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January 20, 2011

WNEW Rock News: Limited Edition Sabbath LPs Now Out

Sabbath A new Black Sabath set, Live At Hammersmith Odeon , has been released in a 3-LP 180-gram vinyl package featuring triple gatefold artwork.

Limited to just 3,000 numbered copies and available only at Metal Club, it features Ronnie James Dio, Tommy Iommi, Terry "Geezer" Butler and Vinny Appice during 1982's Mob Rules tour.

Highlights include Neon Knights, Heaven and Hell, Children of the Sea and Country Girl.

WNEW Rock News: The Low Anthem to Tour With Iron & Wine

TLA The Low Anthem have been hard at work in NYC this past week, gearing up for the 2/22 release of their new long-player, Smart Flesh.

After a preview of the album last Tuesday on WNYC's Soundcheck, they dropped in on Letterman the next night to offer with a stirring version of Ghost Woman Blues. They wrapped a busy week with a Thursday night sell-out of Lincoln Center's Allen Room.

What's next? How about a tour?

Washington, DC is where TLA will kick things off with a 2/24 date at the Sixth | Historic Synagogue. From there, it's Philly, a mix of Midwest, Canada and Massachusetts dates running through the end of April.

Want even better news? Their 4/14 Detroit date kicks-off a 7-show itinerary with Iron and Wine.

Get dates here.

January 19, 2011

Video Classics: 'With a Little Help From My Friends' - the Beatles

To honor WNEW's legendary Firecracker 500, every day we are highlighting the music that populated the 1991 and 1996 lists, with classic videos, live performances and little-known facts about the songs and how they came to be...

To quote Ed Sullivan ...

'Ladies and Gentlemen, here are four of the nicest youngsters we've ever had on our stage, the Beatles ...'

Ringo Starr is sometimes the member of the Beatles who seemingly gets no respect. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the creative geniuses. George Harrison, quiet though he may have been, also had a few songwriting credits to his name, and was 'underappreciated', implying that, indeed, there was something to his creative talent worth appreciating. Ringo, comparitively, seemed to get the short end of the stick when it came to acclaim, though he has been recognized by fellow drummers and critics as having brought a great deal of innovation to the band's sessions.

Still, it was customary practice for Lennon and McCartney to 'give Starr a song' on each of their albums, and for Sgt. Pepper''s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the song was With a Little Help From My Friends, which comes in at spot #355 on the 1996 Firecracker 500.

Continue reading "Video Classics: 'With a Little Help From My Friends' - the Beatles" »

This Week in Rock History: Arrivals and Departures

Rock music has a robust history, so every Wednesday, J.A. Bartlett of the Hits Just Keep On Comin' talks about the biggest and most intriguing moments from years past...

January 19th has been a significant date for comings and goings in the music world.

Coming: Phil Everly was born in Chicago in 1939. With his older brother Don, the Everly Brothers were early rock pioneers and one of the most influential duos in history. Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1943. Before her death in 1970, she earned a reputation as one of the most explosive and expressive female singers in rock. Robert Palmer was born in Batley, England, in 1949. In the '70s, he was an exceptional R&B singer; in the '80s he became famous for a string of videos in which he was surrounded by model-quality women. He died in 2003. Dewey Bunnell was born in Harrogate, England, in 1951. For several years in the mid-'70s, Bunnell and his mates in the group America were among the most reliable hitmakers in their home country -- which, at the formation of their group, they had barely seen. All three members were the sons of military men stationed in England.

Going: Soul singer Wilson Pickett died in 2006 at age 64. As so many singers did, he started in gospel in the '50s, but crossed to pop in the early 60s, eventually scoring hits with In the Midnight Hour, Mustang Sally, Funky Broadway, and others. Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas died in 2007. Born in Canada, he met his bandmates in early '60s Los Angeles, a story told in the Mamas and Papas' song Creeque Alley. Singer/songwriter John Stewart died in 2008. Most famous for the 1979 album Bombs Away Dream Babies, Stewart had been a member of the Kingston Trio during the folk boom, and had entertained crowds at rallies for presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

Did we miss something this week? Add it to the comments below...

wNew Rock Review: New RED Album on the Shelves

They're a Grammy nominated band, have sold more than 600,000 records, delivered two Top Ten Active Rock and Three Top Ten Mainstream Rock singles and performed more than 1,300 shows with acts like Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Godsmack, Sevendust, Drowning Pool, Hinder and Nickelback.

They're RED and they've just released a new album Until We Have Faces. Working with producer Rob Graves, it's the band's third studio project.

1. Feed The Machines
2. Faceless
3. Lie To Me (Denial)
4. Let It Burn
5. Buried Beneath
6. Not Alone
7. Watch You Crawl
8. The Outside
9. Who We Are
10. Best Is Yet to Come
11. Hymn for the Missing

WNEW Rock News: On the Rails With Dave Alvin

The great Dave Alvin has some performances penciled-in to his calendar for the month of March, including a 6-day music excursion on the Kings Of California train.

If you're fortunate (and flush) enough to afford the $3,000 train ride up and down the West Coast, you'll get to see Alvin's opening night at McCabe's in Santa Monica on 4/3, then get to spend several days looking at the picturesque Pacific Coast aboard a luxury train, complete with Alvin-hosted jam sessions.

You'll hang with Alvin, fellow songwriters Peter Case and Chris Smithers and members of Alvin's bands, including Guilty Women Laurie Lewis and Nina Gerber and Guilty Man Rick Shea.

Get more information here.

The less solvent among us might get the chance to catch him at one of these other dates.

