Monday, October 4, 2010

Music News & Notes

Cowboy Junkies are set to release Renmin Park – The Nomad Series Volume 1 on October 25th through Proper Records in the UK.

Renmin Park was inspired by a three-month stay that Michael Timmins and his family spent in China—which he describes as "an other-worldly experience"— Renmin Park is the first of four releases planned over the next 18 months, collectively titled "The Nomad Series."

The album will be followed by 'Demons,' on which Cowboy Junkies will cover the songs of their late friend Vic Chesnutt, who passed away in December 2009.

"His catalogue is so deep and, for the most part, so overlooked," said Michael. "It will be a labor of love." The final two volumes of the Nomad Series will be titled Sing in My Meadow, the contents of which are still being discussed, and The Wilderness, a full album of new songs, some of which ("Angel In The Wilderness," "Fairytale," "The Confession of Georgie E") the band has already introduced on stage.

The band’s recently revamped website will play an important role in the Nomad Series by taking fans inside the creative process and after all four volumes are released, plans call for a book that will delve into the character, nature, and inspiration behind each of the albums. Michael sums up the band's motivation for taking on such a massive project quite simply:

"The main reason for wanting to do it," he says, "is that, as we steam through our twenty-fifth year, we feel that we have the energy and inspiration to pull it off."


Weezer's Death to False Metal album cover

Considering their controversial album cover for their new album 'Hurley,' Weezer is doing it again with something that is even more bizarre. The cover for their upcoming b-sides and rarities album 'Death to False Metal' has a strange title and equally strange cover art.

The cover does not include the band's logo or any reference to their name. The artwork is a painting of people working on an idyllic farm. 

'Death to False Metal' and a deluxe edition of Weezer's 'Pinkerton' LP are both scheduled to be released this November 2.


Monster Magnet to release Mastermind

MONSTER MAGNET is set to release their long-awaited new album 'Mastermind' on October 26. AOL Music's Noisecreep premiered the brand new MONSTER MAGNET music video – for the album's roll out single “Gods and Punks." The video was directed by Nathan "Karma" Cox (Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park, HIM) and tells the story of “a Super Villain down on his luck” whose “life's mission is to destroy the planet” trying to find a way to make his way back to “respectable evil genus status.”

The album's cover artwork was designed by Invisible Creature (Wolfmother, Chris Cornell, Foo Fighters).

"I'm extremely proud of this new album," says Wyndorf. "It's a big, beefy ball of demented anthems and power rock. The music itself is exaggerated and muscular; like classic rock gone insane! Giant hooks, giant sounds. The rockers are direct and intense. The ballads; trippy and strange. It's guitar heaven."


Bloodsoaked Reveals New Album "The Death Of Hope" Details

North Carolina's Bloodsoaked has issued the following announcement about revealing the cover artwork for the new album "The Death of Hope:"

"Here it is, the brand new cover art and track listing. The two re-recorded songs are my two favorite songs from the first CD that I feel deserve a much better production. I have been writing the entire new CD with Brent Williams, the drummer for Atrocious Abnormality. Brent has sparked new blood in the writing process as will be very evident once the recording is complete.

"At this time it is still un-clear if I will record with Brent or stick with the programmed drums. Shane McFee is still programming my live drums as he did on the last Bloodsoaked album 'Sadistic Deeds Grotesque Memories.' The cover art for the new CD was done by Jumali Katani, the complete layout will be done by Steve/Comatose Music."

Track list:

1. Wading The Blood Pools
2. Forever Damned
3. Obsessed With Hate
4. No God
5. Consume The Flesh
6. The Death of Hope
7. Infestation
8. TBA
9. Self Mutilation (re-recorded)
10. Grinding Your Guts (re-recorded)

Janis Joplin: A Piece of Her Heart on a 40th Anniversary

By GREG EVANS NY Times 10/01/10

IN the late summer of 1968, Big Brother and the Holding Company had nearly finished recording “Cheap Thrills” when Janis Joplin, the band’s singer, slipped the drummer Dave Getz a set of lyrics she’d handwritten to accompany a piano riff he had been practicing. The song, “Can’t Be the Only One,” with words by Joplin and music by Mr. Getz, was something of a parting gift. Within days, Joplin gathered her band mates in a room at the Chelsea Hotel and announced that she was going solo.

This April Mr. Getz, still drumming with Big Brother, released “Can’t Be the Only One,” the first solo album of his career, which includes two versions of the bluesy title song. Mr. Getz had 500 copies of the CD made, selling them through iTunes and other Internet sites.

