Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mars goes to war


Musicians often fear the dreaded sophomore slump, but what about the third-album lawsuit?

Not so much.

L.A. rockers Thirty Seconds To Mars found themselves embroiled in a $30-million lawsuit, when the group was sued by their label, EMI, after leaving the record company just two albums into a five-album contract.

No surprise, then, that the three man band -- featuring singer-guitarist and famous actor Jared Leto -- named their recently released third CD,This Is War.

In addition to Leto (who had big roles inMy So-Called Life, Requiem For A DreamandPanic Room),Thirty Seconds To Mars includes Leto's brother and drummer Shannon Leto, plus guitarist Tomo Milicevic.

"We had a giant corporate battle," said Jared Leto, 38, in an interview in Toronto shortly after the album's release in December.

"We had sold millions of records around the world, and had tons of success, and we were celebrating -- and then it's that age-old story. You find out that not only are we not going to get paid a single penny, but that we were millions of dollars in debt. So we decided to fight. We made this record on our own, financed it ourselves, and we went to war. It's amazing what you're capable of when you're backed into a corner."

Under California law, Thirty Seconds To Mars was allowed to leave EMI after seven years with the label, and they had signed with EMI nine years previously. In the end, the two sides settled out of court and the band remained with EMI.

"EMI addressed our concerns before we actually went to trial," Leto said. "It took a while. It was quite a battle. But eventually they did the right thing. And that was to take steps to treat us fairly."

This Is War,which follows Thirty Seconds To Mars' 2002 self-titled debut and 2005's multi-platinumA Beautiful Lie,was co-produced by U2 collaborators Flood and Steve Lillywhite.

"It's not a record of U2 influence," Leto pointed out. "It's a distinctly Thirty Seconds To Mars record. And I think the exciting thing, really, is becoming more of who we really are. And that's been a lot of fun. It certainly was an interesting time in the history of the world. We made this record and the entire planet fell apart while we were making it. There was all kinds of economic turmoil, the housing market, financial crisis, so it was a transformational period for us creatively as well."

Perhaps, more significantly,This Is Warfeatures fan involvement on all fronts.

The group had members of their fan community, called The Echelon, show up at clubs throughout the world -- including Toronto's Tattoo Rock Parlour -- to be part of the recording process.

"I don't think it's been done in quite this way before," Leto said. "It started in Los Angeles. There were a thousand people that came out to a place called The Avalon, and joined us in this interactive recording experiment, and it went so well we did it in eight different countries around the world, including Canada."

They also set up an Internet site on which fans could contribute vocals and sounds to the album digitally, through their computers, at home using new technology.

"It's actually tens of thousands of people all over the world that sang on that song (the first singleKings and Queens),and many other songs," Leto said. "So it was a timely kind of thing to do. It was a way to bring a bit of the live show to the album."

Additionally, the album features 2,000 different covers submitted by fans -- some famous, some not -- from around the world.

For example, the album art QMI Agency got was a self-portrait from up-and-coming director Spencer Susser in a fake moustache.

"It's been exciting for me because I started as a visual artist," said Leto, who was studying photography and filmmaking before he dropped out to act as a way of getting into directing.

"To do these things likeFaces Of Mars,I mean really this is just an art project. When you see them all together, the disparate nature, it's really striking, the different faces from all over the world, it's really compelling."

As Thirty Seconds To Mars tour -- they're currently headlining arenas in Europe and begin a North American leg April 9 in Las Vegas (all dates thereafter to be determined) -- fan involvement is a natural.

"The audience is in the band now," Leto said. "So it's just phenomenally exciting. It's really, really something to be a part of, for us, and I think and hope for the audience. The call-and-response. Everyone knows their part."


The Last Vestige puts ‘style’ back into stylus

by Chelsea Kruger

ALBANY, NY – In a poor economy, a Pine Hills music store battles the digital music age and assists in the comeback of an almost forgotten format of music: the vinyl record.

The Last Vestige Music Shop carries a wide array of vinyl records, which were last popular in the 1960s through the 1980s and is more successful better than most music stores today. Since the economic downturn and advent of mp3’s, many music stores, such as the Circuit City in Crossgates Commons on Washington Avenue Extension, have shut their doors after being unable to compete with the ease and cheapness of digital music.

