The musician recalled the total confusion that took hold after learning about the attack at an Eagles of Death metal concert at Bataclan, where 89 people were killed. As James noted, some My Morning Jacket crew members have also worked for EoDM and Queens of the Stone Age, and for a while, the condition of their friends were unknown.
“That’s one of the weirdest things in life,” James says. “When shit hits the fan and it’s chaos, and it’s just, ‘What? Who’s alive? Who’s dead? What’s going on?’ And ever since then, I can’t count how many talks I’ve had with friends where we’re just sitting around trying to figure it out. We’re like, ‘Why, why, why, why, why?’”
While the ”wormhole of questions,” in James’ words, opened by the Paris attacks can be overwhelming, the singer remained adamant that there’s enough space on Earth for all ideas and beliefs to exist without violence.
“The music must always go on and fear must never win,” James says. “And we must stick together and talk about how we can find ways to accept each other.”
Roy Orbison had a lot of reasons to be happy when he walked onstage at Cleveland, Ohio’s Front Row Theater on December 4th, 1988. After two decades of grinding it out on the oldies circuit, he was wrapping up one of the most amazing years of his career. It began in January when Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Jackson Brown and many others saluted his music at the televised Black and White Night concert. At the time he was cutting a new solo album with Jeff Lynne, which would lead to the formation of the Traveling Wilburys alongside Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Tom Petty.
The first Traveling Wilburys album landed in October and was a huge hit, peaking at Number Three on the Billboard 200. The single “Handle with Care” was all over radio and MTV, and Orbison’s next solo album – his first since 1979′s Laminar Flow – was completed and slated for an early 1989 release. All of this led to a big uptick in ticket sales, and the house was packed at the Front Row. The new material wasn’t worked into the show yet, so it focused entirely on classic tunes like “In Dreams,” “Only the Lonely,” “Ooby Dooby” and “Crying.” The second to last song (before the finale of “Running Scared”) was his signature tune “Pretty Woman.” Tape was rolling that night, and you can hear the performance of that song right here.
Orbison had been complaining about chest pains all month, but he carried on with an extremely busy schedule and was already planning a huge world tour for 1989. Just two days after the concert, he died of a heart attack at his mother’s house in Henderson, Tennessee.He was just 52.
Two months after his death, Mystery Girl arrived in record stores. It received rave reviews and the single “You Got It” became a big hit. “She’s a Mystery To Me” – produced by Bono and the Edge – also got a lot of airplay. There were rumors that the Traveling Wilburys were going to replace Orbison with Del Shannon, but that idea was cut short a year later when he committed suicide. The group briefly carried on as a four-piece, but without Orbison it just wasn’t the same.
The trumpeter was best known for her joyous melodies and inspired vocals and ad-libs on songs like “Dance to the Music” and “I Want to Take You Higher.” She commanded listeners to “get up and dance to the music” at the beginning of the former song and sang “hey, hey, hey” background vocals on the latter.
Robinson’s career with Sly Stone began in 1966 when the bandleader put together a group called the Stoners. They fell apart quickly, though, and she became a fixture of the Family Stone – a group whose members were male and female and represented different races, a novel idea at the time – alongside her cousin Larry Graham.
Although the ensemble’s A Whole New Thing was not a hit, its second LP Dance to the Music scored a hit in 1967 with the title cut, paving the way for a string of successful songs that included “Everyday People,” “Stand,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again),” “Family Affair” and many others. Trumpeter Miles Davis, deep into his fusion period, said at the time that he was a fan. The band fizzled in popularity by the mid-Seventies, with members leaving, but the trumpeter continued to record with Stone into the Eighties.
When not playing with the Family Stone, Robinson played in Graham’s Graham Central Station and worked with George Clinton and Prince. She was inducted into the 1993 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside her Family Stone bandmates.