As he expected, Mr. Getz immediately heard from Joplin’s heirs: “I got an e-mail saying, ‘You can’t do this. Anything involving the Joplin estate has to go through us.’ ” Not for the first time throughout an often contentious four-decade relationship with the Joplin family, Mr. Getz sought legal advice, and he was assured of his rights as the song’s co-author, he said.

Joplin died of a heroin overdose at 27, alone in a Los Angeles motel room in the early morning hours of Oct. 4, 1970. Yet “Can’t Be the Only One” is one of the few projects coinciding with the 40th anniversary of her passing.

“We don’t celebrate her death,” said Laura Joplin, the singer’s sister, who controls the Joplin estate with her brother, Michael Joplin. “We celebrate her life.”

Some Joplin fans wonder whether there has been enough celebrating at all. The singer’s faded cultural presence suggests a failure to groom a legacy lately reduced to pale imitations on “American Idol.”

Consider this year’s tide of memorial offerings sanctioned by the Jimi Hendrix estate for the guitarist, whose own drug-related death occurred 16 days before Joplin’s. Last spring’s acclaimed “Valleys of Neptune” CD of previously unreleased material will be followed by next month’s boxed set, “West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology.”

The dearth of significant, unheard Joplin recordings — a five-CD boxed set in 1999 essentially cleared the vaults — has presented an obstacle to maintaining Joplin’s presence in the marketplace. But now the Joplins have recruited, for the first time, a professional estate manager, Jeffrey Jampol, to develop business opportunities and guide the career of a singer dead since Nixon’s first term.

His firm, Jampol Artist Management in Los Angeles, handles the estates of the Doors frontman Jim Morrison, the country rocker Gram Parsons, the reggae legend Peter Tosh and the ’80s funk star Rick James. Mr. Jampol has an ambitious blueprint to end what he calls Joplin’s “fallow period.” Working closely with the Joplins, he has sketched a one- to three-year business plan that includes Made for Pearl, a Joplin-inspired line of jewelry, accessories and clothing based on items worn by the singer; at least two books (a follow-up to Laura Joplin’s 1992 “Love, Janis” and a critical appreciation); vinyl collector editions of her albums; two reproductions of her Gibson Hummingbird guitar; an iPhone app allowing custom mixes of Joplin songs; and the tour of the Strange Kozmic Experience exhibition of Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison memorabilia, now at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

Mr. Jampol, a producer of this year’s Doors documentary, “When You’re Strange,” is also working with Spitfire Pictures on a feature-length Joplin documentary, with access to rarely seen footage shot by Joplin’s road manager John Byrne Cooke. In addition, Mr. Jampol said the Joplin estate would next year co-produce “One Night With Janis,” a touring theatrical production of Joplin songs.

In several phone interviews Mr. Jampol emphasized his intention to expand the Joplin enterprise while honoring the singer’s “authenticity.” In choosing projects, he said, “the first question we ask is, Will this stand proudly next to Monterey Pop and ‘Me and Bobby McGee?’ ”

Indeed, Mr. Getz said that when he questioned Mr. Jampol about the estate’s initial opposition to “Can’t Be the Only One,” he was told that a “new” Joplin-penned song, even without her vocals, would be squandered on such a small-scale project. (Mr. Jampol confirmed the phone call with Mr. Getz but declined to discuss details.)

As Mr. Getz remembers it, “I told him, Look Jeff, I have three boxes of CDs in my house.

“Get me Pink to sing it, get me Stevie Nicks to sing it, get me anyone, and I’ll take my CDs and throw them in the garbage. But I’m 70 years old. I don’t have forever to wait.”

Mr. Jampol’s presence might provide a new avenue of communication between the singer’s family and her old band mates. Profits from the two albums Joplin made with Big Brother, notably “Cheap Thrills” and its hit single “Piece of My Heart,” are split among the three surviving band members (Mr. Getz, Sam Andrew and Peter Albin) and the estates of Joplin and the guitarist James Gurley, who died last year.

The Joplin and Big Brother camps have often been less than friendly. Ms. Joplin described the partnership now as “cordial.”

“They thought we murdered Janis, not to put too fine a point on it,” Mr. Andrew said. “They thought we brought her into a room and shot her full of heroin. They were from Port Arthur, Tex. How would they know what it was like?”

Among the less-considered ramifications of rock star deaths are the mismatched partnerships left in their wakes as grieving families struggle to make sense of careers they didn’t choose.

