Monday, November 9, 2009

EMI, Caroline Distribution Hold Battle Of The Bands For Record Store Day

EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution are working hand in hand with independent record stores to invoke a great rock tradition: a Battle of the Bands amongst local high-school groups across the nation.

The events are taking place at participating stores through mid-November. The "winning" band as chosen by each local store will have the chance to have a song included on a compilation that will be released on Record Store Day (April 17, 2010). The finalists will then be reviewed and one band will be selected to receive the grand prize of recording time with a legendary music producer, and a complete gear outfit courtesy of Fender Musical Instrument Corporation.

As stated by Dominic Pandiscia, SVP/GM EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution:

"The Battle of the Bands campaign reinforces the record store as a key hub of activity for students. We're incredibly excited to work with all associated partners to nurture local music talent, while creating exciting events at local independent stores."

Michael Kurtz, co-founder of Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record stores, saw this as a great opportunity to get the local community involved. The compilation of winners will be released on Record Store Day and the winning band from each market will be invited to perform in-store.

"The organizers behind Record Store Day have helped develop artists as incredible as Regina Spektor, Flyleaf, and Linkin Park," said Kurtz. "Additionally, we've been doing our part to help build the audience of such amazing bands as Wilco, Joss Stone, and Evanescence, while celebrating the music of artists like Tom Waits, Green Day and Radiohead with special RSD vinyl releases. It is exciting to now help an aspiring high school band discover that when they work hard, other people will step in to help. Helping the Fender Music Foundation bring funding and resources to the local communities is especially gratifying."

The winning band, to be selected by Merovingian Music President Jack Ponti and Fender Director of Entertainment Marketing Del Breckenfeld, will be outfitted with Fender equipment, including a Fender Road WornTM '50s Strat®, a Fender Road Worn '50s Precision Bass®, a Fender California SeriesTM KingmanTM SCE Electric Acoustic,· a Fender Super-SonicTM Amp; a Fender Bassman® Fifteen Bass Amp; a Gretsch® BlackhawkTM Drum Kit, Sabian® Cymbals and Gibraltar® Drum Hardware. Nine runner-up bands will receive Fender G-DEC® Amps (one per band), preloaded with loops and other tools, for practicing and songwriting.

The winning band will also have studio time with legendary producer/musician/manager/songwriter Jack Ponti (Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, India.Arie, Aiden, Boyz II Men). The recording will then be mixed by Kevin Shirley (aka The Caveman) who has mixed records for Iron Maiden, HIM, Slayer, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.

In addition, participating local bands will have the chance to open for The Sunstreak at select high schools around the country. Signed to Merovingian Records, The Sunstreak, veterans of the Vans Warped tour, self-recorded their soon to be released, Once Upon A Lie on a MacBook, exemplifying the "do it yourself" indie spirit of the "Battle of the Bands" campaign.

Sounds like fun to me!

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 11/07/2009

1. LP - The Beatles "Let It Be" UK Original Box Set Sealed - $10,099.00

2. LP - John Heartsman And Circles "Music Of My Heart" Private - $5,300.00

3. LP - The Beatles "White Album" UK Pressing 0006864 - $4,899.66

4. LP - The Beatles "Please Please Me" Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo - $2,571.43

5. LP - Bob Dylan "John Wesley Harding" Red Vinyl - $3,249.00

As always, a special thank you to Norm at for this great data. Stop in and listen to their unique radio show Accidental Nostalgia with Norm & Jane On Radio Dentata - 60 minutes of rare records and nugatory narration. Every Tuesday 4PM PT/7PM ET, Sunday 9AM PT/12PM ET & Monday 12AM PT/3AM ET

Students Learn The Value Of Album Cover Art With Assignment

By Robert Benson

Vinyl records are enjoying a bit of a resurgence with sales on a slow but steady increase in the last few years. What makes vinyl so attractive to music consumers is of course the sound quality and the pleasure of actually owning the physical product – you can hold it, admire it and study the album cover art as you listen to the LP.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Schnitzer, an art teacher at Williston Middle School in Wilmington, NC who has a special assignment for her art students. As part of their course work, she has the students design their own album cover art. Let’s learn more about this innovative and interesting assignment:

Where do you teach and what subjects?

