse and Extra Texture (Read All About It) -- will arrive September 23.  They'll be available both as individual albums, and as a deluxe, eight-disc boxed set called The Apple Years 1968-1975. 

In addition to the six albums, including the double disc All Things Must Pass, that boxed set includes an exclusive DVD featuring videos, promos and unreleased footage, as well as a book with an introduction written by George's son, Dhani, who oversaw the project.

In a statement, Dhani says, "Some of these records have long been out of print, and so I cannot wait for music lovers to get their hands on these newly remastered versions. It's a very proud moment for us, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us in any way to achieve this."

All the albums feature previously-unreleased or rare additional tracks.  They're available for pre-order now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Chris Brown Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Assault

Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA RecordsChris Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Tuesday morning Washington, D.C. superior court, and was sentenced to time served. 

The time served is the four months Chris spent in a California jail earlier this year when it was ruled his involvement in the D.C. incident violated the terms of his probation for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.

Brown would have faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine had he been convicted at trial.

The plea concludes the nearly 11-month-old case that began last October, when Brown, 25, and his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, were accused of assaulting a man outside of a Washington, D.C. hotel when he tried to take Brown’s picture.  Hollosy was found guilty of assault last April, and will be sentenced in November.  Brown's trial was delayed in part because Hollosy refused to testify in Brown's trial out of concern doing so would adversely effect his chances to appeal his own conviction.

Prosecutors offered a plea deal to Brown in January and June, both of which Brown rejected.  Brown and Hollosy are also looking at a $1.5 million dollar civil suit filed by their victim, the Washington Post reports.

 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Britney Spears: "Everybody Knows My Boyfriend Cheated on Me" 

Photo Credit: Denise TruscelloBritney Spears took time out from her Las Vegas show Sunday night to publicly address her recent split from her boyfriend of 17 months, David Lucado, according to MTV News.

“Well, by now everyone knows my boyfriend cheated on me,” the 32-year-old pop diva declared, drawing spirited boos of support from the 5,000 fans at Planet Hollywood's Axis Theater.

Britney then continued, “But the best part of breaking up is going on first dates. OMG, OMG, I need a hot guy. Where are the hot guys here tonight?”

To the delight of the crowd, Britney pulled one lucky audience member up on stage, who turned out to be none other than celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Then, according to MTV, she produced an outfit of leather and chains and immediately slapped it on him.

Spears then launched into her song “Freakshow,” while leading Hilton around the stage on all fours like a dog.

As soon as he returned to his seat, Hilton tweeted, “.@britneyspears just made me her b**ch - literally! Hope @Rihanna doesn’t get jealous! It was like the Circus tour opening 2.0. #PieceOfMe”

Last Thursday, Brit tweeted, "Ahhhh the single life!"  She posted that comment around the same time TMZ published a story claiming Lucado was videotaped making out with another woman last month.  Reportedly, Brit dumped Lucado after learning about the footage, which TMZ reported was being shopped around.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Chris Brown Due Back in D.C. Court Today; Plea Deal Imminent?

Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA RecordsChris Brown’s got another date in a D.C. courtroom today.  The singer is scheduled to appear there to reportedly enter a plea deal in his misdemeanor assault case.

The Washington Post reports Brown, 25, and his attorneys will respond in Superior Court to a plea deal today in the nearly 11-month-old case that began last October, when Brown and his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, were accused of assaulting a man outside of a Washington, D.C. hotel when he tried to take Brown’s picture.  Hollosy was found guilty of assault last April, and will be sentenced in November.

Prosecutors offered a plea deal in January and June, both of which Brown rejected.  He still faces trial if he rejects today’s reported plea deal.  Brown and Hollosy are also looking at a $1.5 million dollar civil suit filed by their victim, the Washington Post reports.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Maroon 5 Reveals World Tour Itinerary

Interscope RecordsIt’s a big day for Maroon 5.  Not only is their new album, V, out today, they’ve also just announced the dates for their upcoming world tour.

The outing kicks off February 16 in Dallas and will hit 27 North American cities in and ten European stops before wrapping up in Lisbon, Portugal June 17.  MAGIC! will join Maroon 5 on the road as a special guest.

