Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pretenders, Ziggy, and Bruce

The Pretenders kick off their North American tour tonight (January 29th) in Albany. Chrissie Hynde says that the band plans to play a substantial portion of their latest album Break Up The Concrete, telling The Associated Press, "We'll be doing about eight or nine songs from the album. There's the chance of people going to the bar when you launch into a new song, but I can't do that greatest hits stuff anymore. We can play practically the whole album."

She was asked about whether after 30 years, her process in writing the new album was any different than when she wrote the Pretenders' biggest hits: "It's me alone with the guitar and a notebook. I don't use too many gadgets. My methods haven't changed."

  • Hynde says that although rock and roll is an incredibly important part of her life, being a full-time mother helps her keep things in perspective: "This is, like, my hobby. I mean, I take it seriously and everything, but you know, I just feel like a guy that goes out on the weekends to watch birds, you know? Take my binoculars away, you know, and it would break my heart. You know, I think a hobby is real important to people, if it's the thing you love the most. It can't take over your life. And I don't want to be glib about it, you know? I think this is fantastic, and I make my living out of it, and it's my life's work and everything, you know? But I have to keep it in perspective, 'cause I've got... you know, I'm like a responsible mother and stuff."
  • The Pretenders tour dates (subject to change):
    January 29 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
    January 30 - New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
    January 31 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa/Music Box
    February 2 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
    February 4 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
    February 5 - Jim Thorpe, PA - Penn's Peak
    February 6 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
    February 7 - Mashantucket, CT - Fox Theatre
    February 9 - Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater
    February 10 - Cleveland, OH - House Of Blues
    February 11 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre
    February 13 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
    February 14 - Akron, OH - Akron Civic Center
    February 15 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
    February 17, 18 - Milwaukee, WI - Northern Lights Theater
    February 20 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
    February 21 - Kansas City, MO - Ameristar Hotel & Casino
    February 22 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theater
    February 24 - Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre
    February 25 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen
    February 27 - Dallas, TX - House Of Blues
    February 28 - Houston, TX - House Of Blues
    March 1 - Austin, TX - Stubb's Bar-B-Q / Waller Creek Amph.
    March 4 - Phoenix, AZ - Dodge Theatre
    March 5 - San Diego, CA - House Of Blues
    March 6 - Pala, CA - Pala Casino
    March 7 - Las Vegas, NV - House Of Blues
    March 8 - Anaheim, CA - Grove Of Anaheim
    March 10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
    March 13 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
    March 14 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Resort Casino
A representative for David Bowie formally denied rumors that he posted via a Twitter account that he's recording new material in Berlin and will appear as Ziggy Stardust at this spring's Coachella Festival in Indio, California. reported that the Bowie spokesperson posted on "The story goes that David Bowie was in talks to perform his Ziggy Stardust album at the festival this year, the rumor really took hold and the 'news' was reported online around the globe and in the English press. You may have already seen the denial over at, but I'm sure the majority of you saw this tale for what it was anyway: poppycock! However, we feel duty-bound to deny this particular story here too, lest members be fleeced of their hard-earned (money). While we're about it, David Bowie does not have a Twitter account."

Last year Bowie released Live In Santa Monica '72 featuring his October 22nd, 1972 final gig as the Ziggy persona featuring the Spiders From Mars. His last new studio set was 2003's Reality which peaked on the Billboard 200 chart at Number 29.
Bruce Springsteen says the title track from his new album Working On A Dream reflects the change in America's values -- although that was hardly the intent of the song. Springsteen told Rolling Stone that the song was conceived with a far more general message, explaining, "That was just the simple idea of effort and that you can't give up. I write my songs. I go around the world to sing 'em about a particular place I have imagined, that I hope is real. I don't see that often... Then suddenly, election night, the place you've been singing about for years -- it shows its face. You look in the crowds, you saw people crying, people who lived and worked in the civil rights era, and you completely understood. It's real."

Springsteen's manager Jon Landau confirmed that the long-delayed 30th anniversary box set celebrating his 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town album is nearing completion. No release date has been announced yet.