Robinson was born on January 12th, 1946 in Sacramento, California. She played brass instruments in her high school marching band and participated in an all-faith church choir. She met Stone while still in high school and ran into him again when he was a radio DJ after moving to Oakland. Stone was so beholden to his longtime friend that at the peak of “Everyday People” popularity, he cancelled three months of booked appearances – including the Ed Sullivan Show – while he waited for Robinson to recover from an emergency gall bladder operation.
In recent years, after Stone disappeared from the public eye, Robinson continued to play with a group called simply the Family Stone. She appeared on “Do Yo Dance,” the group’ latest single released this past summer.
Earlier this year, she told Rolling Stone how committed the singer was to equality and feminism, citing “M’Lady” as an example. “You may think Sly’s talking about the ladies in the song, but he’s actually talking to the men,” she said. “He’s giving the ladies props. He’s telling the men that the ladies are cool, that they need to pay more attention to them! The repetitive line is, ‘Give her some time.’ He’s telling the guys to spend more time with their ladies. Give her some attention!”
When news of Robinson’s death broke, Questlove penned a loving tribute to her, calling her music’s original “hypeman” in an Instagram post. “She wasn’t just a screaming cheerleading foil to Sly and Freddie [Stone]‘s gospel vocals; she was a kick ass trumpet player,” he wrote. “A crucial intricate part of Sly Stone’s utopian vision of MLK’s America: Sly and the Family Stone were brothers and cousins, friends and enemies, black and white, male and female. saint and sinner. … Cynthia’s role in music history isn’t celebrated enough.”
On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2016, husband-and-wife duo Joey + Rory will release an LP of sacred songs. Titled Hymns That Are Important to Us, and featuring such familiar songs as “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Softly and Tenderly” and “I’ll Fly Away,” the new collection will be released as part of the Gaither Gospel Series, which includes the couple’s 2013 album and DVD, Inspired: Songs of Faith Family. (See the complete Hymns track listing below.)
The duo’s Joey Martin Feek recorded vocals for the album last summer. Feek has since returned to her home in Indiana, after ending treatment for Stage IV cervical cancer one month ago. Since his wife was diagnosed, Rory Feek has updating his deeply personal blog with details about her illness, sharing the couple’s personal reflections throughout the difficult process.
On Monday, November 23rd, a post titled “Manna From Heaven” was accompanied by a picture of the snowy Indiana landscape out the Indiana farmhouse where Joey Feek was raised. In the post, Feek explained that his wife had said she didn’t think she would ever see snow again.
“She looked at me, then raised her eyes up at the sky and said, ‘If this is the last snow I ever see, thank you Jesus… thank you,’” he writes. “Like manna from Heaven. God sent us just what we needed… just when we needed it. He always does.”
The post was accompanied by a video of snowy scenes Feek captured around the farmhouse, with Joey’s poignant vocal on one of the songs from the collection, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
Feek notes that for his wife the album is “the one she’s always wanted to make – filled with the hymns she grew up with.”
Recorded in Nashville last summer, Joey was then recovering from her first major surgery in Chicago. Her vocals for the album were recorded when and where she was able and depended largely on how she was feeling at the time. In early October, Joey + Rory filmed a concert of the songs in the hall at their farm in front of a live audience. Although Feek says his wife was weak and the performance was difficult, she was determined because the record means so much to her.
Last week, Rory Feek’s daughter, Heidi, accompanied her dad at gospel legend Bill Gaither’s studio in Joey’s hometown of Alexandria, adding harmony parts to her vocals.
“It’s going to be special,” he writes. “Like me with the snow, I think Joey wants to capture the words and music of her childhood. The music that she goes to when she needs comfort. The music that makes this beautiful, tragic, crazy life somehow make sense. I think she wants to capture this music so we can take it home with us. All of us. And have it forever.”