Aware of this fact, the owner of The Last Vestige continues to offer obsolete forms of music, including eight tracks, audio cassettes, and vinyl records as the store’s primary focus. The Last Vestige still sees a relatively steady stream of revenue, whether it be from pedestrians or online shoppers.

The sole proprietor of The Last Vestige Music Shop, Jim Furlong, has been selling vinyl records since the early 1980s. Up until 1984, Furlong operated an exclusively mail order business via telephone where he sold vinyl records from his home to customers all over the world. Furlong has been collecting and trading records to expand his collection since this time frame.

Selling outdated forms of music recording was somewhat of a hobby turned job to Furlong, he said.

“I’m a big fan of music,” said Furlong. “All kinds of music.” Furlong currently enjoys listening to jazz music, but when he first opened The Last Vestige, he listened to the trendy punk and pop music of the 1980s.

Read the rest of the article here:

Music Notes & Vinyl Record News

Cap’n Jazz Reunion Show; Deluxe Vinyl Announced

Influential but long since defunct Chicago punk emo group Cap’n Jazz has announced an official reunion show. For those who are taking notes, the January 22nd reunion show was never official – more of a surprise to play alongside Joan of Arc’s variety show (a band they notably influenced) at the time. The upcoming July 17th event at Chicago’s The Bottom Lounge promises to be grander in every aspect.

The band’s cult-like following is especially impressive when you take into account that they only released one full-length album: Burritos, Inspiration Point, Fork Balloon Sports, Cards in the Spokes, Automatic Biographies, Kites, Kung Fu, Trophies, Banana Peels We’ve Slipped on and Egg Shells We’ve Tippy Toed Over – better known as Shmap’n Shmazz - way back in 1994.

Jade Tree is reissuing on vinyl not only this album but also combining material from early singles, compilation tracks, and split releases: all of which the band did a plethora of in their short but active years. The double LP goes beyond the original compilation CD’s release several years back by offering bonus material not included on its original issue including never before seen photos, show fliers, and new liner notes by Tim Kinsella. The deluxe reissue, entitled Analphabetapolothology, will be available on vinyl only care of Jade Tree on June 15th


Gearhead Records releases new Hellbound Glory record

Gearhead Records announced that the brand new record by outlaw country artists Hellbound Glory hit the streets for sale Tuesday, February 16. The new record, "Old Highs and New Lows," is the second official full-length for the Reno, NV based "scumbag country" band.

This is the second release for the band with punk n' roll label Gearhead Records, but is actually the third record they've recorded.

"The songs on this record are a mixture of brand new tracks, and re-recorded tracks from their first self-released out of print record," said label owner Michelle Haunold. "The band was never happy with the recording on that first album, so we took some of the best tracks from that out-of-print CD and updated them while they were in the studio recording the new material. They added banjo, pedal steel, and fiddle to all the tracks to give it that feel of classic old country, and it turned out great. I can't wait for people to hear this record!"

"We're really excited about the new record and the additional musicians the helped flesh the sound out," said lead singer and songwriter Leroy Virgil. "We play with these guys whenever we're in Sacramento and it adds so much to my songs. I'm really happy with the recording and can't wait to get out there and play these songs for our fans."

The new CD is available for purchase direct from Gearhead Records, or from their distributor Burnside Distribution. It will be available in independent retails stores worldwide February 16. A vinyl version will be released later this year.

Hellbound Glory formed in 2004, playing original rebel country songs in the style of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams. The band has played over 300 shows since their first official record Scumbag Country, also available from Gearhead Records, opening for such legends as David Allen Coe, Junior Brown, and Jesse Dayton as well as Wayne Hancock and Hank III.

Gearhead Records established its presence in the rock n' roll/punk rock world in 2000 with the success of The Hives from Sweden, followed shortly after with hits from Sweden's The Hellacopters New Bomb Turks (Columbus OH) and The Wildhearts (London, UK). Hellbound Glory is the first country band signed to the label, and has proved to be a favorite with punks and rockers alike.