Springsteen will perform at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show on Sunday (February 1st) in Tampa, Florida.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

McCartney and Bruce continue to rule the headlines

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have announced a 26-date North American tour in support of the new album Working On A Dream. Tickets for most of the dates will go on sale on Monday, February 2nd, but select cities -- Greensboro, North Carolina; Toronto; Austin, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Houston, Texas -- will go on sale on Friday, February 6th. Additional shows, including the usual pre-tour "open rehearsals" in Asbury Park, New Jersey, will most likely to be announced in the coming weeks. Log on to for updates and time of sale for all the shows.

Nils Lofgren says that with 2007's Magic and now Working On A Dream, Springsteen is riding a crest of creativity he hasn't seen in many years: "This is certainly the closest two albums have come out in his history with the E Street Band. And that usually speaks to an excitement that is born of writing first. And he's as great a writer as there's ever been in history. So I think it reflects throughout the whole record. Yeah, great production, great musicianship, great singing -- but that's a given."

  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour dates (subject to change):
    April 1 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion at San Jose
    April 3 - Glendale, AZ - Center
    April 5 - Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
    April 7 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
    April 8 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
    April 10 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Arena
    April 15 - Los Angeles, CA - LA Memorial Sports Arena
    April 21, 22 - Boston, MA - TD Banknorth Garden
    April 24 - Hartford, CT - XL Center
    April 26 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
    April 28, 29 - Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Spectrum
    May 2 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
    May 4 - Hempstead, NY - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
    May 5 - Charlottesville, VA - John Paul Jones Arena
    May 7 - Toronto, ONT - Air Canada Centre
    May 8 - University Park, PA - Bryce Jordan Center
    May 11 - St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
    May 12 - Chicago, IL - United Center
    May 14 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center
    May 15 - Hershey, PA - Hersheypark Stadium
    May 18 - Washington, DC - Verizon Center
    May 19 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mellon Arena
    May 21, 23 - East Rutherford, NJ - Izod Center
Paul McCartney will appear on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report tonight (January 28th) to promote his latest Fireman project, Electric Arguments. reported that tonight's appearance will be McCartney's first and only scheduled U.S. late-night appearance. The Colbert Report airs on Comedy Central at 11:30 pm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Working on a Dream hits stores today!!!

Out today (Tuesday, January 27th) is Bruce Springsteen's 16th studio album, Working On A Dream. The album, which was born out of the sessions for his 2007 collection Magic, features tracks recorded during breaks on the E Street Band's last world tour, and includes the final sessions featuring late keyboardist Danny Federici.

Springsteen has also announced the initial dates of his U.S. tour, which will take place before the band heads over to Europe in July. So far, only four arena dates have been revealed, with the opening night set for April 1st in San Jose, California.

  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band U.S. tour dates (subject to change):
    April 1 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion At San Jose
    May 5 - Charlottesville, VA - John Paul Jones Arena
    May 18 - Washington, DC - Verizon Center
    May 19 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mellon Arena
  • On Saturday (January 31st) at 11:00 p.m., VH1 will premiere a new 30-minute documentary called Bruce Springsteen: The Making Of 'Working On A Dream.' The special -- which features different footage than the bonus DVD sold with the album -- will be repeated through the week on VH1 Classic. Check your local listings for stations and times.
  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show on Sunday (February 1st) in Tampa, Florida.
Paul McCartney will perform on next month's Grammy telecast with the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on drums. Last June at McCartney's Liverpool concert, Grohl -- playing guitar -- joined the former Beatle onstage for the Wings hit "Band On The Run" before taking his place behind the drums for "I Saw Her Standing There."

Two tracks from McCartney's Amoeba's Secret EP have received Grammy nods -- "That Was Me" is up for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance and his version of "I Saw Her Standing There" is nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast Sunday, February 8th at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
Stevie Nicks is prepping two new live sets as she gears up for Fleetwood Mac's upcoming tour which kicks off on March 1st in Pittsburgh. Rolling Stone reports that in March, Nicks will release The Soundstage Sessions from her appearance last year on the PBS show -- which features an orchestral version of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."

A new DVD called Live In Chicago, features various Nicks and Mac classics alongside such covers as the Dave Matthews Band's "Crash Into Me." Nicks says she's proud of her reinterpretation of the '90s romantic hit, saying, "I think I did the song justice. I'd like to do a record where I take boys' songs and twist them into women's songs."