Here is the Hymns That Are Important to Us track listing: 1. “Jesus Paid It All” 2. “I Need Thee Every Hour” 3. “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” 4. “He Touched Me” 5. “I Surrender All” 6. “Suppertime” 7. “Jesus Loves Me” 8. “It Is Well With My Soul” 9. “The Old Rugged Cross” 10. “How Great Thou Art” 11. “Softly and Tenderly” 12. “I’ll Fly Away”
Although Rihanna hasn’t revealed the details surrounding her impending LP Anti, the singer has already plotted a long world tour in support of her new album. The Anti World Tour kicks off February 26th at San Diego, California’s Viejas Arena and will spend three months circling North America before the first leg closes out May 7th at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. The following month, Rihanna will embark on a two-month trek through Europe.
Travis Scott will serve as Rihanna’s opening act throughout the North American leg, while the Weeknd and Big Sean will accompany her on the European tour. Anti World Tour tickets go on sale to American Express card members and Tidal subscribers on November 30th, with a general on-sale date for all shows scheduled for December 3rd.
Anti is the culmination of a long recording process for Rihanna; after releasing four albums in four years between 2009 and 2012, it’s been three years since Unapologetic arrived in November 2012. Rihanna hasn’t been completely dormant: In the past year, she’s released three singles – “FourFiveSeconds,”“Bitch Better Have My Money,” and “American Oxygen” – but it’s unclear whether those tracks will appear on the Kanye West-executive produced LP.
“To me it’s never done until it’s done. Until the final moment,” Rihanna told NME in a September interview. “I have so many songs I love – and they’re so different – that it’s hard to actually put them all on the same album.” The singer also revealed she had worked with Charli XCX on some songs that could potentially make the final tracklist. Recently, Rihanna revealed her Roy Nachum-creared album cover and the album title for her upcoming LP at a Los Angeles event.
Anti‘s impending arrival was trumpeted in mysterious Samsung ads during the American Music Awards; when the album does arrive, it will likely spend a period of exclusivity on both the Tidal streaming service and Samsung mobile devices before public consumption.
Rihanna Anti World Tour – U.S. Dates
February 26 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena February 28 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center March 1 – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena March 4 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center March 5 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center March 6 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center March 8 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center March 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena March 12 – Jacksonville @ Jacksonville Arena March 13 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena March 15 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena March 18 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena March 19 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena March 20 – Charlotte, NC @ The Time Warner Cable Arena March 22 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center March 23 – Buffalo, NY @ First Niagara Center March 24 – Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills March 26 – Hartford, CT @ XL Center March 27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center April 2 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center April 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo April 5 – Quebec City, QC @ Centre Videotron April 6 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre April 9 – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena April 10 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden April 13 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center April 15 – Chicago, IL @ United Center April 18 – Winnipeg, MS @ MTS Centre April 20 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place April 21 – Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome April 23 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena April 24 – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena April 27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena April 29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay May 3 – Los Angeles, CA @ Forum May 7 – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
Rihanna Anti World Tour – European Dates
June 11 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Amsterdam Arena June 14 – Coventry, United Kingdom @ Ricoh Arena June 16 – Cardiff, United Kingdom @ Cardiff Stadium June 18 – Sunderland, United Kingdom @ Stadium Of Light June 21 – Dublin, Ireland @ Aviva Stadium June 24 – London, United Kingdom @ Wembley Stadium June 27 – Glasgow, United Kingdom @ Hampden Park June 29 – Manchester, United Kingdom @ Emirates Old Park July 4 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Tele2 Arena July 7 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Refshale Island July 9 – Hamburg, Germany @ Volkspark Stadion July 13 – Milan, Italy @ San Siro July 15 – Nice, France @ Allianz Stadium July 17 – Frankfurt, Germany @ Commerzbank Arena July 19 – Lyon, France @ Grande Stade July 23 – Lille, France @ Stade Lille July 26 – Prague, Czech Republic @ Synotip Arena July 28 – Cologne, Germany @ Rhein Energie Stadion July 30 – Paris, France @ Stade de France August 2 – Berlin, Germany @ Olympiastadion August 5 – Warsaw, Poland @ PGE Narodowy August 7 – Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion August 10 – Vienna, Austria @ Ernst Happel Stadium August 12 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund Stadion
Just days after Pusha T unveiled the video for his Notorious B.I.G.-sampling “Untouchable,” the rapper revealed that he’ll release a new album titled Darkest Before Dawn by year’s end. Pusha T has long been at work on King Push, the follow-up to 2013′s My Name Is My Name, but instead of forcing fans to wait until next spring for that album’s arrival, he’ll first release Darkest Before Dawn on December 18th to tide them over.