Tickets go on sale to the general public September 13 via Live Nation, though fan club members can buy them as early as Saturday, September 6.  American Express card members and Live Nation mobile app users can also purchase tickets before the general public on-sale date.  When you buy your ticket via Live Nation, you’ll score an instant digital download of V.

For more information, check out Maroon5.com.  Here’s the tour itinerary:

2/16 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
2/17 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
2/19 -- Atlanta, GA, Philips Arena
2/24 -- Sunrise, FL, BB&T Center
2/25 -- Tampa, FL, Tampa Bay Times Forum
2/27 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
2/28 -- Indianapolis, IN, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
3/2 -- Washington, D.C., Verizon Center
3/3 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
3/5 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
3/8 -- East Rutherford, NJ, IZOD Center
3/9 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
3/11 -- Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
3/13 -- Pittsburgh, PA, CONSOL Energy Center
3/14 -- Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
3/16 -- Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
3/18 -- Auburn Hills, MI, The Palace of Auburn Hills
3/19 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
3/21 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
3/23 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
3/25 -- Saskatoon, SK, Credit Union Centre
3/26 -- Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
3/28 -- Tacoma, WA, Tacoma Dome
3/29 -- Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
3/31 -- San Jose, CA, SAP Center
4/1 -- San Diego, CA, Viejas Arena
4/3 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/26 -- London, UK, Wembley Arena
5/31 -- Birmingham, U.K., LG Arena
6/1 -- Manchester, U.K., Manchester Arena
6/3 -- Amsterdam, NTH, Ziggo Dome
6/9 -- Oberhausen, GR, Koenig-Pilsener Arena
6/10 -- Munich, GR, Olympiahalle
6/12 -- Milan, Italy, Mediolanum Forum
6/14 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
6/15 -- Madrid, Spain, Palacio Deportes
6/17 -- Lisbon, Portugal, Meo Arena


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Stevie Nicks Says "Half the Songs" on New Album Are About Lindsey Buckingham

Warner Bros.Over the years, many of Stevie Nicks' songs have documented her love life, including, perhaps most famously, her years with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.  They broke up years ago, but on Stevie's new album, she's revisiting their relationship: a good portion of the songs, she says, were inspired by Buckingham.

The album, 24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault, is made up of songs that Stevie wrote years ago, but never recorded, and some date back as far as 1969.  She tells Rolling Stone that nobody in Fleetwood Mac has heard the album yet, but she predicts, "Lindsey will love it. Half the songs are about him!"

For example, she tells Rolling Stone that "Lady," a song on the album for which she recently released a lyric video, "captures the mood of me and Lindsey being scared to death when we moved to L.A. in 1971."  She adds, "Our producer...gave us this white carved piano – I wrote 'Rhiannon' on it. But I didn't know how to play. 'Lady' was me figuring it out."

Stevie says she only had two months to make 24 Karat Gold because she had to start rehearsing for the Fleetwood Mac reunion tour with Christine McVie, which starts September 30.  Her friend Dave Stewart, the former Eurythmics member who produced her last solo album In Your Dreams, advised her to make the record in Nashville because the musicians there work very quickly. 

Stevie took his advice, and says she was shocked at just how fast everything came together: they did 17 tracks in three weeks, and there was no drama involved.

"I'm used to bands where we argue over how to do the song," she tells Rolling Stone. "These Nashville guys just say, 'Yes, ma'am.'"

24 Karat Gold -- Songs from the Vault is in stores October 7.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Radiohead Updates PolyFauna App 

Image Courtesy XL RecordingsThis past February Radiohead debuted an interactive app called PolyFauna, allowing fans to navigate through an abstract, animated landscape, images of which were posted to the band's website. Now Thom Yorke and company have updated the app, with what Rolling Stone calls "atmospheric soundscapes and trippy terrains." 

Fans looking for a sample before updating their app can check out Yorke's Twitter pagewhere he's posted more than a dozen graphic samples. 

When the app was first introduced, Yorke called PolyFauna "An experimental collaboration between us (Radiohead) & Universal Everything, born out of The King of Limbs sessions and using the imagery and the sounds from the song 'Bloom.' It comes from an interest in early computer life-experiments and the imagined creatures of our subconscious."

PolyFauna is available for both iPhone and Android devices and is free.

The members of Radiohead are due to hit the studio this month to record the follow-up to their 2011 album, The King of Limbs.