Stevie Nicks: Live In Chicago was originally issued last year and will be re-released on March 24th. No date has been announced for the Soundstage CD.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blog returns after bout with Strep!!!

Additional artists have been announced for Paul McCartney's April 4th concert at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The gig, which the former Beatle will headline, is a fundraiser for the David Lynch Foundation's initiative for Transcendental Meditation (TM) education. Joining McCartney will be Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Moby, Donovan, and renowned jazz flutist Paul Horn.

Both Horn and Donovan studied with McCartney and the Beatles under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in 1968. For more information on the show, log on to

McCartney is rumored to make several festival appearances this spring and summer, including April's Coachella Festival in Indio, California, and the two-day Hard Rock Calling concert at London's Hyde Park in June. McCartney's reps haven't confirmed either appearance.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Renaming January, Springsteenuary

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's upcoming album Working On A Dream, which comes out on January 27th, is by far the most stylistically varied set of Springsteen's career. Unlike typical Springsteen albums, the new collection features a heavy dose of pop/rock, including the title track, "My Lucky Day" -- and what might be the most infectious "Boss" song in a quarter decade -- "Surprise, Surprise."

Springsteen also builds upon the recent orchestral pop sound that he unleashed on 2007's Magic album, with the Beach Boys-meets-Roy Orbison standout "This Life." The band also updates its sound with a modern, urban-type beat that leads "What Love Can Do," and "Life Itself." Both "Good Eye" and "A Night With The Jersey Devil" mark the roughest, dirtiest blues Springsteen has ever released on an album.

He revisits the crooner-type vocals he rediscovered on Magic on the new tracks "Queen Of The Supermarket" and "Kingdom Of Days." The band also tackles a folk-based bluegrass sound on "Tomorrow Never Knows," and lends gospel-type vocal backing to Springsteen's acoustic tribute to late E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici. The song, which features Federici's son Jason on accordion, musically and lyrically recalls the 1973 track "Wild Billy's Circus Story," a signature song that featured Federici.

Springsteen will join Bono, Stevie Wonder, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, and others at this Sunday's (January 18th) star-studded We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. President-Elect Barack Obama and his family are expected to attend the concert.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hall of Fame Finally Gets It Right

Jeff Beck, Metallica, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and Elvis Presley's original rhythm section, the late bassist Bill Black and D.J. Fontana, are among the inductees to the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joining Black and Fontana in the sidemen category will be legendary Muscle Shoals session player Spooner Oldham, who played on such seminal rock and R&B classics as Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves a Woman," Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally" and Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man."

Other inductees include R&B legend Bobby Womack, rappers Run-D.M.C., and country singer Wanda Jackson, who'll be inducted in the Early Influence category. The induction ceremony on April 4th will take place at Public Hall in Cleveland for the first time since 1997, and will be broadcast live on Fuse TV in a new three-year broadcast deal between the Hall's Foundation and Fuse.

Jeff Beck was asked why after a long and successful career, he still pushes the musical boundaries by going for broke with every live show:"Time's getting on, isn't it? People are dying, and (I) look 'round and go, 'What the hell's going on here,' you know? And I enjoy playing, and, you know, there's no real excuse for me not to be doing something. People seem to enjoy what I do."

"Little Anthony" Gourdine, who's best remembered for taking the lead on the Imperials' legendary '50s and '60s hits "Tears On My Pillow," "Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop," "Goin' Out Of My Head," and "Hurt So Bad" says that one of the group's crowning moments was appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show: "Oh man -- y'know that's live TV. That doesn't exist anymore. I'm going back in my brain then. I was very nervous, but I think my professionalism, being out as long as I had, I was prepared to do what I had to do. But I was intimidated when I met Mr. Sullivan and there it is. And y'know, you couldn't miss your mark, you couldn't miss nothin' -- it's live! we were (laughs) very blessed to get by on that show without something weird going down."

D.J. Fontana, who drummed on such legendary Elvis hits as "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Heartbreak Hotel," and "It's Now Or Never," among hundreds of others, still finds it hard to explain how he got his unique drum sound, which inspired numerous bands -- most importantly the Beatles: "The snare drum, I never changed it. It was probably in the engineering end of it. I never changed anything -- whatever was asked, I did. Talked to Paul (McCartney) about it, I met Paul a few years back, and he said, 'You know, you guys did it all, man. Before we was even thinking about playing anything, we listened to all you guys' records and that's where we learned from.'"

