Isn’t it about time for a new Green Day studio album? A mighty good sign that we’re getting close came earlier this week when the band previewed 15 new tracks at a surprise show this week in Costa Mesa, Calif., including “Carpe Diem,” below.
"This next song is about fucking being alive, every single one of us,” says lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong as way of introducing “Carpe Diem,” (which we all learned from “Dead Poet’s Society” is Latin for “seize the day).
It’s a straight-forward propulsive tune that asks “aren’t we all too young to die.” It’s too fuzzy to make out all the lyrics, but it may be anti-war since there are some parts in there about killing or it could be about today's youth, whom Armstrong refers to as "generation fuse." Love that. The best part is the guitar solo about two-thirds through. Otherwise, it’s a chugging tune that is catchy, but not as dynamic as we’ve come to expect from the trio. Does the chorus remind you a little bit of Elvis Costello?
So is it Van Halen? That’s our guess. A very cryptic message from The Recording Academy, the folks who bring you the Grammys, came out today, announcing more acts for the line-up for The Grammy Nominations Concert Live. The hour-long program airs Nov. 30, live from Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater, and, in addition to announcing nominations for the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards, the special will feature appearances by a number of acts.
Added to the previously named Lady Gaga and Jason Aldean are Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco and Sugarland (we wonder if we’re in for a reprise of Ludacris joining Aldean for the rap on “Dirt Road Anthem?”)
Rihanna found not only love, but her way to the top, once again, as “We Found Love” becomes the artist’s 11th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song, featuring Calvin Harris, displaces Adele’s “Someone Like You” at the top. In reaching the summit again, she becomes the seventh artist in the 53-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to chart 11 No. 1s. She’s in good company: the other artists are the Beatles, who lead all acts with 20; Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Supremes, and Whitney Houston, according to Billboard.
Mumford & Sons debuted a new tune live on Philadelphia alternative rock station Radio 104.5 Tuesday night. The largely acoustic (of course) “Ghosts That We Knew” features guitar, banjo and accordion and is definitely in the pocket of the folk rock we’ve come to know from the British quartet.
Even though the song picked up tempo toward the end, it lacked a little of the heft of such tunes at “Little Lion Man” or “The Cave,” but we’ll reserve judgment until we hear the studio version of “Ghost.”
Let’s face it, expecting any modicum of class in a video where the most repeated word is “Ass” makes about as much sense as expecting a vegan selection on the menu at a steakhouse.
Still, I can’t help but be disappointed in Nicki Minaj’s participation in the video for Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)" remix released this week.
If Minaj wants me to look at her completely as a candy-colored cartoon character, which I do most of the time anyway, she’s pretty much accomplished her goal. The wide-eyed X-rated Barbie doll act is wearing thin though. And with each project, it becomes easier to dismiss her talent as a rapper and focus on her as some brightly colored object that distracts momentarily from anything else in view, but is forgotten the second she is out of the picture.
Never let it be said that Lady Gaga doesn’t put her money where her mouth is. She and her mom have formed the Born This Way Foundation. The non-profit will tackle self-esteem and bullying issues.
“Together, we hope to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment,” Gaga said in a statement, as reported by Idolator.
The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg makes a rare appearance in Glen Campbell’s “Ghost On The Canvas.” What’s the connection you may wonder? Westerberg wrote the tune for Campbell for his new album of the same name. The set, likely to be Campbell’s last following his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, has received rave reviews, including mine.
The video features Campbell playing live, often in front of a golden multi-layered orb that recalls the logo from Campbell’s variety TV show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”
Westerberg appears as a painter, who watches Campbell on TV (and plays the vinyl album on his turntable), as he creates images of Campbell alongside some of his iconic friends who played pivotal parts in his career, including Dean Martin, as well as Campbell on a black velvet painting — the ghost on the canvas. The final portrait of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens with Campbell creates a Mount Rushmore of musical titans.
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For anyone who’s followed Campbell’s story with this album, there’s something tremendously moving about the video, which also shows him backed by three of his four children, as he is in concert. Having seen Campbell twice on this tour, it’s clear he draws tremendous emotional support from having them on stage as he occasionally falters and they are there to pick him back up musically and keep him on track.
I’ve been plugging this album every chance I get. The sad story is compelling, but even without that, Campbell, with great assistance from producer Julian Raymond, has made an incredibly gorgeous album that brings his career full circle. His guitar playing remains sharp and poignant and the song selection never shies away from the devastating illness his faces without ever wallowing in it.
In other Campbell news, the 45th Country Music Assn. Awards will honor Campbell during its Nov. 9 telecast. Three fellow gunslingers, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill and Keith Urban, will salute Campbell, who nabbed CMA Entertainer and male vocalist of the year in 1968.
Roger Waters will bring Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” tour back to the U.S. in a slate of new shows starting May 1. Tickets for the tour, promoted by Live Nation, go on sale Nov. 7.
The multi-media presentation features the Pink Floyd co-founder performing the masterpiece from start to finish with a full band. Over the past two years, Waters’ “The Wall” has played to more than 1.6 million fans.
Starting at Houston’s Toyota Center on May 1, the 36-date outing will wrap at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.
Jakob Dylan plans to reunite with his band The Wallflowers for their first album since 2005’s “Rebel, Sweetheart.”
Dylan, who’s currently touring behind his fine 2010 T-Bone Burnett produced set, “Women and Country,” told Rolling Stone that he and the reunited Wallflowers will start work on the new set in January and that the six-year hiatus was unintentional because, well, time goes by a lot faster when you get older.
“I never suggested we were breaking up. We all felt we were losing the plot a bit and we needed a break. And that year break becomes two years, then becomes three years and before you know it, five or six years go by pretty quickly. I can’t do what I do in the Wallflowers without them. I miss them.”
This week marks Jason Aldean’s first anniversary. No, not to his wife. On Wednesday, his fourth album “My Kinda Party” celebrates its 52nd week on the charts. In that time, the double-platinum title has never dropped out of the top 20 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart or below the top 5 on Billboard’s country albums chart. It’s spawned four hits, including the smash “Dirt Road Anthem.”
Those numbers please Aldean, but as he sits backstage at the Universal Amphitheater, a few days before Halloween, he’s way more concerned with the night’s sold-out show, and the next album, which he starts recording this month.
Sitting on a black leather couch, Aldean, who will headline the Stagecoach Festvial this spring, has his creature comforts around him: the iconic photo of Johnny Cash flipping the bird sits atop a piano, surrounded by candles; a Georgia Bulldogs banner waves, and the album cover from Alabama’s “Mountain Music.”
Aldean, who grew more relaxed as the interview wore on, talked about what he thinks about Lady Gaga—both artists will perform at the Grammy nominations concert on CBS Nov. 30, which CMA Award means the most to him, tattoos, and his weirdest interactions with fans: think boxers and prosthetics.