Friday, July 31, 2009

Music News & Notes

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA to release new album in September

Ascendance Records is gearing up for the release of the second album from DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA entitled ‘SING ALONG SONGS FOR THE DAMNED AND DELIRIOUS’

The unique genre-hopping Swedish sextet has already garnered an ever-growing army of fans on the strength of their self-released debut ‘The Butcher's Ballroom’ (later licensed to Candlelight Records in Europe and Sonic Cathedral in the US) and their European festival perfomances including MFVF and Summer Breeze.

The album was recorded at In Flames studio in Gothenburg under the supervision of producer Roberto Laghi who, besides his work on the latest In Flames effort, has also worked with the likes of Sonic Syndicate, Mustasch and Hardcore Superstar.

The band say that fans of “The Butcher Ballroom” will recognize the DSO sound but it has developed into something even more playful and at times far more aggressive than before.

A "very special" edition will be available directly from Ascendance by mail order only, with an individually numbered band logo Dog Tag pendant, a set of postcards and a vinyl sticker included with the CD/DVD version. This will be strictly limited to 300 copies.


Neil Finn, Wilco, Radiohead, and KT Tunstall collaborate for charity

The first 7 Worlds Collide album, a collection of amazing musical talents from across the globe in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières, was a unique live performance experience, fusing the varied talents of a stellar cast across a range of cover versions to create a series of shows that culminated in the live album of the same name. Seven years after that project, instigator Neil Finn has upped the ante with the new 7 Worlds Collide project, The Sun Came Out, a double album of original songs created and recorded by many of the original cast alongside notable new additions in an intense three weeks in his native New Zealand. This time the beneficiaries of this album will be Oxfam, as well as music lovers worldwide.

Familiar faces from the original album abound, Johnny Marr, Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway of Radiohead but this album, first and foremost presents the listener with new songs rather than interpretations of old favourites. The Sun Came Out also features a whole host of new guest talents such as KT Tunstall and Wilco and heart stopping firsts, including Phil Selway's songwriting and vocal debut as well as dream collaborations such as those between Johnny Marr and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy; and KT Tunstall and Neil Finn.

At the heart of the record is Neil Finn. His enthusiasm and drive persuaded the likes of celebrated producer Jim Scott, Lisa Germano, Johnny Marr and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Pat Sansone, John Stirratt and Glenn Kotche (amongst others) to spend their Christmas holiday in New Zealand and even interrupted KT Tunstall's honeymoon in the process.

With families welcome, the studio became a constant whirl of creativity and energy throughout the three weeks allocated to create the record. Johnny Marr returned from a run on the beach with the basis of 'Too Blue', where Jeff Tweedy was waiting to add his talents; KT Tunstall stopped Neil retiring to his bed to complete 'Hazel Black'; a wandering Johnny Marr added a chorus melody to Liam Finn's 'Red Wine Bottle'; Ed O'Brien fashioned 'Bodhisattva Blues' from a Tibetan chant. In this atmosphere, anything was possible and Neil's wife Sharon found herself laying down her debut vocal on 'Little By Little' whilst Phil Selway also took his vocal bow and unveiled a hitherto unknown songwriting talent with his solo turn 'The Ties That Bind Us' in one take.

From Neil's original doubts over the idea, "I thought, what is this? Is it just an ego thing," came a double album of astounding collaborations for the listener and amazing memories for all those concerned in the recording. At the center of it all stands Neil Finn, too humble to take the glory himself, it is left to KT Tunstall to give the credit due to the man who made this happen: "It's Neil. It all comes from him. There's something about him that made everyone open up creatively."


Green Day, Pink to perform at MTV Video Music Awards

Green Day and Pink are scheduled to return to the MTV Video Music Awards this year, both scheduled to perform songs from their recent releases at the Sept. 13 New York City event.

Pink, who at last year's VMA's sang a live rendition of "So What" from her October release "Funhouse," will select another track from the multi-platinum album to perform at Radio City Music Hall.

Green Day, slated to appear for the first time since 2005, will perform a song from the alt-rockers' new album, "21st Century Breakdown." Three tracks from the record--"21 Guns," "East Jesus Nowhere" and "Know Your Enemy"--are now available for download for use in the "Rock Band" video game.


DARK FOREST: 'Defender' EP Due Next Month

England's DARK FOREST will release the CD version of its new EP, "Defender", at the Reanimator Night concert in Wolverhampton on August 22. The vinyl edition will follow a couple of weeks later. According to the group, "There will be a special deal for those who buy both the CD and the vinyl: you'll only have to pay postage for the vinyl, the CD will be shipped for free, as soon as it's available. This way you can listen to the great new tunes right away without having to wait for the vinyl version to arrive. We'll also add some nice little extras to your package if you order both."

Formed in 2002 in the West Midlands, DARK FOREST "combin[es] the great legacy of classic NWOBHM acts like TYRANT, ELIXIR, MAIDEN or TREDEGAR with the pounding glory of epic metal bands like ISEN TORR and the beautiful mythic harmonies of Anglo-Saxon folk music," according to a press release. "DARK FOREST deliver an absolutely unique brand of classic, no-bollocks heavy metal. Galloping rhythms, insanely beautiful twin guitar harmonies and unbelievable vocal lines — everything British metal was famous and loved for in the early '80s is there."

DARK FOREST's second album is tentatively due in 2010 via Iron Kodex.

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