“I’ve been recording so much—I didn’t want to break up that body of work, I feel like I had the producers doing things that they weren’t usually known for, a little out of their wheelhouse,” the rapper told Noisey of the decision to unleash Darkest Before Dawn in December. “I wanted to give the fans that body of work. That’s the music I love, and that’s the music that my fans love from me. Instead of having those moments throughout King Push, let’s just separate the game.”
In addition to the Timbaland-produced “Untouchable,” Darkest Before Dawn will also boast productions from Kanye West, Q-Tip, Baauer, Puff Daddy and Nashiem Myrick, the tandem behind Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya?”
“I believe the Notorious B.I.G. was the greatest rapper who’s ever lived,” Pusha T told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “He was a master painter with words. And his flow was just so effortless. I think I’m an awesome writer, but my bars still sound like bars. Big had all these intricacies, all these colors, all these witty things – and it didn’t sound like a rap. It was a conversation.”
Pusha, who was recently named president of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music, also released the West-produced “Lunch Money” in November 2014, but it’s unknown whether that will feature on Darkest Before Dawn.
Record Store Day will celebrate its own Black Friday on November 27th with a new wave of exclusive and limited edition releases, including a 10-inch of the Arcs’ new EP The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. I. On Monday, Dan Auerbach and company released ”Young,” a ghostly new track from that six-song EP, exclusively with the official RSD site.
The eerie, reverb-heavy track was co-written by the Silver Jews’ David Berman. “We’ve been meeting at night, writing together for a few years,” Auerbach said in a statement of the working with Berman. “This is the first time we’ve shared any of that. The Arcs have recorded more songs from the collaboration and we hope to release more of it very soon.”
“Sometimes the best way to see into the future is to study the past. In this series we do both, collaborating with folks who have been in the game a long time but instead of rehashing old material, we collaborate on new works, explore new ideas and introduce each other to a different generational perspective,” Auerbach said of the EP in a statement. “We’ll continue in this series to track down our heroes and bug them until they agree to make some noise with us. Hopefully we learn a thing or two.”
Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe wrote a lengthy statement defending his band’s decision to cancel their European tour following terror threats on the continent. The outspoken singer explains in the post to his Randonesia Tumblr that the group had carried on with the tour even after learning of the deadly attack on Eagles of Death Metal’s Paris show, playing dates in England and Germany, before news of “a specific occurrence” that Blythe does not explain in detail prompted the band head home. Although he did not specify the event, he later mentioned that guns could have gone off in his venue.
“I don’t feel like constantly wondering what the security climate in the next country we are scheduled to play in is, playing terror alert hopscotch through Europe right now just to play a few fucking heavy-metal concerts,” he wrote. “I’m glad I’m home. I feel like I made the right decision, and that’s all that matters to me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” At another point, he wrote, “I’m not going to play around with my life or the lives of others if I feel there is a dangerous situation I could potentially stop from occurring by simply saying, ‘The show is over.’”
Over the course of his 3,545-word missive, Blythe explained the course of events that led to the decision. The band played in New York City within a month of 9/11, he wrote, and ran through a list of other dangerous situations in which Lamb of God played: a state of martial law in Bangkok, civil war in Ecuador, natural disasters around the world. He was in London when the ISIS-led attack on Paris’ Bataclan venue took place and felt sickened and heartbroken as he watched the events unfold. “I could clearly envision it happening as it went down,” he wrote. “I’d played that club several times before.”