I teach Visual Art-Grades 6, 7 and 8.

When did you first start this project?

In 1989, when I began teaching in Allendale, New Jersey. I actually had done the project six months before I got my job, when I was a student at Clifton High School, in Clifton, NJ.

I would imagine that over the years that you have seen some great ideas from your students, do you have any cover art that stands out, sort of a top ten list?

All my students turn in creative art work and I have had students do some really impressive and creative album covers for Metallica, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC- lots of heavy metal covers, I think that the music just lends itself to some dramatic visuals.

I would have loved an art project like this when I was in school, are the students excited and interested in the assignment?

They really enjoy the project. It is one project where they can really be as creative as they’d like, without specific instructions, except that the covers must be in a 12 inch by 12 inch format (the dimensions of album covers).

You told me that you have generated a list of good album titles to help the students, can you elaborate?

I have a list of about fifty or so album titles from over the years, some really translate literally, which is a bit easier for middle school students. Some of them are: Cyndi Lauper Hat Full Of Stars, Billy Joel Glass Houses, Aerosmith Permanent Vacation, Jimmy Buffet Off To See The Lizard, Meatloaf Bat Out Of Hell. Also on the list is Neil Young Harvest Moon, Jethro Tull Thick As A Brick, Rush Moving Pictures, Cream Strange Brew, David Bowie Ziggy Stardust, Supertramp Breakfast In America, B-52’s Wild Planet and many others.

How may of the students actually have vinyl?

Not too many, but they definitely come in and tell me about their parents’ collections after we start the project! There are also two record shops in town which sell a lot of collectible vinyl.

What are your favorite album covers, what do you think of Sgt. Pepper?

I’m not actually a huge Sgt. Pepper fan and I generally prefer drawn or painted covers rather than photography, but I will say my favorites include Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (great concept for the cover), Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus and any of the Neon Park covers he did for them and also Supertramp’s Breakfast In America cover, which was photography, but very surreal.

You state that you have brought in some of your own albums for the students to look at, do they have any favorites?

They love most of the Led Zeppelin covers (I have them all so I bring them in to share); also, they love the story behind Abbey Road and Paul’s supposed demise and such. Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is another favorite- due to the dirty little pictures all over it.

What kind of requirements do you place on the students for the assignment, are they allowed to use a collage, pictures, certain colors?

When we do this project, my 8th graders are at the point in the semester where we have worked with so many mediums that they are allowed to use anything we’ve used up to that point including fabric, yarn, glitter, paints, inks, magazines, etc. The album covers have to stay clean and within the 12” x 12” limit.

What is the appeal, why is this project important?

Since I am a child (teenager) of the 70’s, I try to instill in my students the intense enormity of album cover art and how much of a part of our social scene that they were! I saw over thirty concerts between my three years in high school, beginning with Steve Miller in 1976 and I tell them that music was much more social back then, iPods have isolated folks and music is not shared as much, which to me is very sad. We all had a hard enough time actually seeing our bands in music videos, which really changed music in a positive way. When we were in high school, we often didn’t see the musicians unless they were on the Midnight Special, Don Kirschner’s Rock Hour or Saturday Night Live, and when you did get to see a band you liked it was such a special treat!

Let’s look at some of the creative album cover art that has been turned in:

It’s encouraging that an art teacher recognizes the social and cultural importance of album cover art and teaches these values to her students. And as vinyl record sales continue to rise, more and more young music lovers will soon embrace the superior sound of vinyl and get to know album cover art personally.

Written By Robert Benson Copyright 2009

Music News & Notes

Depeche Mode to release ‘Fragile Tension,’ ‘Hole to Feed’ as double A-side single

Depeche Mode next month will release the third single from this year’s Sounds Of The Universe — a double A-side featuring “Fragile Tension” and “Hole to Feed” — on CD, 12-inch vinyl and as a digital download.

Showing uncharacteristic inconsistency, DM isn’t issuing the new double-sided single as a 7-inch, even though the album’s first two singles, “Wrong” and “Peace,” are available as 45s. Yet “Fragile Tension”/”Hole to Feed” is being released as a double 12-inch; the decision not to issue “Peace” in that format (the first Depeche Mode single since 1981’s “Dreaming of Me” not to be on 12-inch) already has sparked a fan petition in protest.