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Gearhead Records owner Michelle Haunold directly. View the label website at or


SAADI announces March 9 release for debut 12” EP ‘BAD CITY’ available as download and limited edition White Viny

As Paper Garden Records continues to expand its PR roster with the best up and coming acts across all genres, the radiant pop eccentric mastery of NYC’s SAADI is the perfect electropop delight to start off the new year! 2010 looks bright for this blossoming artist, with a Pianos residency already up and running for January and a 12” EP being released on March 9th.

Saadi’s 12″ Bad City EP is a rhythm-centric foray into catchy and likable futuresounds, lovingly pressed on 150g WHITE vinyl and comes with a free digital download.


Massive Attack ‘Heligoland’ - Triple Gatefold Deluxe Edition, available to pre-order from The Vinyl Factory now!

Working closely with Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja and designer Tom Hingston, this special edition of the band’s acclaimed new album has been crafted to the very highest standards by The Vinyl Factory, and is available to pre-order now.

Housed in a unique black-glitter coated triple gatefold sleeve, this deluxe edition includes Heligoland’s 10 tracks on heavyweight double vinyl and CD, plus an additional 12″ containing four new Massive Attack tracks and a 28-page booklet with exclusive artwork and photography, housed in a striking, black-glitter covered sleeve.

Heligoland features guest vocals from Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Guy Garvey and Tunde Adebimpe. Long time cohort Horace Andy makes a return alongside Massive Attack founding members Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall.

Full product details:

* Two 180-gram heavyweight vinyl records, containing Heligoland’s 10 tracks, crafted on the legendary EMI 1400 in Hayes, Middlesex.
* Exclusive bonus 180-gram heavyweight 12″ vinyl, containing four additional new Massive Attack tracks and remixes.
* Exclusive 28-page booklet, featuring new Robert Del Naja artwork and Massive Attack tour photography.
* CD, containing the full album, housed in a black pochette, with a black-glitter coated cover.
* Triple gatefold sleeve featuring unique black-glitter coated cover artwork by Robert Del Naja.

This deluxe edition is available to pre-order now from The Vinyl Factory.


Broken Social Scene Reveal New Album Title and Cover, Premiere ‘World Sick’

Broken Social Scene have revealed the album art for their highly anticipated May 4th Arts + Crafts release, Forgiveness Rock Record. The first song off of the record, “World Sick,” is now streaming at

The multi-hued, shimmering ”World Sick” is a bold, shiver-inducing opus of grace, romance and warmth, and a perfect reminder of what has kept the Toronto collective a beloved favorite in the minds of its rabid fans worldwide.

Produced by the band and John McEntire (Tortoise), and recorded in Chicago (Soma Studios) and Toronto (The Schvitz Studio), Forgiveness Rock Record is, as previously reported, “a record driven by love.” The band has two planned stops at the upcoming SXSW in Austin next month, as well as a stopover at the annual Sasquatch festival in May.


New Aerosmith Reunion Tour Dates Announced

Is the soap opera over?  Looks like troubled Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler may be “Back in the Saddle” for an upcoming concert with his Boston, MA bandmates.

Following months of his increasingly erratic behavior (dancing offstage, hijacking concerts, invading Home Depot, etc., etc.), Tyler’s bandmates had started to put out word that they were auditioning singers to replace him.

However, now news is springing up that the band, seemingly on the verge of breaking up just short of celebrating four decades (!) together, has surprised everyone by signing on to play at the massive 2010 Download Music Festival this summer—giving fans ample reason to believe the group has reconciled, at least temporarily.

An all-star affair, the 2010 Download Festival is also set to include performances from the likes of AC/DC, Them Crooked Vultures, Deftones, Motorhead, Megadeth, Simon Cowell’s least favorite band: Rage Against the Machine, and many more.

The 2010 Download Festival takes place June 11-13.