Laura Joplin was 21 when her sister died and 27 when she and her brother stepped in for their aging parents to run the family business. “I had an incredible amount of grief over Janis’s death,” Ms. Joplin said from her home in Paradise, Calif. Running her sister’s estate “was not something I intended to do, and certainly not something you can get a lot of training in.”

“Neither my brother nor I were involved in the entertainment industry,” she added. “We were isolated from connections.”

And now, Ms. Joplin said, the seismic shifts in the post-digital music industry demand an expertise she and her brother (who lives in Tucson) lack. “At this point I think someone else can do this better than we can,” she said.

One thing that would boost Joplin’s 21st-century profile is a feature film. The Joplin siblings sold considerable song rights and life rights to Sony Pictures during the 1990s, and so relinquished any significant control over their sister’s cinematic portrayal. Sony later sold the rights to the producer Peter Newman, whose credits include the critically lauded film “The Squid and the Whale,” and whose commitment to a Joplin biopic is undaunted after more than a decade of unsuccessful attempts. “We’re in the final stages of closing a deal with a highly respected director who is noteworthy for his innovative approach to rock topics,” Mr. Newman said in an e-mail last month.

Mr. Newman might have competition. Temple Hill Entertainment, the production company behind the blockbuster “Twilight” vampire movies, confirmed in July that it had signed the actress Amy Adams and the director Fernando Meirelles for a Joplin biopic. (Ms. Adams and Mr. Meirelles declined to comment; neither Mr. Newman nor Temple Hill have secured financing for their projects.)

Temple Hill’s announcement set the stage for a potential replay of the 1990s duel between Lakeshore Entertainment’s planned Joplin vehicle for, variously, RenĂ©e Zellweger, Melissa Etheridge and Brittany Murphy, and the Sony project, which Mr. Newman was co-producing for, also variously, the actresses Lili Taylor and Zooey Deschanel, and the singer Pink.

Neither film came to fruition, joining other Joplin movie projects killed by script problems, a tangle of legal rights and the ego clashes among the people who claim a piece of the singer. Myra Friedman, Joplin’s friend and publicist, who wrote the 1973 biography “Buried Alive,” said she’s all but abandoned hope that a film would be made from her book. Hundreds of pages of documents — contracts, film option agreements, memorandums, old scripts, yellowing correspondence with agents and producers, some dating back to the 1970s — line the closet shelves of her Manhattan apartment.

Ms. Friedman, perusing the documents one hot day last summer, recalled a June evening 40 years earlier, when she accompanied Joplin to a taping of “The Dick Cavett Show.” Ms. Friedman sat in the studio audience as Joplin, her hair streaked with a rainbow of feather boas, told Cavett of plans to attend her 10th high school reunion in Texas. She’d be dead within months, but at that moment (still available on YouTube) Joplin looked like God’s idea of a rock star.

This Date In Music History - October 4


Country music singer Leroy Van Dyke (1929)

Nona Hendryx (1944)

Patti LaBelle (1944)

Jim Fielder - Blood Sweat & Tears (1947)

Barbara Kooyman - Timbuk 3 (1957)

Chris Lowe - Pet Shop Boys (1959)

Greg Hubbard - Sawyer Brown (1960)

Jon Secada (1961)

Neil Sims - Catherine's Wheel (1965)

Marc Roberge - O.A.R. (1978)

They Are Missed:

Legendary singer Janis Joplin was found dead at the Landmark Hotel Hollywood in 1970, after an accidental heroin overdose.

J. Frank Wilson ("Last Kiss) died of a heart attack on October 4, 1991.

Canadian bassist Bruce Palmer died of a heart attack in 2004. Member of The Mynah Birds and The Buffalo Springfield. Also worked with Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young and Neil Young.


Winners for 1957's annual NME readers poll included Pat Boone who was voted the world's #1 singer, with Elvis Presley voted second.

Bob Dylan played a showcase at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1961 - to 53 people.

In 1963, Eric Clapton was asked to join the Yardbirds to replace Anthony "Top" Topham.

In 1963, the Beatles made their first appearance on the UK TV pop show 'Ready Steady Go!' They lip-synch "She Loves You" and "Twist And Shout."

The Byrds played the first of a 13 night run at The Village Gate, New York City in 1966.

Creedence Clearwater Revival started a four week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1969 with 'Green River.'

