with Wesley Woodson
Neil Young Rocks The Free World, Again
Neil Young has made it very clear in recent weeks that he’s upset with President Donald Trump.
He started with tweets, then moved to posting letters, and now, an updated version of a red-hot song.
Young released an updated version of “Lookin’ for a Leader,” a track that, in its original form, debuted on 2006’s Living With War. That record was an intense disapproval of the George W. Bush administration.
Now, it seems the current President is under attack. The song praises Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement, urges Americans to get out and vote, and conveys hope that change is around the corner.
The song’s video was directed by Daryl Hannah.
On Monday, Young wrote in an essay that he’s “reconsidering” suing the president over his use of “Rockin’ in the Free World.
In the essay, he also expressed his support of Black Lives Matter and released a revised version of “Southern Man” in solidarity with the movement.
He recently issued Homegrown, a lost album from 1974 in June.
Marilyn Manson Does In Fact Cause Chaos
Marilyn Manson will release his 11th studio album, WE ARE CHAOS, on September 11 via Loma Vista Recordings.
Manson recently previewed the album, which he co-produced with Shooter Jennings by issuing the title track, which is reminiscent of ’70s era David Bowie.
“We are sick, effed up, and complicated,” Manson sings on the track, a sleek power ballad that migrates from acoustic strums into an arena-ready chorus.
The video, directed by Matt Mahurin, displays the singer edited into a mix of digital landscapes — his head floating in clouds, covered in blood, transformed into a pill that’s swallowed by an open mouth.
WE ARE CHAOS was recorded before the pandemic began. Manson described the concept album, which follows 2017’s Heaven Upside Down, as a “mirror” that he and Jennings “built for the listener.” In order to better explain the concept, Manson said metaphorical mirrors are always hard for people to face because there’s no hiding from the reflection of yourself.
Corey Taylor Rocks Out Solo
Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor will release his debut solo album on Oct. 2. Roadrunner Records will release his first compiling of solo material, in the form of CMFT.
After Slipknot canceled its Knotfest Japan dates due to COVID-19, Taylor chose to use his new downtime to get CMFT tracked. For his backing band, he enlisted several longtime friends — Stone Sour and Black Star Riders guitarist Christian Martooci, guitarist Zach Throne, Prong bassist Jason Christopher, and Walls of Jericho drummer Dustin Schoenhofer — and producing was Jay Ruston.
Over the course of two-and-a-half weeks, Taylor and his backing band tore through 25 tracks. CMFT is slated to feature 13 original songs, including “Black Eyes Blue” and the collaborative “CMFT Must Be Stopped,” featuring guest appearances by Tech N9ne and Kid Bookie.
Taylor claims he has enough material written for two more solo albums, but there aren't yet any formal plans yet to record those songs. He says that once live music venues are allowed to re-open and his tour with Slipknot is finished, he plans on recording the second album and tour in support of his first and second album.
GnR Re-Load Plans For 2021 Shows
After squashing their 2020 tour following a March festival date in Mexico City due to COVID-19, Guns N’ Roses have publicized when they plan on hitting the road again in 2021. Their first date will be at Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 10. Their trek will see them hit stadiums across the country. The last scheduled tour date will be at Los Angeles’ Banc of California Stadium. The band did warn in a press release that a number of the dates will be canceled due to routing issues and venue availability. These plans are, of course, at the mercy of the status of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021. Even during the downtime, the band has apparently stayed occupied. In a recent interview, Slash stated that the band has been working on new music. They have also live-streamed a couple of shows from the Not in This Lifetime tour on YouTube, poked fun at Trump with a new t-shirt, and are releasing a new children’s book this September.
Artists Have Rights Too
Pearl Jam, R.E.M. Sia, Lorde and more have united with the Artists Rights Alliance to order that political parties “establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting,” the Artist Rights Alliance announced in a statement. The letter also emphasizes “the fundamental right of music creators to decide who can use their music and on what terms.” And if they do not adhere to the policy, the political parties may face legal action. In recent months, the Village People, Neil Young, and Tom Petty’s estate have challenged the Donald Trump campaign for utilizing their songs without any permission. Aerosmith took similar action in August 2018. Other signatures come from the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Regina Spektor, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, Amanda Shires, Lionel Richie and Green Day. There are less than 100 days till the next U.S. Presidential election, so the release of the letter comes at a time when campaigns are starting to put their efforts into overdrive.