This Date In Music History-Febraury 20


Nancy Wilson (1937)

Barbara Ellis - Fleetwoods (1940)

Buffy Sainte-Marie (1941)

Lew Soloff - Blood Sweat & Tears (1944)

J Geils - J. Geils Band (1946)

Walter Becker - Steely Dan (1950)

Jon Brant - Cheap Trick (1954)

Sebastian Steinberg - Soul Coughing (1959)

Ian Brown - Stone Roses (1963)

Neil Primrose - Travis (1972)

Brian Littrell - Backstreet Boys (1975)

Edwin Graham - The Darkness (1977)

Chris Thile - Nickel Creek (1981)

Rihanna (1988)

They Are Missed:

In 1980, Bon Scott, singer from AC/DC was pronounced dead on arrival at a London hospital after a heavy night's drinking. Scott was found in the passenger seat of a friend's parked car. The official coroner's report stated that he had "Drunk himself to death." after suffocating on his own vomit.

Born on this day in 1945, Alan Hull, guitarist, singer of Lindisfarne. Hull died of a heart attack on November 17, 1996.

Born today in 1951, Randy California, guitar, vocals, Spirit,. He died on January 2, 1997 when rescuing his 12 year-old son after he was sucked into a riptide in surf off Hawaii.

Born on this day in 1967, Kurt Cobain, guitar, vocals, Nirvana. Cobain committed suicide on April 5th 1994.


In 1958, and billed as 'The Big Gold Record Stars,' Bill Haley and his Comets, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmie Rodgers all appeared on the first date of a six day tour of Florida.

Jimi Hendrix made his stage debut in 1960 when he played a show at a High School in Seattle.

The Beach Boys recorded "Don't Worry Baby" in 1964.

Gary Lewis and the Playboys started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1965 with "This Diamond Ring."

"Goodbye Cream" opened in Baltimore in 1969. The film was of Cream's November 26, 1968 farewell concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.

In 1970, the single "Instant Karma," by The Plastic Ono Band was released in the US. John Lennon had written, recorded and mixed the track all in one day on the January 22, 1970.

The soundtrack to 'Jesus Christ Superstar' went to #1 on the US album chart in 1971.

Alice Cooper and Badfinger appeared at The Convention Hall in San Diego, California in 1972. What a show......

In 1974, Cher filed for separation from husband Sonny Bono. She filed for divorce not long afterwards. They had been married for 10 years.

Winners at this years Grammy Awards in 1977 included - Stevie Wonder for Best album with 'Songs In The Key Of Life', and Best Vocal performance for "I Wish." Best album went to Chicago for 'Chicago X' and Best new artist went to the Starland Vocal Band. Yep, the Starland Vocal Band....

Bon Jovi begin recording their third album, “Slippery When Wet” in Vancouver in 1986. With “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Livin’ On A Prayer,” the album sells over 10 million copies.

The all girl group Expose went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1988 with "Seasons Change."

The biographical TV movie, "Little Richard" aired on NBC in 2000.

In 2003, 100 people died after pyrotechnics ignited a club during a gig by Great White in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Great White singer Ty Longley was also killed in the accident. Two brothers who owned the club were charged, along with the former tour manager with involuntary manslaughter. Foam soundproofing material at the edge of the stage set alight and the blaze spread quickly in the one-storey wooden building as fans all tried to escape through the same exit. Great White began a tour in July 2003 to raise money for the survivors and families of victims.

Scissor Sisters went to #1 on the US album chart in 2005 with their debut and self-titled album, also a #1 in the UK.

In 2007, Electric Light Orchestra issue an expanded and remastered version of their '77 album, "Out Of The Blue," to mark the disc's 30th anniversary. There are three previously unreleased tracks and notes co-written by ELO frontman Jeff Lynne.

The Who's Pete Townshend and Lou Reed perform together for the first time in New York in 2007. During the Attic Jam, Townshend plays a four-song solo acoustic set before being joined onstage by Reed. The two roll through a trio of Velvet Underground songs.

In 2007, the hair salon where pop star Britney Spears shaved her head set up a website to auction her hair for more than $1million dollars. The website,, claimed to have been set up by salon owner Esther Tognozzi and included photos of the hair, saying it is "absolutely authentic". As well as the hair, the winning bidder would also get the hair clippers Spears used, a blue lighter she left at the salon and the can of Red Bull she was drinking at the time. Meanwhile, Spears has been spotted in Hollywood sporting a short blonde wig. Stay Tuned.....