Out Dec. 7 in Europe (a U.S. digital release is still pending), the new single collects umpteen new remixes of the two title tracks, as well as album tracks “Come Back” and “Perfect.” It’s only the third double A-side single from Depeche Mode, following 1984’s “Blasphemous Rumors”/”Somebody” and 2006’s “John the Revelator”/”Lilian.”

It’s not known yet whether Depeche Mode plans a video for “Fragile Tension,” but the band already has released a face-licking-filled clip for “Hole to Feed.”

Double 12-inch vinyl:

1. “Fragile Tension” (Stephan Bodzin Remix) 9.14
2. “Fragile Tension” (Kris Menace’s Love On Laserdisc Remix) 6.24
3. “Hole To Feed” (Popof Vocal Mix) 8.42
4. “Hole To Feed” (Paul Woolford’s Easyfun Ethereal Disco Mix) 9.24
5. “Perfect” (Roger Sanchez Club Mix) 7.24
6. “Perfect” (Ralphi Rosario Dub) 8.26
7. “Peace” (Herve’s ‘Warehouse Frequencies’ Remix) 5.10
8. “Peace” (Sander Van Doorn Remix) 8.02


Get Some Balls, The Show Must Go ON!

Morrissey’s reputation as the world’s most unreliable concert draw remains solidly intact, thanks to incoming reports he walked offstage just one-and-a-half songs into tonight’s Liverpool concert after a fan tossed a drink at him.

Disgruntled fans are documenting the incident on Twitter, and reports vary as to whether Moz actually was hit or not, and whether the offensive projectile was a beer bottle, a plastic water bottle, a cup of some variety or some other kind of liquid-bearing vessel. (Watch the video of it below and you can be the judge.)

According to a fan posting on, Moz took the stage and said, “It’s Saturday night. It’s raining. It’s Liverpool. And it’s perfect,” then opened with The Smiths’ “This Charming Man.” He was playing the night’s second song, “Black Cloud,” when, the Liverpool Echo reports, “he was struck just moments after shaking hands with members of the audience by what appeared to be a half-full plastic glass.”

Morrissey plainly took offense at the gesture, and left the stage, along with his band, leaving 7,000-odd befuddled fans at the Echo Arena in Liverpool having just witnessed a very short concert. Fans report the following announcement was made: “Morrissey’s been hit in the head with a bottle of beer. The show won’t be continuing.”

Grow some balls, these people actually paid money to see you 'perform' (obviously-I'm not a big fan of 'Moz')


Pixies Play Subdued Cut On Conan

The Pixies appeared on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” last Friday to perform the closest thing the band ever had to a pop hit, Doolittle’s “Here Comes Your Man.” Get a load of the sheer size of the Minotaur box set that Conan holds up in the intro!



Up To Now the best of Snow Patrol is now available in the shops and to download.

The thirty track, double album of singles, cover versions, rarities and compositions by The Reindeer Section, is available on CD & DVD, Standard CD, download and Limited Edition Box Set, which is available exclusively from and not available in the shops.

The beautiful heavyweight box sets are numbered and contain the double disc album on CD, three heavyweight vinyl’s, two DVDs, a lithograph print by Bradley Quinn and an LP-sized booklet. To order the box sets simply click here.

Snow Patrol


D-A-D: 'Behind The Seen' Limited-Edition Vinyl Released

While the band is touring Europe, Danish hard rockers D-A-D are celebrating their 25-year anniversary by offering the very limited "Behind The Seen" vinyl on November 16 featuring rare, unreleased and B-side songs. Only 500 copies were made worldwide.

The track listing is as follows:

01. Strong Where You Belong
02. Women Are Crazy
03. Wonderful
04. Stop Me
05. The Dentist
06. Motorlove
07. Big Ones
08. Look What The Drug Dragged In
09. Burn The Bridges
10. Last Mango In Paris
11. I'm A Little Cloud
12. In Real Life
13. Favours
14. Horizon
15. You Filled My Head
16. Jacketless In December
17. Tyrants
18. Time Swallows Time

"The Overmuch Box", a collection of D-A-D's complete works in a box, is due on November 16. It contains — besides a CD with never previously released tracks and b-sides and a 160-page book about the band — remastered versions of the bands ten albums. All albums have been remastered by Chris Athens, who has previously mastered albums such as COLDPLAY's "X & Y", N*E*R*D's "Fly Or Die" and KELIS's "Tasty". Athens has also worked with remastering music of world artists like OZZY OSBOURNE and JOHNNY CASH.