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Tuesday
Sep022014

New Foo Fighters Music is Just a Vine Away

Image Courtesy Steve GullickFoo Fighters fans looking for a preview of the band's forthcoming album Sonic Highways ahead of its November release date...you're in luck. Bob "Moz" Moczydlowsky -- the head of music at Twitter posted a 7-second snippet on Vine of new Foos, along with the caption, "Holy guitars, Batman! New @foofighters record makes 'em sound 100 feet tall. Coming soon."

Dave Grohl's vocals are frustratingly absent, but there's some kickin' guitars and drums going on in the teaser.

Sonic Highways hits digital and retail on November 10. The band's HBO documentary series -- also called Sonic Highways -- on the making of the album premieres on HBO on October 17.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Maroon 5 Guitarist Explains How to Pronounce Their New Album's Title 

222 Records/ Interscope RecordsMaroon 5's fifth album album, V, is in stores today, but if you're not sure whether the title is pronounced "Vee" or "Five," well, you're not alone.  According to the band's guitarist, even the band's members weren't sure how to pronounce it when they came up with it.

"I pronounce it 'Five' but different people have been calling it 'Vee,'" James Valentine tells ABC News Radio, "because we named the album in an email chain. We were, like, throwing back ideas and nobody was really speaking them out loud, so I think for a while, none of us really knew who was pronouncing it 'Vee' and who was saying 'Five.' I say 'Five.'"

No matter what you call it, V arrives just over two years after the band's previous album, 2012's Overexposed, which is pretty speedy by Maroon 5 standards.  As James notes, "The album came together so quickly and so effortlessly. We sort of blinked and the album was done." 

As for why the band was able to turn around a new record so quickly, James says it's simple: they merely never took a break.

"We really never stopped recording after the last record," he explains. "We were constantly in the studio, constantly going back and forth with producers, sending ideas back and forth while we were still touring, which allowed us to do this sort of quick turnaround with the record. Because this record is out quicker than I think any record that we've done."

That's not entirely true, since Overexposed itself came out less than two years after the one before that, 2010's Hands All Over.  Still, as James explains, the band didn't want to take a lot of time between projects, since they were on such a roll thanks to the success of Overexposed and hits like "Payphone," "One More Night," "Daylight" and "Love Somebody."

"Usually we'll take some time off, sort of chill out back in Los Angeles, [and] use the time that we're making the record as sort of a vacation from touring because we're touring so constantly," he tells ABC News Radio. "But this one, we were kind of like, 'OK, let's go. Let's do this. Strike while the iron is hot.' We had such a great string of success with those last singles we wanted to keep it going."

Maroon 5 and Adam Levine, together and separately, have plenty of TV appearances booked to promote the new album, including The Tonight Show on Tuesday and America's Got Talent on Wednesday, plus The Daily Show on Thursday, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 8.    However, the band likely won't launch a full tour until early in 2015 -- and James says he's psyched to bring the new music to the fans.

"I'm antsy to get out on the road and play these songs, and it seems like a long time in between releasing the record and doing that," he tells ABC News Radio. "But it'll be nice because the fans will be able to spend some time with the album before they come out, so they'll be ready with the new songs." 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Jason Aldean Making Big Announcement Tonight; New Album, "Old Boots, New Dirt," Due Out October 7

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean will release his new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, on October 7 featuring his latest hit, "Burnin' It Down." He revealed details on the album on BuzzFeed, where he'll host another surprise event Tuesday night at 8 ET.

Jason says, "It’s going to be a pretty big thing I think and something we’ve never done before.  Just hope everyone will tune in and check it out and see what we got going on."

As for the album title, Jason says it ties in with the "madness" he's experienced through in the last two years splitting with his wife in 2013 and forging a new relationship with girlfriend, Brittany Kerr.

Jason tells BuzzFeed, "In the last couple of years, it feels like everything I’ve done has been on blast, personally and professionally. That title and that song, ‘Old Boots, New Dirt,’ is about starting with a clean slate. I’m the same dude, but we’re gonna start over and hit some uncharted territory here.”

As evidenced by the lead single, Jason felt free to explore new sounds on Old Boots, New Dirts. The 15 songs on the album include everything from Southern rock and R&B to pop and classic country.

