Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Music News & Notes

SLASH Picks His Favorite Riffs recently caught up with former GUNS N' ROSES and current VELVET REVOLVER guitarist Slash to talk riffs.

On what makes a killer guitar riff:

Slash: "A killer riff… something that's memorable, something that digs in, something that obviously has the right note selection to make something just sound fucking attractive, I guess. It's got to have a great sound and it's got to have a great attack. There's a lot of different elements but I think the most important thing is something that's really catchy and something that sticks with you."

What's your favourite riff of all time?

Slash: "LED ZEPPELIN had probably the biggest cache of killer riffs, more than any other band. I was thinking 'Whole Lotta Love'. I remember when that record came out — fuck, I was a little kid. But you know, 'Black Dog' is another one. ZEPPELIN had probably the biggest cache of killer riffs, more than any other band, y' know. I could go on… there's so many great riffs it's hard to go, this is the one."

Which of your own riffs are you most proud of?

Slash: "I've always dug 'Paradise City', I always thought it was great. 'Rocket Queen' was something that I was pretty fond of. And 'Jungle''s great. Everybody seems to like 'Sweet Child O' Mine' and that's a pretty cool riff, but I'd probably opt for 'Welcome To The Jungle' over 'Sweet Child O' Mine'."


Spoon to Release LP Transference Early

Maybe it's because of the steady stream of disappointment that comes with being hip-hop fans, but whenever we hear that an anticipated album has changed release dates, we worry that it will never come out. Fortunately, in the case of Spoon's ridiculously anticipated Transference full-length, the release date change means we'll get the album a week earlier.

Originally scheduled for release on January 26, the record has been bumped up to January 19 by Merge. No reason was given for the move, but at the same time, no one's really complaining.

The band also announced they'll be releasing “Written in Reverse,” the album's debut single, as a digital download on December 1, with a proper vinyl seven-inch version coming January 5. The B-side of the vinyl record will be “Mean Red Spider,” which won't be available anywhere else.


Animal Collective Mark End of 'Merriweather' Era With New EP

With the release of its new EP, 'Fall Be Kind,' Animal Collective is clearing the vaults of material recorded during sessions for 'Merriweather Post Pavilion,' one of the most critically fawned-over albums of 2009. In doing so, multi-instrumentalist Dave Portner, aka Avey Tare, says the New York City-via-Baltimore band is closing the book on a "really positive" chapter in its career.

"I think that's why we wanted to put it out at the end of the year," Portner tells Spinner of 'Fall Be Kind,' out now digitally and available next month on CD and vinyl. "It feels like [the songs] all kind of fit together with the touring and the things we've been doing for the last couple of years. It definitely feels like the end of this era."

The EP features five songs, three of which -- 'Graze,' 'I Think I Can' and 'On a Highway' -- the band started recording during 'Merriweather' but decided to let gestate a bit longer.

"There's always one song with every record where we're like, 'That didn't work somehow,'" Portner says. "These songs just needed a little more time."

The 'Fall Be Kind' tunes share much in common with the 'Merriweather' material, and taken as a whole, Animal Collective's 2008-09 output represents a definite stylistic shift -- a movement toward what could almost be described as pop music. The rhythms are still frantic and the dense blend of electronic and acoustic instruments disorienting, but the harmonies and melodies dazzle.


Susan Boyle to challenge Arctic Monkeys for fastest-selling UK debut album ever 'I Dreamed A Dream' also in the running for the fastest-selling UK album of 2009

Susan Boyle's debut album 'I Dreamed A Dream' looks set to go up against Arctic Monkeys' 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' to become the fastest-selling UK debut of all time. The album, which features covers of The Rolling Stones' 'Wild Horses' and Madonna's 'You'll See', sold over 130,000 copies on its first day of release yesterday (November 23), according to The Official Charts Company.

Boyle is now set to challenge Arctic Monkeys, who sold 363,735 copies of 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not', their debut album, in its first week of release on January 23, 2006. Even if Boyle does not beat Arctic Monkeys she is likely to feature highly in the fastest-selling UK albums of 2009 run-down. JLS are currently topping the list with their self-titled debut, which sold 230,000 copies upon its release earlier this month.

Speaking of 'I Dreamed A Dream', Boyle said: "It was my greatest ambition to release an album and I have finally achieved it. There is happiness out there for everyone who dares to dream."

The Rolling Stones have reissued 'Wild Horses' following Boyle's performance of the song on last week's edition of 'The X Factor' (November 22).


Bon Jovi Greatest Hits LP

Jon Bon Jovi announced that the group would be putting out a new greatest hits album sometime next year. The set will update 1994's Cross Roads which remains a big catalog seller.

Bon Jovi told The Rock Radio, "It'll be a new greatest hits because the last one was 15 years ago. It was '94. So you had everything from These Days forward. And what is this my fifth album in this decade? So at least six studio records and a solo thing. And then I'm sure you'll still end up having to put Living On A Prayer on it but there won't be Runaway on it. It won't have the early early stuff because we'll have had more hits since then."


Sade To Issue New Album

Epic Records has announced a February 8 release of Soldier of Love, the first studio album in ten years of Sade.

Little is known about the album other than it was recorded in England and produced by Mike Pela who has helmed most of Sade's recordings.

This will be Sade's sixth studio album since her debut in 1984 and her first since Lovers Rock in 2000.


Beyonce To Release New Album In 2010

Beyonce has said she plans to release a new album next year.

The singer, whose last album 'I Am...Sasha Fierce' came out in 2008, made the announcement during a concert in Nottingham.

She told fans: "This is my last show for this tour in the UK, so hopefully, I'll see you all in a year with a new album.”

According to Billboard, producer Darkchild's has previously told his Twitter followers that he was working on songs with the singer


IMPIOUS: Japanese Version Of 'Death Domination' To Include Previously Unreleased Bonus Track

"Death Domination", the new album from Swedish death/thrashers IMPIOUS, will be released in Asia on December 23.

The Asian version of the CD will include the bonus track "The Reaper's End", which was previously unreleased.

"Death Domination" is being released in North America today (November 24) via Metal Blade Records. The CD's cover artwork, which the band describes as "one of the most sinister and malignant-looking album covers ever," was created by Marcello Vasco and can be viewed below.

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