The Beatles 'Abbey Road' album went to #1 on the UK chart in 1969. The cover supposedly contained clues adding to the ‘Paul Is Dead’ phenomenon: Paul is barefoot and the car number plate ‘LMW 281F’ supposedly referred to the fact that McCartney would be 28 years old if he was still alive. ‘LMW’ was said to stand for ‘Linda McCartney Weeps.’ And the four Beatles, represent; the priest (John, dressed in white), the Undertaker (Ringo in a black suit), the Corpse (Paul, in a suit but barefoot), and the Gravedigger (George, in jeans and a denim work shirt).

The song "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was released by Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969.

In 1971, Pink Floyd played the first of four nights at the Roman Ampitheater, Pompeii, Italy for their Live in Pompeii album.

The BBC broadcast the 500th edition of UK music show Top Of The Pops in 1973. Slade, Gary Glitter and The Osmonds all appeared.

In 1973, a San Francisco Stephen Stills & Manassas concert turned into a reunion when David Crosby and Graham Nash joined Stills onstage. A bit later Neil Young showed up and it’s CSN&Y.

'Walls And Bridges' was released by John Lennon in 1974.

Pink Floyd’s album “Wish You Were Here” topped the charts in 1975.

In 1980, Carly Simon collapsed on stage during a show in Pittsburgh suffering from nervous exhaustion. The tour was canceled.

Queen started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1980 with "Another One Bites The Dust."

In 1980, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks present a platinum record to the USC Marching Band for their contributions to 'Tusk.'

Winners in the Melody Makers readers poll in 1980 included, Kate Bush who won Best female singer, Peter Gabriel won Best male singer, Best guitarist went to Ritchie Blackmore, Phil Collins won Best drummer, Genesis won Band of the year, Best single went to Pink Floyd for "Another Brick in The Wall" and Saxon won brightest hope.

The Smiths made their live debut at the Ritz in Manchester England in 1982.

The group Squeeze broke up in 1982.

Muggers attacked CBS News anchor Dan Rather in 1986 and yell “What’s The Frequency Kenneth?” Later, R.E.M. turns this bizarre incident into a song.

In 1996, Roger Miller was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Also in 1996 - Van Halen announced that Gary Cherone, formerly of Extreme, would be the singer that would replace Sammy Hagar.

Boyz II Men went to No.1 on the US singles chart in 1997 with "4 Seasons Of Loneliness," the group's fifth US #1.

In 1997 - Farm Aid '97 raised over $1 million for U.S. farmers.

It was reported in 1999 that the sister of Jimi Hendrix was planning to exhume her brothers body and move it to a pay-to view mausoleum. Other plans for the new site included a chance for fans to buy one of burial plots around the guitarist's new resting-place.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concluded their 2002-03 world tour at NY’s Shea Stadium in 2003. It’s the 120th show of the 14 month tour. Bob Dylan shows up to perform “Highway 61 Revisited.”

In 2004, Elton John takes the stage to rip Madonna’s nomination as the Best Live Act. "Since when has lip-synching been live?" John asks rhetorically. "Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay to see them should be shot.” Chick fight!!...

In 2006, Dave Grohl fulfillled his promise to drink a beer with an Australian miner named Brant Webb who asked to hear Foo Fighters music while he was trapped underground for nearly two weeks. Grohl performed a new instrumental song called "The Ballad Of Beaconsfield Miners" during the Foo Fighters' acoustic concert in Sydney. After the show Grohl hooked up with Webb and his friends for a brew or two.

The legendary Jerry Lee Lewis performed (with Neil Young on hand) on CBS' Late Show With David Letterman in 2006 to promote his album “Last Man Standing” (Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash & Elvis Presley of the so-called Million Dollar Quartet are deceased - hence the title).

Former R Kelly employee (who claimed to have been a “mentor and guide” to Kelly since he was a teenager) Henry Vaughn filed a lawsuit against the singer in 2006, accusing him of assault, false imprisonment and a breach of contract that defrauded him of songwriting royalties. Vaughn also claimed that Kelly and his associates dragged him to the basement at Kelly’s Olympia Fields home and “repeatedly struck him about the face and body with his fists."

In 2007, producer Phil Spector was set to be retried for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson following the collapse of the first trial in Sept of this year. The first trial ended with the jury deadlocked 10-2 favouring conviction. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler set another hearing for the case on October 23.

Also in 2007, the Rolling Stones set a new record for the top grossing tour of all time with their A Bigger Bang tour. T he tour which ran from late 2005 to August 2007, earned the band $437 million with The Stones playing to over 3.5 million people at 113 shows. The previous high was set by U2's Vertigo tour, which took place in 2005 and 2006, which earned $389 million.