"The Overmuch Box" will celebrate D-A-D's 25th anniversary by containing 10 remastered studio albums:

* Call Of The Wild (1985)
* D.A.D. Draws A Circle (1987)
* No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims (1989)
* Riskin' It All (1991)
* Helpyourselfish (1995)
* Simpatico (1997)
* Everything Glows (2000)
* Soft Dogs (2002)
* Scare Yourself (2005)
* Monster Philosophy (2008)

The package will also contain D-A-D's first release ever, the EP "Standin' On The Never Never" (1985) — remastered and released on CD for the first time. "The Overmuch Box" will also contain the bonus album "Behind The Seen" (2009), featuring eight previously unreleased tracks plus 10 rare b-sides and bonus tracks. Also included will be a book in English about the life and times of D-A-D, based on a number of recent interviews with the band, by author Michael Valeur. The 160 pages are generously illustrated by D-A-D bass player Stig Pedersen.

Besides the regular version, "The Overmuch Box" comes as a deluxe limited edition in a cow-skull-shaped metal box containing both "The Overmuch Box" and a cow-skull-shaped USB key. The 2GB USB contains all 10 studio albums, the "Standin' On The Never Never" EP, the "Behind The Seen" bonus album, plus ultra-rare live recordings, not available anywhere else!!!


KISS: Video Interview Posted Online

The members of KISS were interviewed by Altitude and Sprint TV prior to their October 31, 2009 performance at the 11th annual Voodoo Experience music festival in New Orleans. Watch the chat below.

More than 150 acts played on eight stages in three separate areas — named Le Ritual, Le Flambeau and Le Carnival — around the city.

Other major acts on the Voodoo Experience bill included JANE'S ADDICTION, WOLFMOTHER, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, MEAT PUPPETS and DOWN.

Guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley says that he feels no shame in KISS being lumped in with other vintage, or classic rock acts — in fact, the band is thrilled with the fact that they're now spanning there different generations with their music and bombastic live shows.

Stanley, who's out on the road with KISS in support of their first album in a decade, called "Sonic Boom", told Metal Hammer magazine, "I'm proud to be in the category of classic rock bands — what's better than the word 'classic?' Are you kidding? If you want to call LED ZEPPELIN a classic rock band and then you want to call us a classic rock band, I'm not fighting. If I'm going to be lumped in with anybody, let me be lumped in with my heroes. That doesn't preclude you from being current. It means that you have a solid history and a foundation, which most bands will never achieve because they won't survive that long."


!!! Drummer Jerry Fuchs Dies After Falling Down Elevator Shaft
In New York yesterday...

!!! drummer Gerhardt (Jerry) Fuchs has tragically died after falling down five stories of an elevator shaft in Williamsburg, New York.

The 34-year-old fell to his death at 12.30am (EST) yesterday morning when a manual freight lift stopped slightly above the fifth floor.

Fuchs and his friend attempted to jump the few feet to the floor, but the New York Times reports that the drummer's clothing got caught as he jumped and he fell through the gap. His friend landed safely.

He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, but died at 3.30am.

!! had earlier performed with MSTRKRFT on the Late Show With David Letterman in the city.

As well as !!!, Fuchs had played drums for Turing Machine, Maserati and The Juna MacLean.


Arctic Monkeys To Release New Single Through Oxfam

Arctic Monkeys will release their next single 'Cornerstone' exclusively through the charity shops of Oxfam.

The band previously did the same thing with their last single 'Crying Lightning' which went on to sell 10,000 vinyl copies.

The limited edition 'Cornerstone' 10” record will go on sale in 50 of Oxfam's stores on November 16th. Fans who buy the vinyl will get a code which allows them to download the MP3 files of the songs.

Additionally the band will be planting 'Golden Tickets' inside the records enabling fans the chance to win tickets to see Arctic Monkeys forthcoming UK tour.