SA 03.05.11 Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
SU 04.03.11 King of California Train (through April 8), Los Angeles, CA
SU 04.03.11 McCabe's, Santa Monica, CA
SA 06.18.11 6th Annual Honesdale Roots Festival, Honesdale, PA

Here's a performance from Alvin and The Guilty Women recorded last week at Portland's KINK Radio Bing Lounge.

WNEW Rock News: Arcade Fire Head Grammy Performer List

Arcade-fire_suburbs Canadian rockers Arcade Fire will be among the performers at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on February 13. The band is up for 3 awards this year: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for Ready to Star and Best Alternative Music Album and Album of the Year for The Suburbs.

Also on the list of performers are nominees Cee-Lo Green, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Eminem and Miranda Lambert. Eminem has 10 nominations while Gaga has six, Perry and Green each have four and Lambert has three.

The show from LA's Staples Center rolls at 8PM EST.

January 18, 2011

Video Classics: 'Rhiannon' - Fleetwood Mac

To honor WNEW's legendary Firecracker 500, every day we are highlighting the music that populated the 1991 and 1996 lists, with classic videos, live performances and little-known facts about the songs and how they came to be...

Fleetwoodmacrhiannon The next time you're waiting for a flight at the airport, drinking bad coffee and dreading the upcoming TSA probings, take a moment to check out the airport bookshop. That's what Stevie Nicks did in 1974 (well, minus the TSA dread) when she bought a novel called Triad, by Mary Leader.  In the novel was a character called 'Rhiannon', and Nicks was so taken by the name that she decided to write a song about a girl with the same moniker. 

Nicks has claimed that the finished product took her all of 10 minutes to put together. If this is true, it certainly didn't help her kill much time at the airport, but it was good enough for her future bandmates in Fleetwood Mac to put the lyrics to music, which you can hear after the jump ...

Continue reading "Video Classics: 'Rhiannon' - Fleetwood Mac" »

Five Things About ... 1991

Fascinating facts, pivotal events, odd connections ... what you don't know about the people who make the music may surprise you! Each week, J.A. Bartlett of The Hits Just Keep on Comin' digs up Five Things about rock's legendary past and present ...

The Mrs. and I were sitting in a restaurant near the University of Wisconsin campus the other night when Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana came on the sound system. I gestured to a group of students sitting nearby and said, "They hadn't been born when this came out" -- true enough, but an eye-opening revelation for a couple of geezers who still consider the '90s a relatively recent time. Here are five more revelations -- Five Things About 1991.

1. In March, Eric Clapton's four-year-old son Conor fell to his death through an open window of Clapton's high-rise apartment in New York City. The incident inspired Clapton's songs Tears in Heaven, The Circus Left Town, and Lonely Stranger.

2. In May, Billboard magazine began using Soundscan data to tabulate album sales. Soundscan data came to the singles chart later in the year. Because the data more closely reflects what is actually happening at retail outlets, the "Soundscan era" has seen greater chart volatility than ever before -- more albums debut at #1 than in earlier times, and singles move up, down, on, and off the charts more unpredictably.

3. In June, Bonnie Raitt released Luck of the Draw, the followup to her career-making album Nick of Time. She made a pretty good job of it: The album rose to #2 on the Billboard album chart, scored three Grammys, and contained five hit singles. Check out the biggest of the five, and read more about 1991, after the jump.

Continue reading "Five Things About ... 1991" »

Classic Recording Studios: Kendun Recorders

Located on South Glenwood Place in Burbank, Kendun Recorders was unique in that it offered both recording and mastering services.

Started in the 1960s as an eight-track studio in owner Kent Duncan's bedroom, the facility grew to encompass multiple rooms and capabilities. Among those who recorded at Kendun were Paul McCartney, Sergio Mendes, Tanya Tucker, Earl Klugh and Stevie Wonder, who recorded Innervisions at Kendun.

WNEW Rock News: Pete Yorn to Repackage Debut Disc

Pete Yorn is set to release a 10th Anniversary edition of his 2001 debut, musicforthemorningafter, set to drop on March 29 through Columbia/Legacy.

Remastered by Bob Ludwig, the first of the two CDs will include a refreshed version of the original 15-cut album. Disc Two will include cuts from an appearance on KCRW's Morning Become Eclectic along with rarities and demos. The set will also be released as a 2-LP set on 180 gram vinyl.

The release coincides with a 26-date North American tour that kicks off on Valentine's Day in Tempe, AZ. Yorn will trek through the Midwest and East Coast through February and March, finishing with a West Coast/Southwest itinerary in April.

Here's a live acoustic performance Yorn did at KINK Radio's Bing Lounge in Portland.

WNEW Rock News: New York Dolls Sked New Release for March

New-york-dolls_by-anna-victoria-best Glam rockers the New York Dolls will release a new studio album on March 14.

The album, entitled Dancing Backwards in High Heels, was recorded in September at Blast Studios in England. It features original members David Johansen on vocals and Sylvain Sylvain on guitar, along with Brian Delaney and original Blondie guitarist Frank Infante. Bassist Jason Hill also manned the producer's chair.

The set will also include a bonus DVD with previously unseen footage of their Newcastle live sets last September.

1. Fool for You Baby
2. Streetcake
3. I’m So Fabulous
4. Talk to Me Baby
5. Kids Like You
6. Round and Round She Goes
7. You Don’t Have to Cry
8. I Sold My Heart to the Junkman
9. Baby Tell Me What I’m On
10. Funky but Chic
11. End of the Summer

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