Thursday, December 3, 2009

Music News & Notes

Arcade Fire Release Set For May 2010

According to Billboard, Arcade Fire’s follow-up to Neon Bible is on schedule for a May 2010 release. Markus Dravs, who served as an engineer on Neon, will produce the band’s third full-length LP. The Canadian rockers have also reportedly been offered headlining spots on a few North American festivals.


Grammy Nominees Named

Last night, the nominees for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced.
The Nominees are:

Song of the Year

Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Pretty Wings – Maxwell
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyoncé
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift

Pop Duo or Group With Vocals

Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
Bon Jovi – “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
The Fray – “Never Say Never”
Daryl Hall and John Oates – “Sara Smile”
MGMT – “Kids”

Best Rock Album

AC/DC – Black Ice
Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood – Live from Madison Square Garden
Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
U2 – No Line on the Horizon

Best Rap Solo Performance

Drake – “Best I Ever Had”
Eminem – “Beautiful”
Jay-Z – “D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)”
Kid Cudi – “Day ‘N’ Nite”
Mos Def – “Casa Bey”

Country Duo or Group With Vocals

Brooks and Dunn – “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
Zac Brown Band – “Chicken Fried”
Lady Antebellum – “I Run to You”
Rascal Flatts – “Here Comes Goodbye”
Sugarland – “It Happens”

Record of the Year

Beyoncé – “Halo”
Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Album of the Year

Beyoncé – I Am…Sasha Fierce
Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
Lady Gaga – The Fame
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
Taylor Swift – Fearless

Best New Artist

Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings


Eric Woolfson of the Alan Parsons Project Passes Away

Eric Woolfson, the man who wrote many of the hits of the Alan Parsons Project along with singing lead on many tracks, passed away on Tuesday night in London. He had been battling cancer.

The announcement came on Woolfson's Facebook profile:

We are very sad to have to tell you that Eric Woolfson passed away in the early hours of this morning after a long and brave battle with cancer. He very much enjoyed seeing all your kind comments and posts on this Facebook page and his family wanted to thank you for your appreciation of his work.

Woolfson was born in Scotland and grew up in Glasgow where he started composing in his early teens. At 18, he moved to London where he became a session pianist and wrote songs for artists like Marianne Faithfull, Peter Noone, the Tremeloes and Marmalade.

Eric started working with the an early incarnation of 10cc (Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Lol Creme and Graham Gouldman) in 1971, producing early group and solo records. He also became more active in the management side of the music business, signing both Carl Douglas (Kung Fu Fighting) and Alan Parsons.

By the middle of the decade, Woolfson and Parsons joined forces in the Alan Parsons Project. Parsons already had experience producing albums for Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd (he produced Dark Side of the Moon) and partnered with Woolfson for his singing and songwriting prowess. The two made ten albums between 1976 and 1987 and, while a number of vocalists were used over the years, it is Woolfson's voice that can be heard on such hits as Time and Eye in the Sky.

After parting ways with Parsons, Woolfson moved into writing for the theater. His first show, Freudiana, was originally meant to be a Project album but ended up being transitioned to the stage, opening in Vienna in 1990. He returned often to musical biographies, also writing shows about Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi (1995's Gaudi) and Edgar Alan Poe (2003's Poe: More Tales of Mystery and Imagination). Other shows included Gambler (1996) and Dancing in the Shadows (2007).


Erasure "The Innocents" Remastered, Out December 8

Legendary pop heroes Erasure release the 21st Anniversary remaster of their classic pop album, "The Innocents" on December 8th, 2009. Available on CD, download and as a deluxe two CD/DVD package, the deluxe release will feature the original album remastered, a second disc of remastered B-Sides, remixes and rarities plus DVD with Erasure, live at the NEC Birmingham on 15th November 1988. Extras on the DVD include live unreleased versions of "Witch In The Ditch" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!," recordings from the BBC around the original release which includes "Ship Of Fools" on Going Live! and "A Little Respect" from Top Of The Pops plus the original promotional videos for "Ship Of Fools," "Chains Of Love" and "A Little Respect."

"The Innocents," originally released on 18th April 1988, was the first Erasure album to hit the UK #1 spot (first on 30th April 1988 and again in January 1989), a chart-topping position they revisited with each of their next four album releases.

Featuring the singles "A Little Respect," "Ship Of Fools" and "Chains Of Love," "The Innocents" was Erasure's third album release, following "Wonderland" and "The Circus," and the album that secured their position as one of Britain's most beloved and enduring songwriting duos.

In over two decades together, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke (a founding member of Depeche Mode and Yazoo) have sold more than 20 million albums around the globe, proving themselves masters of every kind of song from disco symphonies to unplugged ballads.


Happy birthday to Ozzy, the "Prince of Darkness" and the "Godfather of Heavy Metal"

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