The Rock Hall induction ceremony will be supported by a weeklong series of events. And for the first time in the Hall's 24-year history, tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be made available to the public.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bruce is on top

Bruce Springsteen will the leap into the musical video game universe when on January 27th his latest single "My Lucky Day" and his 1975 classic "Born To Run" will be added to the Guitar Hero DLC library. reported that, "the two-song track pack will be available to download via the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store and Nintendo Wii as singles."

The tunes will be available for free until February 5th when it will then sell for 320 Microsoft Points, 200 Wii Points per track, and for $3.99 on the PlayStation 3.

Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said, "Bruce Springsteen has been a defining force in Rock 'n Roll and we are incredibly excited to have him make his video game debut with Guitar Hero World Tour."

Springsteen releases his latest album Working On A Dream on January 27th.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Records A Comin'

David Crosby says that Crosby, Stills, and Nash might be covering the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for their upcoming album, to be produced by Rick Rubin. Crosby told, "One of the interesting things was that they said they'd like to hear us do other people's songs that we wish we'd written. (Rubin) said, 'There's Joni (Mitchell), James (Taylor), the Beatles: contemporaries of yours who I know you admire. I'd like you to pick a bunch of songs.' So we've been going through that process with Rick, and he's pretty smart about songs."

Crosby added, "We're going to pick and learn some songs. I can't say which ones are going to make the final list, but we have about 30. There's all the people you might expect: some Jackson Browne... there's a whole s***load of records that we love and think are brilliant. I don't know how Rick works yet, but I certainly know how we work, so I'm presuming there'll be some pretty harmonies."


Alison Krauss and Robert Plant have reunited to begin working on their second album together. A source tells us that the two started the recording process in a Nashville studio yesterday (Monday, January 12th), where they are expected to remain for the next few weeks.

Their first album, Raising Sand, was released in late 2007 and is nominated in five categories at the upcoming Grammy Awards on February 8th.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Boss is Boss and Globes

Bruce Springsteen snagged the Golden Globe Award last night (January 11th) for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture for the theme to The Wrestler. Springsteen accepted the award in person at the ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton.

In his acceptance speech, Springsteen, who beat out Beyonce, Peter Gabriel, Miley Cyrus, and Clint Eastwood, opened by joking: "This is the only time I'm gonna be in competition with Clint Eastwood, I know that for sure."

He went on to credit The Wrestler's star Mickey Rourke for getting him involved in writing the theme for the movie: "Mickey called me and he asked me for some music. He told me a little bit about the character. He said, 'Some people invest themselves in their pain, and they turn away from love and the things that strengthen and nurture their lives.' He said that this was a guy that hadn't figured that out. So I said, 'I know a couple of those guys."

  • Springsteen closed by thanking his family -- wife Patti Scialfa, kids Evan, Jessie, and Sam -- and wishing "The Big Man" Clarence Clemmons a happy birthday. Clemmons celebrated his 67th birthday last night (January 11th)


Springsteen is planning a small scale 50 to 60 date E Street Band tour in support of his upcoming album Working On A Dream album, which will be released on January 27th. Rolling Stone quoted a source saying that the trek won't be a "total marathon" with the shows divided between Europe and the U.S. The most interesting aspect regarding the still-unannounced dates is that Springsteen is reportedly considering a revolving mini-set featuring one of his albums played in its entirety.

  • Springsteen dipped his foot in the water on May 7th during a benefit show for New Jersey's Count Basie Theatre, when for the first time he performed his 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town and 1975's Born To Run back-to-back in their entirety.
  • Springsteen will perform on January 18th at the National Mall in Washington D.C., according to The Washington Post. The performance, which will be part of President-elect Obama's inauguration festivities, will be open free to the public. Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform on February 1st as part of the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII (43) in Tampa, Florida.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Van the Man!! Happy Friday!

Van Morrison will release the live CD Astral Weeks: Live At The Hollywood Bowl on February 10th. The set -- recorded live over two nights at the Hollywood Bowl this past November 7th and 8th -- is an in-concert performance of his 1968 gold-certified solo album. The project is also the first to be released on Morrison's new EMI-distributed label, Listen to the Lion Records. A DVD version of the title will be available later.