Jason says, "When we’re cutting a record, we don’t have any rules. It’s just about finding the best songs we can find.”

Here's the Old Boots, New Dirt track listing:
"Just Getting' Started"
"Show You Off"
"Burnin' It Down"
"Tryin' to Love Me"
"Sweet Little Somethin'"
"Laid Back"
"Tonight Looks Good on You"
"Too Fast"
"If My Truck Could Talk"
"Old Boots, New Dirt"
"I Took It with Me"
"Don't Change Gone"
"Miss That Girl"
"Gonna Know We Were Here"
"Two Night Town"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Yes' Steve Howe Talks About Band's "Unusual" New Album, Praises New Frontman

Rob Shanahan/MSO PRYes recently wrapped up a North American summer tour during which the band debuted some material from its latest studio album, Heaven & Earth, the prog-rock legends' first with their new lead singer Jon Davison.  Guitarist Steve Howe tells ABC News Radio that the record is "a different sort of album" for Yes.

"It's an unusual album in a way.  It has a light element to it," Howe explains, noting that he agrees with some fans who have described the record as being "accessible."

Davison has only been an official member of Yes since 2012, but he played a big role in the creation of Heaven & Earth, co-writing six of the project's eight songs with the other Yes members and writing a seventh tune by himself.  Howe explains that the singer took the initiative when it came to collaborating with his new band mates.

"Jon Davison, being a new guy, put his hand up and kind of said, 'Well, I'd be happy to circulate,'" he says.  "And, basically, 'cause we all live in different parts of the world, Jon visited everybody and found out what he could do with them a little, and then compared notes."

Howe says he was very pleased to find out that beyond coming up with catchy song ideas, Davison was able to create complex parts that challenged the Yes members' abilities, and while also displaying his own musical talents.

One such tune was "Light of the Ages," the song Davison penned alone.

"I think 'Light of the Ages' is the kind of song that Yes needs to play," Howe maintains.  "I play just steel guitar on that one, and Jon plays rhythm guitar.  I like his rhythm work.  It's really good to have a great rhythm guitarist in the group."

Another song Howe enjoyed was the album closer, "Subway Walls," a nine-minute-plus epic that Davison wrote with Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes.

"There's a song [that's] got lots of complexity," Steve points out.  "As we got to know each other and as I got to know [Jon's] available material, that piece was really scary -- complex, almost, like, 'Where is the beat?  Where's the beat gone in this?'"

Howe explains that Davison's musical talents aren't just limited to vocals and rhythm guitar, noting that he also "wrote massive bass lines for this album, which you wouldn't expect."

The multifaceted aspects Davison brings to Yes seems to fit in with what Howe wants the band to strive for moving forward as a recording entity.

"If Yes make albums where none of us have to think, it must be…really appalling," he tells ABC News Radio, "because it's only when you have to work on music that you're doing something of value."

Yes will return to the road on November 10, when the band kicks off a tour of New Zealand, Australia and Japan with a concert in Auckland, New Zealand.  As on their North American trek, the new outing will feature Yes performing the Close to the Edge and Fragile albums in their entirety, plus selections from Heaven & Earth and various hits by the group.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Mary J. Blige Announces New Album "The London Sessions"

Image Courtesy Peter Kramer/NBCBack in July, Mary J. Blige announced plans to head overseas to record her next album. Now, the singer has revealed new details about the upcoming effort, titled Mary J. Blige:The London Sessions.

In an interview with The Guardian, the singer explains why she ventured to London for her new sound.

"Our idea was to become part of London, to really embrace the culture -- to really live in it. Not that I haven’t been here before, but I’ve never had the chance to really soak in it the way I have this time. To make records ['rekkits'] from the London-scene perspective," she says.

She continues that by escaping the States she was able to enjoy "freedom." Mary adds, "The music is free over here the way it used to be in the States. Artists are just free to do what they love. Listening to the radio you can hear the freedom. The music is living and breathing -- you can hear that from Adele’s last album. It was massive -- a big deal. But she did what she loved."

The project will include collaborations with Naughty Boy, who will oversee the project, and Sam Smith, who she performed with on his hit "Stay with Me" at a show at New York City's Apollo Theater this summer.

Mary J. Blige:The London Sessions is due out this November.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio