Looks like the Mayans were wrong. And thank God (or Quetzalcoatl) for that. Of course, the Mayan doomsday prophecy was gratuitously misinterpreted by the Western world and looking back, it’s embarrassing how easily we got swept up in it all. With that said, 2012 was indeed an eventful year…
Starting today, November 29th, 2012 at 7:00 AM PST, George Harrison’s YouTube page began streaming Concert For George. This amazing tribute concert was shot at The Royal Albert Hall in London on November 29th, 2002, ten years ago today and one year after George’s death in 2001. The show features Eric Clapton, who also served as musical director, along with Jeff Lynne (ELO), Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Ravi Shankar, Tom Petty, the Monty Python players and an incredible group of rock music’s dignitaries and visionaries, including of course George’s son Dhani Harrison on guitar.
UK ska and pop band Madness have today announced details of their 10th studio album Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da, which will be released on October 30th, 2012. The band is also delighted to announce that the artwork for the album has been designed by the legendary British artist Sir Peter Blake. The first single, “My Girl 2” will be serviced to radio shortly.
November 13th will see the release of Live Kisses, a 13-song film directed by Jonas Åkerlund, that captures the magic of an evening in February of this year. In the intimate surroundings of Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where Paul McCartney recorded much of his Kisses On The Bottom album, he was reunited with the all-star musicians who joined him on the record to bring the songs to life for a once in a lifetime performance.
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) is preparing to release a documentary film called Sound City. It’s about a recording studio, but more specifically it’s about a mixing console that used to reside there. That’s right, but it’s not just any old console. This particular one was used to record some of the most significant albums in modern music. Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Guns and Roses, Nirvana, Metallica and many more swear that this is the holy grail of modern music. And they very well might be right.
Eraserhead rests firmly at the top of that canon of American underground culture for which there is no genre. A staple of the dark underbelly of popular cinema that was originally only viewable at art house screenings or on the midnight movie circuit, Eraserhead is a truly unadulterated offering; and much of its sensation lies beyond the purely visual realm.
Longtime Amnesty International supporter Roger Waters will make history with his upcoming The Wall tour finale. Set for July 21st at QuébecCity’s famed Plaines d’Abraham, the momentous production will see the construction of Waters’ biggest wall to date – over 800 feet across, with a groundbreaking surround-sound system, as well as additional lighting and pyrotechnics. What’s more, the epic event will utilize innovative Intellitix RFID technology to promote Amnesty International with what is expected to become a viral online campaign of consciousness.
One of rock’s most powerful and legendary bands, The Who, will be celebrated when its “The Who: Quadrophenia- Can You See The Real Me?” The Story Behind The Album premieres as a one-night in-theater event on Tuesday, July 24, at 8:00 p.m. local time nationwide. Beginning with a special welcome message from lead guitarist Pete Townshend, this event will give fans an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into one of rock’s most influential bands – Roger Daltrey (lead vocals, harmonica and guitar), Townshend (guitar, keyboards and vocals), John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass and vocals) and Keith Moon (drums and percussion) – and the creation of their celebrated album, Quadrophenia, originally released in October 1973.
Home where it belongs, the music of Frank Zappa is now back in the hands of the Zappa Family Trust. To celebrate this, the estate has signed a global license and distribution deal with Universal Music to release 60 of the iconic composer’s recordings. The roll-out kicks off July 31 with 12 recordings, and another dozen recordings to be released monthly through the end of 2012.
Martin Scorsese’s new documentary George Harrison: Living In The Material World, which premiered on HBO last October, is getting a proper release on May 1st. Universal Music Enterprises will be releasing the film on DVD, Blu-ray, and a Deluxe Edition that will include the DVD, Blu-ray, special packaging and a 96-page book of photography to accompany the film.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is an album from a long, long time ago, when the world was different. This is an album that is part of my history – it goes back to the wee hills of Scotland where it was formed. It’s an album called RAM. It reminds me of my hippie days and the free attitude with which was created. I hope you’re going to like it, because I do!”
Paul McCartney, 2012
The 25th anniversary of Graceland, Paul Simon‘s groundbreaking album that continues to influence and inspire generations, will be commemorated with musical and film celebrations stretching into the summer. Following its Sundance Film Festival premiere, the Joe Berlinger directed documentary Under African Skies, chronicling the creation and lasting influence of Graceland, will have its US television premiere on A&E this spring. The documentary has been garnering critical acclaim on the film festival circuit with screenings at SXSW 2012, where it received an Audience Award, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.
Madonna has returned for the 8th time to the top of the Billboard’s Pop Charts with MDNA selling 359,000 albums according to Neilsen Soundscan and is the biggest selling first week debut this year. MDNA is The Material Girl’s fifth No. 1 studio album in a row and her first album for Interscope Records.
The Crown Estate today unveiled a commemorative plaque to David Bowie’s iconic creation, Ziggy Stardust, marking the 40th anniversary of his album, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. The plaque was unveiled at 23 Heddon Street, just off Regent Street, London, W1, where the photograph on the front cover of the album was taken–a fact little known until now.
David Shaw, Head of the Regent Street Portfolio at The Crown Estate, said:
UK pop legends Squeeze have announced that they’ll be returning to the States in April for select dates, including their debut performances at Coachella. Kicking off in San Diego on April 10th, the tour brings them to Coachella on April 14th and 21st, along with other shows in select US markets. Squeeze will be releasing a limited-edition white vinyl package, Live at the Fillmore, on April 14th, available only at the band’s US tour dates and through their website.
Amy Winehouse’s life was tragically cut short when she was found dead in July of 2011. The talented singer had one of those distinct and evocative voices that conveys the pain, vulnerability, and sorrow that seems inherent to the best blues/jazz singers. In the capable and loving hands of producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, a posthumous album of Winehouse’s work has now been released entitled Lioness: Hidden Treasures. But it should be noted that there are only two original tracks and the other songs include alternate versions of singles and plenty of notable covers.
Amnesty International is preparing to release Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. The 4-disc collection – set for release on January 24, 2012, in North America and January 30 internationally – contains 76 newly recorded Bob Dylan songs by more than 80 artists. Chimes of Freedom can be pre-ordered here.
A special two-disc version of Chimes of Freedom will be available at Starbucks beginning January 24, while supplies last. This special edition, curated by Starbucks, will feature a total of 31 tracks.
There are very few musicians out there today who can claim to have had the same level of musical impact on the world that Sting has. Over the past quarter century he has written and recorded some of the most melodic, intelligent and rhythmically infectious music available. His discography and body of work is staggering and his approach to the creation of music is energetic and downright prolific. He has been able to jump musical genres like they were mole hills rather than mountains, and he’s done it with style and grace.
Forty years ago yesterday, on October 11, 1971, Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention performed two marathon, full-length shows at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall. This is your ticket directly to the Vault, and to four CDs of the music recorded, available for the first time since it was first performed LIVE by Zappa with Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Ian Underwood, Don Preston, Jim Pons & Aynsley Dunbar. The Zappa Family Trust announced the pre-sale via their website.
From heartbreak to honky-tonking, from Jesus to gin mills, Hank Williams wrote about life’s deepest truths and sang with an ethereal authority on such unforgettable songs as “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “I Saw the Light,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Cold, Cold Heart” and many more.
When Hank Williams died, at the age of 29, in the back of his Cadillac sometime early morning on New Year’s Day 1953, he left behind a scuffed, embroidered brown leather briefcase, which he used to carry bound notebooks, among other items, darkening their pages with lyrics and song ideas. Some were fully finished, some just started.