Lana Del Ray's Summer Reading
Here’s some out-of-the-blue news: Lana Del Rey has finally released the audio version of Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. In order to celebrate its release, she unleashed the song “LA Who Am I To Love You.” Set to the original music by collaborator Jack Anonoff, the piece explores her love for the city in a way that manages to humanize the city. Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is the first of two poetry projects that Ray plans to release in 2020. The other project, behind the iron gates – insights from an institution still has no set release date. The only other track she’s released is “patent leather do-over,” from that project in May. You can hear “LA Who Am I To Love You” off Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, which is out now via Interscope below. If you’re feeling what you hear and want to see or wish to have it in its physical form, the hardcover and ebook version will be available on Sept. 29. Del Rey is also releasing CDs and LPs of the poetry collection, which release on Oct. 2.
The War on Voting
It has been announced that The War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear, and TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone and Jaleel Bunton will all be involved in an online concert. In order to view the concert, all you’ll have to do is verify your voter registration status and, if necessary, register. The Vote Ready Live event — scheduled for Friday, Aug. 14 at 7 pm ET — will showcase original, self-recorded performances. The setlist also includes Kevin Morby, Hand Habits, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Ciggy, The Suffers’ Kam Franklin, The Building, and Our Native Daughters’ Allison Russell and Leyla McCalla. The event was orchestrated by voter registration nonprofit HeadCount, along with Fort William Artist Management and Live From Out There. To see the concert, you’ll first have to verify your registration status before 6 p.m. ET on August 13. Once you do that, you can purchase an eTicket for $20 via the Live From Out There site. (Those who can’t register to vote in the U.S. can earn free access to the stream by pledging to vote.)
Rolling Stones Roll Back with '89 Concert
The Rolling Stones have finally announced the details about their previously unreleased Steel Wheels Live – Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 1989 concert film features Guns N’ Roses members Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin, Eric Clapton, and John Lee Hooker. Both Rose and Stradlin collaborate with the Stones on “Salt of The Earth” off the 1968 LP, Beggars Banquet while Clapton plays “Little Rooster” with them. And finally, Hooker comes in on “Boogie Chillen.” The concert film will be released in a multitude of formats, including a limited 180gm 4LP colored vinyl, DVD + 2CD, SD Blu-ray + 2CD and digital. The set will also include a DVD from the Japan Dome as well as Steel Wheels Rare Reels, a CD featuring rare songs that aren’t featured much, if at all, in the Stone’s setlist. Steel Wheels Live – Atlantic City, New Jersey is out Sept. 25 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
The Go-Go's Get Back Their Beat
To accompany the Friday premiere of a documentary detailing their career, the Go-Go’s have released “Club Zero, their first new song in 19 years. The self-produced song became a reality through email exchanges between band members and was recorded at studios in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the last scene of the Showtime doc The Go-Go’s — which premiered Friday, July 31st — we can see the reunited band working crafting the track, as well as debuting “Club Zero” at Los Angeles’ Whisky a Go Go, a one-time stomping ground of the trailblazing all-female rock group. Band member Jane Wiedlin said the song’s title was inspired by the Zero Zero Club, which was an underground, after-hours club in Hollywood in the Eighties. She thought the club’s name was pretty cool, and how a song with a similar title would be the perfect thing for the Go-Go’s to say in 2020. She said the zero stands for “Zero effs given.”
Recording Artist Academy Makes The HITS
The Recording Academy announced Friday it has partnered with the Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act, a bipartisan bill that gives independent music makers the ability to expense the cost of new studio recordings on their taxes — up to $100,000. Rep. Linda T. Sánchez and Rep. Ron Estes introduced the bill Friday. The act would allow artists, such as TV and film productions, to deduct 100% of their production expenses (which includes studio equipment, studio rental fees, staff costs, electricity, studio musicians and more) from taxes. Harvey Mason Jr., Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement that “the HITS Act will make a meaningful impact and help ease the financial burden for thousands of independent creators getting back on track.” For many creatives, the cost to create music has been exponentially more expensive during the coronavirus pandemic, which has snacthed both touring revenue and the ability to record in a studio. In July, the Recording Academy announced it was teaming up with civil rights nonprofit Color of Change for a series of new initiatives, in addition to a $1 million donation to the organization. Alongside MusiCares, the Recording Academy also set up a COVID-19 relief fund.