Lamb of God played the next night in London and then proceeded with gigs in Birmingham, England and Stuttgart, Germany. But when they arrived in Tilburg, Holland, their tour manager informed them of the specific event Blythe mentioned that made them rethink touring. “It made me immediately say, ‘Fuck this, I’m not going on that stage tonight,’” he wrote. “At that moment, [playing] no longer felt like the right thing to do anymore, not at all. … It felt foolish, it felt irresponsible, and it felt potentially very, very dangerous.”
Although Lamb of God opted not to continue, their tourmates in Children of Bodom and Sylosis chose to go on, beginning with a gig Sunday night in Switzerland, according to Blabbermouth. Blythe wished them and any other bands on tour in Europe well and hoped that they would return home safely.
Metal group Five Finger Death Punch recently canceled a gig in Milan when they received a tip that ISIS had been plotting an attack on the city. “We did our best in a very short amount of time to work with the local promoter and authorities to ensure that security would be adequate,” a statement from the band said on Facebook. “Unfortunately, we did not receive confirmation in time to satisfy our requirements and to ensure that our fans would be safe at the event. Therefore, we were forced to postpone the show to a later date.”
“I can deal with people disagreeing with me and my actions, no problem,” Blythe wrote at one point. “I could not deal with a news story that reads, ‘Hundreds die at Lamb of God concert; authorities say potential warning signs were ignored by band.’ … Better safe than on CNN.”
Lamb of God will resume touring again on December 5th with an appearance at Knotfest Mexico in Toluca, Mexico. After that, they will embark on a North American tour, beginning on January 15th, with Anthrax and Deafheaven.
The Avett Brothers’ sweaty, rapturously received live events have become something of legend over the years. Though they’ve grown in popularity at radio, the band’s stage prowess has played an important role in their development as one of Americana’s leading touring outfits.
On December 18th, the Avetts will a continue a long tradition with the release of Live, Vol. 4. The collection captures their New Year’s Eve 2014 concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, and includes popular tunes like “Shame” and “I and Love and You,” as well as two new songs, “Satan Pulls the Strings” and “Rejects in the Attic.” A DVD accompanies the CD edition of the album.
“The energy of this show is undeniably positive and uniquely North Carolinian. . . I often had to remind myself that we were singing to the audience and not the other way around. . .there’s nothing like celebrating in an arena filled with friends and neighbors,” said Seth Avett in a release.
The Avett Brothers have been putting out live albums since their 2002 debut Live at the Double Door Inn, often interspersing them between studio releases. In 2005, they released Live, Vol. 2 and in 2010 returned with Live, Vol. 3.
At the moment, the band is also working on its ninth studio album, slated for a 2016 release.
Live, Vol. 4 tracklisting: 1. Satan Pulls the Strings 2. Laundry Room 3. Another is Waiting 4. Shame 5. Kick Drum Heart 6. Rejects in the Attic 7. Ten Thousand Words 8. Talk On Indolence 9. Auld Lang Syne 10. The Boys are Back in Town 11. I and Love and You 12. Slight Figure of Speech 13. Happy Trails
Pentatonix performed a loving tribute to Star Wars and its legendary theme at the 2015 American Music Awards. Harrison Ford, the evening’s surprise guest, introduced the band while also paying homage to legendary composer John Williams and his most famous film scores.
Afterwards, Ford stepped up to the podium to introduce the five vocalists, who each wore various Star Wars-influenced costumes. The group was also backed by Williams’ full orchestra, with classic scenes from the beloved franchise playing behind the quintet. The a cappella group’s performance was preceded by a new clip from the forthcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens. In the brief sequence, Finn (John Boyega) and Rae (Daisy Ridley) are shown escaping enemy fire.
Pentatonix spoke with Rolling Stone last week to preview their cinematic tribute. “We just came out of rehearsal and it’s going to be epic,” beatboxer Kevin Olusola promised. “It was really a collaboration with the orchestra. We were ecstatic when they asked us if we would be willing to work with John Williams’ orchestra. Our background is in choral music, so this felt like a chance to revisit and re-study certain classical techniques.”
In October, Pentatonix released their fourth LP. The self-titled album was also the group’s first to contain predominantly original material.