The concerts were the first time that Morrison performed the complete Astral Weeks live in an extended arrangement.

"These songs are timeless and as fresh today as the day they were written, actually even more so," Morrison said in a statement. "I was happy to perform them at the Hollywood Bowl and delighted to release a live album which really captures the essence of the original for today's audiences with every taste in music. It's got it all, jazz, blues, folk, classic. You name it."

Morrison will perform his special Astral Weeks show again when he comes to our area on February 27th and 28th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bruce and Barack... Plus no more Zep

Bruce Springsteen will perform on January 18th at the National Mall in Washington D.C., according to The Washington Post. The performance, which will be part of President-elect Obama's inauguration festivities, will be open free to the public.

During the presidential campaign, Springsteen performed at Obama rallies in Ypsilanti, Michigan; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Philadelphia, and with Billy Joel at a New York City benefit concert.

He'll release his latest album Working On A Dream on January 27th.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform on February 1st as part of the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII (43) in Tampa, Florida.
Completely negating what was said yesterday, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page's manager, Peter Mensch of Q Prime Management, told on Wednesday (January 7th) that Led Zeppelin and any related projects are officially done, stating, "Led Zeppelin are over! If you didn't see them in 2007 (when they played a one-off reunion at London's O2 Arena), you missed them. It's done. I can't be any clearer than that." As for reports that Page, bassist John Paul Jones, and drummer Jason Bonham planned to carry on with a new singer, Mensch said, "They tried out a few singers, but no one worked out. That was it. The whole thing is completely over now. There are absolutely no plans for them to continue. Zero. Frankly, I wish everybody would stop talking about it."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Led Zeppelin and The Guess Who

Jimmy Page's manager today confirmed that Led Zeppelin are planning to tour and record a new album with a replacement singer for Robert Plant.

Plant confirmed in December that he wasn't interested in a full Led Zeppelin reunion, despite still remaining on good terms with his former bandmates.

In October, Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones hinted that the band were willing to continue with or without Plant.

Speaking about Led Zeppelin's future plans, Page's manager Peter Mensch confirmed that the band would indeed carry on - if they can find the right singer.

"Jimmy Page has been playing guitar professionally since he was 16 years old. Jimmy Page likes being a musician. That's what he does! He doesn't want to be a race car driver or a solicitor," Mensch told 6Music.

"So they [Page, Jones and drummer Jason Bonham] did the show [at London's O2 Arena in 2007] with Robert Plant; they had a really good time rehearsing, the three of them, before Robert showed up.

"And they decided that if they could find a singer that they thought would fit their bill – whatever their bill was at this stage in their career – that they'd make a record and go on tour.

Mensch said that he supported the trio's decision to carry on playing together, although he refused to comment on who Plant's replacement might be.

"John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page enjoy playing with each other, Jason Bonham is a really good drummer so why not? We just need to find a singer," he said.

While rumours of who Plant's replacement will be have included Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Mensch remained tight-lipped on the issue.

"It's gonna be a long and difficult process," he said. "And we're not soliciting people! So don't call me about it!"
Roger Daltrey
says that the Who's decade-long run with drummer Zak Starkey has provided the band with the same power and ingenuity as their days with the late Keith Moon. Daltrey sang the praises of the 43-year-old Starkey, who is the son of Ringo Starr, explaining to that "Zak is Keith Moon-trained; Keith bought Zak his first drum kit and Zak was taught by Keith. So, you know, it's totally organic, so it's almost like Keith is still there. Some nights it's eerie. Zak's now been in the band long enough, we can now throw things at him like we used to with Keith and he comes back with something like Keith would have come back with. Which is kinda even getting more scary."

After Moon's death in 1978, former Faces drummer Kenney Jones held down the drummer spot for nearly a decade before Daltrey forced him out of the band: "(Kenney's) a fantastic drummer, but he's a fantastic drummer for the Faces. In the Who, it was just totally wrong because the maths were wrong. And people didn't understand what I was saying at the time; they thought I was being personal, that it was something to do with Kenney. It wasn't; it was just the wrong wheel on the cart."